Reading this article, I got one of those strange sensations that I had a window into a very strange future, a future...

Reading this article, I got one of those strange sensations that I had a window into a very strange future, a future…

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Reading this article, I got one of those strange sensations that I had a window into a very strange future, a future vision of contracts, commerce and organizations where software plays a much more critical role than anything we might imagine today. 

This article is not going to be for everyone. Some of the ideas are a bit out there. That said, I think they are fascinating. What Vitalik Buterin is outlining here is a “smart contract” software framework for automating business processes. What he’s talking about here builds on some of the same kinds of heavily distributed validation processes that Bitcoin uses. 

Much of the magic here centers on using software to figure out whether the terms of a contract have or have not been met. When they have, the software authorizes payment. Now there are some cases where that validation is relatively straight forward, but in many cases validating that the agreement has been fulfilled, even when the processes are run in software, well, it can be tricky.

But that’s nothing compared to being able to assess whether or not the contract has been fulfilled when it comes to activities that happen offline. And so one of the interesting aspects of this framework is the use of real-world, human judges to make these determinations and notify the system via text message or other means. 

I’m starting to dig much more deeply into where corporations are headed, particularly with respect to the kinds of artificial intelligence and automation that we’re seeing in giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, GE and others. But this vision is something very different and very grassroots. And that’s what makes it so interesting. 

Much to learn still in this strange new world, but I will share some of my explorations along the way here as I go.  

Special thanks to Mark Bruce for turning me on to the whole idea of “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations.”

#ai   #DAO   #automation  

http://bitcoinmagazine.com/10468/daos-scary-part-1-self-enforcing-contracts-factum-law/

53 comments

  1. Bradley St.Bonnett You might like this (haven’t forgotten that I owe you a message – soon)

  2. I’m working on projects to contribute to Codius. It’s the first smart contract client to be released for digital assets. It launched just a couple of days ago. I’ve made some contributions to the DAO developers as well, since there are similar fundamental processes with my main project. The above article is in reference to a group called Ethereum. They’re long on presentations and short on sound economic principles. A group I follow more closely is called Counterparty, which follows commodity exchange clearing principles and has a better platform for executing DAO’s. Under my platform, DAO’s are just another asset (worker bots) that gets paid, not an organization of bots that print their own money. Too many DAO developers are going off, half-cocked, thinking they are building printing presses.

  3. Just starting to learn about this area, Bradley St.Bonnett. Are there some good places to ramp up on basic principles, etc.? Thanks for pinging him in, Rob Gordon. 

  4. Gideon Rosenblatt Sure, I wouldn’t recommend jumping into the middle without first brushing up on some fundamentals to keep you from being distracted by the fast changing landscape and the smoke and mirrors.  I would recommend 2 good reads from the pre-bitcoin days of digital currency/assets.  The first would be OECD’s ’02 ‘the future of money’ report – great history lesson in there too.  http://www.oecd.org/sti/futures/35391062.pdf 

    Robert Hettinga combined his blogs and streamlined his thoughts on concepts of what digital assets should look like, a full 10 yrs before bitcoin, and it is incredibly interesting how his insights back then parallels the work with modern day digital assets.   tohttp://http://www.ibuc.com/pdfs/Geoecon.pdf

    Of course, you’ll want an easy read from a Nobel Laureate on the de facto standard for building the legal/economic principles that are the ‘gold standard’ for any successful smart contract platform  https://www.coase.org/

    A quick and easy read from the Economist on DAC’s  http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2014/01/computer-corporations

    The present/future of ‘The New Global Financial Transactions Network/System”.  Get a Ripple wallet and I’ll fund you to activate.  Feel free to get lost in the wiki and forums for a few days .. this is the FinNet we will all be on in the near future.   https://ripple.com/wiki/The_Ripple_Ecosystem

    Codius was recently released, will be used with the ripple client – It’s the handler for smart contracts  http://codius.org/

    If your appetite is whetted by those links, and you’re an insatiable type .. let me know your areas of interest and I’ll dig through my 2,000 bookmarks for some nuggets to send.

  5. Thanks so much, Bradley St.Bonnett. Too late to dig into it tonight, but will go through this tomorrow. Thanks for making the time to pull this together. Very interesting space – tangential to what I’m working on, but definitely related. 

