What am I looking at these days....

in LeoFinancelast month (edited)


Playing the crypto investment game can be quite bewildering. First there is the problem of trillions of different tokens and projects all blasting off buzzwords like blockchain, immutable, decentralised, uncensorable and all of that mess of nonsense. Then there is our own perception of what is truly going to be ground-breaking and fundamental as far as usage of cryptocurrencies is concerned. After all, all of this new frontier is an attempt to replace what is currently in place, working but not at best efficiency. That said, different doesn't always mean better!

It is all too easy to get caught up in the hype of the day, and be swept along by the idea that a particular use case is THE revolutionary thing... just because everyone else is saying it, and price goes up! However, by this time... when everyone is jumping onboard, that is the time that you are WAY too late to the party.

For instance, DeFi and NFTs (or for maximal hype, DeFi AND NFTs!). There was a time when all of this was groundbreaking and revolutionary, and getting your feet wet would have brought about some pretty eye-watering returns. Now, it is just a dangerous place for scammers and shysters to pick the pockets of the unwary. Sure, there will be platforms that are worthwhile and that will develop into something extraordinary, but the noise is impossible to filter!

Generally, I'm trying to look a bit ahead of what is in fashion. Mostly, that is because I'm a hyper-cautious person (and just not very fashionable anyway...), and I'm scared by all the noise and hype. Its funny, sometimes after helping out someone with a problem in a Telegram chat, they will try to "reward" me with a "hot tip". Thanks... but no thanks! LOL, if you don't know how to properly send a crypto transaction so that it reaches the right address on the right network, I'm not sure that you will be a font of good investment advice! (and there have been some hilariously bad hot tips...).

With all the new people and institutions coming onboard, I'm mostly interested in looking at privacy use cases. This includes privacy stores of value, but also protocols that mask transactions on existing blockchains. I think at some point, people are going to realise that chain-analysis is a real thing, and unless you have 100% opsec you are going to be linked with your transactions. A weird string of numbers is NOT privacy, it is only pseudo-anonymous, just like a made up email address. I think that some people that the Hex representation of their WiFi password is secure because it looks complicated... despite the fact that it just encodes "password123" when in human-readable format.

So, this would be data privacy via encryption and obfuscation. Something that most blockchains currently don't have built in as a fundamental consideration, so there are projects that are harnessing this gap and trying build into the niche. The benefit is that it would be platform agnostic, and it doesn't mean that you need to pick the winning underlying blockchain.

Linked to this is the idea of identity management, that you can selectively release information about yourself to services that actually require it. Or better still, the service can query and receive a yes/no without any actual personal data changing hands.

Interoperability is something that I've been keen on for quite sometime as well. Although, with the rise of smart chain platforms that are really starting to make up ground on Ethereum, this might start to be the next hyped up area. Bridges are starting to pop up here and there, but they seem like temporary measures. I would be more keen on something more fundamental.

Screenshot 2021-04-02 17.17.17.png

... and finally, speaking of Ethereum. With all the hype around newer blockchains, it is pretty easy to lose sight of the dominance that Ethereum still has in the smart contract and DeFi space. It is much like those who try and make equivalences between Bitcoin and altcoins. Yes, in the future it might flip, but things are not even close at the moment!

That said, alternatives to Ethereum are gaining ground... so, there is much riding on Ethereum 2.0 getting off the ground! A huge early lead can quickly disappear!

Business orientated blockchains are also of interest to me. Sure, the entire ethos of crypto is in the public blockchains, but there are still applications for private blockchains. This echos the idea of the last bull run, when people were all talking about institutional investors getting in... and they never came (until recently). It wasn't about them being scared or old-fashioned, it was more to do with the fact that they were more bound by fiduciary duty and regulation. They couldn't just dump money into Bitcoin without due process! Now, the path is clearer for them... and I would expect some further interest in the public-private blockchain area which would aim for a different balance of centralisation and decentralisation.

Mostly, I think that people say that they want complete decentralisation... but they actually want someone to handle their complaints and problems as well!

Finally, I'm still looking out for a project that will launch a capital efficient crypto-native stablecoin. Current options all have their drawbacks, and I think that the project that manages to do this will have really nailed the currency of the future!

So, I think that I'm more interested in the plumbing and infrastructure possibilities of our new toys. The specific projects and applications are probably where the flashy money will go... but I do prefer investing in the backbone. Boring but really really important!

Handy Crypto Tools

Ledger Nano S/X: Keep your crypto safe and offline with the leading hardware wallet provider. Not your keys, not your crypto!
Binance: My first choice of centralised exchange, featuring a wide variety of crypto and savings products.
Kucoin: My second choice in exchanges, many tokens listed here that you can't get on Binance!
Coinbase: If you need a regulated and safe environment to trade, this is the first exchange for most newcomers!
Crypto.com: Mixed feelings, but they have the BEST looking VISA debit card in existence! Seriously, it is beautiful!
CoinList: Access to early investor and crowdsale of vetted and reserached projects.
Cointracking: Automated or manual tracking of crypto for accounting and taxation reports.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

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