Category Archives: #FrictionLessSociety

Bit Coin Madness

Paul Ford’s “Screaming Edge of Culture” is Where the Architects of the #FrictionLessSociety Live and Die.

“Bitcoin Is ridiculous. Blockchain is dangerous.”

So says Paul Ford in his compelling piece for Bloomberg on Bitcoin Madness. The above quote was one of twenty memorable quips I jotted down in the order they appeared in the text while I read his 2000+ word essay.  The above quip was #1 one because it was the headline.  All 20 are listed below, along with a short video on what a Bitcoin is.

What got my attention from Ford’s piece was the deep connection he made between blockchain and markets, media, and culture, generally, and specifically in:

  • Quip #8 (web standards defined culture),
  • Quip #13 (blockchain as secure media),
  • Quip #18 (how  culture absorbs information), and
  • Quip #19 (a new way to build culture).

Blockchains can be seen as smart connectors of  and between markets, and also as connected markets that  are seen as cultures, or exchanges of  values and beliefs between people.

  1. Bitcoin Is ridiculous. Blockchain is dangerous.
  2. Bitcoin is at some level just a set of rules [abstractions].
  3. People who invest in an unmanageable abstraction, then panic when it under performs, are very entertaining.
  4. Watching the world of initial coin offerings(ICOs) over the past few years has been like watching popcorn pop.
  5. Blockchain startups visit our software agency and promise to pay in dollars, then add, “There are, however, other ways to get paid.”
  6. Some are even deliberately comical, like Useless Ethereum Token, (UET website ), whose logo is a raised middle finger.
  7. For people tossed around by the cryptocurrency tempest—their only sin is belief. Bitcoin will crash because of course it will. Bubbles burst.
  8. Web standards [established in the Internet’s first wave] didn’t define just software, but also culture; this was the raw material of human interaction.
  9. Acquiring Bitcoin is like using an ATM, except instead of government-backed money you get proof that a computer somewhere solved an automated puzzle faster than other computers. Bitcoin.org
  10. Consider Bitcoin a grand middle finger. It’s a prank, almost a parody of the global financial system, that turned into a bubble.
  11. Humans will make an economy out of anything. Even this!
  12. Cryptocurrency is a boon to people living under repressive regimes—a Swiss bank account for the smartphone-clutching masses.
  13. What if the most important thing the blockchain offers is a way to build culture, a [new] media, which means it will be impossible to take down what’s been published?
  14. As with all internet things, [Bit Coin Apps will] arrive well ahead of the ethics we need to make sense of them.
  15. Ideology is rarely a sustainable store of value.
  16. I know a mind virus when I see it.
  17. With ICOs and Bitcoin exchanges, we have a marketplace to value marketplaces. (Even in a distributed money platform, wealth has a way of finding only a few pockets.)
  18. America understands new abstractions by financializing them. It’s how our culture absorbs information. Taxicabs, spare bedrooms, public education—we see markets everywhere.
  19. What if the most important thing the blockchain offers isn’t a replacement for money but a new way to build culture?
  20. I’m jealous that they’ll experience it all: the crash, the rejection, and then the slow rebuild as they learn the difference between toys and tools. They get to participate in the screaming edge of culture.

More posts to follow on how blockchain will be a force in shaping the #FrictionLessSociety.