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This week on The Bit, we’re joined by Ryan Selkis, the Founder and CEO of Messari, a powerfully in-depth resource that provides all sorts of data and analytics on the crypto space. 

Ryan and Stephen touch upon everything from the rise of Ethereum and decentralized finance to the battle being played out over America’s infrastructure bill and how that will impact the crypto industry.

Here are the show notes:

[01:09] Down the Rabbit Hole

[17:11] The “Flippening”

[22:19] Crypto in the Political Spotlight

[28:53] Regulatory Confusion

[33:12] Looking Ahead 

Stephen: Hi, and welcome to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast, where we give you the inside scoop on all things crypto. I’m Stephen Stonberg, the CEO of Bittrex Global. 

Sometimes it feels like the crypto space is moving at lightspeed, expanding so quickly that it’s difficult to stay on top of all the developments flying around the ecosystem, from the growing Bitcoin versus Ethereum battle and DeFi’s mainstream encroachment to the neverending debate around Bitcoin’s energy consumption and some of the ascendant next-gen proof of stake blockchains that we’re seeing more and more of. 

So to join us in our trip around the crypto space and help us understand some of the trends, ideas, arguments, people, and projects that are defining this space, I’m speaking today with Ryan Selkis, the Founder and CEO of Messari, a powerfully in-depth, analytic platform that brings transparency to the crypto ecosystem. 

It’s a tool that everyone in crypto should be taking advantage of, like we do here at Bittrex Global and at Bittrex. And whether you’re an investor, a regulator, or even someone who’s completely new to the space, you should definitely check it out. So Ryan, welcome to The Bit; excited to be chatting with you today. 

Ryan: Thank you for having me.

[01:09] Down the Rabbit Hole

Stephen: So, looking forward to discussing some of the trends and definitely digging into some of your views later with what’s going on in DC. 

But let’s start with the first question we ask everybody. When did you buy your first Bitcoin? How did you hear about it? And how did you get involved in this space?

Ryan: I told this story a few times now, and I’m certain to get it fully polished, but I actually got my first exposure to Bitcoin in mid-2011.

Stephen: That’s like dinosaur days.

Ryan: Well, hold on. Don’t give me too much credit just yet, because I learned about it that summer the last time, or arguably the first time, that we had real significant spending dysfunction in Washington, DC. 

If you recall, we had that budget fracas known as the debt sequester when they said, “if we can’t come to some resolution, we’re just going to implement these across the board 20% cuts” or whatever it was. And sure enough, they missed the deadline and then they basically just kicked the can. 

There was no actual consequence to their inability to reach a resolution, so the aftermath result was S&P downgraded the US debt. This was kind of a big wake-up call that not only is Washington DC dysfunctional, but it’s also maybe irreparably dysfunctional, and we’re going to continue to spend money that we don’t have.

I have some libertarian ethos, but at the time, the way to play that as an investor was to buy Bitcoin and buy gold or short dollars or short US Treasuries. Unfortunately for me, I shorted treasuries, bought gold, and ignored Bitcoin because, at the time, you would have had to go to a cafe and get somebody to mail it to you with a USB stick.

It was very hard to buy, and it was a little bit shady, but I heard about it and thought it was interesting. I’m not a developer; I have a finance background, so I just kind of tucked it away in the recesses of my mind and then I came back to it later. 

Unfortunately, I came back in mid-2013, and this was still relatively early, but not as early as 2011. But in mid-2013, Fred Wilson invested in Coinbase. The Winklevoss twins had rolled out their ETF proposal, and when the Fed shut down Silk Road, it was clear that was kind of a trifecta for me that made it feel reputationally safe to buy a little bit through Coinbase. Sure enough, it went up six times in a matter of a few weeks so I had to look at it seriously. 

It’s just like a buy, sell, hold type of decision. Something that moves that much in your portfolio, you have to figure out exactly what’s happening. I ended up liquidating my 401k, used half to pay rent, half to buy more Bitcoin, and never looked back.

