Going Sideways, Not Up; Why NFTs Matter

Market Situation


We’re going sideways. Sure there was a rally, but we’re not gonna go higher than May.

Now boys and girls, as BTC goes sideways, what season is it?

“Alt season!”

That’s right, it’s alt season! Actually I almost forgot, until SecretsOfCrypto reminded me. He lays it out better than me so I advise you to check out his interpretation. Click the link for the entire thread. And follow him, he is a real OG and gives good advice.


This playbook is what happened the last bullrun. Nevertheless, things seem different this cycle. It does not seem to be the case anymore that the BTC value of an alt goes down as BTCUSD goes up – in fact, they mostly stay the same, and when BTCUSD goes down, the alts go down with it.

It used to be that BTC would pump and everything else would go down, and then the alts and ETH would start pumping; this bullrun, everything was pumping at the same time, and everything is going down at the same time.

I think this is because we now have crypto stablecoins (USDC, USDT, DAI…). Before, if you wanted to go into an alt, you went into through Bitcoin mostly, and there was no real way to lock your gains from the alt except by selling out into Bitcoin. Now, you can sell into stablecoins, and every proper exchange has a altUSDT pair. So it makes sense that alts are starting to behave more in sync with Bitcoin’s behaviour now.

This tweet is still 100% true though.

Am I an influencer? don’t follow anything I say, nothing here is financial advice!

Knowing all this, what can we do? Just keep finding promising projects who haven’t risen as much and DCA into them. It used to be that the name of the game is to accumulate BTC. Now, with stablecoins, BTC is just one of the many assets that you can try to accumulate through trading.

OK so most coins are up there in terms of USD. What if I have some BTC to invest? What are my options?

Just going from top to bottom on Coinmarketcap’s DeFi list. I only consider projects with a real argument for their existence.

SUSHIBTC – solid project, but this is not a “OMG deal” situation. More like “fair price”
SNXBTC – I don’t like the look of this graph, so no
COMPBTC – solid project, the first to introduce yield farming. “Fair price”, I’d say.
GRTBTC might not have hit the floor yet, but it’s looking good.
CRVBTC will blow up one day. Pretty good price if you ask me.
UMABTC it’s always bad to assume “this is the floor”. Nevertheless, looking good already.
RENBTC matching the previous ATL is always a good point, maybe don’t be too greedy and dip a toe in. Besides, REN’s renBTC product is actively being used.
LRCBTC graph looks similar to RENBTC but no zkRollups are production ready atm so I think it should be cheaper. Why does a Ethereum L2 zkRollup need its own coin anyway? Gotta look closer at the economics.
ALPHABTC I have heard of their product Alpha Homora, so I’d trust their project not to rugpull people in DeFi. However the price could look more attractive.
BANDBTC to be honest, this graph looks very good. It’s like Chainlink (oracles) but for Cosmos. Unlike LINK, though, nobody’s building DeFi on Cosmos, and DeFi projects are not looking at Cosmos. They’re looking at Fantom, Polygon, BSC, even Solana for the Rust die-hards. For the other Rust die-hards, HydraDX is on Polkadot and tooting their own horn. Why isn’t Cosmos selling itself to the DeFi community?
FILBTC Filecoin is a solid project, maybe later

New Things I Heard

Ethereum recently changed its economic policy through a hard fork. If you want to make a transaction on Ethereum, you have to pay a transaction fee (in ETH). Previously, this went to the miners. Now, part of it gets burnt/destroyed, increasing the scarcity of ETH. So far, it’s been working very well, 15000 ETH has been destroyed. The more people use Ethereum, the more valuable ETH will become.

A big chunk of these ETH transactions are because of Axie Infinity. There’s even ‘scholarships’ for Axie Infinity now. It’s huge in the Philippines, imagine earning a living by simply playing a game! Let’s have a look at AXS’s USD value.

I don’t care how popular the game is, I’m shorting that.

