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Metamask founder Joel Dietz is a true Renaissance man – Cointelegraph Magazine



Joel Dietz, founder of Metamask and founding team member of Ethereum, is a romantic at heart. He creates art as Cryptoapollo that reflects the intersection between traditional art and technology.

I have a very classical romantic temperament, which can be hard to bring into the modern world since romantically inclined people can be suppressed in the modern economy, but I also love the cutting edge of technology as it applies to art in architecture and sculpture, explains Dietz.

And like any technological enthusiast, I always try and explore the latest tech such as VR. Mostly my art is digital, although I have played around with physical pieces, he declares.

He is a polymath and a Renaissance man whose passions include the arts, poetry and cryptography. He wears his heart on his sleeve, gets bored easily and is constantly learning.



Dietzs art projects. Source:


Kindergarten programmer

When he first attended kindergarten as a child, Dietz immediately informed his mother that he wanted to be homeschooled instead. She agreed, and this decision was quickly vindicated.

Dietz started programming computers at age six, won a scholarship to Arcadia University at age 13 to study computer science, and thereafter collected prizes for his programming from Salesforce, Google and Topcoder.

Joey Dietz. Source:

After a brief academic career studying comparative poetry and mythology, Dietz joined the Ethereum team on day one, including creating the first educational channel for smart contracts (EtherCasts), writing the first Ethereum DEVGrant and starting Metamask at Devcon 0 which was already his third cryptocurrency-related browser extension.

Dietz was also very interested in the evolution of governance and law with respect to cryptocurrencies. He did the first academic work on crypto economics at the University of Notre Dame in 2014, ran the first on-chain nonprofit election for the Bitcoin Foundation, created several governance-related protocols that culminated in Swarm Markets the first regulated DeFi exchange in Germany and co-organized the first conferences on law and cryptocurrency at Harvard and MIT. He is currently a Connection Science fellow at MIT and an industry adviser at Notre Dame.

His latest projects include a recently launched layer-two solution for the NFT industry called ArtWallet, which currently trades with a $600-million market cap. He is also working on a platform for building metaverses called the Meta Metaverse which he started before Facebook rebranded to Meta.





His academic research interests focus on the confluence of blockchain network topologies and swarm intelligence (self-organizing systems), especially how the principles underlying decentralized organizations can be used to fuel global innovation. He also works on holonic philosophy (how biological and social systems cohere), the evolution of jurisprudence (history of law), data-driven approaches to innovation, and smart city data architecture.

Model sculptor

Dietz dated a sculptor, Marianna Costi, which influenced his appreciation of physical art. He also became a model for her fresco painting, akin to Archangel Michael in Florence, which remains to this day on a wall in an unnamed church in Italy.

I brought this appreciation of sculpture in 2014 to a Burning Man festival, where I designed and commissioned and created a giant metal sculpture, like a Spartan warrior mask, for my first large steel installation art, he recalls.





His own life intersects with art too. A dalliance with erotic photography led him to host an erotic-themed opera with other like-minded people for his birthday. The operatic genre was chosen based on his admiration of Philip Glass Egyptian opera, Akhnaten.

Philip Glass had, in turn, been inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and I am not alone in being interested to see how we can connect to ancient Egypt and its teachings, he says.

Dietz has dabbled in poetry too, producing a book called Monkey Love in a tribute to a woman he was wooing at the time.

It was, in the end, a failed romance, but the poetry reflects the free-spirited nature of my paramour. I think poetry is a way to delve into the details of feelings.

Holistic view

And so, on to holon systems, which can be likened to the human body where different, autonomous organs act together as a whole. Dietz uses it to describe elegant organizational design. His research culminated in an academic book, which is free to download from Academic.

How we make decisions, even at the cellular level, is complex, he says. Philosophically, we may think of ourselves as autonomous individuals, but we also exist as part of larger social organizations, from family groups to towns to nations. I see it as a series of nested systems that each have their own degree of complexity.





As a logical extension, Dietz sees the libertarian movement not rejecting overarching authorities such as the Catholic church, for example but rather asking people to look at how they participate, either consciously or unconsciously, in different organizations.

Dietz reckons that John Locke, the Enlightenment philosopher commonly known as the Father of Liberalism, was indeed hostile to totalitarian mechanisms that forced people to act without self-reflection on their activities.

Self-reflection is key to understanding how we act and how we can optimize our participation for the best good of ourselves.

The self-reflection is even better described in Dr. Seuss lesser-known, frequently banned book The Butter Battle Book.

The Butter Battle Book byDr. Seuss (Publisher: Random House)

Its an anti-war allegory where two people live on either side of a wall and butter their bread on the opposite side of a slice of bread to their neighbor. The argument escalates into a feud from cross words to stick and stones, to bigger and bigger weapons, Dietz explains.

