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March 24, 2021 | Issue #161

 MUST READS 

Blockchain.com Raises $300 Million


As we discussed last week, the crypto exchange marketplace competition is heating up. Coinbase, Bakkt, eToro... they are all raising money or getting ready to go public.

This week, we have Blockchain.com raising $300 million at a $5.2 billion valuation. The company claims to have 31 million verified users across 200 countries and 70 million wallets.

With the fresh capital at hand, Blockchain.com plans to "aggressively expand" its products and services, grow its global team, and pursue M&A opportunities, said CEO Peter Smith.
 

Tesla Accepting BTC for Payment


Elon Musk has announced that Tesla vehicles can now be purchased using Bitcoin (BTC).

He also disclosed that the company would operate Bitcoin nodes directly (which helps support the Bitcoin network) and will hold, rather than convert, the Bitcoin it accumulates. This goes to show that in the eyes of Elon, Bitcoin isn't only a transactional medium, but also an investment.

Tesla’s online customers will now see a new Bitcoin payment widget added to the site’s checkout options.
 

Why in the World Would You Own Dollar Debt?


How are increasing bond yields going to impact the market? How will this affect the crypto space?

If you're one of the millions of investors asking yourself these questions, Ray Dalio has got you covered.
 

 SPONSORED 

Crypto’s Next Trillion-Dollar Coin Revealed?


Teeka Tiwari is a world-renowned crypto expert. But he hasn’t always been acclaimed.

He was a laughingstock when he first recommended bitcoin to his readers in 2016. Since then, it’s up more than 12,700%.

It pays to listen to Teeka, in other words.

And as you’ll see on Wednesday, March 31st, at 8 pm ET, bitcoin isn’t even the cryptocurrency Teeka is most excited about right now.

He has his eye on what he believes will be crypto’s next trillion-dollar coin…
 

 DEEP DIVE 

Bitclout


If you are part of the bourgeoisie of Crypto Twitter, you may have woke up a few days ago only to find out you had an alter-ego on a new platform called Bitclout. The only difference? On Bitclout, users are buying and selling tokens representing identities.

As of today, the Bitclout wallet has received deposits of more than $150 million worth of Bitcoin.

Here is everything you need to know about the controversial project (well, almost everything, as the story continues to unfold), including who might be involved, what prominent investors funded the project, and how this project may just turn out.

Oh yeah, also, today the alleged leader got hit with a cease-and-desist letter. Ouch.
 

Why NFTs are Hard to Explain


Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have blown up in popularity but they are still hard to understand. This is one of the best explanations we have read so far.
 

Uniswap v3


Uniswap - an Ethereum-based decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows anyone to swap ERC20 tokens - has mapped out what is perhaps the most anticipated DeFi product launch of the year.

The biggest takeaways?
  • Capital efficiency improvements
     
  • Customizability/ more flexible infrastructure
     
  • Vastly expands the AMM design space
     
  • Enables a far more robust ecosystem to grow around Uniswap
The blog post provides a high-level overview.
 

REEF vs. Alameda


An $80 million deal between rising DeFi project, Reef Finance, and crypto investment firm, Alameda, has unraveled with both projects blaming the other.

To put it simply, Alameda agreed to make a "strategic investment" into Reef to further "synergies" (re: introduce Reef to Alameda's portfolio companies). But when Reef sent Alameda an initial transaction of $20m REEF, Alameda quickly sent them to Binance, where they were sold (maybe).

Of course, selling tokens that you just received at a discount does not scream "strategic investment."

So goes the story of Reef vs Alameda and the ongoing discussion of Centralized Finance.
 

 REGULATORY FRONT 

Asset Management Giant Fidelity Files for a Bitcoin ETF


A new filing with the SEC indicates that Fidelity is seeking to create a Bitcoin ETF. If approved, the fund will employ Fidelity's in-house Bitcoin price index, per the filing.
 

A Quick Analysis of FATF’s 2021 Draft Cryptocurrency Guidance


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has released an updated draft of its Guidance for a Risk-based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers... and several proposed changes are extremely problematic from a privacy and innovation standpoint.

The 2019 guidance, while still calling for mass warrantless surveillance, at least placed cryptocurrency businesses on a level playing field with traditional financial institutions and, generally speaking, imposed no stricter nor more privacy-invasive policies than existing regimes. The newly updated guidance, however, changes that dramatically.

Here’s what you need to know in brief.
 

Powell sees Bitcoin as a Substitute for Gold, not the Dollar


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke at an event held by the Bank of International Settlements this week and offered some brief thoughts on BTC and crypto assets (see clip here).

If the Fed does not view BTC as a competitor to the dollar it may remove some forms of regulatory risk.
 

 TWEET OF THE WEEK 

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