Issue #36
Week 20 2021

Crypto Bloodbath
AKA BTFD!

After months upon months of positive price action with only minimal corrections along the way, crypto markets corrected dramatically over the course of just a few days, sending Bitcoinโ€™s price to a multi-month low of $30,000. Best guesses as to why?

BTC-Correction

Bitcoin, May 22nd
The worst still yet to come?

There are a few most likely potential causes for this steep drop in price being discussed, as there always are. The downward price action seemed to begin with a strange and unexpected tweet from Elon Musk, announcing Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases...

Always do your own investment research..Donโ€™t risk what you canโ€™t afford to loseโ€ฆ Who is actually buying Tesla cars with BTC anyways???

Elon either wasnโ€™t aware of BTC mining energy usage during past support of BTC, or simply was not interested in highlighting itโ€™s energy use or any related ecological concerns up until now. Nor did he lend much to the idea of Bitcoin mining actually incentivizing green energy usage. For whatever reason, the negative headline was thrust into the spotlight once more.

Before getting too bearish based on rich celebrity crypto tweets, maybe worth checking in with a few long time crypto enthusiasts with years of knowledge and experience.

Along with the ongoing extensive over leveraging, much of the same old Chinese FUD being reiterated before the market could recover from Muskโ€™s environmental tweets certainly didnโ€™t help matters. The cumulative cryptocurrency market cap proceeded to fall to beneath $1.5 trillion over the course of the following days, a drop of over $1 trillion from the peak of $2.5 trillion reached in early May. Matters have been even worse for alt coin prices. Which was actually good for current BTC market dominance, but not much else!

ETH-Correction

Ethereum May 18th
Look out below!

Ethereum experienced a massive drop over the course of hours, if that long. After reaching a peak of over $4,300 the second largest crypto by market cap fell over 50% in price in just over 1 week. After such an epic run up should we really be totally surprised?

โ€œThese overleveraged positions bring vulnerability to the market, making it excessively sensitive to negative news flow. A combination of statements coming from Vitalik Buterin, Elon Musk, and Chinese authorities in a space of a week was sufficient to trigger a market correction. This was exacerbated by a cascade of auto liquidations of overleveraged positions on crypto exchanges, which amounted to over $9 billion in 24 hours, one of the largest volumes of liquidations ever.โ€

-Anatoly Crachilov

Though the correction has been as steep as many alts, Ethereum is not just another alt coin any longer. Sure itโ€™s been a dramatic week, but no reason to lose sight of the bigger picture.

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Check out HODL Wave chart detailing Bitcoin held in wallets grouped by the age since they last moved at woobull.com

In addition to the pain of the sell off experienced by all long BTC holders, many users attempting to transact on centralized exchanges experienced issues. Many Coinbase, Binance, and Robinhood users reported they were either subjected to extremely high gas fees, or left completely unable to trade at all during the sell off and rebound buying.

Another fan of on-chain analysis, PlanBโ€™s popular Stock-to-Flow (S2F) model also still seems to be well intact.

In other bullish fundamental news, the Chief Investment Office of Singapore's largest Bank, DBS, made a case for Bitcoin as a more effective store-of-value asset than US-based fiat.

โ€œIndeed, the exponential rise in Bitcoin prices are rivaled only by the meteoric expansion in the balance sheets of the largest global central banks around the world โ€“ the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Japan (BOJ), as well as the Peopleโ€™s Bank of China (PBOC).

Such trends would unequivocally drive demand for alternative currencies, even unorthodox digital forms that would potentially represent a store of value more faithfully than physical dollars would.โ€

With the drop continuing to new lows as we close this article, what better way to complete the circle than another tweet from โ€˜The Dogefatherโ€™.

What would we do without you Elon?

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BlockFi Faux Pas

So this is a little awkwardโ€ฆ The cryptocurrency lending / investment service and support platform BlockFi, whose mission is to โ€˜Redefine Bankingโ€™, recently ran a promo in which users  / depositerd would receive a corresponding amount of the stable coin GUSD to utilize on the platform. The amount of stable coins received was intended to reflect each individualโ€™s promotional reward earnings. Sounds simple enough.

โ€˜Inaccurate bonus paymentโ€™ Hmm, ok. Doesnโ€™t sound too serious..

Oh. Ok.

Whoa!

Really?! Thatโ€™s pretty wild. Certainly not a great thing to find out about BlockFi if you are an active investor / participant on their custodial platform. Imagine signing into your BlockFi account to be surprised with this.

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Of course the mistake transactions were to be reversed, which should be easily achieved within their centralized custodial service platform. Except, a handful of users who felt compelled enough actually were able to move their funds off of the platform before the reversal could be completed. Apparently there was more than enough time!

โ€œ(It was fewer than 100, the company said.) The firmโ€™s exposure is around $10 million, though that amount is decreasing as more users return the coins, said Zac Prince, co-founder and chief executive officer of BlockFi.โ€

โ€œBlockFi carries loss reserves as part of its accounting policies and this is a fraction of existing loss reserves -- so no negative impact to equity or ongoing platform operations,โ€ Prince wrote by email. โ€œThe issue that caused the withdrawals was fixed and incremental safeguards have been developed to prevent any similar issue in the future.โ€

News really began to spread once links to an /r Bitcoin post as well as multiple twitter users began to share their stunning screenshots. This playing out during a clear downtrend across the crypto market was not helpful!

