Archive

Prof. Jonathan Beller

15 Oct 2019

Prof. Benjamin Lee

15 Oct 2019

“Economic Protocols for Liquidity Creation, Staking & Value Expression” MIT PROTOCOLS FOR A CRYPTOECONOMIC NETWORK

Prof. Dick Bryan (Chief Economist, ECSA) unpacks how the vision of an Economy firmly rooted in cooperation and mutual issuance of liquidity manifests in a multifarious system of tokens.
15 min

“We are existing inside a capitalist Economy, and at the same time trying to create an alternative to the capitalist economy. (…) We are not a sect. We are trying to say this alternative Economy has to have porous boundaries.

This ECSA economy will come alongside commodity exchanges that individual people will do in a capitalist society. The porosity of the boundary adds complexity to the analysis. What we had to worked towards is – How can we not quarantine this total economy? How can we give privilege to a certain set of metrics that will give people the pursuing individual goals and incentives to pursue things that are not driven by profitability? So we are not adverse to individualism, but we can decouple indivudualism from profitability.

We believe inside all people there is a desire to do social good, but the problem with the profit system is that it doesn’t give oxygen to do that. We are saying we are designing something that will encorage and nurture people to do social good.”
(from min 6:29)

“A Distributed Exchange Protocol” MIT PROTOCOLS FOR A CRYPTOECONOMIC NETWORK

In concise descriptions, Jorge Lopez (Chief Architect, ECSA) outlines an innovative model of a distributed exchange protocol and its computational implications.
15 min

Jorge Lopez (Chief Architect, ECSA): “Instead of having an algorithm that is constantly maximising that spread, as to maximise profit, what ECSA is proposing is the introduction of another index, and maximising within another metric format. The (singular) profit maximisation takes a secondary place. While this logic ensures that you don’t go out of self-sustainability, you no longer try to play that game of maximising the spread. The information system is enough for you to assess what would happen if you were to enter this trade as a calculation of maximization for an increase or decrease of a particular index. By pursuing the increase of another index, different economic decisions, different trades, and offers are made at the effect that therefore the economic agent pursues something else.
(…) Therefore, it is an explicite, deliberate change of the goal of the game.”

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan

October 2019

Money and Credit in a Cryptoeconomy (Draft)

We aim to show that functionalist definitions of money (unit of account, means of exchange, store of value) do not define what money is, but only the roles that fiat money is called on to perform. They shut down the broader question of what money is, or could be, in the era of its digital redesignability.

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan

November 2019

What is Stability? The Time of Alternative Money (unpublished draft)

‘Stablecoins’ have claims to legitimacy because they avert the supposed principal flaw of cryptotokens: their price volatility. But whose stability is stable? What is the appropriate benchmark for ‘stability’? 

Akseli Virtanen

15 Oct 2019

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan, Jorge Lopez

15.10.2019

MIT Cryptoeconomic Systems Summit ’19 – discussion (video)

Panel discussion of the event “Protocols for a Cryptoeconomic Network – with Akseli Virtanen, Jorge Lopez, Dick Bryan, Jonathan Beller, Benjamin Lee.”

Jorge Lopez (Chief Architect, ECSA):
“We see profit-making as an index. Profit making would be a goal that each agent would try to maximise. It influences the decision making process by which /offers/ are made and accepted.

Instead of having an algorithm that is constantly maximising that spread, as to maximise profit, what ECSA is proposing is the introduction of another index, and maximising within another metric format. The (singular) profit maximisation takes a secondary place. While this logic ensures that you don’t go out of self-sustainability, you no longer try to play that game of maximising the spread. The information system is enough for you to assess what would happen if you were to enter this trade as a calculation of maximization for an increase or decrease of a particular index. By pursuing the increase of another index, different economic decisions, different trades, and offers are made at the effect that therefore the economic agent pursues something else.
(…) Therefore, it is an explicite, deliberate change of the goal of the game.”

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan

23.9.2019

Crypto-political Economy (Podcast)

If we understand the protocols of Economy being formulated by a set of correlating grammars, how do we re-approproate and transform them towards a post-capitalist version? Regarding the conjunction of Economy and Politics on the agenda, it should be noted that although ECSA’s grammar is capable of expressing capitalist network protocols, it effectively surpasses them. It can encompass capitalist value calculus, but express more qualified values. The grammar we propose refuses their collapse into the monological value-expression that disqualifies non-money values as economic externalities.

