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Crypto Long & Short: The Christmas Poem Edition

Looking back on the year in bitcoin and crypto, with rhymes.



Dec 27, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. UTC

(Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Crypto Long & Short: The Christmas Poem Edition

In a departure from our usual Crypto Long & Short format, in honor of the holiday season, I’ve written a poem that reviews the year and reflects some of the progress made in our industry. It’s not rigorous analysis, but I hope the change in rhythm lightens the festive period.

Go ahead and laugh, but may I say in my defense that “good at rhymes” was not in my original job description.

<clears throat>

A Cryptomas Rhyme

‘Twas the day after Christmas. Instead of some rest

I decided to review how we had progressed.

Bitcoin as “safe haven” attracted attention.

The ructions in March did much to dispel

The “safe haven” myth as all prices fell.

“Black Thursday” also highlighted the danger

Of too much leverage. But things would get stranger.

We all soon grew aware of the threat of a new

Type of virus that spread. It was not “just the flu.”

As April drew round, we saw a new correlation

Between bitcoin and stocks, and a dip in inflation

As spending dried up. But the biggest shock

Was a negative oil price from way too much stock

And not enough storage. Uncertainty spread

As markets digested the changes ahead.

The official response to the looming crash

In incomes and output was to print more “cash.”

The ballooning supply of fiat to spend

Was in sharp contrast to a cap that won’t bend.

And with perfect timing did the network remind

Us that every four years the new issue declined.

Highlighted supply rules we can’t circumvent.

The spread of the virus could not be stopped.

Nor could the rise of the prices of stocks

That used tech to help people weather the shocks

Of a new way of working and seeing their friends,

In spite of the cuts in yields and dividends.

The summer saw two new trends gather speed:

Services to satisfy institutional need

And decentralized finance had surprises in store:

Of the platforms that had names that would become

Memes of their own. Sushi, pizza and YAMs

While many delivered, it seems some were scams.

With part of the U.S. fighting fire after fire

As August dragged on, stock markets climbed higher.

In October, the bitcoin price started to rise

And a looming election pushed stress to new highs.

PayPal’s support for transacting in some

Crypto assets meant mainstream adoption could come.

More well-known investors came out in defense

Of a bitcoin stake held as a hedge – it made sense

In the face of the risk of growing inflation

And currency woes that could lead to stagnation.

In December, bitcoin’s correlation to gold

Has fallen almost to zero, as new narratives unfold

And the bitcoin price enters a new paradigm.

As I write this verse, it continues to climb

Toward new all-time highs. Now, I do not know

Where it goes from here, but the inflows do show

With so much going on, there is more I could say,

But this poem is already way too long, yet

I can’t leave without urging us not to forget

That the year has been hard for so many out there.

And although there is hope, we should still be aware

Of the need to be kind, and to take care

Of our health, and our loved ones. For always somewhere

There is someone whose day could be brightened with sharing

A bit of compassion, affection and caring.

With that, dear readers, I bid you good cheer!

Happy Holidays, and have a hopeful New Year.


Crypto fund manager Bitwise has liquidated the XRP position it held in its Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was suing the company Ripple, which maintains 55 billion XRP in escrow and releases 1 billion every month, for what it deems a years-long unregistered offering of securities. TAKEAWAY: It is not clear that the suit will prevail, as Ripple is claiming that XRP falls outside of federal securities laws. Nevertheless, it is a big deal even for investors that have no interest in XRP, since the ripple effect (sorry) of the regulatory action will touch exchanges that list the token as well as funds that hold it, such as the Bitwise product. It will also further the conversation over what is and isn’t a security, clarity which will be welcomed by the industry as a whole. At time of writing, the XRP price is 40% lower than its price a week ago.

Source: CoinDesk XRP price page

Anthony Scaramucci’s hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, which manages approximately $9.2 billion worth of assets, filed a Form D with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for what appears to be its first bitcoin-only fund. SkyBridge has already invested $25 million in this fund, which will open to new investors in early January. According to Scaramucci, MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor was the inspiration for the fund. Scaramucci also said that SkyBridge is running a full bitcoin node. TAKEAWAY: The Saylor connection is interesting in that it shows the contagion power of high-profile conviction. And you don’t often hear of institutional investors getting as deeply involved as to run a node.

