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Jorge from Aragon and ex-YC Ramon collaborate to put together a piece that quickly traces the line from the origins of corporations to their natural evolution.

If you stop and think about how organizations are created and managed today, you simply can't miss the madness and ancientness of the current hand-written, hand-signed, locally-based model.

Blockchain-based DAOs are the evolution, and, the post argues, are what will enable us to finally test many more corporate structures and governance mechanisms than what is currently encoded in jurisdictional laws.

If you want another reminded of the importance of what Daostack, Colony, and Aragon are working on, this is it.
Great end-of-year reality check, painting a picture in such stark contrast to the exuberance that blinded the markets only 12 months ago.

"So here we are… it’s dark and we’re far from home."

Could not agree more that despite the speculative turbulence on the 'road to utility', the underlying macro themes are still intact if not stronger, and over a long enough horizon value will inevitably continue to erode away from centralized entities to more decentralized networks and applications.
An open letter by Ben Hunt to the crypto community, inviting it to a joint research program.

This one cannot be summarised, it deserves to be read.
Fred Wilson weights in on the current 'risk-off' attitude that is shaking both crypto and equity markets.

We prefer non-price related views, but it's notable that Fred thinks bitcoin is not near a bottom at $4.5k and Ethereum (rather than ETH?) "feels like the easiest one to make a bull case for right now".

PS: a week later Fred published "What Bear Markets Look Like" which adds a bit more context to his earlier post by drawing some parallels to the dot com boom and crash. In short, he thinks things are likely to get worse before they get better.

The key to live through it? To "hunker down and build value and survive". 
A bunch of posts have been similarly titled in the past (eg "Cryptocurrencies are money, not equity", "Blockchains are not companies") to either highlight investors tendency to conflate tokens with equity in value accrual dynamics or to discuss about different governance mechanism.

In this one Burniske clearly outlines the investment opportunity in crypto assets and equity:

- crypto assets: "Only services that thrive off decentralization will successfully organize and incentivize human activity using this new architecture."

- equity: "On the micro-scale we will have companies that bundle services provided by underlying cryptonetworks. They will create beautiful interfaces, cater to granular-preferences and be capable of customer service."

In short, he expects a relatively small number of fully decentralized, public good type protocols where the native crypto assets will generate "returns greater than any other asset class from this time period", and a much larger number of companies that will build and supplement such protocols and generate relatively more "modest" outcomes via equity.
(behind the ever-so annoying Medium paywall)

The Livepeer merkle-mine was talked about and praised at length, lately in a post by Multicoin.

Here's a more sceptical take on its actual effectiveness as a token distribution mechanism.

Some of the points highlighted by the author in case you don't manage to read the whole thing:
- 48% of LPT is held by the top 50 addresses
- of that, 31.35% is owned by the team and early investors
- of the remaining float, it's likely that insiders have the lion share as the merkle-mine, for lack of marketing, for the technical chops required and for lack of immediate liquidity, attracted mostly insiders not needing to sell to cover costs (as opposed to an audience that actually wanted to provide transcoding work)
- token distribution is likely to centralize even further thanks to inflation accruing to top 50 wallets (who will the the ones staking most actively)
- comparing its distribution to other assets can be misleading as, not being traded on custodial exchanges, LPT is naturally more decentralized.

(It's worth reading Livepeer Doug's response at the bottom of the post to get both perspectives).

The post closes with a list of best practices for token distribution, which is quickly moving from art to science.
Fun little interview where Snowden talks about blockchains in not-too-technical terms and explains what the potentials and pitfalls are.

Nothing groundbreaking, but for fans of the person it's still a nice read.
Some extremely impressive developments coming out of the merger between Stellar's commercial company.

Here they are announcing Spacesuit, which is an implementation of Bulletproof's transactions in a protocol called Cloak.
💥Newsy stuff
- Mining. A US-based mining company has filed for Chapter 11. In the meantime there are rumors of Chinese miners being in trouble too.

- ETO. Neufund is conducting the first ever legally binding Equity Token Offering for the company underlying its token issuance platform. The post hints at a challenging process to get it over the line with BaFin (the German regulator).

- Pushed Bakkt. Trading and warehousing on Bakkt will start on Jan 24th instead of Dec 12nn as previously stated, citing more work needed on a regulatory review from CFTC and on onboarding customer given high demand.

- Crypto taxes. The State of Ohio will accept bitcoin for tax bills, starting with business filers only (oddly).

- VC Invesments: Outlier have released their massive report on the State of Blockchains, the big number is a 316% increase in VC funding.

- BEAM drama: the appointment of Ferdous Bhai to the Advisory Board for BEAM didn't sit well with Bitcoin Maximalist Giacomo Zucco.
😎 Cool new projects
The POA team continues to quietly ship useful tech. 

This one is an upgrade to the POA Bridge, the interoperability protocol they launched in May. Any Ethereum-based project can now transform ERC20 tokens between each other within the user’s wallet.

For example, smart contracts can use it to shift slow and expensive operations from the mainnet to a sidechain.
Great use case to understand ZKPs: an implementation of the Mastermind board game using zk-SNARKs to enforce game rules. Works in the browser.

Raise your hand if you've played mastermind when you were a kid. ✋ 
A new standard for continuous payments via ERC20 tokens over a finite period of time, where block are used as units of time (think a salary streamed per minute rather than at the end of the month).

Interesting to see where this goes and applications it enables.
This was from last week, but we forgot to feature it. 

The TokenAnalyst team have shipped a smart-contract monitoring tool that streams blockchain data adding contextual info about each transaction.
Metamask have announced their Light Client implementation, with a completely un-spell-able name: Mustekala.

But it's a very cool approach. Light clients are usually leechers of data from one full-node they synch to, but in this case MetaMask will implement libp2p and actually share slices of the merkle tree to other Light Clients.

Still not ready, but an essential piece of development to make Ethereum usable as its size continues to grow.
Kyber gets a cool new API to get the list of pairs, available balances per user, buy and sell rates, market data etc.
Curated on a Product Hunt collection!
💰 New funds
While many funds raised in 2017 are rumored to be in deep troubles, Silver Castle is bringing to market three new institutional crypto hedge funds targeting $50M AUM. 
2-part monster report on the state of crypto funds (all 900+ of them) and aggregate-level stats on over 4,500 investments in the space.
💸 Funding rounds
Argent have finally announced their $4M seed round, led by Index Ventures and Creandum and counting firstminute, Hummingbird, KR1 and Proxy as co-investors. The app is also out in the app store for download (though there's a waiting list...).

Argent are building a mobile focused smart wallet that abstracts most of the complexities and technicalities of traditional 1.0 crypto wallets with the idea of providing a user experience for interacting with cryptos and Dapps that appeals to the average user. It looks very slick.
Holdhold, the P2P crypto exchange, have announced their first funding round from a number of pseudonymous and anonymous investors.

The post refers to a failed attempt to raise from traditional venture capital investors, who presumably didn't get comfortable with the regulatory risk, particularly after the SEC action against Etherdelta's founder (Hodlhodl does no KYC/AML).
👮 This week in regulation
The SEC tweeted a link to their guide to ICOs this week. 

At first glance though there's nothing new in there so it was probably just a reminder. Still waiting for the 'plain English' guidance.
This was from last week, but we missed it.

Christine Lagarde of the IMF gave a speech in Singapore making a case for central bank issued digital currencies, which we don't find particularly exciting. The IMF also published a longer paper on the topic if you feel like diving in, or here's a good tweetstorm summary of it.
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Token Economy is written and curated by Stefano Bernardi& Yannick Roux.

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