The Road Ahead

with Andrew Edstrom

Bitcoin embodies Schumpeterian Creative Destruction. Bitcoin also behaves like a physical natural resource, with unique differences that make it a driving force for effecting fundamental change, much like gold, oil or electricity has done.

Bitcoin goes through periodic cycles of varying lengths that inspire a creative rejuvenation of its ecosystem with new ideas and innovations at various timescales and magnitudes.

We apply the idea of a Schumpeterian Business Cycle to Bitcoin and construct a Schumpeterian Bitcoin Cycle based on three componential waves: a multi-decadal Bitcoin Kondratieff Cycle; a Bitcoin Juglar Cycle that is shorter than a decade…


Bitcoin’s value comes from being an anchor with absolute irreversibility that entrains our present with our future by design.

with Robert Breedlove

1. The Tyranny of the Future

Think about the future for a space, as it pertains to each of us individually or even to any combination of us taken as a group, from a couple all the way to the entire world.

The present is a point in time, wherefrom you draw several paths that each represent one possible future. As a matter of fact, the future is theoretically characterized by an infinite number of states of the world. Some states of the world that arise in the future map to untold riches or unimaginable happiness, others point to a life led destitute…


A Jeeves & Wooster story

“Some days seem perfect,” I remarked, as I drained the trusty tumbler of its bracing contents. “Don’t they, Jeeves?”

Jeeves, who had been setting the bookshelves in order, shelved the task to consider.

“Indeed, sir,” he assented.

“No, Jeeves,” I retorted, for I had him exactly where I wished in the repartee. “I thought you would say that. But you are incorrect.”

“Sir?”

“You readily agreed,” I remarked, “indubitably in the best of feudal custom, to my statement. And, I am sorry to have to say this to you, Jeeves, but you are, on this rare occasion, wrong.”

I distinctly…


Digital Westphalia: Imagine there’s no countries

“I think the internet warrants a native currency and Bitcoin is probably the best manifestation of that thus far. I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and build it for that potential.” — Jack Dorsey

If you’ve followed Bitcoin with the lightest degree of seriousness you know what makes it special to you. There are several value propositions for it, after all. To me, for example, Bitcoin’s awesomeness is in its potential to become the ultimate platform for contracts: a platform that provides a far stronger mechanism for final settlement than national institutions.


Virtuous Habits and the Shameless Bitcoiner

The Mind Behind the Memes

I. Bitcoin-ism

Bitcoin has provided us with a veritable catalog of concepts and ideas. As the essential merits of its framework have become more broadly understood; as ever more services have been developed to leverage its mechanisms for broader objectives; as its ecosystem has matured and become more varied and complex, discourse on Bitcoin has flourished.

Beyond technical concepts, there are simple ideas with astounding memetic resonance that have become tenets for a class of individuals who see themselves as true Bitcoiners : low time preference; hard money; store of value; #HODL; hyperbitcoinization; #stackingsats; “number go up”; Bitcoin not blockchain; stock-to-flow; digital…


Cobweb Supply, Reservation Demand & the Foundations for Understanding Bitcoin’s Price

Bitcoin. An actual diagram.

Bitcoin’s value has little to do with its quotidian price histrionics. Yes, exuberant speculation routinely outplays rationality. And, of course, there are complex interactions from extant and expected financial market innovations, growing or abating regulatory risks, and the insidious exertions of misinformation.

But price is important. To say you are interested in Bitcoin, but far too cerebral to care about its price is as daft as saying that you are interested in gold, but only as an element on the periodic table.

That said, I fear that you learn nothing of value about Bitcoin from looking at charts and following…


Metatechnologies and Semicommons

Bitcoin is a metatechnology. Moreover, it is rare metatechnology because it directly enables the creation of semicommons, much like it was with medieval Village Commons.

The Bitcoin Village Commons simultaneously curates rules for an overarching open-access commons as well as those for private use cases within semicommons. The former fuels the search of technological developments beyond blockchains; the latter fuels the search for uses beyond money.

Metatechnologies

The trouble you face in trying to place a value on a technology is compounded when the technology in question is actually a metatechnology.

A metatechology is one that is capable of realizing extensions…


A page-by-page guide to The Paper of the Century

What follows is a page-by-page guide to Nakamoto’s paper, published in October 2008. It is meant as a useful guide for those who have not yet read this most essential of papers on Bitcoin, for those who tried to read it and gave up midway, and perhaps even those who do not see the point. Nakamoto left us with other sources that were less formal than this paper. I do not consider those in this article. Here, I focus attention solely on what is in ‘The Paper’.

A few caveats: First, I am a social scientist grounded in economics, not…


Trust Economies in Money — Specialization & Exchange

Summary. A relevant attribute of money, often forgotten, is that it must be a Medium of Specialization (MoS). Using a simple Smithian premise, I suggest what that means and how it relates to trust economies. I suggest that the promise of Bitcoin as a money comes from its unique ability to address these issues. Bitcoin serves as a MoS and as a mechanism to generate not trust, but trust economies.

Money as the Medium of Exchange

In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith develops the argument for money from the premise of benefits that accrue from division of labor. …


Does HODL help with Institutional Change?

HODLers of the World, Unite!

The Blockchain Paradox

Thinking up use cases for blockchains has become an international pastime with few equals. Some truly grimace-inducing applications of blockchains have sprouted in recent memory, from ice teas to music band names.

On the one hand, this may not be such an awful thing. It’s a sort of exuberant speciation enabled by the prospect of an especially fecund environment. For instance, during the Cambrian explosion more than half a billion years ago, the variety of life on Earth burgeoned dramatically. While most species that came about eventually went extinct in a series of mass ‘extinction events’, we still have this…

Prateek Goorha

Social scientist interested in the economics of innovation. Part-time author. Full-time blockchain explorer.

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