I don't normally discuss the price of crypto.

I need to discuss the price of crypto.

Depending on how response is to this thread, I may write a longer-form piece for the @Mattereum blog tomorrow, so lets see how it goes.

A mix of hard truths and bright horizons. Here goes.
So I joined the story way off to the left of this graph. Two years to the left of it. Bitcoin was $500 or so in 2014.

This is *prehistory*. At the time, I was working in a military think tank on managing natural disasters and cyber risk. files.howtolivewiki.com/cyber/Defense_… from those days.
Now, why does a medium-grade defense intellectual quit to go into crypto. The short answer is "I needed a job that paid better than think tanks" but why did I take *that* job, with the Ethereum Foundation? blog.ethereum.org/2015/03/03/eth…

The answer is, I wanted to change the world.
And I don't mean "I wanted to disrupt the banking industry."

No, I mean I wanted to feed the masses, educate the kids, house the families, clean up the climate and break the stranglehold that stupidity seems to have on all forms of human collective action.

I want to FIX IT ALL.
Now, I am not knowing for lacking ambition, or patience.

A lot of this I got from Buckminster Fuller, an icon of patience: he estimated 300 years until we understood his message fully, which is why he published straight to the patent database, expecting it to remain in print!
My goal was to get Smart Contracts properly implemented because only with smart contracts could we properly measure *value*.

We destroy the rainforests to make cheap burgers because we do not know how to *value* things. Value is our core enigma.

My start files.howtolivewiki.com/A%20Whole%20Sy…
My thesis was "rich data capitalism" or "complete price capitalism": free markets *with all the externalities priced in* as a way to push us up the progress peak towards a world that actually worked for everybody, as Buckminster Fuller envisaged.

Capitalism with FULL DISCLOSURE.
While we're passing FULL DISCLOSURE, another name for "full disclosure" is Gandhi's organising principle, "Satyagraha."

Satyagraha: to continue to speak the truth regardless of the circumstances, so that those doing evil know who they are. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha like @snowden
I want you to understand that, in my hands, the blockchain is a method for implementing Gandhi's vision of a fairer world through the telling of the truth, and Buckminster Fuller's vision of a society which correctly values its resources and so acts with flawless efficient grace.
I can put up with a lot of bullshit for goals that large. True, when I looked around me in 2013 and '14 I saw a lot more people read Ayn Rand than Mahatma Gandhi, but most of all I saw people reading Ian Grigg and Nick Szabo or the Scottish Enlightenment.

I figured that, given time, there would be a successful political alliance between the technical implementers of "classical liberalism" and the need to right-price things in the economy.

I also figured out the crypto markets would tend towards truth, as the data is permanent.
This is not what happened. Instead, we wound up with two absolutely fundamental POLITICAL problems which are basically constipating the entire crypto revolution.

1) Bitcoin became an oligarchy run by miners. (YES IT DID!)

2) Ethereum failed to ship a coherent *political* story.
Let's talk about (1): Bitcoin oligarchy.

Simply, bitcoin used to be mined on laptops, and it wasn't worth buying a laptop just to mine bitcoin. The result was a very fragile approximation of economic democracy, in which everybody had the same #basicincome from mining BTC in 2012
But once ASICs (custom silicon chips) enter the story, only groups with enormous capital/engineering resources can mine profitably, and economies of scale push the number of profitable miners down, and down, and down, until it's a few dozen corporations max.

Whale = Oligarch.
Now let's talk about Ethereum's political failure.

Here's where we went wrong: Radical Markets flopped. vitalik.ca/general/2018/0…

Now Radical Markets isn't a dumb idea. It's a very smart idea. But *in the next 10 or 20 years, it is an irrelevant idea*.

It's just too academic.
Now, you may say, Ethereum isn't political.

Everything is political. You cannot disentangle bitcoin from Libertarianism and Anarchocapitalism. Ethereum shipped with an ill-defined implicit politics, which I've basically called "Radicalised Canadians" - caring, green, good people
But there is very little *actual fit* between "Radicalised Canadian" politics and the Ethereum blockchain-as-implemented. There's nothing green or caring about smart contracts shipped out of the box: they're ruthlessly mechanical instruments of oligarchical capitalism to the core
If you want political values on the blockchain which aren't directly inherited from the Cypherpunk movement's anarchocapitalism, you have to *put those values in yourself*.

