Continuing a long streak of crypto companies that have gone public, popular trading app Robinhood is the latest digital currency enterprise to announce an IPO (initial public offering). The company is alleging that it will garner as much as $2 billion in new funds from the event it is planning to hold in the next few months, according to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Robinhood Is Set for Its Public Debut
Shares will start out at approximately $38 to $42. With the sale, the eight-year-old company is projected to reach a valuation of approximately $32 billion.
This all sounds fine and dandy at first. The trouble is that cryptocurrency – which Robinhood appears to delve heavily into – is suffering as of late, and trading is down for the count. Bitcoin itself has lost more than 50 percent of its overall valuation, with the recent all-time high it struck of $64,000 in mid-April looking as though it was a figment of traders’ imaginations. At the time of writing, the world’s number one digital currency by market cap is trading in the $29,000 range.
Even Robinhood appears to acknowledge the fact that trading has virtually vanished from the spotlight. It even projects its revenue to fall within the next three months according to its SEC filing, so why host this event now? The document reads as follows:
We expect our revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2021, to be lower, as compared to the three months ended June 30, 2021, due to decreased levels of trading activity relative to the record highs in trading activity, particularly in cryptocurrencies, during the three months ended June 30, 2021, and expected seasonality.
This Keeps Happening
The company appears to be taking a page right out of the book of both Coinbase and Circle, with the former company first filing to go public in mid-April at around the moment bitcoin hit its all-time high for the year. Circle was quick to follow suit, saying that it would host an IPO later in the year. CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire mentioned:
As we started the year, we had experienced a very dramatic growth in USDC and very strong traction with new products and services that we are launching. Our view is that we were in a rather unique position to rapidly build out and scale out a major franchise built around delivering digital currency-based financial services around the world. It is a unique opportunity to be able to not just raise that amount of capital but transform the company into a company that is accountable to the public.
Robinhood, for the most part, has had a bit of a controversial history with crypto, having put stoppages on all bitcoin and Dogecoin trades early in the year after the company deemed that the prices of both assets were rising too high.
Furthermore, bitcoin transfer volume has already surpassed the world’s largest economy’s entire 2010 and 2011 GDP of $15 trillion and $15.5 trillion, respectively.
Indeed, bitcoin transfer volume will soon cross the United States Gross Domestic Product for 2012 and 2013, which was standing in the range of $16 trillion.
The massive growth in bitcoin price is among the major reasons for a durable growth in bitcoin transfer volume. Bitcoin transfer volume hit $2.99 trillion in April when bitcoin’s price peaked around $64,000.
Interestingly, the bitcoin price fell more than 50% from its April all-time high, but its transfer volume didn’t plunge with correlated intensity. Bitcoin is still settling $236 million worth of transactions per day, equivalent to the December level when bitcoin was trading in the $20,000 range.
This means that investors’ interest in bitcoin remains intact despite the gigantic price volatility, and reinforces the fact that the most valuable cryptocurrency is a viable alternative to the current economic system.
Why Is Bitcoin Transfer Volume Surpassing U.S. GDP?
Bitcoin is not only turning out to be an alternate investment vehicle, it is also becoming an alternate to the U.S. dollar and the entire economic system.
In 2021, the uptick in institutional interest along with significant growth in retail investments helped to bring bitcoin transfer volume to $15.8 trillion in less than seven months of this year.
Moreover, U.S. corporations’ strategy of holding bitcoin on their balance sheet to reverse the impact of inflationary fiat dollars and rising consumer costs added to bitcoin transfer volume.
Further bolstering bitcoin fundamentals is the fact the cryptocurrency is seeing wider acceptance across the financial system, a phenomenon that will fuel its transfer volume in the days ahead.
Bitcoin Is Just Beginning To Penetrate The Financial And Economic System
If the velocity of transfer value continues at its current rate, over the next five months Bitcoin will surpass the entire GDP of the world’s largest economy. At the same time there are currently eight Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds filings pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission, seven of them filed this year. Several Bitcoin ETFs — such as Purpose, Evolve and CI Galaxy — are already trading on Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange.
“The complications of not approving [a Bitcoin ETF application] become stronger, because people are looking for other ways to do the same kinds of things that they would do with an exchange-traded product,” asserted SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.
“Bitcoin now is so decentralized. The number of nodes that are involved in Bitcoin is large, and the number of people who have an interest in keeping that work decentralized is very large,” she said.
Furthermore, U.S. representatives like Mayor Scott Conger believe that Bitcoin is the ultimate hedge against the inflation of fiat. The Federal Reserve itself has stopped recording the increase in the M1 and M2 money supply after recording an increase of 450% in one year.
This is a guest post by Portfolio Insider. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, countries across the globe cracked down on their populations, forcing them to stay inside their homes and closing down businesses from operating normally. Different countries and political structures reacted to these lockdowns in different ways. Most countries found themselves spiraling into more and more totalitarian rule as the lockdowns persisted. State powers have expanded their grasp and were not letting it go, many times regardless of whether threats were real or perceived.
