El Salvador’s Landmark, Elon Musk’s Lowlight, and the Coming Layer 1 Wars

CoinDesk’s chief insights columnist sums up the year and gives his predictions for 2022.

This week on “Opinionated,” we sit down with David Z. Morris, CoinDesk’s chief insights columnist.

DZM gives us the highlights and lowlights from 2021, and looks ahead to 2022.

His highlight? El Salvador.

“For me, the bitcoin policy in El Salvador was the landmark moment of the year,” he says.

El Salvador has been buying bitcoin at a rapid clip, attracting bitcoin entrepreneurs. It has issued a “Bitcoin Bond” that’s available to nationals through the Chivo bitcoin wallet.

This points to how bitcoin may point to an opportunity for indebted nations that are often excluded from traditional credit markets to find new ways to grow.

“It potentially gets El Salvador and other countries out of the yoke of the [International Monetary Fund] and World Bank, which maybe do some good work but by and large have not been great actors over the last 30 years,” Morris said.

DZM’s lowlight? Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the man who needs no introduction.

“Elon Musk has to be top of that list of things that annoyed me this year. He’s a guy with a ton of influence who decided he was curious about crypto and didn’t want to bother learning anything about it, and then came in and created a lot of disruption in the market and confused a lot of people.

“I don’t think there’s anywhere to go for his reputation other than down from here,” Morris said.

“You’ve got to be not just nuts but somewhere on the not-caring-about-other-people spectrum to have a million of followers and tweet #baby doge with no context or explanation or consideration of how people are going to respond to that.”

“He’s financially abusing people who support him and it’s irresponsible. He’s been fined by the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] before in reference to tweets about his own company. So imagine how responsible he’s going to act when he’s giving financial advice when he’s talking about things he’s not responsible for.”

Morris also looked ahead to 2022, offering three predictions. Top of the list:wars between the likes of layer 1 (base) chains Avalanche and Solana and longer-standing chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“Given the issue with fees that Ethereum has had, it became a real opportunity for people to stand up new layer 1s that have had genuine adoption,” Morris said.

Listen in for more insights from David Morris and “Opinionated” hosts Ben Schiller, Danny Nelson and Anna Baydakova.

Articles mentioned in this podcast:David Z. Morris: Behind the Scenes of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bond With the Man Who Designed It

This episode was produced, announced and edited by Michele Musso. Our theme song is by Elision.