In this episode, we turn the mic on Cobie and Ledger interviews him about his story and all things crypto. It’s one for the ages.

Audio Version


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Show Notes

UpOnlyTV Notes

Introduction & Early Days

 ⁃ Bought Bitcoin first in 2012 but really down the rabbit-hole through 2013 onwards

 ⁃ Only other original CT person still active is Bob Laxative (formerly KingBTC)

 ⁃ Being early turned people into survivors. Cryptsy, MtGox etc hacked. Everything going to zero, only self custody BTC felt safe

 ⁃ Started with £200-300 ($500) and didn’t put any more fiat in other than one investment in 2020 (that went to zero)

 ⁃ Got shilled QuarkCoin by Bill Still on cryptsy and accidentally sold the top. Got a DM from Jebus911 about another coin that went 70x

 ⁃ Up significantly in BTC early but down in USD in bear market. Lost a lot of BTC on things like BTCBuilder

 ⁃ Sold Cryptsy listings via API for months while at uni for free multiples before the alpha got leaked

 ⁃ Saw BTC as the solution following the financial crisis and levels of corruption and incompetence


 ⁃ Gox was the main exchange and allegedly had a bot to buy back BTC that had been lost

 ⁃ Constant buy pressure caused the price to run

 ⁃ Unsure what the outcome would have been on the state of the market if it hadn’t happened

 ⁃ Some friends got completely wiped by Gox

 ⁃ Psychologically put a lot of people off BTC having to consider the cost of buying the BTC they had lost

Trading & Making It

 ⁃ Wouldn’t consider ever having been a full time trader

 ⁃ It was more of a hobby or side hustle. Decisions mostly based on instinct and prior cycle behaviour

 ⁃ It’s become much harder to call cycle bottoms and tops

 ⁃ People create narratives to rationalise things it’s easier to learn from your own mistakes with time looking back

 ⁃ Above average at most things when actually trying, except League of Legends

 ⁃ Deep down believed he would eventually be a millionaire. Without crypto this would still have happened from acquisitions/startups

 ⁃ Opens you to being more risk tolerant in other areas of life e.g. taking stock vs salary

 ⁃ Easier to have conviction when you don’t sit through large drawdowns and can gauge risk. “HODL is for poor people” unless disciplined you’ll let your gains evaporate and might become a forced seller at the bottom

 ⁃ Tries to estimate probability of it being over on every dip. Wants to sell as close to the top as possible, can buy back higher if wrong. Won’t work if you do this on every dip


 ⁃ Idea of a Supercycle described by Su in earlier episode is probably right

 ⁃ If crypto becomes integrated into society and BTC becomes the store of value then it’s the only thing that makes sense

 ⁃ Thinks it’s not the right time for it to happen, integration is tertiary

 ⁃ If crypto disappears now how many lives are actually impacted

 ⁃ Unless you run …say a crypto podcast? (pls sir my family)

 ⁃ Maybe it is now but maybe it needs another boom/bust first before it reaches that level

 ⁃ Top 10/20 assets on CoinGecko right now – are we really ready for a supercycle??


 ⁃ ETH DAO hack, ETC fork, ICOs put off. Didn’t buy more ETH because conviction was low with all of this. Still held original ETH but could have rotated into buying much more

 ⁃ Instead of focusing on ponzification it’s best to focus on change in products available e.g. genuine use case like lending on chain being built

 ⁃ Building blocks add value to the ecosystem because they enable future building blocks. OG DeFi protocols and things like MetaMask responsible for leading that change

Founding Lido & ETH 2.0

 ⁃ Co-founded Lido but says Konstantin and Vasily are the real brains behind everything along with the core teams. Fought to not call it dPool. (Fought with Ledger to not have UpOnly called TokenTalk)

 ⁃ When PoS was created there was no real concept of DeFi

 ⁃ Staking Ethereum is just a better form of wrapped Ethereum and risk free yield is the bottom brick of DeFi

 ⁃ Thinks merge will be Q2/Q3 or later. Beacon chains have been live for a whole

 ⁃ People will think it’s bullish but $35B on the beacon chain will become unlocked too

⁃ Wider ETH community attitude to scaling is bad in level of acknowledgement it’s atrociously bad right now. Optimistic roll ups have felt like a disappointment so far and ZK aren’t EVM compatible yet

 ⁃ Misaligned incentives between people who got rich holding ETH and the usability of the network

 ⁃ Equally sceptical of alternative L1s. Fragmented liquidity and most will fail to sustain ecosystems without incentives

 ⁃ Easier to trust that ETH will be around in future vs a coin flip on some other L1s. Max 5% survive and likely still struggle. Maybe new L1s just keep getting funded forever?