This interview dove into many of Zuby’s learnings and teased out topics around propaganda, big government’s overreach, the state of the average person and many more deep and nuanced topics. Zuby is such a clear thinker and speaker, he has built his reputation on his raw and unfiltered commentary on the world and the nature of humanity. In the interview, Zuby expressed hope for people who can start thinking critically and shared his thankfulness for tools and practices that can help make a person more sovereign and independent.
Zuby has been a fan of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies while still maintaining a relatively pessimistic view on the technology’s ability to reach the masses or have the wide-reaching effects that many Bitcoin enthusiasts see in it. In the interview, Zuby admitted that 2020 has validated Bitcoin to a much greater degree, however he still pushed back that it is not a cure-all solution.
Please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Zuby!
Bumper Finance’s eagerly awaited liquidity provision program has now launched. Day 1 investors are already steaming in to take advantage of the superb APR on offer for those participating. The innovative protocol aims to calm the nerves of crypto investors by offering a unique set of protections against asset volatility. It hopes to empower holders of crypto by offering a safety net under their portfolios, and by doing so bring a sense of certainty to the occasionally wild DeFi market.
Uncertain Times Impact Crypto Holders
As crypto still finds its place in the world, asset values still shift dramatically on the daily. There has been plenty of retracement and consolidation over the last three months since April’s reckoning, and analysts and observers disagree on the current direction of travel. Some believe this is a pause in the music before the Saylor super-cycle rumbles on, while others feel that further severe drops are bound to happen before the market starts bubbling up again.
In this uncertainty, DeFi protocols are hit particularly hard – and many users have suffered impermanent loss as a result of the fluctuating asset values of the last few months. It can be frustrating for the communities building profitable yield farms to find their hard work turn to dust as a result of a single tweet, and many are looking for a way to counter asset volatility not just for their own portfolios, but for the wider crypto space – so that the utopian vision of a decentralized financial system is lost on the winds of chaos that occasionally tear through it.
Bump up the Security
Enter Bumper Finance, a DeFi price protection protocol that insulates crypto assets from severe price drops for those involved. On the Bumper protocol, users can choose to protect their assets for up to 95% of their value by paying a premium. Ethereum will be the first offered on the platform, and can be guaranteed in USDC. So, if April happened again, it wouldn’t cause so many knock-on effects to holders of protection. Indeed, by cashing out their policies tactically, users can even make excellent gains by taking that USDC and deploying it into other assets.
Premiums paid by users are distributed to those who provide the USDC liquidity that protects the assets. It gives investors who are currently holding onto stablecoins a chance to earn superlative interest on those holdings while they wait for the market to choose its next direction. Yields are paid out in USDC and depositors also receive the protocol’s native $BUMP token for engaging with the protocol. The $BUMP token is also the governance token that allows users to help direct the future of the protocol and which can be sold on the open market.
This diametric collaboration between takers of protection and makers of liquidity means both sides of the pool are heavily rewarded for their involvement. Takers can sit pretty knowing that their assets are not only protected, but that they can have all the benefits if the market chooses to rise. This is because, aside from having to pay the premiums, their representative assets will still capture price gains. Makers, on the other hand, get excellent return on their USDC investment and can have a large role in the growth of the protocol as larger and larger asset pools are insured.
Earning Rewards Through the Liquidity Program
Until October 14th, people can get involved in the liquidity program through the Bumper dApp. There is a sliding scale of rewards depending on how early investors get in. If you’re involved out the gates, not only do you get to farm $BUMP at 100% APR, but also have access to a private sale of the token before the public sale – pegged at $2.40. USDC deposits will be able to buy 20% of their deposit side in $BUMP at this private sale price. At these rates, a spectacular 300%+ APR is achievable in a short 3 month time frame, depending on community interest.
It’s certainly been a rocky road for crypto over the last few months. With governments sharpening regulatory knives while a simultaneous horde of retail investors pile in for a piece of the action, even more violent swings are expected as the burgeoning crypto market finds its place in the world. Bumper Finance directly addresses these issues in the DeFi space. The team markets it as “God-mode for crypto,” and the fact that users can have their crypto and eat it too is certainly a compelling offer. With their protocol minimizing risk for takers and rewarding makers so handsomely, it feels like, thanks to $BUMP, the road ahead might not be so bumpy after all.
Fantasy football players and Bitcoiners use the same strategic thinking principles when building for an uncertain future.
“Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, and former option trader and risk analyst, whose work concerns problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Life is a constant stream of decisions, the outcomes of which shape our futures. In this constant churn of decisions, we seek to improve our odds against the inevitability of randomness, whenever possible. We want to make well-informed decisions to best position ourselves to benefit from these external uncertainties. All people use this probabilistic approach in their daily lives, whether it is realized or not, i.e., “If I want the best outcome, should I do X or Y? Which one has the higher probability of a favorable outcome? That’s the one I choose.”
