How Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain Will Change the World (And How it Changed My Life)

in #cryptocurrency4 years ago (edited)

This might come as a surprise to some, but towards the beginning of this year, I was flat-out broke.  After the startup I came to work for in San Francisco ran out of money, I tried to make ends meet by working at random jobs around town -- some of which barely paid above minimum wage.  I lacked the levels of experience needed for a senior level job, but at the same time had too much to be considered for entry-level positions.  I was stuck in limbo.

After several instances where I literally had less than 100 bucks in my checking account, I began to wonder if I was really cut out to be in Silicon Valley to begin with.  The cost of living was too high, and the jobs I was getting wasn't paying me enough to get by -- I gave myself a few more months to try to figure it out, after which I would probably be forced to leave the city and go back home.

Fast-forwarding over to today:

- I have a good job that I love (and pays enough to stay in the area)

- I managed to pay off ALL my loans

- I'm in good enough financial shape now to actually consider homeownership

- I have enough to comfortably fund music and creative projects that I've been wanting to do for a while.

How did it all happen?  Cryptocurrency.  And I'm not even kidding.

I was fortunate enough to get in early on a few coins, and after the prices started to go crazy earlier this year, it gave me enough of a cushion to take care of my basic necessities while I continued looking for work.  The second climb in price started almost exactly when I started my new job, in an odd coincidence of timing.  The last few months have been mostly a blur since it feels like I'm starting everything over from scratch -- new job, new environments, new people, new opportunities and new possibilities.

So given my personal experience, you'll probably see me raving and ranting about various cryptocurrency related things, at least for a while.  I do strongly believe in the technology's ability to change the world -- crypto gave me a second chance at life, and think that it can do the same for others as well.  (I am super-biased of course, but hey now.)

People will, however, have to be smart about how to handle this new technology, because it is very easy to get distracted by the endless possibilities and temptations to get-rich-quick.  When I put my initial stake in crypto some years ago, I wasn't thinking about money at all -- I just thought it was a cool idea that had a lot of potential.  (I didn't even bother telling my family, friends, or girlfriend at the time since I didn't think it was all that important!)  When the price started to rise I actually had to scramble to find my private key since it didn't even cross my mind that it was ever going to be a thing.  A pleasant surprise, to say the least.

The cryptocurrency community has lost some of its purity since money started pouring into the ecosystem, and the atmosphere of it reminds me a lot back when startups were just starting to become the "cool thing" to do.  It's important, however, for us to not forget that what's ultimately going to make or break the movement is the genuine excitement for the technology, not money as a thing-in-itself.  If that can be done, then "changing the world" actually becomes a very real, tangible possibility.

There are lots of articles out there talking about "why" cryptocurrencies will change the world, but a lot of it tends to be very abstract and theoretical since much of it sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie.  Here I'd like to break it down on a nuts-and-bolts level so people can see how the blockchain might find its way into actual products we will end up using in everyday contexts.


Tech Startup Ecosystems are Starting to Stall

You'll probably see a lot of it being plastered in the news as of the late, but Silicon Valley is going through a very painful growth phase in its cultural development right now, as scandal after scandal continues to erode the prestige and trust of the institutions that have governed the process of startup-development up until now.  The truth is that the startup community had lost its innocence a long time ago, when pleasing investors for short-term gains started taking priority over the quality of the technology itself.  We're now just starting to see the fallout from its detrimental effects -- when personality trumps product, the ecosystem starts to falter as a whole.

Symptoms of this dysfunction can be seen in how startups' business models are designed -- many apps being released today have some sort of crowdsourcing element built into it, usually as a procedural short-cut towards the company's data acquisition needs.  This approach worked well for a while, back when the act of "participating" in a newly built platform was still fresh and exciting.  But with the sheer amount of apps out there now, getting people to do your data entry needs for free will increasingly become a hard sell.  The question that people have been asking themselves lately is: "why should I be doing this work for free, when I'm getting nothing in return?"

Techies often talk about taking over the world (or making the world a "better place") out in the open, but it's not necessarily because they're exceptionally ambitious -- it's because crowdsourced models, in it of itself, necessitates a critical mass of user centralization before it becomes of any value.  For many of these startups, NOT taking over the world will result in the whole system falling apart from the inside out, because without it there will be no one left to do the actual work.  Predictably, because not every company has the capacity to take over the world, the vast majority of them end in failure.