  6. Fascinating read thanks Gideon Rosenblatt.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be eerily prophetic…

  7. Gideon Rosenblatt  NP .. Toss me your tangent or vector path – if it relates to this space .. chances are good that I have some completed project scraps I could send you.

  8. I actually made the above comments before looking at the article.  So, I’ve read this article before (and others by Vitalik).  Surprisingly, all the links I mentioned are highly applicable to this article:  Hettinga was a Cypherpunk buddy of Szabo, the reference to legal contracts is a rip from Coase, DAC’s are the original DAO’s, Vitalik started Ethereum in late ’13 to be a Ripple for bitcoin, and Ethereum was a major contributor to Codius .. so, no changes needed for the above links to stay on-topic with the article.

  9. (without having read the article yet)

    I do think that a “smart contract” framework is in the makes. And there’s been research on this for quite some time, and some very interesting approaches that have been described.

    I also think that “smart contract framework” applies not just for business processes, but for regulating cross-platform interactions as well. Whether or not we lay folk will actually get to understand any of it is a different question; law is already such a tangled and complex area!

  10. Sophie Wrobel True .. the smart contract concept has been around for a while.  Ronald Coase, the Nobel Laureate I mentioned above, laid much of the foundation by combining Law and Economic principles.  Back in the 90’s, Financial Cryptography groups like Cypherpunks, worked long and hard to create an electronic/digitized framework for contracting – whereby, the Coase Theorem could be applied.  The above links, I posted, should provide enough history/research lessons to identify the growing pains and to remove the ‘lay’ title from your surname 😉

    There are many ‘smart contract’ projects in the works.  I referenced Codius because it is one of the first handlers to ‘hit the streets’.  The first iteration of these ‘smart contract’ handlers are being produced by developers with little understanding of Economics and therefore, fall short on establishing a coherent framework on principles that would make them more stable, robust, adoptable .. IMO (but I’m and Economist so my bias slip is showing).  They fail to separate Liabilities from Assets – This is important because Liabilities are debited and credited, Assets are used.  The OECD report should make clear the handling of liabilities and Hettinga’s blog should make clear the need for Asset Certificates, so that, assets can be used.

    If you have an interest in this space, I have some major projects to this effect.  My major development projects will be years in the making but, I am currently in the process of breaking them down into ‘seedling’ projects that can be turned into marketable products (actually, they’re business service start-ups that use the “big Daddy” principles in easy to use ways).  Feel free to PM me if you have an interest (circle me, message me through Hangouts .. is my preference). 

  11. Is this that same group?

    “Adam Ludwin ‏@adamludwin 22m

    Ethereum will EASILY go down as the biggest, fastest, crowdfunding event in history.  Has crossed $500k in first hour.@ethereumproject

    “—

  12. Alex Schleber   The article was written by Ethereum’s founder.  If you review his other articles, you’ll see that he came up with the idea for Ethereum, last October after doing some research on Ripple.  I’ve been following them since then but, their market ‘pump’ (such as that you found) makes me take a wide berth.

      If you are interested in them, they have a ton of videos on you tube made of them, by them, for them.  You can even participate in their DAO Whitepaper, which I believe is still a work-in-progress.

  13. Bradley St.Bonnett, just reading up a bit on smart contracts and looking at Codius. Is a “smart oracle” basically the equivalent of “judge” in the framework that Vitalik is using, with the addition that they can actually execute code in a way that’s safe for both parties? 

  14. Gideon Rosenblatt  Yup .. ‘Oracle’, ‘handler’, ‘Judge’.  I haven’t read through the entire Whitepaper yet so, I can’t answer to specifics.  I just subscribed to the group forum a few days ago.  Right now it’s just a simple client built around Google’s NaCl.

    If I ‘get where you are going’ – you want to know if you can program in Coasian-like biz processes.  The answer is, at this point, theoretically yes.  That is one of it’s founding principles.  There are groups out there that are highly interested (and working on) building applications to exploit that feature.  I don’t have any contacts or much research to give ATM, since that aspect is ancillary to my projects – I’ll wait until the applications mature and roll-in that which is applicable.

    Most of the current DAC developers are interested in making autonomous worker bees/bots and sending them out to print their own money via the bitcoin protocol or they want to replicate real world financial instruments and somehow try to replace them.  I say this because if you seek the assist of DAC developer groups, you will want to align with similar goals and you should first find their real motivations.

