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Signal to Noise 003: Crypto Adoption via Shopping, Chatting and taking Trains and Bitcoin's 50th Death

David Nage
Mar 29, 2019
Welcome to the third edition of Signal to Noise where I attempt to break down the headline news of the week and put it into two piles:

  • Signal: denoting it may affect and incite action in the crypto market & ecosystem
  • Noise: denoting material which interferes with said action, but yet seem to take up our attention & mental space.
A quick note: The content provided in Signal to Noise is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained in this blog constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by Arca to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments in this or in in any other jurisdiction.

Signal
In this section you can anticipate a focus on news and research focused on Institutional Investors investing & focusing on crypto, products/platforms shipping and launching, Corporations getting involved in the ecosystem, job moves into crypto and much more.

A quick comment before we dig in; in the last few weeks news/updates have come fast and furious. This week was a bit...flat. Not a bad thing, but interesting to observe nonetheless.
 
  • Mainstream adoption via onramps is something I have been watching closely. Here are some platforms and recent news that I’ve been keeping tabs on
    • Lolli: you should check them out; Lolli is the first bitcoin rewards application that lets people earn & own bitcoin when they shop online. We've partnered with 500+ top brands to help drive sales and conversions on their sites. When you shop on one of our partner sites, we get a percent of each sale. We then split that percent with you, sending bitcoin to your Lolli wallet! This is super easy to use!
    • In what could be another boost for adoption: Japan’s Biggest Railway Plans to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments. The biggest railway and subway operator in Japan that is used by millions of Japanese individuals on a daily basis, is considering the integration of crypto assets like bitcoin as a payment option. According to ANN News, a mainstream commercial television news network in Japan run by TV Asahi Corporation, JR Group is currently planning to establish a cryptocurrency company, possibly an exchange in partnership with a major bank, to integrate cryptocurrencies. If JR Group moves forward with its plans to integrate crypto into the Suica card, the national public transport card that is used by residents for various payments including subway transactions, it has the potential to become the biggest stimulus in retail and mainstream cryptocurrency adoption to date.
    • Wuabit: this article grabbed my attention: “Bitcoin goes MAINSTREAM: Cryptocurrency wallet on WhatsApp set for release”. In the article they mention Wuabit, a cryptocurrency wallet accessible via a chat interface in WhatsApp. The developers describe it as 'software agent' powered by specialised AI. Users simply type in commands like 'send 0.05BTC to Vera' and Wuabit will send it. Why it *could* be important: currently there are over 1 Billion users of WhatsApp.
  • The Arnault family, owners of LVMH, are getting into the blockchain space: “Louis Vuitton Owner LVMH Is Launching a Blockchain to Track Luxury Goods”. Ian Allison from Coindesk states that LVMH worked with Consensys and Microsoft Azure to create a blockchain aimed at proving authenticity of goods. More context: LVMH controls over 60 luxury brands including many well-known names like Dior, Dom Pérignon and Hublot. The group reported revenues of $53 billion in 2018.
  • Anyone educating those that have influence, from investors to politicians, grabs my attention. This definitely did: “Speaking before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Technology Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, an advocacy group to protect open blockchain networks, laid out the reasons why cryptocurrencies exist – and how they work.” Apparently Peter went thru a 101 type crash course, demystifying the technology. This is critically important work.
  • In the file of “that-is-awesome” and also a positive signal for the future generations; this tweet says it all:

Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 11.35.41 AM

  • In reporting by TheBlock: “Facebook’s blockchain team is “fast-growing,” the team notes “Facebook, the social media behemoth, appears to be getting very serious about breaking into the blockchain market, at least that's what a batch of 22 job ads on its career portal suggest.” Some in the ecosystem don’t view this as a positive signal; they have had their issues over the last few years but as of today they still have 1.3 billion people around the world using their platform; that is amazing reach

Noise 

In this section you can anticipate a focus on news and research that does not discuss building, investors coming into the ecosystem via investment or careers, but rather focuses on price, predictions of price and more.

  • Well according to the FT Bitcoin has died, or should I say, is going to die, again (I think this now makes 15 times or so...I’m losing count): In their article: “Flaws in Bitcoin make a lasting revival unlikely” they start off by saying “Six months earlier a single Bitcoin cost just under $20,000. By the time the ads appeared, its value had fallen to $7,000. These days, it is just $4,025 (see chart)
  • Now I put this in Noise, but it’s not a great thing to read either; I just think it got too much attention and isn’t really moving the market up or down: “Founder tries to sell failed crypto project on eBay”; as the FT and TheBlock report: “A "blockchain" business that never sold a single token in its initial coin offering is now for sale on eBay. For $60,000, a lucky buyer may get a project that “has everything in place to conduct a successful ICO/STO campaign.
  • I am deeply respectful to giants in the investor community who deserve it; anyone who says the name Draper knows Tim has invested in some of the biggest tech companies in the world and comes from a prominent lineage; DGA was one of the first VC’s in the country founded in 1959. However, it drives me nuts when Tim makes price predictions on Bitcoin, and so it goes into Noise: “Bitcoin Price Prediction - Tim Draper Predicts Crypto Market Cap Rise – 1000x Today’s Value”. (note: Tim, can ya stop with the price predictions? Please!

 

And there you have it, another week, another bunch of signals and noise. As always if you have news/articles that you feel are either signal or noise let us know!

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