Coming in hot, it’s Taylor! [dramatic plane noises, sounding suspiciously like a lawnmower] Did you go see Top Gun? Well, I may not pilot a fighter jet, but I do pilot a company called Hedgehog, the portal to your crypto portfolio. Aw yeah, segue game on point 😎
Hedgehog exists to make it easy to track and manage your crypto holdings all in one place. The dev team (including me 90% of the time) is heads down finishing our biggest update yet, which I mentioned last week:
We’re one of the first companies registered with the SEC to provide personalized crypto advice in the U.S., and for our v2 launch, we’ll be helping users to buy baskets of currency in a single deposit, build their own crypto indices, and take advantage of our unique auto-rebalancing and best-execution trading system.
I cannot even describe to you how excited the team is to ship these features, but to be succinct: they’re dope.
Until then, I suggest reading the whole newsletter to get to the giveaway question at the end, for the chance to win a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. They’re also dope.
While the development does ring of adoption, by using the feature, users will essentially be tying their non-custodial wallets to their personal information held by PayPal. This would make it trivial for the company to monitor its users’ on-chain activity unless they take the added step of using a privacy-preserving service like Tornado Cash.
Blockchain privacy remains an unsolved problem. The necessary cryptography has been invented, and certain DeFi options have privacy coverage, but robust protection against surveillance hasn’t been integrated into the most-used Layer 1 chains like bitcoin and ethereum. Political concerns about rising authoritarianism make this issue even more pressing.
Tldr: We love privacy. Privacy is great. Wanna know what’s better? PIRATE PRIVACY. When was the last time you saw a legit pirate? Never. Cause they’re super duper private.
One of the buzzwords at Consensus was interoperability. In fact, while walking around the expo hall, we passed one hilarious banner with that word in quotes: “INTEROPERABILITY.” What’s that mean? I’m decently confident that it’s the process of passing assets and other information between blockchains.
You know who’s more confident about the definition of interoperability? Haseeb Qureshi, an investor at VC firm Dragonfly Capital, which is one of Hedgehog’s backers. He wrote:
Just as globalization brought new kinds of commerce to local and global economies, cross-chain globalization will catalyze new applications and use cases in Web3. And the core infrastructure behind this new growth cycle will be generalized cross-chain messaging networks.
Haseeb goes on to introduce Axelar, fellow Dragonfly portfolio company that I encountered a couple of times at Consensus. To be clear, I’m not plugging Axelar because we share investors, but because the product concept sounds pretty legit. Nice summary from Haseeb’s post:
Axelar is a universal interoperability layer that connects L1 blockchains through a decentralized network. Using Axelar’s SDKs, any smart contract developer can seamlessly call a contract on another supported chain with a simple asynchronous call.
The simplest form of cross-contract calls is bridging. But a ton of bridges already exist, so that’s not likely where Axelar is going to shine. Instead, Axelar’s superpower is in enabling more complex forms of cross-chain composability and commerce.
Axelar’s SDKs are designed to enable three things:
1) Making it easy for blockchain developers to plug in and communicate with applications on other chains.
2) Allowing Dapps to easily expand to multiple chains with minimal development overhead.
3) Allowing users to interact with applications across multiple ecosystems with little to no friction in the middle.
Eventually, the goal will be that from the perspective of a user, they don’t necessarily need to know what chains are involved in the backend of their application. This is how people have long experienced the Internet: when a website makes API calls to third-party servers, the user simply experiences a single seamless application. Today it’s obvious whether you’re using Solana or Ethereum or Avalanche. In the future, web3 may feel the same way the Internet does — there’s just the application you’re interacting with, and the rest is abstracted from you.
Effective, trustworthy abstraction sounds blissful. At Consensus I kept saying to people, “The best thing about crypto is you get to be your own bank. And the worst thing about crypto is that you have to be your bank.” (Even if you custody your assets on exchanges or hosted wallets, you still need to pay attention on a level beyond what you’d do for a boring ol’ checking account.)
Tldr Part I: Hey. Crypto. Listen, can we just use regular human words for a bit?
Tldr Part II: As an aside, listening to Haseeb Qureshi talk to one of Dragonfly’s own investors was one of the best parts of the conference. The depth of technical knowledge and passion for crypto was infectious.
A few quick links:
Ryan spoke to Chainlink maxis about LINK and the future of the world
Tldr: Maximalism is a choice.
METIS: The cryptocurrency's name and logo explained
Tldr: Greek mythology nerds where u at? This one’s for you.
A Paris crypto conference suffers a curious case of NFT ticket scalping gone wrong
Tldr: Baguette Chains! BrieFTs! Eiffel Tokens! NFTS! I took 8 years of French.
Is Sandbox The Future of the Metaverse?
Tldr: Is *insert name of thing here* the future? Maybe. Is my middle name Nostradamus? It could be. You don’t know.
Giveaway time! By the way, the last newsletter was #50 and I forgot to use any of your celebration ideas because I was too distracted by Consensus 😭 I will keep your suggestions in my back pocket to use later.
Question of the week: Are there more doors or wheels on the planet? Extra credit if you show your work. Reply to this email with your answer to be entered to win a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
Is life an open door?
Yes, but reincarnations don’t count. That’s cheating.
Can you include all the wheels from the hit Pixar movies Cars, Cars 2, and Cars 3?
No. Those are hands.
My take? As a programmer, revolving doors are technically an infinite loop of doors. End discussion.
[continuing plane noises]
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