DSLA is a service level agreement payment resolver. Basically, most companies rely on other companies, and they have Service Level Agreements – the service should be up 99.9% of the time, or else free/rebates. Think Deutsche Bahn, if train arrives 30 minutes late, you get a refund. Turns out making refunds go out automatically when things go wrong is a major PITA, so how can we automate that with smart contracts on the blockchain?

Makes sense to me. Let’s take a look at the graph.

DSLAUSDT: not bad at all, although I probably shoulda got in earlier (I heard about this a week or two ago at EthCC)

There have been some rumblings about a thing called the metaverse. Remember the movie Ready Player One? People are thinking of creating a virtual universe just like that. VR provides the immersive experience, NFTs provide the provably unique in-game items, crypto transfers provide the money transfers between characters. You can do all this in a game, sure, but each game is still very much its own silo. The idea is for some interoperability to exist, such that you can bring certain things between worlds. All this is still very far away, but we’ll probably see this theme resurface now and then.

Losing Big, what to do.

Do you employ a formal procedure to cut your losses?

Not at all. In fact, if something goes wrong and I know what it is, but I think that the original thesis is valid, and that the damage is coming from an extraneous source, I am more likely to increase my position than to sell out. I need to know why I’m losing money.

Soros on Soros

Bonus: Why NFTs matter

click it and read the whole thing you lazy cunt

Coin Recommendations, or which coins are legit projects

Hello dear subscribers,
As usual the rest of the world doesn’t care about crypto anymore, but this is exactly how you get ahead of them!

Well, not really, I’ve mostly been sitting on my lazy bum binge watching this Japanese fisherman and strolling around IKEA. Like the rest of the world, I’m taking it easy in summer too.

Elsewhere, celebrities have been making their move: Jay-Z bought an ENS domain, turned his Twitter pic into a CryptoPunk, and sold a NFT on Sotheby’s, while Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen bought equity in FTX, a crypto exchange that’s setting out to be Binance’s competitor. Here’s how that happened, and FTX’s marketing strategy.

Market overview

We are still going down. But prices never go straight down like a rock. Just like life, there are smaller waves that go up and down within inside a huge wave.

The huge wave is going down.
The smaller wave has hit bottom right now and is going to go up soon.

It’s not quite a chance to go long and get fabulously rich. More like a short term (a week or two?) “make some extra cash” or “need to turn that 80% loss into a 20% loss”.

Trading is supposed to be a (relaxing) side income where you profit by sitting back and doing mostly nothing. Make sure not grow too many white hairs over your positions!

Coin Recommendations

So many of you have been asking me for coin recommendations.

I hope this means “which coin is NOT a scam” not “which coin will go up”. The first question I can answer. The second one I cannot.

Mostly, the market goes up and down and over time, the big winners go down less.

Even Ethereum had its competitors back in 2015, 2016 and it was not clear whether it would succeed. Ethereum mooned in 2017 (going frorm 40USD to 300) because of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announcement. Back then, many companies were creating their own forks/variations based on the Ethereum code – EEA was formed to create a standard so that these forks could interoperate.

Notice, companies were already busy creating their Ethereum forks before 40 USD. But once “we have made a standards body” was announced, the price went up. So as you can see, actual value does not equal positive price action.

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic. There are scam coins and legit projects. Legit projects occupy a spectrum from

< will sink and fail ————— will survive —————– will become a household name >

That’s difficult to predict though, and I’m not sure anybody can really predict this.

So I’m just going to share with you the coins I’m watching, and a summary of each. You ready?

A Very Incomplete List of Legit Projects

BTC (Bitcoin): depending on who you ask, it’s a money for poor people that’s better than Argentinian pesos/1920s Deutsche Mark or a store of value for rich people who see the USD as going down the same path as aforementioned currencies. (for a long time, the Bitcoin community itself wasn’t sure what it was most useful for)

ETH (Ethereum): a computer, but owned by no one – once you upload your program there, everybody can read it and run it. Since anyone can read and understand the program, you can be sure it’s working exactly as advertised, so it’s perfect for removing trust from the equation. It’s big because all the visionaries who imagine the use cases congregate here. Also because programming for its competitors is extremely painful in comparison.

