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What is the biggest crypto news of the past year?

by mike_hawke1 min read22nd May 20212 comments

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Please give reasons for why you consider it big.

Here are my top questions right now:

  • What major policies are governments adopting, especially in the US?
  • What the hell is Tesla up to?
    • Does anyone really believe that Tesla sold its Bitcoin in order to help the environment? If so, why did they buy it in the first place?
  • Are there any worthwhile applications of smart contracts yet?
    • What are you using them for?
    • I don't see much value in NFTs yet, I don't feel much draw to defi, and the prediction markets are either small or nonfunctional.

More importantly, is there a good way for me to answer these questions on my own? I avoid Twitter and news sites because I think they are bad for my mind. What I would like is a way to check in on the state of crypto a few times per year. I care much less about price changes than longer-term things like government policies, clever new applications, scaling & usability issues, and so on.

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I think the present prediction markets are low quality but that better one's will emerge in the future on a network that can handle a high amount of transactions.

Kleros seems to me like an amazing invention that has the potential to actually be useful in a variety of cases. Cheap trustworthy arbitration is valuable. 

Does anyone really believe that Tesla sold its Bitcoin in order to help the environment? If so, why did they buy it in the first place?

I'm not aware of any reports that Tesla sold it's Bitcoin holdings and only of reports like https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2021/05/23/teslas-bitcoin-holdings-in-reverse/ according to which Elon said that Tesla isn't selling it's Bitcoin.

The policy change they announced is that they won't let customers buy Tesla's with Bitcoin.

I do believe that's for enviromental reasons. The scenario is likely that Elon brought the Bitcoin because Bitcoin is cool. Many of Tesla's employees work crazy hours at Tesla because they believe that they are doing it for the enviroment. Tesla isn't the company where you go because you compared the personal benefits of working with Tesla with other companies but where you go to work because of the mission.

Tesla switching from being positive for the enviroment to maybe being net negative is going to produce a lot of unhappy employees who will question why they work at Tesla and who had to be appeased.

What I would like is a way to check in on the state of crypto a few times per year. 

I think most news sources about crypto are very marketing driven. Reading LessWrong might give you the information given that it's regularly discussed. 

The biggest crypto news of the past year was when Vitalik announced that Ethereum was moving it's scaling strategy from focusing primarily on sharding to focusing primarily on L2 speedups.

This switch substantially decreases the complexity of the Ethereum 2.0 launch allowing developers to set a target date of December instead of "one to two  years from now".

The Ethereum 2.0 launch will reduce Ethereum's energy usage by 99% and the roll out of Ethereum L2s will largely solve problems of high fees and congestion on the Ethereum blockchain.  Toghether these two changes will all but guarantee Ethereum's status as the "final settlement layer" for transactions of value anywhere on Earth.