Weekly Rundown - December 17, 2023

One time more, then on to '24

Listen to this post:

The holidays are here, and the US investor has plenty to cheer for. The recession’s canceled, bonds are about to moon, and the stock market’s near its all-time high.

Supposedly, the central bank is going to cut rates. Projections call for a beautiful 2024.

You know my thoughts about economic projections.

This is not a macro newsletter. We do crypto!

A light week this week, but with some notable shifts in the behavior of key cohorts and some data that should cast doubt on the idea that we’re suddenly in a new bull market. I covered that and more in the December 14, 2023 market update. Get that update now.

I’ll send another market update soon.

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Scroll down for a poll and some content you may enjoy. I’m going to skip next week’s rundown and possibly the one after that (we’ll see). I’ll still post market updates for premium subscribers. Look for the monthly issue late this week or the beginning of next week.

To all who celebrate: have a very happy holiday season!

I’m looking to finalize my next list of sponsors!

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Poll results

In last week’s poll, I asked which path is most likely:


Paths A and B got about the same number of responses. C got the least (only 25%). I sense the FOMO and FUD battling for the hearts of the cryptosphere.

What do I think?

Path C seems perfectly realistic.

If you compared it to bitcoin’s other major moves, it would blend in with standard bull market behavior. Maybe I should’ve given it a slightly lower peak. Then it’d blend in even more.

In fact, if you copy/paste a composite average of bitcoin’s bull market upswing/downswing mini-cycles, you’d get something that looks like C.

Which is why it probably won’t happen!

I guess we’ll just have to see how things go, won’t we?

Bottom line: Nodle uses blockchain to protect you from fake and fraudulent images.

My take: there are lots of photo authentication apps. What is the value of doing this on the blockchain with cryptocurrency? Monetizing it. It’s not that you can prove your picture’s authentic. It’s that you can instantly and immediately sell it to a global audience or a single person, fractionalize or commoditize its value, and embed permissions and revenue flows without any intermediary.

Why you should care: these applications will bring capital flows into the cryptocurrency platforms they’re built on. Find those platforms.

While VC-backed altcoins are hit-or-miss, VC firms—and their money—do a great job raising the visibility, viability, and enthusiasm level among people who don’t already know what’s happening with crypto.

They also hire a lot of people who are savvy, articulate, and well-informed. Listen to this conversation with Paradigm’s policy chief. You’ll learn more about some of the nuances, challenges, and opportunities he sees within the realm of policy and regulation.

Watch or listen to his conversation with Camilla Russo at The Defiant.

Bottom line: Tether says it helps the US find criminals and eliminate sources of financing for terrorist and criminal organizations.

My take: I’m sure Congress is happy to hear that US law enforcement can combat terrorist financing and other illicit activities people do with USDT. This is all irrelevant. Tether can freeze any wallets the US wants, then create new wallets or give back funds off-chain to the entities who own those wallets. Also, nobody knows whether Tether’s reserves are real, theirs exclusively, and not held on behalf of others. Cantor Fitzpatrick can take a picture of its reserves on any given day. The day after, Tether can send those assets back to the people they borrowed them from. It’s all a show and proves nothing. Why give Tether more credibility than you give JP Morgan and its ilk (almost $400 billion in collective fines since 2000)?

Why you should care: “transparency” in one part of its business dealings does not make Tether transparent or trustworthy in all of its business dealings.

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Relax and enjoy the ride!


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