The Power of Ideas

Trying to Summarize My Headspace in 134 Slides of Graphs and Frameworks

WOW - I feel like I have the energy of 20 people right now! I am FIRED UP!

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The Power of Ideas

There is something really fascinating about observing yourself in different states of flow and watching how your energy changes as you flow through your work, your world, and your connections to other people. And right now, my energy is really vibing on what’s happening in the world and in crypto and in my headspace. Things are lining up in a fascinating way - those connections between ideas, people, and the spaces we occupy are their own kind of magic. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of how we, as humans, create the future together. It requires connection - between ideas, people, resources - and a medium where this connection can happen. Nowhere has this been more apparent than the last 20 years of the internet (we’re on the internet RIGHT. NOW. How rad?!?)

Ideas are powerful, and become more powerful when shared. Connecting ideas across disciplines, geographies, and sectors is hard. One of the challenges facing the crypto ecosystem, in my view, is taking the complexity and depth of individual ideas and making them more comprehensible and relevant by presenting these ideas in the right context and framework. I personally enjoy the challenge this task presents, and as an investor, spend a significant amount of my day collecting and connecting ideas.

A Brief Homage to Mary Meeker

I’ve always been inspired by Mary Meeker, who was the most closely followed internet analyst back in the ‘90s and is now an investing icon. Since 1995, Mary has been publishing her “Internet Trends Report” (see archive here) - first at Morgan Stanley, then at Kleiner Perkins, and now at Bond, her own billion dollar fund. Her report is a bell-weather for tech investors, and analyzes, synthesizes, and delivers massive amounts of information in a once-a-year presentation.

The 2019 Internet Trends Report clocks in at a whopping 333 pages and covers a wide range of topics. What makes Mary’s work so helpful is that it connects so many disparate ideas in new and meaningful ways, creates new context for these ideas, and empowers readers with data, context, and new connections between ideas.

Crypto Trends Report

Today, the number of bitcoin users around the world are estimated to be anywhere between 35M and 140M, or between 0.5% and 1.8% of the world’s population. Over the last five years, we have spent a lot of time explaining exactly what it is bitcoin is, how it works, and what impact it might have on our world as we know it today.

This week, my team at CoinShares dropped our “Crypto Trends Report.” It’s my attempt to capture the bigger ideas around bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and “blockchain” and place them in context using larger technical, economic, political, and social trends. All said and done, we clocked in at 134 slides, and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

Feed Me 134 Slides

It took the world 15 years to go from less than 1 million computer users to 150 million computer users, but the spread of the internet was much faster, and much more disruptive. Technology adoption doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, and bitcoin is no exception. You have to have the right mix of ingredients, and a little bit of magic sprinkled on top, to make things happen.

For the last ten years, the bitcoin community has thrived on shared memes, shared identity, and shared stories.

In order for the “crypto industry” to continue to grow and thrive, participants and outside analysts have to be able to identify, gather, and analyze data to tell the story of why this industry matters and how it might impact technology, markets, politics, society, and our broader world.

As investors, at CoinShares, we take this one step further and use the unique data, insights, and relevant context and expertise we have to identify where and when some of these changes might happen, and who will be poised to benefit, not just financially, but also socially and politically. We try to use data to tell stories about trends.

In this report, we focus on understanding and learning from the past, analyzing what is happening today, and predicting what might happen in the future. We don’t just look at the crypto ecosystem, but rather, attempt to bridge between the global macro landscape and crypto landscape to provide meaningful insights and starting points for more in-depth analysis.

It is our hope that people will take these slides and the associated data and use them, improve on them, and share them. It is up to our industry to create a path towards the future we want.

Shut Up and Give Me Those Slides

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Gotta give some quick shout outs - thanks to my awesome team at CoinShares, especially Marty on my team and Fitch and Adam on the marketing team.

Knowledge is best when shared. Thanks to all of the firms, companies, and individuals who aggregate, analyze, and share their intelligence and insights with the broader crypto industry.

Thanks to everyone who has given us feedback, edits, corrections, opinions, and ideas on how to make the next iteration of this report even bigger and better. If you don’t like how I presented something, I’d encourage you to make your own chart, framework, or graph and try your hand at turning your idea into something sharable! I am constantly learning from all of you.

Keep making magic happen, you beautiful people.

