Ep. 46 Oily Bitcoin + Underwear 🩲
Men's underwear. Ukraine NFTs. Crypto for good. Bitcoin + Oil & Gas. Metaverse fashion.
Is the economy gonna boom or bust? Lately, this question has been popping up everywhere. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has pushed oil prices sky high, inflation has been soaring and many people are feeling the pinch in their wallets. So what’s the deal? Apparently, the answer lies in men’s underwear🩲
Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve, once said that sales of men’s underwear are a key economic predictor. The theory is that men’s underwear are discretionary spending…no one sees them except when men change in the locker room or when they are about to….😈. BUT when the economy is bad, men postpone replacing their tired, worn, nasty underwear. This theory proved true during the 2008 recession. I found a study across 56 countries that explored this topic. The takeaway is that the theory does not hold true across all countries…Researchers found a strong correlation between men’s underwear sales and economic performance in Kuwait (0.903), Armenia (0.914), Ecuador (0.917) whereas there was a negative correlation in Cyprus (-0.966), France (-0.955), and Mexico (-0.940).
Friends, I have got one question for you: do you plan to buy more underwear in the next 30 days? Fill out this anonymous survey 😁
On my mind 🧠
Crypto for good💖
I have 60 first cousins. I recently had a nice long chat with one of them. During the pandemic she and her husband buckled down and refocused. The result: they doubled their income over the past year🙌.….BUT they are not any happier.
Instinctively, I know this to be true. Beyond a certain point, additional money does not yield more happiness. In fact, it might be the opposite! The great poet Biggie said it best “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”.
Don’t get me wrong. I am an ambitious person. I want more. One of my goals is to leave an inheritance for my grandchildren. That said, I have come to realize that achieving that “number” won’t necessarily make me any happier. Life is unpredictable. There will be tears and laughter….SO if you are guaranteed to cry, is it not better to cry in a Rolls Royce…(or a Lucid for me) versus a broken down and unreliable dumpster fire of a car? 🤣
But what would make me happier?
Impact. Positive impact.
This week was the 15th anniversary of my maternal grandpa’s passing. He was a phenomenal human being. A simple, hardworking, ambitious, and kind man. Grandpa’s life was transformed by a scholarship in 4th grade. Through grit and grace, he became a doctor then the Chief Medical Officer of Nigeria. He directly treated thousands of patients but his influence positively impacted millions.
Unlike a bunch of my cousins, I decided not to become a doctor. Instead, I’m going Otolorin (in Yoruba this means “choosing a separate path”) in crypto. But the shared values endure. I have always been guided by potential for impact as I have navigated my career journey.
This brings me to crypto. Too often people focus on price but miss the underlying technology. I believe crypto can be a force for good by solving real world problems. I want to dig in and learn more about these solutions. Would you be interested in a series where I highlight some of the solutions, people, and technologies addressing real world problems? Vote here. Tell me what you would like to see or not.
1. Ukraine: First Crypto war, now NFTs?🕶🕯
It’s been said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the first crypto war, now NFTs are getting in on it too.
Given West Africa’s colonial past, I’m painfully aware that it is the victor who gets to write history. The Ukrainian government is establishing an NFT collection memorializing the war - presumably it would feature stories of Russian atrocities and Ukrainian courage. Each piece will be art representing a story from a trusted source written onto an unchangeable, globally distributed blockchain
The funds raised from the sales would support humanitarian relief. Would you get in on this?
2. Russia accept Bitcoin for oil and gas ⛽️
On the other side of the conflict, Russia has been increasingly isolated by Western countries
Now, the Russian government is indicating that they may soon start accepting bitcoin payments for oil and gas sales
This is part of a larger story where the US dollar, some say the “petrodollar”, is being challenged as the de facto currency for global oil trade. When China buys oil from Saudi Arabia, they pay in US dollars. Isn’t that odd? If you lived in the US but wanted to buy avocados from Mexico, would you pay for them in Nigerian Naira…I don’t think so! But there is a history and reason why it is that way today. And now it’s been challenged by China’s Yuan…and also Bitcoin. There could implications for the US economy if this catches on at scale…that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.
3. Big oil is mining Bitcoin 🤠
I love it when my world’s collide….for context, I started my career in in oil & gas as an engineer then a market analyst…..now this week, ExxonMobil disclosed that it has been mining Bitcoin with waste natural gas in North Dakota
Exxon is reportedly also considering Bitcoin mining projects around the world including Nigeria, Argentina, and Germany. Exxon is far from being alone in this endeavor. ConocoPhillips are other companies have been doing so for sometime.
Last year, a friend and I evaluated starting a company to mine bitcoin with flared gas in Nigeria. We had some deep concerns and it did not progress. I’m feeling wistful reading about Exxon executing on this idea….maybe we should have persevered…maybe it’s not too late?
4. First fashion week in the metaverse💋💅🕴🎫🛍
Calling all fashionistas! The first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) is upon us.
Decentraland is hosting the MVFW from March 24-27 featuring over 60 established and digital-native brands including the likes of Estee Lauder to Forever 21.
Attendees can snag NFT wearables, listen to expert panels and have fun at after parties…all in the metaverse. Also, there’s a robot named Sophia who will be walking around wearing the latest NFT wearables. If you spot her in the metaverse, you can snap a selfie and enter a giveaway!
5. Gov of Florida: You should be able to pay your taxes in Bitcoin👨✈️
It’s tax season! Gov DeSantis of Florida wants to make it possible for businesses to pay taxes in Bitcoin. But why just businesses? You have to remember that there are no personal income taxes in the Sunshine State. I think this is probably more gimmick than substance because why would you pay your taxes with an appreciating asset (Bitcoin) instead of a depreciating one (dollars)? Nonetheless, this move is not surprising as Miami has been positioning itself as an epicenter for the crypto industry.
It’s particularly meaningful because Gov DeSantis is one of the frontrunners to be the Republican candidate for President in the next election. At the very least, he could bring introduce the topic at the national level.
But Florida won’t be the first! That crown belongs to Colorado. Earlier this month, the Centennial State became the first to accept crypto for tax payments. It’s expected to go into effect in June! In Colorado, the plan is to accept crypto payments BUT convert them into dollars for deposit in the state’s treasury. I guess the next move would be to hold crypto on the state’s balance sheet. Which state is going to be the first to do that?
That’s all folks. I hope you have a great week. Remember April Fool’s Day is on Friday!