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With Decentralization, Where is the Money?

If we are to strictly follow Bitcoin’s first principles of decentralization, then very little to no money should be made by the centers.

Bitcoin- the system, is itself the quintessential decentralized and autonomous ecosystem today. And its center is poor, because it is non-existent as an entity. All of the revenues/profits are being made at the edges of the Bitcoin network.

So, if we are to mirror Bitcoin, we need to stay true to its decentralized characteristics & properties; not just as a matter of principle, but as a matter of operational integrity.

As it evolves, decentralization is not something that is categorically there or not there. It’s not a black or white situation yet. There are different flavors, shades and degrees of decentralization. It is becoming something we aim for and reach over time, not overnight. I’ve already described the “ideal” framework for distributed autonomous organizations, and it’s not that easy getting there….

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The ICOs Are Coming

First came Bitcoin, then blockchains arrived. Cryptocurrencies and decentralized protocols followed.

Now, the ICOs are coming. And the ICO funds are also arriving. And a crash will be forthcoming.

To paraphrase Clay Shirky’s famous book title, Here Comes Everybody, a moniker describing how crowds form online as quickly as wildfire.

New tokens are being listed every week. Dozens of startups are planning their ICO’s, and funds that specialize in these tokens are feeding the investment and speculation frenzy. Even websites offer out-the-box services to create, promote, run and list your ICO with, describing the process to being as easy as microwave cooking.

The regulators are watching, mostly without taking harmful actions (so far), which is interpreted positively by startups who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Let’s do more. The door is open, and no one is shutting it….

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The Blockchain is Still Waiting for its Web

The blockchain landscape is still very technical. Aside from the early enthusiasts and pioneers, it is hardly comprehensible to the masses, and it will continue to be that way, unless it breaks out of its technical shell.

This isn’t unlike the predicament the Internet was stuck in, prior to the Web.

So, what if blockchain technology is more like the Internet, which means that we are still waiting for its Web layers to emerge, in order to fully exploit its capabilities?

Today, blockchain protocols, solutions, or platforms are not straightforward to work with. At least, they require a good degree of technical know-how that far exceeds what an average web developer or savvy semi-technical business person can do with the Web today.

But does it have to be that way forever?…

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Why Bitcoin’s Price is Irrelevant to Its Success

The last thing Bitcoin needed was a continued frenzy into higher valuations. I’m not going to justify Bitcoin’s recent price drop with technical trading intrinsics, because that wouldn’t be an insightful way to understand it.

Rather, there is one thing I know- Bitcoin’s price had been growing beyond its promised expectations to deliver something useful to the masses, and not just to the currency speculators. In other words, the gap was widening between its promise and its delivery.

There are really two basic things that Bitcoin needs to do:…

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The Cryptoconomy, The Trust Web and the 3Ps of the Blockchain

I’m stepping-up my writings about the blockchain and its implications. It’s a fascinating topic that marks the beginnings of a new Internet era. And I intend on continuing to explore its understanding and implications.

My plan is to publish most of it here on this blog, but I will occasionally publish elsewhere to spread the word and reach more people. In the past 3 days, 3 new original articles I wrote were posted elsewhere, and I’m posting a synopsis of each here.

But first, here’s a quick jump to 14 Bitcoin Blogs You Must Read To Achieve Bitcoin Enlightenment, compiled by Bobby Ong at Coingeckco. It’s a good list, and I’m on it, along with Vitalik Buterin, Fred Wilson, Chris Dixon, Joel Monegro and others. Too bad there are no women yet on that list….

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The New New Age of Transparency: Ethereum’s Case

Transparency has its rewards, but also its pitfalls. We are entering a new world where privacy is exposed, transparency is coveted, and honesty is appreciated.

In the world of corporations, Benefit Corporations are leading the way with new levels of societal and environmental impact, and with different purpose, accountability and transparency practices than traditional corporations.

In the world of the cryptoconomy, the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies has enabled the creation and funding of new decentralized organizations just by creating a new cryptocurrency that is pegged to its operations and value creation. Two such prominent examples are Bitcoin and Ethereum. As soon as the Bitcoin nucleus burst out of its original cocoon, its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto set it free onto the world’s computers and developers, and swiftly disappeared as soon as he felt that Bitcoin’s future was assured….

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The Decentralization Has Started

The more we link our bank accounts to external services and applications, the more we realize that we are living in a world of decentralized banking.

The trend has started, and it is more than anecdotal because it’s happening frequently and with greater impact.

Here are some examples:

Linking your Eventbrite event lets you get paid immediately into your bank account.

Linking a Bitcoin account lets you move money around the world in less than 10 mins at the cost of pennies in fees, and then you can transfer the money back and forth to your bank account. Actually, here’s an example of a Bitcoin exchange (QuadrigaCX) that provides 9 ways to fund an account via various deposit methods, and 11 ways to withdraw money. Many of these are to/from a bank account, and several of them are free….

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Why Blockchain is the New Website

For every day that passes, I see more and more analogies between the Internet’s early years and today’s status with the blockchain’s evolution. In 1994, when the web came along, websites were the novelty, and up until about 1998, we kept lists of Fortune 500 companies with or without websites. It took about three years before most companies were on-board. Then, many of these early sites were criticized for being just glorified brochures or information sheets, and we looked to Amazon as one of the few companies that actually conducted business on the Internet.

Fast forward to 2015. The blockchain is the new website. Yes, blockchains are geeky, (and the challenge is to take out that geekiness), but fairly soon, every company will have a blockchain, or be on a blockchain, or several ones, just as organizations are involved in many websites today.

Why is the blockchain like a website, and what’s the novelty that blockchains bring to companies, individuals, society and governance?…

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