First, let’s state the obvious: Bitcoin mining uses a lot of electricity, so it’s bad for the environment. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a salesperson or a fool. Arguing that mining is good for the environment because it encourages investment in renewables is like arguing that smoking saves lives by driving cancer research. All of the energy comparisons to the traditional banking system are also foolish. There are various nuances to this debate, but none change the fact that Bitcoin has a significant carbon footprint.

But so do a lot of things. Tellingly, none are as controversial. What’s the…

Paul Krugman is the gift that keeps on giving. The popular and supposedly progressive columnist has a special talent for prophesizing things that are already demonstrably false. Back in 1998, he predicted that the internet would have no greater impact than fax machines, because “most people have nothing to say to each other.” Yesterday, he said that crypto doesn’t matter because there are no use cases beyond speculation and criminal activity. Specifically:

“..Bitcoin and its relatives haven’t managed to achieve any meaningful economic role..”

Here is a quick summary of how wrong he is:

  • Stablecoins on various public networks are…

Here we go again. The Colonial Pipeline attack involved a ransom paid in crypto, so the usual suspects are on the attack. If you are an investor or business leader who has contemplated adopting bitcoin, you have already been bombarded with negative news headlines and internal emails telling you why this latest development is important. To save you the trouble of having to read them, I’ve prepared a summary:

Dear reader,

A serious crime has been committed, and cryptocurrency was involved. Yada yada yada, bitcoin bad.


Someone Really Smart

Needless to say, their analysis is correct. A crime has…

Like most things, the undulations of the crypto markets are cyclical and meme-based. But thanks to the blockchain’s elimination of many of the frictions of the traditional financial system, the cycles happen faster. Take the simple fact that crypto markets trade 24/7, while most traditional markets do not. In any normal week, crypto trades for five times as many hours as stocks. That’s five times as much greed, fear and price discovery.

Every bull market has multiple cycles, and each cycle has its own tenor. The first cycle of the current run was fairly simple, it was the ascent of…

This post was written with significant contribution from Nir Kabessa, a true crypto punk if there ever was one.

The growing boom in non-fungible tokens — digital assets that are one of one, as opposed to cryptocurrencies that are one of many — was long overdue. Applying a technology that enables digital bearer instruments to things like art, music and collectibles makes a lot of sense, and is arguably even more intuitive than applying it to money. That’s why I opened my first blockchain book by talking about the music industry.

If you spend some time reading up on NFTs…

Before sharing my opinion on the WallStreetBets events of last week, I want to make one thing clear: I believe strategies like the ones used to drive the price of Gamestop stock higher are reckless and dangerous. I would never participate in them. They are likely to end badly for the majority of those who get involved.

With that out of the way, let’s review something important that happened last year, when big cap tech stocks like Tesla and Apple started exhibiting unusual volatility to the upside. It turned out that Softbank, one of the largest institutional investors in the…

I’m not going to waste too much energy dispelling the latest round of nonsensical Tether conspiracy theories. Been there, done that. Instead I want to make a few observations, then pose a question.

At least 7 different people have asked me about this long and rambling post pushing a conspiracy theory consisting of mostly recycled and disproven drivel, written by an unknown author who admits they’d only gotten into crypto less than a year ago and started paying attention to Tether less than a week ago.

The anonymous (cowardly?) author then spews 6000 words on how the whole thing, along…

A lot of people have forwarded me this story, with some finding it as a reason to remain skeptical of crypto. It makes for an excellent teaching moment.

First, let’s review some events that have happened throughout history:

The owner of something highly valuable, like a diamond, buried it in the woods for safekeeping. He wrote the location on a piece of paper but lost that paper and could never find his loot again.

A ship carrying gold and silver across the ocean ran into a squall and sank. The treasure was gone forever.

A rare first edition book was…

A friend who is a savvy investor emailed recently to say that he thinks Bitcoin will be the best performing asset of 2021. He then clarified that this was only for a trade, and compared its fundamental value to “voting on the Voice.” Someone else emailed to say that another major hack was inevitable and would kill the rally. Nouriel Roubini continues his excellent Paul Krugman circa 1998 impression (“… it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”)

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