Protect value as its transferred, and held.

2018 is now…

2017 was then. It’s been a quick turn since 2016. Much has been accomplished by so many great teams across our community. At GetLoci, we’re in a self-imposed quiet period that will soon end as we publish our R0.3 network release brief.

Until then, I’ll limit myself to the following discussion on what new users of digital assets and future users of those assets may want from our community, and its leaders.

a community woke to the destruction of their value by systems not their own

2009, and what came before, and what happened since helped make something old — electronic transfers of value and risk — new again. Simple acts, so fundamental to our collective existence, and for so long, almost entirely outsourced to a variety of “trusted” financial institutions. These simple acts, are now being re-imagined, using first principles, by many seeking to build value systems that serve their natural users and shield them exploitation or economic harm.

GetLoci teams first entered this creative storm in 2011 as developers and builders of housing assets humbly seeking to create an eternal source of housing investment capital. As such, we are prone to a self-serving belief that transfers of risk and value should in fact be direct, be free, and be guarded from external interests. We believe digital value should be transferred freely and securely among trusted peers, whether physically near or far.

The purpose of our community should be to apply our collective innovation to help users recover future economic value that today is lost to both financial and cryptocurrency networks that process electronic transfers of risk and value.

First, we acknowledge Bitcoin as digital gold, and its protocol should not be altered to cheapen transfers. Some things are gold by their nature, and should not be adapted for “usability,” but preserved — uncensorable, immutable value stores are vital to the liberty of free people.

However, to realize our purpose as a community, new models and systems must be built to disperse open network costs including the cost of financial institutions and crypto-networks, more broadly among existing stakeholders, and also to extend participation, sharing costs with as many new network stakeholders as we can imagine— thinking big (i.e. housing), medium (i.e. unbanked users) and small too (i.e. sensors). The answers to transaction limits may lie beyond the typical merchant-consumer model and involve small, medium, and large stakeholders, both near and far, all sharing the advantages of naturally flowing value and risk through a widely shared open value network linking financial institutions and cryptocurrency networks.

A durable, global open network requires at least two opposing forces to steer a steady course — central administrators and regional stewards— each naturally advancing first-person assessments of local and global risk. The two naturally forces in natural tension must balanced to achieve our shared purpose.

Shared purpose? Simply put, network stakeholders require incentives to achieve a shared outcome reflective of shared purpose. Everyone must win — financially. All boats need to rise in the same tide. Regional interests must prosper when central ones do, and central ones should prosper when regional ones do too. Network incentives rather than technology will drive outcomes.

Perhaps answers to open network governance lie not in the absence of trust, but rather in fostering it, both centrally and regionally, both in its policy setting and technology choices, while unifying stakeholders with shared incentives. Governance of network utilities — compliance, accounting, rule making and enforcement, technology, privacy policy and their continual adaptation to market outcomes— should gain from the efficiency of central administration by global experts and also from the wisdom of regional stewards sensitive to local political and regulatory considerations. Perhaps there is an answer that is not simply this or that.

Are there really just two options, centralized vs. decentralized? Maybe some answers are to be found in a mesh of traditional systems, new decentralized systems, and also systems like GetLoci that integrate global networks to better serve users locally: consumers, merchants, and producers alike.

Which brings us back to where we started. What does the community consider a better solution for transferring value and risk digitally? Who do our solutions serve? Who does our solution benefit? Who do we serve?

Our community should ask questions like these. We as leaders, and as teams, we should know the answers.