The Number 1 Question I Get Asked… ❓

One of the questions people tend to ask me the most is why I moved to a new country. Well, there are a number of answers, mostly related to my work in the crypto space.

There are a number of countries and jurisdictions that are looking to welcome crypto entrepreneurs with open arms. They are crafting common-sense regulations to ensure that guardrails get put in place, without stifling innovation.

Some of these countries are also well-suited to remote work - something which is ideal for the typically decentralised organisational structure that we have in crypto.

So today, I am going to take you through my updated list of the most crypto-friendly countries. I will take a look at the regulations they are crafting and how these help crypto users. I will also explore all the other pros and cons of these countries, including tax policies, weather, cost of living and ease of immigration.

Perhaps this video could help you decide on the next stop of your crypto journey…

📊 My Personal Portfolio 📊

USDC 37.92% | BTC 28.16% | ETH 27.81% | ATOM 4.39% | DOT 1.71%

📈 Guy’s Forward Guidance 📈

A good rule of thumb to note is that during bull markets, prices tend to rise gradually, with aggressive corrections (typically due to leveraged longs getting liquidated). Conversely, during bear markets, prices tend to decline gradually, with aggressive rallies (typically due to leveraged shorts getting liquidated). A second good rule of thumb was mentioned in a recent Real Vision episode, and that’s that during bull markets, the bearish catalysts rarely come to pass. During bear markets however, the bearish catalysts almost always come to pass.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of bearish catalysts in the crypto market these days, and the list just keeps getting longer. For starters, the Fed and FDIC recently issued another warning about the risks that crypto supposedly poses to the banking sector. If you watched our video about Operation Choke Point 2.0, you’ll know that it began when the Fed and FDIC issued a similar warning in early January. In the weeks that followed, we saw lots of crypto crackdowns. This means we could be on the brink of a second wave of such crackdowns.

Assuming this is the case, it begs the question of what part of the crypto industry regulators are going to target, and the answer seems to be stablecoins. Besides the SEC’s announcement that it intends to sue Paxos earlier this month, there’s been lots of talk about stablecoin regulations from the Financial Stability Board or FSB. FSB chairman Klaas Knot said that most existing stablecoins will not meet the FSB’s upcoming crypto regulations. Given that the FSB is a de facto extension of US regulatory interests, this is very bad news.

What’s ironic is that it’s these regulatory crackdowns which ultimately cause the crypto market to crash. It’s certainly been enough to spook many institutional investors out of the crypto market. What’s interesting is that so far retail investors haven’t been deterred by crypto or macro factors. Apparently they’ve been pouring in the most money into stocks that’s ever been reported. In crypto we’ve seen meme coins continue to rally every time Elon Musk mentions a dog. I take this speculation as a sign that the crypto bottom isn’t in yet.

It’s impossible to know where the crypto market will be when it bottoms, but I do have a hunch about the bearish catalyst that will take us there. I’ve been thinking a lot about what institutional investors and regulators require for them to feel comfortable with the crypto industry. The short answer is they want transparency and oversight of the industry, particularly around trading volume. In fact, they need to make sure that most BTC trading volume is real before approving a spot Bitcoin ETF. They also need crypto custody rules.

Obviously, a crackdown on crypto custody by the SEC probably isn’t going to do all that much to the crypto market. A crackdown on trading volume however would cause severe issues. Although US regulators can’t reign in offshore exchanges, they can make it harder for them to access the fiat currencies they need for crypto trading. Tether (USDT) also remains an elephant in the room and any regulatory action against it could also have severe implications for volume.

💵 Crypto’s Killer Use Case 💵

As some of you will know, I do a weekly livestream called NFA Live (Not Financial Advice) with Rob from Digital Asset News and Ben Cowen from IntoTheCryptoverse. One of the questions that came up this week was around “Crypto’s Killer App”. After the stream, I got chatting to some of my colleagues about the question and an interesting suggestion came up.