Stephen: Amazing. So that’s a great story. Look at how far you’ve come, and from those early days, too. And we’ll obviously talk more about Messari. 

But for those of you in our audience who may not be aware, each year, Ryan and Messari release a very comprehensive report on the space called Crypto Theses, which covers the people, trends, companies, projects, and predictions that you need to know about. 

So, needless to say, it’s always eagerly anticipated each year. We started talking about Bitcoin in 2011. Now we’re more than halfway through 2021,10 years later. Ryan, how have some of your predictions played out for this year?

Ryan: Someone else just asked the same question, and I wrote so many predictions, and I’m so outspoken that I feel like you need to be more specific and call me out on things that were either right or wrong. The Theses summarize and synthesize the full year of research that our team puts out daily. So identifying patterns, bingeing the month before. I’ve written them historically on everything that our team has already produced and trying to get a sense of what the trends are and look at. 

The directional things that we’ve called out in the year-end report were that Bitcoin was going to have a moment, and the rally was not over by the time that we wrote it; it was Thanksgiving. 

The reason was simple: spending would continue unabated, the economy was coming back, so there would be inflationary pressures on the macro side. I think we were bullish on Ethereum. I was probably less bullish on Ethereum, so I guess I gave myself out. And I think that thesis has changed a little bit because it has a narrative moment from an ESG standpoint. The successful implementation of 1559, I think, is meaningful from an economic standpoint; there’s just so much throughput on the Ethereum blockchain. Its competitors have not siphoned off demand. 

But then we did call out the explosion that we expected to persist in DeFi because there are actually interesting underlying fundamentals in Web 3 technologies as we continue to see more and more tech platforms’ censorship and monopolistic behavior. 

The centralized infrastructure that’s been built out around lending derivatives and just a much healthier financial ecosystem that bridges the gap between purely software-driven device base and in the more established regulated, centralized services that are making this asset class more accessible for institutions. So there’s a lot in there. I think a lot of it holds up well; it is also written to hopefully not become obsolete overnight. 

So I encourage people to still check it out if you’re trying to go from zero to one in the industry as a whole, and you can handle a few f-bombs. Because anything that long, I try to make it entertaining and colorful.

Stephen: You went from 2011, you didn’t know much about this, and now you’re speaking like a complete expert in this space. And it’s such a complicated space for people to move over. So I guess that’s part of the reason for Messari. And it’s grown into such an indispensable tool for those of us in the crypto space. 

So why don’t you give us some background on the firm, what it is, what sort of data tools and advanced statistics you’re using, and why that stuff has resonated so well with the community, whether you’re new or some kind of an OG user.

Ryan: Sure. So at a high level, our mission is to organize and contextualize crypto data at a global scale. And ultimately, what we want to do is drive smarter investments and smarter participation in these ecosystems. 

To do that, one of the first things you need to recognize in the information business is that your persona and your user base and that entire part of your business is going through a hockey stick evolution more often than not. And so we have users that come to us for the first time basically looking up an asset not named Bitcoin or Ethereum. 

So you can look up Bitcoin and Ethereum data and research on our site as well. But basically, assets 3 through 10,000. Where do you go to get information? And more often than not, we have really highly relevant and deep profiles and qualitative information along with mortgage data, on-chain data, third party driven data sets that apply to this long tail of assets. 

Whether you’re a crypto exchange, considering listing a new asset, or you are an institutional investor thinking about which additional sectors you need to support, it will make it easier to do that. Then the paid tools are a little bit more sophisticated and help people with day-to-day workflow needs when it comes to information flow.

Stephen: So speaking of somebody who’s new to crypto, who wanted to get in, Steve Cohen liked it so much he bought the company, so you had this massive Series A funding round, with Steve Cohen from Point72 leading the charge. 

Can you share with us what other big-name investors are looking at Messari and what’s the opportunity they see, not just crypto but investing in Messari?

