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State of the Token Market (with PDF)

Source: I’m sharing the following pdf’ed powerpoint presentation, depicting where I see the status of the token market today. I have been presenting a version of this presentation in the past 3-4 months at various keynotes across North America and Europe. This version  is updated and more comprehensive than what I ever presented publicly. It is further augmented by the following analysis points: It is worthy to note that the regulatory landscape is divided roughly into 3 buckets: 1) alternative jurisdictions who are innovating and seeing this activity as a market share opportunity, 2) traditional Western regulators who are trying to apply (or interpret) existing regulation to what they see, in essence exacerbating the proverbial attempt of fitting a square peg into a round hole, 3) the “rest” of the world who is doing little to nothing, while observing others, and eventually planning to follow. Entrepreneurs are still attempting to use the token as a fund raising mechanism, with a varying spectrum of strength on actual Token models, and even less attempts at real governance and accountability towards investors or the market. I see continued lukewarm innovation in the middleware sector of blockchain technology. We need more standards, because standards increase adoption, and we need more integrated tools and development frameworks, because they spur activity in applications development. Two potential blockchain usage models are emerging with some initial promising  tractions: a) the token as a participation incentive for adding value to the network (I’ve described this here and here), b) the native digital asset as a free-moving instrument that can be traded on the blockchain or made part of a new interaction experience (eg CryptoKitties-like assets and others, including the nascent form of digital art). Classification of tokens will continue to be a slippery slope. Attempts to intelligently classify them is challenging, because their role is evolving like a moving target: a given token’s usage lifecycle will take many forms of evolution, as most tokens espouse multi-functional properties. Assigning a deterministic label on a token might be a futile exercise. Tokens as an in-market payment instrument is the most un-imaginative model out there. Sure you can take any existing business, slap a token to pay for this and that, and claim a token-based model. But that’s not nearly enough innovation to move the needle on value creation and attracting new users. Projects based on the token-as-payment model are dead-on-arrival, and will fail in my opinion…unless there’s a lot more to the token than being another currency. DApp Apps are emerging as the mobile cousins of a Metamask-enabled browser. Early DApp browsers such as Toshi, Cipher (acquired by Toshi) and Trust Wallet are still in their early 1.0 manifestation, and mostly aggregate access to other DApps more than innovate over new ground. Going forward, their future might be uncertain as standalone native DApp Apps will also become popular, perhaps not requiring crutch support from these DApp browsers. In this category, I foresee OpenBazaar and CryptoKitties to lead the way in showing us what a real standalone Peer to Peer Mobile DApp can do. [disclosure: I'm an investor in both companies and a Board member at OpenBazaar] There is a continued disconnect between cryptocurrencies value and valuations (ref: The Other Flippening: Token Users vs. Token Traders). Despite many attempts to quantity the metrics behind cryptocurrency valuations, the markets have not yet assimilated any form of analysis rationales behind the trading patterns. Most cryptocurrencies go up or down together, with little regard to differentiation between the better vs. more questionable ones. Stablecoins continue to fascinate more than deliver or assert themselves as a long term answer to isolating users from the vagaeries of external market volatility. Finally, a word about “the crash“. A real crash could only happen when investors suffer real losses and incur pains that cause them to massively exit the playground. Currently, there is sufficient built-in performance gains that have accrued to early investors such that prospective losses are only time-relative, but not absolute. State of Tokens by William Mougayar – April 2018 from The Business Blockchain

Trump on Oil

Source: Trump on oil, Big Red Car? We woke this morning to a Tweet from our Tweeter-in-Chief picking a long overdue fight with OPEC. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was formed in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Currently, it is composed of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emerates, and Venezuela. Sudan has applied to join. Indonesia was once a member. [See what odd bedfellows a bit of oil and money creates?] There is an “observer” class consisting of Egypt, Mexico, Norway, Oman, and Russia. OPEC produces about 44% of the world’s oil while holding 73% of the world’s proven oil reserves. OPEC exists to manipulate the price of oil by controlling the level of production thereby driving prices up through artificial scarcity. The Seven Sisters The countries which form OPEC would whisper that OPEC was formed in response to the control of Middle East oil exercised by the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters were comprised of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP), Gulf Oil (Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil Company of California (Chevron), Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (ExxonMobil), and Texaco (Chevron). This group once controlled 85% of the world’s reserves. OPEC stole their power. State Owned Oil Companies – the New Seven Sisters Since the decline of the original Seven Sisters, a new breed of cat has emerged – the state owned oil company. The “New” Seven Sisters today are composed of Saudi Aramco, Gazprom (Russia), China National Petroleum Corporation, National Iranian Oil Company, PDVSA (Venezuela), Petrobas (Brazil), Pemex (Mexico) and Petronas (Malaysia). Some of the New Seven Sisters — through their sovereign nation energy departments — are also members of OPEC. The New Seven Sisters control 65% of known oil reserves, though this number is changing with enhanced American production. What’s the Beef, Big Red Car? The beef, which is long since established, is that OPEC exerts market control on the price of oil by manipulating production. Current production controls have driven oil to approximately $70/barrel, a 3-year high. When the price of gasoline, a refined product which tracks with the price of crude, goes up, the cost of everything in the US goes up. It is not unlike a tax. Except that the tax revenue is not going to our Treasury. Oil is also strategic. We have fought a number of wars in the Middle East which have been proxy wars for the control of oil or the prevention of bad actors’ control of oil. We have used our military to ensure that the Straits of Hormuz are not blocked or interdicted. If we are to pay this price, others should join in with us or give us credits on other balance sheets. Seems fair? What Should We Do, Big Red Car?  1. We should encourage our President to continue sticking it to OPEC. When he did the price of oil dipped. This is the Bully Pulpit Effect.  2. We should talk directly to our allies who are part of OPEC — talking about you, Saudi Arabia — and make sure they realize that our relationship with them is lubricated with — wait for it, y’all — oil. The want weapons? Oil. They want the US to police their corner of the world? Oil. They want to sell their good and products in the US? Oil.  3. Keep a stern eye on Iran and Venezuela. Iran is currently able to participate in the world market because of the Iran nuke deal. If we decide to pull the Iran nuke deal, we will be putting sanctions on them. How will that impact their newly unfrozen oil supply? Venezuela is slowly drying up. They have enormous reserves and they are not able to get oil to the refineries because of political chaos.  4. We need to spur American production, including strategies which forego oil for other forms of energy — talking to you, nuclear power. Let’s get the US totally energy independent.  5. May be time to reconsider the Jones Act. Look it up. I am not sure on this one because I feel like foreign flagged ships operating in US waters with lower than US safety standards is inviting trouble.  6. Russia is dependent upon oil to fund the country. It is a strategic benefit to the US-Russia relationship to have low oil prices. This alone should motivate us to use all forces at our disposal to drive oil prices lower. Remember, Russia is a little country with an economy the size of Italy. The Russians did not invent pizza. Advantage Italy. Wait — nuclear weapons. Shit. So, there you have it, dear reader. We need cheaper oil and our President gets it. Let’s go after cartels which manipulate prices of oil. In the old days, we would have gone to war over something like this, no? Who can do this? Uhhh, Trump can do this because the guy is fearless. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good, y’all, but not so good it impedes your fun.    Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrint Related Source:

Can you keep a secret?5


Funding Friday: Saving Brinton1

I backed this project today to bring a film about saving some of the earliest movies made to the big screen.

Funding Friday: Saving Brinton1

I backed this project today to bring a film about saving some of the earliest movies made to the big screen.