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The 6 Best Reddit AMAs About Crypto

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question marks on paper
Image Credit: Professor25/DepositPhotos

Reddit has a long history of AMAs. For those who don’t know, AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything.” An AMA involves a noteworthy person or group answering a string of questions from other Reddit users in real-time.

In the last couple of years, there have been some excellent crypto AMAs. They’ve involved crypto evangelists, crypto developers, and even a few of the most prominent crypto personalities in the world.

Here are six of the best crypto AMAs on Reddit that you should check out, along with some of the key quotes.

1. Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, is an active user on the r/ethtrader and r/ethereum subreddits.

Buterin was around in March 2019 when he and the rest of the Ethereum dev team did an AMA on r/ethereum about the current state of the blockchain’s leadership and accountability.

Notably, Buterin revealed his holdings in other cryptocurrencies after a user asked him about potential conflicts of interest.

Here’s how he responded:

Non-ethereum-ecosystem tokens: BCH, BTC, DOGE, ZEC; total value < 10% the value of my ETH

Non-ETH ethereum ecosystem tokens: KNC, MKR, OMG, REP, total value <10% the value of my ETH

Significant corporate shareholdings: Clearmatics, Starkware [edit, forgot to put this in before]

Revenue in the last 12 months other than ethereum foundation salary: a few advisor tokens (included in above)

Non-financial interests: friends in the ecosystems represented by the above projects, as well as some non-token ethereum ecosystem orgs (e.g. L4, Plasma Group, EthGlobal, EDCON) and non-token non-ethereum orgs (mainly professional cryptography and economics circles)

2. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss

In early 2019, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss undertook a joint Ask Me Anything on the main r/AMA subreddit.

The Winklevoss twins are well-known faces in the crypto world. They own the Gemini crypto exchange, have repeatedly tried to get the SEC to approve their crypto-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and are vocal Bitcoin proponents. At their peak, they reportedly owned more than $1 billion BTC.

During the interrogation, one of the most revealing answers came when Cameron responded to a question about the current status of the twins’ ETF:

We understand the Commission’s concerns and are working hard to address them (i.e., increased marketplace surveillance) w/ the following steps:

Marketplace Conduct Rules—we implemented this to foster a rules-based marketplace.

Marketplace Surveillance—we have partnered with Nasdaq to implement Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor the Gemini marketplace.

Market Surveillance Team—we have built an in-house team to monitor our marketplace for manipulative and deceptive practices.

Virtual Commodities Association—we are helping stand up an industry-sponsored self-regulatory organization for virtual commodity exchanges.

Diving further into the Virtual Commodity Association, Cameron explained its formation was key to how Gemini planned to interact with regulators and legislators in 2019:

For 2019, VCA is looking to establish pillar leads, comprised of subject matter experts across various industries, for each of the Sound Practices (e.g., market surveillance, custody, market-based rules). The VCA’s Sound Practices pillar candidates include experts from finance, former regulators, consulting firms and law firms. Pillar leads will lend their expertise in forming sensible rules, as applicable, to crypto exchanges and custodians. These rules will form the basis of how crypto exchange and custodians should conduct business, fostering customer protections, and transparency.

Also, these rules are a direct response to the SEC’s concerns while evaluating ETFs for approval, around market manipulation, and lack of transparency.

And finally, for anyone wondering, this is (allegedly!) their favorite crypto meme:

winklepepe meme

3. Sean Neville, Jeremy Allaire, and Team Circle

Circle is a well-established fintech company. Launched in October 2013 by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, its primary app was Circle Pay. Circle Pay allowed users to cheaply and easily send fiat currencies to friends, friends, and businesses.

Although Circle also offered a now-dead Bitcoin wallet, the company’s big crypto play came in February 2018 when it acquired the Poloniex exchange for a reported $400 million.

Unsurprisingly, the AMA on r/cryptocurrency saw Neville and Allaire questioned extensively about their plans for Poloniex in the coming months and years.

One rep confirmed that Poloniex wanted to start offering USDC via credit cards in the U.S. so that users could “securely and instantly transfer from both cards and banks globally into digital money,” but admitted that it needed “regulatory guidance as well as improving our own internal risk and fraud modeling.”