In order to make a decision, you need to focus on the consequences (which you can know) rather than the probability (which you can’t know) — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
As it turns out, Bitcoin believers and fantasy football players are kindred spirits when it comes to making decisions that benefit from chaos. Bitcoiners and a certain sect of fantasy football drafters are both betting on probabilistic outcomes using the same foundational principle. A principle that was conceived and popularized by scholar, mathematical statistician, and former risk analyst, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. That principle is called “antifragility.”
Qualities of the antifragile are outlined by Taleb as follows:
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors. Yet in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”
As exposure to stressors accumulate over time, the “fragile” break, but the “antifragile” grow stronger.
In recent years, many fantasy footballers gravitated towards a new drafting strategy, popularized by Shawn Siegele in 2013. That strategy is called “Zero-RB” drafting. Simply put, not drafting any running back position players until the later rounds in their drafts.
How Does The “Zero RB” Draft Strategy Work?
The aim for the Zero RB draft strategy is to utilize your early round, higher draft capital on players with less downside risk. Since the running back position experiences significantly more injuries than other player positions, Zero RB drafters look to avoid spending high draft capital on players that carry added risk. Instead, they load up on positions with more favorable risk profiles in early rounds, like the wide receiver. This allows them to use the middle and late rounds of drafts to take a bunch of antifragile bets, by accumulating low-cost, high-upside running backs.
Not only does avoiding drafting running backs in early rounds minimize risk exposure, but taking a bunch of late-round dart throws at Running Backs pays off at a higher risk/return rate than any other position. Why? Because running backs disproportionately benefit from the highly fragile landscape that the NFL offers. Like any antifragile bet, mid-late round running backs benefit from chaos, disorder, and/or random events like multi-week or season ending injuries. These events can cripple a fantasy team, and break what once seemed like a well-balanced roster construction.
“Running backs are at the highest risk of injury, and their injuries average significantly longer in length than any other position.” — Michael Gertz, ProFootballLogic.com
Some direct examples of the NFL’s highly fragile landscape:
Player sustains injury in training camp.
Player sustains multi-week or season-ending injury.
Player fails a drug test; suspended multiple weeks.
Rookie player outshines expectations; unseats incumbent player.
Player has a psychotic breakdown and gets released by multiple teams.
Player involved in sexual assault allegations, put on Commisioner’s exempt list rendering him unable to play.
Those that gain from these fragile circumstances are not typically the teams that drafted running backs in the early rounds. Instead, many of these fragile events increase the probability that a Zero RB roster construction is the winning strategy. These multi-week or season-ending injuries cause the running backs accumulated in the mid-late draft rounds to increase in value, as it becomes more likely that they crack the starting lineup for their team.
These players are the low-risk, high-upside bets that you want to have made in the wake of “Black Swan” events. They are the backups, the rookies, and the players with freak athletic profiles who’s opportunities to accrue fantasy points for your team are about to increase significantly in the face of chaos.
TL;DR: The Zero-RB strategy is simple. Flip fragility on it’s head, and find a way to benefit from it. Build an antifragile roster in a fragile NFL landscape.
What Does This Have To Do With Bitcoin?
The strategic balancing of economic incentives has allowed Bitcoin to achieve something that has never before been achievable by humankind; absolute scarcity. A provably finite supply which is easily verifiable, and openly displayed to anyone across the world.
Bitcoin may be the most significant alignment of computer science, economics, and game theory ever discovered. Since 2009, its network has continued to grow consistently and globally. Bitcoin’s core value proposition is not that you can pay people instantly and cheaply. It’s not coming for the likes of PayPal or Visa. It’s coming for store of value assets like gold, real estate, or fine art, and eventually the U.S. dollar. Bitcoin is being accumulated by investors because they are recognizing that not only does it have similar monetary properties to gold, but that bitcoin significantly outperforms them across most of those measures. It also offers a few additional properties that we’ve never seen before in a monetary asset. Being purely digital information, bitcoin is incredibly portable, highly divisible, and openly programmable.
“Macro investor Paul Tudor Jones is buying Bitcoin as a hedge against the inflation he sees coming from central bank money printing, telling clients it reminds him of the role gold played in the 1970s.” — Bloomberg
As of today, the opportunity cost is low because we are still early in Bitcoin’s technology adoption cycle. While being early also does mean it carries more risk, the potential upside if bitcoin succeeds in becoming an internet-native global money significantly outweighs that downside. It’s a strategy that Nassim Taleb would say has highly favorable “asymmetry.” Taleb explains this opportunity as follows:
“Antifragility implies more to gain than to lose, equals more upside than downside, equals (favorable) asymmetry.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
In contrast to Zero RB draft strategy, where players seek to accumulate running backs in the later stages of a draft, Bitcoiners seek to accumulate bitcoin in the early stages of its technology adoption life cycle.
In similarity to Zero RB draft strategy, where players seek to construct an antifragile roster, Bitcoiners seek to accumulate bitcoin, strengthening their position in the face of a precarious and highly uncertain surrounding environment.
