a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Cryptonetworks as Emerging Economies (Done Right?)

Chris Burniske, Joel Monegro, Denis Nazarov, and Jesse Walden

Posted February 11, 2019

When designing cryptonetworks — really, emerging economies — how do we avoid some of the monetary and fiscal policy failings of “real-world” economies? Like not separating currency and capital, which accelerated and spread economic growth through the former… but also concentrated the latter into the hands of a few? Yet how can we empower users to access capital while also managing risk?

If the promise of cryptonetworks is to better align incentives and value capture, then we can’t make the same mistakes as we did in traditional economies. We also have the chance to do novel things not possible in the physical world, through software. So this episode of the a16z Podcast — featuring voices from Placeholder VC and a16z Crypto — goes deep into the nuances and mechanisms of cryptonetworks, tokens, and decentralized applications at every layer of the “stack”. Chris Burniske (who has written a lot about financial modeling-influenced frameworks for analyzing crypto) and Joel Monegro (who has written about “fat protocols”, and once managed the Digital Economy Department at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Dominican Republic) of Placeholder VC discuss and debate all of the above — and more! — with a16z crypto‘s Denis Nazarov and Jesse Walden (co-founders of Mediachain, which was acquired by Spotify).

Throughout the history of information technology, we’ve gone from hardware to software, and software to data. So what’s next, what’s the layer above data? The answer is governance — which gives more people a way to participate in decision making around a given network — but the answer for how to implement the best governance isn’t so clear.

The views expressed herein are those of the individual personnel quoted herein. This presentation is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation to invest in any instrument nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services.

This content should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Please seehttps://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures for additional important information.


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The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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