Here’s a good article by JP Koning on how we applaud the entrance of institutional investors into the market, but we tend to oversimplify why they’re investing.

Mogo, a Canadian fintech listed on the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges, has announced it will make a corporate investment of up to CA$1.5 million (US$1.16 million) in bitcoin, and will consider additional purchases over 2021. TAKEAWAY: I really hope we aren’t witnessing the beginning of a trend in which companies announce bitcoin interest so their share price will go up. I just fail to see the sense in announcing a massive buy before you do it – isn’t part of a company’s obligation to its shareholders to ensure it gets the best price for its acquisitions?

The original bitcoin-buying corporation, MicroStrategy, has invested all of the proceeds of its $650 million debt issuance into 29,646 more bitcoin, at an average unit price of $21,925. The business intelligence firm now has 70,470 BTC worth over $1.596 billion in its treasury reserve. TAKEAWAY: Now this makes sense, announcing after the buy has been completed. Many companies will no doubt have noticed the MicroStrategy share price performance since it dove headfirst into cryptocurrency – this could well encourage others to dive in, and not necessarily for ideological or even investment thesis reasons.

Source: Google




World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona under its pilot project.



Sweden’s Riksbank said it would continue work with Accenture on a potential e-krona digital currency until next year.

(Mario Ortiz/Shutterstock)

Feb 17, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. UTC

World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

The world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, is to extend its pilot project for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) for another 12 months.

According to a press release on Friday, the project, which is being carried out with assistance from professional services firm Accenture, will run until February 2022.

The Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona “as a complement to cash,” with the primary objective being for the bank to increase its knowledge around the technology.

For 2021, the institution will continue developing its potential digital currency offering with a focus on performance and scalability. Testing offline functions and bringing external participants into the test environment is also on the table.

The project has raised some concerns from Sweden’s commercial banking sector over the viability of a sovereign CBDC and how that would impact the entire banking system.

There is no final decision over the issuance of the e-krona despite strong lobbying from the central bank to government last year. But with traditional cash seeing falling use, even more so during the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has been mulling a switch to the CBDC.

However, questions still remain over the digital currency’s ultimate design and underlying technology, according to Friday’s release.



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Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?

Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure on the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining fits.



Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the US power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and it’s ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.

In this episode of ‘On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,’ Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.

The greatest number of people living in poverty are children, we need to change that. If you can, get involved and give back to Love and Light. I appreciate you!

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Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage- CoinDesk

The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.



The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Feb 13, 2021 at 2:10 a.m. UTCUpdated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:18 a.m. UTC

Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a little-noticed report by the World Economic Forum, host of the annual gathering of muckety-mucks in Davos, Switzerland.

In a passage buried on page 23 of the December 2020 report, Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

Big banks are now announcing plans to enter crypto custody on an almost daily basis, with Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank, joining the party earlier this week.

U.S. banks were given some regulatory clarity thanks to last year’s interpretation letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In Germany, firms are queuing up to get their hands on special crypto custody licenses from the country’s regulator, BaFIN.

Deutsche, the world’s 21st largest bank, said it aims to “ensure the safety and accessibility of assets for clients by offering an institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.” No specific cryptocurrencies or tokens are mentioned.

The digital asset custody platform would be launched in stages. It would eventually provide clients with the ability to buy and sell digital assets via a partnership with prime brokers (which act sort of like concierges for hedge funds), issuers and vetted exchanges.

The bank says it would also provide “value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.”

The service would be aimed at asset managers, wealth managers, family offices, corporates and digital funds, the bank said.

In terms of a business model, the bank would start out collecting custody fees, it said, later charging fees for tokenization and trading.

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021, while exploring global client interest for a pilot initiative.

The bank’s press office could not be reached for comment Friday evening. A spokesperson had declined to comment on potential plans for a digital asset custody business when contacted last week by CoinDesk.



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