The Coinbase Curse, Acquisitions On Fire, & Life 1.0

CoinSnacks

January 19, 2022 | Issue #204

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Remembering Life 1.0

In today's crazy world of crypto, we have the rapid onboarding into DeFi, NFTs, Web 3.0, DAOs, Metaverse, etc... coinciding with batches of "experts," VCs, and brands telling us (whether you like it or not) what the future entails and how you better get with it.

Are any of you confused and/or frustrated by some of these narratives? Do any of you feel like some of this stuff is being pushed down your throat? Well... if so, we wanted to let you that you're not alone.

Put it this way... When we were first learning about Bitcoin and crypto, we were extremely excited (and still are) about how this innovative tech could directly impact humanity. Sovereignty, freedom, protection against corruption... It was all meant to improve our quality of life in the REAL world... not in a weird, dystopian online virtual world filled with collectibles (NFTs/Metaverse), non-transparent APYs (DeFi), and consensus-driven decision-makers (DAOs).

Now, don't get us wrong, we aren't saying these things are all scams (they aren't), or that they won't change the world (they will!). Not even close. Many of these initiatives are indeed good things for society and will contribute to the much-needed removal of rent-seekers.

But still, we cannot forget about what life is truly about.

The truth is that our younger (and future) generations are progressively distancing themselves from reality. While COVID hasn't helped, we are increasingly stuck on our computers at home or in an office, siloed away from each other. As a result, some have caved into social media’s toxicity and have become a cog in the loneliness epidemic.

At the end of the day – with our without crypto – we're all still humans who value connection, story-telling, the outdoors, love, adventures, health, and individual rights.

Our mental, physical, and social health will not be cured in a virtual world.

P.S. Vitalik, we love you, but dude...

Acquisitions On Fire

Two weeks ago, we outlined why 2022 was going to be a major year of M&A in the crypto space.

Well, right on cue, our prediction is coming to light. In just the last week, we have seen three of the most prominent crypto exchanges make some large (and strategic) acquisitions.

Coinbase acquires FairX
FairX, as a CFTC-regulated designated contract market (DCM), would allow Coinbase to offer crypto derivatives and to compete with FTX (Remember, FTX recently acquired LedgerX to offer crypto derivatives). With derivatives being a potentially huge and underserved market in the crypto space, it is safe to say we are in the early stages of a high-stakes competition. Expect other exchanges to enter.

Gemini Acquires Omniex
Crypto exchange Gemini acquired the trading platform Omniex today to offer more institutional services to its clientele. While Gemini has had services for institutional clients, Omniex will help expand the suite to include more complex trading tools and access to external liquidity sources.

OpenSea Acquires Dharma Labs
In potentially the biggest news of the week, NFT trading platform OpenSea has confirmed the acquisition of Ethereum wallet maker and early DeFi entrant, Dharma Labs. According to a source close to the firm, the deal was estimated to be between $110 million and $130 million. With Coinbase and other exchanges launching their NFT platforms soon, OpenSea is doing everything in their power to stay ahead of the pack.

FTX Launches $2B Venture Fund

We seem to be unable to go even one week without the announcement of a large fund being raised to invest in crypto. They've actually become so common that we just don't have the room to cover each and every one here in the pages of CoinSnacks. For this one, we will make an exception.

This week, FTX announced the launch of a $2B venture fund to invest in the crypto ecosystem.

Why is this important?

Well, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX has been strategically investing in crypto projects for the last few years both personally and through his hedge fund, Alameda Research. Now, with $2B dedicated to investing in projects, it's safe to say that FTX will continue to shape the direction of the crypto market just as they did with their investments into the Solana ecosystem.

Just as exchanges are competing in the M&A space (see story above), they seem to be competing in the funding space as well. We recently saw Kraken and Circle announce venture funds, and Crypto.com add $300 million to it's venture fund bringing it to $500 million. Oh, and we of course can't forget Coinbase Ventures which is making an investment every 1.8 days.

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 DEEP DIVES 


A Coinbase Curse And How VCs Sell Crypto To Retail

Jack Dorsey has been all-in on calling out VCs for profiting from altcoins, even as they claim to push “decentralization.” But does this claim have legs or is it just heresay?

Fais Khan dug in deep to find out how altcoins that are listed on Coinbase perform against BTC and ETH over time. Before you buy another token that is newly listed on Coinbase, read this.

The Year in Ethereum 2021

As we continue to hear more and more about "Ethereum Killers," it's worth taking a look at just what Ethereum accomplished in 2021 and what to expect for the crytpoasset in 2022 in these three posts:

  1. The Year in Ethereum 2021 from Josh Stark and Evan Van Ness, who writes a great (and technical) ETH focused newsletter.
  2. Zoom Out: Don't call it a comeback, Ethereum's been here for years.
  3. State of Ethereum | Q4 Report

It's safe to say that plain ol' Ethereum may just be the real "Ethereum-Killer."

A Better Mining System?

Financial services firm Block, previously known as Square, is officially engaged in creating a new, open-source bitcoin mining system, CEO Jack Dorsey announced last week on Twitter.

Block’s bitcoin mining system seeks to enhance three aspects of bitcoin mining: Availability, Reliability, and Performance.

The goal is to solve the industry’s most pressing pain points by making mining rigs easier to find and purchase, while also ensuring a consistent delivery experience; enhancing reliability by building something better at dissipating heat and dust; increasing performance while ensuring low power consumption and a quieter experience.

Need a refresher on the basics of bitcoin mining? Start here. Then get up to speed with Hashrate Index's 2021 year-end report. It's packed with data and analysis on hashprice, network metrics, rig prices, mining pools, crypto mining stocks, and other industry trends.

Related: Block isn't the only big wig entering the bitcoin mining game as of late. According to the Tom's Hardware post that broke the story, Intel is next.

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 REGULATORY FRONT 


Will El Salvador Default On Its Debt Because Of Bitcoin? Markets Say Yes

The price of insurance against El Salvador defaulting on its loans has now tripled since the country adopted Bitcoin as legal tender last year.

The surge also comes after Moody’s downgraded El Salvador’s credit rating in July, from B3 (“speculative and a high credit risk”) to Caa2 (“poor quality and very high credit risk“).

But those 2008 Mortgage Backed Securities... AAA.

Jokes aside, it would be refreshing to see El Salvador's president take the markets a little more seriously, and we will keep an eye out to see if Moody's changes their ratings when BTC hits a new all-time high.

Countries Are Pulling Back On Crypto Promotions

This week, several countries began tightening their rules around crypto promotions. Let's take a closer look:

  • On Monday, Singapore' Monetary Authority moved to rein in ads, advising that service providers should only market their wares on their own websites, apps, or social media, and in doing so should not trivialize the risks of investing in digital assets.
  • Also on Monday, Spain's Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) issued a release defining new disclaimer rules on posts promoting crypto assets... and new rules for so-called influences or outlets with more than 100k followers.
  • Then today, UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also proposed restrictions on the marketing of certain crypto assets. The rules essentially bar firms from promoting crypto products to users without assessing their financial knowledge and experience.

Meanwhile... here in the wild west, Youtube just banned the reputable Bitcoin Magazine for no apparent reason while professional shillers remain at large. ๐Ÿคท

 TWEET OF THE WEEK 


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