In another thread, Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire was asked whether he thought retailers would start accepting USDC in stores and online:

We think that USDC will be very attractive, and because it’s an open standard, any retailer will be able to use any standard digital wallet to accept payments from a growing number of wallets that support USDC. We also expect to see merchant acquirers and payment processors add support for USDC and other fiat tokens. Already, BitPay provides this service.

4. David Schwartz

David Schwartz is the Chief Cryptographer at Ripple. With more than 500 questions and replies, his AMA from February 2018 was one of the most popular crypto AMAs on Reddit to date.

Most of the questions focused around Ripple’s underlying tech, all of which Schwartz answered openly.

Among his most interesting answers was a response to a question about whether Ripple would ever be retooled to perform even faster than its current 1,500 transactions per second limit:

We’ve added escrow and payment channels for off chain scalability. One of the fundamental tradeoffs with decentralized, open networks is that on ledger transactions fundamentally impose costs on others. I’m not sure it’s strategically wise to increase the on ledger transaction throughput too much. Already, the vast majority of transactions on the ledger are likely close to zero value — probably around 1% of the transactions have 99% of the utility.

That said, yes, there is still a lot of work on improving the XRP Ledger’s on chain scalability. Ethan MacBrough’s work on the consensus mechanism itself is aimed at the fundamental sources of these scalability limitations.

Schwartz was also quizzed on the future of Ripple and specifically, whether partnerships with businesses other than banks might be on the horizon. Unfortunately, his answer was a bit vague:

Ripple remains focused on solving the problems with cross-border payments and using XRP to settle them.

XRP and the XRP Ledger are certainly suitable for any number of other uses cases. The code is open source, and the network is open for anyone’s use.

5. Holli Bohren

Holli Bohren is the Chief Financial Officer at Brave.

For those who don’t know, Brave is a web browser that distributes the BAT (Basic Attention Token) to its users watching ads or interacting with the app in other ways. Users can either convert their BAT into other crypto or use it to tip content creators and site developers.

During the AMA, Bohren received a grilling about Brave’s underlying financials. Lots of concerns were raised about why the revenue part of Brave still wasn’t live. Here’s what Holli said:

Profitability is not necessarily the driver of valuation for many years. Salesforce lost money for 15 years. It is very common for early-stage companies to experiment with revenue models during the early product development years, focusing more on adoption/users initially and refining the profit strategy as the product evolves.

Note that while Brave has been around since May of 2015, BAT has been around for less than two years. It has provided, via the UGP, more than enough funding for user growth for Brave to become a going concern.

With that in mind, we aim for profitability with aligned incentives and biggest revenue share to our users.

There’s was also lots of chatter around Brave’s User Growth Pool (UGP)—the source of Brave’s free BAT tokens. When asked about how much of the UGP had been distributed and how much remained, Bohren was unequivocal:

Brave has a large UGP (300M) sufficient to fund well beyond the launch of ads. The sale structure including genesis block structure was publicized on basicattentiontoken.org in blog posts, and then made public via smart contracts on Ethereum. The Public ledger is public.

6. Unknown User

Finally, a nod to the anonymous user who hosted an AMA on r/ethtrader after purchasing several thousand dollars of Ethereum at $1,350 (the coin’s all-time high).

Predictably, the comments are a mix of ridicule, sympathy, jokes, and serious questions.

Today, the AMA stands as a lesson to anyone who thinks that buying crypto is a risk-free way to become a millionaire.

Your Favorite Crypto AMAs on Reddit?

Make sure you leave links to your favorite crypto AMAs in the comments below.

And if you’d like to learn more about some of the things we mentioned in this article, read our explanation of what is Ethereum and our analysis of the best time to invest in crypto.

Dan Price
Dan has a background in both finance and technology. Previously, he worked for more than five years as a private financial consultant, advising clients on single investments, fund portfolios, long-term savings, and more. Dan holds professional qualifications from the UK's Chartered Insurance Institute, including a Certificate in Discretionary Investment Management and a Diploma in Financial Planning. Dan also writes for Blocks Decoded's sister publication, MakeUseOf. He started at the company in 2014 and has gone on to hold several key positions in the organization. In mid-2017, Dan finally started to invest in crypto. He is a firm advocate of index tracking funds and automated portfolio balancing. He's currently using the Crypto20 token and Hodlbot for exposure to the top 50 coins.
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