The Values and Sensibilities of the Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies, however, operate on a completely different value and growth system, which is why it might seem very weird and alien to our current sensibilities.  If startups are about centralization through asymmetry (i.e. what the startup world calls "distruption"), the blockchain is about decentralization through symmetry.  Discussions about the design of crypto-ecosystems involve topics such as: power distribution, incentive management, growth-over-time, voting -- things that we *should* be talking about all the time as citizens of democratic societies, but usually don't for one reason or another.  Decentralized systems necessitate a deep understanding of balance and symmetry on both small and large scales, since the ecosystems they create have to be naturally self-sustaining.

The beauty of blockchain technology is that a well-balanced system doesn't necessarily need to massively scale for it to be useful.  If an ecosystem fulfills the purpose of the people who use it, that's all it really needs.  Balance, symmetry, fairness and sustenance -- cryptocurrencies represent the values that ought to be the mantras of societies that considers itself progressive and civilized, while providing the tools necessary for local and grassroots communities to thrive on its own.

If nothing else, after reading this article I'd like the reader to understand that cryptocurrency, the blockchain, and other related technologies did not suddenly come out of nowhere, out of the blue.  It's both a rejection and continuation of developments that came directly prior, and must be seen in such a light for it to be properly understood.  People who really believe in the crypto movement have been working at it for many years, after all.

At its core, the blockchain is about incentive management -- the idea that everyone and anyone can get their fair share of the pie.  Everyone is now talking about ICOs as the model to replace venture capital, and it may actually stand a fighting chance now that it has spawned a number of successful ventures already.  Unlike most crowdsourcing platforms out there, ICOs allow for the small-time investor to actually *own* a part of the company, giving them an actual voice and leverage in the process.  And unlike the top-down process of venture capital, ICOs are quasi-democratic in the sense that the decision-making power comes from the bottom up -- if people get disillusioned with the company and decide to leave the platform, the worth of the coin will plummet to virtually nothing.  Unlike most startup ventures out there, ICO-based companies aren't shielded from the market -- their product IS the market, in it of itself.

If you fill out a review on a restaurant-rating app, it's only right that you get at least *some* sort of compensation for your time, no matter how small it might be.  You should get paid every time you post something interesting or worthy on any social media network or platform.  Once a few sites perfect their economic models to make this feasible, there will be virtually no reason to go back to the old ways of doing things, because getting a little of something for what you do is better than getting absolutely nothing, as it is the case right now.  If Web 1.0 was about engineering and Web 2.0 about design, Web 3.0 will be about economics, adding the layer of functionality that the internet has been missing up until this point.

Next, let's look at how the blockchain addresses (and potential solve) many of the "big issues" that our society is currently facing today:

Fake News

A blockchain-enabled, universal content ID system will allow you to easily trace the origins and history of every news article out there, including all of the edits and revisions that were ever made to the article itself.  Not sure about the scientific validity that an article makes in its claims?  Well, just take a look at the checkbox that says "Approved by the FDA" or something similar.  This won't be just a logo or a cheesy stamp that anyone can fabricate -- the approval will be issued by the institution itself while its authenticity verified by multiple parties all at once.

Building trust in the reader will still be an institutional problem, but there will no longer be any confusion regarding where the source of the information originated from since it will all be recorded on a public ledger.  I do believe that a good portion of institutional distrust in today's society stems from bad actors abusing the reader's trust with false reports and false verifications, to the point where the public automatically rolls their eyes whenever they see a claim made by an "official" source.  (Pseudo-scientific articles, anyone?)  The blockchain has the ability to significantly clean up the noise of misinformation that exists in politics, science, culture, data, wiki definitions, discussions about the habits of cats, obscure reference information in comic books, etc.  Everything, basically.

The blockchain will also allow for people to universally create a "verified status" on the internet itself, should they choose to do so.  Twitter verifications mean very little outside of Twitter itself, since the process and label is privately owned.  With this technology, you can check the history of individuals' public actions and records through their blockchain ID (both good and bad) and verify the identity of someone very quickly.  (No more need to deal with randos, in other words.)  Maybe some people might prefer the mystery and danger of the "unverified" classes, but there will no longer be any wolves in sheep's clothing -- when the distinction between the two is made clear, it succeeds in giving meaning to both.

Content Quality

The internet has long run on the naïve view that artists are "lone wolves", cooking up their greatest ideas in some cabin in the middle of the woods somewhere, for months at a time, fueled by divine inspiration.  If you can afford to alienate yourself in such an expensive way more power to you I guess, but it's not how the industry actually works -- most great projects are a result of many different people doing many different things working in tandem.  Even the composer we know as "John Williams" isn't a one-man operation: he has many people who work for and with him.  He has orchestrators, agents, managers, accountants, lawyers, etc. to make sure that he delivers his product in a professional and timely manner.  The name "John Williams" is really just a brand that masks the complex operations that happen behind the scenes.  The failures of the music-tech and art-tech scenes in recent years can mostly be attributed to company's lack of ability or willingness to tackle the complexities behind the process of cultural production.

