Users, entrepreneurs, and investors are harnessing bitcoin’s “workaday utility” in Argentina, a place where bitcoin is arguably more widespread among everyday people than anywhere else. What conditions led to this? Is it indicative of what may happen someplace else? And what does it indicate about the broader story of (and people behind) bitcoin playing out around the world? MORE
Bitcoin has not been easy for Wall Street and other traditional financial centers to wrap their collective heads around, let alone take seriously. But that has changed recently, argue Wall Street Journal writers Michael Casey and Paul Vigna. Casey and Vigna describe the five “stages” of bitcoin conversion from disdain to obsession, and why, with the failings of our financial system still painfully fresh, the bitcoin blockchain could be a tool to help rebuild trust, governance, and faith in the power of currency post-recession. MORE
a16z editorial: Aren’t some of those clashes due to regulatory capture though?
Ted: It’s not as black-and-white as “oh, they’re bad guys, they’re fraudulently taking payoffs”. As I see it, regulatory capture is really about two things: One, it’s about deep familiarity. The downside of having to deal with a regulatory agency a lot, is that you have to deal with the agency a lot. But the upside of that continuous contact through meetings and events is you begin to get to know each other, and understand how and why regulators do what they do. This form of regulatory capture is about knowing how to work the system… The other kind of regulatory capture is a form of back-scratching, where buddies that legacy incumbents have worked with for years are now in office. They are running things. The conversation is some variation of “Please prevent these new entrants from disrupting me.”
While the second form of capture sounds a lot worse, the first type is a subtler form of persuasion that’s hard to compete with. Instead of phrasing things as a favor, incumbents are framing things as “You’re right to be scared by this new technology”. MORE