When you’re allocating some of your money into bitcoin, no matter how big or small your holdings, you’re placing an antifragile bet. It is a bet that bitcoin has the properties, qualities and ability to outperform other store of value assets, and forms of money. Bitcoin also carries the much lower probability outcome of replacing the U.S. dollar as the global monetary base in the longer time horizon. The potential returns in these scenarios highly outweigh the current opportunity cost, creating an investment opportunity with asymmetric upside potential.
Why Does Bitcoin Benefit From Fragile Events?
Bitcoin is programmable. This allows it to adapt, maneuver around and overcome the roadblocks that it faces. Bitcoin is an antifragile choice that exists inside a fragile complex system, just like the injury-wrought fantasy football landscape. It is antifragile because it runs on a decentralized, globally-distributed network of computers and is built with open-source code that is fully verifiable to any and all observers. This assures that two key rules stay in place:
RULE #1: There will never be more than 21 million bitcoin. The entire supply must be openly auditable by anyone.
RULE #2: No one can change Rule #1 without an overwhelming consensus from 51% of the network’s users.
Bitcoin does not merely just resist change with these rules. Each failed attempt also means that Bitcoin adapts, improves, and belief in its permanence grows stronger as a result.
For a deeper dive into the specific traits that make Bitcoin so antifragile, I highly recommend reading Parker Lewis’ series “Gradually, Then Suddenly”.
Here is a quick snapshot:
“Its decentralized and permissionless state eliminates single points of failure and drives innovation, ultimately ensuring both its survival and a constant strengthening of its immune system as a function of time, trial and error. Bitcoin is beyond resilient. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the Bitcoin network gets better. While it is easy to fall into a trap, believing Bitcoin to be untested, unproven and not permanent, it is precisely the opposite. Bitcoin has been constantly tested for going on 12 years, each time proving to be up to the challenge and emerging from each test in a stronger state.” — Parker Lewis
On A Long Enough Timescale…
The timescale for the antifragile bets of fantasy football players to play out is about 17 weeks, the length of the NFL regular season. However, for Bitcoin the timescale is unknowable and indefinitely extending. One potential timescale to consider for context might be the historical timeline of world reserve currencies, visualized below:
The reserve currency transition is a cycle that has typically lasted in history somewhere between 80 to 110 years. The U.S. dollar has been the official global reserve currency for 73 years now.
As it stands today for Bitcoin, we’re currently in the late rounds of the draft. As more time goes by, assuming Bitcoin continues to strengthen and gain adoption, the opportunity cost becomes higher. Today, it might cost you a twelveth or thirteenth round pick for some bitcoin. In a few years, you might be paying up with your first rounder.
TL;DR: The Bitcoiner’s strategy is simple. Flip fragility on it’s head, and find a way to benefit from it. Build an antifragile portfolio in a fragile financial landscape.
Zero RB drafters and Bitcoiners are both using the same decision-making principle (antifragility) to aid them in decision making amongst inevitable randomness. They put faith in provable math instead of human error. Each uses computer science as a tool for enhancing their decision making, in the hopes of increasing their odds of an advantageous future outcome.
As Tyler Winklevoss has said of himself and other Bitcoiner believers:
“We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error.” — Tyler Winklevoss
Personalized authentic engagement design integrated into Bitcoin paradoxically transforms aspirations into unintended outcomes.
The Hero’s Journey: Creating Authentic Digital IDs And Personalized Engagement For Bitcoin Decentralized/Distributed Systems
Numerous Bitcoin podcast discussions have led to the inevitable “wall,” a wall which, to date, has not been penetrated and its adjacent territory explored. I’m referring to the existential question of how “Bitcoinization” actually manifests for each individual, while legacy monetary infrastructure and social structures disintegrate. It’s one thing to romanticize how our new society will somehow magically crawl out of the ashes like some unburned, proud and polished phoenix and quite another to face the real-life, ugly hurdles facing us.
The deeply embedded detritus of legacy fiat thinking and behaviors do not simply disappear. In fact, as we transition to the bitcoin standard and the working people of highly developed, industrialized countries become squeezed and further impoverished during the deflationary depression (see Jeff Booth, “The Price of Tomorrow”), social unrest will erupt, and inevitably, Bitcoin itself could be blamed and viewed by many as the culprit of the collective pain. It doesn’t take profound foresight to predict that many such people, seeking blame and simple solutions, could demand even more centralization and control through the perceived safety net of an increasingly powerful authoritarian state.
Will growth in Bitcoin infrastructure adoption magically and quickly transform the superstructure of human organizational design and engagement in some novel corresponding way à la “fix the money, fix the world”? Or are we doomed to simply “pretend and extend” by overlaying old fiat social engagement design on top of this new monetary foundation and naively hope it all smooths out somehow? How can we better attune the adoption of Bitcoin’s decentralized/distributed monetary infrastructure withan empowered, Bitcoin-defined social superstructure? Will our digital ID continue to be composed of only objective data (cold data), while our subjective experiences (warm data) remain devalued? How can we support and expand individual self-sovereignty through Bitcoin engagement design?