Crypto is Modern Alchemy

Evolving from Pseudo-Science into Proto-Science, or Devolving into Religion?

You’re probably wondering - why is Meltem writing about alchemy? I thought we were supposed to be talking about this whole “bitcoin” thing. Give me a moment to bend your ear, my friend, we’ll get there shortly.

A Brief History of Alchemy

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Alchemy comes from the Arabic word al-kimiya, where kimiya referred to the act of casting metal. Early alchemy was concerned with purifying and perfecting certain materials, such as transmuting base metals like lead into noble metals like gold, creating an elixir of immortality, or creating panaceas to cure any disease. One of the goals was untangling the mysteries of spirit and soul, and the role of humans in the larger mysteries of the universe, or achieving gnosis.

Side bar: As you may have now noticed, many crypto firms are named after ideas associated with alchemy. I find this deeply ironic, and by the end of this post, I hope you will too.

Alchemy often has negative connotations, and calls up images of sorceresses, witches, and snake-oil salesmen. Alchemists were seen as charlatans who wanted to “get rich quick” or uncover some esoteric mystery via dark magic. But practitioners of alchemy also had good intentions, and wanted to use knowledge as a tool to help humanity for the better.

Now more interesting than alchemy itself is the role these pursuits played in the development of branches of philosophy, chemistry, biology, physics, geology, and more. What began as a psuedo-science, with its roots in mysticism, began to evolve into proto-science with practical applications and very real implications for the future of humanity. Allow me to provide a (very) brief (and incomplete) history on alchemy.

The first few millenia of alchemy are largely lost to us today - but we know the Egyptians made significant advances in metallurgy, and the Chinese in chemistry. The first well-preserved records of alchemy begin in the Arabic world, around 800 AD, with an alchemist known as Jābir ibn Hayyān. He was one of the first to introduce the idea of experimentation to alchemy, writing:

The first essential in chemistry is that thou shouldest perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain to the least degree of mastery.

Note that Jabir was also a futurist. One of his goals in his studies and experimentation was to uncover takwin, or the ability to create artificial human life in a laboratory.

The tradition of Arabic alchemy was further extended in Europe 400 years later, following the Dark Ages, and during the Renaissance. For the first time, Arabic texts were translated into Latin, and theologians (students of religion) began to incorporate elements of chemistry, biology, and astrology into their research and writing. From 1300 to 1700, alchemists explored their art in search for medicines, mining, metals production, and other entrepreneurial areas. Many alchemists were also entrepreneurs who sought to solve new problems or take advantage of new opportunities using science.

In the 1600s, chemistry began to diverge from the general field of alchemy - morphing into a proto-science. Its earliest practitioners were Boyle (remember Boyle’s Law from Chemistry?) and Isaac Newton. Now interestingly, Boyle was one of the first chemists to keep track of his extensive experiments, to repeat them over and over again while making slight changes to the parameters, and publishing the methods and details of his work in language that could be widely understood. From the legacy of Boyle came a proliferation of chemistry breakthroughs including Lavoisier’s new categorization of the elements, away from Aristotle’s air, earth, wind, fire to metallic and non-metallic elements, and Mendeleev’s subsequent organization of these elements by atomic weight into the atomic table we use today.

So alchemy began as a psuedoscience, and certain areas of inquiry, like the study of materials, became proto-sciences, ie chemistry, and are now established branches of science. The discovery of new “truths” is a process that takes time, and is often defined by curiosity and experimentation. The new knowledge that is gained through these discoveries is then applied in a variety of ways and further commercialized to be useful in medicine, industrial processes, and more.

Lastly, I’ll also note that alchemy wasn’t simply about science. Science and spirituality have always been deeply connected, as science is the quest for understanding why and how phenomenon in the natural and supernatural world occur. Alchemy has influenced philosophy, sociology, psychology, and theology alike, and certain branches of alchemy have become their own mystical, religious communities.

Crypto is Largely Psuedo-Science

My view is that most of the “crypto industry” today is still in the psuedo-science phase. I also believe that “crypto” generally covers a large range of ideas, and further segmentation is likely needed, just as alchemy was a broad category of lines of inquiry until it was further refined into distinct sciences, psuedo-sciences, and religion / mysticism.

