Bank Account Got Blocked! So I flew to Paris… EthCC tidbits

My bank account got blocked. This is how I flew down to Paris, booked a hostel, and had fun anyway.

(of course I used crypto. wtf you think)

Hello dear subscribers, yes it’s been a long time! I was down in Paris for EthCC 4, Europe’s biggest Ethereum congress, second only to DEVCON in size (I think). For some perspective, in 2020 I went to EthCC 3 and got COVID.

Since I am a terrible social media newb I have no selfies of myself there, nor could I even get into the event itself (what?) I just went for the side events where you didn’t need to get the highly coveted ticket to EthCC itself.

Why My Bank Account Got Blocked

Because of a little disagreement with the Finanzamt, my bank account was blocked for over 2 months. They eventually accepted that I had been making a big fat 0 in 2020 and 2021, but it took ages for them to unlock my account. This is apparently how it works:

  1. Updated numbers need to percolate through their system (~3 days)
  2. They have to print a letter
  3. Said letter needs to be sent by post to the bank (~3 days) no it is not even fax like they first claimed
  4. Letter needs to actually be read by the bank (~2 days)

Meanwhile EthCC is starting on July 20 and it was already July 17! Was I really going to miss a great networking opportunity because of some fat Karen in a government building who sees me as just a number, a case file?

This is NOT a Sponsorship – my Monolith VISA debit

freedom from governmental repression is here 😭

16 July, a Friday: I decide to go to Paris. I activate my Monolith VISA card.
18 July, a Sunday: I convert 0.6 ETH into 1000USDT, send it to Monolith, top up the VISA debit card and book my flight and hostel.

Imagine doing that with a bank on a Sunday.

When I came back, I found a big fat letter from Deutsche Bank. In case you don’t know, DB is terribly uncool in that it blocks transactions to and from all crypto institutions, insists that you keep your transaction history in paper because it doesn’t want to keep it for you, and has a terrible iOS app.

Apparently they’re increasing their prices, and I’m supposed to read their two thick booklets and spot the price differences. And send back my agreement via mail, because I have all the time in the world to care this much about a bank account that can be confiscated at any time.

(note: my bank account that was blocked was not with Deutsche Bank)

Monolith is based in the UK and is controlled via an app, just like N26/Revolut. It is purely an interface between crypto/the real world. I heard good things about Revolut though, so I’ll try that out soon.

What I learned in Paris hobnobbing with the Ethereum community

Random tidbits

Whenever I tell normal people I’m here for an Ethereum conference, they have no idea what it is. I have to invoke the magic word, “Bitcoin”. And then they go “aha”. Even though Ethereum and Bitcoin are totally different things.

Blockchain projects don’t just want to build on Ethereum anymore. They want to be on Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Polygon (MATIC), Fantom (FTM), Solana (SOL), and they’re hiring for that. I heard these chains being mentioned over and over again, so look out for their coins.

If you’re a frontend dev and can write Solidity, you can basically write your own destiny. Everybody’s hiring for Solidity/frontend devs, but those devs are busy building their own projects already (see

How to get into crypto

If you want to get involved in this industry, become a volunteer for an event. You’ll get to see more, attend the event for free, and you don’t really have to do that much work (schlep a few cables around, man the doors, organize the speakers). Contact the organizers a few weeks before the event starts. Tickets for EthCC were around 200USD, so being a volunteer and getting in for free is a huge advantage.

There are Market Makers for Hire

Let’s say you’re a crypto project and your token is listed on an exchange, like Bitstamp, Binance, FTX. At first, nobody will buy your token because they don’t know about it. Then this type of situation will happen all too often:

A wants to sell your coin for 40000
B wants to buy your coin for 10000
C looks at the situation and goes “this market is a joke, let me find another coin”

And this is what a market maker does – with some capital, they will step in between, sell to B (and hope to buy back for 1% less later), and buy from A (and hopes to sell for 1% more later). Of course, if the price moves too much, the market maker is going to lose money.

Normally these market makers show up organically if the general public thinks your coin is worth trading. Which is why unestablished crypto projects can actually hire a market maker to make their market. Expect most of the liquidity on a normal exchange to come from market makers, not other people wanting to trade like you (retail).

Expect 90% of all trading volume shown here to be from market makers.
1: the volume indicator. this is what a healthy trading volume looks like
2. order book. Look at the green section, the bid part. Someone is willing to buy 0.04 BTC at a price of 38478.3 USDT. Since it’s such a neat amount, it’s most likely a single person. In contrast, several peoples’ bids are probably aggregated into the 38484.8 USDT level.
this is just someone trading with themselves, i.e. wash trading.
This coin can’t possibly be in demand/useful.

