📌 An opinionated recap of the most interesting news in crypto
Token Economy
🥣Founders breakfast on the 19th in London
We'll be in London this week and thought it'd be fun to get together with a dozen or so founders over an informal breakfast on the 19th, and chat tokenomics...

We are already close to full capacity, however we made sure to leave a few spots open for Token Economy readers.

So if you are a founder working on decentralized tech and are keen to join us, let us know by filling out this short form.
📌Weekly thoughts
Recent numbers from Dappradar indicate that dapps are nowhere near mass adoption.

Nothing particularly unexpected nor tremendously insightful as a result, without looking at trajectories it's easy to miss the the forest for the trees. Useful though to zoom out and take stock of how much more work is still required on the infrastructure/onboarding front, and as a segway to the next post.

Some notable stats for the record:
- 312 live dapps
- Approx: half DEXs, 25% games (incl. collectibles), 5% casinos, 20% scams (i.e c. 100% speculative use cases)
- More than half of all DApps have zero transactions in the last week
- Only 25% of DApps have more than 100 transactions in a week.
Now taking the eyes off the rear mirror: the glass half full way to look at this is that it's all just getting started, precisely at the time the market cools off. Fred Wilson is starting to get excited about Dapps.

One dynamic that differs from traditional centralized apps is user onboarding: on dapps platforms like Blockstack and dapp browsers like Toshi/Cipher, user identity is at the platform layer, so all these apps are readily usable with a click (provided you have loaded some ETH).

It's interesting to think about the impact this no/low friction environment, in which dapps share 'user base liquidity' with the underlying platform, can have on dapps adoption curves: we would not be surprised if a killer Dapp reached 100 million users faster than any centralized app has ever done. Cuy nails it with his tweetstorm on what a "killer Dapp" will look like. 👌

PS: speaking of timing, Coinbase just acquired dapp browser and mobile Ethereum wallet Cipher and announced that many of its features will be integrated into Toshi. Cipher's founder will also take the lead of Toshi engineering team. Cipher had undoubtedly delivered a superior product to Toshi in less time and, presumably, with less capital.
A contrarian take on Token Curated Registries from Aleksandr of Coinfund.

His critique relates to how most of the current designs for TCRs won't converge to a truthful answer as the domain they apply to fail at satisfying at least one of the following key conditions:

(1) objectivity (ie. the objective answer exists)
(2) publicity (ie. it is publicly observable)
(3) cheap observability (ie. it is very cheap to observe it)

Any examples of TCRs that tick these three boxes, other than Messari?
A little rough around the edges as it should be, but an excellent glimpse into one of the many things NFTs can enable.

Here the author shares a proof of concept for representing software licenses as ERC721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and using Metamask to access the software web apps.

Benefits: transferability, reduction of piracy and privacy.

Question marks: how to implement subscription billing through a smart contract, how to exchange licenses, linking terms of service to the token, commercial model for subscription-based pricing model (👈 hint: free startup ideas!)

If you are working on NFTs, we would love to hear from you.
And while we are on the topic, here's a bull case for the NFT economy (and indirectly for ETH), claiming it could underpin a trillion dollar asset class.

Intuitively it feels right, what is still unclear though is what's the best way for an investor to take exposure to it. 

(PS: Spencer Noon's now writing daily! 👏🏻🤘)
Vitalik's April's meta-fool joke has received a comment from Vlad Zamfir, opposing the proposed issuance and cap.

It's a nuanced discussion, and aside from this post, we're not really having it yet - but it will need to have more thought put into it. 
One person doing some noticing, is Spencer Noon, who thinks ETH is headed towards a 120m hard-cap and will have a shot at the SoV use case.

(2x mentioned in one issue!)
Extremely interesting read.

If you don't have time, skip the first two parts, and go straight to Nash's "Ideal Money" section and the Information Theory section.

This will help you navigate the many different "factions" of the Bitcoin community, especially the more fringy ones, which are hard to figure out just from Twitter.
A fascinating glimpse into the minds of two speculators.

The most shocking part was that their Cryptokitties arbitrage/trading bot actually found other bot competitors.
Another great post by Jimmy Song. 

This one puts to rest the theories that mining centralization (both hashrate and manufacturing) represents a single point of failure for Bitcoin, by dissecting 8 potential attack vectors.
Messari started releasing their first asset research papers!