    If your last statement is hinting at using it for building an escrow service then, again, theoretically yes.  I have about 3 small projects/start-ups that will be using this feature.  I have been waiting a while for them to release this smart contract client so that I could quickly and cheaply launch those projects.

    So, in the future .. use cases transformed to questions would be nice.  Only because – I HATE TYPING 🙂 thx for understanding.

  15. Thanks for the additional thoughts, Bradley St.Bonnett. I’m actually not developing or starting up anything. I’m a writer and focus on the interplay between technologies and organization. So, it’s from that perspective that I’m starting to dig into this. I did used to run a Salesforce CRM and web consulting group, and so the angle that I find interesting about all this is the extension of business process beyond the organizational boundaries. To me, that’s the interesting news here. I followed you here, but don’t see that you’re sharing anything here on G+. Do you have a place where you post/share stuff? Or are you more focused on actually building stuff? 

  16. Bradley St.Bonnett agreed, a wonderful collection of links!

    I do have some concerns and significant interest in the space – in particular one aspect that I feel is particularly weak is the consideration of legal implications in “smart contract” frameworks, most likely because developers aren’t the best experts in that area.

  17. Gideon Rosenblatt Thanks for the bio update.

     I spend most of my time and focus on building stuff – my day job is online commodity trading.  My Posts related to my main projects are shared Privately – I can control through compartmentalizing and provide security for my SME contacts, etc.

    I have a couple dozen projects that can be turned into start-ups, that I will be releasing into the ‘wild’ over the next month or two.  As a focal point for participants interested in working on those projects, I intend to setup a series of G+ Community pages as a CRM/Wiki site.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a freelance writer, G+’er that knows a thing or two about setting up CRM’s to help me make this faster 😉  There’s a few other sites that are crowd-sourcing and fundraising and military vet friendly that I’ll be posting to, as well.

    The hold-up (posting to sites), ATM, is me coming up with a simplified, easy to use rendition of my biggest project.  It’s essentially a shared-equity-through-value-add-calculator model.  I want to use it for all my small, current projects (and anybody else that wishes to contribute their projects) to vett problems and process discrepancies for the full featured version – which I will be turning into a DAC-like digital currency.  To put it simply, a person’s value-add work function can be turned into a mathematical formula.  That formula can be matrix cross-multiplied to determine their ownership share of the company.  For the big version, the DAC will issue the appropriate BIZ Shares (whatever DC or Scrip you want to call it).  In the small version, the equity ownership can be negotiated and logged to a spreadsheet – it’s an easy process but I’m one guy with a lot going on and no help on lower priority projects.

    So, maybe if we keep at this post, and get it to 500 comments .. we’ll make it to “What’s Hot” and get some volunteers to help me with those sites – maybe?  🙂

  18. Sophie Wrobel If you go to the codius group forum, you will see the egalitarians starting to contribute on how to handle that.  Also, if you go to the Coase Institute .. They are essentially the world standard on law and economics (smart contracts borrow from those principles).  That being said, those trying to replicate real world financial/property instruments could use some legal advice to avoid future pain.  As long as it’s a Cyberspace Asset and it stays in Cyberspace then you’re only beholden to Cyberspace laws (which is none). 

    The Hettinga blog will cover Coase Theorem applications.  It’s about 2/3’rd’s of the way through, I think.

    I have some videos and emails from one of the casualties of one company that was legally pressured out of this space .. if you are interested.

  19. Bradley St.Bonnett certainly – even outside the Codius Group there are relatively recent contributions starting to deal with legal perspectives (notably TILT and IBM). I’m just saying, that it is not as ripe as the rest of the framework is – yet a crucial important aspect to get right before “smart contracts” can have an impact of magnitudes.

  20. Sophie Wrobel Absolutely, my second (or third (or fourth(I get lost))) largest project deals with getting the framework right.  It has to do with developing Digital Asset Classes, like digital asset certificates and tokens, that can become ISO certified.  The smart contract handler would simple be used to link/activate the asset classes.

  21. So glad to have made the connection here, Bradley St.Bonnett. Thanks again for that, Rob Gordon. That’s one of the real wonders of this network. Yeah, you can meet other folks on Twitter, but you could never get into this level of conversation, through the platform at least. 

    So, Bradley, the equity calculator sounds very, very interesting. Over the last few years, I’ve been digging into stakeholder theory and have been building a pretty strong case against the shareholder primacy model. I think that one of the most important things we can do in society right now is figure out a better model for calculating contributions of real value into the firm and allocating equity based on those more accurate valuations of value. This includes financial investors, of course, but extends beyond that to employees, customers and other partners with a contributed interest in the future of the firm. 

