Written by
November 2023


Once relegated to the fringes of discourse, crypto may now be stepping back into a more favourable light.

This shift, characterised by renewed market interest, rigorous crackdowns on fraudulent players, and a rising likelihood of a Bitcoin ETF approval, is emerging against a backdrop of escalating macroeconomic pressures and indications of a potential pivot by the Federal Reserve.

Yet, the broader societal ramifications of decentralised systems are still often misunderstood.

Buzzwords such as NFTs, Web3, and the Metaverse, which previously ignited public fascination, have increasingly become the punchline of jokes.

Meanwhile, AI has been crowned as the new vanguard of technological revolution. This raises a crucial debate: between crypto and AI, which is the true key to our future?

The answer is not an either/or proposition. Both crypto and AI are significant technological trends that are evolving toward a point of convergence.

As AI redefines potential in productivity and efficiency, crypto is set to challenge and reshape society in terms of culture, wealth distribution and power structures.

While crypto's promise may seem overstated to some, it is the foresight contained within this manifesto that we believe will justify our bullishness. We trust you will recognise our conviction that future historians will look back on the dawn of crypto not as a trivial footnote, but as the bedrock of a modern-day Renaissance.

Broken down into four sections, this manifesto covers our big-picture crypto thesis:

  1. The Transformative Cycle — We draw parallels with history to help us project crypto's future influence on society, wealth, and power.
  2. The End State — Insights converge to depict a future where decentralised systems gain full societal acceptance.
  3. Current Perspective — We provide a candid examination of crypto's history, its present landscape and the challenges along its transformative path.

We hope that the foundational concepts and frameworks presented here serve as a point of reference in the future as we witness the societal embrace of decentralised innovations.

The Transformation Cycle

Throughout history, certain moments have emerged as pivotal junctures, signalling significant shifts in the trajectory of human civilisation. Many contend that the maturation of crypto could potentially be one such juncture. While the long-term impact of crypto remains to be fully realised, there's a growing belief that it might drive substantial societal transformations, comparable to major shifts of previous eras.

Although historical comparisons warrant a critical approach, we discover that exploring our past provides valuable insights for challenging assumptions and navigating today's complexities.

The comparison between the European Renaissance and today's crypto movement is grounded in tangible similarities. Both eras, separated by centuries, are unified by their association with inherently decentralising technologies.

In the case of the Renaissance, the adoption of the printing press, double-entry bookkeeping, exploration tools, and gunpowder played important roles. They catalysed societal shifts, which can be broadly, though perhaps somewhat simplistically, categorised into three phases: cultural evolution, wealth redistribution, and changing power dynamics.

While this perspective simplifies the multifaceted nature of the Renaissance, it provides a helpful framework for interpreting contemporary crypto movements.

It highlights how technological progress, especially when it favours individuals at the periphery more than those at the core, can trigger profound societal transformations. While history doesn't exactly repeat itself, it often rhymes.

Cultural Evolution

Culture is a fluid tapestry of shared beliefs, values, customs, and behaviours that members of a society employ to engage with their environment and each other. This tapestry undergoes transformation over time, a process termed as 'cultural evolution'. Unlike biological evolution, which is anchored in genetic shifts, cultural evolution pivots around the dissemination and adaptation of knowledge, beliefs, norms, and behaviours.

The transition from old to new isn't always linear. It's usually a process influenced by individual narratives, age, education, and linguistic backgrounds within communities.

Despite its distinct complexities, historical events such as the Renaissance provide interesting perspectives. Such periods highlight how communities come to a shared understanding and the significant changes this brings to culture.

To better navigate this evolving landscape, we've framed our understanding around four drivers: cultural pioneers, embodiment, expression, and figures.

These elements are intertwined, collaboratively reshaping social consensus and driving cultural transformations.

1. Cultural Pioneers: New Technologies and Emerging Demographics

Every profound cultural shift is led by its trailblazers — individuals who, either by audacious ventures or fortuitous circumstances, challenge and reshape societal norms by adopting new perspectives or behaviours.

At the heart of many such shifts lie technological innovations, acting as both enablers and catalysts. For instance, the printing press granted access to books and literacy as well as unleashing a wave of new ideologies.

This pattern of questioning established ways becomes evident as key demographics integrate new technologies. The Renaissance didn't represent a total dismissal of religious or feudal institutions, but rather, it embraced humanism and personal understanding, creating tensions with traditional ecclesiastical doctrine.