I remember an exchange few years ago I had with a well-known VC where he called me an "authoritarian" for daring to suggest that a professional musician with years of experience under their belt *probably* deserved to get paid more than an amateur fucking around on a guitar on his first YouTube upload.  The exchange stuck in my mind for a long time because it was really emblematic of how Silicon Valley imagined cultural production to be -- which is to say, a playground for amateurs fueled with the suspicion towards the very idea of expertise.

At the same time, the same VC has said many times, on record, that the content of the internet has been racing towards the bottom for quite some time and that was a shame.  Combined with his Twitter profile that had a quote about how happiness was impossible or some such, my outlook for the art-tech scene became very bleak, since his opinion was regarded very highly in the tech world at the time.  Despite being a smart, fairly open guy, he somehow couldn't see the fact that his negativity was essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy waiting to happen. 

For a while, no one believed that anything *really* bad would happen, though, and even if it did, they thought they would see it coming from a mile away.  Then came the elections.

Even while click-bait and pseudo-scientific articles popped up all over the place, nobody really wanted to believe that society was really starting to spiral in a direction that probably wasn't a very good one.  It started with sloppy research and poorly constructed rhetoric, but it was only a matter of time before the production of outright lies became the run-of-the-mill routine.  What does it matter, after all, when expertise itself has no value?

This is a complex problem that won't be solved by technology alone, but the blockchain does allow for one important thing: automated, easy-to-implement split revenue systems.  As mentioned above, high quality content is always a result of a lot of people from different backgrounds and skills working in tandem, but the amount of administrative, organizational, and legal work that goes into it can be prohibitively large for projects that's just getting started on its feet.  The blockchain allows for complex projects to emerge spontaneously, where every party gets their share of ownership and revenue in a fair and organized way.  And best of all, everything that ever happens to the project is tracked for everyone to see so there will be no misunderstandings about how the revenue is actually distributed among everyone.  This is enough to raise the bar of content quality globally, in it of itself.

Example of it put into practice below:

Using the Musicoin platform, here I've set up a music track in such a way that allows me to split the ownership and revenue of a single music track among multiple parties at a time.  If I find more people who might want to get involved with the project, I can adjust the share percentages in such a way that allows for more people to own a share of the pie.  In electronic music, a few DJs have been known to give a small % to the artists they took samples from -- a shout-out of sorts, if you will -- but with actual money involved.  This is a system that makes a lot of sense for the music industry, but the same system could be applied to virtually any project-related endeavor out there.

Voting

The blockchain naturally splits its ledger records into multiple locations, making it one of the most secure and transparent information distribution systems known up until this point.  This technology is perfect for building voting systems because it is virtually immune to manipulation and tampering by outside forces, at least with current technology.  Our current voting machines are supposedly "secure" but since a lot of the tech is encased in inaccessible black boxes, we don't have much choice but to take the word of the manufacturer at face value.  With the blockchain, every transaction, every vote, every record, will be traced and recorded in plain view for everyone to see.  If there was any sort of tampering, it would show up in obvious ways that allow the public to collectively decide how to respond.

A lot of the controversy behind Russian meddling stems from the fact that we just don't know who's really telling the truth.  Had a blockchain based system been used, we would have known the answer to all of our questions moments after the election itself took place.

Elections in Online Communities

I wrote about this issue a while ago, but the social systems of the internet can generally be considered feudal or autocratic, due to its class-based, non-negotiable hierarchical systems.  This might be a controversial thing to say,  but I do really believe that the internet generally rewards authoritarians over diplomats, due to its skewed incentive structures.

When was the last time you voted on something on the internet where the results actually mattered?  Do we vote for our moderators or representatives in our communities online?  No, and this has never been true, in the entire history of the internet itself.

Most blockchain systems have voting mechanisms built into it by default, which is often used to make big decisions regarding major updates and upgrades to the platform overall.  During a major crisis last year when a DAO related to Ethereum was hacked, the community was faced with a difficult decision: should they "revert" back to the old state before the money was stolen, or continue to press on in the interest of fairness and facing the consequences of neglect?  A lot of conspiracy theories have floated around since then, but the story basically boils down to the fact that the Ethereum founders created a proposition and let the community itself decide how to respond to the event.  In startups, leadership dictates the decision-making process entirely -- in the blockchain, leadership can be seen more as stewards or servants of the community itself.