Ryan: Sure. So your point of clarification, obviously, Steve Cohen is the founder of Point72 and Point72 Ventures is, I think, most, if not all, his personal capital. But Point72 Ventures was the one that led the investments, not him directly. 

And I think one of the reasons that they’re excited about Messari, and this was in our press release last week, is that it is a good kind of institutional entry point to get a broad-based view of the market. It’s the proverbial Bloomberg for crypto; we’re delivering more advanced research and data sets for a more white-glove audience that’s now warming to it and maturing when it comes to their crypto appetite. 

It’s a model that makes sense, and it’s a business that’s growing very well. This is because the market has grown, and people realize that there is more to crypto as an asset class than just digital gold equivalents, like Bitcoin.

Stephen: So you’re the Bloomberg of crypto, which is how it’s been described to me. But why isn’t Bloomberg the Bloomberg of crypto? Just like the banks, have they missed the boat and think it’s rat poison and didn’t want to touch it, giving you the opportunity to do this? 

Ryan: Well, I think incumbents always move slower. And for something like crypto, it’s very likely that some of the incumbents will buy their way into crypto analytics. So whether that’s S&P or Thomson Reuters, or Bloomberg, I would imagine there will be some inevitable M&A and consolidation as appetite for these types of analytics picks up.

Stephen: Maybe you’ll buy Bloomberg if the market keeps moving in this direction. It could go the other way.

Ryan: Exactly. And the interesting thing with crypto companies, in general, is that historically if you’re a venture backed business, the exit opportunities are you want to sell to a strategic because it’s a really good financial outcome, or you want to structure to go public. Crypto offers this third option, which is essentially user ownership and tokenization. 

Not only does it provide that opportunity, but it also offers the opportunity to essentially have a holding company structure and spin up multiple mini networks or many tokenization schemes. So you could have multiple revenue lines that ultimately become tokenized businesses that are spun out of a core business. And we’ve seen a few other teams pursue this so far.

Stephen: Thanks for that explanation; I agree with that. 

So, getting into some of the juicy stuff. Let’s talk about some of the big influential names in the space. Also, why on earth is Elon Musk at the top of this list still?

Ryan: Well, he’s the wealthiest man in the world and he’s also the savviest social media communicator maybe in the world right now, especially since Trump was kicked off of Twitter; I think he has the ability to lob information bombs at will and get publicity for himself for his companies, and it’s clearly working. So I think there’s a lot of mimetics in play when you’re talking about crypto and its credibility and who’s excited. 

Most people that are investing in Bitcoin or Ethereum or any other digital asset for the first time are not going to put their neck on the line and be the first investor. By definition, that’s not how markets work.

But having said that, I think if you look for some of these big names that are getting into Bitcoin for the first time, you kind of go down that rabbit hole and decide if it’s interesting. You also have to look at if it’s logical then look at cycles past and say, okay, this is the public figure that got me in today, and now I kind of agree with the thesis. 

It looks really interesting, but who are some of the earlier stage public figures that actually put their neck on the line four years ago? Eight years ago? Also, what were they saying then? What would they also write about? What is your next round corner? 

I think there are many long-term-oriented people who have lived through multiple cycles now. It is really difficult to say with a straight face that Bitcoin or crypto is just a Ponzi scheme, and it’s a pump and dump. When you look at every single year, just being a series of highs or lows for basically 12 years in a row with maybe one exception. So I think when you look at it through that lens, I think there’s a lot of value in people like Elon Musk. Crypto is antifragile, even though Nassim Taleb is not, but if you follow him on Twitter and see how sensitive he is. 

I think the fact that we had this incident in May where Musk then turned around and said we’re not participating in Bitcoin until it’s figured out the energy situation. And then China banned the miners and they legitimately forced hash power outside of the mainland. So, you have all of these events that were really negative in terms of headlines, actual disruptions to some of the narrative, and some of the actual operations in the industry. 

