Debating the opportunity costs of earning on your Bitcoin.
Crypto Twitter, like many Twitter-spheres, is as full of self-affirmation and choir preaching as it is of internal holy-wars (not too unlike those described on this post). We can characterize two camps within the crypto/digital asset space. This is a gross oversimplification to be sure, but paints a picture of the space where there are a spectrum of competing ideas.
One group is financial and technically more conservative; this group wants the hardest monetary policy, extremely high levels of computational security, and the ability to self-verify everything. They might see the benefit of more complex functionality, but think this functionality must be built on top of a highly reliable and trustworthy base layer. These folks value minimizing attack vectors, self-auditing, backwards compatibility, and privacy. The Bitcoin Maximalists fit into this group.
The second group is more liberal; they are interested in rapid innovation, maximal flexibility and functionality, and often have higher risk tolerances. While they still value security and decentralization, they are comfortable with a larger set of concepts and designs. There is substantial internal diversity among the members of this group, but many of them envision a future with many successful interconnected projects (rather than a single base layer).
As an example, we recently watched the Bitcoin Maximalists spar with the Ethereum community over issues such as cost to run a full node and auditing a networks total supply in a debate dubbed #supplygate (1, 2).
What if you could benefit from additional functionality without compromising on security?
There is a middle ground forming under the term Bitcoin Centrist. The centrist understands the benefits of both camps ideologies.
Putting Your Crypto to Work
DeFi, or Decentralized Finance, is arguably the hottest subject of 2020 within the crypto space. This new buzz word describes the broad set of protocols which enable decentralized financial product/service applications (acknowledging that there isnt complete consensus on what fits into this category). I aggregated and parsed unique documents mentioning the keyword DeFi using NTerminal in Splunk. We can see an increase in buzz over the course of 2020:
Sentiment Analysis for the Keyword "DeFi"
People are interested in DeFi both for its potential in Reinventing Global Finance, and as a way to make massive investment returns. DeFi applications include systems such as automated market making, derivatives, and lending. Yield Farming is the process of utilizing DeFi protocols to generate yield on ones digital assets.
YFI (the token for Yearn Finance), for example went from trading around $4,000 at the start of the month to a price of over $36,000, surpassing $1 billion in marketcap:
YFI-USD Reported Price & Volume on FTX and NLP mentions by Sentiment
These protocols, of course, are far from being risk-free, and this market activity does not appear to be sustainable. In some ways the DeFi craze mirrors what we saw in 2017 with the ICO boom, when projects were pulling millions of dollars before anyone had time to find the associated white paper.
Yam Finance Marketcap Aug 11-17
Yam Finance (with the symbol YAM) was an unaudited project started in just 10 days (start to finish according to them) which was launched on Aug 11th. According to Coingecko, it hit a market cap of almost $60 million on Aug 13th. Then, a bug was discovered which locked up ~ $750,000 in Curve y tokens and the price immediately plummeted.
But what about tokenized Bitcoin?
The amount of Bitcoin locked on Ethereum has exploded over the last month. The USD value locked in WBTC and RenBTC, the two leading methods of locking your BTC into Ethereum transactions have outpaced the production of Bitcoins earned by miners:
Total Value Locked (USD) in WBTC
Total Value Locked (USD) in RenVM
Each of these methods carry a unique set of risks. WBTC is an ERC20 token backed 1:1 with BTC which involves a custodian, and the KYC that comes with it.
The renBTC token uses the Ren Virtual Machine to mint BTC to an Ethereum smart contract. This method avoids the counterparty risk, but could be void of any way of retrieving trapped funds.
In addition to counter party and/or smart contract risks, users must pay outrageously high gas prices on their transactions (which could fail), navigate the various platforms which enable the minting of these tokens, and make sure they avoid scams and user errors along the way.
Conceptually, locking your assets into smart contracts which allow you to put your money to work is great. If it is possible to generate income without compromising the financial sovereignty offered by permission-less and censorship-resistant money like Bitcoin, it would benefit both the Maximalists and Yield Farmers alike.
Today, however, Bitcoin (as well as Yams and Sushi) still abides by the same rules as cake. While there are now various ways of putting your digital money to work, there are important risks and trade offs associated with them. I expect the Bitcoin Centrist camp to grow as these trade offs are reconciled by developers and users.
