Newsletter: The Digital Flip: Gradually and then suddenly...

Welcome to issue 137: This week we cover U.S and SEC anti-crypto policy, Joey DeBruin thesis on IRL <> Digital connections, CabinDAO ambitions to build a network city, Guy Wuollet on Tokenomics, Zora Zine Print Drop, plus latest mainstream news and many more...

By Forefront - Apr 24, 2023

Welcome to edition 137:

▹ U.S Anti-crypto Policy vs Others
▹ The Digital Flip by Joey DeBruin
▹ CabinDAO Building a Network City
▹ Guy Wuollet on Tokenomics
▹ Zora Zine Print Drop
▹ Mainstream latest and more...

---This edition is brought to you by primitives, a new social platform for creation and curation.

Week’s Highlight

U.S Anti-crypto Policy "against everyone else"...

This week, Li Jin published an op-ed in Fortune's Crypto publication: "Anti-crypto regulators are blocking the pathway to a digital American dream."

"Home ownership has long been a hallmark of the American dream, representing a key life achievement and a route to wealth building, but with interest rates and inflation at their highest levels in two decades, coupled with a nationwide housing shortage, that dream is fading away for many.

Crypto offers a new way for Americans to build wealth through ownership of the internet products they use. Tokens, or digital assets, enable value to be distributed and tracked digitally, so consumers can benefit from owning things just like in the physical world."

The team at Paradigm agrees, arguing that Gensler's attempt to brute force crypto assets that may not even constitute "securities" into an ill-fitting disclosure framework is bad policy: it fails to provide crypto asset users and investors with the information they need, while also denying crypto entrepreneurs a viable path to compliance.

These statements ring even more true as Coinbase acquired a Bermuda license this week with reported plans of launching an offshore crypto exchange. Gemini exchange also revealed its plans to open an offshore derivatives platform that will not be made available to US customers.

"Using securities laws from the 1930s to regulate crypto is like using Train laws to regulate Airlines." - @jshorne

Take Note

The path for crypto to truly make its mark in the US is increasingly unclear. In order for companies, big and small, to build excellent consumer experiences that solve real problems, regulators must proactively engage with founders, investors, and ecosystem advocates on common-sense regulation.

Other players continue to make significant developments with China leading innovations in CBDC along with backing Hong Kong's push to become a global cryptocurrency hub. Other jurisdictions like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are also looking to set themselves up as crypto-friendly places to do business.

What's Poppin'

The Digital Flip. Friend of Forefront Joey DeBruin is back with a banger. Joey challenges the "digital doomerism" assumption that the rise of digital tools will lead to fewer and less meaningful connections in the future. While acknowledging that many social networks and tools have pushed us towards inauthenticity, he argues that new digital-first tools and experiences have the potential to improve our networks dramatically. The article suggests that the stigma of digital-first connections is disappearing fast, and digital products built after the "digital flip" will not carry the baggage of a physical-first world, and will, therefore, make our networks better. The article is a must-read for anyone who is interested in how the rise of digital tools can improve the quality of our networks and help us build authentic connections.

Building Cabin's Network City. From day 1, Cabin set out as one of the most ambitious projects in the ecosystem. Today, they've clearly outlined those ambitions and are well on their way to achieving them. This document lays out Cabin's philosophy around the "Network City," their goals for the next 5-50 years, and what they're doing right now to achieve those goals. In other words, Cabin is an IRL RPG: playing the game starts with choosing your role---archetypes who can help co-create a network city. The document also lays out Cabin's governance process, runway, and so much more. If you are contributing to a DAO, thinking about starting one, or just generally interested in the idea of a Network City, drop everything and read this piece.

Assimilating the BORG: A New Framework for CryptoLaw Entities. Delphi Labs announced new framework for the Cybernetic Organization which they plan to make a hallmark of how they approach our participation in the research, development, governance, incubation and acceleration of web3 protocols. The Cybernetic Organization (CybOrg or 'BORG'), is a traditional legal entity that uses autonomous technologies (such as smart contracts and AI) to augment the entity's governance and activities. Crucially, legal entities that are BORGs do not merely use autonomous technologies as an incidental part of their business--instead, much like a human might have a robotic prosthesis surgically attached to his shoulder, BORGs are legally governed by autonomous technologies through tech-specific rules implanted in their charter documents. Fascinating exploration of the future of governance.