In short: crypto’s killer use case is the transmission of alternative information, and its adoption depends on the demand for this alternative.

Let’s take Bitcoin for example. It was created in response to the 2008 financial crisis, specifically as a response to the bank bailouts (which have since been replaced by bail-ins). BTC’s killer use case was to transmit financial alternative information in a trustless, decentralised manner. As is often the case, most people didn’t realise the importance of this until the pandemic, when governments around the world printed trillions out of thin air, causing rampant inflation. All of a sudden, BTC’s killer use case became evident, and desirable.

Ethereum’s killer use case is also to transmit financial information, but the catch is that it arguably transmits the same kind of financial information that exists in the traditional financial system. If you assume that Ethereum’s killer use case is to become a superior payment system which leverages stablecoins backed by fiat currencies, then it’s not exactly an alternative to existing financial information. Other use cases on Ethereum, such as DeFi are, but they will be a part of the status quo as long as they rely on centralised stablecoins.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that Ethereum is going to disrupt and eventually replace the existing financial system, along with Bitcoin. However, when it comes to an actual killer use case - an actual situation where there is demand for truly alternative information, payments and DeFi aren’t it, at least not in the way that they’re currently structured. I would even go as far as to say that there isn’t even a real demand for crypto payments or DeFi. In most places where people buy crypto, existing payment systems work just fine - better, even. This begs the question of what alternative information the average person will demand in the near future, especially from those who live in the Western countries who buy the most crypto. Call me crazy, but I think the answer lies in the upcoming online censorship laws. I’m starting to suspect that alternative video, audio, and text information is going to be the killer crypto use case once these laws go into effect. Like Bitcoin, the demand for alternative general information will be low at first, but will increase as censorship becomes obvious to everyone.

Put simply, in the coming years there’s going to be huge demand for decentralised social media, decentralised news, and decentralised video platforms, due to censorship of the centralised equivalents by governments around the world. Unlike Bitcoin, the demand for this alternative general information will increase faster, because it’s easier for the average person to understand that information is being censored, rather than their currencies being debased. More importantly, these alternatives are already available and easily accessible.

Food for thought.

🤔 It’s All a Blur 🤔

Last week, NFT marketplace Blur made history by becoming the first of its kind since 2020 to have more volume than OpenSea. But it doesn’t stop there. Data from DappRadar reveals that Blur also managed to overtake OpenSea on the average price per trade executed on the platform. Blur recorded an average price of $1.54K, while OpenSea saw an average price of $321 per trade over the past 30 days.

So how did we get here?

Well, before we can dive into that, we need a bit of a background.

Blur is an NFT marketplace aggregator-cum-platform founded by the recently-doxxed pseudonymous entity ‘Pacman.’ The platform launched in October last year, which, if you remember, happens to be the month in which the creator royalties debate was picking steam with the emergence of zero-royalty marketplaces like Sudoswap.

At the time, the NFT trade volume on major marketplaces like OpenSea was significantly impacted and many NFT creators were seeing a massive drop in revenue from the secondary sales of their creations. This prompted OpenSea and blue-chip NFT collections like Yuga Labs to institute blacklisting policies for zero-royalty NFT marketplaces.

With that background in mind, there are four primary factors I believe played a major role in the rise of Blur.

Firstly, Blur made the decision to capitalise on the creator royalty divide by positioning itself as a marketplace which catered to both traders and creators through its 0% marketplace fee and mandatory minimum royalty fee.

The minimum royalty fee which (was set at 0.5%) was the same as Sudo’s platform fee. This encouraged traders to shift to Blur, as they were able to continue executing low-cost frequent trades while reducing the impact on the secondary earnings of NFT creators. Blur also allowed traders to opt-in to pay more in royalties if they wished to. This made Blur the perfect haven for both traders and creators.