    A few pieces that touch on this from my site:

    http://www.the-vital-edge.com/stakeholder-argument/

    http://www.the-vital-edge.com/regenerative-business/

    I don’t know if the values I’m espousing here map to what you’re trying to do build, but even if not, it’d be interesting to hear more. The only time I was tempted over these last few years to think about a start up was something that conceptually fused Kickstarter and Mechanical Turk, as a way for startups to find contributors willing to contribute concrete talents for equity stakes. Didn’t do it (and won’t), but this was before I even knew about DACs. 

  22. Thanks too, Bradley St.Bonnett for the link to Swanson’s book. It’s likely that I will cover some of this topic as a part of the big picture of what I’m writing about going forward. Some of this is fairly “out there” – but I’m feeling driven to move in this direction anyway. Sigh…

    http://www.the-vital-edge.com/category/organization-as-life/

  23. Ferananda Ibarra, you might find this discussion interesting. 

  24. I like the idea of reformulating the shareholder primacy model.  If it can be managed, perhaps we could see more beneficial development without (or at least with less focus on) the profit margins.

  25. Iblis Bane would you rather be an active participant in building it?  It is being built in small ‘chunks’ everyday.  Marc Andreeson is one of it largest supporters, through his VC firm.  More than a dozen of Google’s top engineers have left G to go into this space.

  26. Haha, I’m more of the “observer-type” Bradley St.Bonnett.  But link me up, I’d be interested in checking it out, thanks.

  27. Iblis Bane NP.  I see by your blog that you have an interest in online identity.  I’ve got a sub-project to that effect.  I should have it available for development in about a month.  I’ll hook you in then.  We’ll see if we can get you out of ‘observer’ mode by that time. 🙂

  28. By all means Bradley St.Bonnett. 😀  I’ll look forward to it.  If nothing else, you can be assured of my opinions on it. 😉

  29. Iblis Bane Be prepared.  It’s the f**kin’ wild, wild west so, come a packin’

    I’m on a not-my-project that is in brainstorming mode for P2P/Contact/Profile.  If you’re interested, I could let the project owner know.

    Gideon Rosenblatt BTW, are you on Rob’s project?  I just scanned your “knowledge graph” article and was wondering if you know of anyone that has worked with Cayley?  I would be interested to know if it could be used as an on-device query handler for a group of small lists.  The thought is, to use it to maintain a users entire P2P network, on-device.  I have a use-case that has an incredibly complex search logic involved, and I’m not aware of anything that can do the job.

  30. Bradley St.Bonnett Very impressive list. Thank you. 😀  I am familiar with most of it and yet it requires a lot of my mental energy to connect to the potentials.   Thank you Gideon Rosenblatt for pinning me. 

  31. Shaker Cherukuri, I’ll bet you that GE is monitoring this space very closely given their work on the Industrial Internet, no? 

  32. Bradley St.Bonnett, no, I’m not involved in that project. 

  33. For those that enjoyed Tim Swanson ‘s short book “Chain of Numbers,” circle him.  He said he is finishing up with a book and the last chapter will cover a more in-depth look at the legal side.

    Ferananda Ibarra I would be interested to know if you are still involved with the Metacurrency project.  I have a smart property project (that I don’t have time for) which is required for my smart currency/smart contract project to work.  The smart property will need some ISO-like standardization protocols developed.  It sounds like this falls under the mission statement of Metacurrency.  If so, I would appreciate if you could point me to some contacts that I could collaborate with regarding this topic. 

  34. Good to have you here on Google+, Tim Swanson. Hope to read your book soon. It’s downloaded, but just has a few other books in front of it in the queue. 

  35. Gideon Rosenblatt Somehow, I missed your shareholder primacy model response.  My work stems from a pilot project I was involved with, 15+ yrs. ago.  Basically, it tosses out the hourly wage and salary model and replaces it with individual shared equity based on contributory value-add.  Long-story-short, the only drawbacks to that project were technical implementations .. which can be significantly reduced by using current crypto-currency (smart currency, smart contracts, smart property) protocols.

    In the context of my work, smart property is digital asset certificates to physical assets and commodities.  Essentially a small database adhering to db design practices of containing records that are unique to to that asset.

