Good morning,

The two big things that have happened in crypto this last week are: (1) crypto prices went up a lot very quickly and (2) the SEC released new guidance on tokens and their first no-action.

I’m not really going to comment on either in depth (well, a little bit on price but purely conceptually). My take on the prices is there are more buyers than sellers at this time and my take on the guidance is there isn’t anything particularly surprising. If you want to dig deeper, I’d read Kathrine Wu on the topic though she ends with:

The TLDR of the guidance and no-action letter is this: while the SEC (and other agencies!) are clearly being thoughtful around what sort of direction or guidance to give, there is unfortunately still a lot of nuance and questions that remain unanswered.

Don’t expect a moment of clarity.

Separately: someone suggested that I do a roundup of interesting links every week. I haven’t done that in the past because a lot of people do that. But if a lot of you would find that valuable, I’m happy to. It’s relatively low effort since I’m already reading all of it. If you’d get value from this, reply with an affirmation.

On to the post:

When Benjamin Franklin said “there are only two certainties in life - death and taxes” he was expressing epistemic humility–almost everything in life is uncertain. At the time, I suspect most people focused on the death and taxes part of the saying–they were salient issues. And they didn’t have The Black Swan, so what did they know of uncertainty.

I try my best to internalize the same epistemic humility. I don’t even think death and taxes are a certainty! But over the years, I am noticing some things that, while not certainties, seem to be true.

Already a member? Read the full update here

Become a member to get posts like this

Support the site and get members-only benefits

Subscribe for $100 a year

or subscribe monthly for $12 a month

Members receive a members-only analysis each week that is timely and substantial. I've been asked to be more opinionated and responsive to current events, so I'll try to do that in this more private forum. If you want my critical take on what matters in the industry, you might enjoy these analyses.

You can see a sample of a members-only analysis here. And a list of all of them here. Don't take it from me, check out these tweets from members:

  • "@tonysheng's writing is the best out there and this is worth every penny" --Myles Snider, CEO of Aurora EOS
  • "Highly recommend signing up for a membership if you're full-time in crypto or passionate about the space" --Spencer Noon, Managing Partner at DTC Capital
  • "All signal, no noise" --Zach Segal, Product at Coinbase

Over time, I'd love to develop more benefits like transcripts of podcasts (maybe host my own), a members-only discussion forum, AMAs with industry leaders, and more.

Thank you. I hope you'll stick around.


If you aren’t already familiar with my work, I write long-form analyses on building and investing in crypto, and the impact of crypto on society.

My readers include investors at Union Square Ventures, a16z, Village Global, Multicoin Capital, Scalar Capital, and Polychain and builders of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, EOS, Tezos, 0x, and Coinbase.

Some awfully nice things people have said:

Tony’s blog is one of the best hidden gems in crypto. The content is regularly some of the most insightful out there. I read every post with a fine toothed comb.

–Kyle Samani, Cofounder and Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital

Tony is one of the most insightful and independent writers in the space. His newsletter consistently provides original perspectives on crypto/blockchain fundamentals that inspire you to think more critically.

–Soona Amhaz, Cofounder and CEO, Token Daily

If you read one person’s writing in the space, make it Tony’s. Tony breaks down complicated crypto concepts and economic theories in ways that educate both the beginner and expert alike.

–Erik Torenberg, Cofounder and Partner, Village Global

Not a member? You're missing out.

Join thousands of crypto insiders who make reading my analyses a part of their weekly routine.

Subscribe for $100 a year

or subscribe monthly for $12 a month

Member updates

June 20, 2019

Libra versus the state and lessons from the Algorand auction

June 14, 2019

Who has power over Facebook's GlobalCoin?

June 6, 2019

How to get and avoid getting sued by the SEC (Kik, Voice, LEO)