The first ones are for Aragon, Storj and Bluzelle.

You can read Ryan's announcement post, in which he talks about how he's been bitten by Decentralized State bug too.

Disclosure: we're small investors in Messari.
💥That just happened
World's top MBA programmes from Stanford, Wharton and Georgetown are starting to offer classes in digital currency and blockchain.
ConsenSys released a draft of their Digital Asset Taxonomy emerged from The Brooklyn Porject. In short:
- payment tokens (eg BTC, LTC, XMR, ZEC) 
- consumer tokens (utility tokens offering either ownership rights, coupon rights or activity rights)
- investment tokens (ie security tokens).

ConsenSys also announced the launch of Token Foundry this week, which on surface looks like a token design consultancy arm.
Santander, an investor in Ripple, has announced the imminent launch of a consumer focused international money transfer app powered by Ripple. The app will first go live in Spain, UK, Poland and Brazil.
Pantera issued its April update to clients, and March has been as rough as it gets with its Digital Asset Fund down 46% for the month, erasing gains all the way back to December 1st (beating the market, but I guess clients are never happy on the way down).

A slightly redacted version of the letter can be found here. Spoiler: they've made their 4th ever trade recommendation. 
Extremely long, but very good profile on Novogratz and his new crypto adventure.

"In 2013, Novogratz put seven million dollars of his own money in cryptocurrency investments when bitcoin was selling at around a hundred dollars a coin."
Origin and NuCypher announced their partnership, so that "Origin-powered marketplaces will be able to quickly access the NuCypher Key Management System, allowing them to focus their development efforts on their core business rather than building out logic for data access control."

This should help solve the "public-by-default" nature of Ethereum balances, data and transactions for people that want to securely transact on decentralized marketplaces.

Disclosure: we've been investors in NuCypher for years.
Makoto from Blockparty couldn't resist any longer and is going 100% Blockchain :)

The talent wave just keeps on building.
😎 Cool new projects
Curated on a Product Hunt collection!
(We missed this one last week).

It's a protocol for micro-blogging on the blockchain, enabling anyone to build a decentralized version of Twitter, of which peepeth.com is the first example. The front-end reminds of Leeroy, however the experience is significantly smoother and cheaper as it batches 15 actions into a single transaction and also allows for tipping users.

While the user data is uncensorable and permanently stored on the Ethereum blockchain via IPFS, it's down to the front-end dapps to enforce their own TOS. So technically Peepeth.com is still a centralized app that could be censored by its owners. However, its 'platform-grade censorship resistance' allows anyone to just fork the front-end and recreate a new one by restoring the original data stored on the public Ethereum blockchain.

This is a great example of how a social media platform of the future could be architected. Given the way the incumbents are behaving, there is bound to be a huge market opportunity there.

And the timing feels about right. Another similar endeavour launched at about the same time, check out numaverse.com.

Bonus: this is a great write up on why an alternative paradigm to centralized social media matters.
A handy new feature from Etherscan lets users to find best rates and volumes for buying or selling on decentralized exchanges. So far it takes order book data from Radar Relay, Idex, Paradex and DDEX.
Pretty cool idea for an implementation of the ERC721 token standard. 

It's a World Cup prediction game where users pay ETH into a smart contract and get a non-fungible token that represents their unique prediction of match results. At the end of the World Cup the smart contract splits the pot between the top of the league.

The tokens will also be tradeable at any point during the Cup.
Golem released their Brass Golem Beta and you can now use GNT on Ethereum's main net to pay for computations.

Cool to see things actually coming to life.
🤡 ICO madness
Surprise surprise, no public ICO for Telegram according to rumours.

This is most likely down to the mounting regulatory concerns, but perhaps with the recent market correction and news of the Russian media regulator blocking the messaging app, someone is worried that the insane valuation achieved in the private markets for something that does not exist would not hold. Or maybe someone with some sanity realized they don't actually need any more cash after raising $1.7 billion without a line of code.

PS: we've come across a project that is gearing up to an ICO for a token representing an interest in future GRAMs. Not linking to anything as it's unclear if it's a scam or not, but mind is blown.
Big exit scam reported in Vietnam. The number floating around is most likely wrong by a few orders of magnitude (still shocking though), but it sure helps the media with the apocalyptic headline.

