Web vs. Crypto Service Models, Cost Structures and Value Distribution

We compare web vs. crypto service models across two dimensions: the production model (from centralized to decentralized) and the data model (from custodial to non-custodial). The more decentralized and non-custodial a service, the more distributed its cost structure. This is important because markets tend to allocate value along the line of costs. So the more we decentralize the cost structure of a service, the more broadly we distribute its value.

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Cryptonetworks and Governments

Public cryptonetworks have some unique features that put them in an ambiguous position vis-à-vis existing legal and administrative systems, especially governments. What should governments make of these emerging systems, and how might their societal role evolve in a cryptonetworked world? On the one hand, crypto represents an important and effective tool against authoritarianism, and certain aspects of it can arguably be framed as competitive with the State. On the other hand, it is also possible to envision a more symbiotic relationship in which well-intentioned governments are both active participants in and direct beneficiaries of public cryptonetworks.

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Sovereign Cryptonetworks

A state is sovereign when it has supreme authority to govern its territory without interference from a foreign power. Similarly, a cryptonetwork is sovereign when it runs in a way that resists outside influence. But instead of managing the rules and politics of a geography, cryptonetworks use blockchain protocols to govern the production and exchange of information services over digital space. Achieving sovereignty is necessary to fulfill crypto’s ultimate promise of independent online networks that distribute value more broadly across its participants, instead of concentrating it in a particular company or jurisdiction.

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Resources, Governance, and Legitimacy in Zcash's 2020 Network Upgrade

In October 2020 the Zcash network will undergo its first halving, slicing the annual rate of ZEC inflation in half. Halvings are important moments in any cryptomoney’s maturation as they double the marginal cost of producing each incremental unit (at constant hash rate), moving the asset further along the scarcity curve. Concurrent with this halving, Zcash will undergo its fourth network upgrade (NU4), in which key decisions (especially re: the Founders Reward) need to be made that will shape the next four years of Zcash’s life.

As ZEC coin holders, Placeholder recognizes that NU4 will be a critical upgrade for the Zcash network, and therefore have chosen to submit our thoughts about its contents.

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Risk Management in MakerDAO

A core function of the financial system is to transfer risk to the parties most willing to bear it. It should therefore be no surprise that two of the most successful products in DeFi, stablecoins and DEXs, address the key risks of using and holding cryptoassets. But these systems face uncertainties of their own. While limited counter-party risk and full transaction auditability have been rallying cries for DeFi, history reminds us that risk isn’t eliminated, but transposed. In fact, increasing complexity of products and complacency of market participants can magnify rather than reduce systemic risks.

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