The Riot Act

28. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
What’s in a blockchain? Last Friday, a stock called Riot Blockchain gained nearly 50%. The former biotech company pivoted in October to “Blockchain.” Since then, the share price has risen from $5 to over $20.  Upon learning this, I went to Riot’s website to see what exactly they are doing with blockchain technology. I suggest you check ...

Top-Down Demand

27. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
Fat Products Yesterday, I wrote about the layers of blockchain technology. Products, platforms, and protocols. Assets, tools, and rules. I noted that there are all kinds of dependencies among products, platforms, and protocols, resulting in every layer of the stack being built at once. Good products rely on secure, friendly platforms. Secure platforms depend on sound, ...

Products, Platforms, and Protocols

25. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
The Blockchain Technology Stack A couple weeks ago, I mentioned the moat of jargon around crypto. Even among those who have been working on this technology for years, there is often dispute over preferred terminology. Indeed, the word “crypto” is itself a point of contention. It’s little wonder there is so much confusion. Whether you are new ...

Of Blockchains and Brokers

24. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
A Note on Intermediaries A couple of days ago, I wrote that blockchains are basically only good for cutting intermediaries out of transactions. The idea of disintermediation gets thrown around a lot in this world. But when you talk about disintermediation, you have to be specific about where you are removing a third party. Transactions can be broken ...

Always Start with the Assets

22. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
Or, Can a Blockchain Solve My Problem? People talk a lot about “blockchaining” things. People seem to be “blockchaining” everything from loyalty points, to file sharing, to diamonds, to syndicated bank loans, to the internet itself. Firstly, let’s all stop using “blockchain” as a verb. Secondly, here are some thoughts on how to begin when considering the ...

Please Take A Number

21. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
Reasoning About Ownership Car ownership is a funny thing. For a lot of assets, if I am in possession of it, then I own it. If I paid money for it and I have the keys and it is sitting in my driveway, then that is all there is to it. This is true for ...

Messy Markets

21. November 2017 Uncategorized 0
Lessons in Reading Fine Print In case you missed it, Venezuela defaulted last week. Messy is a word that a lot of people are using to describe the situation. Whether a country is in default is a deceptively tricky question to answer. It highlights one critical question for investors: what is it that I actually own? For Venezuela, the saga of ...