While the Bitcoin meme “fix the money, fix the world” offers a simplified solution, this paper and its described superstructure applications seek to penetrate the territory where contemporary Bitcoin “thought leaders” and developers have yet to explore. Hopefully, we can help avoid a misguided but possibly very real collective public response for a stronger totalitarian centralization of power. We do this by empowering the individual with the narrative, mentors and experiences of personal responsibility and self-sovereignty, which support and lead to developingindividual tools to authentically recreate a peer-to-peer creator economy. We must become self-empowered entrepreneurs and creators. Think “decentralized, designer craftsmanship.”
For this to emerge, we must move toward a novel disintermediated, hyper-personalized engagement design which begins and ends with each unique individual.
However, before we get to where we are going, we need to know where we’ve been and what we are currently facing. Using seductive carrot-stick reward systems and enticements, people have long been objectified and manipulated by legacy engagement systems. Such “addictive design” strategies can certainly drive behaviors — through advertising, gaming, social media and more — but at a great cost to the individual. Unfortunately, such concentrated behaviorism and operant conditioning, now combined with emergent tech, have contributed to disabling and disempowering our youth. Judgmental, performance-based exogenous validation systems and its mindless FOMO (fear of missing out) have helped create an anxiety-ridden, dependent and emotionally fragile generation. These young adults suffer from unprecedented levels of crippling psychological/emotional disease in crisis proportions, now exacerbated by recent COVID-19 lock downs. Anxiety and depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, self-harm, addiction disorders, violence and suicide levels are off the charts. We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis in mental illness, and it is currently underpinned and reinforced by exploitive, centralized engagement design. As Nora Bateson has said, “We need to de-industrialize and re-animate.”
Insular, rigid groupthink communities can provide a perceived “safe haven” with like-minded people, but they also demand their own narrow conformity. Groupthink can detract us from coming to know our unique selves and building upon our innate talents. It can preclude us from building vibrant communities richly thriving in diversity and bold creativity. Ultimately, there is nothing more emotionally affirming than being seen by another for who we truly are — our authentic, essential selves. We do not easily forget such profoundly meaningful experiences of being authentically seen and validated.
Companies which refuse to further exploit the vulnerabilities of our youth, and instead empower them with authentic engagement to find and grow their unique talents, and be authentically seen for their unique selves, can bring fresh, high value. Hedonic escapism may provide temporary relief but fixes nothing. We live in highly extenuating times necessitating inner resources and skills to resiliently adapt and recreate our way out of difficulty.
Media and its content distribution have historically focused on how to manipulate and incentivize people to think a certain way or desire, buy and use things they perhaps would otherwise not be interested in. All sorts of consumer manipulation strategies have been used over the years, now resulting in a consumer hardened by fake news, fake engagement, fake relationships, fake moral correctness and more. People feel worse than weary or angry. We’re numb.
Centrally sourced content messaging is suspect. It cannot be trusted. It’s inauthentic. We are objectified and hustled. Young people today don’t simply want more stuff. They want experiences.
What people want now more than anything are the experiences of authentic engagement, meaning, purpose and expression. These sought-after feelings of self-determinism and authentic engagement are currently not inspired or supported by exogenous marketing sources. In truth, such feelings can only be self-generated and cultivated from within each person. Those who wish to reach a more self-empowered state can assume personal responsibility to cultivate such tools to help them get there. Why shouldn’t social, gaming and marketing identify, address and expand upon what is most desired intrinsically by the customer and provide the methodologies for getting there? In so doing, is this not providing authentic and timely “value” to the customer?
James Andrews is head of product at Genies, and author of “Self-Expression, Spirituality and Gen Z.” He expresses well the mandate for the new, self-sovereign digital identity, its demand for empowered self-knowing and authentic engagement. He asks, “What happens though when you have an entire generation chasing their authentic selves?”
“The Fix”: Marketing For Decentralized/Distributed Bitcoin Technologies
So, how does the new Bitcoin marketplace of engagement attune to each unique individual, while also delivering highly curated and personalized, authentic and meaningful engagement experiences to that individual? What is relevant or inspirational for one person may not be for another. Not everyone engages the same way. “The fix” is not found in using some new technology overlayed with same-old legacy design methodologies only to produce similarly poor outcomes. “The fix” is using Bitcoin technologies integrating biomimetic engagement design focusing on the unique individual and not compelling the individual to contort to a standardized platform.
Today’s design “meta trend” is quickly moving from industrial-era centralization to digital-era decentralized and distributed systems. The public, open-source foundational settlement layer, Bitcoin, is seeing rapid adoption globally and is experiencing a mass migration from centralized internet sites to a decentralized/distributed and disintermediated internet layer where all engagement can be monetized, streaming to the seconds. There is a rapid birthing of Layer 2 and 3 peer-to-peer engagement systems built on top of, pegged to or side-chained that disintermediate legacy third parties while empowering the unique individual. And unlike legacy/centralized sites (“the Boomer’s internet”), this distributed design has capacities to now curate and hyper-personalize products, services and experiences to the unique individual in a dynamic inspirational and aspirational manner.
