Peter Ryan is a research analyst at CoinDesk. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers. In Robert Heinlein’s novel “Stranger in a Strange Land,” the character Jubal Harshaw asks one of his secretaries to identify the color of a house in the distance. She replies, “it’s white on this side.” In other words, if you see something only from a certain angle, you can’t be confident you have the full picture. This goes for cryptocurrencies as well as for physical objects. While it would be disingenuous to claim the price of a coin doesn’t matter, it’s only one of several ways to measure the success of a blockchain network. Looking at these in aggregate offers a more useful perspective than obsessively checking U.S. dollar exchange rates on your phone every hour. (Or every minute, for some. Stop that, it’s
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