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Don't miss the blockchain forest for its Bitcoin trees

Marco Moreira

1989 - The amount of digital information is growing tremendously as personal computers and the Internet get adopted. A researcher at CERN by the name of of Tim Berners-Lee comes up with a way to better manage the research information produced by the organization. His boss's response to the paper: "Vague, but exciting..."

1994 - Netscape browser launches, bringing the nascent "World-Wide Web" concept to the mainstream. The company IPOs roughly a year later, Marc Andreessen is featured on a Time magazine cover and the dot-com bubble begins.

2002 - The market hits the bottom of the dot-com bubble crash with the NASDAQ down a staggering 78% from its peak. Everyone is licking their wounds during that period, but the societal benefits eventually arrive as the survivors of the crash go on to become the world's largest companies, ushering in the digital economy age.


2008 - Nations are printing trillions of dollars to bail Wall Street out during the financial crisis. Someone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto comes up with a way for people to pay each other with a currency that cannot be forged, central banks cannot dilute and is operated via a peer-to-peer network instead of banks. The world's reaction: 309 people visited the paper's Wikipedia page in the year following publication.

2012 - Coinbase launches, bringing the nascent "Bitcoin" concept to the mainstream in the US. A year later, the first Bitcoin bubble occurs and the Mt. Gox hack pops it.

2017 onwards - The second Bitcoin bubble occurs, with some future event causing it to pop in a staggering down move from its peak (or not). Everyone will be licking their wounds during that period (or not), but the societal benefits eventually arrive as the survivors of the crash go on to make the world a safer, more transparent and meritocratic place through blockchain technology.   

Moral of the story: Whether this Bitcoin rally ends in tears (or not), the blockchain revolution it is ushering into the mainstream is as monumental as any of the major breakthroughs that have reshaped the world economy before. The future belongs not to the speculators, but to those who figure out how to improve the world through this technology. I hope you're one of them! 

How do you manage culture?

Marco Moreira

I took a trip across a few different countries recently and it dawned on me that I was acting differently at each region we stopped along the journey. Every few days I would change the way I spoke, how fast I was walking, how open or closed to dialogue with the locals I felt, etc. "What's wrong with me?", I thought, but I eventually realized that, in general, I was quickly adapting to the local culture. Sometimes I would do the opposite of the local culture to compensate for it, sometimes I would emulate it directly, without any apparent logic behind my behavior changes.

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Good business, bad business

Marco Moreira

As the world gets more complex, we are starting to run out of easy answers for questions that were previously straightforward. Take the difference between businesses and charities, for example. Roughly speaking, it used to be that business made money and charities gave it away. Business focused on maximizing "shareholder value" and the mishaps along the way could be called "externalities", while charities fixed the externalities. But the world got more complex and now we have some odd situations complicating what was once a simple question to answer.

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