For someone who reads Financial Times, it is something astounding to see them publicly bash a major bank – Citi in this case. It was a response to Citi’s bitcoin report from March, which was titled ‘At the Tipping Point’. FT titled its response ‘Hey Citi, your bitcoin report is embarrassingly bad, and we’re going to have a look at whether it really was.
Financial Times’ story skillfully dismantles the arguments presented by Citi’s GPS (Global Perspectives & Solutions) division. And as FT suggests its readers skip Citi’s report, we need to think for a second whether the report was targeted at the FT reader, or not.
The report contains a really wide selection of expertise on the topic of cryptocurrencies. Two of the experts really stood out, as they are introduced as the decisive organs of some of the leading exchange, asset, and infrastructure managing companies.
We’re bringing their status without the intention of undermining other specialists’ expertise, but to highlight the fact that their stories could have a huge influence on how Citi has decided to prepare the report.
BlockFi’s Zac Prince
The first CEO was Zac Prince, who also founded BlockFi. His company has been progressing at an impressive tempo, as has the whole ecosystem of DeFi (decentralized finance).
Not long after Citi’s report, the story blew up about the Greyscale Investments racing competition to launch the first bitcoin ETF. And you shouldn’t be surprised at who’s the largest Greyscale Bitcoin Trust holder ($35 billion) – BlockFi.
On the exact same day, they hit the news again, as BlockFi received $350 million during the 4th round of funding. One of the investors was Bain Capital Ventures, and from that point on we could witness the company’s valuation going up. This sudden and huge growth could easily resemble the one we’ve seen with the likes of Coinbase and Robinhood when the speculations about their IPOs begun.
Prince then gave an interview, where he expressed his appreciation for the newly collected attention and adoption. He also announced that the company has a ‘unique value proposition’. Maybe Citi’s report had something to do with those increases? Well, it surely helped. It could be rather useful to start following BlockFi, if you haven’t already, as their future could be fascinating.
Uniswap’s Matteo Leibowitz
The second CEO mentioned in the Citi report is Uniswap’s Strategy Lead – Matteo Leibowitz. His company has been in the spectrum of investors’ attention for a few months now, having interested the likes of Andreesen Horowitz back in the fall of 2020. Back then, DeFi was valued at less than $10 billion. And since a lot has changed, Uniswap is currently the leader of this space that is according to experts worth more than $50 billion.
Uniswap works on smart contracts only, and it allows its users to trade really popular tokens from their wallets. Coinbase, one of Uniswap’s investors, is worth over $68 billion. If you take the fact, that in August Uniswap’s daily volume was higher than Coinbase’s, into consideration, one could only speculate the Uniswap’s value today.
The person who invented Uniswap was Hayden Adams, who isn’t even a CEO. He’s not an expert in the topic of smart contracts too. It appears that he found Ethereum exciting and ethical – just like that.
Leibowitz’s role in the company is rather unclear, but we could be sure of one thing – he knows what he’s doing, and he’s working with competent people. So maybe it means that Citi also knows what they are doing, and the promotion of Uniswap served a purpose?
Uniswap is available for purchases on Coinbase and should be an interesting option, as it is reaching new highs (right now it’s over $32, with swings to $37). The latest trajectory of it could resemble bitcoin’s, and the currency does pretty well with the DeFi market constantly growing.
To read a comprehensive and fascinating analysis of Citi’s report, as well as case studies of the mentioned companies, visit Disruption Banking’s piece by Joel Oluwatobi: https://disruptionbanking.com/2021/04/07/hey-citi-your-bitcoin-report-is-not-embarrassingly-bad/.