So, how do we do this? How do we move from top-down, standardized, industrial-era design to focusing on the digital personalization of the unique, highly nuanced individual in a meaningful, personalized way? What novel matrix biomimetic to our own human biologic design can be used for such individuation going forward?
First, we reject our overdependency upon centralized behaviorist/operant conditioning engagement design.
Secondly, we value, support, facilitate and celebrate the strong sense of self-determinism by the individual. The focus and commitment are on authentically engaging with the individual on their terms. A healthy inner locus of control is developed by identifying and scaffolding upon the individual’s unique intrinsic motivators. If we know what play is, and is not, we can identify intrinsic motivators and authentic engagement patterns and patterns within patterns. This then becomes the matrix for authentic personalized engagement design and provides user-generated data to fine-tune identity and focus personalized content distribution.
Thirdly, monetization opportunities emerge. Through authentic engagement and developing an inner locus of control and self-determinism, opportunities to capitalize on one’s growth and creativity ensue, as the engagement matrix and identity fabric contribute to the development of an authentic digital ID. All engagement, from gaming to social to enterprise and beyond, becomes streaming monetization on top of decentralized/distributed bitcoin. A robust peer-to-peer creator economy emerges. People create and pursue what they love and are literally paid to play.
How are these three goals accomplished? What are the myriad cross-sector applications? Here is but a brief synopsis.
Nature’s hard-wired engagement design in all animals is not gamemechanicsbutplay. Play is the first principle of self-generated, self-motivated and self-sustaining engagement design, whereas gaming and behaviorist design are not. These centralized and manipulative designs objectify the user and are based solely on objective data, neglecting the user’s subjective, warm data. Play is a fundamental survival drive; the exogenous reward systems and enticements underpinning behaviorist design and game mechanics are not. While gaming is a small aspect or subset of play, it is not the whole of play. And not everyone likes games. Conversely, we are all subcortically hardwired to play, and everyone plays differently. The cosmic joke, the playful paradox, is that despite our differences and the fact we all play differently, we can meet and engage through the languages of play.
Authentic play is authentic engagement: It is self-generated, self-motivated and self-sustained and disintermediated. Once someone tries to intermediate or control the engagement, it is no longer play, and the many beneficial outcomes of authentic engagement are lost. If we know what play is, and what it is not, we can identify within individuals their authentic engagement patterns and patterns within patterns. This then becomes the matrix for authentic personalized engagement design. Authentic play engagement is how we identify and develop what we love to do, what we like, what we aspire to, and it identifies and develops our intrinsic motivators, drive and grit (all “warm data”).
By suppressing or hijacking access to authentic play, a person’s sense of self and inner locus of control eventually become stunted. They eventually suffer from any one or a few of the panoply of negative consequences associated with play deprivation, including the plague of mental illness. They either isolate into hedonic escapist behaviors or become mindlessly dependent, anxiously chasing extrinsic rewards and exogenous validation. This stunts their moxie, their internal drive, inner locus of control, healthy sense of self, creativity and adaptability. These degraded human potentials are the attributes needed in robust fashion to forge the unique being, one’s authentic expression, while increasing self-esteem, meaning and purpose and adaptability in a world in great transition. Play foments creativity and evolutionary adaptation.
As an older woman who grew up playing on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 60’s and 70’s, I feel the loss of free, authentic play in our culture. Play has been hi-jacked and sublimated by intermediaries, leading to a great loss in authentic engagement, meaning and purpose, social skills, creativity and problem-solving, and community-building. Thanks to standardized performance testing, centralized media, extrinsic reward systems and other exogenous measurements, our children grew up valued for their conformist performance, and not who they were intrinsically meant to become. We can fix this through recreating a disintermediated global engagement design on Bitcoin.
An older, pre-retirement, long-distance truck driver who lost his job to FSD semi-trucks is not the same as the low self-esteem young woman who anxiously seeks exogenous validation through objectifying herself. Yet each can potentially recreate their selves in a way that works for them. However, this is tough to accomplish when we lack the tools, insights, methodologies and supportive community to do so, particularly when we’ve been dependent, uncritical, fiat-thinking conformists all our lives, and software is eating legacy jobs. With warm data integrated into decentralized and personalized authentic engagement design, “Bitcoin can fix this,” too.
The value and invention here involve the system, methodologies, designs and myriad applications for identifying and scaffolding upon a unique individual’s intrinsic motivators as a matrix for personalized, intrinsically motivated, authentic engagement design and a self-sovereign identity adaptable to emergent decentralized/distributed systems. The engagement profile/play personality is a dynamic composition of play behavior patterns which can be collated from IRL and online through many means, depending upon its subject. No two people are the same or engage the same way. The composition and weight of engagement patterns are endless, so each profile/play personality is unique. One is not inherently better than the other. It’s just different, as nature intended. Nature loves diversity.
