Book Review

“Mastering the Market Cycle” offers insights into financial rhythms, emphasizing the importance of recognizing market phases for informed investment decisions.

Situation Report

Navigating post-2008, central banks adopted quantitative easing (QE) to boost liquidity and growth. Later, quantitative tightening (QT) aimed to normalize monetary policy. US, ECB, Japan, and India employed varying strategies. QE spurred growth but led to asset inflation, while QT aimed at policy normalization, triggering market volatility and higher interest rates.

Idea Almanac

“Bitcoin ignited the cryptoasset revolution, and its success has led to the birth of numerous other permissionless (public) blockchains with their own native cryptoassets. We also refer to these as bitcoin’s digital siblings. As of March 2017, there were over 800 cryptoassets with a fascinating family tree, accruing to a total network value1 of over $24 billion.2 At the time, bitcoin was the largest and most widely transacted of these assets by a wide margin, with a network value of $17 billion, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the total network value of cryptoassets. The next largest cryptoasset by network value was Ethereum’s ether at over $4 billion. Yes, the numbers have changed a lot since. Crypto moves fast.”

Excerpt From: Chris Burniske & Jack Tatar. “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond.”

Idea Almanac

We have a problem. This is called a consensus failure. The people in the network did not come to consensus on what the state of reality is. Having no better system, they went with majority rule, which led to dishonest people controlling the network and spending money they didn’t have. If we want to make a permissionless system where anyone can participate without asking, then it must also be resilient to dishonest actors. Now we get to solve one of the hardest problems in computer science: distributed consensus between parties where some are dishonest or unreliable. This problem is known as the Byzantine Generals Problem and is the key that Satoshi Nakamoto used to unlock the invention of Bitcoin.

Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind The First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained

Idea Almanac

“They are walking the streets around you, in this city of privilege, the independent district of London, bought and paid for by banking corporations. This enclave is the Vatican of capitalism, a city within a city. Invisible people such as janitors and service professionals making your sandwiches, who don’t have a bank account. Maybe they accept checks or other forms of payment they can’t deposit. They have to convert these forms of payment into cash, that they must carry or hide. Their loans are through payday loan services at exorbitant interest rates. They are charged 10-30% to send money home to their loved ones and support a basic subsistence lifestyle.”

Excerpt From: Andreas M. Antonopoulos. “The Internet of Money Volume Three ‘

Idea Almanac

“Quantitative Easing (QE) often comes up in conversations about fiat currencies, and people describe it as ‘printing money,’ but it is not that simple. QE is a euphemism for an issuing authority (generally a central bank) increasing the amount of fiat money in circulation in order to stimulate a flagging economy. So people worry that this additional money ‘dilutes’ the value of existing money, and this makes people worry about the sustainability of the fiat system. ‘Printing money’ is a poor description for QE. Think about it—if the central bank really ‘printed money’ whether physically or digitally, who would it give it to, and how?”

Excerpt From: Antony Lewis. “The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains.”

Idea Almanac

“Finally, Bitcoin will go through hiccups. It may fail; but then it will be easily reinvented as we now know how it works. In its present state, it may not be convenient for transactions, not good enough to buy your decaffeinated espresso macchiato at your local virtue‐signaling coffee chain. It may be too volatile to be a currency for now. But it is the first organic currency.
But its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object the establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly. This gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy against an Orwellian future.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb ( Forward ) ”

Excerpt From: Saifedean Ammous. “The Bitcoin Standard.”

Idea Almanac

“For most of human history, the world was a dark place. The cost of lighting was so profoundly high that when the sun went down people often just huddled in their shack or hut and waited for dawn. The story of how we got from huddling in the dark to having as much light as we want at the flick of a switch explains a ridiculous amount about the world. It explains why most people on Earth no longer have to worry constantly about starving to death. It explains why most people aren’t subsistence farmers—why we can have a world of people who make their living as personal trainers and HR professionals and plumbers. It explains climate change. It also explains why the amount of money in the world is not fixed, why one person’s gain is not another’s loss”

Excerpt From: Jacob Goldstein. “Money.” – Amazon Link

Idea Almanac

Coinbase would pay a price for its run-and-gun approach. Running through brick walls is a killer tactic—when it works. When it doesn’t, you end up on your ass—with a bloody nose. Coinbase’s earlier bid to outwit Apple, for instance, had been clever. It let the startup flout Apple’s rules by letting customers buy and sell bitcoin directly in its app, all the while keeping the iPhone maker in the dark by disabling the buy-sell feature in the city of Cupertino, where the app was vetted. But it took Apple only a few months to discover the ruse, and Coinbase was tossed unceremoniously from the App Store.”

Excerpt From: Jeff John Roberts. “Kings of Crypto.”

Idea Almanac

“A twenty-nine-year-old kid with shaggy hair lowered himself into the seat behind the desk, placing his backpack by his feet. Good-looking in that California way—though he was originally from Texas—relaxed, though a little bleary eyed, the kid retrieved his Samsung 700Z laptop computer from the backpack, placed it on the desk, and opened the screen. Seconds later, he initiated a Tor connection. An anonymous browser that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy to keep its ships’ communications safe, Tor was now a mostly free service used by people all over the world who wanted to keep their internet activity private. Once the kid’s connection was established, piggybacking over the library’s free Wi-Fi, he opened an encrypted portal to a website that could be found only by those who knew where to look, in the area of the internet known as the dark web, deep beneath the outer layers of the “onion.” Only browsers like Tor, an acronym for the “Onion Router,” could carefully peel it away and find sites like this.”

Excerpt From: Mezrich, Ben. “Bitcoin Billionaires : A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption”