June 7, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

What Do You Meme?

This section could easily be renamed “What Did Elon Do Now?” It feels borderline irresponsible to give Mr. Musk so much run in this newsletter, but his tweets hold sway over the crypto market. Just look at what happened last Thursday.

Here is a screenshot of Bitcoin’s price on June 3rd. The big red dot shows Bitcoin at roughly 8:00 PM, sitting on the precipice of a sharp drop.

What happened around 8:00 PM on June 3rd to cause such a marked plunge?

Elon Musk tweeted out this meme at 8:07 pm.

What’s Poppin’?

Miami is poppin’.

This weekend saw 10,000+ Bitcoiners descend upon Miami to join in on the largest Bitcoin conference in history. There were a lot of fun moments. For example:

  • Francis Suarez gave a passionate speech on Miami as the capital of Bitcoin
  • Rep. Warren Davidson said the Fed is “Dogecoining the US dollar”
  • There was a dumpster full of Venezuelan bills to showcase the power of inflation

The conference, however, was not all fun and internet money. Here are a few of the more contentious moments from the conference:

  • Max Keiser yelled, “Fuck Elon, we’re not selling,” before hugging MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor on stage.
  • Activist Laura Loomer interrupted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the conference, accusing him of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Erik Vorhees was booed for saying Bitcoin maximalism is “bullshit,” after another speaker was cheered for saying Bitcoin toxicity is “absolutely necessary.”
  • Floyd Mayweather was also booed after saying another crypto could someday be just as large as BTC.

In addition to the bullet points above, one major headline broke.

The President of El Salvador Hopes to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender
On Saturday, Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s controversial president, announced via a video that he will “send to congress a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender.” In a tweet later that day, Bukele professed a “hope that this decision will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can reimagine the future of finance.”

El Salvador is working with Strike, a Bitcoin payment solution, on the plan. Strike CEO Jack Mallers declared this moment as a “shot heard round the world for Bitcoin,” noting that “Holding bitcoin provides a way to protect developing economies from potential shocks of fiat currency inflation.”

For the bill to pass, it must be reviewed by the country’s legislative assembly — which Bukele has firm control over.

Bonus recommended read: Caitlin Long on why Bitcoin as legal tender is a big deal (thread)

Recommended Reads

  • Alex Gladstein on Bitcoin being accepted by questionable leaders:

  • How DAOs are preparing for the next crypto winter:

  • Maria Shen on the different ways crypto was used in Miami:

On The Pod…

June 14th is the 5-year anniversary of Unchained. 🎉

On Tuesday, June 15th, we’ll publish a 5-year anniversary episode with questions or messages from you listeners to me.

If you want to have your question or message included:
  • record a video or audio message of 60 seconds or less stating your name, where you’re from and your question or message.
  • email it to [email protected] with “anniversary” in the subject line (or just respond to this email)!
You can also email a question, and I will read it on the air. If so, please let me know how you’d like to be identified. (And let me know how to pronounce your name.)

The deadline to get your submissions in is Thursday, June 10 by 5 pm ET/2 pm PT.

Thanks so much for supporting Unchained all these years! 🙏

Check out the latest episode of Unchained:

How Taproot Could Improve Bitcoin — If It Gets Adopted

Jeremy Rubin, a Bitcoin Core contributor and founder of Judica, a Bitcoin R&D Lab, joins Unchained from the Miami Bitcoin Conference (2021) to discuss all things Taproot. Show highlights:

  • a general update on the Miami Bitcoin Conference

  • what Taproot will do for the Bitcoin network

  • how Taproot will make Bitcoin transactions more private

  • what effect Taproot might have on on-chain analytics companies

  • what parts of Bitcoin transactions will be public if/when Taproot goes live

  • what new wallet features Taproot will unlock for Bitcoin

  • how Bitcoin vaults might work

  • a user-friendly definition of MASTs (Merklized Abstract Syntax Tree)

  • how Taproot signaling works

  • when/if Taproot will lock-in

  • why network updates strain the relationship between miners and users

Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, is now available for pre-order now.

The book, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, comes out Nov. 2nd. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: http://bit.ly/cryptopians