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Blame the IRS

 

Warren Buffett once said, “if you’re smart, you don’t need leverage; if you’re dumb, it will ruin you.”

Of course, The Oracle of Omaha hardly touched a tech stock in his life, let alone the volatile crypto sphere, which he lovingly called “rat poison squared.” But the point remains, and the risk appetite on display this week would surely make Buffett blush.

Sunday kicked things off with a record-setting futures liquidation, erasing nearly $10B across crypto exchanges. Our post-mortem of the event found traders were highly levered going into Coinbase’s stock market debut. As the sugar high wore off, unfounded FUD grew louder, and the high leverage had cascading effects. (The post-mortem is this week’s free Daily and available to all.)

For a few days, price and leverage levels rebounded. Then, proposed changes to federal capital gains taxes sparked a new set of fears and a second helping of liquidations. Now, bitcoin is trading at the lowest levels seen since, well, the start of March.

Leverage seems to be exacerbating recent price swings. But what role did the Coinbase listing play?

We dissected that question in a new client-only Coinbase follow-up, benchmarking the debut against listings from other high-growth companies. Spoiler: we maintain $COIN has traded in line with what we’d reasonably expect.

Sure, that may not assuage any short-term fears. But even in a volatile week like this one, there were some positive industry developments. Venmo added crypto trading to its 70M US-based users, adding a major on-ramp towards adoption. Meanwhile, Square and ARK Invest published a report supporting bitcoin as a catalyst for green energy investment. (Delphi’s own MJ DeMarco published a similar op-ed in March titled Bitcoin Can Help Save The Planet. The post is open to all and worth revisiting.)

On the podcast side, we had exciting conversations with the Thorchain team and an all-star debate on Ethereum Layer 2 rollups, which included experts from Aribitum, Starkware, zkSync, Optimism, and Mechanism Capital. Plenty of alpha to dig through over the weekend.

Stay degen (with a stop loss),

Nick

​​​​​Here were the highlights from this week’s research:


 

 

 

 

Coinbase’s “Disappointing” Debut by Kevin Kelly, CFA



Exchange Tokens: Features and Value Accrual
by Genevieve Yeoh

Key Takeaways:
  • Exchange tokens like $BNB and $FTT had a phenomenal price run this year, outperforming DEX tokens like $UNI and $SUSHI.
  • In this report, we examine the utility of exchange tokens across a number of centralized (CEX) and decentralized (DEX) exchanges, as well as the cashflow accrual mechanism to token holders. We limit the scope to Binance (BNB), FTX (FTT) and Huobi (HT) for CEXs, alongside Sushiswap (SUSHI) and 0x (ZRX) protocol on the DEX front.
  • Delphi Daily subscribers & clients can see the full brief here.


Arweave: The Permanent Storage Experiment
by Can Gurel

Key Takeaways:
  • Arweave is an exciting project attempting to offer permanent data storage to its users in a decentralized, censorship resistant way.
  • Its innovative economic model and well thought out pricing mechanism offers a strong value proposition for NFTs and Web3 apps, for permanently storing/hosting relevant data in an accessible way.
  • Despite the advantages, there are some concerns about Arweave’s long-term sustainability in terms of pricing, data storage, miners’ economic exploit and the complex technical solutions it requires to deliver on the promise.
  • In this report we dive into the pros and cons and look into all aspects of Arweave.
  • Institutional clients can read the full report here.

 

The Sunday Dip Post-Mortem by Jeremy Ong

Key Takeaways:
  • April 18th saw a record ~$9.6b worth of futures contracts liquidated in just 24 hours, resulting in a significant BTC price dip.
  • After the hype and excitement around Coinbase’s direct listing, the unmet retail investor expectations provided the ideal scenario for fear, uncertainty, and doubt to creep in, and the catalysts that triggered the selloff were mostly unfounded FUD circulating around chat groups and Twitter.
  • This update aims to quickly do a rundown on the pullback we saw last weekend, and what could be coming next.
  • Read the full brief here.​​​

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Thorchain Launch Party: The Magic Experience of Swapping Assets Cross Chain In A Few Clicks

 

 

As mentioned, we will continue to iterate on the design of our Delphi Debrief based on your feedback—so please let us know which section you enjoy the most and what else you’d like to see!

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