Welcome to another installment of How to DYOR! In the first article, we discussed popular Venture Capitalism (VC) firms and the resources they have available to everyday readers. The sources I’ll be discussing below are crypto research firms that have made it their mission to provide and support high-quality insights and updates about the crypto economy.
My research tip for this week is to have a question in mind when delving into these libraries of knowledge. Try and establish a question you want to be answered and determine how each new article or piece of research can help you answer your question. Anything non-relevant you can save for later. In this industry, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted by the latest technological advancements or announcements so maintaining focus is a skill worth practicing when conducting research.
Glassnode focuses on providing intelligence surrounding blockchain data and cryptocurrency-related analyses. Chances are you’ve seen their charts around and it’ll be no surprise that this analytics firm has a library of reports for institutional and retail investors alike. Most of their research is around Ethereum and Bitcoin but they have a wide range of research that delves deep into the greater crypto ecosystem.
The first and foremost resource Glassnode produces is their newsletter ‘The Week On-Chain’. This newsletter delves deep into major market events and pairs it with their live dashboard where the featured charts within the newsletter are available.
Full Disclosure: Glassnode does require a paid membership to access all of them and only offers up two specific charts from that week\’s newsletter for free users.
Analysis and Research is where you’ll find the latest market analysis and reports on market performance. The team even has a section dedicated to DeFi within the Ethereum market. I’d highly recommend “The Great DeFi Deleveraging’ for an in-depth analysis of the capital that has been flushed out of the market since this bear market started.
In terms of translation, you won’t find many projects that can boast of having their newsletter translated into 12 different languages. Glassnode hosts Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, French, Portuguese, Farsi, Polish, Hebrew, and Greek versions of their website with more planned so stay tuned.
Messari is the product of Ryan Selkis and was founded in 2018 to provide crypto market intelligence products tailored to help professionals navigate crypto/web3. Fair warning, a lot of their content is based on a subscription-based plan so make the judgment for yourself if the investment is worth it. The website offers plenty for free so don’t be dissuaded by the price (or better yet, take advantage of the free trial periods and gobble up all the material you can).
First, let\’s talk about what’s readily available. The research portion of the website boasts hundreds of articles from a wide range of authors with categories ranging from crypto infrastructure, valuations, NFTs, DeFi, and much more. Keep an eye out for the little Pro or Enterprise icon on the thumbnails of the articles. If you see either of those you won’t be able to access the article for free. At least in the DeFi section, I’d say at least 60% of the articles are free but this could vary from category to category to just keep it in mind.
The Governor tab is the first I’ve seen of its kind and focuses entirely on DAO governance. Messari currently tracks over 850 DAO’s, 3000+ proposals, and numerous ongoing discussions with those organizations. It also offers a simple sentiment analysis of active proposals based on interactions with the host site. If you’re interested in running your own DAO, they have a database of tools used for treasury management, compensation, onboarding, and more for those of you that wish to build your own decentralized community.
If you decide to subscribe to Messari, you’ll have the option of a Professional or Enterprise plan. Pro subscribers can access research reports covering DeFi, smart contracts, Web3, NFTs, and more. It also allows subscribers to unlock additional metrics and functionalities on the screener, charts, and watchlist tools. The Enterprise plan offers all of the features of the Pro plan, as well as exclusive market intelligence features which allow retail investors and institutions alike to track all major events, changes, and protocol decisions across 100+ assets.
If you need more newsletters in your life, Messari has you covered with their daily newsletter featuring hot takes from Ryan Selkis himself.
Delphi Digital offers institutional-level research and analysis dedicated to advancing the understanding of the digital asset market. The project is a collaboration of independently owned and operated entities sharing the ‘Delphi’ brand, resources, and personnel. We’ll be looking at ‘Delphi Research’ and a few other offerings under the Delphi Digital umbrella. The company does have two paid subscription offers but are valued at $1,000 and $10,000 so probably not the most accessible options for budding researchers.
The first stop will be their Delphi Daily articles. Over 150 free articles covering market movements and promising new developments. These short updates act as excellent diving boards for extended research into a variety of upcoming topics. They also have a Notable Tweets section that covers some of the more discussed crypto news for that day.
The Delphi Library offers a curated collection of research reports and media content if you’re sights are set on a particular topic. I’d highly recommend ‘The Hitchhiker\’s Guide to Ethereum’ for the most in-depth article I’ve found about the innovations outlined in Ethereum’s roadmap. Never did I expect to be reading such a comprehensive article with the word ‘Danksharding’ at the forefront.
For those of you that prefer learning through video and podcasts, the website hosts over 100+ videos covering a wide array of business case topics. I had a great time watching this video ‘The NFT Collector: $50,000 NFT Collection Competition’ where two NFT collectors compete to see who can build the best NFT collection. Check out ‘The Delphi Podcast’ for interviews and discussions with leaders in the digital asset industry.
Social Science Research Network
Now hear me out, this one may seem unlike the others but this site has actually been an invaluable source of scholarly content. Established in 1994 by two financial economists, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is devoted to the rapid spread of scholarly research in the social sciences, humanities, life, and health sciences, and more with their library offering over one million research papers across 65 disciplines.
The project has over 855 papers that mention the word crypto and over 100 that mention NFTs which is honestly a lot more than I expected. Each paper lets you either read the report online or download the pdf file and it’s all for free. If you’re looking for university levels of referencing and reporting this is a great place to start.
The true gift of sources like these is the reference list within each article. These lists are acting as diving boards into other related research papers with their own reference lists! More free information that builds your knowledge web.
My first exposure to the website was ‘Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul’ where Vitalik Buterin expands on his idea of a ‘Decentralized Society (DeSoc)’ and ‘Soulbound’ tokens (SBTs). A truly thought-provoking concept piece that may have real-world implications sooner than you would think.
Below are a few topical articles that I enjoyed.
- DeFi Protocol Risks: The Paradox of DeFi – A dive into risks within the DeFi system and the challenges it will face as its infrastructure faces growing pains
- Built to Fail: The Inherent Fragility of Algorithmic Stablecoins – A potentially prophetic article on the ‘perpetual vulnerability’ of algorithmic stablecoins
- An Investor’s Guide to Crypto – The white paper for tradfi investors looking to dip their toe in digital gold.
These research firms are providing some of the most polished crypto-based information currently available, mostly for free. Take some time to add these websites to your bookmarks and your crypto research endeavors will thank you. Join us in the next installment where I’ll be discussing which crypto exchanges have the best educational content.