Keep in mind that this is how things already work in corporate environments, so the idea of shareholders voting on company decisions itself isn't anything new.  But it is a big deal that barriers of entry into this strange, quasi-democratic world has now suddenly disappeared, to the point where anyone with a few coins on hand can get involved whenever they want.


Income Inequality

Behind the circus show that has become the political norm these days, is an underlying, deep seated problem that nobody wants to deal with: income inequality.  Income inequality has slowly been on the rise since the 1970s -- people have warned about its repercussions for years but politicians have failed to reverse its trend even until this day.  Unfortunately when the income gap gets too wide, people's education-levels start to diverge, increasing the likelihood of a populist revolt.  For those of us lucky enough to live in first-world nations, we may have to endure the burden of having an idiot for a leader for a few years, but it does beat the alternative: had the populists not expressed their concerns through their vote, they would surely be doing it through violence and destruction by now.  In the world of product management where I spent some time, we might call this useful "user feedback" on the state of society that we live in today.

The internet was supposed to be an all-encompassing, democratizing force, but ended up reinforcing the status-quo due to its crude, heiarchical social structures.  The reason: Web 1.0-2.0 protocols were built with the idea of information transmission in mind, but not of money.  We talk about ideas and sentiments, but not about how much they are worth in the overall scheme of things.  Because of this, the internet implicity trains people to talk about culture, but not of economics, which is very much reflected in the type of discourse that is happening in the media today. 

By giving software developers the ability to write financial transactions directly into code, we're paving a way towards a new kind of internet that's better reflective of how the world works in the broader sense of the word.  It's the economy, stupid, in other words. 

There are now millions of people -- many of whom with no investment experience prior -- getting into cryptocurrency as investors and miners.  You might find it surprising that some of them seem to be confused by the fact that the market sometimes goes up, and sometimes goes down.  You will also see others who lack the basic math skills needed to understand the difference between absolute and percentage values.  It's easy to make fun of them if you come from a background with good education, but if you keep in mind that many of these folks are coming from poor neighborhoods and foreign countries, it starts to make a little more sense.  This could be their first -- and perhaps only -- opportunity to play the role of an investor in their entire lives, so the fact that they might not know what they're doing should not be all that surprising.

There will no doubt be many mistakes made and a lot of people will end up losing a lot of money, but in the long run I'm confident that people will learn to become smarter and wiser with what they have.  If there's anything humans are good at, its their ability to populate and milk a system dry for everything that it's worth.  Sometimes, though, you have to learn the hard way for some life lessons to stick. 

To make it worth all the while in the end, however, we need to make sure that the system itself is fair, just, and yields the desired outcome that we're all looking for in the end.  That really should be the mission of the crypto-startups that are starting to bubble up today -- don't bother practicing telling investors what they want to hear -- just focus on building a good product.  Your burn rate could literally go to infinite the moment you lose the trust of your supporters so there is no room for BS at any given point.  That's how crypto works, for better or worse.

--

If the blockchain does even 10% of what it claims it does, it will already be successful in making major changes to how business practices operate worldwide.  After reading this I'm hoping that people will understand that the excitement and hype behind the crypto movement isn't some unwashed dream -- it really does have the capability to change the world, with many (decentralized) legs to stand on.  It may take a few years to maturate, but the fact that this will become part of the infrastructure layer for Web 3.0 seems almost inevitable to me, at this point.

Oh, and here's an epic 45 minute improv I did on the Musicoin network.  Sort of a Keith-Jarrett style solo improv all done in one take on my Wurlitzer electric piano, with no cuts or edits.  (Style is a mix of Bach, jazz, and minimalism, I'd say.)  The good stuff comes around the 30-45 minute mark, if you can be patient enough to wait for the ideas to grow slowly over time.  HODL, and give the technology the space and time for it to go where it needs to go.  :)




Musicoin Track - Ethereum


(Will probably be periodically uploading tracks named after some of my favorite coins at my Musicoin page here.)

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Simething i was searchung cor and u uoload that nice

good insights... a lot of them, very long article, will have to reread

Awesome post, thanks for sharing (:

Hi @ryangtanaka, I am very happy for you that you were able to stand up again through the cryptocurrency investments.

Although the info you included in your post are very important, I must admit, they are hard to digest in one read. Especially for someone new to the cryptocurrency world like me.

I noticed this part of what you said:

The beauty of blockchain technology is that a well-balanced system doesn't necessarily need to massively scale for it to be useful. If an ecosystem fulfills the purpose of the people who use it, that's all it really needs. Balance, symmetry, fairness and sustenance -- cryptocurrencies represent the values that ought to be the mantras of societies that considers itself progressive and civilized, while providing the tools necessary for local and grassroots communities to thrive on its own.