Today, the emergence of cryptocurrency reflects a similar trend. It is not an outright denial of corporate or government authority, but rather a shift towards the possibilities opened up by decentralised systems. These systems are based on creating working and societal structures that embrace inclusivity, meritocracy, and collectivism.

This shift goes beyond theory. It's rooted in tangible, impactful innovations. These advancements are challenging established frameworks, serving as the foundation for contemporary cultural evolution. Examples include, but are not restricted to:

Money and Finance

[fs-toc-omit]a.) Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), with their clear supply limits, offer protection against monetary devaluation. They promise stability amid the volatility and inflation of government-issued currencies.

However, its adoption also brings with it a period of disruption and chaos. The rise of cryptocurrencies in many ways mirrors the 'clown world'—a term metaphorically describing the chaotic, absurd state of today's society. This term aptly reflects the volatile, uncertain environment of cryptocurrency adoption, marked by rapid changes and unconventional trends.

Cryptocurrency is particularly appealing to millennials and Gen Z, who confront challenges such as stagnant wages and limited opportunities for upward mobility. For these groups, cryptocurrencies are often viewed more as a final gambit to achieve success or a way to ‘get rich quick’ in a system that offers them little else.

While the initial phases of cryptocurrency adoption might be marked by turmoil and perceived cultural decay, the long-term perspective is more optimistic. The increasing adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies is expected to foster a culture emphasising financial literacy and independence. This shift challenges traditional financial paradigms and paves the way for a future where individual empowerment in financial decisions becomes more prevalent.

[fs-toc-omit]b.) Decentralised Finance (DeFi)

DeFi presents an innovative form of capital formation, offering new frameworks for fundraising, lending, borrowing, insurance, derivatives and value exchange that circumvent traditional central authorities or intermediaries such as banks, brokers, or insurance companies. Initiatives like Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or liquidity pools represent just the tip of the iceberg, showcasing how individuals and projects can raise and allocate funds in a manner that was previously unattainable.

This shift democratises access to financial services and investment, fostering global inclusivity, and promoting financial literacy and empowerment.

[fs-toc-omit]c.) Regenerative Finance (ReFi) 

ReFi applies crypto’s unique programmable incentives to address some of the worlds most pressing problems in a manner that makes commercial sense. In essence, it enables the creation of new types of applications that can accurately distribute rewards to those that promote sustainability and environmental rejuvenation.

Its real-world adoption can steer cultural evolution towards environmentally conscious behaviours. By investing in regenerative and socially impactful projects, ReFi bridges economic and social divides, ushering in a more equal and inclusive society. Additionally, its support for local initiatives fosters community cohesion and self-sustainability.

Work and Social

[fs-toc-omit]d.) On-Chain Identity

On-chain identity builds upon the digital identification foundations laid by Web 2.0 giants, transforming personal identity verification. This evolution enables individuals to exercise sovereign control over their identity, selectively disclosing elements to maintain privacy or pseudonymity.

In this evolved paradigm, digital identity transcends static attributes, many of which are often subject to discrimination such as ethnicity or geographical location. It takes the shape of a dynamic collection of 'identity pixels'—each a digital credential signifying achievements, interests, or personal expressions, permanently recorded on the blockchain's immutable ledger.

These elements are not stand-alone innovations but an extension and enhancement of existing digital achievements and qualifications. They are awarded for verifiable actions or engagements in the digital sphere, thereby granting recognition that is both exclusive and verifiable. On-chain identity thus allows for a nuanced and multifaceted digital persona that champions security and authenticity.

As we progress, we anticipate that on-chain identity markers will propel the cultural shift toward a future where individuals increasingly dissociate from their real-world identities. Instead, they may choose to navigate both their professional and personal lives primarily through pseudonymous avatars, which could range from 2D representations to 3D forms as spatial computing advances. This transition will reflect a broader evolution in cultural attitudes toward greater inclusivity.

[fs-toc-omit]e.) Modularisation of Social Media

Decentralised social tech stacks will transform social media by de-coupling applications from their foundational elements: social graphs, content, algorithms, and interfaces. This decentralisation will challenge current media monopolies and brings a modular, customisable approach to users' social experiences.

