The Summer of Coin (2017)
In every instance where government gets involved in people’s lives with a desire to do good, it can always be relied on to make the situation much, much worse. Yet despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we imagine that a world without the state would be a wild and terrifying place.
-Dominic Frisby, The End of the State, 2013.
This summer will go down in history as the Summer of Coin. The ICO is the hot new buzzword of 2017, the killer app of the blockchain, and the purveyor of alternate economies. Economies where entrepreneurs are not only building products and designing business plans but also acting as central bankers. All this seems to be part of the emancipation of the crowd. The 4th phase, where the crowd becomes venture capitalist.
It started with bread and butter crowdsourcing, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Soon thereafter emerged AngelList, where entrepreneurs became Angels and investments in startups could be syndicated. Then we had Reg A+, the mini-IPO and finally, the ICO. The mini-IPO was a non-event and we all know why — it came from the government. Although well-intentioned, whenever the state wants to help us, it simply does not work. If you ask any entrepreneur what the government can do for her/him, they will say (in California, ‘think’) the same thing: ‘get out of our way’.
The crowd is slowly sapping power from the state. It has started with the two main prerogatives of the state: real estate and money. Ethereum created its own virtual real estate, there is a decentralized Silicon Valley buzzing in our everyday reality now, a permissionless, decentralized new dimension where transparency and code rules; and we all know about Bitcoin and ETH or we would not be reading this. The next 3 prerogatives state disintermediation are coming in new ICOs this very summer: stateless identity guaranteed by code (the CIVIC ICO already happened), to be followed by decentralized Healthcare and Education ICOs.
As entrepreneurs, we now have the option to launch ICOs, using the funds to set up this new, near-stateless idealist economy. But we are only the appetizer. We are the compliance cannon fodder for the big boys. We are a mere experiment where our killing ratios have already been predicted. Because this is what it is all about: they want to issue their own ICOs next to their IPOs, their own money, their own unreal estate, their sovereign identity, their educational programs, and their branded healthcare. Corporate Tokenomics is. And they will set up “communities” a politically correct word to replace the state. But we have one big advantage that may make us win this race just for once: velocity (speed of the crowd) and a permissionless future.
Whatever the outcome: this time it will be impossible to efface us. We will all be there, buried deeply in a very long number on one of the immutable chains waiting to be mined. I missed Woodstock, but I will not miss Rootstock.
“The revolution will not be televised. It will be cryptographically timestamped on the blockchain.” -Dominic Frisby
Walter De Brouwer
Cofounder and CEO doc.ai
About the Author
My interests are in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. My background in genomics is recreational. My PhD (The Biology of Language) studied the relationship between Turing Machines, Transformational Grammar and DNA.