a photo of crypto expert reviewer Nic Carter

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

🔑 7 positive | 💩 25 negative

🔑

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-04-30 | Full Review

🔑

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-03-20 | Full Review

💩

Maker and Dai. Dai users return capital to MKR owners through the burn mechanism. At this point, the value of MKR (the derivative) is about 18x the value of Dai (the underlying). Channelling my best Matt Levine here: "This seems... wrong."

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-05-11 | Full Review

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2017-09-27 | Full Review

💩

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-01-15 | Full Review

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2017-07-04 | Full Review

💩

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-07-24 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-03-09 | Full Review

💩

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-09-05 | Full Review

🔑

The beauty is that Bitcoin isn't a reliable store of value yet, but it will be if it gets adopted. Adoption = more liquidity & lower volatility. So late adoption and SoVness are one and the same. By definition no one can be left out.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-12-02 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-10-28 | Full Review

💩

[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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-01-01 | Full Review

💩

Verge is/was a privacy coin that relied not on enhancing actual privacy at the blockchain level but rather by bolting Tor onto Bitcoin. It was heavily shilled on Twitter and Reddit last year, but the Verge Family has gone quiet recently. Development and social media activity all but ceased when Verge was repeatedly 51% attacked earlier this year. The culprit was its unnecessarily complex five hash function Proof-of-Work algorithm, which led to it being much, much easier to exploit.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-01-01 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-01-01 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-01-01 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-01-01 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-02-03 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-04-07 | Full Review

🔑

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2017-08-28 | Full Review

💩

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-06-05 | Full Review

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-05-22 | Full Review

🔑

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.

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2018-01-10 | Full Review

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-02-15 | Full Review

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-06-16 | Full Review

💩

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

Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Co-creator of Coinmetrics

2019-09-10 | Full Review