We all inherit from sources like activism.net/cypherpunk/cry… (in 1992!) unless we specifically add new things.
Now here we have to talk demographics. The people that were anarchocapitalists *mostly* became Bitcoin Maxis. That was an unstoppable attractor for them. Right or wrong, that's where they cluster.

Radical Markets was slow to scale into Ethereum's mainstream political discourse.
This leaves Ethereum with a political void.

Into this void flood #MEMES

Memes bind together the community: you see the visual language, you think "a friend!"

But they don't provide us with shared plans to go with that sense of communal identity. There is a simple void.
If you're an Ethereum Person, *what do you stand for?*

Bitcoiners? Easy: "tax starvation of the government, and cooperation with finance as long as it is convenient." Mercenary, but clean and efficient.

Ethereum? Radicalised! Canadian! Goodness! For mom, apple pie, and low gas!
Now, this apolitical quality has been good for building community: everybody shows up, with the same memes, and hey We Are All In This Together.

But what do those symbols mean?


Now let's address #defi.

I like defi. Defi is cool. I hope to offer some soon.

But defi is 100% value free economic efficiency. It's apolitical in much the same way bitcoin is apolitical: it's Applied Capitalism. Keep the numbers going up because that's our job: efficient trade
But the trade that defi makes efficient is almost entirely currency speculation. Leveraged buying of crypto tokens, many of which are simply instruments providing yet further leverage.

It prints money on the way up, and it's probably quite bad on the way down. It's Wall Street.
Now here I will mention my old friend @smdiehl who has recently been on an absolutely destructive crusade against many of the absurdities of the system I'm discussing here, and more: he absolutely nails the unregulated casino capitalism angles of this whole mess.

Do read.
Why does all this POLITICAL SHIT matter?

Because politics is what makes HODL into a real, sensible action: commitment to a cause. Without politics to give us backbone, when the price plunges, there is a rout not just financially: people QUIT THE SPACE and never return, butthurt.
Why? Because the pump and dump scammers and the people paid by the whales to move the price up and down make promises to these folks, often in the form of memes, and they paint a false picture of the future.

People buy into that false picture, and they get *really badly* hurt.
And here is our problem: we left gaps in our Utopian Vision of All Futures, and we have a titanic parasitic infection let in by those gaps.

We don't have the ideological machinery - the *manifest political will* - to say "scammers are bad for the vision, GTFO you bastards" yet.
This was clear as day in the 2018 ICO era. I was too gloomy in 2017 but the point was basically there medium.com/humanizing-the…

The scammers draw in the feds, and the feds don't distinguish between the currencies and the platforms, and tokens which are being issued to screw people
Now, while all this has been going on, I've been BUIDLing quite hard.

And I have a political vision, and it is utterly clear, and I want you to adopt it: I want you to join with me, and give this whole thing some active ethics and real political direction.

I want a stronger ETH
So let me tell you what I have BUIDLd, with the @Mattereum gang: we've built the gateway for moving real-world trade online, and doing the carbon accounting to manage pollution better.

Here's a gold bar NFT with CO2 offsets for the gold mines passport.mattereum.com/lohko.10g.gold… for example.
This technical machinery implements a clear, coherent political vision which is a FULLY ACTIONABLE FORM OF RADICALISED CANADIANS - it's a "be nice to people" green blockchain vision.

But it comes with a todo list big enough for an entire movement. A book smile.amazon.co.uk/Future-Stuff-V…
Or if you prefer it online, a manifesto medium.com/humanizing-the…

What I have been working on is an implementation of the technical infrastructure for running a fairer world in which the poor get paid and the rich clean up their CO2 footprint.

I have running code. And a roadmap.
If you want to see the system running, see mattereum.com/2021/04/01/mat…

Yes, most of this is legals: it's a brutally detailed methodology for getting real world assets (and all the politics which go with them) on to the blockchain, in a way real world courts recognise and support.
The "recognise and support" part is important. The UK government is doing an overhaul of how digital asset disputes are handled in the UK. information-age.com/uk-jurisdictio… We were parts of that process, and I'm quoted in the final rules. This stuff works like law.

So about my political vision. It is

1) People understand and pay for the consequences of their actions.

2) Nothing harmful can be hidden.

3) Waste of energy and physical assets is minimised.

4) Maximisation of all potentials, human and biological, is the goal.

Efficient love
Now the implementation layer: a set of data standards for describing physical goods (and later, services), using IPFS to store the data, and tokenised offsets (thanks @NORI) to prove that emissions have been neutralised.

