Video Of The Week: A Crypto Economy

AVC community member William Mougayar traveled to Amsterdam a couple weeks ago, along with some USV folks, to attend SteemFest. He delivered this talk in which he sketches out a vision of an economy powered by blockchain technology. It’s a fairly concise but expansive vision of what is possible to build with open public blockchains.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Thanks for posting this.i’m a big fan of William’s work and listen/read most of what he produces as my way in to understanding the technology.Need to say that I take a very different view of work and its core value to our lives.To me work is about personal satisfaction and while we work to support ourselves certainly, we get up every morning to do something of value that we believe in. That is what gets us out of bed and inspired.If blockchain is simply (and it is a big deal obviously) very smart financial plumbing, explanations of new connections and transactional values make sense and are super informative to build from.If blockchain is a cultural transformation, which is implied, the human element is missing to me.You can create huge value without human connections and cultural implications. But if you are claiming that blockchain is the second coming of the web, you certainly cannot in my view.

    1. creative group

      awaldstein:would you agree that for the human element to be more inclusive that value has to be shown? Which it appears William Mougayar continues to emphasize with scale pitches…..When we are shown the value in something we direct our interest towards it.

      1. awaldstein

        sorry don’t understand your question.if you start this discussion as a platform in search of a market, not a behavioral need that is connecting the world through a platform that redefines how we are compensated, it is not about culture, it is about plumbing.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          FB proved that meeting behavioural needs can generate both huge monitory and social value integration but as William hinted at that behavioural-value could potentially be vastly up scaled by disinter mediating “FB INC’s” centralized corporate nonitization hub with a blockchain driven alliterative ?

          1. awaldstein

            I’m not smart enough to follow this through to something I can wrap my head around it.If it is part of the vision, then someone should tell me a story that helps me get it.

    2. William Mougayar

      Thanks Arnold for your support. I realize that consumers want a killer app from the blockchain, like the web gave us email, web publishing, eCommerce or social. I think it will be coming but in a more decentralized fashion perhaps, slowly infiltrating, and you may not know there is a blockchain somewhere.Have you tried posting something (or re-posting) on Steemit? Let me know if you do, and I’ll get you some action there!Or opening a service to sell something on OpenBazaar or buy something on it. These could be interesting experiments.

      1. awaldstein

        your biggest fan william. you are my personal professor and I’m lucky to have you.this is not about consumer or business.this is about a vision of the world.the world has already changed. work has already changed. people have already changed. this is not about technology this is about a possible platform for capturing that.blockchain is not the cause of a changing way of work. I call bs on that. it could however platform that.the most successful platforms we live on–fb, slack, twitter–do just that.

    3. creative group

      awaldstein:”behavioral theorist”- simple psychology, applying scientific research.They should have you in the room to assist in figuring out how to scale Crypto because the traditional methods of finance (banks) have a tight hold on how the world does it business.

    4. Twain Twain

      The cultural transformation would be someone in mainland China being able to express themselves freely on the same legal basis as someone in the US on the Blockchain AND being paid for that expression.It would be stay-at-home parents without engineering backgrounds being able to mine Bitcoins.

      1. awaldstein

        Sorry–how is this connected in any possible way?Who cares if anyone can mine bitcoins? You are saying that this is part of the future vernacular of common folks?

        1. Twain Twain

          All of the language around Blockchain is not that of common folks.Blockchain is presented as:(1.) Development layer(2.) Utility(3.) Marketplace(4.) Trust layerFor common folks, (1.) would mean the tools exist and are at a price point where people without code engineering skills would be able to mine Bitcoins — in the same way that people can create their own websites and apps without knowing any HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, SWIFT etc.(2) would mean people could use Blockchain as a communications tool in the same way Reddit / Twitter etc works — that’s what Steemit, Synereo and Akasha do.(3.) would mean people can exchange “ouputs of work” for tokens or other “outputs of work” — so something like OpenBazaar.(4.) would mean the Blockchain processes enough “outputs of work” (on a par with how many searches Google could do in its early days, FB shares, Twitter tweets) that people would have trust in Blockchain.Common folks don’t care for ledger when it should just be called a database.Blockchain community seems to think that changing the language means changing the cultural consciousness of people about work, why they work, how they work and what tools they do the work with.If the Grand Vision is everyone is chasing Bitcoins and tokens rather than cash and/or shares then how much of a business innovation is that? What behavior around work does it change?

          1. awaldstein

            Good comment and I thank you for your time.I’m not getting this across so maybe i’m just incorrect.In my view visionaries talk about a changed world not the platform that changes it.Elon Musk is a good example.Maybe there isn’t one for this sector.

          2. Twain Twain

            You’re not incorrect, Arnold.The changed world that the Blockchain crew mean to share is simple: “The Web becomes more of an open and diverse house — where each of us has a set of security keys that lets us into that house; communicate and trade goods and services with other people in that house in exchange for secure, digital currencies; and there’s a public and private record of those transactions. Whether it’s public or private is up to us and our security keys. The house isn’t owned by any state, any company or any elite clique but by everyone. And the goods inside the house (the data) is made and owned by us and the responsibility to safeguard it and make use of it is up to us — not any state, any company or any elite clique.”The house, in this analogy, is the Blockchain-ledger-database.There, that would be a cultural change because it’s clear that regular folks become owners of the house (the Blockchain database).

