Meet the Woman Who’s Created the 21st Century Finance Model for Emerging Technologies
Rahilla Zafar

Have you looked into cryptocurrency at all? I believe it realigns the incentive structures in exactly the way you’re talking about.

Because of how money creation in the traditional banking model works, the legacy financial system incentivizes whoring yourself out to rich people and investors to get a piece of the pie… this necessarily involves intellectual property, harmful competition, cartelization, etc, and gives rise to the ubiquitous tech business model of creating a problem, solving it, and then placing yourself at the bottleneck to try and collect rent for as long as possible before getting disrupted yourself.

Bitcoin turns this model on its head. With bitcoin, it’s possible to simply crowdfund everything because there are no external regulations, only mathematical ones imposed by the protocol itself; and market forces. In addition, banks can’t create a bunch of new money (as they can in the legacy system), enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else. Thus, crowdfunding is much more effective because everyone has much more money, and you don’t need to compromise or water down your idea to please a few rich investors. If you create a cryptoequity to back your idea (see “decentralized autonomous organization”), intellectual property is unnecessary because anyone can invest at any time, and your project can be open source. Your early adopters will be rewarded as more and more people buy into the idea and the cryptoequity increases in value; this is how to convince people to invest in the first place. Thus, with cryptocurrency, it’s possible to simply invest in *an idea*, rather than investing in an *implementation* of an idea that must compete with other implementations of the same idea.

Bitcoin is actually the first, very rudimentary prototype of a decentralized autonomous organization, so if you need an example, just look at how bitcoin works. At its core, it’s an open source protocol with a single reference implementation hosted on github. It cannot go bankrupt because it never goes into debt. It simply fluctuates massively in value, a process that is real-time and totally transparent. This real-world value is then used to pay the costs of running the network, maintaining and enhancing the codebase, and partially funding the apps built on top of it as well as all the infrastructure, marketing, etc. It does this by virtue of *being a digital bearer instrument* and being held and exchanged by people who believe in its eventual success.

Anyway, sorry for the long response. I just really believe that an early solution to the problem of incentives you described already exists, and is improving every day. I loved your article, and I look forward to more!

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