I hope this message finds you safe and healthy! As I sat down to write this month’s CoS, I was reticent to focus entirely on the Presidential election and tried instead to strike a balance that touches on my personal love for campaigning without inducing more anxiety into this election cycle! This edition covers election stuff, money stuff, and space stuff. If you need a breather and want to escape the NY Times created this Election Distractor that is very entertaining and the Calm app has put together this relaxing live stream.
This is the first time since 2008 that I haven’t actively campaigned, advancing trips in battleground states, setting up rallies, and creating that magic. The Biden/Harris ticket is one that I’ve been dreaming and talking about for years, honestly well before they were both rumored to be running. Needless to say voting for them has been a personal highlight. Here's a throwback to 2010 when I advanced a fundraiser. Big smiles all around!
Although my participation looks very different than prior years, I managed to enjoy two new “firsts” - I voted in Washington State for the first time and it was my first time voting from abroad. I’m happy to report it was very seamless! I didn’t get a sticker to prove it but did come across a fun gallery of the stickers from all 50 states here. North Dakota held a contest and the winning design was created by a fourth grader! I want one!
There’s a popular saying in politics “the October Surprise”, which describes an unexpected event in the twilight hours of the campaign that can irreparably damage one candidate's chances and boost the other's. I can count on both hands the various “October Surprises” we’ve experienced lately including Trump’s Taxes, his COVID diagnosis, RBG passing, and more.
The term “October Surprise” first took on political meaning during the 1980’s presidential election when it was coined by Regan’s campaign manager. The Regan campaign feared that Carter would announce a breakthrough in negotiations with Iran right before Election Day and he get the support he needed to win the reelection. Days before US voters cast their ballots, Iran announced that they wouldn’t release the hostages until after the election. That November, Reagan defeated Carter and Iran continued to hold 52 Americans hostage, releasing them mere minutes after Ronald Reagan completed his inaugural address in January 1981. Given the odd timing, there was speculation that Regan had made a secret deal with Iran, but later two congressional investigations found no evidence of the sort. Ever since then “October Surprise” has been used in campaigns. Here are 15 other “October Surprises” we’ve seen in American politics.
Speaking of October Surprise, how many of you caught the Simpson’s episode on Sunday? It was a very funny and poignant take on the importance of voting. Here’s the perfect clip of Homer and a great recap in the LA Times.
When I first joined blockchain.com in early 2017 there had been two moments in late 2016 that were significant for the company - the day after the US election and the day after Brexit. As we look back on previous elections the price of bitcoin in 2012 was $10, 2016 was $700, and today it’s $13,800. Bitcoin and politics have always been closely interconnected - as there is more geopolitical uncertainty, the better it performs. This makes sense because it's the only monetary system that is completed decentralized and a way to hedge out of sovereign currencies.
Separate from the price movements, bitcoin has seen significant mainstream adoption in the past month. First, Square announced that it had invested $50 million in bitcoin and then PayPal announced it was going to let their 346 million users buy/sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The timeline below shows some of the key moments bitcoin has had this year.
It should come as no surprise that after three years at blockchain.com that I am still very bullish on crypto and excited to see this new momentum. Since bitcoin is still foreign to many of you, I’m putting together a crypto primer/bitcoin 101 to answer any questions that you might have. Stay tuned for more!
Two big things happened on Saturday the 31st. It was the 12th anniversary of the bitcoin white paper, published by Satoshi Nakamoto (which outlined how a digital peer-to-peer electronic cash system would work) and it was also a rare “Blue Moon.” A Blue Moon is when we have two full moons in the same month, which happens every 2 1/2 to 3 years. Hence the saying once in a blue moon! What made this full moon particularly surprising is that also fell on Halloween - how spooky! 👻 A Full Moon on Halloween occurs roughly once every 19 years—a pattern known as the Metonic Cycle. Fun Fact: this was the first time since 1944 that a Halloween full Moon was visible for everyone across all time zones. Mark your calendars because the next time we’ll get to see a 100% illuminated full Moon on Halloween will be 2039. Maybe by then, the price of bitcoin will be to the moon! 🌝 🚀
A quick personal update. The UK has gone into lockdown for the entire month of November, so I'm in California for the next few weeks and potentially through Christmas. If you're free for a visit, let me know. It would be great to catch up even if it is six feet apart!