    Smart contracts are a query handler.  They link assets and commodities to other assets and commodities and, additionally, they can link to services and activate those services.

    Smart currency is where my work does a twist.  It is a service, as well as, newly created digital currency that represents a newly formed organization (e.g. a start-up biz).  The service function is, holding a dynamically changing file where all work activities related to the operations of that biz are transformed into mathematical functions and formulas.  The formulas are algebraically calculated to determine proportionate equity ownership of work activity as defined by it’s function.  Port the file to an API to be Matrix Multiplied to identify new quantities of company DC to be ‘printed’, and update ledger accordingly.

    Now imagine a globally distributed CRM/Biz Mngt Tool that was free and open to everyone on the planet (actually, this would be paid for because those services are a biz function) .. drop this in.  mucho awesome fireworks?

    I’m not a advocate for convergent thought so, I’m deliberately leaving out the ‘secret sauce’ and any supporting/interlinking technology projects.  Feel free to dream up your own use-cases .. I’d love to discuss how it can be applied.

    Ferananda Ibarra Can you use this discussion for the introduction that we talked about.

  36. Bradley St.Bonnett certainly.  Benjamin Brownell please read Bradley comment above to hold in our awareness as we speak about wealth acknowledgement and value networks conversations. 🙂

  37. Yes, value accounting and acknowledgement, fluid equity / stewardship, proof of work….

    I think where I still see some trouble down the road is with the idea that everything is cleanly calculable “if only” we have thorough records of who has contributed what. In my experience, there are many challenging questions that come up in a co-creative environment as opposed to an authoritative one (where the “work” is clearly laid out and spec’d by someone who is responsible for delivering rewards upon fulfillment – a contract model). In a more emergent process, it is often hard to tell where important, intangible value arrives from, and where to draw lines between what gets rewarded, acknowledged, or simply incorporated (does open source project work, if it is clearly documented, deserve compensation if you build on top of that and generate some revenue?). There are many fine grained permission systems and agreement models to explore here, and I think we will get wiser together as we go 🙂

    PS see the article I posted recently from SwarmCorp addressing such concepts.

  38. Benjamin Brownell Thx for commenting.  Yes, I’m familiar with Swarm and most of the other groups working in this space.  Most of these groups are building from or activating features of, the current crypto-currency protocols.  Since, I’m designing a new protocol, I follow them to make sure that their products and services will mesh with mine.

    I’m constraining myself (in a public post) in what I share about the ‘smart currency’ project that I stated previously.  It’s a 3-5 year project which is currently being developed by SME’s, Economists and Mathematicians.  I can say that the concerns and questions posed in your comment above, is what we have worked out – actually, they’ve been worked out and developed for several decades .. we are just plugging that work into the digital currency realm.

    The query I posed with Ferananda Ibarra , in a PM, was with regard to the smart property part of the equation.  Simply put, physical asset and commodity representation, in Cyberspace, is the missing piece of the puzzle for offloading inefficient economic activities to a Cyberspace economy.  For this to happen, digital asset certificates, that represent physical assets and commodities, need to be developed.  The sooner we develop protocol and format standards for these certificates, the quicker we can begin the necessary transitions.  

    I’m looking for any organization that wishes to take a leading role in this endeavor so that I can contribute my work/education/experience/expertise/required specifications (of smart currency project).  What is needed, is an organization that can work, closely with but independent of, other standards related org’s like: ISO, IETC, commodity exchanges, asset title groups, financial cryptography associations, etc.

    If you are interested to discuss, please feel free to plus mention me in a private post (or PM me through Hangouts).  I don’t want to disrespect Gideon Rosenblatt by going off-topic with a smart property conversation. thx

  39. I appreciate your enthusiasm Bradley, it’s a fascinating set of topics and not readily understood for its implications (as the original post here touches on). I would be curious to know more of your ideas, approach, and background. I am not that technically versed, nor confidently clear in my own approach to the questions it raises yet, and what’s more I greatly prefer to work and talk in an atmosphere of transparency and trust as I think that is foundational to the types of solutions that I wish to be a part of. Regarding your search for digital representation of assets and ownership, I would imagine that the idea of ‘lazy’ consensus amongst peers about states of wealth and privilege (access) are likely to become common through distributed accounting systems like Ethereum. Unique identifiers of assets (a hash of contextual metadata?) could be issued by a range of groups, and trusted variously between groups. I tend not to expect or endorse any kind of higher level ‘absolute’ standards and rules / IDs system much further on. That approach tends to ignore the whole matter of context, which I think I’ve learned is truly the key.

