May 17, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

🎉Welcome to Unchained Daily 🎉

The Unchained newsletter is shifting from a weekly recap to a daily blog. Each morning you will receive a few quick bullet points summarizing yesterday’s news, a couple of memes, a brief breakdown of a trending topic, and a few recommended reads.

For those of you who were big fans of the weekly recap, don’t worry — the weekly recap will still be available at the back half of the Unconfirmed pod on Friday!

Without further ado… here is the first edition of the Unchained Daily.

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

What Do You Meme?

With the crypto market taking a sizeable dip over the weekend, on-chain analyst PlanB tweeted out some encouragement for those of you dreading looking at your crypto portfolio this morning:

Even with the market down today, the YTD performance of the top 15 cryptoassets is still staggering, as Messari’s Ryan Selkis pointed out on Twitter.


What’s Poppin’?

Last Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric vehicle company would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment.

Over the weekend, in response to @cryptowhale on Twitter, Musk took it a step further, hinting that Tesla may sell — or has already sold — its Bitcoin holdings:

It has been a rather raucous few weeks between Musk and crypto. Between his consistent Dogecoin pumping, the announcement that Tesla had sold part of its BTC holdings, and, now, Tesla’s decision to halt BTC purchases due to environmental concerns, trying to decipher Musk’s motivation in the crypto space seems to be a nearly impossible task.

*bonus meme from @_benkaufman that explains what is really going on*

Recommended Reads

  1. With the focus on Elon and Tesla, it can be hard to remember that other factors can move the market. Check out this tweet thread from Wyoming’s Caitlin Long on why Tether’s recent USDT disclosure could be a contributor to this week’s dip:

  1. Having trouble wrapping your head around the constant back and forth between Musk and crypto? Reuters has you covered with a comprehensive timeline — going back to 2017 when Musk denounced a theory that he is Satoshi:

  1. Tomorrow I will have Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, along with James McGinniss, CEO and co-founder of David Energy, on the podcast to talk about Tesla, Bitcoin energy consumption, and the environmental impact of the US dollar. As a primer, I would recommend reading Alex’s piece on the history of the petrodollar:

On The Pod…

How Elon Musk Pushed DOGE Up and BTC Down, With Arca’s Jeff Dorman

Jeff Dorman, the chief investment officer at Arca, comes on the show to give a macro perspective on the crypto environment. In this episode, he discusses:

  • how economic data and real-world events have affected digital assets

  • how Jeff classifies the different types of assets within crypto

  • what market forces have pushed ETH to new all-time highs above $4k

  • whether EIP 1559 will have the same effect on ether price as the Bitcoin halving has on BTC price

  • what is happening with Dogecoin and other meme-coins

  • why the market’s reaction to Tesla’s halt of BTC vehicle purchases was healthy

  • whether environmental concerns surrounding Bitcoin will have long-term consequences on crypto as an asset class

Book Update

As a newsletter subscriber, you will be the first to get the word on Laura’s upcoming book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze. 

Stay tuned for an announcement about two things:
1. When it will be published 😁
2. Where you can buy it 😅