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Nic Carter

Nic Carter is a partner at Castle Island Ventures, a venture firm focused on public blockchains. He also created Coinmetrics, a site that provides key metrics for crypto assets.

Reviews by Nic Carter

All coin and product reviews by expert Nic Carter.

  • Nic Carter on Monero Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Monero is one of the few projects with a genuine community.

    Full review 🔑

    2018-04-30

  • Nic Carter on Numerai Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Numerai is probably the only example of tokens in a tokenized network being used as a bootstrap mechanism. It's amazing what you can do when you optimize for growth and not short-term enrichment.

    Full review 🔑

    2018-03-20

  • Nic Carter on New Economy Movement Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Something is deeply wrong with NEM, but I haven't quite figured out what it is yet.

    Full review 💩

    2017-09-27

  • Nic Carter on 0x Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    I think ZRX is great but it’s telling that its main use is as a “governance token”, something which has yet to be codified...Greatest intellectual challenge for token buyers - decoupling network usefulness from token value. ZRX another casualty

    Full review 💩

    2018-01-15

  • Nic Carter on Basic Attention Token Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Basic Attention Token ($BAT) is probably the only token with a plausible market and platform right now. Brave is doing fantastic work

    Full review 🔑

    2017-07-04

  • Nic Carter on IOTA Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    IOTA is more appropriately described as a “crowdsourced hate machine” these days.

    Full review 💩

    2018-07-24

  • Nic Carter on Steem Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Steem has already collapsed into a hopeless mess of politics, campaigning, and bribery. The proof of work is simply obscured, not absent. Raw hashes are a lot more elegant.

    Full review 💩

    2018-03-09

  • Nic Carter on PIVX Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    PIVX master nodes are unwinding – people losing faith. If they start to liquidate (already happening on PIVX)... the cascade will be something to behold.

    Full review 💩

    2018-09-05

  • Nic Carter on EOS Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    I know lots of really smart people that are EOS fans; maybe I'm missing something here, but I've never heard a good justification for the structure of the sale. On balance, going for the continual-outflow model was a huge reputational risk that few things would have justified.

    Full review 💩

    2018-10-28

  • Nic Carter on Nano Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    [Nano] is a DPoS coin that claims to have free transactions with no trade-offs. It was heavily astroturfed on Reddit. I felt that its consensus mechanism might entirely fail, and that the considerable enthusiasm was contrived. Amazingly, January 1 was almost its precise all-time high — its market cap on that day was an eye-watering $4.6 billion.

    In fact, the consensus mechanism for RaiBlocks (rebranded to Nano) did not fail, but its major source of liquidity, the BitGrail exchange, did get extremely hacked in February. This wasn’t a trivial hack, either — approximately $150m (at February prices) went missing. That was a mammoth 13% of the entire supply. Despite the immense setback and a truly impressive price collapse, development appears to be ongoing.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Nano

    2019-01-01

  • Nic Carter on Dash Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Dash remains fairly active both on the development side and the community development side. The plutocratic “governance” process continues to fund (mostly unproductive) projects with a pool of capital subsidized by 10% of new issuance. On the adoption side, Dash has been redirecting its marketing budget towards buying ads on planes (smart: you literally can’t look away!) and lobbying businesses in Venezuela to accept the currency. I’ll admit it, I’m pretty impressed with the willingness of the Dash community to stubbornly crusade about banking the unbanked… with an asset that exists to facilitate rent-seeking on a massive scale.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Dash

    2019-01-01

  • Nic Carter on Augur Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Augur deserves credit for being a functional and interesting dapp, although it’s unclear whether the decentralized reporting will prove robust enough to support liquid markets and induce large punters to join the platform. And I personally believe it would be less fragile as an open source launch with an anon/non US dev team, rather than an ICO-funded venture.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Augur

    2019-01-01

  • Nic Carter on Storj Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Storj is a distributed data storage token project that raised about $30m in an ICO in May 2017. It’s in a rough category of troubled data storage projects along with Filecoin, Sia, and MaidSafe. It has seen its fair share of drama and founder exits. When I’ve asked, technical experts with domain knowledge will concede that distributed file storage is a near-intractable challenge, and a mainstream application of the technology is still years away.

    Full review 💩

    2019-01-01

  • Nic Carter on Tezos Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    The Tezos situation is a beautifully pure illustration of when dreams meet reality in network design. Neat and tidy on-chain governance becomes messy human institutions, litigation, and marketing campaigns for one fork over another.

    Full review 💩

    2018-02-03

  • Nic Carter on Tron Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    The TRX ERC20 coin is a placeholder for a future coin on a new chain. However, until mainnet launches (looks like May 31 is their latest date, undoubtedly to be pushed back), they are just an ERC20 token. Their usage stats are pathetic compared to ETH.

    Full review 💩

    2018-04-07

  • Nic Carter on Siacoin Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Siacoin's model, while convoluted, is also a nice innovation. A portion of every contract for storage goes to founders, so developers are incentivized to enable the production of many economically significant contracts rather than just pumping the price.

    Full review 🔑
    Show thread Nic Carter on Siacoin

    2017-08-28

  • Nic Carter on BitShares Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Everyone with a brain saw the dynamics of [delegated proof of stake] and understood [the formation of cartels] would occur. We now have lots of good evidence from Steem, Lisk, Bitshares. DPoS is not a new form of governance, but a very old one – a feudal protection racket.