Then all of a sudden, the price stopped falling, and then it was basically business as usual and right back on track. So this has happened for a decade, nonstop, every single time: there’s something that’s going to kill Bitcoin, or kill Ethereum, or kill DeFi, or kill whatever it is. 

It just doesn’t happen because all of these problems, as soon as they’re identified, some entrepreneur or some developer gets to work on it, solves it, and becomes a multimillionaire.

Stephen: Yeah, an efficient market is amazing, pure capitalism. We don’t have the Fed or somebody coming in and stepping in to prop this up. It corrects, but then it can come back.

Ryan: Well, it’s hyper-capitalism. And because you’re talking about deploying code, people can move so much faster than you can, and even FinTech, because FinTech is still regulated centralized tech. So, I think that’s so exciting that you’re basically taking all the liberties of building a software developer with all the economics of being in financial services. 

There’s going to be some real battles there and some folks are going to go too far and kind of step over the line. And we’re going to see fraud, manipulative behavior, and whatnot. But that’s to be expected. 

The net result, the mean, median, and mode result, will be significant forward progress in a much more innovative financial sector in the US, Europe, and, basically, wherever this technology is not actively encumbered.

[17:11] The “Flippening”

Stephen: So just shifting gears a bit, one of the top stories that have been emerging, and you mentioned this a bit with your views on Ethereum, but this whole “flippening” argument, which is, for those of you who don’t know, “flippening” means that Ethereum is eventually going to overtake Bitcoin as the number one crypto asset and be a valid store of wealth in its own right. 

And it’s not that far-fetched. Some of the growth rate you’re seeing, and just the sheer variety of use cases that are really coming out that Ethereum can solve. Not to mention you’ve got the rollout of Ethereum 2.0, the explosive growth of DeFi and NFTs. 

So what do you make of this argument? I’m guessing you’re going to agree with it a bit. But do you think Ethereum is really set to take off now?

Ryan: I think everything’s set to take off; that is the issue. So what is the speed at which this can happen? It would not surprise me to see Ethereum overtake Bitcoin at this point; I don’t know if it would even necessarily be sustainable. There’s still quite a lot of work that needs to be done to prove that one. 

Stephen: Interesting. And I think the other big story other than the “flippening” is that you can’t get away from a conversation around DeFi, especially the last few years. So I’m assuming you’re excited about it, and if you’re not, tell us. 

But what made you excited about DeFi? How does this whole decentralized finance wave and all these investment opportunities in the sector compare to the 2017 sort of ICO days, if you think that’s a relevant comparison?

Ryan: So I think a really important difference is ICOs were insane in terms of what was getting underwritten in terms of white papers and ideas. There were certain things that were basically being bid up to 100 million, billion-dollar valuations that just there was no code there was like a team and a white paper, and that was it. Today in some respects, it’s kind of equally crazy what’s happening in DeFi, but the code works, so it’s basically just like hopping from casino to casino in like Cryptos Las Vegas, right? 

So it makes sense; it’s probably not sustainable, and there are more Ponzi-like behaviors, but at the end of the day, if you believe that capital is going to remain in crypto, and you’re going to be able to build lending markets, derivatives markets, other decentralized exchange markets, all of which can actually generate fees and earn fees at the protocol level and at the lender level, then it’s absolutely long-term sustainable. 

So, the question is, how far ahead of ourselves are we getting? Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Is there going to be a cooldown period or some kind of negative catalysts that really pulls back the lending activity or decentralized exchange activity; those would be the things to watch for. I think the NFT space is maybe more similar to ICOs. But at the same time, these are all collectibles and digital art, so some of these are like digital Beanie Babies. But some of them will end up looking more like high-end art.

Stephen: You can take real high-end art and put it into a token; it doesn’t have to be digital art and NFTs. Like you could take a Picasso…

Ryan: Exactly. Personally, I understand why NFT’s are taking off. I’ve missed out on all of it because I don’t have time to like to evaluate. With a day job, I can’t scroll through pages of JPEGs…

Stephen: What’s going to be valuable?