  40. Benjamin Brownell   ” I greatly prefer to work and talk in an atmosphere of transparency and trust”

    My reference to a PM was with respect to my group’s work with the digital currency project, as each team member’s wishes need to be considered and respected – the milestone for releasing into the open is still a year away (we have open source patents, yet to file).  As such, I would have to discuss some finer points of the smart currency to identify the interplay with smart property.  The reference to creating a new post for a ‘smart property’ discussion is because it is slightly off-topic to this post (I’m indifferent to it’s privacy setting).

    “Regarding your search for digital representation of assets and ownership”  It’s more of a uni-metric profile.  If I have a need for a worker with specific skill-sets. I can broadcast those requirements and applicable recipients can receive that message.  They can then link their certificate to the job function which resides in the smart currency by way of smart contract handling.  Any of their other assets required for job completion can also be linked to the job and associated to the worker (for purposes of income distribution).  Without digital asset certificates that have standardized protocols and formatting, that scenario, will either not take place or will be incredibly cumbersome.

    “That approach tends to ignore the whole matter of context”  Context is handled within the smart currency, asset certificates are a-contextual and therefore exist as a separate entity.  Also, they need to operate as a separate entity because they are constantly changing use states.  As a separate entity, it can be used on any type of network model and therefore increase its usability by exploiting, not excluding, the benefits of service features found on differing network models.

    Hope I clarified a few things.  If not, please scan through some of my earlier comments on this post. thx

  41. Bradley St.Bonnett good, there’s lots to this story no doubt! Would be great to bring a little more to the surface, at least in the conceptual realm, wherever convenient. For me, the concept of affinity clusters, or sub-networks, with their own cultural profile and value system is key, and makes the idea of generic language, formats, and signifiers a real obstacle – Metacurrency has some interesting ideas about this that go a level deeper I think than where your foundation resides. I’ll see if I can locate a few clearer intersections to address with you based on what you’ve presented above. I would also encourage a visit to this discussion community, dealing with accounting systems for distributed collaboration aka open enterprise: https://plus.google.com/communities/107417561773024707336

  42. Benjamin Brownell Thanks for the link.

    I can see where your interests would require some serious ‘noodling’ to make compatible with what I’m describing.  The smart currency I’ve proposed would serve your points very well.  A point of exploration might be to use lists of interests and objects that can be used on a local, semantic-search-like, client .. instead of a regimented relational DB-like protocol for handling structured certificates.  I have another project that applies that concept to the communications framework of a P2P, decentralized and distributed, social network.  I see those 2 projects as being appropriately specified for their achievable objectives, yet, able to ‘play’ with one another.  The requirement of two application specifications is to separate amoral economic activities from morally subjective cultural/social detraction’s – each flounder and grow on their own, if you will.

    I can see where combining the two for certain types of networks, such as LETS, could see some significant benefits to the effect you are implying.

  43. That does sound much closer to home for me, Bradley. Curious what is the foreseen juncture between your smart currency and a semantic ‘value browser’…if you have time and space for that elaboration on another thread? BTW do you actually mean “detractions” there where it’s written near the end of your last comment, or is that a typo of something else?

  44. Benjamin Brownell I was clearing ‘red squiggles’ from spell-checker on detractions.  

    At the heart of the smart currency will be a file, not unlike one you would find as base * file in a **.  The work activity input to that kind of software will pull up associated equity reimbursement options.  Once selected, the appropriate formula that corresponds to the selected option, will be populated to the file.  I explained somewhere in this post on how equity share and printing biz currency and distribution were handled.  When applied to biz start-ups and research organizations, I think you can understand my need for standardized digital asset certificates and how smart property will work in that context.

    As far as using lists and semantic ‘value browser’ with the smart currency ..lists and semantic search is just another type of model for a DB (there is many similarities in functionality to a relational DB).  If you think of ‘objects’ as minimally defined assets, ‘interests’ as a linking mechanism for objects and their associated activity(s), then you can have your activities appropriately input to the smart currency file.  This file can be used for many types of analysis, such as, using Econometric optimization methods.  In a LETS environment, the smart currency would be the exchange and the analytic results can be ‘suggestions’ for activities (since you are using appropriately incentivized formulas for activities and those activities can be re-optimized following completion of the actual activity and its associated formula.  

