#0040: Summer of ICOs
John Deere bought a machine learning company. If you haven’t yet realised that everything that can be predicted or automated by a machine, will be, you haven’t been paying attention. Machine intelligence is like electricity.
The debate about how much the labour market will be affected by automation and robots continues apace. Ask 2 economists and you’ll get 3 different perspectives. Given how bad we are predicting the future, looking to history for insights from the Industrial Revolution could be helpful.
Regulators in China imposed a blanket ban on ICOs recently. This has already had an effect, with the price of BTC dropping substantially this week. Regulation of ICOs is inevitable (and needed!), but if nothing else, this ban will provide a cooling off period. Fred Wilson from AVC opines: “The SEC is heading in the right direction by making a distinction between tokens with real utility vs tokens as a substitute for securities. The former is where the innovation lies. The latter is just a fast and loose way around the rules.”
Most of the news about tokens at the moment relates to ICOs, but the scammy nature of much of the behaviour here is clouding out what could be some really interesting use cases. When used properly, tokens — which can be digitally exchanged, but not copied — create an environment where the actions of one user provide benefit to another user. This is a pretty revolutionary idea. Consider the attention lottery system described here.
The “Summer of ICOs” has the potential to drive big implications for VCs.
Identity is a use case that I struggle to see the relevance for blockchain. Here are three perspectives on that topic. I’m very much in the “No, probably not” campaign on this topic.
The EU’s new data privacy laws (GDPR) have the potential to deeply affect the operations of Google and Facebook.
This is interesting: “Quadratic voting is a procedure that a group of people can use to jointly choose a collective good for themselves”. Given the mathematical and practical complexity of getting large groups of people to arrive at consensus, and the many flaws inherent in traditional voting systems, this approach could be useful, particularly for coordinating the behaviour of DAOs.
A project called core Econ, has put together a new introductory economics curriculum, one that is modern, comprehensive, and freely available online. The world could really do with some more economically literate people.
Frustrated by diabolical customer service from your telco? Try this: Stop arguing with Comcast and let this bot negotiate for you.
Technically, the glass is always full.
Only in Australia
Live Great White Shark washes up on Manly Beach.