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[Thoughts #105] Information (A)symmetry
🏛 PLUS: The White House Speaks
A PSA from the White House
I’m going to copy and paste the TLDR. The bold emphasis is theirs. Sub-bullet points are mine.
Boring for many, but it’s good to know what’s going on high level. Government regulation impacts everyone, even if you aren’t actively involved.
The reports encourage regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), consistent with their mandates, to aggressively pursue investigations and enforcement actions against unlawful practices in the digital assets space.
The reports encourage Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as appropriate, to redouble their efforts to monitor consumer complaints and to enforce against unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices.
We’re getting all the agencies involved, eh? Makes sense for broader consumer protections. Do they understand the space well enough though?
Agencies will encourage the adoption of instant payment systems, like FedNow, by supporting the development and use of innovative technologies by payment providers to increase access to instant payments, and using instant payment systems for their own transactions where appropriate – for example, in the context of distribution of disaster, emergency or other government-to-consumer payments.
Great example of a crypto use case
Agencies will prioritize efforts to improve the efficiency of cross-border payments by working to align global payments practices, regulations, and supervision protocols, while exploring new multilateral platforms that integrate instant payment systems.
Huge business opportunity for companies working on these solutions
The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies will consider further tracking digital assets’ environmental impacts; developing performance standards as appropriate; and providing local authorities with the tools, resources, and expertise to mitigate environmental harms.
This has always been a prevailing argument against crypto and value prop of certain blockchains.
The State Department, Treasury, USAID, and other agencies will explore further technical assistance to developing countries building out digital asset infrastructure and services. As appropriate, this assistance may include technical assistance on legal and regulatory frameworks, evidence-gathering and knowledge-sharing on the impacts, risks, and opportunities of digital assets.
The geopolitical play. The US realizes that there will be a land grab in digital influence vs. other countries. If they establish the guardrails and standards earlier, they will have an advantage.
The Department of Commerce will help cutting-edge U.S. financial technology and digital asset firms find a foothold in global markets for their products.
The geopolitical play isn’t only for the US government. It’s for US commerce (the private sector) as well. 🤑
The President will evaluate whether to call upon Congress to amend the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-tip-off statutes, and laws against unlicensed money transmitting to apply explicitly to digital asset service providers—including digital asset exchanges and nonfungible token (NFT) platforms.
In the US, you need to report bank deposits of >$10k. Will the same apply in the future when it comes to crypto and NFT movements too?
Recognizing the possibility of a U.S. CBDC, the Administration has developed Policy Objectives for a U.S. CBDC System, which reflect the federal government’s priorities for a potential U.S. CBDC.
The beginning of the Digital Dollar? 👀
This is the official beginning of a paradigm shift for the US government. There are still many questions that need to be answered, but one thing’s for sure: Crypto and Web3 is here to stay 😤
What do they know that we don’t?!
This morning I happened to come across this tweet by Vozzy from the Cool Cats community.
Taking a peek at Opensea, holy smokes there has been some marketplace action! The last time there was this much activity in terms ETH volume was during NFT NYC in June.
So why were the VC’s investing? Vozzy continues to pull the thread with their hypothesis.
There are some good points made here. I wasn’t aware that Town Halls were moved to once a month at the end of the month. They used to be every Friday at Noon PST / 3PM EST.
So the fact that there is already an exception from the recently implemented schedule does seem odd.
The speculation continued.
This is possible, and would be exciting if true! The Cool Cats faithful (I am one of them) have been patiently waiting for news on the new CEO for ~5 months since the last one stepped down.
On the other hand…
Which is also a great point. Cool Cats has recently launched an initiative to create comic books for the community, fun stuff.
More importantly, having low (or no) expectations in the world of NFTs is better for our mental health these days.
Now let’s look at the Town Hall announcement:
This gets interesting:
Town Halls have historically been on Fridays, this is on a Wednesday as previously mentioned.
It’s at 8:30AM PST / 11:30AM EST. This departs from the typical 9AM / 12PM time slot. 8:30AM is pretty early for many West coast degens. Or does an earlier time slot maximize the audience to include international Cool Cat holders?
There’s no description of what the Town Hall will be. If it was just about the comic book mint, why do all this? The tweet is also vague, just a ‘Save the Date’
Clon’s (the artist) retweet of the Spaces is equally vague, but he makes it clear that everyone should attend.
Also, why 8:30 AM? Scheduling is almost always at the top of the hour. Is it because it’ll be a quicker 30 minute Twitter Spaces announcement…along with a press release at 9AM/12PM? 🤔
Am I overanalyzing and speculating? ABSOLUTELY, and it’s fun 😂
And it brings up another point in the world of NFTs and Web3.
Many of us strive to create a world that is more fair and equitable. If I were to oversimplify it, the key unlock here is around access.
Access to opportunity, information, resources, etc.
However, that is not the reality in many cases. And when it comes to situations that involve money, it’s all about access. In the Cool Cats case above and many other examples in and outside of the world of Web3, it’s about access to information.
Today’s Publish Press (great newsletter for video creators) piece hit the nail on the head that complements this point. Social media has provided more equitable access to information. And that comes with unintended ripple effects.
The same is true in the world of Web3:
If there is a new blockchain, swarms of people monitor the chain and even use it in the case there is an airdrop (sorta like a crypto stimmy check lol)
BAYC has had multiple instances of large increases in marketplace volume leading up to announcements
Everything ZachXBT does, exposing scammers that should hopefully be in jail in the future.
Where do we see versions of this happening elsewhere outside of Web3?
WSB (Wall Street Bets) - This community of 12.6 million has gained notoriety over the past few years. From Gamestop to Bed Bath and Beyond, the legendary community lives on driven by the motivation for financial gain. I wonder how many BBBY investors have ever shopped at a Bed Bath and Beyond 😂
AngelList Investment Syndicates - A way for individuals to become a VC of sorts. Also financially motivated.
Fan Communities like for brands like Marvel - 1.9 million fans discussing the latest episode of a Marvel show, or speculating about who will appear in the next Marvel movie. Primarily driven by interest.
TMZ - Celebrity News - A mainstay in the celebrity news and gossip world since 2005 and still holding strong. I thought they may have fallen off a bit…but I am wrong. The TMZ brand is strong as ever. Primarily driven by interest as well.
So where does Web3 fall into all this? Financial gain or interest? It can be both.
For example, as a Cool Cat holder I can:
Be genuinely interested in the brand and world of Cooltopia even if the price continues on its slow march to 0
Believe that the brand has a shot at growing from a niche NFT project to a globally beloved universe which would result in some benefit for myself
Cool Cats (and some other NFT brands) can consist of a community of passionate fans and financially motivated holders.
The world of information asymmetry is reduced (maybe only slightly) thanks to the public ledger that is blockchain.
I guess we’ll see what happens on Wednesday with Cool Cats 😸
See you next week!