Week in Crypto Q&A with Elena Obukhova | Solana Bugs, Luna2, FOMO Traps, and China Bans
Q. Solana was down yesterday for hours due to a bug. We had talked about your dislike of Solana last week, anything else you’d like to say now?
A.We were discussing the project and its centralized qualities only last week, and I expressed my reservations about it. There's no way a decentralized blockchain can go down for 24 hours like Solana did last September and again this week. I understand that everyone is working hard to create projects and that problems and incidents occur, but it is a huge concern for me that the project was initially designed as a centralized project. That is why I dislike the project's vision and personally don't think it's sustainable or what we are here for in the blockchain industry.
Q. What do you think of the latest tech lawyers offering assistance to victims of a rug pull, Ponzi scheme, or other?
A.Assume they're scam lawyers attempting to assist you in recovering funds from another fraud while also scamming you on the second level. It's kind of shocking if they are lawyers and you can't see any information about them, I would see it as a red flag. At the same time, how are you going to recover your funds from a crypto scam, majority of projects and scams in the industry weren't even registered companies. It's just someone who launched a coin with a whitepaper to get money and disappear. I mean, good luck, recovering funds from them, you will have to spend so much money on lawsuits, and you will never even get to these people. To begin the process and attempt to recover your funds, you must be in the same location as the individual you are attempting to bring to court and know where this person lives in order to present paperwork.
So I'm not sure if this can succeed, apart from large projects that failed and refunded money back to investors to protect their reputation. I remember the situation with Telegram, they tried to go through Ico and they couldn't because it's a registered company and our government didn't really like them having their own cryptocurrency so they had to go through a process of refunding because they care about their reputation. In terms of scams, I would always say if you were scammed you should just move on because in 99% of cases you're not going to recover anything you can try but I wouldn't be that optimistic and that's why research before jumping on board is crucial.
Q.Soros Fund Management CEO warns about FOMO traps, What do you think she means by Fomo trap?
A.Yes traps can have a different nature. So when we have a recession or hyper-volatile market which usually happens when the market is crashing or growing really fast the majority of retail investors are jumping in because they see a good opportunity to quickly get extra funds. However, former traps exist and that's when retail investors feel they're gonna miss out on the next opportunity and instead of making weighted decisions, they're just jumping in, getting liquidated, and losing their funds because they didn't analyze markets.
Fomo also happens when you're scared and see there's some new coin appearing and think it might be a great opportunity to earn money, you see that all your friends are investing. That's usually a red flag, if everyone is doing something on the market, that does not mean it's good, it means everyone is moving all their funds to one place, and then there will be a correction. So you also need to understand that and instead of making rapid decisions without any research, try to think about what your goal is? Is it a long-term investment?. There will be always an opportunity but you need to understand it wisely instead of just jumping on whatever random stuff your friends are.
Q.A new Luna Token has been listed on exchanges, What are your thoughts on a new Luna Token and exchanges offering it?
A.For me, there are a few red flags with the announcement time of Luna2, I feel it's rushed and I'm not sure how much improvement you can do when you're just trying to clean up your mess. We saw that the experiment failed with Luna one and didn't perform well because it wasn't designed to perform well and survive crisis conditions on the market. Did Luna learn a lesson? Maybe that was a lesson for Luna to realize this model is not going to work, even after fixing any bugs and minor adjustments. I could be wrong and Luna2 might be successful.
Before investing I would personally look deeply into their tokenomics, vision, business plans, and related projects to understand what’s happening and whether Luna2 can survive the next crisis. I would say the speedy turnaround suggests Luna doesn’t want to be forgotten and is an effort to satisfy their current community who may want to recover their funds. The timing is crucial for them if they delay for a year Luna could possibly have to start from the beginning. Look at Etherium 2.0, how long does it take? Right? They didn't do it within two or three months they're taking their time to make sure the system will be working.
Q.Thoughts on the South Korean digital assets committee and oversights on crypto?
A.South Korea is a very interesting market, I lived there for almost a year doing lots of business with South Korean crypto companies helping them with tokenomics, stress testing, and business development for South Korean crypto projects. That's where my consulting company FAS initially started. The South Korean market is very closed in comparison, there are a lot of projects that are primarily focused on South Korea and don't really care about global markets due to a lack of access and communication. Sometimes trends that we're experiencing like with NFTs or defi come there later and they also take a different angle. So if we look at South Korea and its demographics, they have a wealthy economy, and a large portion of the population is in a position to invest compared to other locations.
I remember in 2017, there was a ban on ICOs and restrictions on cryptocurrency tradings, which didn't really stop a highly educated society from looking for loopholes. But I got lots of requests as people were looking for someone who didn’t have a South Korean passport to buy Bitcoin at a lower price outside of South Korea, then move it back to South Korea and sell that exchange at a premium, because there were restrictions of course price was affected. I think a similar situation will arise with the new regulations the government wants to introduce as with the ICOs soon after the government lifted restrictions. You can understand why they are trying to introduce these regulations in order to sustain their national currency and keep funds within South Korea. How well it’s going to work, I don’t know?
Q.Why did China ban bitcoin mining and should banning it be possible?
A.I already mentioned it’s really hard to ban something crypto-related. I always doubt these bans China announce because when I lived there for four years consulting start-ups, I realized China was very keen on new innovations and cryptocurrencies. In 2017 they were motivating businesses to enter the crypto market with one of the highest numbers of crypto start-ups coming from China. For that reason I can’t see them just banning crypto, I think it was good market manipulation in an effort to get rid of certain operations and they could have gotten more access to the miners and commanded data and revenue sharing in return for allowing miners to continue their operations. In China, there were many instances where a start-up became successful developing a strong market share to only have a large Chinese tech company put in an offer to buy, and if denied they would just replicate the entire model thus start-up would not survive. So my point is if China wants to ban something it's going to be banned.