Duration: 1h

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan

24.09.2019

ECSA Vision: Economic grammar for the information age (podcast)

At Supermarkt Berlin Prof. Dick Bryan (Chief Economist, ECSA) and Akseli Virtanen (Co-Founder ECSA) discuss causes of central bank fragility and fungible approaches towards capitalist protocols. ECSA’s upcoming White Paper took on the remit of a much needed new economic grammar that intensifies liquidity and relationality in peer-to-peer stakeholding.

Akseli Virtanen

3 oct. 2019

Towards Post-Capitalism: A Language for New Economic Expression

In the course of writing the upcoming white paper Protocols for Cryptoeconomic Networks, we have realized that we are creating a language for new economic expression. It can express capitalist network protocols, but even more, it can go beyond them. It is capable of valuing, for example, the biosphere, care, intangibles and social innovation — without reducing their information into one index of price and one measuring unit of profitability. It is a post-capitalist language (a language for post-capitalist economic expression), in a literal sense.

Akseli Virtanen, Dick Bryan, Jorge Lopez

October 2019

Crypto-Political Economy. Transcending Hayek and his digital disciples

Is cryptoeconomy just a refinement and acceleration of a capitalist economy or can it create a new understanding of Economy? This article explains how it could be either or, indeed both, by introducing the chapter “Crypto-Political Economy” of our upcoming white paper.

“The technology permits both capitalist and social versions to be designed centrally or in a distributed way. In both cases, there are clear cost and speed advantages of cryptoeconomic platforms because of the absence of need for central clearing houses, and we see large corporations and states adopting the technology for fast, low cost and accurate record keeping.”

Towards Post-Capitalism

This article discusses a crucial tool that we work with: the notion of a grammar pervading the protocols of Economy.

As all our efforts go into the creation of a language for new forms of economic expression, it should be noted that although ECSA’s grammar is capable of expressing capitalist network protocols, it effectively surpasses them. It can encompass capitalist value calculus, but express more qualified values. The grammar we propose refuse their collapse into the monological value-expression that disqualifies non-money values as economic externalities.

Podcast: Transcending Hayek and his digital disciples.

Akseli and Dick discussing premises of the upcoming ECSA economic white paper: Economy as a network. Capitalism as a narrow definition of a network. Hayek and his digital disciples. Price, market and the rule of profit as a protocol. How to challenge a capitalist protocol?  At the core of the ECSA project: The creation of a post-capitalist economic grammar.

Podcast: An Economic grammar for the information age

What is the ECSA vision? Why is capitalism under stress right now? Why are the central banks looking so fragile? Is it possible to get out of capitalism and its detrimental protocols, which are not so safe as it claims? Can capitalism short itself? Find out about the juxtaposition of politics and finance: the ECSA offer as a short position and a long position. 

Network derivatives, synthetic indices, distributed value forms

This article discusses the discovering a new distributed value form and value calculus which are different to the capitalist commodity form and calculation of value…

“We have been working on a token which draws on frontier approaches to finance and valuation, accentuating liquid, derivative exposures. Our token issuance will remain in direct proportion to trends in the value of produced output.”

Dick Bryan, Benjamin Lee, Robert Wosnitzer, Akseli Virtanen

September 2018

Economics back into Cryptoeconomics

This article offers a detailed comparison of definitions relevant to cryptoeconomics, encompassing the components at play. In revealing that the underlying economics of current blockchain endeavors is remarkably conventional and conservative, this articles evinces pathways and hacks towards radical post-capitalist alternatives.

Dick Bryan

May 2018

Valuation Crisis and Crypto Economy

Could we think of a thresholding, a binding, an accounting system — a token valuation system — in which organizations operating within ECSA (the so called “economic spaces”, our version of 21st century modes of economic association) nominate the performance criteria by which they want their assets and output to be valued: ways that will specifically address the contributions of intangible capital and immaterial labour, so that social contribution can be recorded in ways that best befit those contributions?

Dick Bryan and Akseli Virtanen

May 2018

Whose stability? Reframing stability in the crypto economy

Cryptocurrencies are not just ‘money’ — they are part money, part asset and part political organization — and these other dimensions must impact the way we see ‘stability’…. Money is a social relation, not just a technical mechanism. 

Dick Bryan and Akseli Virtanen

May 2018

What is a crypto economy? And why now?

Crypto economy announces new economic possibilities that, while not entirely novel in their vision, are wildly new in the conception of their reach and mode of organization. What are the breakdowns in economic conventions? What are the key features of the emerging crypto economy?

Glossary

  1. Derivative

    This composable economic instrument of risk exposure works as following: an individual or a collective is taking a financial position on the change in the index on an underlier, without needing the ownership of the underlier itself. Written on one or more underlying assets, the Derivative is designed to manage risk, preserve wealth and provide liquidity. 

