Can I say something controversial?

Back in November I joined a panel discussion with Maja Vujinovic, Managing Director at OGroup, Jeffrey Joh, independent consultant and angel investor, Lou Kerner, Venture Partner at Blockchain Coinvestors.

We discussed the meaning of community in Web3 and whether it’s always community first or whether Web3 stands for – IMHO – mainly decentralized infrastructure. Check out the video below for my “controversial” statement.

Thanks to Anjali Young from Collab Land for moderating this session.

crypto’s endgame.

The holidays are around the corner, so time to prep some answers for noisy relatives. 

The other day I was interviewed by a university researcher about crypto culture. One of her questions was about our *why*. Why do we build these immutable, permissionless technologies? 

Before I answer, a little side quest: 

Crypto is not FTX. Crypto is not Celsius. Is crypto Luna? 

Confession time, I didn’t know what Luna was before it went into shambles, just that I didn’t trust 20% APY on fiat. I’m not an American citizen, so I couldn’t use Celsius, and I don’t trade much on CEXes, so no need for FTX. 

I also don’t find any of these three projects or companies particularly interesting. They don’t have anything to do with my personal *why crypto*. 

On to the *why*. For me, crypto is (1) prepping financial, communication & governance infrastructure and (2) experimenting with new forms of finance, communication & governance. 

There’s no killer app in crypto (yet). At first sight, there’s no apparent need for any of the stuff we’re building, especially not for those residing in stable, developed nations. But maybe there will be one day, and perhaps while we’re running all these game theoretical experiments on the future of finance, communication & governance, we will discover something new.  

What could that be?

—> more transparent systems within existing governments where budgets & their spending can all be inspected on-chain. The same goes for companies & NGOs.  

—> new governments in the cloud, think network states, or think country X is being physically invaded by country Y, but decides to continue its existence in cyberspace

For this, we need more than just immutable ledgers to do the accounting work; we also need decentralized storage, communication & governance systems. Something that cannot be shut off, neither by the good guys nor by the bad guys. For me, that’s web3. 

I’ve no idea where the idea on web3 took the wrong turn, and it became jpgs and VR mini-games. And I don’t know when people started thinking that crypto is equal to gambling on centralized exchanges, but all of this has very little to do with my personal *why*. 

Unlocking the Potential of Interoperability

During this hour-long panel Marlene discusses the potential of interoperability with Anil John, Technical Director at the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, Matt Prewitt, President at RadicalxChange Foundation and James Felton Keith, Founder & CEO of the Inclusion Score. This talk was part of the MyData Global 2020 Conference

“The current decentralized identifier system has the potential to enable an ecosystem where the identifiers you choose for yourself – for financial, for social media, for governmental services – that you can take them with you. We’re not there yet. Decentralized identifiers are now locked either to a ledger or the issuance infrastructure that issues it right now. Can you get to a point where a decentralized identifier is something that you truly own and that you can take with you? Yes, that can happen, but a whole lot more work needs to be done.” – Anil John

“I think the idea of collective bargaining about data is a worthy goal. I’m not arguing for this standard or that standard. But I do think that if we have the necessary standards on the technology side and the necessary regulatory support on the other side then we will be able to create a more solicitous data economy.” – Matt Prewitt