For architecture, the result is visibly obvious; we prioritise quarterly profit (to capture 'value' and survive in this fiat environment) at the expense of enduring beauty, which takes more time, consideration and effort to create. Consider the shoddy, uninspiring landscapes that developers have thrown up for the last 40+ years, all in the name of the quick sale. And now contrast with some of the Art Deco masterpieces that we still revere decades later. Is it just coincidence that the 1920s represented the last hoorah of the gold standard, and the start of our path towards flimsy money?
From Theory, To Practice
September 20, 2021
The ideas are elegant. The ambition is impressive. But how exactly does Bitcoin work in practice? Well folks, that's what I've been figuring out for the past month. Armed with my understanding of the network, I embarked on a journey to become a full node operator (i.e. a validator of transactions and blocks). Admittedly, I wasn't quite sure I could pull it off. Even with all my prior research, this felt like a tricky technical challenge. And yet here I am, running a Bitcoin (and Lightning!) node with little fuss. How so?
All Things Bitcoin; Layer Cake
August 19, 2021
We have a robust protocol, but one that cares little for convenience or efficiency. And that presents a few issues for growth (and thus sustainability). It is like the British Labour Party in the 1980s; sticking true to its socialist ideals, and also completely useless at winning elections. Fortunately, an ecosystem has developed around Bitcoin that helps address the scalability conundrum. Enter the layer cake, my friends. A baking masterpiece that is worth the extra calories.
All Things Bitcoin; What's in a Name?
August 4, 2021
Bitcoin could do with a gentle reframing. An association with something a little more familiar. Bitcoin, in my humble opinion, is a digital asset. A far less defensive term, don't ya think? In the early days, Bitcoin had to fight for recognition. It really needed to get straight to the point. Cryptocurrency is safe! Cryptocurrency is secure! This marketing strategy has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations. With Bitcoin now firmly established, it can afford to feel more confident.
Your Money's no Good Here!
July 30, 2021
All is not what it seems, especially when you develop a strange fascination with assets, Nixon and monetary history. Jack attempts to settle his bill with a dollar from 1980 (when the film was released). But the barman, a figment of the 1920s, does not equate Jack's money with his own. How so? The clue is in the name; The Gold Room. The barman cannot accept 1980 dollars because they are a very different beast to 1920s dollars; they are no longer redeemable in gold.
Anthony in the Alps
July 16, 2021
I'm giving the floor to a two and a half hour epic from 2018, starring Grant Williams and Anthony Deden. It is a true masterclass in the investing long game. And filmed in a gorgeous Swiss setting for good measure. I could condense Anthony's outlook into neat soundbites, but that would be doing zero justice to the timeless wisdom on display. Instead I highlight his key preferences; assets that exhibit scarcity, endurance and independence.
Entering The Fray
June 25, 2021
We are now at a critical juncture for the digital asset class. Bitcoin is proven. It is working. It carries a prestige that no other cryptocurrency can match - a truly decentralised store of value. Ethereum can never offer the same narrative of the immaculate conception, digital gold or mythical creator(s). But it can certainly offer value in other ways (see my recent notes on the Metaverse). So why expend so much precious energy on fighting this network (and others)?
Highway to the Metaverse
June 16, 2021
The digital arena has become far more interesting. Much like a developed country offers property rights via law and order, metaverse platforms can offer property rights through code. And with rights we acquire value. With value we attract motivation. To build. To sell. To buy. To cooperate. To do anything. It begins to sound much more like a functioning economy rather than a mere game.
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