So just like you hire companies for your marketing image, it is possible to hire market makers to make you look good on the exchange. See this video for very good explanation of a market maker.

Regulations are Coming – which is why everyone is decentralizing

Apparently new rules and regulations (in the US, I think) are incoming. The signs are showing:

  1. Binance reduced its daily withdrawal limit for non-KYC customers from 2 BTC to 0.06 BTC.
  2. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, Shapeshift decentralized itself recently. More details in this interview with Laura Shin.
  3. MakerDAO dissolved its Foundation. The blogpost doesn’t mention this purpose, but it certainly reduces the surface area for any legal attack.

The regulators are really circling around Binance. The 0.06 BTC limit is already reason enough to start looking for other exchanges.

Quadratic Funding: Your Opinion Matters Again

Market Update

The rally I thought would happen last issue didn’t happen. We’re still going down. People are calling it a ‘crab market’. Sure it’s going sideways, but it’s threatening to break down even further.

I found a great website to practice trading: Bitcoin Flip. You can long and short with leverage, and as you watch the price fluctuate, observe what your mind says to yourself. It’s no coincidence that good poker players do well in trading.

  1. Have a system for determining when you’ll go long/short.
  2. Have a system for determining how much profit/loss is enough.
  3. The market has 2 modes: trending and ranging. You’ll have a different system for each of these modes.
  4. Lots of small losses and a few big wins are normal. Think about VCs. They do all that research, and still rely on a few investments to stay profitable.

I’ll figure out more on my own and write about it later.

News Curio: Shapeshift Dissolves Itself

Shapeshift is a company that makes crypto wallets that are easy to use (like Exodus!) and lets you easily exchange coins within it. Today the company announced it is dissolving and becoming a Decentralized Autonomous Organization.

What does that mean?

It means all its code will become public, the company won’t exist anymore, and instead of the founders+investors deciding what to do, whoever has FOX tokens can now vote on how to spend the treasury and what to do.

Obviously this is big. Read all about why and how here.

Banks are in Trouble

Former Wall Street Playboys (now BowTiedBull, they used to work on Wall Street) wrote about how banks make money, and why they’re in for a world of hurt (thanks to DeFi).

You know how when you walk into a shop that sells glasses to order contact lenses, they just log into some website that you could’ve gone to and click order…. when you could’ve done all that yourself and had it shipped directly to your house, but for less money?

What if banks were reduced to exactly that, thanks to DeFi?

Software, the Grim Reaper

Quadratic Funding – your opinion matters again

Let’s say a decision has to be made within a group of people.

1 person 1 vote

Sounds fair but the minority never gets heard. It’s the tyrannic rule of the majority. Imagine 1 sheep, 5 wolves voting on whether or not to eat the sheep.

You can buy votes

The wolves don’t care so much about eating the sheep (they can eat other things) but the sheep really wants to stay alive, luckily now it can spend lots of money to express its strong desire.

But what if the sheep was the richest by far (as wealth is wont to be distributed). Then the whole voting process is a farce.

So in voting, we need to balance “strength of preference” with “majority opinion”.

How about a system where the nth vote costs n:

Buying 1 vote will cost you 1.
Buying 2 votes will cost you 1+2=3.
Buying 3 votes will cost you 1+2+3=6.

Turns out we need something like this to decide where funds should go.

Gitcoin Grants works like this:

  1. Collect donations from a group of large companies and put them in a pool.
  2. At the same time, run a crowdfunding campaign for some projects. People can donate to projects they find most interesting.

The end of the whole campaign looks like this:

Money collected from big companies: $1000

Money collected from crowdfunding:

Project 1$1+$1+$1+$1+$1
Project 2$1+$5
Project 30
Project 3 was really unpopular

The $1000 collected from the big sponsors would then mostly go to Project 1, because it has more supporters. Even though Project 2 had a large contributor. And of course, the Projects receive the community’s paltry contributions as well.

play with the numbers yourself on

The weights are calculated thusly:
Project 1: (sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)+sqrt(1)+sqrt(1))2
Project 2: (sqrt(1)+sqrt(5))2
The actual equation is more complex to prevent people from coordinating to game the system/putting an upper limit on how much larger the Match Amount can be, but obviously you can still take advantage of the fact that sqrt(1) is 1.

You can read about it here or run the code yourself.