Although these may have been the original values that the blockchain world was built on, I believe that the cryptocurrency world is losing these values at a rapid speed.
I say that considering the issues that we are facing in steemit, from monopolizing power and votes, to voting abuse by big dudes, to starvation by minnows, to mafia locality rules between whales...etc

I am not trying to paint the picture with black, but certainly we have black spots in the big picture that need to be cleaned or dealt with.
I believe that, wherever there are people, there will be some abuse in any system, no matter how decentralized we want to think it is.

This point is important to understand for the new-to-the-game-people, who are used to unfair governments and are promised with a Utopia in the form of cryptocurrency and blockchain worlds. Otherwise, their shock may be very hard on them, especially with the little knowledge they have about this world.

Many thanks for sharing your point of view and your story. If I may suggest, and I hope you dont take it hard, it would be great if you could make series of shorter posts in the future about the subject you would like to talk about, especially when it is related to cryptocurrency. It will help everyone to focus and understand more about it, as well as appreciate your explanations of it.

Best of luck to all of us in this new world :)

Hey theleapingkoala (nice name, btw), thanks for the feedback. This was going to be my first "real" post here so I decided to go all the way with this one. My focus tends to be long-form content, but conciseness is something I'm working on, too. (This post probably could've been broken up into smaller chunks for one -- for the future I'll take more of that into consideration.)

Yeah, I totally get some of your worries there -- I don't have any expectations that crypto will solve all of our problems since most problems are human problems, but it does give us some tools to deal with the big issues that our society faces today, at least. So I think that it's still an endeavor worth pursuing for that alone. If nothing else, it gives us something to do instead of just getting stuck.

Have you thought about power failures with regard to this type of money? What happens in a large scale disaster like the Houston Hurricane? What happens when the power grid fails and does for quite a long time? I think that crypto is not sustainable -- it takes a lot of electricity, and thereby, hidden (at first glance), financial costs to sustain this type of money. And then again the big banksters will definitely own this space as well -- they are just waiting for everyone to do the major work for them, to iron out all the kinks, and then once that happens -- they will come in and take over. You will see. Never write off a bankster ... :) In any case, Gold is still the Only True Reliable Storage of Value Medium of Exchange, and it will be so as long as humanity will last.

Well if the power grid goes down there will be more to worry about than the state of financial regulations, I think, lol. Even the stock market is based on the assumption that society as a whole will grow and become more prosperous over time so you have to have some faith either way.

I don't think that banks are ever going away, especially since some of them seem to be smart enough to get in on the trend to try to reduce their bureaucratic costs. From a certain perspective it's a very practical tool for organizations to save a lot of money, and as long as that's there it will continue to grow.

its refreshing to read from someone with some serious perspective on cryptocurrency.

Dear @ryangtanaka, Many Thanks for accepting my words with big heart and for your reply.

your words

So I think that it's still an endeavor worth pursuing for that alone. If nothing else, it gives us something to do instead of just getting stuck.

Are very beautiful words indeed.

Thanks again for the post and the reply :)

As a new steemer. It's nice hearing another side of the story 😀

Glad this has been pointed out.

Utopian ideals are lovely, but the reality is far from them.

I can see that this technology tends towards operating in an overtly socialistic manner. It is definitely not immune from centralization (as is currently the case with the reward pool here and the top earners draining it with spammy techniques).

Adopting a genuine free market approach and ditching the socialist elements would be a good start towards aligning this with true blue utopian ideals.


New Post!

Glad we are having similar way of thinking.
It would be great if someone big and involved in steemit regulations considers what you are suggesting

Adopting a genuine free market approach and ditching the socialist elements would be a good start towards aligning this with true blue utopian ideals.

Here is hoping.

Many thanks for engaging the discussion and sharing your opinion :)

No prob, I'm just glad to have been able to offer something valuable to the discussion. :)

I think I'll write a quick post outlining my proposed fix. It's relatively simple, but the "whales" aren't liable to like it much.

They'll be a lot of different types of systems that come out of crypto, I think -- some tending towards centralization, others towards decentralization. Both have their pros and cons, but I do believe that it will increase the amount of transparency in the process overall just because of the way the technology works. I know that some are distrustful of people working in big organizations, but a lot of them just want to do their jobs better, too.