We can observe this by looking at:

  • THE LIBERAL USE OF LaTeX FONT

  • Calling everything a “whitepaper” in an attempt to legitimize the content therein

  • The liberal use of largely meaningless and random words

  • The reliance on memes and other esoteric forms of shared context and shared culture amongst practitioners

  • The lack of empirical evidence supporting the claims of practitioners, and the dependence on appeals to authority and other methods of establishing relevance and validity

  • The treatment of any criticism as a coordinated attack on “the community”

  • The lofty and all-encompassing goals of many crypto projects, which span philosophy, politics, economics, networking, computer science, mathematics, and ethics, yet cannot clearly articulate how it will actually work

I’ve been speaking about crypto as financial alchemy for some time, and perhaps its fair to say that some small subset of crypto communities will continue to exist as psuedoscience and religious revival style movements, although I feel this era of “blind faith” is largely coming to an end.

In order for our industry to evolve and mature, there has to be a move from psuedo-science to proto-science, and it seems like the market agrees. Today it is unclear what it is that “crypto” achieves or how (aside from Bitcoin, see below, and to a degree, Ethereum), and there is little consensus on what a “blockchain” is - aside from the technical definition of the bitcoin blockchain and its function.

In order for “the industry” to be respected as such, industry participants and outside analysts have to be able to identify, gather, and analyze data to tell the story of why this industry matters and how it might impact technology, markets, politics, society, and our broader world.

As an investor, it’s my job to take this one step further and use the unique data, insights, and relevant context and expertise I have to identify where and when some of these changes might happen, and who will be poised to benefit, not just financially, but also socially and politically.

Evolving Into Proto-Science

Now the challenge comes of taking something so large, all encompassing, and esoteric, and refining it into its essential building blocks and discrete components for further study and analysis. Much has been written on this topic, but the intellectual domain comprising bitcoin is quite large. One of the reasons I enjoy working in this industry is precisely because a comprehensive understanding of bitcoin involves a mixture of so many different domains.

For many market analysts, Bitcoin is the easiest to understand largely because it is the most observed and best studied (thanks to ten years of on-chain data), and because it has branched into other existing and emergent sciences, as evidenced by academic institutions and research organizations gathering and analyzing data related to the bitcoin protocol, the bitcoin network, and applications and use cases of bitcoin (mostly financial). Perhaps another way of expressing this preference is to evaluate how developed and systematic the intellectual domain around bitcoin is, compared to other ctherypto assets and more esoteric ideas like “blockchain.”

Maybe there’s a more nuanced way to look at this, but to me there are a lot of things that are clearly in the cult / superstition section (love you forever Tacocoin), and a lot of things that are in the psuedo-science domain and attempting to become proto-science.

I’m very interested to see more work begin to happen in further segmenting, analyzing, and advancing the fields of inquiry around “crypto.” One of the things I enjoy most as someone who analyzes this space is making frameworks, charts, and graphs, in the hopes that people will take these and use them, improve on them, and share them widely. What do you think will propel “crypto” forward as a field of study and a legitimate area of inquiry?

Is Open Source Really Open?

Because Politics Ruin Everything that is Good, Including Bitcoin

Ah, to be a digital citizen. Free of national boundaries, nation state politics, and the messiness of defining your identity by your place of birth or residence. Free of the yoke of physical jurisdiction and its annoying cultural routines and political inconveniences.

Based on my googling of digital nomad it involves drinking wine, owning a lot of Apple devices, and engaging in highly stylized Instagram photo shoots. In reality, traveling + working feels decidedly less glamorous, given I spend most of my time searching for power outlets at shitty airports while eating a stale bag of chips or trying to tether to my phone (safety, y’all) so I can finish some deliverable or file more regulatory paperwork.

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However, this idea of digital citizenship is appealing, and for good reason. Open source software combined with open source money, in the form of bitcoin, sing a siren song of a future where anyone, anywhere can participate in the global economy through the OSS community and earn a living easily, in bitcoin, without needing a bank account, a passport, or approval from regulators. FREEDOM, BABY!

