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Blog

Why is the East vs West indicator important? : Interview with Nicolas Contasti, Francesco Galati ②

Because it can enable our users to mitigate risk if they are located in a geography that is opposite to where their crypto-assets are having the most activity. For example, if someone in Asia is investing in Litecoin, they should be aware that the distribution of activity is usually disproportionately large towards the West side of the world.If I were to be located in Hong Kong and I was trading or investing in, for example, Litecoin, I would never go to bed without setting a stop-loss or a take-profit order, since I would be more exposed to price variation either very late at night or very early in the morning.
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Why Deflation is Key to an Abundant Future : Interview with Jeff Booth ①

Well, technology is deflationary. Technology provides so much efficiency that it creates deflation. If you look at your cellphone or just about anything technology-driven that you use, you get more for less on an exponential scale. That technology is moving into every single part of our world. So, you would expect prices to be falling as a natural by-product of that while saving our time. We should be getting more for less and have our time expanding, but it doesn't feel like that's happening.
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How did IntoTheBlock start? : Interview with Nicolas Contasti, Francesco Galati ①

IntoTheBlock (ITB) is the result of a macro thesis formulated by our founder and CEO Jesus Rodriguez. Jesus has a long career in technology and finance. Having been a distinguished engineer at Microsoft and later built quant systems for major hedge funds on Wall Street, he has a deep understanding of the intersection of financial markets and tech. His main thesis was (and still is) that crypto products should be intelligent-first products, that is, powered by artificial intelligence. If traditional financial markets are evolving towards AI-first products, why shouldn’t crypto, the first natively digital asset class, do the same?
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The Norm of Expressing Value : Interview with Santiago Velez Block Digital Corporation ①

All of us were born into a society that has its norms around how you express value. The final distillation of those norms is our currency. As we grow up, we're conditioned to assess the relative price of things like for example a gallon of milk, groceries, a car, a home, etc. in our native currency. We take that expression or conditioning for granted and don't think that there's anything else to it until occasionally we get a glimpse of it when we go to another country. When you spend some time there, you struggle to understand whether what you're paying for is really worth it because the value proposition isn’t intuitively clear. And, it's that uncomfortableness that offers a little glimpse into what I think is really going on. I wasn't as interested in Bitcoin because I didn't see it as relevant for me being in the United States as we have a very mature payment structure. Those problems are largely solved for us, so we don't often find a need for entering into another money network. It wasn’t until much later that I started exploring the monetary system that it became clear what the latest narrative of Bitcoin was attempting to solve for, namely the unaccountability of central banking on our collective purchasing power.
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What is a good wallet? : Interview with Dave Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Services ②

You’re looking for a wallet that has a good team behind it and a solid track record for stability and security. Having said that though, it's tricky for someone to try figuring out on their own whether a wallet has had a lot of person-hours put into building a great secure wallet or if it is something somebody just threw together. Often if you’re investing on the cutting edge of new coins and new blockchains you won’t have too much of a wallet choice, but I would recommend entering those waters carefully and being aware of the risks. If you’re investing in more mainstream coins read some reviews and choose a wallet that has been around for a while and is used by many.
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Is inflation currently happening? : Interview with David Andolfatto Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ②

We haven’t seen inflation, at least not yet. Some people complain that the government statistics are bogus. But the privately-operated Billion Prices Project shows inflation that is consistent with government measures. Whether inflation becomes a problem in the future, we’ll have to wait and see. Certainly, the forecast is for a transitory increase in the rate of inflation as the economy re-opens from the pandemic. 
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What is the recovery success rate? : Interview with Dave Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Services ①

The customer is involved mostly in the initial stages of the recovery, providing me the wallet information and their password ideas. There are some wallets where only the owner can approve certain actions, so I need the cooperation of the customer. That is a nice feature of wallets such as blockchain.com and others with 2FA, where users will receive an email or text asking them “do you approve of this recent activity?”. For the password ideas, some customers have made their own lists of attempts they’ve made, and this can be a very helpful starting point. For some more esoteric wallet formats I’ve had customers do their own research into how I can add support for that wallet type, which has been quite helpful in more than a few cases.
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Is Bitcoin a new revolution? : Interview with David Andolfatto Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ①

A lot of young people think this FinTech is very revolutionary, but this revolution is just a part of an ongoing evolution in database management systems. When I first went to Italy with my mother in 1971, I was 10 years old. I remember before we went on this trip from Vancouver to Italy, we had to get a telephone book and look for Thomas Cook or American Express (offices). We needed to obtain a traveler’s cheque to be able to exchange Canadian dollars for Italian Lira.
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Do people demand more dollars? : Interview with Andy Edstrom ②

With respect to consumer price inflation, there is a question of people's demand for money. People do demand more money because they want to hoard more money when they are nervous about their prospects. Amidst a pandemic, when there's a good chance you're going to lose, it's more likely you're going to hold on to your cash because you can't be as confident about collecting a paycheck. However, if the money you are holding is losing value, people start to realize they are losing purchasing power so they will cease to want to hold it at some point. Because humans are herd animals and pay attention to what their neighbors are doing, they will replicate their neighbor’s actions. So, when the government creates massive amounts of money, and suddenly people stop hoarding that money and try to dump it at the same time, it will be a problem the government cannot clean up.
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Why Buy Bitcoin : Interview with Andy Edstrom ①

I wrote it for a few reasons. One of the reasons was to educate my clients. I am a financial adviser and a wealth manager, so I invest money for clients to earn them a rate of return. I encountered Bitcoin for the third time in 2017. I had ignored it the first two times, but the third time, I recognized it as perhaps the most attractive investment I would ever come across in my lifetime. So, I felt that I had to explain it to friends, family, my clients, and other people.
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How did your views on Mr. Trump change? : Interview with Anthony Scaramucci ②

