Bitcoins, Aztec Contracts,and Legalized Gambling …

Last week focused on interest rate predictions, history of hashtag and AlterEgo headset. This week has been a very exciting one in terms of product launches, tech trends as well as significant legislation impacting data and technology. And hence, the effort of HTNW (that’s Here, There, Nowhere) on these trends.

 High Frequency Trading in Bitcoin – It’s always interesting  to follow the parallels between (more) conventional financial markets and it’s more glitzy crypto-currency cousin. And this week was a milestone with Coinbase announcing the launch of options catering to server co-location and launch of a low latency platform to lure high frequency traders and institutional investors. Other related offerings include custodial services to securely store large volumes of digital currency (incidentally, contrary to the entire concept of dapps, i.e. decentralized apps and value?).

There is definitely some truth in Coinbase’s claim that involving professional market makers will create a more efficient price discovery, deeper liquidity and tighter markets. On the other hand, it’s worth thinking about why multiple retail and more conservative institutional investors moved away from the financial market in the first place –  the dice being heavily loaded in favor of high frequency traders and other arbitrage seekers. For some of us just scratching the surface on the entire bitcoin, HFTs, bots paradigm – here’s an article which is a great read.

…and naturally, a corresponding budget cuts for regulators – If your reaction was What?? join the club…I came across a note that the budget for CFTC has been cut. I found it curious given the ever increasing scope for the regulators. A contact at the CFTC confirmed the news and also mentioned the CFTC budget has not increased in the last 10 years. Contrast it with the above note on Coinbase and all other tech advances across the last decade- that does not add up, right?

Connecting the dots between the above (bitcoin and regulators), for y’all planning that Bahamas trip based on your investments in Ethereum and Ripple, totally worth reading the transcript of Gary Gensler’s (ex-CFTC commissioner) speech at MIT. How far is the showdown between regulators and current bitcoin projects?

SoW on Codex – I have been lately dealing

Codex on SoW

with a lot of contract related work in the last week. I found it amusing that on a weekend trip to the Met,one of the first artifacts I came across – a codex outlining the agreement of the tribute to be paid by the Aztecs to the Spanish crown. A far cry from our dry, legal language we deal with.

It would be amiss of me not to share this fascinating sculpture by Huma Bhabha called “We Come in Peace”. What really resonated with me was not just the sculpture but blending in the world’s most recognizable skyline into the “One Day Giant Will Walk The Earth” concept.

We Come in Peace

Google Duplex – I’m unabashedly a Google fan, and it pains me that I still use an iPhone.  However, this is the week when I finally transition over from to the light side.  I was also thrilled to see the amazing presentation Sundar Pichai did on Google Duplex. Is it now only a matter of time before someone passes the Turing test? For the non-geeks – Turing test is a machine’s ability to display intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Note to Google Duplex – “Start a research project to find out the latest Pixel phone deals in the New York/New Jersey area. Order it by end of this week. Oh, and I need it delivered on a weekend. Also, send happy birthday text messages to all my contacts for the rest of the year.”

The Supreme court pass a game changing (pun intended) decision to let states open up the gates for legalized betting. Here’s some interesting predictions from a data and technology space –

a. NFL, NHL and NBA launch data organizations which makes it mandatory to use their curated data for all predictions and analysis. They make billions….

b. Lobbyists play all sides pushing for legislation. Property prices in Van Ness and the exclusive DC neighborhoods sky rocket. They make billions….

c. Insurance companies launch swap insurance products against bad beds made at the start of the year. The Redskins and Wizards make late seasons runs when the fans have given up. They make billions….

d. EA Sports launches online betting options during their 2018 Madden Challenge. You can bet on the simulated games. They make billions….

e. IBM Watson’s next release centers around accurate predictions around results. They make billions…

Dear Readers – some/most of you will be contributing to these billions…Go Draft Kings!

On a more serious note, it will be interesting to follow on how this legislation shakes up things in the data and technology space.

Till next week….







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