Open Source is Big Business

The idea that open source is a non-profitable activity is one that has been debunked. Open source software has been a massive driver of growth in the software industry. More importantly, it’s been an important driver in both top line (revenue) and bottom line (profitability) growth for companies both inside and outside the software vertical. I could synthesize some data points here on this topic, but fortunately the fine folks at A16Z have put together a great overview (see here) that captures the evolution of open source as a business model. The $34B acquisition of RedHat this year was the final brick that cemented this idea firmly in the minds of investors and entrepreneurs everywhere - open source is big business!

open source deals

It’s funny that as the market has realized open source can be big business, the ethos of open source has also changed radically. In its early days, the open source community looked a lot like the cypherpunk community, and in fact, there was a lot of overlap between the two. Now, it seems like open source has gone corporate and bitcoin feels like it’s going that direction too. Do all movements that start out with strong ideological underpinning get doomed to become watered down versions of themselves with new corporate masters? Perhaps this is a cautionary tale. Perhaps success breeds the worst possible outcome.

The Politics of Open Source

One of the fundamental beliefs surrounding open source is that by lowering barriers to innovation, open source allows the development of new software products that are superior to proprietary solutions. Theoretically, open source makes software a free market that operates on competitive dynamics rather than regulatory capture or other arbitrage models enabled by scale, reach, and influence. Open source is for the little people!

In 2018, GitHub was acquired for $7.5B by Microsoft. At the time of acquisition, it was stated that “GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently, and remain an open platform. Together, the two companies will work together to empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences.”

In the middle of this year, GitHub announced that it would ban users of specific GitHub products in sanctioned countries. The company cited “US export law” as the primary reason for its ban. Here’s a great post from an Iranian software developer summarizing his reaction to the ban and its impact on his ability to work and collaborate online. I don’t think that really helped GitHub maintain an open platform. Methinks some corporate Microsoft lawyers starting sniffing around and realizing that there was some, ahem…. risk on the platform, and that the easiest way to mitigate that risk was to ahem… just go ahead and cut out the bits that were risky.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because… it is. Since the advent of the (F)OSS movement, developers have been fighting the state. Mind you - the original crypto wars started when cypherpunks began to develop and deploy software utilizing encryption technology. The government classified this technology as a weapon, and so encryption technology was outright banned for commercial or personal use due to pesky government export regulations that did not allow for the export of weapons. Laws. They exist. They’re weird. Sometimes corporations try to enforce them in even weirder ways. Because when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

So of course, nerds made t-shirts like the one below and wore them to airports. However, the battle over encryption software was fought across a number of fronts and was a hard won victory. It’s also definitely not over, because apparently the US government is re-opening that conversation with a number of tech companies and demanding a way (maybe even a private key in a throwback to the Clinton era Clipper Chip?) to decrypt all private messages.

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What inspired me to put down my thoughts on the politics of open source in the first place is the latest news from our friends at GitLab, a company enabling open source software development and collaboration. GitLab just joined the ranks of companies politicizing open source. The company announced today that it would not hire any support staff in China and Russia following internal conversations around espionage taking place in projects hosted on open source platforms like its own. The announcement made sure to let folks know that "Current team members are prohibited from moving to these countries." Guess my plans of being a digital nomad in China while at GitLab just got crushed.

While it feels rather trivial given the company currently doesn’t employ anyone in these jurisdictions, it’s a big blow to the idea that the world of open source software and our shift from being physical meat sacks to deities in the digital realm could topple the strangehold that nation states (and their politics) have on our lives. While the concerns around the deteriorating political relationship between Russia, China, and the US are certainly relevant, it’s curious to see how it’s trickling in to the OSS community through actions like these. Physical jurisdiction does matter, after all, and if a large enough community congregates on one platform, perhaps these places where digital commerce and collaboration happens are the next frontier where the global trade war will be fought.

But at what point does a company draw the line?

Is open source really open these days if being born in a specific country precludes me from participating in the open source community?

And lastly, if privately owned, privately run, for-profit corporations control the future of open source communities, what does that mean for contributors and communities who organize around these platforms?

How About that Open Source Money?

One of the things I love most about the crypto community is its global nature. It’s rare to find an online community that has so many people from all over the world exchanging ideas in real time and collaborating to build new projects and tools together. And for a brief period in time, we were all even investing together in ICOs and having a fun time playing in the crypto casino. But like all things, crypto isn’t immune to the pressures of global regulation.