Working on slavery in trade too mattereum.com/2021/05/04/mod…
So here's my proposal: we end the "rainbows and unicorns and cloud cities" phase of @Ethereum activism. It was great when we were recovering from the 2018, it was a sort of retreat to comforting childish imagery. Things had Gone Wrong.

But we can't take over the world on that.
Our moral crisis is the CO2 footprint of our technology.

Our ethical crisis is the amount of fraud and scamming in the space.

We can BUIDL our way to a better future, but we need to BUIDL THE RIGHT THING.

Scams? We need an identity layer that works. We need asset rating tech.
CO2? We've got a scaled chain coming, but we've still got a horrific backlog of CO2 emissions in the past, maybe $50,000,000 to offset each year of historic emissions from Ethereum.

Are we to get rich by burning the future of the planet? Is that who we are?

Offset all of it.
We need a new story about how Ethereum is going to help save the world. Here it is: "Ethereum is how you run a fair, green global economy."


No more lionising highly leveraged defi schemes which later implode, rekt all round
If it looks like profitable bullshit which exploits the HELL out of new people entering the space?

Stigmatize it. Tell people "look, this is just gambling, knock that shit off."

Get people to put their support behind creating the world we want, not this deregulated casino BS.
We literally have a Temple of Fairness in Ethereum, and that temple is completely surrounded and over-run by money changers, lenders, and gamblers, all telling people theirs is the True Vision.

A more muscular approach is needed. We need to toughen up to win this world game.
Before the idiots arrive: I am not talking about breaking the protocol, or putting in values police. This is all about cultural change, AND CULTURAL AMBITION.

You want to be the operating system for the economy of Mars and the planets?

I sure do: let's get Ethereum's CO2 offset
If we don't start taking effective collective action to CLEAN UP OUR OWN MESS we are another part of the great capitalist externalisation of costs: "Ethereum? You mean CO2 dumped to finance rug pulls? That Ethereum?"

The only way we lose that reputation is to change ourselves.
We've been really good at marketing and PR, as a culture. CO2 emissions? NO PROBLEM POS IS COMING.

Yeah, but we've already done the emissions. That's the environmental damage we did to get here.

Climate reparations are necessary to be good global citizens? Are we just bad guys?
This is who we need to be to deserve the enormous pool of capital that has been invested in Ethereum: we need to be ACTUALLY BETTER than the rest of the global economy, we need to show real global leadership.

"Carbon- and slavery-free global trade."

Actually better. Not talk.
I have seriously had enough of this "Ethereum as a Lifestyle Brand" shit coindesk.com/ethereum-as-li….

I did not leave my job working on problems like flu pandemics and global cybersecurity risk to help a bunch of people delude themselves smart contracts alone were going to fix earth
Let me delivery on my promise to talk about price.

We launched an early form of Mattereum in February 2020. We survived a year of hell, and launched the version with NFT support this year.

Ether up? People care.

Ether down? People don't care.

We can't save a world on that.
We *have* to make HODL into a *political commitment* not just a meme. You hold crypto currency *because you're supporting the long term vision*.

What's the long term vision? Carbon-free and slavery-free global trade: total transparency down the supply chain.

Not "the moon" FFS.
Maybe if you're a bitcoiner, HODL is a different political vision: "total transaction privacy! An end to taxes!" if you're old school BTC, or "deflationary currency at all costs!" if you're new school.

If we're asking people to entrust us with these assets? No more corruption.
In 2017, I wrote "what does $100 ether mean?" to mark the price medium.com/humanizing-the…

I want to leave you with a quote from this important piece of thinking.
We can still buidl this at any price over $100 or so: the capital is there.

The question is political will: if all the capital is in the hands of scam artists and memecoins you're going to get an "internet of shit" future.

You have the power. You choose.
But if we don't change the culture to focus on CREATING VALUE rather than just making the magic numbers dance up and down, one day people will tire of the hope of an infinite future, stabilised by smart contracts, and the speculative capital will dry up never to return.

Act now.
This might be a useful reminder of the table stakes if we get our shit together and actually go after world trade using the blockchain in a coordinated and efficient manner:

This is all up for grabs. CO2 tracking, slavery-free proofs, for all global trade
Oh, and the work I did in the early days myhopeforthe.world on shelter, on refugee management, on ending poverty - there's a whole series of links here to entire branches of my work going back nearly 20 years.
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More from @leashless

11 May
Urgh. So many ducks to get in rows. So much to do, so much I would have done differently. Still butting up against capacity limits of various kinds. But people are starting to get it, starting to grasp what the @Mattereum game plan really is.