One thing that people ought to be more aware of is that modern societies are already decentralized to some degree. The separation of federal/state/city governments and the three branches of government are good examples. Decentralization just means that you don't have to run every single decision past the president in order to keep things running. (Thank god, really.) Crypto just allows for our technology to better reflect how society already works.

I would like to see crypto give users the ability to vote on things that actually matter to them. The current state of social media is very top-down, whether techies want to admit to it or not, imo.

Very cool points.

I'd love to see crypto actually bring about positive advancements in how our current world systems operate. Only time will tell.

Yeah me too. We should be cautious with our optimism, but I do think this technology can make a lot of things better for us in the long run.

Definitely worth the read thanks! I totally agree! Upvoted followed and resteemed!

Wow what a journey! I brought some music coin today without really looking to the platform if I'm honest. I'm glad i came across your post

It's an early stage project so it might be rough around the edges but I'm pretty impressed by what the Musicoin team is trying to do. Their estimated timeline for their product to be fully ready is 2019, so make sure you take the long view. :)

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"Unfortunately when the income gap gets too wide, people's education-levels start to diverge, increasing the likelihood of a populist revolt."

What evidence do you have that:
a) income gap causes education-level divergence?
b) education-level divergence increases likelihood of populist revolt?
c) populist revolt is an undesirable outcome?

Thanks.

This is a pattern that happens in history over and over -- you could take a look at the various peasant riots that happened in Europe and Asia if you want well-recorded historical documentation, but it's pretty much everywhere, really.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_peasant_revolts

There are a lot of factors that lead to rebellion but income inequality becomes a central theme when social cohesion starts to crumble as it is the case in many places in the world right now. It's possible to squelch dissent through the brutal application of force (like North Korea) but is that the world we really want to be living in?

Nations we call "civilized" smartened up and realized that you can avoid bloodshed by allowing people to express their dissent through their vote, rather than through violence. So we do have an opportunity to fix some of the underlying issues before the situations starts to devolve even more.

I don't think we can attribute peasant revolts to income disparity, per se. Even if we could, we have much more income mobility now than in the past, I would think.

All else being equal (assuming no inflation), if top earners were earning $1 Trillion, and bottom earners earning $1 Million, then would income disparity, in itself, still be a problem?

I presume not. So income disparity is not the problem. What is the problem? Low earners aren't earning "enough". But what is "enough" when bottom earners in US still live lavishly compared to other countries?

All that said, when is enough "enough"? In other words, how much should the bottom income be?

Fair points, but for the United States, at least, their whole identity is based around the idea of income mobility, so when those opportunities start to disappear, people will get very angry and restless. Most Americans accept the fact that there will be disparities in outcome, but at the same time, believe that equality in opportunity is essential for our society to thrive.

So in order to reduce unrest, we have 2 options:

  1. Fix the economic system to preserve our ideals and way of life. or

  2. Change our ideals and culture to match the "reality" that we now live in a class-based society with an immutable social hierarchy.

I'm sure there are some who don't mind #2, but that outcome is not acceptable to me nor many others, I think.

I agree that we need to preserve and promote income mobility. I think we can preserve it by repealing regulations and taxes, allowing a strong economy.

For promoting income mobility, I'm not opposed to some UBI. The question is, how much?

Hmm, health care and putting a cap on spiraling education costs would be a good start, but a lot of that is kind of out of the scope of what crypto can do, unfortunately. Either way I don't think it makes sense to set an arbitrary target since there are individual issues we can talk about with more specificity which could lead to actual improvements in people's lives. (But not here, since there are probably better threads for that already out there.)

One thing that crypto can do, however, is change the way we talk about the issues on a day to day basis, which imo is it's real power for change. I feel like a lot of people right now don't really have a good grasp on how economic and political systems work, and a lot of it is due to the fact that the technology we use everyday is based on a fantasy where everything is free and non-negotiated. With crypto, though, you can embed the act of trading and voting into our daily routines. And the hope is that given these experiences, people will just get better at being better citizens of the societies that they're a part of.

The only thing government can do to lower healthcare costs is to deregulate. Anything else is a wealth-redistributive scheme.

Your words "Balance, symmetry, fairness and sustenance" just really hit home with me. This is how I feel about all of this....it's just a nice way to be...ahhhhhh

How you are earning money kimmy? I would love to live like that´s words too!

On here it just takes time and patience and having the attitude that this is a nice creative outlet. Outside of here I am a health blogger for different websites. I write medical articles for clients that I get from a freelance platform.....I wish they paid in crypto!!!!

