The Global Public Policy Alliance (GPP Alliance) has published a paper titled “Decentralized Financial Services for the 21st Century” [PDF Link]

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a report on digital currencies and blockchain technology that highlights the scope for future growth in the space and the potential for digital currencies to become a source of reliable and secure value transfer.

Two steps forward, and then one step back. It’s always like that in the world of cryptocurrencies. Let’s start with the good news today. Well, perhaps it isn’t from today, but it was news to me when a colleague told me about it this weekend. word-image-3060 That’s right, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has now put together a comprehensive guide for CEOs and technology company leaders, highlighting the importance of cryptocurrencies and how to get started. This comes shortly after the WEF released a white paper last week titled “Decentralized Finance: (DeFi) Policy-Maker Toolkit.” Just two years ago, it would be unheard of for an organization of this global stature to be talking up the benefits of crypto, but here it’s happening right before our eyes.

To the max!

One person who should probably read the getting started paper, especially the chapter on Ethereum, is Kim Kardashian. A few hours ago, she posted a story on her Instagram page promoting a coin that we can only assume is akin to a scam called Ethereum Max. word-image-8935 The story was preceded by a video containing the same hashtag info of Kardashian saying that she has a “big announcement.” Swiping up actually takes us to a page that I won’t link to here, but it is ludicrously light on details about what the coin does, except that it comes with “VIP benefits.” The last sentence on the page, of course, tells us all we need to know. This is an ERC-20 standard token built on the Ethereum network, no doubt by a coder who’s really good at copy/paste productions. In other words, it’s even less related to Ethereum itself then Ethereum Classic. The name is no doubt intended to confuse newbies and dupe them into buying without much research. The story in the text about them burning their admin tokens is quite meaningless, given the knowledge that the token was only born a month ago and is so far only listed on Uniswap. So they created hundreds of trillions of tokens just to burn them to create a buzz? Perhaps the final hashtag, consisting of the two letters AD, is the most important piece of information here. This is basically a paid-for promotion story. Apparently, Kardashian makes more money from Instagram than she does from reality TV, reportedly charging $1 million per Instagram post, according to an industry source. We can probably expect that the offer from EMAX may have been a bit higher than that, however. Either that, or she is getting desperate for cash. At any rate, it doesn’t seem as if this was at all money well-spent. Kim Kardashian is no Elon Musk, and the price per EMAX token has actually fallen since the story was posted.

Beware

Perhaps the one thing left out of the above linked WEF getting started guide is how to spot a scam. It’s quite clear by now that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can’t save us from ourselves, and I’m glad that people didn’t bid up EMAX, but just today a reporter from a very prestigious publication asked me what I thought about this specific project. In less then 10 minutes, I found the token distribution, which showed a premine of some 7 billion tokens, half of which would go to the founders and investors. Clearly, it is not a “token of the people” as their website claimed. The bottom line is be careful out there. At least until market momentum builds up again, this is not a time to be taking excessive risks. Unlike Barry Silbert, I’m not of the mind that 99% of tokens are overpriced.

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