The pointless escalation of aggression can be tempered if we can step away from those pointless violent tendencies which have not been great for the evolution of this planet and reflect on our participation.


Like most of Dietzs passions, his interest in cryptocurrency was fostered by another distinct love: his interest in the history of ciphers. He explains that the founding director of the National Security Agency formalized the study of ciphers during the Second World War and into the Cold War. But Dietz, in turn, was influenced by the American author Edgar Allen Poe and, in particular, by his short story The Gold Bug,which features hidden treasure and clues.

The history of hidden messages is much broader than the formal science of cryptography. Cryptography as a mathematical discipline is a subset of how to relay hidden messages, and much of the basis of this science is not actually based on mathematical systems.

In fact, the concept of number theory, upon which modern cryptographic systems are based, is totally unproven. The random idea in number theory that states that prime numbers do not have patterns is not proven its a working hypothesis at best.

Working on unproven mathematics leads to applications that may also be unproven, according to Dietz.





Bitcoin didnt buzz him initially

For all his ability to see around corners, Dietz was initially skeptical about Bitcoin. When he read the first technical papers, he felt it was going to remain a nerd currency and not have mass application.

As he saw more and more projects fighting to survive, especially other forms of digital currency, he gradually saw that the new enemy was regulation for anyone trying to transfer money.

He sees the fight as being between old money and old people and new money and young people.

Kids are going to build cool things. They are going to build increasingly sophisticated platforms and applications. Now, I dont expect it to be all plain sailing quite the opposite. Its going to have issues on steroids because everything is moving so fast.

Dietz is now well embedded with NFTs and has an agency, 1ofONE, that represents a bunch of celebrities. Recently, he managed the Mike Tyson drop, which proved very successful, and he is excited about the speed of development.

This white-glove service was run on OpenSea, with Tyson collaborating with well-known digital artist Cory Van Lew. Dubbed The Baddest NFT Collection on the Planet, it captured some of Tysons most formidable moments in the ring. Eleven unique one-of-one NFTs were minted alongside six regular NFTs, with mints ranging from 50 to 250. Launched at the beginning of September, the one-of-ones sold out in an hour at not less than 5 ETH each, and Tyson promises bigger and badder drops to come.

Its largely a speculative art frenzy, but it is raising awareness, says Dietz. Over time were going to bring in many more layers. including economic models, insurance, bankable assets basically, second-generation versions of this tech.

To my mind, the next step is to open up the infrastructure and to allow easy access to traditional media and the entertainment industry.



Cappadocian Revelations by Joel Dietz. Source:


Wherefore art thou wallet?

Dietz is often described as someone who provides a bridge between seemingly disparate elements. In his new layer-two project, ArtWallet, he pairs physical items with NFTs. One such interpretation planned is a car wrapped by an artist twinned with an NFT. The ArtWallet project currently has a $600-million market cap, and he is also working on his metaverse-building Meta Metaverse platform.

As always, there are about 50 business plans on his desk waiting for his attention. He sees his value as sprinkling fairy dust on projects, and he only gets interested in projects with serious CEOs and teams.

I can really only scale up one project at a time. I am also happy being a little bit dark too. Like when I was building Metamask, we didnt need to be in the public eye.

Like most serial entrepreneurs and cyberfuturists, Dietz has so much waiting for his attention. Once, in a bid to beat the clock, he tried to do without sleep, staying awake for two days in a row but that played havoc with his health. Now, he keeps on his game through diet and exercise.

I am very competitive, but I like to go at a measured pace, like a metronome. If you were to put a term on me using musical composition, Id be the allegro section.









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Ethereum bulls likely to profit $130 million on ETH options despite two-week slump



Ether (ETH) investors have no reason to complain after the 344% gains accumulated in 2021 until Nov. 24. Still, analysts fear that the $4,000 resistance test on Nov. 19 is forming a descending channel that aims at $3,600 by mid-December, an 18% correction from the current $4,400 price.

Despite outperforming Bitcoin (BTC) by 16% in the past month alone and the ETH/BTC pair climbing to 10-week highs, Ether seems to be struggling with its own success.

Ether/USD price on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

Users continue to complain about Ethereum gas fees, averaging over $45 over the past three weeks. However problematic that can be, it leaves no doubt that the largest decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFT) markets continue to thrive on Ethereum.

Increasing regulatory uncertainties in the United States remain a decisive limiting factor for Ether’s rally. On Nov. 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, clarified that the crypto panel in the public meeting scheduled for Dec. 2 would focus on the regulatory framework.

Not even the one million ETH burned since the implementation of EIP-1559 in August was enough to keep Ether’s price at all-time highs. As the network emits about 5.4 million ETH per year, Ether remains an inflationary asset. Still, Ether’s price increased by 16% vs. Bitcoin since Oct. 25, partially reflecting that impact.

