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What’s Happening in the Cryptoverse #3

Welcome to this week’s crypto update.

It’s been an interesting week in the crypto and NFT worlds. Bitcoin just broke the all time high this morning getting close to $67,000 as of this writing. Bitcoin is up around 20% in the last week, largely on the heels of the first Bitcoin Futures ETF launching in the US on Monday. More on that below. 

One NFT collector turned down almost $10 million for an NFT. Younger people are getting more into crypto building, mining and creating. Check out this very inspiring video by young, Teresa Melvin but don’t worry. Older billionaires and old school corporate-types are also jumping on the bandwagon.

News

  1. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn thinks Bitcoin may be the best hedge for inflation
    Billionaire investor Carl Icahn warned Tuesday that the next market crisis may be on the horizon, and Bitcoin (BTC) could be the best hedge against inflation.“In the long run, we are certainly going to hit the wall. I really think there will be a crisis the way we are going, the way we are printing money, the way we are going into inflation. If you look around you, you see inflation all around you, and I don’t know how you deal with that in the long term,” Icahn said on Monday with CNBC.
  2. Bitcoin futures ETF debuts with highest-ever first day ‘natural’ volume of $1BProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF saw around $1 billion in volume on its opening day, with 24.313 million BITO shares changing hands.
  3. Mariah Carey buys Bitcoin, hopes to empower fans through educationPop icon Mariah Carey is the latest celebrity to embrace Bitcoin (BTC) through the Winklevoss-led Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, offering another sign that digital assets are becoming mainstream.
  4. Chicago Board Options Exchange to aquire cryptocurrency market ErisX
    The news of institutional interest in the crypto market continues to gather steam with the announcement of the CBOE acquiring ErisX. The CBOE looks like they’re going to continue iterating on the Bitcoin futures product they launched in 2017 with this acquisition.
  5. Morgan Stanley CEO says he respects cryptocurrencies and praised blockchain
    Morgan Stanley CEO says he respects cryptocurrencies and praised blockchain
    “I don’t think cryptocurrencies are a fad. I don’t think that goes away,” he said on the bank’s third-quarter earnings conference call with analysts yesterday morning.
    “I don’t know what the value of bitcoin should or shouldn’t be, but these things aren’t going away. And the blockchain technology supporting is obviously very real and powerful.”

Meme / Tweet of the Moment

Some of you may have been hearing about DeFi lately. “DeFi” is short for “decentralized finance”. It threatens to upend how banks, money lenders and many other aspects of the financial system around the world works. If you would like a quick primer on DeFi, check out this article on Investopedia.

This post also appears on my Invest Stream Substack

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What’s Happening in the Cryptoverse #2

Intro

It’s been another exciting few days in crypto. I was planning to send this on Fridays but as is the case with the crypto world, things move fast so here’s some midweek news.

El Salvador recently launched Bitcoin services across the country. In just a few short weeks, 50% of the country has a Bitcoin wallet. Preliminary anecdotal reports suggest that people are actually using Bitcoin for transactions in the country of a little more than 6 million people. Satoshi Nakamoto’s use case for Bitcoin is finally seeing a real world scenario play out. Keep a close eye on this “sovereign beta test”.

News

  1. Google Partners With Bakkt to Bring Google Pay to Crypto Users 
    Digital asset marketplace Bakkt has partnered with Google to expand the usability of cryptocurrency. Thus, users will soon be able to add their Bakkt Visa Debit Card directly into Google Pay. Bakkt will also be using Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider to market its services to leading US retailers and merchants.
  2. Wyoming’s Senator Lummis Discloses Apparent Bitcoin Buy of up to $100,000
    The senator’s purchase was from bitcoin brokerage River Financial. Lummis was a supporter of an amendment in Congress’s infrastructure bill in August that would exempt hardware wallet makers, cryptocurrency transaction validators, node operators and other non-brokers from tax regulations.
  3. Top 10 Upcoming NFT Drops According To Survey Of 500 NFT Experts
    We asked 500 NFT analysts to rate the attractiveness of 100 upcoming NFT drops. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 NFT collections based on the rating of these analysts. These projects are only just gaining momentum and therefore have the potential to yield some impressive ROI in the future.
  4. Bitcoin for beginners: Here’s what to know before you invest in cryptoHad you bought bitcoin in early April 2017, for example, you could have seen a 3,700% return in just four years. 