Bad optics

This is actually the first time Iโ€™ve taken a closer look at BlockFi. Good a time as any to see just what they are all about right?

โ€˜BlockFiโ€™s vision is to bridge the worlds of traditional finance and blockchain technology to bring financial empowerment to clients on a global scale.โ€™

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Some of these might not track so well with this incident and its handling.

The nature of BlockFiโ€™s business of course makes a mistake like this one a big red flag for current and future potential investors. It must feel pretty deflating to have what appears to be an incredible windfall taken away. Of course, this was a mistake which didnโ€™t entitle these users to keep these โ€˜mistakenโ€™ funds. Still, I expect many BlockFi users, affected or not, must think a little differently about the custodial service now. Anyone on the fence about utilizing their services must now take a serious pause and wonder โ€˜How could a mistake like this happen, and what else might be mismanaged by BlockFi?โ€™

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The War That
Was Lost

Throughout all the madness that happened on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, one thing that might have gone unnoticed is the rug pull done by WARONRUGS (WoR). The Twitter account started as a crypto watchdog calling out projects that could potentially rug pull investors, just rugged, pulled an apparent $2 million from their coin and a partnered coin. 


On Tuesday, a person named Shappy, the apparent head of WoR took off with $2 million from RETH and FAIRMOON. Both coins were associated with WoR; RETH was a coin started by WoR after Vitalik donated $1 billion worth of SHIB, and FAIRMOON was a SAFEMOON copycat that WoR promoted. WoR said that FAIRMOON had โ€œNo backdoors or possible from the owner perspective.โ€ 


People learned about the rug when FAIRMOON tweeted out the news of Shappy betraying FAIRMOON and its hodlers. The effects of the rug were enormous as both coins became virtually worthless. 
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In a now-deleted Twitter profile, WoR tweeted out the reasoning for the departure and rug pull.
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It seems like WoR did this rug all to teach us a lesson about our greed. 

Throughout WoRโ€™s time on Twitter, they made many enemies by calling out suspicious coins that many had in their wallets. This led to many people celebrating and posting memes about the hypocrisy of WoR. One of the most vocal communities about this was the SAFEMOON because of the campaign WoR launched on the coin. 

One of the biggest criticisms about WoR is that most of the coins they did go after did not result in a rug pull. The effects of WoR advising against a coin were tremendous as their advisories could dampen a new project and would not allow them to grow.  


The most disappointing thing about this whole situation is that WoR was trusted not only by us at the Gazette but by thousands of people worldwide. The Twitter account started as a great resource to help investors spot out sketching projects but turned to a toxic Twitter account complaining about SAFEMOON and Vitalik. This whole rug is a reminder that everyone is in it for themselves, and everyone should be looked at with a skeptical eye. The ironic thing about that lesson is thatโ€™s the whole reason why WARONRUGS rugged.

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Solana Blockchain

A new blockchain has been making waves in the crypto community with its fast transaction times, low gas fees, and airdrops. Solana, an L1 blockchain created to optimize scalability.

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According to Solona themselves, eight key innovations make the Solana network possible:


Proof of History (POH) โ€” a clock before consensus;
Tower BFT โ€” a PoH-optimized version of PBFT;
Turbine โ€” a block propagation protocol;
Gulf Stream โ€” Mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol;
Sealevel โ€” Parallel smart contracts run-time;
Pipelining โ€” a Transaction Processing Unit for validation optimization
Cloudbreak โ€” Horizontally-Scaled Accounts Database; and
Archivers โ€” Distributed ledger store

With these invitations, Solana claims to have solved the blockchain trilemma; they say the blockchain is secure, fast, and decentralized. The Solana network is theoretically designed to reach 710,000 transactions per second and have 100-millisecond block times but has only reached 65,000 transactions per second and 400-millisecond block times. These speeds make it the fastest blockchain in existence.

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One of the biggest arguments to Solanaโ€™s claim of solving the blockchain trilemma is its decentralization. So far, the number of validators on the blockchain is low and has caused concern. One reason that can be drawn from the low number of validators is the high cost of hardware required to become one. 

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The video below gives a good look at the pros and cons of Solana.
Itโ€™s quickly looking like Solana is becoming the chain of airdrops. 


More and more projects are starting on SOL and are releasing airdrops. This increase in activity is due to the super low gas fees, and high transaction speeds the chain offers. As a result, there are literally hundreds of airdrops happening each week on Solana. If you are interested in these airdrops, I suggest looking at Twitter user Crypto_world1 for regular SOL airdrops updates.

The only drawback about these airdrops is that most are coming from small projects with little to no value in each coin.

The number of airdrops that are on Solana is insane, and it will be fun to see if any of these coins actually materialize and be worth something. 

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Artist profiles:

dexamol

Dexamol 

Dekel Oved is a 3d artist.

Working under the pseudonym Dexamol, his personal practice peers into a world of synthetic nature, where cybernetic animals integrate themselves into our spinal columns, live alongside us in cities, or migrate out into traditionally native habitats. Producing short animations and digital images that celebrate high detail, Dexamolโ€™s art bypasses engendered dichotomies such as natural vs artificial, real or unreal, presenting a not-so-distant future where these binaries have collapsed.

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