The unique intrinsic engagement profile/play personality can be collated for each unique individual dynamically, from birth to old age, and used as their avatars and/or dopplegangers. An instantly recognizable and decipherable graphic icon can represent the composition of play personality/engagement profile for each unique individual so another person instantly knows how to attune and uniquely engage with increasing nuance, empathy and respect. Each of us can represent our own brand and wear and express it proudly. Products, services and experiences can be curated to the unique individual so that marketing and advertisement do not manipulate users by asking them to contort themselves but instead attune with their innate proclivities to authentically engage. Legacy marketing protocols are flipped, validating the unique person on their terms, and providing added value in an authentic manner. We deindustrialize our schooling systems, and our children become blessed with personalized learning opportunities identified, driven and scaffolded by their own intrinsic interests and authentic engagement.
Of particular note: Because play states, like sleep states (both play and sleep are fundamental survival drives), can now be biometrically identified, optimal authentic engagement opportunities can be personalized and designed to each unique user derived by their biometric data (e.g., non-addictive gaming personalized for optimal play states with countless health and performance-related outcomes).
The myriad applications of this novel engagement design are directly aligned with emergent identity in the decentralized/distributed metaverse and have broad cross-sector applications, including hyper-personalization in advertising and content delivery, ML/AI, AR/VR, IoT, gaming, social media, preventive medicine, education and so much more. Truly this can be a design that easily migrates across all sectors.
When the measurement of performance goals (cold extrinsic data) become more important than the inherent joy and attunement found in an activity (warm intrinsic data), we have lost authentic engagement and the transformational recreative power of play. The activity becomes work. Creativity is lost. Self-sustainability, personal agency and ownership/responsibility are diminished.
By integrating personalized authentic engagement design into Bitcoin’s superstructure/social protocols, the benefits and goals we aspire to can become the unintended outcomes. It’s a playful paradox. However, this is nature’s design. If humans are to live sustainably and joyfully, it needs to be ours as well.
“All bear the inherent right to become sovereign of the self — not only in body and mind, but in soul, for any authority that is allowed to rule over you, does so by taking a piece of who you really are.” — Dan Thomas
This is a guest post by Kristen Cozad. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Bitcoin is in a very dark place at the time of writing. After trading for a new all-time high of $64,000 per unit in mid-April of this year, the currency has once again (for the second time in the past few months) dropped below the $30,000 range and is now trading for just over $29,000. This means that in just three months alone, the world’s number one digital currency by market cap has lost more than $35,000 off its price and more than 50 percent from its value.
Bitcoin Drops Further; Trading for Under $30K
In addition, bitcoin appears to be dragging other coins lower as well. Just under $90 billion in total valuation was removed from the crypto space over the course of a single day. Bitcoin itself is down more than five percent, but many other major altcoins have joined the fall. Ethereum has dropped six percent, while Ripple’s XRP has taken a nine percent dip during this time.
Experts believe that the fall that occurred with bitcoin and the crypto space is likely due to a recent selloff in global stock markets. Annabelle Huang – partner at the crypto financial firm Amber Group – explained in a statement:
There has been a broad selloff in global markets. Risk assets are down across the board. Broader risk assets turned weaker including high yields. Coupled with recent BTC (bitcoin) weakness, this just sent the crypto market down further.
Others, however, differ in their opinions of what is potentially bringing down the entire industry. Many analysts feel that China has entered territory in which there is no return from. The country has worked hard these past few weeks to basically obliterate its entire mining industry, which is a big feat for many reasons.
For one thing, China – at one point – accounted for approximately 65 to 75 percent of all mining operations in the world. Now, many former companies are either dealing with displacement or being forced to close altogether. This is also not the first time that China has gone after cryptocurrency businesses, having banned local crypto exchanges about four years ago.
Other analysts also feel that ongoing COVID fears are likely leading to market drops. The alleged Delta variant of the coronavirus is meandering throughout several regions, and it looks like traders are looking to hang onto as much money as they can for the time being.
Jehan Chu – founder of the crypto enterprise Kenetic Capital – mentioned in an interview:
All signals are red as BTC (bitcoin) continues to be weighed down by China’s ultimate crypto ban and worsening macro-economic conditions from a surge in COVID variants.
More Losses in the Coming Days?
In addition, he is also anticipating a greater selloff in the crypto community, continuing his discussion with:
Q1s crypto market momentum has stalled and is threatening further reversal potentially below the $25K levels.
Bitcoin ATM units in the U.S. have nearly doubled in a year, indicating a growing demand from retail investors who seek convenience.
Bitcoin ATMs are popping up across the U.S. as Bitcoin adoption grows. The machines provide a convenient, hassle-free experience for anyone to purchase bitcoin, meeting the growing demand across the country – with some tradeoffs.
In less than a year, bitcoin ATM units deployed in the U.S. have more than doubled, now amounting to over 38,000 machines, according to How Many Bitcoin ATMs, an independent research site.
In West Texas, bitcoin ATMs have popped up at gas stations and grocery stores, reported CBS7. The machines allow customers to walk in and trade cash for BTC, up to $18,000. And the machines also bring in business, a store owner said in the report, because customers often end up buying other products at the store.