    But there also have been plenty of price plunges along the way. If you’d bought in mid-April of this year, you would have lost more than half your investment in just four months.So if you’re tempted to invest, here’s some thoughts on what to consider before taking the leap.
  5. The U.S. Replaces China as World’s Biggest Bitcoin Miner
    Mining is the process by which transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain are executed. It uses a “Proof of Work” algorithm. The U.S. has become the world’s epicenter for Bitcoin mining after a crackdown in China effectively eliminated the practice in the former cradle of the industry. 
  6. Reese Witherspoon Gets Into Ethereum NFTs, Snoop Dogg Gives Advice
    Actress Reese Witherspoon tweeted on Monday that she bought her first NFTs and rapper Snoop Dogg, an avid NFT collector, offered advice on one of the “most influential women” to follow in the space.

Meme / Tweet of the Moment

This isn’t just a meme. It’s a tweet – check out the thread if you have time to kill.

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What’s Happening in the Cryptoverse: 2021-10-08

I thought you might like a short, curated list of interesting headlines from the crypto world. For now, on a weekly basis, I will include links to the original stories but I figure a lot of people just want a paragraph or two of the news of the day so here’s a start. Let me know what you think, e.g. “This is awesome”, “This is nice but I don’t understand”, “This is interesting but too time consuming”, “This is utterly useless and I’m unsubscribing”

The past week has been quite exciting for crypto “hodlers”. Bitcoin and Ether have both run up quite a bit and NFT projects continue to be hot. My Twitter Spaces is probably 95% NFT and Crypto.

  1. Ethereum Outpaces Bitcoin in Derivatives Open Interest: CryptoCompare Report
    The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has, throughout September, outpaced the flagship cryptocurrency in terms of open interest across cryptocurrency derivatives products. aggregate open interest in Ethereum-based derivatives products grew 4.7% to $5.8 billion last month, while open interest in bitcoin derivatives fell 3.7% since August to $11.9 billion. 
  2. Institutions buying Bitcoin rather than gold as inflation cranks up: JPMorgan
    According to a note shared by JPMorgan with clients on Thursday, the recent increase in price for BTC was predominantly attributed to institutional investors looking for a hedge to inflation. “The re-emergence of inflation concerns among investors has renewed interest in the usage of Bitcoin as an inflation hedge,” the analysts said, arguing there has been a shift in perception as to the merits of BTC in relation to gold.
  3. NFT sales surge to $10.7 bln in Q3 as crypto asset frenzy hits new highsSales volumes of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) surged to $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up more than eightfold from the previous quarter, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, as the frenzy for crypto assets reached new highs.
  4. AMC Theaters’ acceptance of Dogecoin follows viral community appeal
    Following an overwhelmingly positive response to a Twitter poll on Sept. 21, CEO of AMC Theater Adam Aron announced Wednesday that the chain would officially accept Dogecoin payments for digital gift cards via BitPay Wallet.The Dogecoin community — notoriously passionate for adoption initiatives — tweeted in droves to advocate for the asset’s integration within the theater’s payment options.
  5. Someone Bought $1.6 Billion Worth Of Bitcoin
    Bitcoin could officially be out of the woods after an unidentified buyer purchased a whopping $1.6 billion worth of the asset on Wednesday, leading to price spiking by over 8% in just under 15 minutes.
  6. Bitcoin beats stocks, commodities to become the best-performing asset of 2021
    Despite Bitcoin’s wild ride throughout the year, downside has failed to grip the market, with a 60% retracement from highs in May now all but cancelled out. The largest cryptocurrency is thus at least 13% ahead of commodities for the year, figures show this week, and 17% ahead of United States micro-cap companies.

Though not incredibly important news, definitely, very cool news: CoinDCX brings in Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador

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Don’t Believe the [Technical Analysis] Hype!

tl;dr: Read a lot and educate yourself and don’t think technical analysis alone will make you rich.

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Bitcoin and Crypto Resources For Beginners

I was first introduced to Bitcoin by Vaishali when it was around $30 per BTC. Like most people, I brushed it off as another open source project trying to solve digital payments that was likely to fail. When BTC reached $100 a few months later, I thought maybe it was time to learn about Bitcoin and blockchain . Unfortunately, in 2013, it was very difficult to find people who knew about Bitcoin and online resources were just as difficult to find.