Follow this link:
Can You Have Your Bitcoin And Eat It Too? - Forbes
- Bitcoin now has a 7% chance of beating $20K highs in the next 2 months - Cointelegraph - October 23rd, 2020
- For the first time since 2018 Bitcoin balances on exchanges fell below 2.5M - Cointelegraph - October 23rd, 2020
- Bitcoin top signal from 2017 reappears, but heres why it may not matter this time - Cointelegraph - October 23rd, 2020
- First Mover: PayPal Rushes In and Bitcoin Breaches $12K, While USDC Gains on Tether - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 23rd, 2020
- Macro Investor Dan Tapiero on Crypto Adoption: Emerging Economies Ahead of Developed States | News - Bitcoin News - October 23rd, 2020
- Ban All Ransomware Payments, in Bitcoin or Otherwise - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 23rd, 2020
- Hotel Bitcoin ATMs on the Rise With Addition of Swiss Hotel Dolder Grand | News - Bitcoin News - October 23rd, 2020
- World Gold Council Survey Shows Cryptocurrency Investment the 5th Most Popular in Russia - Bitcoin News - October 23rd, 2020
- Ethereum Q3 Volume Dwarfs Bitcoin's, Fueled by DeFi - Decrypt - October 23rd, 2020
- Crypto fans rejoice: Bitcoin rallies to the brink of $12,000 - Aljazeera.com - October 23rd, 2020
- 187,000 BTC Drained: Over $2 Billion in Bitcoin Leave the Top Exchanges Since June | Exchanges - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- A Former Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Chief Has Predicted Bitcoin Will Surge To $1 MillionHeres Why - Forbes - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoin minings future is green, and Russia has the best chance - Cointelegraph - October 19th, 2020
- Has Bitcoin Finally Met Its Match? - Forbes - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoin rips and cruise ships: Bad crypto news of the week - Cointelegraph - October 19th, 2020
- Where Does Bitcoin Fit in the Global Reserve Currency Game? - CoinDesk - Coindesk - October 19th, 2020
- Enormous wall of money will send Bitcoin to $1M in 2025 Raoul Pal - Cointelegraph - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoin's Intrinsic Value: Crypto Community Responds to Bank of England Governor | News - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoin Price Ready For a New Pop Will It Do It Today? - InvestingCube - October 19th, 2020
- 'Enormous Wall of Money' Coming Into Bitcoin, Price to Reach $1 Million in 5 Years, Says Raoul Pal - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoin and Ripple's XRP - Weekly Technical Analysis October 19th, 2020 - FX Empire - October 19th, 2020
- Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin on Ethereum The Whos, Whats and Whys - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 19th, 2020
- First Mover: Privacy Is Litecoin's Ace in the Hole as JPMorgan Touts Bitcoin - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 19th, 2020
- Hathor Merge Mining Pool Commands 33% of the Bitcoin Cash Hashrate - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- Cashfusion Use Increased by 328%, $200M in BCH Fused and Close to 20,000 Fusions | Privacy - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- The Silk Road Balance Sheet Discrepancy: Bitcoin Worth $4.8 Billion Still Missing | Featured - Bitcoin News - October 19th, 2020
- Bitcoins Taproot is ready to go, but it's unlikely to be included in the next release - Cointelegraph - October 19th, 2020
- How will the US presidential election affect the price of Bitcoin? - Cointelegraph - October 11th, 2020
- $12K Bitcoin price back on the table after BTC rallies above $11.4K - Cointelegraph - October 11th, 2020
- Coinbase's 'Mission' Violates the Spirit of Bitcoin - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 11th, 2020
- Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading here's why it's not yet a big deal - The Conversation UK - October 11th, 2020
- Lyn Alden: Bitcoin Correlations Depend on What Phase It Is In - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 11th, 2020
- UK Bans Sale of Crypto Derivatives to Retail Investors from January 2021 | News - Bitcoin News - October 11th, 2020
- Yearn Finance Token Value Slides 67%, While Locked Value Loses Over $300M | Altcoins - Bitcoin News - October 11th, 2020
- Bitcoin price holds $10.5K but a $30M sell wall looms overhead - Cointelegraph - October 6th, 2020
- Bitcoin To Hit $100,000 in Five Years as Demand and Adoption Increase - Report | Markets and Prices - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- Trump, price dots and COVID-19: 5 things to watch in Bitcoin this week - Cointelegraph - October 6th, 2020
- $8M Worth of 'Sleeping' Bitcoin Rewards from 2010 Moved the Day Before 'Black Thursday' - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- Interest in Bitcoin Soars in Egypt Amid Economic Crisis and Unemployment | News - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- A Major Tesla Investor Has Predicted Bitcoin Will Be Worth More Than $1 Trillion In Under 10 Years - Forbes - October 6th, 2020