ETC (Ethereum Classic): people think it’s “just like Ethereum, but cheaper” – no, it is part of the original Ethereum community that adheres more to Bitcoin cypherpunk values. The code may be able to run the same smart contracts, yes, but the community is very different.

ZEN (Horizen): a copy of ZCash, which uses zero knowledge cryptography to keep people’s balances and transactions private. Unlike ZCash, which just goes down, ZEN kinda goes up and down, which is why it’s on my watchlist.

ANT (Aragon): built on Ethereum, it writes software that makes it easy for you to start your own organizations on Ethereum. Voting processes, mainly. It’s got to be valuable somehow. Recently there has been a bit of a spat where key members left, though. We shall see, usually these things are not so significant as long as the project keeps ticking (e.g. Charles Hoskinson leaving Ethereum to found Cardano after an argument).

DCR (Decred): unlike Bitcoin, Decred has a more tight-knit, cohesive community that isn’t arguing within itself most of the time. And they’re actually innovating. If they could only market themselves better, this could be a Bitcoin killer if people decide to move away from Bitcoin.

ADA (Cardano): Ethereum competitor, except that it hires academia to really make sure all its tech is pitch perfect and publish papers about it. In practice this just means it’s been moving slower than Ethereum and other competitors, but thanks to Charles Hoskinson’s Youtube channel, people really believe in it.

UNI (Uniswap): built on Ethereum, it’s an exchange that lets you convert coins without having to sign up for an account or take a photo of your passport (normal exchanges do, because the governments require them to – they don’t want to do it either actually).

SUSHI (Sushiswap): built on Ethereum. Originally just a copy of Uniswap, it grew beyond the original “exchange” concept and now has entire ecosystem “coin launching” ventures. Certainly one to keep an eye on, might even surpass Uniswap.

ZRX (0x): I don’t remember why this one is here?

RDN (Raiden): a long time ago, Raiden was posited as the solution to make Ethereum faster. I still don’t know why it has a token?

MKR (MakerDAO): built on Ethereum. creating a coin that is pegged to the USD (DAI) without relying on any institutions/authorities is very difficult, but this is what Maker has done, and it was the first such project to do so. Should anything go wrong with the peg, MKR will be sacrificed to keep the peg fixed. Definitely worth something.

ZIL (Zilliqa): an Ethereum competitor whose main claim to fame is that it’s faster.

SC (Siacoin): like Dropbox, or Amazon S3 storage, but way cheaper, because there are no companies running the servers – normal people at home do. You pay for storage with SC, or you can offer up your storage to earn SC too.

GRIN (GRIN): originally a collection of proposed improvements to Bitcoin that never made it in (I told you Bitcoin’s community has a problem with innovation), it became its own coin. The big thing is privacy is guaranteed, and you can even delete old data, which means you don’t have to free up 500GB to run a GRIN node. The community is Bitcoinish in ethos.

BEAM (BEAM): Just like GRIN but with a company, backed with VC funding. Does that mean it’s more likely to succeed?

AUDIO (Audius): built on Ethereum. like Spotify, but artists have voting power because they hold AUDIO, so they could vote to increase their cut (so far no such vote has happened). Or just transact with their fans directly in AUDIO. VC funded, it’s the only thing of its kind out there that’s actually working.

LPT (Livepeer): built on Ethereum. did you know that if you upload a video to Youtube, Google has lots of dedicated servers working in the background to convert that video into proper standardized formats? now, if you do that service with your computer, you earn LPT. It works.

OCEAN (Ocean Protocol): built on Ethereum. like Amazon, but for data, or data feeds. Who buys data feeds? Well, nobody, because at the moment, there is no Amazon for data. But machine learning researchers will. Certainly a novel idea if nothing else.

DOT (Polkadot): wants to be the chain that connects all other chains. Right now, if you want to send Bitcoin to Ethereum, it just doesn’t make sense. They’re two different things completely.

