Adversarial Interoperability

As I make my way through the various predictions & reflections that accompany the new year, one stands out: the EFF’s 2019 Year In Review, entitled “Dodging Bullets on the Path to a Decentralized Future“. I have long been disappointed that there have seemed to be two separate and parallel conversations going on: the “traditional”… Continue reading

Slides: Crypto @ Harvard Kennedy School

Last week, as I have done for the last several years, I gave a guest lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  The class is DPI-662: Digital Government: Technology, Policy, and Public Service Innovation taught by my old friend David Eaves and the topic in recent years has been on Cryptonetworks and Blockchains. I… Continue reading

CoinAlts Chicago: Fireside Chat w Sam McIngvale of Coinbase Custody

A few weeks ago at the CoinAlts conference in Chicago, I did a fireside chat with Sam McIngvale, CEO of Coinbase Custody.  CoinAlts is a conference focused mostly on the institutional infrastructure around crypto assets — legal, accounting, custody, etc.  So we started out talking about the evolving role of custody in the crypto markets,… Continue reading

How to Read a Pitch

Yesterday, we had a team offsite at USV, which included a “presentation party” where a bunch of us gave 3-minute presentations on a variety of topics. It was actually a perfect window into everyone’s personality — Andy gleaned lessons about venture capital from music lyrics (of course), Albert talked about beauty in math focusing on… Continue reading

A Visual Guide to the Howey Test

Disclaimer: I am  not a lawyer, and I am not your lawyer.  I have been in an uncountable number of conversations over the past few years discussing the question of what defines a “security” in the context of cryptocurrencies, cryptonetworks, and token offerings.  Here is my current understanding, including a number of key questions I… Continue reading

Cryptonetworks and why tokens are fundamental

“Cryptonetworks” can help us build a more competitive, innovative, secure and decentralized Internet.  “Tokens” (also known as cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets) are integral to the operation of cryptonetworks.  As we design new laws and regulations in this emerging space, we should keep these concepts in mind, beyond the financial aspects that are today’s primary focus. In… Continue reading

The Next Web Amsterdam: Purpose, Mission & Strategy

Last month, I went to the (most beautiful city in the world) Amsterdam, to speak at The Next Web Conference.  I did two talks, one at a sub-event focused on tech & social issues, on the topic of Data & Power, which I will post when it comes online, and a main stage talk on… Continue reading

Personal Democracy Forum NYC: Regulating with Data

At this year’s Personal Democracy Forum, the theme was “the tech we need“. One of the areas I’ve been focused on here is the need for “regulatory tech”.  In other words, tools & services to help broker the individual / government & corporation / regulator relationship. In a nutshell: we are entering the information age, and… Continue reading

Shift Conference Croatia: The Cycles of Domination and Disruption

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Split, Croatia to speak at the Shift Conference, a large gathering of entrepreneurs and hackers from eastern and southern Europe. I had a great time meeting folks from that part of the world, and it was awesome to spend two days at the beautiful Croatian National Theatre in Split.… Continue reading

Regulation, the Internet way

Today at USV, we are hosting our 4th semiannual Trust, Safety and Security Summit.  Brittany, who manages the USV portfolio network, runs about 60 events per year — each one a peer-driven, peer-learning experience, like a mini-unconference on topics like engineering, people, design, etc. The USV network is really incredible and the summits are a big… Continue reading

OuiShareFest Paris: Venture Capital vs. Community Capital

Photo: Rudy (Loïs) Pignot I am in Paris this week for OuiShareFest, and spoke yesterday morning during the opening session.  OuiShareFest is in its third year as a large international gathering of folks interested in the peer/collaborative/sharing/networked society, put on by the community organization OuiShare. The topic of this year’s fest is “lost in transition”, and… Continue reading

Yahoo! User First Conference: Winning on Trust

“It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go round.” — Joseph Stiglitz, In No One We Trust The week before last, I visited Yahoo! to give the keynote talk at their User First conference, which brought together big companies (Google, Facebook, etc), startups (big ones like USV portfolio company CloudFlare and lots of way smaller ones), academics,… Continue reading

Why It’s Expensive to be Poor (And Why It Shouldn’t Be)

I spent the day yesterday at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in DC, at an event discussing mobile payments and related innovations and regulatory issues. Naturally, this is a big issue, with the huge rush to mobile everything, the continued expansion of software-powered web businesses, and the emergence of new payment technologies (from far-out tech… Continue reading

PDF NYC: Powered By Us: Architecting Policy for a Connected World

Yesterday I gave a talk at this year’s Personal Democracy Forum.  For those who don’t know it, PDF is a great event, and is now in its 10th year of bringing together the community of folks working at the intersection of tech, politics, and civics.  You can see all the talks from yesterday (and today’s… Continue reading

Peer Progress and Regulation 2.0

Yesterday I spent the day at Princeton with Steve Schultze and the rest of the team at the Center for Information Technology Policy. The topic of my talk was “Peer Progress and Regulation 2.0” — something I’ve been thinking and talking about over the past several months, but haven’t yet written a ton about.  That… Continue reading

Peer Networks and Health Innovation

Yesterday, I went down to DC to visit the US Dept of Health and Human Services – and presented to their Innovation Council (a cross functional working group on innovation) about opportunities to bring “networked thinking” into the health space. This is clearly such an important area, with huge opportunities for personal and societal benefit.  It’s also… Continue reading