The company operating these machines in West Texas, Quad Coin, told CBS7 that the simplicity of the purchasing process has ramped up demand, leading the company to sketch expansion plans.
Quad Coin founder Mark Shoiket said he founded the company after he “assumed there was demand and people wanted bitcoin everywhere,” reported Reuters in March. He got that right. According to the report, ATMs’ ease of use leads people to make a quick stop and buy bitcoin anytime.
Eyeing the growing demand and based on successful deployment examples, convenience store chain Circle K announced yesterday that it had partnered with bitcoin ATM company Bitcoin Depot. The collaboration will bring bitcoin ATMs to Circle K stores in the U.S. and Canada, and over 700 machines have already been installed.
With every convenience, however, comes a cost. In the case of purchasing bitcoin through ATMs, the cost is represented by fees and identification procedures. Some operators charge as much as 30% fees for every purchase at their ATM. And identification procedures range from phone number verification for smaller purchases to ID submission for bigger ones.
Bitcoin, which prides itself on free-market structures, game theory, and economic incentives, wins by as many different purchasing options there are in the market. A peer-to-peer market provides an opportunity for privacy-conscious individuals, for instance, while a regulated exchange can offer greater ease of use for online buyers. And different alternatives, given that they encourage self-custody, are what likely will drive adoption further.
Edge has disclosed it holds 54,134 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in a filing with the SEC, a more than 40% increase since last quarter.
Edge Wealth Management has disclosed ownership of 54,134 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in a 13F-HR form filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), representing a 43.95% increase in the 37,605 shares it held in April.
GBTC has become a popular investment vehicle among institutions for obtaining indirect exposure to bitcoin. The trust, which might turn into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) soon, attempts to track the bitcoin market price, minus fees and expenses.
Edge’s move over the past quarter took place while the Bitcoin price experienced a significant decline, now trading 50% below its previous high in April. This demonstrates a “buy the dip” mentality among institutional investors, who are enjoying lower prices to accumulate more bitcoin – something Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein also recently commented on.
Additionally, comparing Edge’s two most recent quarter filings reveals that the firm liquidated all exposure to ether that it had through Grayscale Ethereum Trust, now a total of zero shares. The company may have realized the uniqueness of bitcoin and enjoyed [indirectly] stacking sats at a discount.
Institutional interest in bitcoin has increased dramatically in 2021, driving an ETF analyst claim that it might end up leading the SEC to hurry and approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund this year still.
While directly holding bitcoin doesn’t become a norm for institutions thirsty for BTC exposure, indirect investment vehicles such as GBTC and bitcoin ETFs have absorbed the vast demand. However, as Bitcoin matures, it may become more accessible for institutional investors to grab a piece of the pie and directly hold bitcoin in their balance sheets – something retail is currently more proficient at.
A panel of crypto experts alleges that bitcoin – the world’s number one digital currency by market cap – will potentially remove fiat currency from circulation by the year 2050. This basically gives bitcoin approximately 29 years to become the primary financial product of the world.
Bitcoin Is Rising to the Top
On the one hand, this certainly seems possible. 29 years is a long time, and a lot can be accomplished within that period. On the other hand, is it really all that likely that fiat will disappear completely? We have so many institutions and industries that depend on fiat, and as we have seen in the past, financial changes in America and abroad can take many decades to complete, so would 29 years really be enough time for bitcoin to fully step in and take over?
Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency were initially created to push checks, credit cards and fiat to the side. They have always been designed to serve as payment tools in which people could use them to buy goods and services necessary for everyday life, but sadly, their volatility has gotten in the way of this goal, and as a result, the journey towards payment status has been rather slow.
We are witnessing one of the biggest bouts of volatility at press time with bitcoin. The currency was initially trading for a new all-time high of approximately $64,000 in mid-April of this year. However, as of this moment, the currency has dropped into the $29,000 range, meaning that in just over three months, the currency has lost approximately $35,000 off its price tag. That is more than 50 percent of its value.
Despite the bearish conditions the cryptocurrency is facing, many experts still feel that bitcoin is going to weasel its way into the top spot at some point. As many as 54 percent of analysts and crypto heads taking part in a recent panel said that bitcoin would be the world’s primary form of currency within the next 30 years, while as many 29 percent suggested that this day would come even sooner in the year 2035. 20 percent feel that bitcoin will be number one in the year 2040.
CEO of Morpher Martin Frohler was the most bullish amongst the panelist, claiming in an interview:
Adoption by corporations and institutional investors paired with a loose monetary policy and high asset inflation will propel bitcoin to six figures before the end of this year. The next halving cycle will see increased adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender by developing countries, and by 2030, bitcoin will have replaced gold as a global reserve asset.
So Many Bulls
This sentiment was echoed by Arcane Crypto analyst Vetle Lunde, who stated:
We are standing in the middle of the institutionalization of bitcoin. More funds are joining the space.