- Crypto for Congress: Bitcoin Sent to All Congress Members' Campaigns | News - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- Stacking Satoshis: Leveraging Defi Applications to Earn More Bitcoin | Featured - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- FCA bans the public from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency derivatives - Evening Standard - October 6th, 2020
- Pro-Crypto PAC Giving $50 in Bitcoin to the Campaign of Each Member of Congress - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 6th, 2020
- Ethereum Transaction Fees Fall 82%, as Defi Hype Eases | Altcoins Bitcoin News - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- Crypto for Congress sends $50 in Bitcoin to all US Congress members - Crypto News Flash - October 6th, 2020
- Abkhazia Lifts Two-Year Ban on Bitcoin Mining, Moves to Regulate the Sector | Regulation - Bitcoin News - October 6th, 2020
- Why reduced Bitcoin futures volume may signal the start of a new bull trend - Cointelegraph - October 2nd, 2020
- Market Wrap: Bitcoin Rebounds to $10.5K; Stablecoin Market Cap Goes Parabolic - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 2nd, 2020
- Spike in new participants buying Bitcoin is obviously bullish Analyst - Cointelegraph - October 2nd, 2020
- Romania set to auction Bitcoin and Ether confiscated in criminal case - Cointelegraph - October 2nd, 2020
- Bitcoin Balances on Exchanges at 2-Year Low and That May Be a Bullish Sign - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - October 2nd, 2020
- Venezuela To Start Using Cryptocurrency in Global Trade in Efforts To Fend off US Sanctions | Emerging Markets - Bitcoin News - October 2nd, 2020
- Bitcoin Posts a 66-Day Consecutive Streak Above the $10K Price Range | Markets and Prices - Bitcoin News - October 2nd, 2020
- Aurus Disrupts the Gold Industry Today Its Ecosystem Lists at a Value of $75m | Sponsored - Bitcoin News - October 2nd, 2020
- Satoshi Nakamoto's Peer-to-Peer vision for Bitcoin - Korea IT Times - October 2nd, 2020
- Crypto Bets on the US Election Show Joe Biden Winning the Presidency by 60% - Bitcoin News - October 2nd, 2020
- At $10,600, Bitcoin price is on track for its second-best quarter ever - Cointelegraph - September 30th, 2020
- Devere Group CEO Predicts Bitcoin Can Replace Gold as Top Safe-Haven Within a Generation | Finance - Bitcoin News - September 30th, 2020
- Ex-CEO of Bitcoin.com, a Leading Proponent of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Joins Nodle's Board to Help Develop the Nodle Cash Ecosystem - GlobeNewswire - September 30th, 2020
- Trump, tax and hacks: 5 things shaping Bitcoin price action this week - Cointelegraph - September 30th, 2020
- One of Hal Finney's lost contributions to Bitcoin Core to be 'resurrected' - Cointelegraph - September 30th, 2020
- French police arrest terror financing ring that used Bitcoin coupons - Cointelegraph - September 30th, 2020
- What The IRS's Interest In Your Bitcoins Says About The Future Of Cryptocurrencies - Forbes - September 30th, 2020
- New DeFi Project NEW KANGEN (NEWG) Presale Will Start on 2nd October 2020 | Press release - Bitcoin News - September 30th, 2020
- Token Projects to Recover $130M from the Kucoin Hack, Devs Condemned for Centralization - Bitcoin News - September 30th, 2020
- A Record $1.2 Billion in Bitcoin Has Now Moved to Ethereum - Decrypt - September 30th, 2020
- USDT Trading Arrives on Bitcoin Global - Yahoo Finance - September 30th, 2020
- The Bitcoin Family: Still on the RoadAfter Three Years! - Decrypt - September 30th, 2020
- What REALLY Moves Bitcoin? - Elliott Wave International - September 30th, 2020
- Listen to Calvin Ayre talk about how he found opportunity in Bitcoin - CalvinAyre.com - September 30th, 2020
- Would Bitcoin suffer if the lead maintainers were kidnapped by aliens? - Cointelegraph - September 12th, 2020
- New DeFi Project Xfinance(XFI) ILO Presale Will Start Today | Press release Bitcoin News - Bitcoin News - September 12th, 2020
- Working in the Cryptocurrency Industry as a Woman | Op-Ed Bitcoin News - Bitcoin News - September 12th, 2020
- On-chain data signals increasing Bitcoin activity But theres a catch - Cointelegraph - September 10th, 2020
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are no hedge for inflation - Cointelegraph - September 10th, 2020
- TOP 5 Popular Cryptocurrencies Other than Bitcoin - Analytics Insight - September 10th, 2020
- 'High' Severity Bug in Bitcoin Software Revealed 2 Years After Fix - CoinDesk - Coindesk - September 10th, 2020
- Number of Bitcoin Addresses Holding at Least 1 BTC Hits New ATH - Ethereum World News - September 10th, 2020
- The adjusted on-chain volume of Bitcoin and Ethereum hit a 30-month high in August - Yahoo Finance - September 10th, 2020