‘We Blew It’

CoinDesk caught up with Douglas Rushkoff in early-September for a discussion about the idealism of the early web, where things went wrong and the ways it might be improved.

I don’t understand how changing the ledger changes the underlying value exchange. It depends on what the internet is for. If people want to make reams of money through the internet or establish monopolies to overtake various economic sectors – like Uber did to taxis – it doesn’t matter what medium you use to do it.

If the job of crypto is to facilitate collaboration or value exchange between people and enterprises that don’t trust one another, then crypto is useful.

It can serve as a Kickstarter-like mechanism that would allow internet enterprises to capitalize without turning to Union Square Ventures or one of those entities. And it can help engineers build an Amazon-alternative or other DACs [decentralized autonomous corporations] where a bunch of programmers based around the world can record who’s worked and who hasn’t and who has contributed what.

But that’s if we live in a world where trust cannot be engendered between people. All the successful collective enterprises I know of are based in trust – they have a committee that people trust to oversee it.

Beyond that, crypto doesn’t change the fundamental approach to participating in the underlying economy: which is to say we’re all here to feed the engine of growth-based capitalism.

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