Identifying the Meta

 ⁃ Used to be buying things before it got listed on exchange, playing on APIs

 ⁃ Moved to buying when it listed on smaller exchanges before it hit the bigger exchanges

 ⁃ Shifted again to how to get coins before they hit any exchange and people would monitor BitcoinTalk and cloud mining was popular

 ⁃ 2017 was ICO meta trying to get in before main token sale

 ⁃ 2020 was DeFi farming

 ⁃ 2021 was BTC -> ETH -> DeFi complacency -> meme coins -> NFTs -> L1s and OHM forks

 ⁃ What’s next? There is no crystal ball, you can guess the narrative that makes sense or watch what’s happening and being aggressive when you spot it

 ⁃ Short term playing the meta it doesn’t have to make sense a lot of the time it’s just a game of chicken anyway. Narrative just needs PMF

 ⁃ People assume they’re already late rather than factoring in if the narrative really takes off

 ⁃ Narrative can drive both supply and demand and people underestimate how it can get out of hand

 ⁃ Figuring out the meta game is the most important thing and how to make money in crypto. Avoid things like YouTube they’re good at content marketing not crypto

 ⁃ Have to avoid maximalism and accept these trades and rotations

Bear Market Predictions

 ⁃ Metaverse and GameFi have crazy valuations but a couple with war chests that will enable them to keep building in a bear market

 ⁃ Main goal can possibly become preserving the treasury vs delivering

 ⁃ Meme coins all to zero

 ⁃ Anything with a constant token emission requirement all to zero

 ⁃ Regulations could cause decentralised in name only projects to disappear

 ⁃ Young hungry teams will keep building

 ⁃ 60% of people who made life changing money this cycle will lose it all

Working in Crypto & DAOs

 ⁃ Shift recently between keeping a normal job alongside crypto to now. It’s become much more mainstream and more risk effective to now join a crypto project or protocol. In crypto it can be better to be an early employer vs founder which is quite different to traditional tech

 ⁃ DAO currently a type of regulatory arbitrage which operates worse but can have a token. There are examples of very good and very bad DAOs

 ⁃ Best DAOs won’t be the ones people like in a bull market, maybe even those with concentrated ownership like 15 addresses vs retail owners getting angry at teams over token economics

 ⁃ DAOs will demand a new type of VC. More contributor type VC involvement e.g. what Paradigm and Delphi are moving towards

Finding a Crew

 ⁃ Early days had a TG group called 27 club to talk about the markets and probably wouldn’t have made it in crypto without it. 70/80% of the members did not make it in crypto

 ⁃ Most people who make it have a group like this to share alpha. Essential to have people in your life who are all in


 ⁃ Picking a group and hating an opposing group is historically quite common for humans

 ⁃ BTC and ETH maxi people are very similar people that would be friends irl but project hatred at each other online instead

 ⁃ BTC maximalism used to be people speculate on new things while quietly all knowing that BTC was the only thing really worthwhile but could experiment to see if there was value elsewhere

 ⁃ Fees similarly now except it’s expanded beyond just BTC to a small number of other coins

 ⁃ Maximalism now has changed similarly to political influencers and become inflammatory and toxic

 ⁃ See it a lot now in BTC and ETH with the same talking points, it’s counterproductive

⁃ Staying open minded is only positive for you as a person within this space. On a long enough timeline all maximalists are wrong at some point

Future Prediction

 ⁃ Most probable future is maybe a KYC country chain with DeFi, but without governance tokens, with the base currency being a CBDC

Risk Management Pyramid Changes

 ⁃ Reason it’s wrong is that if you take a 5% entry in something risky that performed really well, by constantly taking off the position to keep it at 5% you’d ruin your upside

 ⁃ Pyramid makes sense as an entry tool and rebalancing once the trade actually ends makes more sense

 ⁃ There’ll be an updated version coming soon

Final Alpha

 ⁃ “Tyranny is the deliberate removal of nuance” – Albert Maysles

 ⁃ Be wary of anyone intentionally removing or ignoring nuance from a conversation as often they have an agenda

 ⁃ Being a structured critical thinker is probably the most important thing going into 2022 and the following decade

Notes by Kevin and Luke

Music by GiovanniPickle