Arthur Hayes on cactus, confessions, and a year of reckoning in 2019

Singapore, SINGAPORE – Cheeky BitMex CEO Arthur Hayes is at it again. Most notably after calling Ethereum (ETH) a double-digit crap coin earlier this year, he’s calling out every ICO that has amassed more than US$50 million and gleefully challenging them to list on an exchange sooner rather than later.

Hayes dedicated his latest newsletter to the “concept of zero” after briefly staring at his cactus plush toy. And then it’s off to the confession booth where Judas is an Ethereum developer who is absolved of his depravity of selling his soul to decentralise “everything”.

This was followed by taking a dig at highbrow funds invested in pre-ico private sales using the girly game of Polly Pocket because he probably saw it laying around the house. Illiquid and unlisted, the insulation is that those who took money are probably sweating beads the size of Polly’s head.

While it’s not always coherent, his research team has compiled a list of tokens that have raised over US$50 million and are not yet listed on any credible crypto exchange to date. They include big names such as Telegram, Filecoin, DFINITY, Polkadot, tZero, Oasis Labs, and RSK among others. He adds that “given the large amount of token supply out there, who will buy this sh*t?”. And that 90% down out the gates are likely as he laughs like the guy sitting at the front row at a Dave Chappelle stand-up act.

Other than Telegram, revenue will be slow and gradual, and cash will be burned like that field of marijuana in Mexico as funds are used for capital expenditure, marketing and operational purposes. Some might even fail even if they are exceedingly well-funded. They will need to grow rapidly to survive. Tardiness in coming up with a strategy to coddle their token price upon listing may be fatal even as they make know their products to the market beyond technical white papers. Sometimes, it’s wiser to just give investors back the money.

Hayes wrote:

“2019 is going to be the year of reckoning for many funds. You can mark something to an absurd level in year 1. But the meter starts again on January 1st. If these things come to market, there will be no accounting tricks to hide the gargantuan losses that these funds will post.”

Or maybe, just wants everyone to buy Bitcoin instead, his flair for dialogue-driven screenplays notwithstanding. Perhaps, he feels he has some Tarantino in him and is using it as his framework for analysis.

Finally, he used his last bullet on STOs and is probably the only one still willing to refer to a character played to Kevin Spacey in Kaiser Soze from The Usual Suspects, by lampooning tokenising everything as being just as senseless as decentralising everything. And that worthless tokens are in all shapes and forms aren’t going to fool everyone for long once regulators finally get their act together.