The post is right, of course (except for a paragraph right at the end). The “tokens vs accounts” distinction no longer works in the world of blockchains. In some ways it’s a helpful distinction, in other ways it creates confusion.
Crypto tokens, especially those on Ethereum shouldn’t have a claim on the word “token”.
I’ve been following along the CBDC narrative for a number of years. It has been fun watching how the talking points have rapidly evolved. CBDCs seem to be getting closer to reality, driven by central banks (rather than customer demand). But there are some harder questions that are still not (in my view) adequately explored.
Note: This article was first published on 19 Aug 2020 on the OpenNodes blog, republished here with permission.
The greatest trick played on modern society is calling a whole bunch of different instruments with different credit ratings and characteristics “money”, and conflating them. It is a neat trick, and very useful in some situations, for instance when businesses invoice each other and make payments.
It is much more convenient to say “Please send me money” than to say “Can you tell your bank to reduce its debt to you, such that my bank increases its debt to me?” But by using these more accurate words, we can already get a sense that no asset, or instrument, moves all the way from end to end, but rather there are some coordinated accounting adjustments that make the appearance of an asset moving.
Conflating these different instruments and bundling them into one called “money” has enormous positive effects – it has reduced friction and created a common language which is used across the world to enhance trade.
Yet, calling everything “money” can sometimes be unhelpful when we start thinking more deeply about money. So in these cases, it is helpful to think about two things:
In early June, Mike Garland from node operator Alchemy gave a 1.5 hour presentation on Ethereum 2.0 staking, hosted by Jehan Chu of Kenetic Capital. I thought it was interesting so I took some notes. Errors and omissions are my own.
I’ve been looking at the design of the new Libra coin (LBR) in the updated Libra Whitepaper. Here’s what I think the differences are between this new “synthetic” coin and the previous iteration of the coin as described in 2019. Hope it’s helpful!
Note, this is just my attempt to explain it with the information that is available. It is probably still subject to change. If you’ve found it useful, feel free to share!
Everyone seems to be interested in programmable money (and assets), but what exactly does this mean? This post explores the concept of programmable money – what is possible today, and what is possible with the help of smart contracts on blockchains.
Happy news! (and some insights into the mechanics of authoring and publishing a little further down the page)
I’ve just been told that the audiobook version of my book “The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains” is now available for preorder on Audible. It’s a great use of your Audible credits! If you’re not already on Audible, you get your first listen for free when you sign up. Click it!
This means you can upskill on bitcoin, blockchains, payments, and money when you’re out and about (ha)… Or more likely, when you’re inside, trying not to go insane, and wishing you could be out and about. What a great use of lockdown time!
Ray Dalio is one of the best economic thinkers alive. On 9 April 2020, TED interviewed him about what coronavirus means for the global economy. Here is my summary. Any errors, omissions, misunderstandings are mine.
Interviewer: Corey Hajim (TED) Interviewee: Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates Released 9 April 2020
I’m often asked for material about CBDCs (central bank digital currencies), blockchains / distributed ledgers, stablecoins, and cryptocurrencies. So here’s a list of reports from central banks, regulators, international organisations and other agencies. Enjoy!