Daily Bits June 1st, 2017

For once I totally agree with Izzy Kaminska of the FT. While I usually enjoy her anti-crypto musings (and occasional rant), I often come away feeling like she’s missing the point. But in today’s article, I think she nails it:

“For the most part, the question that really needs asking is this: What sort of legitimate organisation really benefits from a decentralised or headless state? Also, what sort of company benefits from decentralised funding options or from providing decentralised services? The answer is almost none.”

Notice that she qualifies the answer with an “almost”, which is wise. It leaves open the possibility that there may be some cases in which it would work. But few.

“Decentralisation is, in almost all cases, not an efficiency. To the contrary, it’s a cost that adds complexity and creates an unnecessary burden for both users and operators unless centralised layers are added on top of it — defying the whole point.”

In fact, as Ronald Coase – the originator of “the theory of the firm” – would tell you, centralization emerged as an antidote to the high cost and low reliability of decentralization.

“Decentralisation also undermines professional and corporate accountability. If no-one is prepared to take credit for building an organisation which adds value to society, it implies there’s either an unheard scale of altruism at play or the organisation in question is probably not adding value to society because there’s no real credit to claim.”

Ouch. But, yes.

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Bloomberg published an article that, judging from its title – “This Blockchain Bubble Might Be a Good Thing” – promised to explain to us how the current froth in the digital token market was beneficial. It failed.

Apart from a list of recent initial coin offerings, and a tentative hint that maybe public projects could be financed this way (not sure what that has to do with ridiculously inflated prices), the article had very little to say about why bubbles could be productive.

It did, however, offer this gem:

“A recent token offering called PonzICO promises to apply the proceeds towards buying the founder a Tesla. Token holders get nothing more than the right to vote on the color of the car, and somehow even that project collected nearly $3,000.”

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Try this one day – it is so much fun. Trust me.

Grab your kid (if you have one – if you don’t, skip this step), a bag of googly eyes, and your camera or smartphone. Head outside. Stick eyes on just about anything. Take a picture. Keep going until the giggles take over.

These are from Vanyu Krastev of Eyebombing Bulgaria. (I didn’t know there was a term for it! Eyebombing! That just made my day.)

by Vanyu Krastev, via Colossal
by Vanyu Krastev, via Colossal


by Vanyu Krastev, via Colossal
by Vanyu Krastev, via Colossal



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