    This was an ‘off the top of my head’ explanation and probably falls short with more thorough thought applied but, hopefully, it identifies the importance of ID’ing smart property so that assets/objects/commodities can be used – no matter what context they are applied to.

    * sent via Hangout message

  45. Bradley St.Bonnett, are you familiar with Ethereum? 

    https://www.ethereum.org/

    Gerd Moe-Behrens just introduced me to it. 

  46. I get very day more fascinated by Ethereum   The blockchain (BitCoin) in its generalized form is possible the biggest opportunity since the invention of the internet. The applications on top of it (Dapp) are one of the next great entrepreneurial opportunities. I think platforms like ethereum will fundamental change the world: they way we write contracts, do business, vote organize government…. BitCoin was just the beginning,  we will see a fundamental change in society and a lot of political fights as a result. BitCoin 2.0 / Blockchain 2.0 is the next big disrupting technology. Thus I am really interested to hear from others how they see this and if my judgement is correct. Are statements as in this wired headline correct : “*A Futurist on Why Lawyers Will Start Becoming Obsolete This Year* “http://wrd.cm/1qpRTcP  Gideon Rosenblatt Bradley St.Bonnett  looking forward to your comments.

  47. Gideon Rosenblatt Most all of my comments in this post were in reference to Ethereum.  DAO’s, Colored Coins and a few other of the Bitcoin 2.0 concepts are being integrated into the Ethereum project.  Tim Swanson gives some good up-to-date info in his new book:  http://www.ofnumbers.com/the-anatomy/

    As I stated in previous comments, I’ve been following them since their inception.  They’ve gained a large following with their ‘boiler shop’ tactics and MLM recruitment model which, to this point, has been vital to their success.  Going forward, they will need to find a more sustainable and less risky biz model that will bring some of these innovations to the forefront, faster than competitors.  I haven’t done any in-depth research on the behind-the-scenes players so, my advocation of Ethereum is on hold until they actually have a successful product/service that can quickly go through an evolutionary iterative process (their tech is rushed to the market, untested and is a mash-up of other tech, that will require many testing and iterative steps – all of which, need to be quickly and successfully implemented).

    At this point in time, I put more faith in a Ripple and Codius combination because of their maturity, standards setting, API bridging and professional/technical support.  Also, the MasterCoin implementations may have a large impact on bringing smart contracting to the Bitcoin protocol but mass adoption (which leads to general acceptance), will require a financial transactions platform that can house standardized/formatted Asset Certificates.

  48. Bradley St.Bonnett I agree with some of your concerns about the business execution. See e.g. this video for a critical discussion Chris Before Coffee – The Bandwagon Effect – A critical look at Ethereum launch – 29th July 2014 However some investors like Max Kaiser have a quite positive view http://www.maxkeiser.com/2014/03/kr569-keiser-report-new-crypto-phenomenon-ethereum/ 

  49. Thanks for the additional insights, Bradley St.Bonnett – and yep, you mentioned it explicitly in these comments. I just forgot, since it was a while ago and it’s not really my area of expertise. Thanks to you too, Gerd Moe-Behrens. 

    Getting a flow of money going around projects like this really does help to sustain them over time – even if they are mostly visionary and mission-driven. 

  50. Gerd Moe-Behrens I don’t have any concerns about Ethereum – it’s my current personal assessment that is subject to change.

    I have my own project that would benefit if Ethereum succeeds.  I stated in my above comment that their current biz model was vital to their success but, going forward, they will need to start producing a viable tech and morph their MLM hype.  They have yet to produce any novel tech but they are still producing 1,000’s of hours of marketing videos.

    From my standpoint, I have to wait until they launch something viable and see how it matures so that I can determine if I can sync my tech with theirs.  Ripple already has a platform I can use which, BTW, has me smirking at everyone hyping Ethereum – Ethereum is a rip of Ripple, they offer no superior tech and everyone pushing Ethereum don’t even mention Ripple .. hence, my MLM comments.

    I’ve seen your G+ page and am interested in your DNA projects.  My Digital Currency project is partly inspired by my involvement with the Human Genome Project at the Univ. of Illinois.  It’s designed to incentivize start-up projects, whether biz or research. I could use more participants from the research side.  

    Contact me if you are interested.

  51. Ripple is on my monitor too. I am looking forward to learn more about your offer Bradley St.Bonnett 

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