I’ve written previously about my frustration with Twitter, which has been an indispensable part of crypto since the early days but has in recent months devolved into a glitch-prone mess swamped by bots and a growing number of Nazis. Fearing that the platform would only get worse (a reasonable fear it turns out), I started casting about for alternatives, starting with the Jack Dorsey-backed open protocol called Bluesky. I’ve been on it for two weeks now, and here’s what I’ve found.
For the most part, I love it. The interface is basically Twitter but stripped down and with some different lingo—you skeet rather than tweet and you repost rather than retweet. Bluesky still lacks some key features like DMs and lists, and the app still feels a bit buggy when you load it. But these relatively minor drawbacks are more than offset by the high caliber of the content, which is loaded with high-signal stuff, including from people like lawyer Ken White (aka PopeHat) who quit Twitter in disgust.
I haven’t posted much myself so far but confess the lack of engagement with what I have published is a little discouraging. It’s possible that few folks are engaging with my posts because what I’m posting is not cool or interesting enough for the Bluesky crowd, but there is also that sense of wondering what algorithm is pulling the string and why—especially when the feed feels heavily stuffed with a select few users.
Even though Bluesky is backed by Bitcoin-loving Dorsey, there is very little in the way of a crypto vibe in terms of what people are posting, and there are no payment or tipping options as yet. And while Bluesky was conceived as a decentralized platform hosted across multiple autonomous servers, it is reportedly still centralized for now—though to be honest, this is not something I care about too much while they are still getting the platform up and running. For now, I’m happy to take it on faith BlueSky is building a social network that’s not about gobbling data to sell ads, and that will let users take their social graph with them if they head to a different platform.
My biggest worry for Bluesky, for now, is related to The New Yorker’s observation that the platform becomes the equivalent of a Rumble or TruthSocial but for the over-educated white liberal set. And indeed, most of the content I’ve seen on Bluesky is consistent with a certain elite bubble. But it’s early days yet—Bluesky is still invite only—and, based on the overall experience, I have faith it only become more heterodox over time.
Finally, on a totally different note, I’m very pleased to say that our team has launched Crypto Crash Course—a series of cards that explain key concepts in crypto in plain English, organized by difficulty, and with action items to try out. Please check it out.
As we in the U.S. slide into the Memorial Day long weekend, a reminder there will be no newsletter this coming Monday. Hope everyone has a safe and relaxing couple of days as we head to early summer.
Jeff John Roberts
Binance is launching a new credit service that will let customers put up NFTs as collateral to obtain ETH loans. (CoinDesk)
Paradigm, the large crypto VC firm, is playing down blockchain on its homepage and is now calling itself a "research-driven technology investment firm." (The Block)
DCG is closing down its pricing and prime brokerage service for institutional investors, TradeBlock, months after it shuttered its wealth management service. (Bloomberg)
The Winklevii chose Dublin as the headquarters for Gemini's new global crypto exchange. (Irish Times)
Zimbabwe has launched a gold-backed stablecoin in the country's latest bid to quell decades of economic chaos. (Bloomberg)
MEME O’ THE MOMENT
DeSantis's "Do Bitcoin" enters the lexicon:
This is the web version of Fortune Crypto, a daily newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered free to your inbox.