Merry Xmas 2021
VeradiVerdict - Issue #176
Every year, as the holiday season approaches, I’m always asked for crypto-related gift ideas. For a more lighthearted post than usual, I decided to jot down a few fun items to give to a fellow red-pilled friend this year.
1. Actual Crypto
Instead of giving a lousy gift card, consider giving the gift of crypto! Especially for the uninitiated, it can be a great introduction to the ecosystem—setting up a first wallet, playing around with the funds, and learning along the way. Many services, like Coinbase and other wallets, even have a unique gift-giving product that makes the experience simple.
2. Ugly Christmas Sweater
What better gift than a horrendous sweater to wear at your next holiday party? You can go with the classic Ethereum- or Bitcoin-themed design (with flashbacks to the circa-2018 New York Times article) or a more subtle jab at the Federal Reserve with a sweater from Litquidity. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the “JPEG Morgan” dad hat or “Dunkin' DAOnuts” coffee mug.
3. Tungsten Cube
If you’ve spent much time on so-called “Crypto Twitter” this year, you’ve undoubtedly seen the hype around tungsten cubes. It’s hard to explain how we got to where we are, but, simply put, these small tungsten blocks—typically only a few inches in width—have a remarkable display of density; there’s something quite surprising about holding one in your hands.
As a result, it quickly turned into a meme for the crypto community. People competed for having the biggest tungsten cube—with CMS Holdings’ Dan Matuszewski buying a four-inch cube that weighs 41 pounds for nearly $3,000—and even got into arguments about the optimal shape (with Eric Wall at Arcane Assets calling himself as “spherist”).
With the smallest cube starting at $30, you can also join in this surreal moment of crypto history.
It has been a big year for NFTs. It truly feels like they’ve crossed the chasm into the mainstream consciousness.
While Bored Apes or CryptoPunks, two of the canonical NFT projects, will run you over 50 ETH (or $200,000) for a single piece, there is still no shortage of other ways to engage with the ecosystem. From buying a Top Shot pack for an NBA fan to reserving someone’s Ethereum Name Service name on their behalf (their .eth Web3 username), NFTs can take many different forms. Even poking around OpenSea for a few minutes can often reveal some exciting projects from up-and-coming digital artists at a more affordable price point.
The Blockclock is a nice art piece to keep up with the OG in the industry: Bitcoin. It elegantly displays BTC’s live price on exchanges, the total number of blocks, and the number of satoshis for $1 USD. You may have even spotted this nice piece of hardware in Jack Dorsey’s Zoom background during this year’s congressional hearings. At around $400, it’s not necessarily cheap, but there are certainly more affordable crypto ticker gadgets to explore, as well.
Crypto moves so quickly that even people who are in the industry full-time can have a tough time keeping up. Consider giving your crypto-obsessed friend access to the most alpha-generating tools in this industry, such as a paid subscription to Delphi Digital, Messari, or The Block. Or consider picking up a copy of Camila Russo’s excellent The Infinite Machine, a fascinating dive into Ethereum’s backstory. Access to these educational resources—some of which are restricted to paying members—can really level up your gift recipient’s understanding of the ecosystem going into the New Year, which is shaping up to be one for the history books.
It’s not always fun to talk about, but good crypto custody habits are crucial. People who recently entered the space may still not have a procedure for the cold storage of some of their crypto-assets and the protection of their seed phrases. As an absolute starting kit, check out the hardware wallets of Ledger and Trezor, two of the most trusted in the industry, as well as solutions like Cryptosteel to keep your seed phrases safe. Stay safe out there!
Hopefully, these gift themes inspired some ideas for you this holiday season. Most of all, particularly for those who hit it out of the park this year in the crypto markets, remember to give back to those who got you to where you are today and supported you along the way. There’s a lot to be thankful for.
- Paul Veradittakit
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Hi, I’m Paul Veradittakit, a Partner at Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest institutional investors focused on investing in blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies. I’ve been in the industry since 2014, and the firm invests in equity, early stage token projects, and liquid cryptocurrencies on exchanges. I focus on early-stage investments and share my thoughts on what’s going on in the industry in this weekly newsletter.