I like this comment. New to steemit, is there any way to share a comment with someone? especially maybe outside of steemit

You can share the entire article on Facebook or Twitter, or you can copy the link and paste it anywhere. It also helps promote our platform if you do that. I don't see where you can share individual comments, but the entire thread may be helpful ;) Just click one of the links just up and right of where we are chatting here

Dang.... This was insanely well done. Also - glad you've found yourself where you did, Sir. Congrats!

Thanks! I still haven't quite processed it all yet, but it's been a ride, to say the least!

I will be reccomending this post to my friends, such a usefull information for beginners with cryptocurences :)

definatly begin to follow you dude, keep it up

Nice post . Worth reading it. Upvoted and following you.

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Blockchain creates a trustless system and cuts out the middleman while cryptocurrency offers a level playing field for everyone. This is a paradigm shift at its finest.

It has started changing the world already to those that grab the opportunity .

I think we're just at the beginning here -- no "killer app" yet but there are a few prototype products that already work. Just need to keep building.

I'm new to blockchain technology and cryptos (since just 2 months ago). And VERY new to Steemit (since 2 days ago). However, I've read quite a number of posts at this website. I must state here that this post is THE VERY BEST that I've read so far.

It's a pleasure to read something by someone who has experience and knowledge of the tech industry. Especially by someone who also writes very well. This is certainly of the Fee and Medium type of highly-rated articles that I had read at those sites.

One problem for me: I'd like to upvote and such, and give more than the token $0.01. But I don't know how to. Had transferred some STEEM from Bittrex to here, "powered up" (whatever that actually is - I had simply clicked on it), but my upvotes are still limited. In fact I can't even upvote here - something about "12 hours-whatever" which I don't understand.

I believe I have a rather steep learning curve ahead. Hopefully I'll get better in using Steemit, and able to upvote more "soon".

Hey, thanks for the kind words!

Don't worry about the payment thing -- I'm very new to this platform too. I don't really have any idea how the economy of it works yet, but hoping to get more clarity as time goes on. Maybe in the future there will be a "tipping" option for posts that will allow people to do something similar to what you just mentioned My payout has dropped over time (oddly enough) because apparently people's upvotes get diluted depending on how many times they click on the button too, which is kind of a strange thing. I still have no idea how it works.

My hope is to try to make high quality content that will slowly accrue value over time so I'm taking the long view on it. Hope that the post will stay relevant for quite some time since I'm not very good at following current events. :)

Very well written and appealing to the masses. Being of the Baby Boomer generation, it's writing and clear, concise information like what is presented here that encourage my generation to think there is still a chance for the change we all have hoped and prayed for. Rock on brother!

Thanks! A few weeks ago I was trying to explain crypto to my dad (he's nearing 70 now) so I've had some practice. He's now addicted to it, for better or worse!

I'm a concert violinist with a big interest in cryptoworld... do you think this kind of coin is gonna revolutionize the classical music world too? you know how "special" environment it is. When I speak with some colleagues that I'm interested in Bitcoin and Altcoins they don't know even what I'm talking about. Only one friend who heard about Bitcoin said" aa that's the money for criminals in the internet? " ;:):) good post and check my music post
https://steemit.com/spain/@travelpleasure/luxembourg-san-sebastian-spain-classical-music-tour

greetings

Hey travelpleasure, I've been part of the classical world for a good portion of my life (almost got my Ph.D in musicology, in fact, although that's another story) so it's nice to see people in that area take interest in it, too. I have classical performance/composition training, but have decided to focus on improvisation as my vehicle of expression so I'm kind of out of the norm there. :)

As you probably already know, the classical music world tends to be very risk adverse when it comes to technology, and that is a good reason why the medium is struggling for survival and relevance right now. I do understand the resistance on their part a bit, especially since recent efforts made by music startups I can't really say have been really all that effective up until this point. If a few classical musicians become brave enough to take the leap into crypto, though, it could be a very good thing for the style because not too many people have quite taken the plunge yet.

Can you imagine an orchestra with 50+ people splitting its earnings all the way down to the 3rd chair violist sitting somewhere in the middle? Give everyone a stake in the process, and you'll get better, more engaged performances from that alone, imo.

I'm going to resteem so that I can finish reading it ;) thanks for taking the time to demonstrate that cryptocurrency is a revolution!

Followed and upvoted @ryangtanaka hoping these steem dollars will value hundreds of dollars one day and change again our life ;)

Thank you, good luck to you as well!

Wow man, great story! Even better article. I'm happy to hear crypto currency was able help you out to the point where it made A considerable difference in your day to day life. I've never heard of music coin before, I'll have to check it out... Upvoting for sure!