I was a Republican fundraiser, and that was something I liked to do. I was always involved in politics one way or another during my adult life, but I didn’t see myself as becoming more active in politics. However, when President Trump won, I was with Jeb Bush prior to his decision to depart from the race. I had a relationship with Mr. Trump prior to that. We were acquaintances, so I worked for him for about a year on the campaign.
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How is the concept of money changing today? : Interview with Anthony Scaramucci ①

I know a lot about the recent Robinhood incident. I have been on Wall Street for 33 years, so one of the first things I learned at Goldman Sachs is how trades settle, what the margin requirements are for, etc. There is a regulatory body called the DTC, Depository Trust Corporation, which handles the flow of trading and the clearing of trades for the international marketplace, but specifically Wall Street. When trades were going on in GameStop around the last week of January 2021, this was what happened: let’s say I buy the stock for 50 dollars, and after a while, the stock price goes to 75 dollars, so I ask Robinhood for a margin to buy more stock with it. Then the stock price goes up even more, and I buy even more stock with that margin, and you could be in a situation where Robinhood is lending 250 dollars per share on GameStop.
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Bitcoin and Judaism : Interview with Michael Caras

I started by giving a presentation to synagogues, youth groups and college students called Bitcoin and Judaism. In a presentation session, I go through the Jewish Bible, the Torah, and talk about what the religious, legal, ethical perspectives of money are, and connect that to how bitcoin can be the next step for further evolution. In the Bible, animals, silver, gold, jewelry, etc. are described as different forms of money at a certain period in ancient history. In recent years, this has developed as fiat currency, and now is further developing again with digital currencies. Everybody has a general idea of what they think money is, but most haven't put it all together: they don't know why credit cards are money.
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Wider Horizons for Game Features : Interview with Samson Mow Pixelmatic CEO

Infinite Fleet is an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) strategy game that uses a dual token model. It is being developed by Pixelmatic and published by Exordium. The dual token model means we have a security token (EXO) to raise capital, and a utility token (INF) in the game that is meant to be the game currency akin to World of Warcraft gold. The INF utility token is not sold, but rather the players earn it by playing the game. We want to bring more mainstream crypto asset adoption, and we think INF can accomplish that. Infinite Fleet is a major title with a team of veteran developers – what we deliver can rival games like EVE, StarCraft, or Star Citizen.
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Why is Bitcoin better than the central bank? : Interview with Robert Breedlove ②

Every function that the central bank provides—facilitating international value flows, reconciling account balances, and maintaining monetary policy—involves an army of humans to accomplish. The federal reserve alone has 20 000 people working, there are probably another 200 000 people that follow their movements very closely trying to figure out what the federal reserve will do next, so they can communicate that information to the broader market. Bitcoin satisfies and provides all the aforementioned functionalities of the central bank with distributed software.
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“Short the Bankers, Long Bitcoin” : Interview with Scott Melker ②

They say that Bitcoin is used for criminal activity, but nothing has been used for such activity more than the US dollar. And the banks know about it. To me, something like the FinCEN news story was like someone telling me “guess what, the sky is blue and water is wet!” We know that banks assist criminal enterprise and that governments are involved as well. There is a reason that Bitcoiners say “Short the bankers, Long Bitcoin” as Anthony Pompliano stated. Banks are corrupt. The whole banking system structure is meant to enrich the wealthy and hold down and discriminate against the poor.
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America’s 401K : Interview with Lyn Alden ③

401K is a type of account that you can use to hold investments. Decades ago, companies used to offer pensions, but that changed. Over time, they started shifting to 401K. This account is a system account offered by an employer for an employee. An employee can put a percentage of their income into 401K from their paycheck, and it will not be taxed. Usually, the employer matches that; if the employee puts 5 % of his or her paycheck in, the employer will also put 5% up to a certain time. Now, that money will be put in a vehicle where it will be tax-advantaged, and you can invest in equities, bonds, ETFs, etc., depending on what kind of asset class is being offered.
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Layered Structure of the Monetary System : Interview with Nik Bhatia ①

Gold and silver have been used as money by human beings for thousands of years, but in the 13th century, some city republics in northern Italy, such as Florence and Venice, issued a gold coin by their mint that had been changed to purity. This was unprecedented and such an event had never happened before where a coin had such stability and a government didn't devalue the currency like it had done in the past, such as during the Roman Empire and the Greek city-states. Because of the stability of the Gold Florin, the coin of Florence, and also the gold Ducat in Venice, this new class of merchant bankers started to issue promises to pay Florin and Ducat.
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Evolution of Games : Interview with Sebastien Borget The Sandbox ②

People have been connecting through games for decades. Many players would try to farm content and sell rare items for real money, but they were limited by what the developers allowed them to do. It was more of a white and black market and not creating a real legitimate opportunity. However, we are taking the opposite approach; we are embracing the idea of opening the doors to the virtual world and encouraging the players to create and trade the content. We hope that we will unlock more value for players and creators, and the gaming industry in general by increasing conversion as the 4th industrial revolution is progressing.
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What determines the price? : Interview with Ki Young Ju CryptoQuant CEO ①

We have many unique indicators using or on-chain data. For example, the Estimated Leverage Ratio shows all the derivatives exchanges' open interest divided by their BTC reserve on that exchange. The value of this graph goes down, which is an indication that people are trading with low leverage. As you can see from the graph below, the estimated leverage ratio has decreased, meaning that people have opened their positions with low leverage. Leveraged trading is the use of borrowed funds with a contractually determined return to increase the ability of a business to invest and earn an expected higher return. A lower ratio of leverage means that companies operating or traders are generating enough revenue to grow their assets through profits.