a photo of crypto expert reviewer Ari Paul

Ari Paul

Ari Paul is the co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital.

Reviews by Ari Paul

🔑 5 positive | 💩 11 negative

💩

Big picture: I have nothing against Ripple or XRP. It's not a scam. It may have a killer use case. Just need to acknowledge that more than 50% of XRP is owned by one company, and most trusted nodes are run by that same company, and some assets on ledger can be frozen.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2017-12-31 | Full Review

🔑

Monero and BTC are the only two cryptocurrencies I've ever publicly recommended for investment. I'm a big fan of the XMR devs and the Monero ethos.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-05-17 | Full Review

💩

Wasn't NEO just shot in the knee by the Chinese government? Why would you want to own an ETH clone facing regulatory destruction?

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2017-09-04 | Full Review

💩

IOTA's primary pitch is to be infinitely scalable and free. This requires that users run nodes that validate transactions, and that these "users" can be things like a toaster to be applicable for IOT. Tangles use tiny amounts of PoW to validate and prevent spam. But . . . if the PoW required is so low that your toaster can do it, then it's also low enough that a bad actor can mess up the graph with cheap spam.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-02-19 | Full Review

💩

Dentacoin was likely either held by a very small number of participants who each knew there was no point in trying to sell, or it was held by "unsophisticated" investors with no conception of valuation or markets.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-06-25 | Full Review

💩

Augur and other oracles (and anything that requires complex smart contracts) has a very long road to being really usable. The only use cases ready for prime time are very simple: payment rails, digital collectibles, and soon tokenized real world assets.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-04-21 | Full Review

🔑

But many other protocols have been born of true differentiation. Consider Decred — created by former Bitcoin developers who wanted to fix things they didn't like about BTC. They added governance, PoW/PoS hybrid — which may be more secure than PoW — and now, privacy.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-07-17 | Full Review

💩

With Ethereum's monetary policy, there's literally nothing to have confidence in or not. . . . There isn't even a concrete long-term plan. With Bitcoin, there's a powerful status quo Schelling point; not certain, but powerful.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-11-30 | Full Review

💩

The only advantage that Tether, XRP, or TrueUSD offer is regulatory arbitrage, which is temporary in nature. Eventually all the rules that make it annoying for banks to use USD for settling cross-border payments will apply to XRP and Tether (and TrueUSD) as well.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-02-10 | Full Review

💩

[T]he TRX paper copied [Filecoin and Bitswap]. Also...TRON doesn't actually *exist* as a network...to be the next Bitcoin, you first need to produce...ya know, a network.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-03-25 | Full Review

💩

Polymath, Harbor, Ravencoin, Twerk, Templum, [are] among at least a few dozen early attempts [at creating programmable securities]. Regulations slow this down, and there’s no value until network effects are bootstrapped.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2018-10-25 | Full Review

🔑

Bitcoin is bigger than the Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin (BTC) the asset is tracked on the Bitcoin blockchain and transferred over the Bitcoin network (usually). If this was the end of the story, it would be a problem, since the Bitcoin blockchain is first generation technology with limited throughput and features.

But BTC can be used on other protocols and networks. The Lightning Network is a layer 2 protocol that allows for numerous fast and cheap BTC transfers that settle to and are secured by the Bitcoin network. People may also use sidechains, drivechains, and other L2 or L3 solutions.

[This] means that BTC is unlikely to be rendered obsolete by competing protocols that offer incremental improvements. BTC users can access those features or greater bandwidth by using BTC on other protocols like LN.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2019-02-08 | Full Review

💩

Grin is mostly a feature. That feature can be added/accessed via other cryptocurrencies without a new token. I think it's unlikely base protocols with new features can survive long-term.

Grin's reason to be is mostly mimblewimble, which is a feature, which I'm skeptical is enough to support long-term value for a base protocol cryptoasset.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2019-02-08 | Full Review

💩

I greatly admire the 0x team in all regards, really they’re awesome and doing amazing work, but I’ve yet to hear a coherent argument for value from governance that survives concrete examples.

If 0x network does what I want, I don’t need to own any, voting isn’t necessary for me (and costly because it requires tying up capital in a volatile asset.)

If it doesn’t do what I want, there’s 3 possibilities: I own a small amount of 0x, too little to swing the vote, pointless. I own enough to swing the vote, in which case I’m probably such a giant player in the ecosystem that I could likely fork and take other players w/me since what I want also probably extends to other big players in a similar position. Actually, that’s it. That covers the big cases, and in each one, owning 0x is an opportunity cost and risk without concrete governance reward.

Ari Paul, Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital

2019-02-01 | Full Review