Yeah, they're a sleeper, for sure. Don't judge them by their design and interface right now, though -- that's still in the works. But they're doing some pretty ambitious things with how they're planning to manage the economy -- Universal Basic Income is in the works, set to launch some time this month!

So great and interesting. Thanks for share your experience @ryangtanka , upvoted. Have a great day mate, this was so cool to read.

What will to crypto money once the power goes out? The electric grid is a mess. What happens when something like a huge hurricane takes place? I will still prefer something that I can touch --- like nice yellow gold.

Hi @ryangtanaka

nice read and exciting to see someone writing down similar thoughts like me. If you want you can have a look at my post: https://steemit.com/life/@phal0r/why-i-believe-in-blockchain

I also think blockchain will change the way how economy works and how we will earn money in the near future.

I will def follow you. Keep up the good work :)

Cool, I'll follow you as well!

curious which coins you bought in early on? There are so many these days and it's very difficult to choose the right ones.

The answer is towards the bottom of the post. I was lucky enough to get in on the pre-sale -- I'd like to think that the epic length is reflective of the journey itself though I'm not sure if that comes across or not. :)

I had to spend some of it to pay for rent and necessities, but it got me out of my student and personal debt which I'm tremendously thankful for. Going forward, though, I'm basically HODLing and doing some cost-averaging with the salary that I now have.

In the spirit of transparency, I'll be naming my music tracks on Musicoin after coins in my portfolio as well. Mostly just a fun marketing experiment, though.

Some of my favorites right now: Ethereum, Golem, Gridcoin, Musicoin, Ripple, Dogecoin (serious). There's a few others but I don't know them well enough to vouch for them just yet.

what is the answer? musicoin?

This is a cerebral article. I am impressed.

Hey.

It's so refreshing to see some quality content. Well researched insights and opinions are the reasons I came to Steemit. You have an upvote and a new follower. :)

Amazing :) nice one sir

Your post is promoted. Promotions make SBD & STEEM stronger.
Your reward is an upvote and 1.13 SBD extra promotion.
Good job, see you next time in Promoted! ;)
#steam4steem

This post is upvoted by btfcan for 100 %.
If you want help us growing upvote this comment.
Thanks !

agree, crypto world will change life of all people! very good post!
upvoted and followed!

Long read but good

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Good article but hard to follow.

Vote for you .....

Hello!!!
Welcome to steemit.com I am @palmidrummer . Steemit community has the power to change our life if we simply upvote and follow each other. I joined steemit for a cause of helping my students.
Please follow and upvote me ( @palmidrummer )and I will do the same for you.
Thankyou, and please chek me previous post....... porfavor ayudame con upvotos y lo hare contigo

wawwwoooooooo.......it loock nice
I am your follower thank you to vote on my commendary thank you
@ bakabou159704

Totally agree. Cryptos and blockchain have absolutely changed my life. They haven't made me a rich person yet but what they did was to show me another path that is full of hope and excitements while the current financial system continues to crumble.

Yeah, it's really one of very few places right now that has genuine excitement and hope. The news is just so depressing lately. :/

Interesting article! Well written
If you are looking your a promising ICO opportunity check out my blog!
I am very excited about it
https://steemit.com/cryptocurrencies/@bon3s90/hero-revolutionizing-online-betting

Thanks @ryangtanaka for the information you've shared. It gave a lot of knowledge about cryptocurrencies. I think that everybody should know about this.

I love it ... IMG_3067.JPG

They will mke all goverments crumble sooner or later.

Awesome post very inspiring!

Well formulated thoughts and I like what you pointed out about things not necessarily having to grow, grow, grow in order to be useful and attract participants. Symmetry. Thank you. :)

Thanks for reading!

congratulations

wow, what a post. instant follow. i'll have to come back and read the rest but it's middnight here now so i'll catchup on it tomorrow.

Resteemed and promoted...

Now this is what you would call a quality article! I am so happy for you, you were down on your luck but you decided to bite the bullet and made things work for you, you can be very proud of yourself my blockchain brother. I'm proud of you and other people like you that take the time to help people understand blockchain better and also explain what it can do for all of us, be it rich or poor people...

I followed you and I wish you the best of luck in your future !

Thanks for the kind words! Good luck to you as well. :)

Very amazing photo

very inspiring and deeply thought-out article.

Nice post, i'm impressed

Thank you for telling us another side of the story

Nice Journey .....

Good post for newbie like me :)

Thanks for sharing, now i know where to direct my investmenst.

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Great article! Thanks for sharing!

Inspiring article. I am a neophyte in the crypto scene. I am like a sponge trying to collect as much insight as i can. Peace!

Thanks for reading!