Libra, Facebook, and greed blindness

Over at BlueSky, Dell Cameron brought up that Facebook’s involvement in crypto, VR, and GenAI aren’t working out because they are only secondary to their main business purpose: surveillance. (link)

I disagreed. Cameron was right in that it failed because their main business is surveillance, but I suspect they screwed it up because it was such a great fit that they got too greedy.

Cleanest unbundling wins

Markets are a series of bundling and unbundling, and whomever does the cleanest job, wins.

A clean unbundling makes it easier for others to build upon you, to integrate, to build businesses around you. It’s why people used S3 instead of other more elaborate mechanisms.

A clean bundling makes your whole look solid, integrated, like what Apple used to be.

In both cases, you get the advantage of reduced cognitive overhead.

Subversion to capitalization

Back in 1999, David Bowie spoke about how music used to be subversive, but had since become merely an information delivery mechanism - it was the Internet that was subversive.

Fast-forward, and the Internet is an information (and disinformation) delivery mechanism - it is crypto and other areas that are subversive.

The thing that is subversive now is the what will make money in a few years.

ZKP Bridging

TL;DR: I don’t see any practical path forward for decentralized stuff other than abandon the pretense of cross-chain value transfer and embrace balkanization, while letting the centralized stuff handle the cross-chain value transfer.

Privacy and memory

Fully private systems, like Aleo, will be mostly memoryless systems (memory will be provided only by an individual’s viewing keys).

These systems will allow for a class of application we haven’t seen online before - UTXO/records as rai stones that just happened to materialize along with a zkp.

Given that fully private systems will be memoryless black boxes with zero-knowledge proofs, one cannot verify that a contract path got executed in the exact same way that you would have wanted. Therefore, it makes no sense to cling to the notion of traditional execution, and one should focus on the result that one wanted to achieve.

This would seem to indicate that private systems lend themselves to intent-based approaches.

Bridged volume as a metric

On Beyond The Wormhole, Meltem talks about bridges and mentions that < 1% of bridged assets are going through Wormhole (as of 202111).

That raised an interesting idea: How much is being bridged to each platform is likely a more interesting metric of platform financial usage than TVL.