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April 11-17, 2021

The crypto exchange Coinbase is now worth $63.6 billion following its public listing on Wednesday, which dominated the week's tech news.

To put that number in context of more familiar stock-market names, Coinbase's valuation is now greater than that of Twitter ($56 billion) but a notch less than CME Group ($74.5 billion), which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In other words, Coinbase's listing is undeniably a big milestone for the crypto industry as a whole. Could the stock be overvalued right now? Sure. The same could be said of bitcoin or other tokens that trade on Coinbase and its competitor marketplaces. Or these things could go to the moon from here.

(Full disclosure: I do not own Coinbase shares. I do own some bitcoin, as well as smaller amounts of a couple of altcoins.)

The bigger point that I think should come across loudly is that crypto is here to stay. The extreme bearish narrative that it's all puffery and will go to zero is just as delusional as some of the outsized profit claims made by less savory characters in the space. (The stock market and every other corner of conventional finance have such miscreants as well, by the way.)

As in many things, the truth probably lies somewhere inbetween. Crypto could go down from here, yes, but not to zero. There is clearly some value there that will be significant for the longer term, probably a dollar figure that at least starts with a b, if not a t. In such an environment, fortunes will continue to be made and more businesses of significant scale, like Coinbase, will be built in the decades to come.

A few other numbers to put the big picture in perspective. All factoids here based on CoinMarketcap.com data unless otherwise noted:

That's it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! A full revision history of it, including earlier drafts, is available here if you're interested. If you'd like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.

— 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.