    See: Network derivative, Social Derivative

  2. Liquidity Bridge

    The ECSA Token constitutes the Liquidity Bridge between existing capital market and Economic Spaces.

  3. Liquidity Of Value

    The capacity to change, to move (a particular Right) without a dominant unit of exchange.

  4. Money

    We see Money as an order of value abstraction. Classically, the roles that fiat Money is called on to perform, are: measure, medium of exchange and store of value. By understanding Money as a set of Protocols – not as a “coin” but rather a Token – the Protocol can be redesigned to allow ‘Money’ to become something beyond its classical functionality. In this model, the basic functions of Money are being disaggregated and Protocolized separately, because they are different building blocks of the social.

  5. Network derivative

    The Network derivative exemplifies how a Token works, in the way that ECSA’s conceives it. Network derivatives allow valuation to be expressed ‘beyond’ price, an array of qualitative indexes of ‘expressed knowledge’. In programming languages, these Tokens must speak the same transactional language and be interoperable.

    See: Derivative

  6. Network Performance Index

    A unit that measures or tracks one or more dimensions of value (or “performance”), as one magnitude. An index counts performance occurrences, “events”, and increases according to them. A performance index can be Tokenized.

     

  7. Peer-To-Peer Credit

    Peer-to-peer credit is one of the forms that Self-issuance may take. Token issuance starts with an offer and is realized on acceptance of the offer. Users exchange Tokens grafted to their economic Spaces in effect issuing each other credit in an act of mutual Trust. This provides users with liquidity. Rather than paying interest for liquidity as one does with tradition credit in capitalist sytems, here one offers and recieves Trust on a peer to peer basis. This economic dyad becomes the basic building block of the social and economic fabric of the ECSA platform.

     

  8. Post-blockchain

    This is a simple term to cover the combination of cryptography, secure distributed computation, object capabilities and blockchain technology.

  9. Protocol

    A named sequence of expressions, describing actions across real and virtual Spaces to be performed to completion (and as a whole).

  10. Right

    Interchangeable with value

  11. Self-issuance

    The ability and Right to issue Tokens grafted to any project, where Tokens are understood as a primary user-interface and building block of an economic Space. Thus Self-issuance is a way to design economic Space and to write Social Derivatives.

  12. Social Consensus (Governance)

    When we say blockchains are “Trustless,” what we mean is that there are mechanisms in place by which all parties in the system can reach a consensus on what the canonical truth is. Power and Trust is distributed or shared among the network’s stakeholders, rather than concentrated in a single individual or entity (e.g. banks, governments, and financial institutions).

  13. Social Derivative

    See Derivative

  14. Social Derivative

     A social form designed to manage contingency on the way to desirable outcomes in a volatile world. Seeking an upside on the volatility wave of social practices before they were formalized financially. Financial forms include options: calls, puts and then and then more complex Derivative instruments — in all cases, they are positions on volatility. 

  15. Space

    A programmable environment enabled by the Space language. An organisational calculus to reason about and describe networks as relationships and interactions between Agents within a Space.

    Within Space’s Semantics, Space is a stateful container that binds resources and agents together, creating a relationship where their expressions and interactions gain a context.

  16. Token

    The computer generated Token is an asset with a Protocol that describes and enables its functionality. Its programability expands the classical function of Money. It can be a real-world asset, a utility, a meaning, or all of these. It is a structured interface with a network, a building block of economic Space, a form of expression and a Derivative.

  17. Transactions

    Transaction within an Economic Space holds a variety of relational possibilities that aim to strengthen synergies, create securities and value intangibles. Transactions are not simply to clear the market, but to build mutual knowledge that can potentially transform what gets transacted towards a thriving ecosystem. Each individual economic Space Token accordingly shares a common Token.

  18. Trust

    Blockchains minimize the amount of Trust required from any single actor in the system. They do this by distributing Trust among different actors in the system via cooperation with the rules defined by the Protocol.

  19. Unit of Account

    The unit of measure of value, that allows two or more Tokens to be put at par and facilitate an exchange. See: Network Performance Index

     

  20. Value Calculus

    Social relations are majorly influenced by the ways in which value is being determined. It is a well known fact that price is as a form of coordination, with effects on every individual, every corporation and every government participating in fiat markets. The ECSA stack allows a discourse to take place where Finance traditionally does not concede it. This discourse is automatically part of a mathematical procedure, its results take place in the calculation of price. These steadily updated forms of measurement allow value to be distributed and  allow new definitions of “surplus” to emerge.