OK so why are you telling us this. Who cares? Which token is gonna pump next?

The point is that crypto can do so much more than just make you rich. It can make it worthwhile to vote again, for example. Society can agree upon new ways to work together, and iterate faster to fix problems that come up (see the section Pairwise-bounded quadratic funding vs traditional quadratic funding).

Haven’t we known that the public’s opinion is disconnected from what the government does in like, forever?

Ethereum is the only coin where these idealists, playing with ideas of governance, funding, societal change gather. I am not kidding. Gitcoin Grants is basically their way of distributing funding to Ethereum’s infrastructure (think about veins, distributing funds/blood to different parts of the body).

So yes, if you want to hear what coin will pump next, it’s ETH. But I hope you learned more than that today.

Quietly Making Money

(what did I say last week? institutions aren’t gonna prop up the price for us, we’re all going down… and we did go down!)

Hello dear subscribers,

It’s quiet now. Nobody’s coming up and asking me about crypto. No “what coin should I buy now” questions. Thank god. Who wants people who only show up when the going’s good?

We’re pros, after all. And the quiet time is when real wealth and real value is built.

Somebody in particular has been making a killing shorting coins.

Let’s see what is going on through his mind.

ADAUSDT shorted at 1.56

This guy is playing with huge money, so let’s assume he knows what he’s doing.

If so, then the one time where he could have shorted ADAUSDT at 1.56 was ~14 June. Everything before that is too uncertain.

DOGEUSDT shorted at 0.442310

If he entered this trade on 19 May, we could say he got lucky. A more rational trader would’ve entered on 4 June.

4 June: He shorted near the top of a little wave (a rally). He doesn’t always get it right at the top. In this case he was a bit late, in other cases a bit too early. But one can never know these things.

DOGE is a memecoin though so when it dumps it dumps hard. He’s already profiting 2x from this.

ETCUSDT shorted at 58.681

To me this looks like a dangerous trade, because after a period of quiet drifting down, the price can pump quite suddenly. In his case, it continued to go down and dumped even more on 21 June (on the day he posted that tweet).

So I’d say he got lucky on this one.

BTCUSDT short at 38831.62

Nobody can always hit the top so reliably, so my guess is: after seeing BTCUSDT peak around this level on 26-27 May, 4-5 June, he went in on 13 June. This went against him and for a while he was in danger (but not so much, remember the whole market is going down), but it went back down again.

BAKEUSDT short at 3.0133

There is no reason for him to have entered on 8 June. However, seeing it stay at that level, he probably bet it would go down on 12 June. Then it went against him.

Assuming everything went perfectly, for him, 18 June is the more rational entry point, once he saw the little rally from the 13th onwards didn’t have any strength.

Most likely institutional money: What individual has a million bucks to throw on a trade? Unless he’s trading for a firm.

Short term trader (in and out in a matter of weeks)

Goes with the overall zeitgeist: The big picture is, the market is going down. You go with the flow. So whenever it goes up, you bet that it’s going to go down.

Logs in every few days: This is generally bad for my mental health so I don’t do it (I tend to be more long term), but he makes a trade every few days (which further proves he’s a short term trader). Most likely he was quite active on 14 June.

Doesn’t short just because “it’s all going down”: he waits for either a local rally or a local price floor that he bets will be broken.


I never knew how to short before, so I never considered it. But now that I think about it, I’m starting to understand why shorting is great.

  1. Make money on the down and up!
  2. Bear markets usually last longer than bull markets
  3. Think of how many failed projects there are, compared to successful ones!

How far can the government track you with crypto? or, an intro to privacy coins

tl;dr to the ends of the earth, assuming you interacted with a CEX (Centralized EXchange). No, CoinJoin doesn’t help. Bitcoin wasn’t made for this, just use a different chain if you want total privacy.

Due to the sideways price action, I have recently started chopping up carrots and onions and storing them in my fridge. This is from a Youtube channel called Wok With Tak and he talks a lot about his FAST cooking system which is a mindset that makes cooking everyday not a chore:
1. F: always try to combine flavours together, makes cooking fun
2. A: chop up all ingredients in advance, right when you get back from the supermarket, so cooking is just heating things up
3. S: stir fry in a wok
4. T: Think in templates, not recipes. For example, frying aromatics in oil for flavour -> heat up main ingredients, making allowances for whatever special treatments they need -> make up any seasoning mix to add twists to the flavor just before serving.

