Bloated MVP

Debating with Balaji Srinivasan about Blockchain Use Cases

I’m repeatedly struggling to understand how Balaji thinks blockchain technology adds value to internet-enabled use cases

I’ve recently been debating with @balajis on Twitter about his various ideas for blockchain use cases. I’m posting a lightly-edited transcript here because I think it’s an interesting record of two opposing viewpoints circa 2021.

1. Does a blockchain improve company ownership record-keeping?

Balaji: It is obvious that the current angel investing system — Docusigns and Hellosigns, Clerkys and Cartas, contracts and valuations, emails and wires — will all go on-chain. Every aspect is simplified if you can simply send USDC to an ENS address and get digital assets back.

  • Carta, AngelList, etc making APIs compatible with that schema

2. Does the blockchain enable a better crowdfunding solution than Kickstarter?

3. Will the average person have a reason to make thousands of Blockchain microtransactions every day?

Balaji: Go and try to send $1,000 to 1,000 different people in 100 different countries via a banking API, then try to do it via web3. The value prop for power users of money — devs and investors — is very clear at this point.

“Hummingbot is open source software that helps you build market making and arbitrage bots that run on any crypto exchange, centralized or decentralized.”
  • DeFi trading volume is trending toward $100B/yr
  • Current micro-work market is $Billions/yr
  1. As an investment
explorer.helium.com

My Reflections

This blog, Bloated MVP, is dedicated to rigorously answering the question, “Does X have any freaking use case at all???” for various ideas X. It’s always important to be specific about the details of X, and then compare X to its current next-best alternative. That’s what I tried to do in my conversations with Balaji. I’m currently feeling unconvinced about the various ideas that he seems to think constitute blockchain use cases. I will grant some of what he claims in this post, which I’ve covered in my cryptocurrencies make sense as mediums of exchange post.

More Crypto/Blockchain/Web3 Posts

If you want to read more about Web3 from the perspective of “what’s the use case”, check these posts out:

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