April 26, 2022
Dick Bryan on counting differently and its consequences on credit, collateral and expression of value. In the current capitalist economies, the question of what constitutes ‘Value’ is directly tied to the question of what counts. The principal counting criterion is profitability: the more profitable a production process (what we call a performance) is, the more it registers on a profit-based counting system and more Value it is deemed to create. That’s just as true of Marx’s labor values as it is of neoclassical economic market values. But not everything created in current society complies with this capitalist rule. There are many socially valuable outputs that aren’t profitable, and aren’t counted systematically, but they keep being produced. In the conventional wisdom, their provision must be understood as a consequence of at least one of the following: philanthropy, subsidy or irrationality; or they are just dismissed as ‘non-economic’, and hence unworthy of measurement. They are framed as innately unsustainable, and so survive only via private and public ‘generosity’.
January 20, 2022
Dick Bryan on macro. Investing in crypto should be understood both as a short position and a long position. What does that mean? The short position is a bet that currently-known assets are entering a period of uncertain prices and potentially general decline. As economic assets they are passé. But the long position involves seeing the cryptoeconomy not just as an alternative asset class within a capitalist economy, but as a different notion of an asset itself.
September 21, 2020
What Comes After Decentralized Finance?
‘DeFi’ is a hot topic in the cryptospace but often reproduces conventional financial and capitalist organizational forms. Could financial protocols be used also to create non-exploitative forms of production and risking-together? This is what ECSA is proposing in their economic paper “The Economic Space Protocol: Towards Protocols for Post-Capitalist Economic Expression”
A discussion with Dick Bryan (University of Sydney, ECSA) and Akseli Virtanen (Economic Space Agency) on what comes after DeFi? What is that new thing that the native properties of the emerging p2p networking technology actually make possible (vs. doing the same finance just with a more capable substrate)?
In the discussion Dick and Akseli propose an answer: a post-capitalist economic media. But what does that mean? It means the production of many different “values” and the use of DeFi-like money market, credit, staking & exchange protocols for collateralizing, circulating and allowing many different kinds of values (like for example care, research, the environment, open source….) to access the accounting system, become stakeable, and conceptualized as “surplus”.
The economic networking protocols ECSA has designed allow the expression of any informational event or activity (and their compositions) as a value proposition, their encoding into a token form and entering into a value accounting, staking and circulation system. This is called “performance” in the economic paper; and the paper outlines a value theory of performance.
The Economic Space Protocol forms (A) a partition resistant & scalable market place [distributed exchange protocol] (B) a distributed payment & settlement network [distributed credit issuance & clearance protocol], and (C) distributed risk-sharing/ownership formation network [distributed equity protocol] among n-parties for these multi-dimensional value performances and their productions.
By doing this it also allows the expression of distributed production organization around these values (kind of like DAOs… but more expressible, composable, flexible, granular i.e. where multiple agents can at the same time participate in the design and operating of shared ownership/risk-sharing structures).
Together these capabilities combine into a new medium, or a new grammar, for economic-organizational expression. It is a new kind of internet native and very expressive economic platform for the information age.
The nature of our “economy” (our economic-organizational composition) is bound by the expressivity of the language that can conceive it. We have created a much more expressive language/medium – which is free to use and gives everyone the same capacities of expression – to describe and participate in our economic-organizational formations.
MoneyLab #9 Playgrounds for Post-Capitalism, Helsinki September 19-20, 2020. moneylab9.m-cult.org/