Yes, that’s a head and shoulders pattern! Tom Bulkowski explains

Market Situation

The head and shoulders pattern usually breaks down bearish.
Crypto media says bullish indicators are here, institutional money is building up positions at this price range, we’ll be going up again.
Mainstream media (I don’t follow it) is talking about energy consumption, El Salvador, and useless things like Tesla/Elon Musk.

Overall, because everyone expects it to go up, my gut feeling is it will go down. The plan is still the same: look for new projects that haven’t gone up at all this year.

Privacy Coins

Chainalysis is a company that earns big bucks from the US government to track cryptocurrency flows. Their tools are used from IRS “we see you” to tracking crypto scams, Lazarus Group (a hacking group thought to be North Korea’s way of getting money despite all those sanctions), and Middle Eastern Jihad groups seeking donations in Bitcoin.

What do they think about…


Interview with former Chainalysis employee: very good design, few flaws that can be used only on targeted individuals

Chainalysis webinar on privacy coins: jump to 44:25, where the guy says “converted into Monero… and from there… who knows?”


CoinJoin, which, if you watch their webinar on privacy coins, you can see they’ve cracked.


Zcash has zkSNARKs, which are the state of the art. Unfortunately shielded addresses are opt in only, which means most people won’t turn it on, which means if you use shielded transactions, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

Grin/BEAM (Mimblewimble)

He didn’t talk about it at all (too few users actually use it), but the unique thing about Mimblewimble is that it actually throws away information while still being able to prove that all transactions were valid (this also keeps the blockchain size down). As such, I’d expect it to be a fundamentally harder nut to crack.

Privacy techniques you can rely on

Privacy by default: private balances, transaction flow must be enabled by default for all its users, because anonymity is a huge part of privacy too.

Zero knowledge proofs: since the 80s, it has been theoretically possible to prove that a computation was done correctly without actually computing it yourself. Let the big brain Vitalik Buterin tell you how it’s possible.

Mimblewimble (whitepaper): instead of transactions being inside blocks, we imagine a block as one large transaction.

I call my creation Mimblewimble because it is used to prevent the blockchain from talking about all user’s information [7].

Tom Elvis Jedusor

All of these were originally proposed as improvements for Bitcoin, and as stated in the whitepaper, Mimblewimble is simply some of those improvements combined together. Oh well.

Monero is still relevant

Unlike Bitcoin, Monero will always be a probabilistic analysis problem


Although Monero has none of these improvements (it predates them by quite a bit), it is where all the privacy freaks gather. They’ve gone to extreme lengths to keep mining decentralized, and to keep Monero private despite old tech and the US government offering up to 1.25 million USD to crack it. And it’s on every exchange.

As far as I can tell, Chainalysis and Ciphertrace are just using already known weaknesses, and can only target individuals, not mass surveillance.

Although the US government is very motivated to crack it, If you stay smart and don’t expose information through other means, Monero is good enough.

Funny how ‘good enough’ wins.

p.s. if you have a US passport you might wanna give it up. Quite frankly their policies strike me as antagonistic and rent-seeking. Other countries aren’t quite so shameless in their money-grabbing.

I teach you to build a blockchain

This is a long read, but at the end of it, you’ll know enough to not be lost.

Market update: now everybody’s wondering if the bull run is over. Bitcoin only doubled its price from last ATH, and the whole thing only took 3 months, so I didn’t think it was over already. Nevertheless, the charts don’t seem to be optimistic. Oh well! The word on the street is “get back to work you lazy programmers you haven’t made it yet”


We start with asymmetric cryptography, an old (but still mindblowing!) invention from the 1970s. Two large numbers, related to each other somehow (exactly how? Don’t ask me but there are many ways for that). One of these numbers can be calculated from the other, but the other way around is very difficult,impossible. Let’s call one the private key (because you should keep it secret), and the other the public key (because you should tell the world that this is your public key).

Useful properties:

The private key can be used to calculate the public key, but not the other way round.

The public key can be used to encrypt information, and only the private key can decrypt it.

The private key can be used to sign information, and everyone with the public key, signature, and the original information can be sure that it was you (or whoever had the private key) who signed it.

An account on a blockchain is simply the private-public keypair. Your address, however, which is used to let people send coins to you, is derived from the public key.

(the keys are actually numbers, but they’re so large we have to use the alphabet to represent them. The alphabet has, what, 26 characters? 0-9 is only 10)


Transactions. Sign a message with your private key saying that you want to send 10 BTC to someone else, and given your public key, anyone can verify that it was really you. A transaction needs to refer to some previous state, that is, Alice can only send 10 coins to Bob if she has more than 10 coins in the first place.