Ryan: Well, it’s just a shame on me. But I’m trying to build a company.

[22:19] Crypto in the Political Spotlight

Stephen: Okay, so now the story I’ve been dying to talk about with you the whole time; the most interesting and timely one. You’ve been a bit outspoken. So I’m interested to hear your views. 

So obviously, the big story playing out now is all these concerns about this interesting “infrastructure bill” in the US and how it’s going to impact the crypto space. There’s a proposal in this bill to raise money through more aggressive tax reporting and compliance in crypto, which sounds good, but the original bill qualified nearly everyone in the crypto space as a broker. 

So even for a utility token, you’re now a broker. I know you’ve been following this story closely; what do you think is the latest in this battle, and how do you see this resolving itself? If at all?

Ryan: Well, it’s on to the House, I guess; I don’t know how serious it is. We’ll have a better sense of how serious it is after the battle in the House. So hopefully there’s some forward progress in the House and amendments that make this easier to digest, because the current language is just totally unworkable and overly broad. 

You’re basically relying on floor statements from the senators that drafted the original language saying, hey, this is actually what we intended, but if you intended it you’d fix the language, right? 

So hopefully through this reconciliation process with the House, some of the House amendments will kind of factor that in. And we’ll just have to wait and see. I think regardless; this is a good opportunity to catalyze.

I had a realization that I truly believe that crypto is almost like its own political party in the sense that it’s not just a political issue; it’s not just a bipartisan issue a lot of people support. But for many of us in the industry, it really is like a single-issue voting bloc. This is because, by its very nature, your crypto has political undertones and undercurrents, and I think it represents a lot of folks in tech, in finance, in libertarian circles, in classical liberal circles that just don’t really have an option to vote for smaller government and less censorship and less surveillance. 

So I think libertarians were very strong in kind of bootstrapping Bitcoin, but I would say that the kind of crypto party, if you will, it’s not just right-leaning or libertarian Bitcoiners anymore. I think it also includes a lot of more progressive folks that have entered the space more recently, and the younger developers are more socially active, but here’s the thing… 

They’re all more or less aligned on the core concept of if you’re going to destroy our industry and make us uncompetitive, or basically force us to choose between America and crypto, well, we’re not going to choose between America and crypto, we’re going to do everything in our power to destroy your political career and run you out of office and run your colleagues out of office. They will mobilize in such a way that is as politically dangerous to be on the wrong side of the crypto agenda, as it is to be on the wrong side of a PAC, or the NRA, or the major union lobbyists, and any one of these extremely vocal, grassroots efforts that have a strong and really passionate base of voters. 

I think that’s the end game here, and ultimately, I think we’re going to be effective with it because, as Rahm Emanuel once said, “never let a crisis go to waste.” I think we’re going to be able to use this, and importantly, because this was not resolved in the Senate, the tenor and tone of the conversation is not going to fizzle out. Because now, it’s just kind of been jacked up, the volume has been jacked up to max volume. Because of the way that this was blocked at the last minute by one senator, after a bipartisan effort to actually fix the language.

Stephen: We’re totally apolitical, especially because Bittrex Global is outside of the US, but it’s better to get involved in US politics….

Ryan: Stephen, hold on, hold on. This is not…

Stephen: I’m saying I agree with you on that. Like, this is not political. This is finance. And so everybody’s united around the same thing; why would you want to have crazy regulation around financial innovation? 

That’s what I’m saying to you. We’re all on the same page with this. This is not a partisan issue at all. I think we can all unite around this in the crypto industry.

Ryan: I guess my point is, it’s bipartisan, but it’s not apolitical. Apolitical would basically be, you know what, we’re going to step back, you do your whole rigged DC game shenanigans, and we’re just going to sit here and build.

