The Blockchain Moment

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The Blockchain Moment
By Keith Teare • Issue #253 • View online
Momentum is building behind blockchain technology, and it is not limited to Bitcoin. This week we step back and survey the horizon

Contents
Editorial
Everybody has heard about the blockchain by now. Although nobody really understands its significance or role in human history. Let’s try and put it into context.
Humanity, since forever, has evolved into larger, more integrated civilizations. From the cavemen to early settlements, to villages, then towns, then regions, and now nations with a world economy, we humans build larger and larger scale interdependencies.
The social and technical infrastructure underlying evolved civilization has also grown in scale. Travel was the first manifestation of infrastructure enabling interdependence. And now, we can fly halfway around the world relatively easily and somewhat affordably.
Since 1994 the communications and publishing infrastructure of the world has become fully global. It fails only when nation-states seek to block it. TCP/IP enabled it.
And since the invention of the blockchain and bitcoin a few years ago, the infrastructure for storing, measuring, and transacting has evolved to be government-free and global. Money no longer means only dollars or pounds. It can take many digital forms.
Suddenly our real interdependence has a foundation that is fully global and unlimited by borders. It also removes intermediaries from taking an unreasonable toll when we seek to transact.
Blockchain replaces the bank, the accountant, the debt-lender, the custodian of our wealth, and many other things. Each person can become their own bank, custodian, and trusted party.
It seems certain that some combination of blockchain technology and crypto or digital value is the foundation for the next step in our civilization.
At these moments, those with a stake in the old ways always resist change. So don’t expect a smooth transition from limited national frameworks into truly global ones. But like TCP/IP, blockchain and digital value are uncontainable and have now reached the moment of irreversible take-off. This new foundation for civilization grows in stealth through use and adoption. NFTs and personal tokens like those at Bitclout and rally.io are just the beginning.
Another old institution faced a threat this week - the English Premier League’s leading role in world football. The upstart European Super League attempted a palace coup and failed. But underneath the attempt was the same impulse driving blockchain. Sport is sold to TV cheaply ($2 billion a season for 722 games), and TV then sells ads to make a profit. That cheap sale is distributed to teams, while 90% of the value is captured in the ad revenues. Streaming gives clubs a way to deliver the game directly to fans and capture 100% of its value. But so corrupt are UEFA, FIFA, and the Leagues that they want to keep the existing system. The future was trying to be born. It was not the right future. But the urge to remove the past and move on is real and valid. I predict the change will come through streaming, sooner rather than later, with a very different economic structure. And the teams and fans and the sport, in general, will benefit. The 12 teams are only temporarily the bad guys. The current TV contracts, and the non-streamed broadcast model, should be the real enemy.
In that spirit, I have included a bottom section this week where you can donate bitcoin to That Was The Week, or buy the original and unique front cover from last week’s edition. Click here to jump there.
This Week’s New Style Video
The Blockchain Moment
The Blockchain Moment
The Blockchain Moment
Square Makes The Case For Clean Energy Bitcoin
Baillie Gifford Invests $100 Million In Blockchain.com
£3.8 billion investment trust acquires stake in crypto exchange Kraken
Why VCs Are Investing In NFT Marketplaces
Breaking: Eminem Joins the NFT Mania
Coinbase commits to devoting 10 percent of its resources to ‘innovation bets’
Introducing Project 10 Percent: Building a culture of repeatable innovation at Coinbase
Apple's Home Run
The Apple Show. Some thoughts on Apple’s ‘Spring… | by M.G. Siegler | Apr, 2021 | 500ish
The Next Big Think - Stripe
Join the Club [House]
Be Heard: Bringing Social Audio Experiences to Facebook - About Facebook
Reddit Talk is a Clubhouse competitor for subreddits - The Verge
Creator+ raises $12M to build a film studio and streaming service focused on digital storytellers
Censorship
YouTube Purges Ron DeSantis Video Over Claims Children Don't Need to Wear Masks
Apple will let Parler back on the App Store - CNN
WordPress to automatically disable Google FLoC on websites
Big Ideas
UiPath IPO: Years in the Making
Africa-focused VC Atlantica Ventures raises $50m fund for seed-onwards tech investments - Disrupt Africa
Startup of the Week
Podcast recording platform Riverside.fm raises $9.5M – TechCrunch
Tweet of the Week
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Keith Teare, Palo Alto, California