Thoughts on GeminiCoin

Today we learn that Gemini, the exchange owned and operated by the Winklevoss Brothers, has launched a “stablecoin:” The Winklevoss brothers have always structured their affairs for the long run – lawyer-heavy, slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach. Their stablecoin will be interesting to check out, particularly its KYC properties. https://t.co/b5DZbfkktO — Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) September 10, 2018 Some thoughts. 1. This isn’t a stablecoin First, this isn’t an “algorithmic stablecoin” à la Basis, Reserve, MakerDAO, et al., although those schemes will no doubt point to the Winklevoss solution as a vindication of their (deeply flawed) approach to dollar parity. A stablecoin is legit if…

$100 Ether, revisited

Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, Ether, peaked at $1397.48 per coin on 14 January, 2018. Eight months later, Ether is today at $190 per coin. Put differently, Ether has lost 87% of its value since January. This is not something Ethereum’s promoters expected, nor is it the vision they sold, a year ago. Buy the dream A little over a year ago, my longtime acquaintance and philosophical opponent Vinay Gupta wrote a very well-shared piece titled “What does $100 Ether mean?” as the price of Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, Ether, blew through $100 (then $200, then $300… all the way to nearly $1,400). At the…

With crypto, the United Kingdom needs to put its house in order

This is the latest entry in my ICO Mania series of blog posts. The Shapps Incident Speaking as one who has long waited for legislators and regulators to get serious about cryptocurrency and blockchain tech, yesterday’s alleged scandal involving Grant Shapps MP is not only shocking, but it tells me that the state of ICO regulation in the UK is years away from being what it needs to be. For those of you who were living under a rock, Grant Shapps – former co-chair of the British Conservative Party and a member of Parliament in that country – yesterday stepped down from…

3D Printable Guns as Free Speech?

Originally posted on In A Crowded Theater:
Yesterday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed, an organization championing open source code to make guns available to the public, from publishing its blueprints for printing plastic, working 3D guns.  Defense Distributed had posted the code several days earlier, prior to its stated August 1 release, but the code was removed immediately following the restraining order’s issue.  The temporary restraining order was issued after eight states and the District of Columbia sued the State Department for reversing course and settling with Defense Distributed after prohibiting the…

2017-18: a year in marmots

Why are you writing a retrospective of the last year? It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here on the blog. There is a reason for that – yesterday I finished taking the bar exam, so I’ve spent the last ten weeks huddled over a kitchen table, memorizing black-letter law. As it happens, today is a pretty consequential anniversary: one year ago today, I handed in my notice at the startup I co-founded, Monax, to move back home to (a) take care of an ailing parent and (b) attain a professional goal I’ve had ever since I was admitted as…