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Ryze Recap 8/10: Dave Portnoy Wants to "Buy All The Bitcoins"
Plus, Andre Iguodala and Other NBA Players Dive Into Crypto
It's Monday, August 10th. If you're new here— Ryze Recaps is a newsletter synthesizing the biggest news Bitcoiners need to know.
We’re trying something new— here’s a quick recap of last week’s news to kick off your Monday.
Our Main Stories from Last Week
8/6 Recap: Cash App’s Bitcoin Volume is Up 150%
Dave Portnoy Wants the Winklevoss Twins to Teach Him About Bitcoin
Dave Portnoy, internet personality and founder of Barstool Sports, invited Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to teach him about Bitcoin— in their college rowing outfits. They accepted, and he replied back: "I want to buy all the bitcoins."
For the uninitiated, Dave Portnoy is part comedian, part media mogul, and part marketing genius. Over the last two decades, Portnoy has amassed a massive audience of sports fans and gambling enthusiasts through his media company, Barstool Sports, where he's known as "El Presidente." Barstool’s mantra is by the common man, for the common man.
In the pandemic-induced absence of sports, however, Portnoy has shifted to day-trading to get in his gambling fix— and he's not alone. The confluence of stimulus money flooding the economy and bored millennials working-from-home has led to the rise of investing as entertainment. This is embodied by the meteoric rise of consumer investing platforms such as Robinhood, where the average user is a 31-year-old who has never invested before.
Combine this increase in the popularity of trading with Dave Portnoy's larger-than-life personality and you get DDTG— Davey Day Trader Global, a daily livestream of Portnoy trading stocks, which gets hundreds of thousands of views daily and tens of millions on the most viral clips. This is where Dave started talking about Bitcoin, during one of his livestreams.
At the surface, this may seem like just another celebrity that's curious about Bitcoin. A deeper look reveals that Dave Portnoy getting into Bitcoin is a glimpse into the common man’s experience with Bitcoin.
If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that FOMO is a powerful motivator. Millions of people who stood on the sidelines in the last bull run, and watched their friends make money, won't miss out this time. Like over 80% of Americans, Dave has heard of Bitcoin before. His acquaintance Marty Bent used to work at Barstool before he found success with his own Bitcoin-centric content, and got Dave to start buying Bitcoin. Dave tweeted during the 2017 bull run that he was buying $50 of it a day, but has since lost access to his Bitcoin.
Dave's woes about how he "doesn’t want to get one of those wallets" or deal with "Martian Language" resonates with nearly everybody who's heard of Bitcoin but hasn't bought in— and many of us who have bought in. Thus, he wants Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the founders of crypto exchange Gemini famous for their role in the Facebook story, to explain Bitcoin to him and get him started.
Eventually, Dave's affinity for Bitcoin will probably transcend his interest in it for speculative fast-money purposes. Though Portnoy is by no means an economist, he’s previously commented on the current macroeconomic environment, comparing US Dollars to "Shrute Bucks" and eloquently stating that "if you flood the market with katrillions, the katrillions mean nothing."
Though crude, his commentary aligns with economic theory and the principles of sound money. Like many Americans, he realizes that markets are broken. He coined the phrase "Stocks Only Go Up," an ode to the effects of unlimited money-printing. Like most people, Dave doesn't yet understand that Bitcoin fixes this, but when he does, his army of day-traders will follow suit.
Dave’s Bitcoin story is much like that of the common man: he’s aware of it, wants to get in to make money, sees problems with our current monetary system, but hasn’t yet connected the dots to see how Bitcoin is the solution.
Will Dave Portnoy actually look into Bitcoin and how it solves the problems he's starting to see? Hopefully. Will the Winklevi actually show up in their rowing outfits? No idea.
For now, we know that it's piqued his interest and the interest of his 66 million loyal stoolies. Whether or not this actually goes somewhere— we'll be watching and keep you posted.
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In Case You Missed It
NBA Stars Fund New Blockchain
Dapper Labs, a blockchain startup, has raised $12M in funding from investors including NBA stars Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, among players as well as venture investors Coinbase Ventures, Union Square Ventures, and Andreesen Horowitz. Dapper Labs is known for creating Ethereum-based game CryptoKitties, but is now building its own blockchain called Flow and pursuing sports as a vertical.
Dapper Labs recently released NBA Top Shot in collaboration with the NBA and the NBA Players Association. Top Shot allows fans to purchase licensed digital tokens of NBA players, similar to trading cards. Top Shot is a budding example of scarce collectibles as an application for blockchain and crypto-assets.
Binance Eyes US Futures Launch
According to The Block, Binance is rumored to launch futures in the US this year, possibly by acquiring a licensed company to ease the regulatory burden. Binance is the largest exchange in the world by volume, but lost its foothold in the US after shutting US customers out from its main exchange in June 2019. Binance subsequently launched Binance US to comply with regulations.
However, Binance US comprises only 0.02% of crypto trading volume in the last year. Rival Coinbase Pro had 25x as much. Launching futures catering towards a booming US institutional market is a way for Binance to regain some market share in the US.
JP Morgan Says Millennials See Bitcoin as Digital Gold
JP Morgan reports that younger investors are buying Bitcoin as older ones are buying Gold. JPMC analysts commented on increased interest in alternative assets as the dollar's value decreases. Older generations are divesting equities and buying gold and bond funds. Younger generations are ditching their dollars for shares in tech companies and assets such as Bitcoin. Both Bitcoin and gold have increased in value significantly in the past few weeks.
NASDAQ-Listed Company Using Bitcoin for Treasury Management
A publicly-traded company worth $1.2 Billion is considering buying gold and Bitcoin to hedge inflation. MicroStrategy, a business analytics company similar to Tableau, stated in its earnings call that it's looking to buy $250 million worth of alternative assets, including Bitcoin. Its CEO stated, "gold, silver, and bitcoin are showing strength" and "it makes sense to shift our treasury assets into some investments that can't be inflated away or are less likely to be inflated away," citing a weak dollar as motivation for investing in gold and Bitcoin.
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Top Tweets of the Week
Jump Capital's Mid-Year Crypto Outlook: The venture arm of one of the world's largest trading firms pontificates on the value of Bitcoin as digital gold.
Genesis' Q2 2020 Market Observations: Key trends in the crypto lending and derivatives industries by one of the leading digital asset investment firms.
That’s all for today! We’ll be back again with another Ryze Recap. If you liked this newsletter, please share with a friend who you think might like it!