Working Alone

10 Lessons for Freelancers, Contractors, and Consultants Last summer, an opportunity for some contracted work came my way that I couldn’t turn down. I soon found myself working with a lawyer to set up an LLC, wading through paperwork and contract language, and figuring out how to buy healthcare. Over the course of the following ...

Decentralized Credit Scoring

Peer-to-Peer Digital Attestations Decentralized systems, by definition, do not demand central coordinators.Rather, decentralized systems rely on other mechanisms, like market forces or game theoretics, to drive consensus between two or more actors. Decentralized systems are the basis of decentralized applications — user-facing products that are trust-minimized and, generally, do not require a trusted third party, an intermediary, ...

Petronomicon

Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Represents a Big Problem Why does anyone use cryptocurrency? The biggest real use case today remains evasion of third party control in holding and transacting assets. This control can come from governments, banks, or other intermediaries. People use cryptocurrencies to make purchases online that they would prefer others didn’t know about. In countries like China ...

The Mutual Communication Society

Notions of Identity in Decentralized Systems In the early 1800’s in London, there was a group of shopkeepers — tailors, haberdashers, cobblers — who periodically convened at the British Coffee House in Charing Cross. Over their pints and their cups of tea, they would discuss their customers. London at the time, as the capital of the British Empire, was exploding with ...

Short Convexity

The big problem awaiting token teams Every team that has fundraised through a token in the last 5 years has signed up for an experiment in fundraising, cash flow generation (or lack thereof), and treasury management. And there’s a big problem they would all be wise to consider. These teams are almost universally sitting on a ...

Infrastructure Matters

25. January 2018 Uncategorized 0
Transforming Ownership Through Infrastructure I have written in the past that blockchain technology is all about assets. More specifically, though, it’s about how we interact with assets. It’s about new ways of custodying property. It’s about transacting digitally, without the involvement of coordinating third parties. Sometimes it’s about being able to do so privately. Achieving any of ...

Killer Assets, Not Apps

23. January 2018 Uncategorized 0
Make Something People Want The question of the killer app of blockchain technology is a popular topic. Some of the answers have already presented themselves — and they have come in the form of assets, not applications. I have written in the past about the history of blockchain innovation. I outlined three waves of experimentation since the creation of bitcoin:altcoins, permissioned blockchains, ...

The Power of Pseudonymity

19. December 2017 Uncategorized 0
Open to Interpretation September 15, 2008 marked the height of turmoil for financial markets. The Dow plummeted 500 points. Oil dropped below $100 per barrel for the first time in a year. And Lehman Brothers, the 4th largest investment bank in the world, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. While hell broke loose on Wall ...

A Brief History of Blockchains

05. December 2017 Uncategorized 0
In Search of Assets If the recent run up in crypto markets is to be sustained, some of its products will need to start delivering real end-user utility. As we go into 2018, the biggest question facing blockchain technology is that of product-market fit, or more specifically, whether these products have utility beyond speculation. Bitcoin, the ...