Bullish calls dominate Nov. 26’s ETH options expiry

Despite the 10% correction to $4,400 since the $4,850 all-time high on Nov. 10, the Ether call (buy) options vastly dominate Nov. 26’s expiry.

Ether options aggregate open interest for Nov. 26. Source: Coinglass

The green area representing the $820 million call (buy) options is the lion’s share of Nov. 26 expiry. Compared to the $440 million puts (sell) instruments, there’s an 87% difference.

Nevertheless, the 1.87 call-to-put ratio should not be taken literally, as the recent ETH drop will likely wipe out 77% of the bullish bets. For instance, if Ether’s price remains below $4,400 at 8:00 am UTC on Nov. 26, only $165 million worth of those call (buy) options will be available at the expiry.

In other words, what good is holding the right to buy Ether at $4,400 or $4,600 if it’s trading below that price?

Bears need sub-$4,200 ETH to balance the scales

Below are the three most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of option contracts available on Nov. 26 for bulls (call) and bear (put) instruments vary depending on the expiry ETH price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:

  • Below $4,100: 15,400 calls vs. 15,200 puts. The result is balanced.
  • Between $4,200 and $4,500: 38,400 calls vs. 8,800 puts. The net result is $130 million favoring the call (buy) instruments.
  • Above $4,500: 50,200 calls vs. 2,300 puts. The net result favors the call (bull) instruments by $215 million.

This crude estimate considers call options being used in bullish bets and put options exclusively in neutral-to-bearish trades. Still, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.

For example, a trader could have sold a put option, effectively gaining a positive exposure to Ether above a specific price. But unfortunately, there’s no easy way to estimate this effect.

Both sides have incentives to move price

Bears need a 7.5% move from $4,400 down to sub-$4,100 to balance the scales and avoid a $130 million loss. On the other hand, bulls need a 2.3% price increase to $4,500 to boost their profits by $85 million.

Traders must consider that the amount of effort a seller needs to pressure the price is immense and usually ineffective during bullish markets. Currently, options market incentives are balanced, favoring the $4,200 to $4,500 price range, entitling bulls to a $130 million profit on Friday, Nov. 26.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Uzbekistan Allows Residents to Trade Cryptocurrencies on Local Exchanges – Exchanges Bitcoin News



Changes to the rules governing activities of crypto exchanges in Uzbekistan now allow residents to trade coins on licensed platforms. Uzbekistanis could previously only sell their digital assets. The new provisions also regulate the issuance of tokens and their listing.

Uzbekistan Loosens Restrictions on Domestic Crypto Trading

Uzbekistanis will be able to trade digital currencies on the country’s licensed crypto exchanges. This has become possible after the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM) under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev recently amended the rules pertaining to local cryptocurrency trade.

According to the new regulations, residents of Uzbekistan can buy, sell, and exchange crypto assets domestically for their national currency, Forklog reported, quoting a decree issued by the agency’s director. Non-residents are allowed to exchange cryptocurrencies for foreign fiat as well.

Uzbekistan legalized crypto trading in 2018 but in late 2019 the government banned local residents from purchasing cryptocurrencies. They could only sell. The regulatory body explained that the lifting of the restrictions has to do with citizens changing their approach to crypto investing which has become “more rational and balanced.”

In September this year, the NAPM warned against trading on unregistered platforms, reminding residents that in accordance with the presidential decree “On measures to develop the digital economy in the Republic of Uzbekistan” and the law “On licensing and notification procedures,” crypto exchange operations are subject to licensing.

The amendments further concern the issuance and trading of digital tokens. The National Agency for Project Management prohibits the listing of unsecured tokens on local exchanges. The regulations define tokens as a unit of account secured by tangible or other property and used to attract investment, NAPM detailed.

Authorities in Tashkent have maintained a generally positive attitude toward the crypto space. In January 2020, they announced plans to establish а national mining pool, create a blockchain valley, introduce crypto tax exemptions, and establish a cryptocurrency exchange. Uznex, a digital asset trading platform operated by the South Korean entity Kobea Group, was launched later the same month.

However, the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods and services is still prohibited in the Central Asian country. In September, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan ruled out the idea that bitcoin and the rest could be recognized as legal tender in the country. That’s unlikely to ever change, a high-ranking official was quoted as stating.

Tags in this story
Bitcoin, central asia, Coins, Crypto, crypto assets, crypto exchanges, crypto trading, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, digital coins, Exchanges, Investors, licensed exchanges, licenses, licensing, non-residents, permission, residents, restrictions, Traders, Trading Platforms, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistani

Do you expect Uzbekistan to further loosen its crypto regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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