Published in


9 Takeaways From My Fireside Chat With Messsari CEO Ryan Selkis @ CryptoMondays NYC on 1/27/20

CryptoMondays NYC had the pleasure of hosting Ryan Selkis at last week‘s event. The 45 minute chat, which you can watch in full below, was filled with insights and stories (I had no idea Ryan broke the Mt. Gox story!).

While it’s 45 minutes well spent, I summarize my top nine takeaways below each with their own short clip.

1. Ryan Broke The Mt. Gox Story

Ryan spent 10 months as an independent bitcoin blogger on Tumblr before he joined the Digital Currency Group. It was during that period when he broke the Mt. Gox story on February 24, 2014. It was a nerve wracking 48 hours as Ryan was sent some documents that he was able to authenticate and confirm. Ryan’s going to tell the full story for the first on Charlie Shrem’s podcast “Untold Stories” as he just got permission from his source to give the story.

2. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Announcement In February of 2017 Is What Started The Bull Run

Ryan was there, in Miami, in March 2017, when the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)was formally introduced. The alliance included various blockchain start-ups, research groups, and Fortune 500 companies including Consensys, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Banco Santander, BBVA, Credit Suisse, ING, Intel, Thomson Reuters and UBS. The alliance was, in large part, a way to bridge the public/private blockchain divide. Ryan believes the event was the catalyst to the great bull run of 2017.

The next number of take always relate to Ryan’s awesome Crypto Theses 2020 report, which I thought was the best of the many crypto outlooks I read.

3. Libra’s Morgan Beller Is The “Non Obvious Choice” For The Most Interesting Of Ryan’s 10 People To Watch In Crypto

Ryan talked about the former Andressen Horowitz associate who he believes is the driving force behind all of Facebook’s crypto work. She took the crypto bull by the horn when she joined Facebook in May of 2017, a year before David Marcus left the Messenger group to launch Facebook’s “Blockchain Research Group” (the exact work to be carried out by the new team was unknown). Most of the folks in the industry running projects know who Morgan is and what a driving force she is. For Ryan, Mrogan’s would be the canary in the coal mine if she ever left.

4. Changing The Narrative on Bitcoin Being Digital Gold Could Drive Bitcoin Adoption By Gold Bugs

Ryan believes that the critical narrative everyone should be rallying around is the concept of the gold/digital gold basket and the rotation. Everyone in crypto talks about digital gold in a way that drives gold bugs away. The bugs look at the price gyrations and laugh at the thought of it being a store of value. But Ryan believes that if we change the narrative, and think about bitcoin and gold together as part of the same basket. In other words, if we highlight the similarities between the two, then if you’re in to gold, you should also have some bitcoin. The younger demo likes digital gold a lot more than physical gold, but they like both for the same reason that the older generation does. Ryan believes this narrative could lead to a tidal wave of interest in Bitcoin given the pending generational shift in the ownership of long term assets. Ryan believes this narrative would benefit the entire crypto industry.

5. Ryan Thinks That Zcash Is The Best Positioned Coin To Usher In The Era Of Truly Private Censorship Resistant Commerce

Ryan likes Zcash for philosophical reasons because he thinks the privacy innovation they’ve been able to drive forward has been truly innovative. Some of that tech is also finding its way in to other protocols like Ethereum and Tezos. More importantly, Ryan views Zcash as another “ canary in the coal mine”. As Zcash goes so goes crypto privacy and fungibility. That’s because, today, regulators “allow” Bitcoin to exist because there are companies like Chainalysis and Elliptic that can trace illicit transactions. That will get tougher to do in a world of privacy coins.

Ryan then highlights the flip side, in which enterprises like JP Morgan will only allow customer transactions to go on a public blockchain if they’re private. Zcash is the most likely to usher in the era of truly private censor resistant commerce. Where privacy is the default. Law enforcement can limit illicit actors from exploiting the system by regulating the edges (i.e. the on ramps and off ramps).

6. Crypto M&A Is By Far & Away The Most Important of the Infrastructure Trends Highlighted In The Report

Ryan forecasted that crypto M&A is just getting started, at both the protocol level and exchange level. Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance are all getting increasingly acquisitive. That will continue. Maybe it will include DeFi down the road.

Protocol M&A will also be significant with teams merging or taking other steps to maximize value. As an example, the DigixDAO just voted to liquidate it’s treasury of Eth. explode the protocol and distribute the ETH. It was trading at a discount to the ETH held.

7. Ryan Believes The Halvening, Coming In May, Is The Most Important Of His 10 Bitcoin Trends

Ryan discussed the fact that every time there’s a halvening, it hardens the digital gold narrative. And post this halvening, for the first time, Bitcoin’s issuance inflation rate will fall below the 2% target inflation rate set by the Fed. Ryan thinks that’s a powerful signal to the market that Bitcoin is a store of value (at least a speculative one), as it also gets closer to the 1% increase in gold experienced every year. Again leading to the embracement of the gold/digital gold narrative.

Start 34:52-”I like Eth is money …”; Finish 36:23- “forecasting or budgeting for their development cycles”

8. ETH is Money Is The Most Important Of Ryan’s 10 Ethereum Trends

Ryan thinks of Bitcoin as the reserve currency of a distributed central bank. Ryan thinks Eth is the reserve currency for a distributed investment bank. You had to hold Eth to get in to the ICOs in 2017. Now you need Eth to participate in DeFi. The risk to Eth being money is if any stable coins really gets traction. Ryan is very bullish on Eth with the major question being how they manage the transition to Proof of Stake.

9. Ryan Likes DAI As It Should Have Died

Ryan also really likes DAI due to it’s censor resistance relative to Tether, USDC and other centralized alternatives. Ryan was impressed by the simple fact that DAI survived the 90% downturn in Eth, which should have killed it.

If you got .00001 BTC of value from this post PLEASE “Clap” below (up to 50 times). Thx!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store