Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-06-13

Books I Read

Insomnia – This book by Stephen King is a supernatural thriller (like many of King’s books). If you are a fan of King you will likely enjoy this, especially with the references back to Dark Tower and to Derry more broadly. If you are not a fan of King, I think he has better works for you to read. Be forewarned if you listen to the audiobook, the music selections between chapters are incredibly annoying.

Movies I Watched

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – This documentary takes a look at the Enron fraud. There are many messages to be learned here that can be applied to other frauds.

I did a thread with my thoughts while watching the movie:

El Salvador

David Gerard covers the El Salvador situation brilliantly.

Yashar Ali

A fascinating profile on the prolific tweeter in LA Magazine.

ICYMI

In this article I try to look at the absurdity of Elon buying, selling, and shilling Bitcoin and Dogecoin.

In this article I try to wrap my head around just how big Tether really is.

In this article I discuss why I do not see venture capitalists as a sign of quality or due diligence for a crypto protocol.

In this episode Cas and I discuss the new initiative for Coinbase Media and Coinbase fact checking

I wrote about Coinbase media here.

Cas covered it here.

In this show we discuss the NYAG investigation of Bitfinex and Tether, the history of Bitfinex and Tether and more.

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How Big is Tether?

I have been following Tether for about three and a half years and still I struggle to really grasp how large it is. It is so absurdly large that it has started warping my perception of other huge amounts of money. I hear a million dollar fraud now and my first thought is “that’s it”, and so I am writing this to help provide some comparisons so I can help keep the scale of Tether in mind.

Continue reading “How Big is Tether?”

Episode 8 – Coinbase Media and Why Venture Capitalism Hates Journalism — Crypto Critics’ Corner

Coinbase Media and why Venture Capitalism Hates Journalism Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss how Coinbase plans on creating a media company to confirm its own version of the facts and report its own version of the truth. Is journalism entering its final death spiral or are VC bros just losing their minds? Read more here: https://protos.com/coinbase-crypto-exchange-media-content-marketing-journalism/ https://bennettftomlin.com/2021/05/31/a-rant-about-coinbase-media-and-coinbase-fact-checking/

In this episode Cas and I dive into the recent reporting surrounding Coinbase launching a new media arm and fact checking situation. We also talk more broadly about what we think the future of media might look like.

Cas wrote about this at Protos.

Coinbase is hunting top editorial talent — for journalism or marketing?

I wrote about this here:

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Elon and the Absurdity of Bitcoin

Elon Musk is considered by fools to be among the smartest people alive. He will be discussed as though he has the intellect of Nikola Tesla, combined with the ability to create products of Thomas Edison. This towering intellect is a facade built on the willingness of others to continue to propagate the myth, and nothing makes that clearer than Elon’s relationship with Bitcoin.

Continue reading “Elon and the Absurdity of Bitcoin”

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-06-06

Books I Read

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins: Series I & II Collection – A beautiful and brilliantly written series of comic books that tell the story of how the adventuring group Vox Machina came to be. I truly enjoyed reading through this collection on a quiet Sunday morning.

The Four Hour Workweek – This book by Tim Ferriss is a book I have read several times now. I always have somewhat complicated feelings towards it. There are many techniques and ideas in the book that I personally am unlikely to ever use. However, it is often useful for me as a reframing tool. It is a good way to remind yourself that there are often social scripts that we allow to develop into limits on ourselves. Also there is good advice on starting information businesses.

Dungeons and Dragons

This video is incredibly valuable for 5e DMs who would be interested in pulling forward material from 4e to help combat. It convinced me to go out and buy the 4e Monster Manual. Giffyglyph has an awesome tool to make 5e monsters in the style of 4e as well.

NFTs

Protos reports on the blow up of the NFT bubble.

ICYMI

In this article I rant about the new media and fact checking initiative by Coinbase

In this episode Cas and I discuss the ill-fated Canadian bitcoin exchange QuadrigaCX

In this podcast I discuss Tether, Binance, MakerDAO, and other systemic risks.

In this article I make a simple argument that shows there were unbacked Tethers.

I did a quick little question and answer about Bitfinex and Tether. Since no one was there at the beginning I just started sharing Bitfinex and Tether fun facts.

There are still way too many unanswered questions surrounding the acquisition of TrueUSD. Cas Piancey takes a look.

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A Simple Deductive Argument Proving There Were Unbacked Tethers

There are certain claims and objections that I have to respond to frequently. Some people will still claim that Tether has never had unbacked Tethers. I am attempting to create a valid and sound deductive argument that will conclusively prove that is untrue. I love philosophy and deductive reasoning, so may do a few of these. If you want to respond, please respond in a manner that addresses the deductive argument, either in form or in challenging the soundness of the premises.

Continue reading “A Simple Deductive Argument Proving There Were Unbacked Tethers”

Episode 7 – QuadrigaCX: the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that just won’t die — Crypto Critics’ Corner

QuadrigaCX: the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that just won't die Crypto Critics' Corner

Bennett and Cas dive into what happened at QuadrigaCX – once the largest Canadian Bitcoin exchange. If you'd like to read a more detailed piece you can find "Death Fraud" here: https://medium.com/coinmonks/death-fraud-6920cc93d0a7

In this episode Cas and I dive into QuadrigaCX, the ill-fated exchange who was using Crypto Capital, lost client funds, got their start in ponzi schemes, may have faked their own death, and more.

Cas wrote an in-depth piece on Cotten’s death fraud.

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A Rant About Coinbase ‘Media’ and Coinbase ‘Fact’ ‘Checking’

Photo by brotiN biswaS on Pexels.com

Protos reported that Coinbase was aggressively looking for a ‘top media editor’. It clearly seems intended for Coinbase to build up a content marketing team that will help them manage their own image.

http://web.archive.org/web/20210529221305/https://protos.com/coinbase-crypto-exchange-media-content-marketing-journalism/
Continue reading “A Rant About Coinbase ‘Media’ and Coinbase ‘Fact’ ‘Checking’”

Sunday Reads – Things I Found Interesting 2021-05-30

Ethereum

Vitalik breaks down the limits to scaling.

Hard Forks

Eric Wall shares a flowchart from the Segwit2X Bitcoin scaling debate that can serve as a useful model for understanding contentious hard forks.

Steve Bannon’s Italian Gladiator School for Western Culture

Ben Munster breaks down the absurdity of the above phrase.

ICYMI

In this article I try to summarize what I see as the difference between the trader perspective and skeptic perspective on Tether and Bitfinex, plus it’s like a greatest hits of their fuck-ups.

In this podcast episode Cas and I discuss Crypto Capital Corp, the shadow bank to the cartels and to Bitfinex and Tether.

In this article I try to work through my thoughts on why Coinbase listed Tether.

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