But what is the ‘true’ state? Transactions are coming in all the time, what if some contradict each other? You have to process them in batches: blocks!


Blocks are just batches of transactions, and they refer to previous blocks. That’s why it’s a blockchain!

To prevent people from spamming the network with too many transactions, let’s introduce a fee: it costs some (very small amount of) Bitcoin to send Bitcoin around.

Why would someone want to spam the Bitcoin network? People who want to see it fail, perhaps, or who only want their transaction to be processed.


Speaking of people who hate Bitcoin: countries with their own currencies hate competing currencies. Think about it – a community living in your country, using their own coin. Economically they don’t really care about the larger organism (the country), they have their own blood circulation. That’s exactly like a cancer tumor! That’s why the Wörgl Experiment was shut down quickly in Austria, even though it was necessary for the community to start working again.

If you’ve never heard of a community currency before, it’s useful when the national currency is useless. Imagine A is a master house builder, but he’s just sitting around (because he’s jobless). B wants A to build a house. But they’re both poor, they have no Euros, and Euros are needed to buy food and everything. So nothing gets done, there is no economy.

The solution to this comes in two forms:

a. B barters with A: he will give A something he wants, and A will build him a house. More likely B can’t give A everything he wants.

b. They (and the farmers in their town) agree to use a new coin, not the Euro. Because everybody has some of this new coin, they can start working for each other again.

Suppose your hand is prickling – no fresh blood is coming in from the rest of the body, so everything stops working. Now imagine if your hand said ‘fuck it, I’m going to circulate my own blood, oh and I need to grow some lungs’. it’s a bit like that…

To make sure the system is resilient and can’t be brought down by adversaries, we need to make it decentralized, or distributed. Everybody around the world should run the Bitcoin program on their computers. Their computers would gossip to each other about the latest valid transactions and latest blocks, and hopefully agree on which latest block is ‘the truth’. Information takes time to travel through the network, so not every computer can have heard of every transaction, but that’s just how gossip works in real life.

Easy Things Aren’t Worth Anything / Incentivization

OK, we can’t ‘hope’ for a bunch of computers to agree on anything. Any computer can make a block out of valid transactions. Whose do we choose? We have to make it difficult. But how can we make an easy task difficult?

Proof of Work: make an arbitrary puzzle, involving the block, that requires lots of computing power to solve. The solution that must have (statistically) taken more computing power to solve is the winner, and is the new ‘truth’. This process starts all over again every time a new ‘true’ block comes out.

Proof of Stake: to propose a block, you must first put up lots of coins at stake, so that if you misbehave, the system can take those coins away (or just say they no longer exist). Then your computer will be randomly chosen to propose a block, and other computers will say “that looks good to me”. If you propose a bad block or if others vote for a bad block, they will lose some, or all, of their staked coins.

(Ethereum 2.0 version)

So we’ve made a simple task (proposing a new block of transactions) difficult. Why would anybody be motivated to do this though? Why would anybody run the Bitcoin software? Let’s make a rule saying that whoever finds a new ‘true’ block can create 50 new Bitcoin for himself, out of nothing.

(Bitcoin twist) Bitcoin is supposed to be like gold – that is, something with a limited supply. That is, whereas governments can suddenly create as many dollars as they need (which they did, to fund COVID relief, and the US to pay for World War 2), nobody can do that for gold. There is only so much gold on Earth, and gold mining output is relatively constant. So there’s an additional rule that every 4 years, the new block reward is halved from 50 Bitcoin to 25, 12.5 , 6.25 and so on. Only 21 million Bitcoin will be minted.

Theoretically, Proof of Work means anybody can participate in making a new block as long as they have a working computer. In practice, people with money buy up lots of computing power and find cheap electricity to power it. Nevertheless, it was chosen because it was simple and Bitcoin was made by libertarians who didn’t want another system where the rich get richer. Also, they wanted everybody to have a chance to get some Bitcoin, because then they would use it.

Proof of Stake came about because someone thought it’s silly to spend so much electricity solving an otherwise useless puzzle. The problem is you still need to make it difficult to make a block, and you still need to punish bad actors. So we’re back to the rich (or early adopters) get richer. Remember that every time you hear the “Bitcoin uses so much electricity” argument.

Nothing is free!

By now you should have noticed that if you have enough money, you can buy a lot of computing power and control a Proof of Work blockchain, because now you can write history (create most of the new blocks). Same with Proof of Stake, except that you buy lots of coins, which is arguably even easier! This is called a 51% attack.

