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May 2-8, 2021

Crypto is now bigger than the U.S. dollar by at least one major metric.

The global valuation of cryptoassets topped $2.4 trillion last week, led by new all-time highs in ether and dogecoin, as well as a modest bump for bitcoin. That now makes the crypto market slightly bigger than the amount of paper U.S. currency in circulation, at $2.2 trillion, according to data published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal. (Note: WSJ's story is paywalled as usual, bless their hearts. But you can see a similar crypto-dollar comparison from veteran markets analyst Jim Bianco for free here.)

Cue crypto heads' favorite rants about inflation versus deflation, whether bitcoin will someday replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency, and so on.

We should also note here that a broader measure of U.S. money supply called M2, which includes bank balances and other forms of the dollar aside from paper greenbacks, remains way bigger than crypto for now, at nearly $20 trillion. But still.

It's more than a little ironic that one of naysayers' favorite criticisms of crypto -- that you "can't hold it in your hands" -- is now effectively moot. By this very standard, crypto has now won. It's only the dollar's own intangible manifestations that make it bigger at this point.

The rest of the week's headlines:

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— Peter A. McKay


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#Web3 Weekly covers the movement toward a more decentralized internet, sometimes referred to as "Web 3.0." In doing so, we define decentralization broadly and try to make the topic accessible to both geeks and non-geeks alike.

Peter A. McKayThe newsletter started as a personal project by consultant Peter A. McKay in 2017. In its early iteration, the newsletter was sometimes published on an occasional basis, under slightly different titles. Since fall 2019, it has run continuously as #Web3 Weekly.