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🐐 Crypto is all asset classes; synthetic assets & collective action; governance tokens; digital nations; the rise of the 10X class; ads don't work that way

Hey friends! 👋
💸 Three months ago I wrote that cryptocurrencies are not just money but programmable wealth. Here’s Balaji Srinivasan making the same point but just better: Crypto is not an asset class; it will be all asset classes, all forms of scarcity down to your kitchen toaster.
Balaji Srinivasan
A mistake people made early on was thinking of the internet as a new channel: radio, TV, and internet.

In reality it was *all* channels: internet radio, internet TV…

Same with crypto. It’s not an “asset class”. It will be all asset classes.

Cryptocurrencies, crypto-equities…
Balaji Srinivasan
That’s what programmable information meant: all forms of information were turned into packets and sent on the internet.

That’s what programmable money means: all forms of scarcity are turned into distributed ledger entries and manipulated on-chain.
💥 The programmability of wealth means that all types of assets can now be collateralized into smart contracts with custom-designed payout functions — effectively creating synthetic assets.
“2008, much?” Yes, in the long-term, we need to think of ways to mitigate risks involved in creating complex assets that few understand. But in the short term, to call the design space exciting is an understatement.
Here’s an imaginary example of a synthetic asset that could incentivize collective action to solve a societal problem (see the source for more examples):
“I previously suggested creating a token to track human excrement sightings in San Francisco. The idea: the city of SF could issue “shit coins” to credibly commit to fixing the homelessness problem (and earn a profit if they succeed); residents of the city of SF could buy shit coins as an “emotional hedge” and make money if the problem gets worse. Could “collective action” tokens be used to combat rainforest deforestation, ocean pollution, or other tricky global problems? I’d love to try.
Programmable wealth opens up the entire economic logic for design and experimentation. It’s where the future of social, the future of finance, and the future of work merge into something very new.
👩‍💻 Previously, I also wrote that blockchains are a new form of organizing work. But who organizes the organizing? Governance tokens and the rights they bring are a critical primitive in how decentralized governance and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) will work in the future.
🏁 The variety in on-chain governance models will effectively create separate but interoperable digital jurisdictions or digital nations - each with its own system of clearly delineated, irrevocable digital property rights.
🗳️ The rise of digital nations, online-first (remote) work, and the growing power of cities will lead to an increase in “governance shopping” - the competent and the wealthy picking jurisdictions under which they want to earn and live, possibly even separating the two. I believe this might be one of the big societal tensions in the next decades.
🏬 Last but not least, “Ads don’t work that way” will change the way you think about advertising. Cultural imprinting is the best explanation I’ve seen for why brands spend millions on Super Bowl ads and why companies like Nike and Coca-Cola are so powerful.
Have an energetic week 💪
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olli @olliten

on social tech & decentralized protocols

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