ATOM (Cosmos): like Polkadot, it wants to be the chain that connects all other chains. Unlike Polkadot, it doesn’t want to be the absolute center of it all – just a hub. Copies of Cosmos with their own token can also be hubs that connect blockchains together. So it’s less “one ring to rule them all”.

LINK (Chainlink): smart contracts running in the blockchain sometimes need to know things about the outside world. Who’s gonna be a trusted source of that information? Chainlink is one of those with a solution, you have to pay them in LINK though.

COMP (Compound): built on Ethereum. It works like a pawn shop: you’ve got some ETH but don’t want to really let it go, but you need some USD for the time being. So you go to Compound, put ETH down, get some DAI (for example) in exchange, and go sell that for USD. Again, there is no company, no office – it just works as a website that you don’t even have to sign up to.

SNX (Synthetix): built on Ethereum. Makes synthetic coins of other things out there, like synthetic stocks, so you can ‘trade stocks’ on Ethereum. Or gold, or whatever.

CVP (Powerpool): built on Ethereum. A crypto hedge fund. Normally, you need to be ‘accredited’, which means you need to be rich. But this is crypto. Again, you don’t even have to sign up for an account.

1INCH (1inch exchange): built on Ethereum. There are many exchanges like Uniswap, Sushiswap, Balancer, Curve out there. 1INCH sits in front of them and finds the best exchange rate. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

BAL (Balancer): built on Ethereum. Also an exchange, but since Uniswap got most of the attention, they’ve made themselves useful in other, differentiated ways.

FIL (Filecoin): a competitor to Siacoin. Quite famous too, ever heard of IPFS?

AAVE (AAVE): built on Ethereum. Competitor to Compound, but more successful.

MANA (Decentraland): built on Ethereum. Decentraland is a virtual world, and you can buy land in this virtual world with MANA.

VIB (Viberate): errr, why is this here?

MCB (MCDex): trade perpetual futures in a decentralized way, like Uniswap. Not sure I understand it myself, but futures are unlike just buying coins. Anyway it should be good for something.

RLY (Rally): built on Ethereum. Helps influencers create their own coins, and takes a small cut as a return.

ICP (Internet Computer): wants to be a decentralized Amazon Web Services. Launched recently with a lot of fanfare but word is on the street that the exchange listing event was tailored to let insiders dump on hopeful investors (and even seed investors).

COMBO (Furucombo): built on Ethereum. Doing anything in DeFi can be quite a few steps, so Furucombo you can make your own combos (haha) and submit it as one transaction, saving you gas. Nifty.

AVAX (Avalanche): new Ethereum competitor. Its main selling point is that it uses gossip (Snowball) to reach consensus, not proof of stake or proof of work.

CRV (Curve): built on Ethereum. An exchange just like Uniswap, but specialized in stablecoins. Very popular. Definitely going places.

CVX (Convex): built on Ethereum. Convex wants to own a major stake of CRV. So they’ve set things up so that you’ll earn more CRV (and CVX) by using Curve through them. Yearn Finance isn’t taking this sitting down either, so they’ve spun up a “Backscratcher” to compete.

YFI (Yearn Finance): built on Ethereum. Remember AAVE, Compound and all these lending projects? They give lots of incentives to use their platform. But the rewards change all the time, and who wants to change between them all? So just deposit your money with Yearn and it will auto switch between the best yielding programs for you. This is called yield farming.


No entertaining pics this time, sorry. But you got a lot of meat and little bone, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Hopefully you have enough data to see for yourself what is a scam and what is not.

But then after that comes the question of whether the team can execute, and whether society will welcome the idea. Hey, we’ve become proper investors now, haven’t we?

Audius: a pretty good decentralized Spotify

note: apparently archive.wakarimasen.moe (4chan archive) that was linked in the last newsletter can load ad scripts that hijack Chrome to show you really invasive ads. Like ads that trick you into thinking Windows is telling you you have viruses, getting you to install some shady malware.
People, please. If you wouldn’t have unprotected sex, don’t browse the internet without protection either.Install uBlock Origin at the very least (Chrome version). It’s the best community supported adblocker out there. Yes, that means no more Youtube ads.
As a side note if your computer has malware, they can log what you type on the keyboard and steal your crypto. Not cool.