First, it may surprise you to know that the US Treasury has put two bitcoin wallet addresses on the official sanction list. But, sanctioning a bitcoin wallet is just the first step in the crackdown on open source money. Arguably, this makes a lot of sense considering the activity going on in the wallet. It’s just interesting that the enforcement action includes monitoring of a wallet address. And new. And profound in a lot of ways.

Second, the EU is implementing new money laundering laws called 5AMLD that include increased scrutiny of crypto activity. This new law requires crypto platforms to effectively de-anonymize their users. And I quote:

To combat the risks related to the anonymity, national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) should be able to obtain information allowing them to associate virtual currency addresses to the identity of the owner of virtual currency.

I mean… if there is substantial proof and an order from a court of law to provide the identity of a user of a platform based on suspicious activity reporting, yes that makes sense. But wholesale doxxing of an entire user database? Seems a little unreasonable.

Third, not one to shy away from state surveillance, the UK decided to up the ante a bit and go above and beyond the act of interacting with cryptocurrency to the act of writing software. In the UK intends to go beyond the scope of 5AMLD, and mandate that entities and individuals engaged in the activity of publishing OSS be liable for de-anonymizing users. In their words (or see Page 36 of this report which is just… woof)

the publication of open-source software (which includes, but is not limited to, noncustodian wallet software and other types of cryptoasset related software)

So here is the great existential question - if open source software is vulnerable to control by states and platforms who operate with the permission of the state, what is open source money vulnerable to? In an era of reflexive politics and reactive policies, it doesn’t take much to feel dismayed and alarmed at the narrative that is unfolding.

Are we forced to repeat this battle for the foreseeable future? It seems likely that the crypto wars which were started in the 1990s are far from over. It’s likely the next frontier is a game of cat and mouse between law enforcement and intelligence, who will want access and control, and technology companies and pseudonymous builders, who will produce better tools for the cause.

Resources

If what you’ve read upsets you and infuriates you, well, good! Use your frustration as fuel to:

Other ideas? Sound off in the comments.

The United States of Shitcoin

Digital dollars for your digital life in the digital gulag

It’s been quite the week in crypto, with a new phase of the “china FUD” being kicked off by the announcement that China would be launching a government currency on the blockchain. I’ll write more about that later, but for this post, I really want to focus on the digitization of money and payments, and what it might mean for “crypto.”

Let’s start by going backwards. The last ten years of crypto were kicked off by bitcoin - which I believe is a technology, new networking infrastructure, but most importantly, a new set of political, economic, and social philosophies. Bitcoin’s growth resembles that of a social movement. Social movements are purposeful, organized groups striving to work toward a common goal. These groups might be attempting to create change (Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring), to resist change (anti-globalization movement), or to provide a political voice to those otherwise disenfranchised (civil rights movements). Social movements create social change. Bitcoin introduced a new idea to the world at the time when we needed it most - the idea that state and money should, and could, be separate, and that money could be digital, scarce, immutable, and open-source. You can hear more about the topic of bitcoin as a social movement on Episode 27 of What Grinds My Gears, the research podcast I do with my friend Jill Carlson.

Once bitcoin started gaining steam, the community started to fragment as new people joined and OGs broke off to start new projects with different visions. Each successive wave of “innovation,” marked by a change in terminology and change in execution of the idea, is one step further removed from bitcoin, until the end result doesn’t really look anything like where we started. In fact, it’s the opposite of where we started.

So here we are. It’s 2019, and bitcoin has been around for ten years and it’s basically all of (well, 70% of) the crypto market. While bitcoin has captured a lot of mindshare, the money for most corporates and institutions who missed the bitcoin wave is thinking of ways to manufacture and capture the next wave of “bitcoin.” The evolution of initial coin offerings from public, anonymous fundraises to private, fully regulated securities offerings is a great example of this shift. Regulatory capture is a strong force in our world, and crypto is no different than any other industry. Regulatory capture also allows incumbents to squeeze out competitors, and it’s no surprise that as the popular narrative moves from bitcoin to ICOs to security tokens to stablecoins, and now, CBDCs, each successive wave is concentrating power in the hands of fewer and fewer (existing) players. The game is still the game.

Nowhere was this sentiment better captured than the TV show Mr. Robot, where E-Corp created E-Coin which is basically a terrifying preview of the dystopian future that is coming our way.

