BlackRock CEO gives his opinion on Crypto

The dawn of the next cycle?

Welcome back to The Benchmark, a weekly newsletter read by thousands brought to you by Alongside, where we cover the latest crypto news, interview builders in the space, and dive into new projects.

Market Check-in

This Week in Crypto

Top Binance Executives Leave Over DOJ Investigation

Binance is facing an exodus of senior executives amid ongoing investigations by regulators globally. Among those who have recently left are General Counsel Han Ng, Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann, and Senior Vice President for Compliance Steven Christie, according to a Fortune report. The departures are reportedly linked to founder and CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao's handling of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation concerning alleged attempts to deceive U.S. regulators, money laundering, and violations of sanctions. The departure of these executives could complicate Binance's legal defense, as the company is already under scrutiny from regulators around the world, including the Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. CZ, amongst some of the executives that left Binance, took to Twitter to dispute those claims:

Gemini sues Digital Currency Group and Barry Silbert

Gemini, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by Cameron Winklevoss, is suing Digital Currency Group (DCG) and its CEO, Barry Silbert, over alleged fraud. Gemini claims that DCG and Silbert knowingly lent large sums of cryptocurrency and U.S. dollars to Genesis, a DCG subsidiary, even though they were aware of Genesis' substantial insolvency. This is all based on a feature that allowed Gemini users to loan crypto to Genesis for interest, which was halted in 2022 due to market turmoil before Genesis filed for bankruptcy. Cameron Winklevoss alleges that false financial reports were made by DCG and Silbert, contributing to a $1.2 billion deficit in Genesis' balance sheet. Gemini is seeking to recover $900 million on behalf of its clients.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink speaks on Bitcoin and ETFs

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, endorsed cryptocurrencies this week, stating that they could "revolutionize finance," despite his previous skepticism. This shift will likely encourage other Wall Street executives to focus on cryptocurrencies, although there are concerns that Fink's preferred investment vehicle, the Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), contradicts the decentralization ideals of cryptocurrencies, since they aren’t available on chain. ETFs are traded on regulated stock exchanges, far from the crypto ideals. Some argue that Fink's endorsement could assist in mainstream adoption and further integrate Bitcoin into public consciousness. Critics fear that this could dilute the decentralizing principles of cryptocurrencies, turning them into 'accessible poker chips'. It’s likely today that Larry Fink is less interested in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, but rather giving BlackRock clients the price exposure.

More reading from this week

1/ Seoul court holds first hearing for Terra co-founder Daniel Shin

2/ Presidential candidate RFK Jr. is a Bitcoin Holder

3/ Polygon Labs Sees Change in Executives

Your biggest enemy when it comes to investing is.. yourself.

Here's why you should get out of your own way:

The average investor significantly underperforms the market. That means they would be much better off putting their money into an index that tracks the S&P500 rather than try to manually trade stocks. Most of the time, they'll make more money, and.. it requires 0 management.

It gets worse. A 2013 study showed that 80% of day traders lose money. In other words, almost all of them. If you were given a 1 in 5 chance of survival when boarding an airplane, you probably wouldn't board that plane, would you?

Most people tend to trade emotionally. It's when your investments are showing red that you're most likely to throw in the towel. But good things come to those who wait. On short horizons, the market can be painful, but zooming out - it usually works out well long term.

Even professionals that charge high fees don't always have an edge. In fact, they often don't - and many of them underperform the market.

In aggregate, it means that most people are better off not timing markets - because they are more uncertain and volatile than you might expect. There's no predicting what happens next.

When in doubt, zoom out.

Lessons like these are why Alongside exists today -

because while the crypto market is still volatile and in it's infancy,

We believe passive and long term outlooks apply there too:

If you are receiving this email, you signed up to receive email communications from Alongside in the last year.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.