That #AhaMoment "any physical thing"
It's funny watching the penny drop for people: it starts with "ok, so the stuff is in a vault" followed by "wait... how do I know what's in the vault is real? I can't even inspect it!"

Well, that's right. And you've already paid in crypto, so you can't get the money back. Right?
Once people get that insight, "oh you have to prove what is in the vault!" everything else pops into place neatly. One short socratic dialogue later, the wonder is clearly perceived: "the NFT is a financial instrument which may happen to contain a physical item, plus arbitration"
Read 8 tweets
22 Feb
I am about to tell you clearly and plainly, in four-ish tweets, what #metamodernism is and how to fix it.

This article and the ones linked from it is a fair summary of the critical state of play. Let us begin.

1) metamodernism is a philosophical stance with political aspects.
2) metamodernism falsely claims all the action is in the space between *modernism and **post-modernism.

* myth of progress
** myth, because progress towards what?

Progress requires goals. Pomo argues successfully there are no clearly defined goals without totalitarian aspects.
3) the “goal crisis” causes political shattering among the deep readers. A similar crisis to the 1950s aeon.co/ideas/how-camu… related to nihilism and existentialism: “now that we are free, what do I do?”

In our times, this goalless shattering results in intersectional politics.
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23 Dec 20
I'm about to describe how the @Mattereum system integrates into Rarible and the rest of the NFT ecosystem, and how we're going to get gold bars online in Jan 2021, barring unforseen problems.

Here's the technical backgrounder thread if you're wondering...
So now we've got this handy Asset - a web of Fiat Contracts which take your money in exchange for the ability to enforce legally if this object is wrong.

*Now* we can mint an ERC721 for the object.

Here's the NFT. Here's the Asset Passport which defines the NFT. Can you buy it?
And let's be clear here: we're talking about *physical* delivery of a *physical* valuable asset, defined by *fiat* contracts, enforceable all over the world, off an ERC721.

This is deep, deep uncharted territory. This has never really been done before, not in a functional way.
Read 14 tweets
23 Dec 20
Alright. Let's talk about what's going to happen next with @mattereum.

Things are about to get really interesting. I'd liken what we're about to do to the invention of e-commerce. We are about to do the first sale of physical assets on Web3 which fundamentally improves on Web2.
The first thing you're going to notice: we have very poor language for talking about this innovation.

Why? It's new-new. So new we don't know how to talk about it.

Imagine trying to explain what a "domain name server" is to somebody who has never seen a web page.

We are here.
Right now there is an almost metaphysical separation between the world of "crypto" property rights, where code is law, and "fiat" property rights, where law is law.

Crypto property is global property, its jurisdiction is (roughly) "The Internet". Fiat property is in countries.
Read 26 tweets
11 Aug 20
The key question about running a green, lean global economy is eradicating waste without also killing innovation.

In my ideal world, we overhaul patent: if you build a category killer, you get royalties forever, but anybody can build on top of your design. No innovation lock!
It's easy to identify what is perfect, but once the Perfect Form is reached, how do we stop the manufacturers of the imperfect form soldiering on?

It's a propagation-of-best-practices question like encouraging users to upgrade software.

Remember how long it took for IE6 to die?
Consider the sheer number of tools configured on Swiss army knives sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php… or punch a few buttons on here swissarmyknights.com/sak-selector and hit "select" to see which object have that tool combination

Is this innovation? Customization? Waste?

This is all over. But why?
Read 13 tweets
4 Aug 20
One life ends, and another begins.

Once in a while you just level up, see something that clicks, and nothing is quite the same after that. Those life defining shifts in perspective.

This one is not easy to describe. It’s about how we model and speak about power.
I had one of these about money in 2014, triggered by the COSMIC TRIGGER play put on by Daisy Eris Campbell and the gang. Left my underpaid thinktank job and went to work for the Ethereum team pretty much on the spot.

One life ended, and another began. Things *really* changed.
I recently defined power as "there is nobody I have to lie to" which took some people by surprise. I was surprised they were surprised.

Then I realized that to a lot of people, power isn't about self-determination, power is about control.

This is *extremely* deep for me.
Read 39 tweets

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