We anchor our writing around the World Economic Forum 223 page report on CBDCs and stablecoins. The analysis highlights the key conclusions across several white papers in the report. We then add a layer of meta analysis around the language in the report, and question what it is trying to accomplish, and whether that will work with the Web3 revolution. This leads us to think about the tension between populism, as represented by crypto, and institutionalism, as represented by banking structures. We discuss theories of cultural and national DNA, and the rise of populism, as difficult problems to solve for any global alignment.
The macro and crypto economic thesis for 2021, building out the linkages between “Risk-On” assets, flows into and valuation of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the interplay between value locked, the growth of decentralized application revenue, and the volumes around digital objects. We bring it all together.
In this conversation, we are so lucky to tap into the brilliant mind of none other than Sheila Warren who sits on the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum and is a key member in the executive leadership of the Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), in which she oversees strategy across the entire C4IR Network, consisting of centers in 13 countries. Sheila also holds board member and advisory positions at multiple institutions and organizations including The MIT Press (Cryptoeconomic Systems), The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), NGO network TechSoup and she is a Member of The Bretton Woods Committee.
More specifically, we discuss her professional journey from small claims court to NGO Aid to refugees to corporate law to The WEF, touching on rational choice theory, corporate personhood and its correlation to the growth around ESG, new substrates, DAOs and protocols, artificial intelligence, the purpose of The World Economic Forum and its impact on governments and society alike, and just so much more!
This week, we cover these ideas:
Crypto prices show increasing correlation in market swings, which hides the large substantive differences between projects
The core narrative of Bitcoin, and its fundamental indicators
The core narrative of Ethereum and Web3, and its fundamental indicators
A sanity check on potential market caps relative to gold, equities, and other assets
This week, we cover these ideas:
That absurd Paul Krugman article about Bitcoin. Also Jim Cramer has things to say about financial regulation.
If all the prices are down, which they are, does that mean that everything is bad and wrong?
How timing is a personal financial planning problem, not a market value problem
In this conversation, we talk with Rune Christensen of Maker Foundation about how he became one of the most influential builders in the DeFi ecosystem. Additionally, we explore the creation, experiences, and evolution of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), the nuances of stablecoins, the interaction between Maker and DeFi with traditional finance and traditional economies, and Maker’s approach to leveraging layer 2 solutions to aiding scalability and transaction throughput.
In this conversation, we talk with Jon Helgi Egilsson about his incredible journey to becoming Chairman and a co-founder of Monerium.
Jon is a former chairman and vice-chairman of the supervisory board of the Icelandic Central Bank, a former adjunct professor in financial engineering and MBA lecturer at Reykjavik University, a visiting scholar at Columbia University, and co-founder of four software companies. Additionally, we explore the various concepts of digital money in the framework creating a competitive yet unified environment between fiat money, banking based on fractional-reserve, and the token economy.
This week, we look at:
Chime, eToro, and Wise targeting the public markets through IPO and SPACs, and their operating performance
The overall growth in fintech mobile apps, their install rates and market penetration (from 2.5 to 3.5 per person), and whether that growth is sustainable
The implications for incumbents from this competition, and in particular the impact on money in motion vs. money at rest
Broader financial product penetration and an anchoring in how the technology industry was able to get more attention that we had to give
In this exciting conversation, we talk with none other than Joe Lubin of ConsenSys and Ethereum, about his journey from being exposed to advances in artificial intelligence at Princeton to becoming the household name in programmable blockchain. Additionally, we get an insider look into his founding of Ethereum and ConsenSys, and how the technology and individuals behind these two companies are transforming the very fabric of financial institutions that exist today and how new products/services are started for the betterment of humanity.
This week, we look at:
The spectacular price increase in crypto assets, hitting new records for Bitcoin, as well as the comparable statistical situation around Covid cases
An explanation of the $1.5 trilion income effect in 2020, and how it has led to both capital acumulation and inequity (thanks NY Times!)
A discussion of all-time-highs and all-time-lows, why we need them, and their connections to the macro-economy, computer code, music, and the universe itself
One wonderful takeaway from Watts, which of course is not his, but beautifully plagiarized into the English language, is the duality of experience. The need for polar opposites, in a clock-like cycle. To have black, you must have white. To have the top of the wave, you need the bottom of the wave. To have a melody, you need equally the presence of the notes, and their absence in silence. To breathe in, you need to breath out. It is meaningless to have a data point without the context in which it exists.