Arjun Balaji

MakerDAO is de-stablilizing This week, The Block’s Frank Chaparro uncovered a major story outlining a number of ongoing governance issues with MakerDAO: Maker DAO, a non-custodial lending protocol that produces decentralized stablecoin Dai, has witnessed a faction break out in recent months to prevent the consolidation of power around its original founder Rune Christensen, those […]
Apr 26, 2019, 11:30AM UTC
“There’s only two ways I know of to make money: bundling and unbundling” — Jim Barksdale Today, Binance announced the successful deployment of the Binance Chain genesis block. The Binance public blockchain will host the future Binance DEX and will be powered by Binance’s native ecosystem token, $BNB. Today, the blockchain appears to be positioned primarily as […]
Apr 19, 2019, 10:56AM UTC
Can we spend treasury funds on lambos? One of the solutions proposed to on-going blockchain funding problems is allocating tokens to a team-held treasury. Inevitably, this introduces perfectly reasonable questions like “How should it be spent?” and “Who should control it?” Over the years, this has led to all sorts of wacky uses of funds, including […]
Apr 16, 2019, 11:00AM UTC
In 2017, cryptocurrencies saw a spark of institutional interest and with it, a number of new categories of startups emerged: Asset custody: With crypto-fund managers offering an estimated $10b+ in AUM and potential incoming institutional capital, competition to be the premier asset custody provider intensified as each entrant rushed to slash fees, increase asset coverage, get insurance […]
Apr 15, 2019, 9:00PM UTC
Taking donations for Xcash Today, Zcash community member hloo announced Ycash, advertised as the first “friendly fork” of Zcash. The friendly fork is originally a Zooko construction, with him noting that, distinct from most other chain forks, a friendly fork results when there’s one persistent blockchain and no schism in the community. Ycash presents 3 major […]
Apr 12, 2019, 12:24AM UTC
So is there a point to Litecoin? In one of the most hated rallies of all time, consistent with other historical rallies, $LTC led the market after an epic short squeeze (March 15 was the all-time-low in $LTC’s L/S ratio), marking its highest price since August 2018. This sparked vitriolic commentary from a crowd including […]
Apr 4, 2019, 11:30PM UTC
Good Kid Faaaaat Protocols If you’ve been around the cryptocurrency ecosystem for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard at least one vest-wearing VC reference the “fat protocols” thesis. Widely referenced at the time, the seminal blog post from then-USV analyst (now Placeholder founder) Joel Monegro arguably kicked off the 2017 bubble: crypto founders even […]
Mar 28, 2019, 11:41PM UTC
Money Don’t Grow On Trees Two major developments this week hit on concerns vexing cryptocurrency designers since the beginning: what are sustainable ways to fund public blockchains? The conversation was advanced in part by ERC 1789, a proposal from Gitcoin co-founder Kevin Owocki to fund Ethereum development directly through inflation funding. It was also helped […]
Mar 21, 2019, 9:56PM UTC

Reflections on a week talking crypto in Hong Kong

This week I was at a cryptocurrency event, Token2049, in Hong Kong. Like any industry conference, far more interesting than the panels were the hallway and nighttime discussions with dozens of people spanning public blockchain projects, executives from major exchanges, and investors of various flavors. What follows is an assorted sampling of observations from my […]
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Mar 18, 2019, 9:10PM UTC
The Sketchy Token Distributions Must Go On Ethereum exploded in 2017 primarily driven by one catalyst: speculative demand for ether as the reserve asset for the Ethereum capital market (ICOs). As ether was necessary to participate in public token sales, demand for ether went up and as treasury teams of ICOs held ether, more and […]
Mar 15, 2019, 1:45AM UTC

Cosmos, a much anticipated blockchain interoperability project is now live

Cosmos, a blockchain project focused on interoperability, is now live. Interoperability is about facilitating communication between otherwise incompatible public blockchains.  After two years of significant R&D, the launch has been eagerly awaited by cryptocurrency enthusiasts since the project’s 2016 ICO ($16 million was raised). The project is deployed by company Tendermint Inc, which is also […]
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Mar 14, 2019, 11:18AM UTC
Let’s Go To Crypto Law School One of the most interesting conversations in cryptocurrencies emerged from a tweet by Vlad Zamfir, noted Ethereum researcher and, err, abstract thinker on topics as wide as political governance, social norms, and how we should update the legal system. In what Vitalik  called a “highly abstract platitude-oriented discourse”, Vlad […]
Mar 8, 2019, 11:32AM UTC
Yes, We Need More Stablecoins One clear trend going into 2019 was the explosion of messaging apps launching their own native tokens. Going into the year, I clarified: While none of them are interesting as a potential non-sovereign money competitor, I’m most interested in seeing what Facebook does: a stablecoin designed for remittance could make […]
Mar 1, 2019, 11:50AM UTC

So, is Binance Coin actually worth anything?

This free preview of The Block Genesis is offered to our loyal readers as a representation of the highly valuable journalism our Genesis members receive daily. If you’d like to receive all Genesis content on our site and via daily newsletter, join here! Binance is an interesting company—maybe even the “fastest profitable unicorn in history”—but […]
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Feb 21, 2019, 6:11PM UTC
It’s Sort Of Like Equity But Also Has Utility This week in Ponzi-finance, we saw a discussion around $BNB, Binance’s native token. Binance is an interesting company—maybe even the “fastest profitable unicorn in history”—but to this day, there are still major questions around the value of their native token. The token was an innovative move […]
Feb 21, 2019, 1:11PM UTC
A Historical Overview of Sidechains Sidechain experiments have been around for years, dating back to 2012 and 2013-era experiments proposed on BitcoinTalk to enable “BTC-backed alternative cryptocurrencies” or ideas like Fidelity-bonded ledgers proposed by Peter Todd on the bitcoin-development mailing list. A number of different developments came to head and the current iteration of sidechains […]
Feb 19, 2019, 4:00PM UTC
The Gox Saga Gets Even Weirder “Never trust a financial services website named after Magic: The Gathering” is probably a pretty good rule of thumb to follow for people attempting to purchase cryptocurrencies. In spite of some very obvious branding issues with re-starting an exchange associated today with sheer incompetence of Bitcoin’s early anarchist entrepreneurs, […]
Feb 14, 2019, 3:49PM UTC