Stephen: This is a very unique issue, and you’re right; it’s been tied to all this political stuff when it shouldn’t be, and it should be a bipartisan approach to something that shouldn’t be politicized at all. I think that’s what I was inarticulately trying to say. But thank you for calling me back. 

But it just shows you, though, in terms of an exchange, or Bittrex, to deal with this issue. Even before this, the uncertainty from the lack of clear regulation in the US, we bifurcated the exchange until we have contracts drawn for Americans and US passport holders. 

And we didn’t want to subject our non-US clients and non-US token teams to this complete circus. I mean, the EU has very clear rules now around what’s a utility token, what’s a security token? They’ve got MiCA coming; we are registered under the Blockchain Act in Liechtenstein and can operate very openly and with good regulation that’s getting better. 

So I think that’s a nice model, perhaps for the US, and hopefully, you can get there. I think the danger is that, as you pointed out, companies will vote with their feet, and if they don’t get this right, as Americans, it’s really bad for the country to have the whole industry leave, and nobody wants to see that. 

So I agree with you; it’s not going to go there, but we know when bad regulation comes to industries, regardless if it’s crypto or not, the companies just leave to go offshore. And that’s bad for everybody. So anyway, I agree with you. 

[28:53] Regulatory Confusion

Stephen: So continuing in this vein, last week on the regulatory front, we had SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. He spoke at the Aspen Security Forum, and he promised an aggressive approach to the crypto space, articulating that investor protection is his agency’s number one mandate. 

What do you make of these remarks? What do you think needs to be done to ensure retail traders and institutional investors are protected without stifling growth and innovation? How are they going to thread this needle?

Ryan: I would like to remind people aggressively that Gary Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs vampire with $100 million net worth, so of course he doesn’t care about retail access to high growth investment opportunities. This nonsense that the SEC is capable of protecting investors from the highest performing asset class and the highest growth sector of the American economy is just unbelievable, complete, and utter bullshit. And everybody knows it. 

The only thing that DC politicians and bureaucrats know how to do is exert more and more power. And this goes back to I think crypto is inherently political, and the political party’s platform is “no.” If you’re buying into crypto at this point, I certainly hope that people understand it is a very risky, volatile asset class. And that’s fine. And the volatility is a feature, not a bug. 

It’s probably the thing that has allowed us to get to this scale, quite frankly, because if we didn’t have these massive spikes and busts, we would never have periods of fallow, where we can kind of build for the next cycle. And the regulators just ignore us because “oh, well, 2017, everything crashed, crypto is just kind of dead. So let’s focus on Facebook and Libra because they’re the real threat.” And that’s been great for a while, but at some point, that ends. And I think we’re probably close to the end of that line right now. So I only speak on behalf of myself; it’s tough to disentangle myself from Messari, but Messari is very politically neutral as well. 

I think I support all the work that Coin Center, Blockchain Association, and some of the other existing groups down in DC have been doing. But there needs to be more of an aggressive grassroots effort to not just educate and very calmly and methodically build relationships with staffers and help them understand what’s going on in the industry; there needs to be a counterweight, too, that really rallies up the base and goes to the jugular when people are trying to destroy a good chunk of the American crypto ecosystem. I don’t know the right way to do that anymore without being extremely aggressive about it, so you have to take an all-of-the-above approach.

[33:12] Looking Ahead

Stephen: Crazy times. You got to escalate to even be heard right now. 

So moving away from politics, this is not a question about the midterms at all. So we have a bit of time to go to 2022. But it’s really not that far off, believe it or not. 

You’ve shared some of your thoughts on markets in 2021, so I’m interested in your views not on elections but the markets and what projects and trends you think are going to dominate 2022.

Ryan: I think right now everything is still moving more or less in lockstep, so we tend to see everything go up in bull markets, and then everything goes down in bear markets. But then the kind of pace of separation of good assets versus not too good assets tends to happen in the upslope of a bull market. 

