This week, on Unchained, I play criminal with Jeremy Welch of Casa, and on Unconfirmed, Joyce Yang of Global Coin Research gives us the lowdown on the crypto craze in Korea and why it’s not over yet. (My conversation with Joyce was sparked by this depressing NYT article in which one Korean crypto investor who rode the wave up then spent his earnings on a $500,000 Rolls Royce. Then again, it’s not clear to me whether the car actually retained its value better than his crypto assets, so maybe it’s actually a positive tale?)
Below, see my thoughts on Jamie Dimon Coin and the other stories that caught my attention this week.
This Week’s Crypto News…
Guess This Spells the End of Bank Coin
JPMorgan Chase will launch its own stablecoin, the JPM Coin. (The headline refers to a coin actually called Bank Coin that has a $20,000 market cap …) Built on Quorum, JPM Coin will be backed 1:1 by dollars held by JPMorgan. Everyone thought it would be the first bank to have its own cryptocurrency, until Ian Allison at CoinDesk revealed that Signature Bank’s Signet has been live since the start of the year.
JPM Coin is, at least for now, strictly a B2B play, with no access given to everyday consumers. Everyone has been calling JPM Coin an XRP killer, although it’s questionable how “alive” XRP was in the first place. (The fact that JPMorgan has restricted usage of JPM Coin to banks does again prompt the question many have raised about XRP: why should everyday people own it?) However, when Barron’s wrote that JPM Coin would kill the Bitcoin dream, it gave Crypto Twitter a good laugh.
I have to say, though I once wrote Jamie Dimon an open letter in which I called out “the depth of his ignorance” about Bitcoin, the JPM Coin seems like a smart play from an incumbent willing to disrupt itself.
State Pensions Invest in Crypto
Two Virginia pensions that invest for the state police and other employees have invested in Morgan Creek Digital’s $40 million fund, which has invested in blockchain startups such as Bakkt and Harbor, but also has set aside money to invest in crypto assets directly.
‘Blockchain Exchange Commission’ Doesn’t Sound Convincing?
The SEC got a preliminary injunction against Blockvest, a reconsideration of an earlier order that seemed to imply the SEC had overstepped its boundaries. It’s not clear why there was a change of heart considering that it’s been known for a while that Blockvest falsely claimed its ICO had been registered and approved by the SEC and that it had made up the Blockchain Exchange Commission, replete with a fake government seal, logo and mission statement.
The Cutting Room Floor: Jeremy Welch of Casa
I ask Jeremy the questions we didn’t get to in the interview, including what his security tips for everyday users are.
Dai Growing 20% Every Month
Continuing my obsession with Dai and MakerDAO, I enjoyed this dive into some numbers around Dai usage. Given how complex the system is, it’s pretty impressive that 30% of users get their first Dai via collateralized debt positions.
CoinFund Launches Generalized Mining Initiative, Grassfed Network
CoinFund, which was previously on Unchained to talk about generalized mining, has launched a new initiative focused on doing just that. Grassfed Network is currently participating in Decred, Livepeer, Compound, Nucypher and Steem. The company also announced its first collaboration, with Placeholder VC, whose partners, Chris Burniske and Joel Monegro have been on Unchained, to offer a voting service provider on Decred.
No, This Isn’t the Borowitz Quadriga Report
Still obsessed with the craziness of the Quadriga case. Was rather amused to learn that the investigators accidentally lost even more of the few bitcoins Quadriga that they actually had access to …
How Crypto Networks Compare to Emerging Economies
Enjoyed this a16z podcast with a few of my favorite sources, Chris Burniske and Joel Monegro of Placholder VC, as well as a16z crypto‘s Denis Nazarov and Jesse Walden. It’s pretty dense — probably worth two listens — but it contains a lot of interesting observations about how the space might develop and how projects should be designed.