But if you actually did execute a 51% attack, nobody would believe in the coin anymore and its price would go down. The community would make another coin and start using that instead.

After all, the point of a blockchain is that it’s ‘neutral’, that control over who gets to decide ‘the truth’ is decentralized. If it weren’t decentralized, we might as well go back to using a database on someone’s server.


You now have a system that is distributed and not controlled by evil, corruptible humans, and we have set incentives up so that it is more profitable to follow the rules than to attack the system.

What if you could run a government on this?

Market Overview and Next Steps

My aim is to transform all of you into crypto experts.

The last issue was about why decentralization (of power) is important.

This issue is a general market overview.

The Story So Far

crypto has just dumped. There are many theories out there, but here is one anonymous guy’s post on 4chan by (supposedly) the perpetrator. It has since been deleted but here’s an archive

Another Youtuber got it right.
His Wyckoff Distribution fits the pattern a bit too well, so I wouldn’t believe in it too much, but the theory of Wyckoff’s Composite Man is useful. Always assume someone is out to get you, because when it comes to money, that’s true.

Who might that be, you ask? Subscribe to BowTied Bull they have a good understanding of high finance. Not an affiliate link, they don’t even know I exist.

Overall sentiment is still bullish, because the last bullrun was comparatively short and the dump was artificial. Expect normal people to hesitate a bit, which is a good chance to accumulate.

Market Overview

BTC: just dumped, good time to accumulate. Expect conservative next target of 70,000 USD.
ETH: grew much bigger this bullrun, what with DeFi and NFT sectors helping it. Has trouble servicing this many users, causing transaction fees to balloon up to 200USDT at times. This scares away new users who don’t have that much money. Although Layer 2 scaling solutions are coming like Polygon/MATIC (they just batch up transactions and periodically report back to Ethereum), they don’t know about each other.

Explained simply: you have 1 blockchain that has 1 truth (Ethereum, let’s call it Layer 1). Since it’s not fast enough you start other blockchains (call them Layer 2) that batch transactions up and submit a summary to Layer 1 periodically. Problem is of course keeping things in sync, because there are multiple Layer 2 blockchains, and they don’t know what happened within each one. And they report to Layer 1 only periodically.

This was known a long time ago but Ethereum’s upgrade to make it faster (ETH2) is late. So this year some Ethereum competitors have eaten its lunch. We talked about decentralization last issue and why it’s important (like Bitcoin community, Ethereum people value decentralization as an ideal). These new projects don’t value decentralization as much.

BSC (Binance Smart Chain): an Ethereum by any other name, but controlled entirely by one company (Binance). Gained a lot of traction because it’s well integrated with Binance and transactions are cheap.
SOL (Solana): Haven’t heard of it before but apparently it has gained some traction. Of course it is faster than Ethereum and perhaps easier to program for. But there are many projects with such features, so I don’t know why this one got more traction. Most of the tokens are owned by early investors and founders (an exception for the crypto space, but becoming more common these days)

Ethereum competitors that made big noises in 2017, 2018 have not been as successful as BSC.
NEO: remember? lol
TRON: lollol.
XTZ (Tezos): real work going on, but still haven’t heard of anybody building on top of it
EOS: along with Tezos, one of the richest competitors. looks like money can’t buy everything
ADA (Cardano): founder Charles Hoskinson has a very successful Youtube channel, so it wasn’t so affected by the dump. However, nobody’s actually building anything on top of Cardano (check their forums and smart contract dev subforum)
ALGO (Algorand): I know it works, but is anything running on it?
AVAX (Avalanche): made a good splash this year with Pangolin, their answer to Uniswap. But they have to do more than that.
AE (aeternity): used to work there, sad story.

And these were just the legit projects with hardworking, very smart people behind them (including me!).

Overall ETH is facing competition, but still is a long way from getting displaced. The Satoshi Nakamoto = God; Vitalik Buterin = Jesus meme is still true.

Action Steps
Since the market just dumped, we have a 2nd chance at entry. Look for coins that have been flat (still relatively cheap) the entire time. The market only pays attention to coins that have pumped. We are going to go early into cheap coins. Since we know that DeFi is going to be big, look for flat coins in DeFi. For more suggestions and a different take, try BowTiedBull’s article.

Important to make sure they’re legit. Rule: if any project advertises how much money it can make you instead of how it’s going to change the world/why there is a place for them in the world, it’s a scam.