I really don’t want to be like those guys on Youtube who just shill a coin with a big green candle on their thumbnail and 😱 😱 but since readers have been begging me to, I hope you can learn how to evaluate projects by reading my cryptocritique.

if i ever start a youtube channel this will be my thumbnail

What They Do

Spotify, but with tokens to decentralize governance power. This means instead of being a big evil platform whose rules you have to follow, you actually have a vote. Artists actually make no money from Spotify. It’s widely accepted that Spotify is just for gaining publicity.

Artists can use the AUDIO token to propose/vote on changes to Audius and decide what to fund with community grants.

The whitepaper says this should solve the following issues:

We see a number of specific challenges faced by artists and fans today:

  1. There is little to no transparency around the origins of artist payouts (e.g. number of plays, location, original gross payment before fees)
  2. Incomplete rights ownership data often prevents content artists from getting paid; instead, earnings accumulate in digital service providers (DSPs) and rights societies
  3. There are layers of middlemen and significant timedelay involved in payments to artists
  4. Publishing rights are complicated and opaque, with no incentives for the industry to make rights datapublic and accurate
  5. Remixes, covers, and other derivative content are largely censored due to rights management issues
  6. Licensing issues prevent DSPs and content from being accessible worldwide

Economic Model

Remember that token economies enable a lifeform. This life form wants its components (artists, playlist curators, listeners, infrastructure) to interact in such a way that they generate value for each other and thus the lifeform itself. Additionally, no particular actor should have too much power over the others.

Such an organization was first described as a Continuous Organization here.

So does Audius really achieve this?

The Audius platform token ($AUDIO) is used in three core ways:

Security – Stake $AUDIO to run nodes that secure the network.

Feature Access – Hold $AUDIO to unlock features and exclusive content.

Governance – Use $AUDIO to vote and propose protocol changes

AUDIO token is used to get people participating and doing stuff on the platform
hmm, doesn’t seem like I get so much more? a good start though
Alina Baraz dips her toes in the water
despite being one of the first and most prominent investors, deadmau5 only has 9 tracks?
Masego is a bit more enthusiastic
governance proposals haven’t been very controversial so far

It’s fair to say Audius is still fighting for traction and has to figure out how to create a more addictive economy with its token. Nevertheless, it is the only such project with so many big names and publicity. Other projects haven’t even gotten so far, or even made a halfway decent whitepaper (looking at Rocki).

Technical Competency

Can these guys really deliver on their promises?

Back in the day there were many shitcoins that just copied Bitcoin’s source code and changed a name or number. Being the first of its kind, Audius has no such luxury. The code looks professional and well organized. Real thought went into this, and there’s even documentation about the high level architecture.

My only concern is that running the Audius infrastructure itself means you have to stake at least 200,000 AUDIO. Even before the bullrun this year, 1 AUDIO was 0.29 USD, so that’s a lot of money.

To me this sounds like the people who run the infrastructure have a disproportionate amount of power over everyone else, if they’re giving out 100 AUDIO rewards.

Trading Outlook

No need to pay much attention to the technical indicators

If you’re going to use USD to buy AUDIO: the coin still has a ways to fall, plus it hasn’t seemed to receive the mainstream recognition that BTC has, so even if the bullrun picks up again, there is no guarantee that AUDIO will follow suit.

Verdict: too dangerous to go in right now. Wait for it to hit the floor.

AUDIOBTC: same verdict as AUDIOUSDT, except your max gains are only 2-3x, not 20x in AUDIOUSDT (because relatively unknown coins go up as Bitcoin goes up, compounding their gains).


Audius is a legit project in its early stages. Keep it on your watchlist and look for a good time to enter. Highly correlated with BTC, so your BTC gains might be disappointing.