This was a classic ponzi scheme featuring guaranteed returns, commissions for referrals, no team page, prospective exchange listings and a yellow lambo on its homepage.
Great reporting here from Fast Company on the scam perpetrated by Maksim Zaslavskiy with the REcoin ICO.

It's rare to have access to such a detailed account of the events, with astonishing bits from the transcript of an interview between the scammer himself and the SEC.
👮 This week in regulation
After Binance, the world's second largest crypto exchange OKEx is also opening up offices in Malta, attracted by the hotly anticipated friendly regulatory framework for ICOs and blockchain technologies promised by newly formed Digital Innovation Authority.

On that note, the MFSA has just issued a Circular and a Consultation Paper to gather feedback on its proposal to regulate the industry. Specifically, it is sounding the market on the proposed Financial Instrument Test that would determine whether:

"a Distributed Ledger Technology (‘DLT’) asset, based on its specific features, is encompassed under (i) the existing EU legislation and the corresponding national legislation, (ii) the proposed Virtual Financial Assets Act (‘VFAA’) or (iii) is otherwise exempt."

The exemption would qualify a token as a 'utility'.

November's Malta Blockchain Summit is shaping up as the event that may crystallize Malta's "Blockchain island" brand.
An interesting Q&A with Kathryn Haun, formerly head of the US government Digital Currency Task Force that worked on the Silk Rd and Mt Gox cases and now board member at Coinbase.

It's a useful background to understand how the US regulators have been looking at this industry from the early days and what's in the government's cross-hairs (exchanges, ICOs, frauds). Katie thinks we are still more than 12 months away from enforcement around ICOs.

On agencies: "Let’s talk about the DOJ—and the same is true of the SEC—they don’t want to take the first actions in the space, and be called to court and lose the action. They will want everything buttoned up."

On gatekeepers: "[Clayton] reiterated the point about the gatekeepers failing, and he got quite a bit of pushback on that. I can’t really speculate, but I think something is definitely in the works there, from his comments."

On US regulation vs RoW: "I wouldn’t say it’s behind, but I also wouldn’t say it’s leading the pack. I think it’s somewhere in the middle."
Picking up on Katie's comments about regulatory timelines, Peter Van Valkenburgh reflects on Clayton's pragmatic remarks expressed last week at Princeton.

"As the Chairman said, "The question is, where does our jurisdiction begin?" That question does not yet have an entirely unambiguous answer. And while there is much work left to be done to promote clarity, we’re encouraged that the SEC is focused on this issue and approaching it through common sense analysis."
According to Fox News though, citing securities lawyers, the timeline seems to be much accelerated, presumably for cases of outright fraud.

"...a deluge of enforcement actions is expected sometime this year".

Mixed views in many Telegram groups we are part of, everyone seems to have heard a different story.
A working paper by an Islamic scholar suggests that Bitcoin is compliant with Sharia law, which would open up demand from 1.6 billion Muslims around.

“Blockchain gives you mathematical proof of ownership and that’s overall much more in line with the spirit of Islamic finance than any digital fiat money.”
💰 New funds
Protocol Labs has launched a Request For Proposals Program committing $5M in grants to teams or individuals contributing solutions to a list of issues (most related to Filecoin at this stage), with awards up to $200k.

The increased popularity of grant programmes suggests that either companies are sitting on too much capital, they are struggling to hire in-house fast enough or this is just a glimpse into what a Hollywood-esque future of work looks like (in Ryan's words: "precious star directors, actors, and specialists will coalesce around a given project, do their thing, then bounce"). Or a combination of all three.


In related news, Nadia Eghbal is leaving Github, where she was working on open source, to join Protocol Labs, working on developing new economic models for open source software.
Massive get for Protocol Labs! Nadia was at our last Unplug event and she's the real deal.
Hold tight, this one is mind boggling.

Ripple, a portfolio company of Blockchain Capital, is now investing $25M worth of XRP into Blockchain Capital latest fund (via a sidecar vehicle). The XRP will be deployed in "companies focused on healthcare or identity management".
💸 Funding rounds
Should be the $800M valued one.
ℹ️ About us
Token Economy is written and curated by Stefano Bernardi & Yannick Roux.

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