I don’t have a crystal ball, and you’re not financial advice, and all the typical disclaimers; I’ll just say my personal portfolio is basically Bitcoin and Ethereum, some Blue Chip DeFi assets, the networks that are throwing off significant fees and are growing and kind of best in class. 

And then also angel investment. I have a portfolio of predominantly infrastructure companies focused on DeFi data infrastructure, DAO infrastructure, NFT infrastructure, and so on. I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about playing the ponies because I don’t want to incur massive tax liabilities. The highest ROI thing that I can do is build a company, which is where 100% of my focus goes on a day-to-day basis.

Stephen: This is not investment advice we’re asking for, of course. We would never do that on this show. But I think our audience would love to know where you see Bitcoin and ETH at the end of the year.

Ryan: I could absolutely see $100,000 Bitcoin and $10,000 ETH at this point. I think it’s a pretty meaningful rally in a short amount of time. But it would not surprise me.

Stephen: Okay, and I think we’ve heard that echoed before, and I actually think this is the first year I can fathom that we might hit those levels. But again, we’re not giving investment advice.

Ryan: So we’re probably going to $15,400 or so.

Stephen: I like it. So just to wrap things up, I’d like to ask another similar question to the last one; what are you interested in crypto, but outside of what you’re doing at Messari or your personal investments? 

Is there anything, either a specific blockchain or crypto or just some project or anything else you’re interested in that you think the audience should start to pay attention to?

Ryan: I think how these decentralized organizations are governed is going to be really fascinating to watch. And, in particular, how their treasuries are managed.

Stephen: Where can they watch this? Do you report it at Messari? Where can they read about this stuff?

Ryan: We have some research reports on this, but the data is so nascent that we’re actually in the process of building some of that reporting infrastructure right now. If you think about it, DAOs have really only existed for two years since Moloch DAO, and some of the other kinds of new implementations came onto the scene a couple of years ago. Then Compound, their governance was launched last summer, I believe. 

So yes, some of these emerging DAO governance primitives and treasury management primitives are less than a year old. And I think they’re critical because ultimately, every single management decision and allocation of resources in DAOs and these communities is a proxy vote. 

So we need to get much better at allocating resources on a decentralized basis and in a way that doesn’t just result in massive handouts and a ton of problems in terms of performance monitoring and measurement of outcomes. Because otherwise, all these tokens are going to get pissed away and poorly invested, and that will ultimately drive the market down anyway. 

We’re excited to enter that space because, as I said, we’re really good at organizing and contextualizing information at the onset. Still, ultimately, you need to use that information for some action. Historically that’s been investment decisions, more recently, helping enterprises understand if they can support an asset from a product and compliance standpoint.

I think the third kind of major behavior and workflow that we’re going to be getting into is, how do you actually participate and earn money and become basically a decentralized worker? If you’re an individual and then obviously if you’re someone that’s participating in a DAO, and you’re an owner in the DAO, how do you actually make sure that investments of treasury get stepped out?

Stephen: Well, I agree with that; it’s so fascinating, and I think what’s so interesting is you have a product in Messari where if people want to learn more and just follow these trends, they can get the data that you’re talking about. So you sort of eat what you kill, I guess. You have the data available. 

So Ryan, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and talking with us about really every pressing issue around the crypto space and, frankly, for being so frank, which I think is refreshing. 

We learned quite a bit about all the different projects that you and your team are working on and definitely looking forward to hearing more great news in the future from Messari.

Ryan: Thank you for having me. And I hope people stay fired up, especially if you’re in the US. Because there’s a lot more to do, and I actually think we’re too big to fail at this point if people are just properly motivated.

Thanks for listening to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast. Our guest today was Ryan Selkis, founder and CEO of Messari. To learn more about Messari, visit That’s

To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit And please make sure to subscribe to our podcast; you can find us wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you for listening and for making The Bit one of the fastest-growing podcasts in the world of crypto. I’m Stephen Stonberg, the CEO of Bittrex Global.