Happy Birthday Buterin 🥳
Vitalik Buterin turns 30, reflects on crypto's evolution. Fed Chair dampens hopes of rate cuts, crypto markets react. Tether's impressive Q4 earnings and Su Zhu's "enjoyable" prison experience.
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Vitalik Buterin just celebrated his 30th birthday.
Buterin dropped an essay diving into crypto's roots and its journey since Bitcoin's inception.
“A person’s identity is always tied to their role in the broader world that they are operating in, and over a decade, not only does a person change but so does the world around them.”
Read the essay: The end of my childhood
Why do we love him?
Created Ethereum with the vision of a "world computer" to solve real-world problems.
Began writing about Bitcoin in 2011 and co-founded Bitcoin Magazine.
Co-developed quadratic voting.
Donated $1 billion worth of SHIB to India's Covid relief.
Criticised Russia's actions against Ukraine.
Focuses on practical applications of AI and blockchain.
Coined terms like the blockchain "trilemma" and more.
Regularly writes, speaks, and engages in discussions about the future of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology.
Maintains a light-hearted persona.
What's his little story?
Vitalik's saying let's not forget about the power of crypto to make finance better for people who don't have enough of it.
He's all for pushing harder to make sure crypto serves the underserved.
Vitalik dreams of crypto doing more than just money stuff.
Thanks to its global and decentralised crew, he reckons crypto has what it takes to tackle real-world problems, especially in places where it's needed most.
Rather than just focusing on money, or being an "internet of value", I argued that the Ethereum community should expand its horizons. We should create an entire decentralised tech stack - a stack that is independent from the traditional Silicon Valley tech stack to the same extent that eg. the Chinese tech stack is - and compete with centralised tech companies at every level.
Vitalik Dives into AI
In his latest blog, Vitalik's all about how AI could jam with blockchain. AI is not just a tool; its role would be “as a player in a game.”
4 ways to converge AI and Blockchain according to Buterin:
“I look forward to seeing more attempts at constructive use cases of AI in all of these areas, so we can see which of them are truly viable at scale,” he concluded.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
“Inflation would delay Fed rate cuts.”
Jerome Powell just threw cold water on any hopes of interest rate cuts come March.
“I don’t think it’s likely that the committee will reach a level of confidence by the time of the March meeting to identify March as the time to [cut], but that’s to be seen,” Powell stated.
Market Mood Swing: The news didn't sit well with the markets. Bitcoin took a slide, dropping 2.30%. Other major cryptocurrencies weren't spared either, with ETH, ADA, DOT, and notably Solana's SOL, experiencing drops between 3% to over 6%.
The S&P 500 and even gold, everyone's favourite safe haven, weren't immune to the downturn, both marking their own retreats.
With rate cuts seemingly off the menu, investors are scrambling to rejig their portfolios, bracing for higher interest rates.
TTD Argentina 🇦🇷
Argentina's President Javier Milei has decided to take cryptocurrency taxes off the table in the latest draft of a comprehensive reform package.
The "Ley Ómnibus," initially packed with a variety of reforms including a clause on undeclared assets like cryptocurrencies, is undergoing a trim.
Simplified Legislative Focus: The government prioritises economic growth over the detailed taxation of cryptocurrencies.
Impact on Crypto Holders: While holding and using cryptocurrencies remains untaxed, profits from significant sales are still subject to income tax, with specific exemptions.
Strategic Retreat: The decision reflects Milei's response to widespread criticism of the reform package, aiming to avoid debates on less critical issues amidst broader controversies over democratic and human rights implications.
Milei has been a crypto advocate.
Read this: Pay in Bitcoin in Argentina 🇦🇷
Read this: Para Winners Only 🍻
Global X, a provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), has withdrawn its application for a spot bitcoin ETF👇
TTD Numbers 🔢
That’s how much Tether earned for the Q4.
Tether, the brains behind the USDT stablecoin, just had a killer last quarter in 2023.
Interest from US Treasury Securities: Up to $1 billion in net interest.
Remaining balance of the net profit: Gold and Bitcoin
With a team of 125, the profit per employee stands at $22.8 million for the quarter.
Over 2023, Tether’s been flaunting a total net profit of $6.2 billion.
Assets Under Management
US Treasury: $80.3 billion
Bitcoin (BTC): $2.8 billion
Gold: $3.5 billion
Venture Capital Investments: $1.5 billion
After the crypto chaos of 2022, Tether smartened up its act by backing its stablecoin with solid assets like T-bills and gold. By September 2023, they were among the top U.S. Treasury bill shoppers.
Yield for One-Year U.S. Treasury Bill (December 2023): 4.7%
Accumulated Excess Reserves in 2023: $5.4 billion
Outstanding Secured Loans Covered: $4.8 billion
Market Share: Over 70% of all stablecoins in circulation
TTD Prison 🔐
Su Zhu, the co-founder of the now-collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, shared a rather unusual take on his prison experience in Singapore.
He described it as “enjoyable.”
After serving a three-month sentence for failing to cooperate with local authorities, Zhu seems to have found a silver lining behind bars, claiming he had "the best sleep of his life" while locked up.
Zhu is already back in the crypto game.
Promoting a new exchange named OPNX.
Based out of Hong Kong, OPNX was co-founded with Kyle Davies, another Three Arrows figure, and Mark Lamb, previously at the helm of the now-defunct crypto exchange CoinFlex.
The timing of OPNX's registration in Hong Kong is notable, just ahead of new crypto regulations introduced in June, which require exchanges to secure licenses within a year.
TTD Surfer 🏄
India has not made any changes to its controversial tax deducted at source (TDS) policy for the crypto industry in its interim-budget.
Celsius, a crypto lender, has emerged from bankruptcy and plans to distribute over $3 billion worth of crypto and fiat to creditors.
Animoca Brands Japan has appointed Kensuke Amo as its new COO to drive its Web3 expansion.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.