VVSVS — is the creative platform of Ivan Flugelman.
A creative based in Berlin exploring the relationships between art, design and technology with a passion for content.

Decentralized Thinking 1.0

This week has been full of NFT fatigue, an exploration into DAOs, and getting some Lessons Of History.

I’ve read an intersting paper here from Vineyard Holdings about Ethereum. If you are interested in diving into the Ethereum ecosystem, its uses, potential as investment and ecosystem and have some financial understanding to really make the most out of it (I don’t). Some excerpts and learnings.

THE PITCH – A Quality Company

Ethereum is somewhat like a high quality “company” with a win-win ecosystem, which is trading at a pessimistic valuation. It’s deeply resilient, carries sizeable optionality, and – with the upcoming forks in August and December/early 2022 – it also presents a “special situation” with expected upside volatility.

https://vineyardholdings.net/2021/07/31/ethereum/

Part of Ethereum’s strength is the ecosystem that is built around it just compounds its capabilities. The more it enables projects for decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs and DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), the more powerful it gets, with its own ecosystem figuring out solutions for its scalability and the promise of Ethereum 2.0 based on Proof of Stake rather than Proof Of Work.

Also the paper states that competitive alternatives to Ethereum such as Solana or Avalanche are better at certain things, but relying on centralizing those aspects, whereas Ethereum’s value proposition is full decentralization.

One of the key topics of the paper is that Ethereum can be used as a triple point asset, serving as consumable, capital asset and store of value. More about this can be found in David Hoffman’s A New Model For Money. And this has as of yet this new type of asset hasn’t been seen in history. And speaking of…..

A LESSON IN HISTORY

I’ve been reading “The Lessons Of History” by Will & Ariel Durant, its a nice short book with interesting insights about history, race, religion, politics, socialism and all the things that you are not supposed to talk about at dinner parties, but since i’m now looking at everything through the eye of crypto, here is something that caught my attention.

So the bankers, watching the trends in agriculture, industry, and trade, inviting and directing the flow of capital, putting our money doubly and trebly to work, controlling loans and interest and enterprise, running great risks to make great gains, rise to the top of the economic pyramid. From the Medici of Florence and the Fuggers of Augsburg to the Rothschilds of Paris and London and the Morgans of New York, bankers have sat in the councils of governments, financing wars and popes, and occasionally sparking a revolution. Perhaps it is one secret of their power that, having studied the fluctuations of prices, they know that history is inflationary, and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard.”

The Lessons of History By Will Durant and Ariel Durant

There is a lot to unpack here, but as someone who left his home country escaping the erosionness of inflation and now is seeing how it’s creeping up in the first world, one cannot only get excited at the potential promise of all these new decentralized financial systems appearing.

Crypto promises an easier access to ownership and can be coded into either being inflationary or deflationary, we are still at very early stages on how things are going to develop, but I like that smart people are running experiments on this, and allowing people to own more, and stake time and money into the betterment of digital products and society. An interesting transfer of capital and power is happening, allowing people to take control of their data, finances and eventually work.

The artists are rejoicing with the NFT party, and new ways of making a living but we have to see how long the music lasts. It’s not that I don’t believe on the long term aspects of The Promise, but I’ve seen people very critical about the whole space, now joining any way they can. And what I hated about the whole art scene in the first place, the eternal complacency to get patronage and cooperation between artists to peg themselves to a winner, is now being digitised.

This gave me a lot of fatigue, in my NFT experiments, shilling does work, but it’s a full time job, networking and doing everything but creating art. The one that suffers the most? The art. Purity gets sacrificed for politics.

DECENTRALIZATION EXPERIMENTS

I’ve been swimming around different discord spaces checking out different projects, and experiencing how certain things manifest in the space. I found it super stressful that when trying to build on a project, for example, an organization that wants to use crypto to save the planet, the discord server gets full of degenerates (aka degens) bombarding the channels with whitelist access, and using Fiverr created artwork to “contribute” to the project.

Some people want to honestly contribute and have the skills to do so, 90% just want to make a heartless contribution to get early access to whitelists with minimum effort, make a quick buck and move on to the next.

After some conversations with some friends I was asked “Why does everything need to be decentralized?”, and it’s true. I see a lot of benefits in decentralizing certain organizational processes, on the other hand, it makes for a consensus driven pseudo-democratical way of running certain organizations that would fare much better with certain established hierarchies. Perhaps that is a problem that crypto or DAOs in general should resolve.

Anyways, I know I’m out of my depth, but hopefully I learn more about this because it is super interesting how all these new ways of organizing human work and decision making, ownership and digital scarcity are becoming more and more relevant.

I will leave the whole aspect of NFT and copyrights for another day.

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VVSVS — is the creative platform of Ivan Flugelman. A creative based in Berlin exploring the relationships between art, design and technology with a passion for moving content.

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