In 2017, it seems the problem of finding the right resources isn’t much easier. Even though, there are many people writing about Bitcoin and crypto, it is still hard for beginners to figure out which resources they can trust and which they can’t. I had tons of questions when I was digging in: “What is Bitcoin?”, “What is Bitcoin backed by?”, “How do I buy Bitcoin?”, “Why would anyone run a full node?”

This isn’t an attempt to answer all of those questions but instead meant to share some resources that I have accumulated and think are useful for people beginning their crypto journey. Teach a man to fish and all that…

This isn’t investment advice and it should not be taken as such. It is purely shared as a resource to learn from.

White Papers

  1. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System – this is the quintessential starting point for anyone interested in crypto currencies, crypto assets, and, of course, Bitcoin. Nine pages that have changed technology and economics, forever.
  2. Ethereum White Paper – This is far more technical but worth reading. The Ethereum blockchain has allowed the creation of hundreds of tokens to piggyback off the Ethereum network and completely changed how blockchain technology is looked it.

Books

This book can get a bit technical but you’re diving into crypto currencies, you will need to start understanding the basic technology behind it. This one is on my reading list. I’ve been following Chris Burniske on Twitter and he’s got some really brilliant things to say. I’m sure the book is just as informative.

Podcasts & Videos

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Andreas’ videos are a must watch to get started

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Charlie Lee discusses “Creating Litecoin”

Blogs

Buying Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin or other Altcoins (alternate coins)

Depending on where you live, buying Bitcoin can be extremely easy, or quite difficult or expensive. Most people will use a marketplace or an exchange to purchase Bitcoin. However, other methods like buying it from from a friend or using a service like LocalBitcoins is also possible. The folks at CoinCentral put together a review of various exchanges and buying methods including LocalBitcoins.

If you’re in the US, the largest and easiest way to buy Bitcoin, Ether or Litecoin is currently Coinbase (disclaimer: I may get paid $10 if you open an account and buy some coins).

If you’re in India, some of the more commonly used online exchanges are Koinex, Coinome, Zebpay, Coinsecure, and Unocoin amongst others.

Most experts in the crypto currency world agree that it is not safe to leave your crypto assets on an exchange. Though there hasn’t been a case of the blockchain ever being hacked, businesses, websites, and tools are susceptible to hacking just like Equifax, Home Depot, Yahoo!, etc. For that reason, experts recommend moving any amount of crypto currency that you’re not comfortable losing, over to your own wallet where you control the private keys (sorry, I didn’t discuss private keys but the resources above do – it’s critical to understand them and keep them safe).

Wallets

One of the most challenging things for me to figure out was which wallet should I use. I wanted a solid product that had the support of the community and was also safe and secure. I also wanted a wallet that could support multiple currencies. I tried a couple of multi currency wallets but eventually decided on separate wallets for each currency.

Bitcoin

I highly recommend checking the Bitcoin.org site to choose the wallet best for you. I chose to run a Bitcoin Core Full Node and use that as my wallet but that may not be for everyone.

Ether

The Ethereum Foundation, generally, recommends using the Mist wallet as the initially launch point. Now that it supports a light client, it is also pretty fast to sync with the network. If you’re interested in just playing around, you can also try MyEtherWallet which is an amazing web-based Ether and token wallet (yup, I’m leaving out the discussion on tokens in this post).

Installing and setting up a wallet is free (unless you’re using a paid app). Sending Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin or any crypto currency to another address, will cost some currency. I highly encourage downloading and setting up a wallet and creating your first wallet address, if for no other reason than to learn.

If you want to try out a transaction, feel free to send some​

BTC to 33EBeMRethPPT6ckXEEbAPWuno6pieivcP ETH to 0x1bE8c8660eE07a49B3CD88398B13631a67514Cd5
 

Please make sure to send the right coin to the right address. If you send it to the wrong address, it will be gone forever.

  • Please write down your passphrase and passwords on a piece of paper that is secure and won’t get lost, damaged, stolen, etc.
  • Do not use a password that you’ve used for any other purpose, on any other site, application, etc.
  • Once you’re comfortable with your wallet, export your private key, print it out and store it safely.
  • Anyone with your passphrase or private key can take your coins and you won’t be able to get them back.
  • If your hard drive crashes or your computer gets hacked, etc. you can use your passphrase or private key to recreate your wallet on a secured device (so can anyone else that has access to the passphrase or key).

Good luck on your journey and if you find other resources that you find useful, please do share them in the comments.

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