Secondly, Blur positioned itself as an NFT platform built for pro traders and integrated a series of charting and data functions into its core product. This allowed traders to access information relating to historical pricing, order book depth, rarity, and general volume trends.

In a recent podcast, Blur founder Pacman explained that his initial data analysis of the NFT market revealed that a significant portion of NFT trade volume came from a small chunk of frequent traders. He stated that these traders were underserved by existing marketplaces like OpenSea and were often impacted by the high platform fees and relative lack of liquidity on such platforms.

This brings us to our third factor - Blur’s liquidity mining program.

The platform executed a well thought-out marketing and user-acquisition strategy via a three-stage liquidity mining program, which rewarded users with care packages (airdrops) containing varying amounts of BLUR tokens.

The first stage was a retroactive airdrop that captured the attention of frequent NFT traders by offering them free rewards for their trading activity in the 6 months prior to the launch of the Blur marketplace.

The second stage was another airdrop that incentivised traders to actively list on the Blur marketplace throughout November. It used a point-based system that awarded more points to traders who honoured creator royalty above the mandatory minimum percentage. This created massive liquidity on the platform, helping retain active traders.

The final stage is an upcoming airdrop that focuses on incentivising bid activity on the platform. This is expected to further the platform’s liquidity. Blur placed special emphasis on ensuring that traders were not rewarded for trading volumes, effectively eliminating the gaming of the airdrop via wash trading practices.

And finally, the team behind the platform. Safe to say, overcoming the network effects of a major player like OpenSea is no laughing matter. Blur undoubtedly has a smart and hardworking team that has spent countless hours building it up. The team is made of people with experience across MIT, Citadel, Five Rings Capital, Twitch, Brex, Square, and Y Combinator.

They’ve managed to build Blur to a stage where it now has its own network effects that will safeguard it in the long term. It will be interesting to see whether Blur can keep the momentum up in the coming weeks and months.

📢 Coin Bureau Live 📢

We started Coin Bureau several years ago with the sole mission of raising the bar of crypto education. Back then, we could have never have imagined that the channel grew to become as popular as it is today.

The whole Coin Bureau Team knows we are in a privileged position as your support allows us to pursue our passion.

That’s why we held an event in London last year that allowed us to meet as many of you as possible. It was such a great success that we decided to replicate it again this year.

So, we would like to invite you to join me as well as the rest of the Coin Bureau team at the upcoming Coin Bureau live event. We will also be joined by other popular crypto YouTubers as well as some of the brightest minds in crypto.

📍 Where? London, UK🗓️ When? 10th June, 2023

So if that sounds interesting and something you wish to join us in, now is the time to register your interest in early bird tickets!

👉 Register your interest in Coin Bureau Live 2023!

🔮 Video Pipeline 🔮

  • Crypto Crime Report 2023: Startling revelations…
  • January FED Minutes Analysis: What you need to know!
  • The FSB’s Upcoming DeFi Regulations: Time to panic?
  • The EU’s Crazy ESG Rules: What to do?

🏆 What's New At This Week? 🏆

Top Crypto Tax-Free Countries in 2023!10 Best Crypto YouTube Channels to Watch in 2023

That’s all for this week! As usual, everyone at Coin Bureau HQ would like to thank you for all your support and we would love to meet you in person in London at Coin Bureau Live event!

Guy your crypto guyDisclosure: Authors may own cryptoassets named in this newsletter. These are unqualified opinions, and a Coin Bureau newsletter, is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as investment advice. Please consult with your investment, tax, or legal advisor.

Guy Turner

Guy is one of the founding members and face of the Coin Bureau. Like many of us, he is just an average joe who became “crypto curious” back in 2013. After recognising the potential of blockchain technology, Guy set off on a mission to create crypto educational content, working with others to start the Coin Bureau website and released our first video on YouTube in 2019. You can learn more about him in his Who is Guy? blogpost.

Free Crypto Coverage Direct to Your Inbox