    Full review 💩

    2018-06-05

  • Nic Carter on Bitcoin Gold Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Verge, Bitcoin Gold, and Monacoin (unverified) have all been attacked in the last day or so. This is the inevitable destiny of every smaller PoW chain.

    Verge and BTG were both sold as a “better bitcoin”. This is the fate of every better bitcoin.

    Full review 💩

    2018-05-22

  • Nic Carter on Grin Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    If Grin is successful, it will be linearly inflationary and disempowered in a few key aspects. Imagine: Monero = crypto Swiss bank; Grin = confidential emailable cash transactions.

    Full review 🔑

    2018-01-10

  • Nic Carter on Binance Coin Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    BNB markets itself as having a fundamental backstop (cashflows) when it does not. [Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao] encourages these valuation models and [retweets] them.

    BNB could be a great instrument if:
    - they paid pro rata dividends to holders in perpetuity, not this insipid burn
    - they actually released real 10ks/ quarterly earning reports
    - they stopped pretending that there was a utility component for valuation

    Full review 💩

    2019-02-15

  • Nic Carter on Unus Sed Leo Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    LEO is like a not terrible version of BNB but they're both very distant from resembling equity, or really any credible claim on cash flow

    Full review 💩

    2019-06-16

  • Nic Carter on Stellar Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    [Stellar is] like a more pointless Ripple, which is a seriously impressive threshold of futility.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Stellar

    2019-09-10

  • Nic Carter on Dai Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Bank deposit-backed stablecoins will win (and have already won) simply because they're more capital efficient, and that trumps everything.

    You can get censor-resistance lite from a network of shadow banks willing to back stablecoins. As long as there's some bank worldwide willing to facilitate the issuance of these things, they will exist.

    Even the decentralized™ stablecoins like Dai/Sai clearly have an issuer/administrator . . . so it's not clear that they're any more able to resist coercion than, say, an overseas bank in some tax haven somewhere.

    There's a reason there's $4.5b worth of Tether outstanding, $450m of USDC, and only ~$100m worth of Dai. It costs >$1.5 to create $1 of Dai, and it costs ~$1 to create $1 of USDT/USDC. The economics is persuasive.

    Consider that banks issuing unaccountable stablecoins might converge, censor-resistance-wise, to administrators of crypto-backed stablecoin systems (which do exist).

    In that case, the bank-issued coins are cheaper.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Dai

    2019-11-18

  • Nic Carter on Telegram Open Network Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    [The] TON [whitepaper] was just blockchain fanfic. Investors almost certainly got implicit or informal assurances there weren't present in the whitepaper from Telegram.

    Full review 💩

    2020-01-06

  • Nic Carter on Decred Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Decred ticket price: ~80 DCR or about $2200. Anyone with a balance lower than that cannot stake and their funds are diluted away.

    No one seems concerned about the distribution of wealth in Decred but I'd wager that ticket price excludes 50%+ of tokenholders. This is what I mean when I say staking introduces a regressive tax.

    Full review 💩

    2017-12-07

  • Nic Carter on Zcash Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    [In Zcash,] the protocol has been racked with controversy over whether the administrator should receive additional protocol-derived funding. The spigot of seigniorage is very hard to turn off, once active.

    Full review 💩

    2019-12-27

  • Nic Carter on Dai Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Bank deposit-backed stablecoins will win (and have already won) simply because they're more capital efficient, and that trumps everything....To be fair I think there’s a big chance something like Dai is able to retain its true censor resistant characteristics and so remains differentiated, but I think it’s likely to stay somewhat niche.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Dai

    2019-11-18

  • Nic Carter on Bitcoin Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Bitcoin was a multi billion dollar incentive to create better storage modes for cryptographic secrets. One of it’s great underrated traits

    Full review 🔑
    Show thread Nic Carter on Bitcoin

    2020-01-19

  • Nic Carter on XRP Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    The best argument I have against Ripple is: Imagine if another company, not named Ripple, was started in 2020 and announced their intention to monetize by selling a new currency/asset to retail with no restriction, disclosure, or securities exemptions.

    They would be hit with an SEC action so fast.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on XRP

    2020-01-10

  • Nic Carter on Verge Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Verge had 5 [hashing] algorithms and one of them was exploited to cause hyperinflation. Adding complexity adds risk.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on Verge

    2020-01-26

  • Nic Carter on USD Coin Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    USDC might claim that it's playing nice but it's exploiting a arb between cosplaying as regulated and actually being regulated. they haven't blacklisted an address yet. it's effectively permissionless (with all the issues that inculcates) until regulators wake up.

    Full review 💩
    Show thread Nic Carter on USD Coin

    2020-01-26

  • Nic Carter on Tether Partner at Castle Island VC and Co-founder of Coinmetrics

    Stablecoins have a TON of usage. Each Tether turns over about 60 times a year. Each unit of BTC... 5. It's ok to acknowledge that stablecoins solve a problem which isn't perfectly solved by bitcoin.

    Full review 🔑
    Show thread Nic Carter on Tether

    2020-01-26