Brian Koralewski is the founder of Austere Capital Advisory LLC, a digital asset derivative consulting firm headquartered in New York City.

Bitcoin vs. GLD Daily Percentage Returns

Right away, we observe that the Kurtosis is considerably higher than a normal distribution would suggest. This indicates that the majority of returns do not hover around the mean, and instead there is greater concentration in the tails, which implies a mean that is “peaky” or sharp (since less observations than normal occur around the average).

This also gives credibility that the “tail wags the dog” — that extreme deviations outside the average returns play a larger role than…

A Hedge for All Storms

Brian Koralewski is the founder of Austere Capital Advisory LLC, a digital asset derivative consulting firm headquartered in New York City. He is a former Economics Professor as well as co-founder of Digital Asset Research, the first institutional research firm within the crypto asset space.

He started Austere Capital while trading Bitcoin options back in late 2017.

Nearly three years later, Austere Capital Advisory is the standalone firm within the digital asset space that outlines and executes customized portfolio hedging solutions for the high net worth and institutional digital asset investor.

(No current crypto asset managers offer expertise in bespoke…

You Will Never Look at Your World the Same

A teenage boy rides up to a lone traffic light before a dark forest, which overlooks nuclear power plant stacks in the distance. He wears a yellow raincoat. Wistful, surreal strings play lightly in the background, before slowly increasing in speed and intensity.

The boy stares intently at the nuclear power plant, and at the forest. A few months prior, his father had hung himself, leaving only a letter with a blunt directive to not open it until this very day, at a specific time.

This, is one of the opening scenes of Dark, the first German production on Netflix.

Source: NYC Department of Health

Hi all — if you missed it, I’ve been posting videos on YouTube on my analysis of the CV-19 pandemic.

These videos contain a basic prediction model on when the daily case count in New York City should hit zero — originally, and giving an extra 4–5 day lag over South Korea’s timeline, I gave it by next Friday/Saturday (the 30th) at the latest.

I will now however have to again adjust this date.

Why? How?

First, recall that I noted a number of key missing variables within my model, which included:

1.) The testing rate in NYC — how…

Source: CDC, Dr. Drew Harris

As the CDC numbers are completely unreliable and severely lagging, I will solely use New York City’s health department numbers as well as New York State’s health site numbers.

Why New York? It has undeniably become the epicenter of the virus, with over 40% of new cases across the country in the last 48 hours coming from New York state alone. Of the cases in New York, nearly 70% are located within New York City.

This is unsurprising, considering that the tri-state area is not only the most populous in the country, but the densest, with Manhattan accounting for approximately…


Daniel Gorfine — Chief Innovation Officer and Director of LabCFTCreleased a piece this week that attempts to value Bitcoin (BTC) as a fiat currency such as the USD, EUR, GBP, and JPY. That is, according to the standard macroeconomic factors that affect the demand for a national currency: namely national interest rates, inflation rates, and production rates.

Mr. Gorfine’s piece, unintentionally, brings into sharp focus the mile-wide chasm between BTC and everyday fiat currencies.

As a former Econ Professor, I’ve seized this opportunity to flex my old skills a bit and delve into the specifics that were glossed…

(Why Your “Stable” Coin Ain’t Stable)


Crypto = Dutch Tulips Still

While attending a panel at a crypto event recently in New York, we were asked at what stage we each thought the crypto evolution to be in.

This question gets thrown around a lot — all the time to be exact.

It’s quite simple to answer.

It has been my observation that those in the crypto-sphere who have become quite well off thanks to the surge in prices in the past 18 months, have invariably clouded judgment as to the long-term potential of decentralized/tokenized applications as well as fixed supply digital currencies not backed by…

To Tokenize, or not to Tokenize

Decentralized networks ala cryptocurrencies are all the rage nowadays — yet their real-world practicality remains severely limited if nonexistent.

Having recently assisted a substantial e-commerce platform in integrating a “tokenized network”, in this piece we’ll explore how such a network is practical for existing digital enterprises who wish to increase churn and ultimately sales volume.

For the majority of online businesses, such as e-commerce platforms, there are no shortage of ways (through SEO and PPC campaigns) to drive site traffic and ultimately increase the number of paying customers.

Additionally, there are a plethora of ways to increase business from existing…

To Decentralize or not Decentralize

I recently was consulted to devise a token-economic incentive structure for a “decentralized Yelp” — i.e. a decentralized restaurant review service, where users write reviews of restaurants and these reviews are then rated (via likes/dislikes) by other users. Restaurants can also use the platform to advertise selectively.

The main challenge of creating a proper, healthy, tokenized economy is resolving for the innate conflict of interest between platform users and token holders/hodlers/speculators.

The fact that any utility token can be traded on a crypto exchange completely detracts from its inherent use, although on the other hand, when platform users wish to…

Authors: Anshuman Mehta and Brian Koralewski, General Partners, Austere Capital

The authors are principals of Austere Capital, a fundamentals-based hedge fund and venture capital firm. Request our previous research here.

The central thesis running through the crypto-currency space is an unhealthy obsession with supply-side scarcity.

The ultimate goal of creating digital-gold, a scarce resource, confers upon the holder riches beyond its ostensibly low intrinsic value. Much like the pale yellow physical-world counterpart is intrinsically useless but conferred value by social consensus. (Clearly, crypto-architects have visited India during ‘wedding season’!)

Accordingly, crypto-architects endow their creations with a limited or fixed supply…

Brian Koralewski

Economist, Ocean Lifeguard, Founder of Austere Capital Advisory (

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