Triumph of the Alts.
Great Gray Owl.
1. What are NFTs? What is Web3? What are DAOs? What is DeFi? These and other questions are addressed and answered in layman’s terms by New York Times technology columnist/reporter Kevin Roose in a lengthy report entitled “The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto.” It’s terrific work, clearly written, worth reading in full. The fact is: one cannot not know about “crypto” anymore. It’s reached critical mass and the consequences of its adoption will be disruptive, to say the least. (Source: nytimes.com)
2. Scott Galloway:
So … WTF is an NFT? Technobabble aside, it’s similar to the deed to a house. A digital document that identifies one true owner of a digital product. Real estate deeds rely on an ecosystem of paper and electronic records, legal standards, and institutions staffed by experts. It’s worth the expense, as real estate is valuable. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are deeds rendered in the world of bits, not atoms. Digitally native, NFTS are (theoretically) lower cost than real estate deeds — thus they’re economically practical for digital items and lower-value property. Deeds … for anything. As private property and ownership are central to capitalism, and economic activity increasingly moves online, NFTs may become central to our economy.
NFTs offer digital commerce something the Internet lacks: scarcity and authenticity. A scarcity mentality is built into us at an instinctual level. Our cravings for sugar and fat (historically scarce) have resulted in an obesity crisis, because our instincts haven’t kept pace with industrial food production. Authenticity’s virtues are practical (we like to know where our food comes from and who we can sue if it makes us sick) and philosophical (if we buy music, is some of the money going to the artist who made it?). (Sources: twitter.com, profgalloway.com)
3. Too fast and too ignorant.
On average, one in three NFT collections have essentially expired, with little or no trading activity, blockchain analytics firm Nansen found. Another third are trading below the amount it cost issuers to mint the tokens. Nansen analyzed about 8,400 collections comprised of 19.3 million individual NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
As failed projects pile up, long-time crypto observers are having flashbacks to the Initial Coin Offering bust of 2018, when thousands of digital token quickly become worthless after regulators warned they’re probably unregistered securities. Much like ICOs in their heyday, NFTs have become one of the hottest corners of the cryptocurrency world as speculators seek to take advantage of the surging interest and prices for the digital certificates of authenticity most commonly representing art or collectibles.
“The semblance is uncanny,” said the anonymous collector known as WhaleShark who is thought to be one of the largest NFT holders in the world. “Money is flowing too fast and too ignorant into the space.” (Source: bloomberg.com)
4. Triumph of the “Alts.”
Traditional asset management groups are racing to expand offerings in alternative investments as they seek to boost profitability and head off competition from private equity giants.
More than a dozen groups known for their mutual and exchange traded funds each reported managing at least $100 billion in alternative assets at the end of last year, up from nine groups five years ago. Their ranks include BlackRock, Invesco and PGIM.
They and others are bulking up rapidly, often by acquiring alternative specialists. AllianceBernstein last week announced plans to build its alternative assets to nearly $50 billion with the purchase of CarVal Investors, and Franklin Templeton expects to top $200 billion after it completes its acquisition of Lexington Partners in April.
At BlackRock, where invested alternatives under management have more than doubled in five years to $265 billion, chief executive Larry Fink told shareholders this week plans to “accelerate growth . . . in private markets” were central to the group’s strategy. (Source: ft.com)
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