In the early days of bitcoin, the industry made a grave mistake; they bundled all the projects together and dubbed them "cryptocurrencies". The term cryptocurrency has hindered the space more than any event, hack or uninformed opinion out of Wall Street. It assumes that everything in crypto is attempting to become a global currency; this couldn't be further from the truth.
This weekend we explore real use cases of the emerging decentralised finance world. In the same way our current financial system possesses core financial primitives such as the ability to pay, exchange, lend, borrow, and hedge, so does the decentralised world.
2021 has been a rewarding year for anyone participating in crypto markets with bitcoin up 20,40% and Ethereum up 246%. Whilst the two most well-known crypto networks have done well, the best performance can be found in the broader crypto landscape.
Investment at its most basic is just deferred consumption. Like other financial assets, Bitcoin requires market participants to defer their consumption today by investing in something they believe will allow for additional consumption in the future. This is the implicit idea behind almost every investment. Why would anyone invest if they weren't expecting their wealth to grow as a by-product of making that investment?
This week we thought we would take some time to reflect on the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) surrounding bitcoin and its network. These stories and FUD only really seem to rear their head every few years or so when bitcoin is in the spotlight and regulators are anxious.
Bitcoin is legal tender. These are words we didn't really expect to hear in 2021. Yet, somehow, on the 8th of June 2021, in Central America, the country of El Salvador passed a bill that officially recognises bitcoin as legal tender in its country. It took 12 short years to go from the online chatrooms of Cyberpunks and computer scientists to nation-state money. To say we are proud is an understatement.
“Bitcoin has no fundamental value” has long been the war cry for many traditional financial participants. This week we thought we could shed some light on this short-sighted mantra.
One of the most common questions we get when talking to people about digital assets usually concerns the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum. We believe this confusion stems from the idea that both of these assets compete with each other as money.
Money has always been technology. It allows society to store time, effort and sacrifice today and redeem it for time, effort, and sacrifice in the future. Similar to how a title deed gives the holder a claim on a property, money is a claim on human time. When we exchange our time for money we hope that it can hold value for long enough to enable us to trade it for something we want.
Our banking and financial networks of today are simply communication networks for settling financial transactions, they guarantee that transactions will be processed, executed, and settled. Banks are responsible for interfacing with these networks on behalf of their clients — sending the right messages and responding appropriately to messages received. The internet brought us, as users of banks, that much closer to their messaging network, allowing for online banking and fast mobile payments all whilst hundreds of bank branches closed across the globe.