Image result for ecoin mr robot

So where does this lead bitcoin and the “crypto” community? I think we’re entering a new phase of the narrative, where digitization of money and value will enable companies who own end users will also own their money because they can. As we look at the broader narrative unfolding in the tech world, we start to see the shift from the world of physical things to digital things is an interesting one indeed. Looking at the last 10 years, the largest companies in the world used to be the ones that made physical things - especially companies who produced the resources (energy) needed to make physical things. In 2019, what matters is the digital realm, not the physical. The largest companies in the world are now the companies that define our digital lives, own our data and our relationships, and manage our world’s financial flows.

I like to call this new group of companies our “digital overlords” and for good reason. The internet is an economic powerhouse that drives competitiveness and productivity. See above how the US, and increasingly, China, absolutely dominate. The digital economy,[1] powered by the internet, drives Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also offers countless intangible benefits to small businesses, consumers, institutions, and governments. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the digital economy has been a bright spot in context of the United States economy. The real value added to the US economy by the digital economy grew at an average annual rate of 9.9 percent per year from 1998 to 2017, compared to 2.3 percent growth in the overall economy. The digital economy accounted for 6.9 percent ($1,351 billion) of current‐dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.[2]

But like all things, this growth has not been evenly distributed. Our digital overlords - a small group of 5 companies - command the majority of this value. And as they’re sitting here looking at the world, and this crazy bitcoin thing, they start asking “why not us, too?”

If you already own everyone’s data and digital lives, why would you let a bank capture all of the value of their economic activity? It’s an interesting question, especially in an age where money is now fully digital and as demonstrated by bitcoin, no longer needs to be tethered to the guarantees of a central bank or a government with guns (an army) and steel (an economy) to defend its currency.

Historically, the business model of being a bank has been cumbersome, capital intensive, and challenging. But as money, too, becoming digital and less bound to physical jurisdiction, the ways in which we bank has also begun to change. People no longer consume financial services in the same way. Instead, financial services historically bound to the bank branch are consumed on demand, at the digital point of sale. We see this with lending businesses like Klarna and Affirm which effectively provide digital “layaway” services (buy now, pay later) to digital shoppers. What is interesting to think about is who the bank of this new digital future will be? I’d love to believe it could be bitcoin, but I don’t think our digital overlords see the same future for us. Digitization has made us more dependent on intermediaries than ever before, and has concentrated power in the hands of a small handful of companies who define our digital experience from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep. And actually, in your sleep, too, because you probably track your sleep with your Oura Sleep Ring you evolved human being, you.

As an investor, what I then wonder is how digital conglomerates will beg, borrow, and steal from the crypto community (and larger FinTech community) to leverage the new possibilities of digital finance. We’ve seen a taste of this with Facebook’s Libra project - which at this point requires no further commentary because it’s been analyzed and scrutinized to death - but I think this is just the starting point for a long and dystopian march into the digital gulag of the future. The tools of our liberation could very well have the opposite effect, leading to complete digital capture with no hope for escape. Trust me, I’ve tried going a day without using Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook (via WhatsApp), and Google and I couldn’t make it outside my front door.

This new narrative unfolding is going to be an epic one, given the marketing prowess and sheer balance sheet strength of these conglomerates. I mean, Apple has more spare cash on its balance sheet than the entire crypto market cap.

I’ll close with one of my favorite lines from Mr. Robot. “Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, but give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.” Looks like E-Corp isn’t the only one who figured that out…

[1] The United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis is working to develop tools to better capture the effects of fast-changing technologies on the U.S. economy and on global supply chains. The project seeks to calculate the digital economy's contribution to U.S. GDP, improve measures of high-tech goods and services, and offer a more complete picture of international trade. More at https://www.bea.gov/data/special-topics/digital-economy

[2] See the Bureau of Economic Analysis “Measuring the Digital Economy: An Update Incorporating Data from the 2018 Comprehensive Update of the Industry Economic Accounts” which can be found at https://www.bea.gov/system/files/2019-04/digital-economy-report-update-april-2019_1.pdf

Bitcoin and Other Big Ideas

Exploring, connecting, and explaining the technical, social, political, and economic forces shaping our world

Hi! My name is Meltem, and I like bitcoin. I read, a lot, and I like to explore all sorts of ideas shaping our modern world. I’d love to share what I’m reading, thinking, and exploring with you. Expect weekly updates and bad jokes.

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