sufi

lala
Especially when 99% of the retail investor base has no understanding whatsoever of what they’re investing in.

Makes it really easy for aggressive marketing to fill the vacuum and paint very attractive pictures. Sometimes that’s literally all it takes: attractive graphic design, and a bunch of bots in a telegram thread to give the appearance of popularity.
the only thing that is intrinsically different or connected to crypto tech is the cloud of misunderatsnding that obscures simple bad managament and greedy liars on FTX/ALameda - the assumption that finance will work differently becos blockchain is a lucrative fallacy for grifters, or am i oversimplifying?

i suppose one distinctive factor could be the speed of the rise and fall - how would that compare to, say, tulips in 1637?
 

sufi

lala
I'm totally unsurprised that 99+% of retail investors have/had little to zero idea of what they're getting into. Most people barely understand stocks and bonds, let alone the abstruse nonsense of crypto. Not surprised about legislators and regulators either. They're mostly old and not technical, or in the case of regulators not technical in the right way to understand crypto.

I'm more surprised by the seemingly complete inability of institutional investors - nominally smart $ - to distinguish between good and bad investments, but then again smart $ proved completely unable to make that distinction about MBS and credit swaps etc in the leadup to 2008 so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising.
and FTX didnt have a bank account for investors to deposit in, so Alameda recived the deposits, and never transferred them over to FTX - they double counted and then used one to back the other,
very basic
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
It pains me to share it, but there's an argument that FTX malfeasance explains why NFTs exploded in the same timeframe
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
the only thing that is intrinsically different or connected to crypto tech is the cloud of misunderatsnding that obscures simple bad managament and greedy liars on FTX/ALameda - the assumption that finance will work differently becos blockchain is a lucrative fallacy for grifters, or am i oversimplifying?
i suppose one distinctive factor could be the speed of the rise and fall - how would that compare to, say, tulips in 1637?
That assumption applies more to DeFi, but yeah it’s still naive. For investors/depositors who don’t understand the difference between centralized and decentralized crypto finance, yeah the argument of blockchain transparency can instill a false confidence in a centralized platform like FTX.

A lot of the fraudulent practices of these big exchanges, EG front-running the traders on their platform, are probably even worse with crypto than with traditional institutions, because crypto markets are live 24/7, are understood by few, and are still largely unregulated.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The widespread lack of understanding is what enables the tulip mania phenomenon, where the primary reason Alice thinks an asset is valuable is because she thinks everyone else thinks it’s valuable. Now I also think this is largely how value and meaning work at large, but when it comes to asset valuation in particular, if there is nothing more tangible to serve as a basis for valuation, all we’re left with is bubble conditions.

Here even technically literate people can have a tough time discerning the value of these assets, what with all the mania and noise. So naturally price discovery is even more impossible when the majority of traders don’t even know what a wallet is, or that the wallets provided by custodial platforms aren’t really wallets but accounts (“omnibus wallets” apparently).
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
It pains me to share it, but there's an argument that FTX malfeasance explains why NFTs exploded in the same timeframe
I’m not certain, but I’d suspect that the FTX insolvency is ultimately more of a consequence of the larger market downturn, more than vice versa. I say this because I think one of the main factors for FTX was that they were going about loans using their FTT token, which depreciated along with virtually every other crypto asset and compromised their solvency. Not sure if they were actually giving out loans in FTT, or if they were taking out loans against FTT, or both.
 

Leo

Well-known member
The widespread lack of understanding is what enables the tulip mania phenomenon

the other thing that enables it is the existence of people dedicated to taking the money of those with widespread lack of understanding. some are scam artists, some are legit financial entities.
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
SBF would never have the gumption to skydive tripping, think about that @Clinamenic , fragility and risk

There’s more to be gleamed in life hurtling to Earth from a plane on acid than hurtling to Earth because your house of code cards finally collapsed

Also, lol

48FE6214-235D-4497-BA8D-6A528F732972.jpeg
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
one of my favorite things in the Sequoia profile - and there are so many, it is a truly amazing document - is its description of FTX's Bahamas office, which sounds like Jonestown for crypto nerds, and its living space at a resort called Albany, which sounds your typical fortified ultramodern luxury housing development crossed with the kind of outlandish Spenglerian building projects you see in the oil emirates
I'm going to have to read this now, aren't I?

Anyone catching up on longtermism? I almost didn't want to read about it. I don't know how much more I can take, with fucking Musk all over Twitter, another bizarro ideology for superrich tech bros. This shit starts just to get depressing at some point: starter thread here:
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
And this piece:

Maybe I have less energy these days but I don't really want to understand this stuff, I just want to club these people to fucking death
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Re-reading this piece and flashing back to that Tyler Cowen interview where SBF was talking about being a utilitarian.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
both of the Forbes pieces are solid, as well as the piece @luka posted about the extremely shady relationships between FTX, Celsius, and Tether

the fawning in-house Sequoia Capital piece linked in the Ellison profile is a fascinating look into SBF/FTX at their zenith/the moment before its total collapse, a bizarre and tonally jarring mix of unabashed hero worship (the tone is very "is SBF a genius, or is he the greatest genius who's ever lived?") and a perhaps unintentionally surreal litany of details about the intersection of crypto startup culture, the cult of effective altruism, and lifestyles of the rich and famous ca. 2022

That Sequoia piece is something else. Everyone should read it, regardless of whether you're interested in crypto personalities it should hive you a good laugh. When it describes one of the Sequoia staff as "a young gun" for example.

Not long before interning at Jane Street, SBF had a meeting with Will MacAskill, a young Oxford-educated philosopher who was then just completing his PhD. Over lunch at the Au Bon Pain outside Harvard Square, MacAskill laid out the principles of effective altruism (EA). The math, MacAskill argued, means that if one’s goal is to optimize one’s life for doing good, often most good can be done by choosing to make the most money possible—in order to give it all away. “Earn to give,” urged MacAskill.

And this idea (I know we have a thread on it already) that these guys are morally obliged to get as rich as possible as quickly as possible... shoulda probably been a warning sign.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Among Wall Street’s financial elite, SBF’s Bitcoin arb is mentioned in the same hushed tones as Paul Tudor Jones’s 1987 shorting of the entire American economy, or George Soros’s 1992 raid on the Bank of England, or John Paulson’s 2008 bet against subprime mortgages. Among Wall Street’s financial elite, SBF’s Bitcoin arb is mentioned in the same hushed tones as Paul Tudor Jones’s 1987 shorting of the entire American economy, or George Soros’s 1992 raid on the Bank of England, or John Paulson’s 2008 bet against subprime mortgages.

HOLY SHIT! This is absolutely wild. Only two paragraphs in!
 
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