  2. William Mougayar

    Thanks for posting Fred. Amsterdam was lots of fun. The city is very charming. Here’s me, impersonating Van Gogh at his museum. In 10 years, crypto-tech will be everywhere, just as much as the web & databases are everywhere.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. awaldstein

      Gonna visit this winter and really looking forward to it.

      1. creative group

        awalstein:It appears there are cultures that enjoy visiting cold climates and others gravitate to warm. Tropical islands is where you will find us vacationing. Any Europe trip is during the limited warm seasonal climate.

      2. William Mougayar

        We walked miles and miles all around Amsterdam. Gruners everywhere on all wine lists :)Vondelpark was magical. I have not experienced a more spectacular city park anywhere. Opened in 1865, 120 meandering acres.…Remember, cyclists have right of way on pedestrians, and they take that right very seriously!

        1. awaldstein

          many natural wine bars and that is the major reason for the visit. good buddy a wine writer lives there and i plan on letting him be my guide.

        2. jason wright

          Quite right too. God gave people feet…so they could pedal.Did you buy any bulbs?How many minutes is your talk please?

          1. William Mougayar

            16 smooth minutes + 5 min questions No, but was given 1 bulb by Roeland the organizer.

  3. creative group

    Fred:we enjoyed the choice for video of the week (Saturday 26 Nov 2016).————William Mougayar thank you for the dedication in the BlockChain/CryptoTech space.The work that was done in the early part of the development and structure of Bitcoin vision can be applied to the overall BlockChain efforts of identifying challenges in this space and problem solving them. Have the problems changed or evolved?Question part is for William Mougayar.We will make an effort to contribute to your blog William Mougayar on this important subject.

    1. William Mougayar

      I think we are discovering new use cases for blockchain that bitcoin on its own didn’t predict. Like the web, we had to mimick the old ways before inventing new ways that only exist on the web. Soon, there will be services and capabilities that you can only get via blockchains.

      1. jason wright

        Yes, block native solutions.

  4. Charlie Shrem

    This is a fantastic video Fred. Steem is one of the only Blockchain 2.0 projects with an active community. Using Blockchain to disrupt something OTHER than finance.

    1. jason wright

      Are you allowed to have access to a computer?

        1. jason wright

          Good for you Charlie. Best of luck with it.

    1. jason wright

      So it’s the tapping of the energy of massive distrust humans have for one another created by ‘trust’ systems that will power the revolution? That sounds very familiar. History repeating itself as always.

  5. Pointsandfigures

    William spoke at our event in Chicago and another one here. A big key now is to get people to understand Blockchain I was speaking with an entrepreneur and Blockchain seemed to fit. Now he is trying to integrate it. Problem is finding a developer.

  6. jason wright

    Big companies would need to completely rewire themselves to fully realise their blockchain futures. Unlikely.

  7. jason wright

    I was a little surprised by the number of empty seats. Ever the optimist i was expecting the place to be heaving. I should have gone.

    1. William Mougayar

      206 people from 31 countries . 1000 watched the live stream.

      1. jason wright

        When and where is the next fest?

        1. William Mougayar

          Not sure yet, but there will be a next one for sure.

  8. SubstrateUndertow

    Some praise from the peanut gallery here !I come here to AVC to flesh out a “working superficial characterization” of tech stuff I would otherwise have little to no big picture awareness of.So good job William for a presentation that even works as a big picture access point for a low tech interloper like myself !PS.This presentation also made me recognize that William has a very understated stylish flare!

  9. Kirsten Lambertsen

    @wmoug:disqus I’m curious what percentage of this gathering you’d estimate consisted of women and not-white people? Not trying to politicize it 🙂 But I’m curious how well it’s making its way into those universes. I feel like those populations stand to benefit even more from new business models and economies.I enjoyed your talk a lot, and I appreciate the way you continue to evolve how blockchain gets described. It would be amazing to see Twitter experiment with new business model possibilities based upon blockchain.

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Kirsten. Good questions. Actually, I wrote up a report on Steemfest – 35% women and 75% non-developers! Look at the picture:

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        That is fascinating!

  10. Ronnie Rendel

    Anyone know of application of the blockchain in derivatives settlement? Spent quite some time in that space early in my career, and I’m curious. Thanks.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yes, Clearmatics is developing a Decentralized Clearing Network for the over the counter derivatives market.

      1. Ronnie Rendel

        This makes things very interesting. The real control (and the actual marketplaces) for derivatives trading are the clearing firms.I have commented on this blog before that when I watched “The Big Short” it became evident to me that the big banks will not be regulated out of business but rather made insignificant by technology, but I had no idea how this would happen. My gut tells me the answer is in trade clearing and the markets (networks) around it.Great talk William, thank you.

  11. Tom Labus

    Great video, thanks @wmoug:disqus

  12. jason wright

    “…community member…”community + member(ship) – Is that what this is?

  13. Vendita Auto

    Video / Podcasts are my way to bite off what I can chew/ internalise so thank you for this. William Mougayar you mention conversations with banks re Blockchain have you had the opportunity to converse with Amazon ? it seems to me that front of till is first elevator ? The systems can and will regroup behind behind the curtain why use a token when you can seamlessly use a coin ?

  14. anomaly2

    I always cringe when I hear that something ismore secure than ever. This was the same things they were saying about theinternet not all that long ago and now look it at it. Will blockchains go thesame way?