My Third Conversation with Cas Piancey on ‘Tether: A Stable Discussion’: Questions and Answers

PART ONE CAN BE FOUND HERE

PART TWO CAN BE FOUND HERE

Cas Piancey, my writing partner and friend, and I are doing several episodes on the history and controversy surrounding Bitfinex and Tether.

This episode is focused on questions we have gotten about Bitfinex and Tether.

You can find the episode here: https://anchor.fm/cas-piancey/episodes/Tether-QA-ev2aun/a-a594gfe

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$ALCX: Alchemix Cannot Turn Lead to Gold

There is a brand new DeFi protocol that lets you immediately take out a loan for half your collateral and the protocol will automatically pay back your loan. Financial magic, involving transmuting one coin, into another, while depositing one in a pool, magically you can get a loan and have no risk of liquidations (not really but that’s what people are claiming [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and the coup de grace their website (archive)]). I think this protocol is flawed. You can find the whitepaper here. (Archive) (My copy)

Continue reading “$ALCX: Alchemix Cannot Turn Lead to Gold”

A Conversation about the Future of Finance

This story was inspired by this tweet.

“Bro, you gotta get in on this. I think I have discovered the future of finance.”

Continue reading “A Conversation about the Future of Finance”

Predictions and Outcomes

At one point I tried to learn about a token called Kimchi. That token no longer has any volume or value to speak of.

I decided to summarize some facts about the failed crypto entrepreneur Jacob Kostecki. Today, the class action lawsuit against him has entered default judgement.

I wrote about a deeply exploitive scam called The Billion Coins. Unfortunately, that coin is still active and is still taking advantage of people. They have tried to rebrand to make themselves look more official, but are still the same group of scum.

I once wrote about a worthless token called slidebits. Now the creator himself removed the blockchain from his app.

I wrote an article presenting a bearish case for a token when I was applying to a crypto hedge fund. That token has a market cap 1/10 of it’s all time high. Though I must admit, it has not seemed to be affected by any of the issues I pointed out. Sometimes things just break your way.

I wrote an article taking an in-depth look at the Basis Protocol. In that article I suggested both that part of the system could be a security. Basis shut down to avoid securities scrutiny.

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$FEW Care About This

If there is one thing that crypto can regularly provide it is drama. Today, the controversy (or at least one of them) centers around a token called Few. The token seems to have started when Sam Ratnakar decided to invite a small number of influential people from cryptocurrency to work on an “Experiment”. Each would receive an equal proportion of the tokens and a small proportion would be reserved for liquidity.

Archive link just in case: https://web.archive.org/web/20200923022606/https://twitter.com/mrdotboson/status/1308538094463844352

Many members of the telegram who received the token seem to have an honest desire to build something. However, the Telegram was also quickly filled with ‘jokes’ about pumping and dumping the token.

Archive link: https://archive.li/x07W6

Now let’s give all of these people the benefit of the doubt and assume they were working honestly with the goal of building something important. Even still they are doing it in what seems to be an inexplicable manner.

Generally, tokens should be created in order to serve a purpose. You decide on a project, a protocol, something, that in order to function optimally requires a token. What happened instead here seems to be that the token was created, distributed to a list of people with influence in crypto, many of them started “jokingly” shilling it on Twitter, and there was still no reason for the token to exist.

My intuition, and I hope I am wrong, is that the earliest creators and shills of $FEW were not doing it entirely as a joke. I believe many of them were experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and in order to rectify that feeling settled on creating their own token, airdropping it to a small group of influencers, and then “influencing”, so that they too could share in the mania.

Even if it was all a “joke”, where’s the punchline? Is it a meta point that most tokens are worthless? Is it a commentary on the large amounts of wealth that generally accrue to the earliest and most connected in crypto? Is it supposed to be a mockery of the “great team” method of crypto investing? None of those feel convincing to me, and I am left with a sadness about the state of cryptocurrency.

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