Outlier Ventures Weekly Brief Issue #57 View Online

3 stories that caught my eye this week. All of which feed into my confirmation bias. I wonder if there are 3 stories this week that we could find to feed a narrative of the blockchain markets continued demise? To quote from Thucydides because quoting classics is cool again:

“For it is a habit of humanity to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.”

1.  The World Economic Forum released a report on Central Bank Digital Currencies
“As policy‐makers navigate this process, they should consider how CBDC may introduce new capabilities that support regulatory goals while also introducing new risks or compliance vulnerabilities. CBDC could potentially be used as a tool to achieve policy objectives such as improved safety and resilience in payments systems; increased efficiency, access and competitiveness of payments systems; better data transmission and reporting to central banks; and financial inclusion. The achievement of these goals with CBDC must be evaluated in the full context of the associated trade‐offs and risks that CBDC may entail.”

CBDCs are a legitimate policy instrument and now a legitimate blockchain use case that many an event panel can be based around.
2. Seamless fiat-to-crypto-to-fiat to take over Transferwise? 

“Jack Dorsey’s financial services company Square has won a U.S. patent for a new network that allows seamless crypto-to-fiat transactions. The technology would allow a sending party to pay in any currency while allowing the receiving party to be paid in any currency by converting the sender’s currency into the currency specified by the receiver. According to Coindesk, the patent suggests the system could be extended to add support for other asset classes including securities, derivatives or loans.”

According to The Block, Square accounts for $148 million in quarterly bitcoin sales in Q3 2019, up 20% on a quarter by quarter basis. Cash App is also the fastest growing mobile app in the US in 2019. In terms of market positioning, something like Cash App with a huge and fast-growing user base

3. The long-awaited ETF?

According to Messari, Grayscale, the DCG-owned asset manager had previously filed a Form 10 with the SEC back in November in order to become an SEC reporting company, a first for a crypto index fund, and something that will open up access to the trust for a wider audience of accredited investors. Ryan Selkis is thinking we are 12-18 months away from a Bitcoin ETF. 

The way I see it: government and banking on-ramps, consumer-friendly on-ramps, institution-friendly on-ramps. All of these are signals, not products. None of this is about to hit the market, but all strong signs that a market is coming. Next week I am going to share 3 negative stories for balance and we can compare. 


From The Stack

  • Fetch.AI is working alongside Warwick Business School to use agents to reduce electricity consumption by 13-18% using machine learning - Link
  • Ocean Protocol has begun releasing newsletters. Sign up for it to stay updated on progress from the team -  Link
  • Dean Tribble from Agoric released a blog post exploring how payments liveness is maintained by Zoe - Link
  • Summary of Golem's recent AMA is now up on their subreddit - Link
  • Chainlink will soon be providing off-chain price data feeds to Alkemi's open finance prime brokeage platform - Link
  • Golem's latest release named Brass Golem Beta 0.22.0 is now out  - Link
What The Team Is Reading
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