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Happy Tax Day

Daily Bit

I’m gonna cut right to the chase.

+ Filing my extensions like Homer Simpson and claiming nine kids to offset last year’s gains.

+ Writing an overdue March update because Messari has investors and they haven’t gotten a fix yet.

+ Oh, and blacking out while I try to write/edit sections of our TCR white paper. Gotta add some economic incentives and teeth to the work our community is doing. Teaser:

Spell check isn’t digging the Renaissance merchants reference, but otherwise, things are clicking.

Be back tomorrow with more above-the-fold word vomit.

For today, enjoy the curation!

-TBI

***

I Like Pictures

Crypto “thought leaders” are bullish on the industry’s trajectory from now through year end.

Here’s the data from Wing VC’s 50 person survey of active crypto VCs, fund managers, traders, entrepreneurs and researchers, who think we’re in for a double or triple within nine months:

Maybe wishful thinking before the redemptions start rolling in? TBD.

Also, up and to-the-right graphs should never be red. Sending me so many mixed signals.

Seriously, though, the more interesting data point in the “don’t-tell-me-what-you-think-show-me-your-portfolio” realm: the group’s median holdings of BTC / ETH / Other was 50% / 20% / 30%, not too far off the market’s split.

Most people were excited about ZEC, XMR, ZRX and EOS outside of the big two.

Stellar also received some votes, but XRP received a 🙁

(I know I said I’d back off of Ripple, but I can’t help it. They’re like my Arby’s.)

***

Red Pillz

The volunteer army at Messari is building a free, open-source library that anyone can use as a resource, so you can go down the crypto rabbit hole a bit more efficiently.

Today…sharding!

That’s the act of splitting up a blockchain into fragments and storing the pieces across a network of validating nodes. The gist is that you might not need every single “full” node to store the complete history of any given blockchain, and instead — with a big enough network — it may be possible to split the database and reliably reassemble the shards from various nodes on demand. Because math. (Although some think this is blasphemous…don’t expect sharding to catch on in bitcoin anytime soon.)

Zilliqa is one project building around sharding technology at its core. The team thinks this will allow for crazy fast and scalable smart contract processing. Developers that want to stress test these assumptions, can check out the new Zilliqa testnet, Red Prawn. The rest of you can head on over to Messari Research and check out our budding library of asset profiles.

Five reports in five days! What are they nuts?

Yes. Our volunteer analyst community has been killing it. The scare thing is: there are another 28 reports in review. Just wait until we actually open this thing up…

***

TBI’s Compression Algorithm

CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo on the need for new laws regulating crypto. At a Vanderbilt Law school event last week, CFTC’s Giancarlo spoke about fintech and virtual currencies. He reaffirmed his view that in response to the advent of virtual currency and other technological developments, the CFTC should follow a flexible, principles-based regulatory approach. Giancarlo also admitted “when it comes to the challenge of crypto, it is clear that our governing statutes were not designed for this technology.” New rules must keep up with the times. Crowdfund Insider

IMF’s Lagarde on the need for global standard for cyproassets. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, in her latest blog post, urges policymakers to keep an open mind and work toward ­­an even-handed regulatory framework for cryptoassets. An important initial step will be international cooperation, and the global regulatory community needs to reach a consensus on the role crypto-assets should play. Sounds like transparency would be a good starting point. IMF

Killer Fapp: Verge’s big news was its new partnership with PornHub. Good publicity stunt, probably not going to be very interesting from a business standpoint, as I’m willing to bet that the venn diagram of a) pays for porn, and b) understands crypto has a rather tiny intersection. Rumor is, this is what the team spent that $3 million on in its recent fundraiser. Ameen from Spankchain is not impressed. Nor is he jealous. The Verge (no relation)

Quick Bits (Don’t read that, I read it for you)

Choke Points (Exchange news)
+ San Francisco based Kraken announced that it will end trading services for Japanese residents, citing rising business costs. It plans to fully cease its services by June, but does not rule out re entering Japan in the future.
+ South Korean crypto exchange Coinone will enter the Indonesian market in June, and open with six cryptocurrency trades for now: BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, and QTUM.

Startup Signals (ICOs, Cryptos, and Startups)
+ Harbor raises $28 million in a strategic round from VC firms such as Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, and Pantera Capital. That’s $40 million for a pre-launch securities token platform. At least one of my 95 theses from January is holding up.
+ Block.one announced a partnership with blockchain veterans Michael Cao and Winnie Liu to form a new $200 million joint venture fund, EOS Global. The fund will make strategic investments in Asia-focused projects.
+ Bitflyer has been partnering with merchants in Japan to enable Bitcoin payments, and this week announced a partnership with SBC group, which means that 74 clinics nationwide will now allow patients to settle their bills in cryptocurrency.

The Powers That Be (Legal/Reg/Policy)
+ ACT-IAC, a non-profit educational group, unveiled the first-ever Blockchain Playbook for the federal government. Among other information, it contains a five-item checklist for agencies to answer “do we need blockchain technology for this?”
+ British National Renwick Haddow, who has been accused of defrauding investors of more than $36 million in a bitcoin-related scheme, has been extradited from Morocco to the U.S. to be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. You can run, but you can’t hide.
+ Stern warnings from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission over fraudulent schemes in the ICO space.
+ The Bermuda Monetary Authority published a consultation paper on virtual currency business regulation.

BigCo Noise (Enterprise initiatives)
+ Samsung is considering a blockchain ledger system to help keep track of global shipments.
+ Marsh, an insurance broker, is working with IBM, ACORD Corporation, and ISN Software Corp. to develop a permission blockchain for insurance verification.
+ Barclays is reportedly doing a preliminary assessment of demand and feasibility for starting a cryptocurrency trading desk.

“Celebrities”
+ Ian Balina, a popular online cryptocurrency investor and shill/pundit, was reportedly hacked for more than $2 million in crypto while doing a live stream on his YouTube channel. Some have questioned the timing of this given the tax billz due today — TBD on how the investigation turns out.

Did I miss something big?

Send me the link, your twitter handle and your best imitation compression algorithm write up. If I really whiffed, I’ll include your bit tomorrow (with attribution).

***

Shameless Plugs

Hit me up when I’m in your city!

Upcoming Travel:
+ Boston (4/25–4/27 — Pillar VC’s Unchained)
+ SF (5/1–5/3 — private event)
+ NYC (5/10–5/17 — Fluidity, Ethereal, Consensus, Token Summit)
+ Asia (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong early through mid-June)

My company, Messari, is hiring:
+ Front-end developer, blockchain engineers, data engineers
+ Volunteer analysts and summer interns
+ Content curation lead (compression algo tinkerer)

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Written by Ravi Gupat

Ravi grew up in India and graduated in Economics. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited several companies in tech and media over the past 15 years. He is also an early stage investor and advisor in various blockchain-based companies.

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