The Convergence of AI and Web3: Opportunities and Challenges. The team at AllianceDAO published their thesis on the convergence of AI and crypto. In contrast to Web2 which tends to be averse to bots, they say, Web3 allows AI to flourish thanks to its permissionlessly programmable nature. More broadly, if you view blockchain as a network, then AI will dominate the edges of the network. So far, the edges of Web 3 networks have, for the most part, been humans. Humans initiate and sign transactions or implement bots with fixed strategies to act on their behalf. Over time, we will see more and more AI agents at the edges of the network. AI agents will interact with humans and with each other via smart contracts. These interactions will enable novel consumer experiences.

Tokenology: Moving Beyond 'Tokenomics'. In this essay, Guy from a16z crypto proposes a new term, "Tokenology," to designate "the study" of how to coordinate people, organizations, and/or computation towards a common goal, primarily through the use of cryptography and mechanism design. Tokens can be used for ownership, alignment, incentive structures, and accessing goods and services. The value represented by tokens is a vector, not a scalar, and most people conflate "value" and "money". A new term, such as Tokenology, may help usher in a new and richer era of token design, rather than being stuck with simplistic and centralized forms of token economies that we often see today.

What Is A Protocol And Why Does It Matter? Legendary investor Fred Wilson of USV discusses the importance of protocols in computer science and their evolution into monetizable web3 protocols. Monetization of protocols is crucial as it incentivizes usage and operation, making them sustainable and reliable. Wilson emphasizes the significance of web3 protocols and their economic benefits, which are currently not widely understood or recognized by the media and government. Despite this lack of understanding, Wilson and USV believe web3 protocols will eventually impact every economy and market, and that education is necessary at all levels to ensure this future manifests in a positive way.

Zora Zine Print Issue 001. Zora Zine, the digital culture magazine from Zora, just published their first physical zine. A total of 2500 NFTs representing copies of Zora Zine Print Issue 001 are on sale now; those NFTs can then be redeemed by holders to acquire a physical magazine. Public sale price for the NFTs is .0777 ETH, or just over $150. As of right now, 300 editions have been minted. Print Issue 001 will continue to experiment with blockchain-based solutions designed to decentralize and democratize the media industry. The issue, for example, will feature a project titled "Fake Ads," for which 22 artists have created print advertisements for fictitious web3 products and services. Fantastic work to everyone who contributed to this project!

Latest on Mainstream...

SEC chairman Gary Gensler testifies before the House Financial Services Committee: besides the SEC chairman's persistent confusion and uncertainty around whether ETH is a security, there isn't much (and new) here to say...

European lawmakers on Thursday gave their final blessing to an ambitious law that will give the European Union its first rules to govern the crypto industry. The approval of the EU's Markets in Cryptoassets, or MiCA, regulation is the first time that governments have tried to supervise the upstart industry on such a scale and follows the collapse of several big players including the crypto exchange FTX.

China continue to make major push in their ambitious CBCD project by announcing that Public sector employees in the city of Changshu will start receiving their salaries (in fully) in digital yuan. This is the biggest rollout of the currency, also known as the e-CNY, in China so far, according to state media.

Signal Bites

▹ Read - Exit Liquidity
▹ Deep Dives - State of ZK Applications
▹ Opinion - on Chromie Squiggle
▹ NFT - Sotheby's 3AC NFT Auction
▹ Updates - BAYC <> RR Trademark
▹ Mainstream - Zimbabwe Digital Gold Tokens
▹ Payments - Visa Decentralized ID
▹ Drop - Async Forever Supper
▹ Market - Memecoins Mania
▹ Interesting - Fake Drake <> Web3
▹ Cool - Nike .Swoosh
▹ Resources - AT Protocol Dev Ecosystem
▹ Techy - Web3 Developer Stack
▹ Tooling - Avenue

Check out Signal  for daily top web3 social headlines

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The information in this newsletter is not intended to constitute legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied upon as such. Any opinions reflected are the opinion of the author(s) of the newsletter only and not necessarily of Forefront. Please DYOR.

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