Not reading material, but Anders Brownworth’s fantastic video should help any visual learner put the concepts of hashing, mining, blocks, blockchains, and cryptocurrency into an easy to understand hands-on visual demonstration. Keep this in your back pocket for when that non-technical but curious friend asks you how blockchains really work.
Are network metrics and institutional interest the way that we might be able to reason about the “fundamentals” of the Bitcoin price? Tuur Demeesterdefinitely think so and he paints a drooping picture of declining miner profitability, low trading volumes, rejected ETFs, incredulous institutional investors, and lagging retail interest. If you’re price-focused: there won’t be new highs for Bitcoin in 2018, concludes Tuur, but ends on a hopeful note that gains like an ETF approval or block reward halving might nudge the price. If only they’d come before 2020!
In classic “wood cabin” manifesto style, Steven McKie takes us on a 4,000-word tour of complicated lists of participants, comparison charts, trilemmas, and the irreverently self-styled “McKie’s Triangle”. In a nutshell, decentralized networks are a hodgepodge of developers, community members, and investors. Complicating matters, each group plays a unique role saddled with its own incentives and therefore decentralized governance systems need to be designed in a way that only “loosely couples” them to each other, says Steven, drawing on a deep familiarity with blockchain tech and pointing to various projects as models and examples. Among the twists and turns, we find echoes of Rees-Moggian prophecies and Vorickian shoutouts, but perhaps the author sums it up best: “Crypto is hard, maintain, proactively, a lot of moving parts to make it easier.”
Diving into a topic near and dear to my heart, Jeremy Liew posits that it is now time to pick winners across blockchain protocols, decentralized applications, and infrastructure/middleware companies. The author breaks down the general investment thinking for each kind of approach and why it might be attractive from the point of view of capturing value. And despite the piece’s arguable claim that the fat protocol thesis “holds true” because “the market cap of cryptocurrencies is many times larger than the total value of blockchain companies today”, it’s refreshing to see venture firms begin to acknowledge decentralized applications as investible vehicles.
The authors do a fearless job of describing and archiving the historical trends in Bitcoin’s narrative. From a government-resistant cypherpunk e-cash to an uncorrelated financial digital asset, Bitcoiner attitudes toward their favorite cryptocurrency are varied and contradictory. Complete with a historical visualization of these changing views, this piece will serve as a history lesson to the newly initiated and a walk down Memory Lane for those who lived through Mt. Gox and beyond.