🚀 Is It Over Yet?

Defi Fights Off Fintech, Bitcoin Pizza Provokes, Wage Wins

May 19th, 2021 | Sign Up

Good Morning. If you’re looking for something to cheer you up after the crypto slump—it could be worse, you could be this guy… 😅

Markets data

⬇️  Bitcoin: $40,591 ( -6.22%)

⬇️  Ethereum: $3,097 ( -9.01%)

⬇️ Dogecoin: $0.4351 ( -9.14%)

⬆️  Aave: $628.75 ( +9.87%)

🚀 SushiSwap: $21.43 ( +32.43%)

Prices as of 11 PM EST 5/18, data from FTX
  • Markets: Bitcoin and Ethereum reach lowest levels of the year. If you started your investing journey around Febuary 2021, we’re sorry, it gets better

  • Covid: US weekly deaths from covid fell to their lowest in 14 months this week, a good sign for the road to recovery. The house passes the COVID 19 anti-Asian hate crimes bill.


Fintech or DeFi?

Last week, decentralized lending protocol Aave ($AAVE) announced that the platform will start offering private, or permissioned pools to institutional investors to practice with DeFi before fully diving into the DeFi ecosystem.

What does this mean?

A permissioned blockchain needs prior approval before using or interacting with the protocol, while a permissionless blockchain lets anyone participate in the system. This has sparked some controversy across the DeFi community, drawing takes from some of DeFi’s biggest figures.

The question is posed—is Aave really DeFi—or actually a fintech company?

Yearn Finance developer Banteg made this statement, in regards to Aave offering products to institutional investors:

Other side of the coin

The founder of Aave himself, Stani Kulechov chimed in to provide reasoning for the decision. Stani explained that the private pool is meant to be a testing platform for institutions looking to test the DeFi ecosystem and that Aave’s permissionless pools aren’t going anywhere.

The Bottom Line

On one side, supporters of Aave’s decision maintain that DeFi needs to integrate with traditional finance to get any real traction and achieve mass adoption. On the other, critics argue that there is no point in building a new system if that system is going to compromise its values (true decentralization) for the sake of being accepted by the current system.


Bitcoin Pizza Homage Receives Backlash 🍕

Remember the famous Bitcoin Pizza? On May 22, 2010 a programmer made crypto history by purchasing two Papa John pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins, the first consumer goods ever purchased with Bitcoin. The coins were worth around $40 at the time, but hundreds of millions today. Read more here.

In a short-sighted attempt to honor the legendary transaction, Bitcoin enthusiast Anthony Pompliano announced Bitcoin Pizza. The goal of the pizza-chain project is to raise funds for Bitcoin research and development. The first pizzas will be delivered on the anniversary of the original Bitcoin Pizza, May 22nd.


Some people around the community had some words for Bitcoin Pizza:


To ignore the entire point of the original 2010 Bitcoin pizza transaction by not accepting Bitcoin or any other crypto is awkward at best, and at worst, an easy talking point for those who want to see crypto fail as a viable form of payment.

To make thing worse, the pizza comes from different local pizzerias around the nation who have agreed to send their pizzas in a Bitcoin-themed box, meaning that the product is not the pizza, but a novelty box.

This Bitcoin Pizza stunt is detrimental to the adoption of cryptocurrency. It is yet another project that aims to make a mockery of the industry. Poorly thought-out marketing attempts do nothing to help onboard people onto crypto or educate about the pitfalls of our current financial system. This only degrades the credibility of the industry.

In other words, Pomp does not speak for us.


Stat Bag 📉

Nothing like price to change sentiment, eh?

Here we are. The biggest pull-back of this bull run is upon us, causing some of the crypto doubters, or no coiners as we call them, to start taking victory laps, declaring that we are in a bear market.

The crypto community (especially bitcoiners) has largely dismissed the idea, and are buying the dip.

To put things into perspective, in 2017 Bitcoin had six pullbacks of 30% or more and two pullbacks of 40% or more. If we are looking at history—and not Elon’s tweets—this kind of volatility is business as usual.

But why does the dip keep dipping?

This time around, some speculate that these continuous dips are due to traders using high leverage to buy the dip, causing the market to keep being pushed down.

Read about the difference between spot and margin trading.

The Bottom Line

The entire cryptocurrency market has grown by roughly 7.69 times in the past twelve months, from around $260 billion during this time last year—to roughly $2 trillion at the time of writing, making a pullback of 40% fairly insignificant when looking at the big picture. Crypto just needed to cool off 💦

If you’ve been having doubts, Mr. CryptoCobain has some motivation for you:


The Minimum Wage Debate 💰

As the debate about minimum wage and how we value work becomes a national conversation, Bank of America said Tuesday that it will raise the hourly minimum wage of its US employees to $25 by 2025.

Trying to get with the times, CEO Brian Moynihan framed the bank’s decision as an investment:

"It costs us a few hundred million dollars a year ... but it's an investment,"

Bank of America continues to set the tone for the minimum amount a bank employee makes. In 2019 the company announced that it had started paying its employees at least $20/hour, a year ahead of schedule. Alternatively, other brick and mortar banks have historically lagged behind Bank of America in the minimum wage department.

Other mega-banks and the minimum wage

  • In 2018 JP Morgan committed to raising their minimum wage from $15 to $18 per hour

  • Citigroup raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2019

  • Last year Wells Fargo raised its minimum pay from $15 to $20 per hour

Small Bitez 📰

  • One of the most famous rock formations in the Galapagos Islands has collapsed into the sea

  • A ‘super blood moon’ is due at the end of the month

  • Charles Grodin, Star of ‘Beethoven’ and ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ dies at 86

  • Hate crimes bill to fight Asian American discrimination clears final vote, heads to Oval Office

  • JPMorgan promotes two female bankers in the race to succeed Jamie Dimon

Thanks for reading!

written by Bay & JB

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