These initiatives seek to positively impact on culture by mitigating the influence of overly engaging but potentially harmful recommendation algorithms. Furthermore, the fragmentation of the social media landscape could promote the growth of varied cultural communities and help safeguard cultural identities in online spaces.

[fs-toc-omit]f.) Gated Communities

Gated communities serve as exclusive spaces for individuals to gather based on shared interests.  These communities emphasise belonging and recognition, veering from expansive online platforms.

Reputation will naturally and non-intrusively take on a more significant role, as these communities establish ground rules for membership, privileges, and status retention. We anticipate that the application of reputation-based game theory and community-driven self-policing programs will play a pivotal role in mitigating some of the adverse aspects that often permeate modern internet culture, such as cyberbullying.

[fs-toc-omit]g.) Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs)

DAOs present a novel organisational structure that challenges conventional governance models. They provide a platform where stakeholders, beyond just the core team, have a more participatory role in decision-making. DAOs prove particularly influential in contexts where numerous stakeholders are affected by the platform's decisions.

DAOs promote transparency and meritocracy, allowing both core members and external stakeholders to actively contribute. They will revolutionise work dynamics, amplifying the move towards gig-based roles, but in a landscape where workers enjoy greater choice and opportunities via open marketplaces.

Digital Services

[fs-toc-omit]h.) Decentralised Physical Infrastructure (DePIN)

DePIN networks leverage the distinct attributes of crypto-based business models to enable the rollout of tangible physical infrastructure and hardware systems. Instead of depending solely on a centralised entity, these networks allow individuals to collaboratively invest in and manage infrastructure.

Consequently, DePINs transform digital services, such as cloud computing products, into tradable digital commodities on open-market exchanges. This allows users direct access to vital resources with prices dictated by the natural forces of supply and demand. This shift from an institution-centric approach to a community-driven model is poised to reshape societal views and interactions with digital services.

[fs-toc-omit]i.) Artificial Intelligence

In a future where AI takes on greater responsibility in our daily lives and business processes, the end-state vision involves different AI models collaborating and assigning tasks to one another that cannot be accomplished individually.

With this in mind, AI will increasingly favour and use crypto infrastructure as the foundation for permissionless purchase and access to digital commodities. The ultimate objective of AI's convergence with crypto is to achieve enhanced AI autonomy with seamless efficiency.

Culturally, this could lead to a society where trust in decentralised systems becomes paramount, blurring the lines between human-led and machine-led decisions and redefining our relationship with technology. However, it's important to note that this could lead to disaster if AI goes rogue.

With that in mind, the potential for such a doomsday scenario also justifies the need for AI development to be closely linked with decentralised systems, or perhaps even pursued entirely on-chain, to ensure that the AI we build is culturally aligned with the needs of broader society.

Digital Economies

[fs-toc-omit]j.) Gaming

Crypto gaming pioneers genuine ownership of digital assets, reshaping perceptions about the value of virtual possessions. It elevates gaming from solely entertainment to a potential revenue source, as players can earn and trade in-game assets.

As virtual achievements gain traction as markers of varied skill sets, society may begin to recognise the crossover of virtual competencies into real-world applicability, possibly influencing career opportunities.

[fs-toc-omit]k.) Open Virtual Worlds

Open virtual worlds will change how we view the internet, transitioning it from a tool to an immersive destination. As people dive deeper into these spaces, new forms of interaction will emerge, breaking down borders and biases with pseudonymity, on-chain trust, and advanced communication tools.

While first embraced by crypto enthusiasts and gaming circles, a wider audience will soon see the value in digital collectables. This shift will transform how we connect, socialise, and assign value online, ushering in significant changes to digital culture.

2. Cultural Expression: Social Media and Meme Coins

While pioneers lead the charge, the broader cultural shift is often most vividly seen in its expression. Cultural expression encompasses the myriad ways a culture conveys its identity, values, beliefs, and creativity. It's the tapestry through which a society shares its evolving narrative and fortifies its cultural footprint.

Historically, the power of cultural expression was evident in the spread of community narratives, accelerated by the invention of the printing press. Moreover, creative disciplines, especially during the European Renaissance, served as reflections of their times, capturing the essence of an era and spurring intellectual pursuits and humanism. Such expressions provoked deep contemplation, often challenging religious conventions and redefining cultural paradigms.

Today, these dynamics have transitioned into the digital world. Technological advancements, including AI-powered tools, have democratised creativity, enabling more people than ever to be cultural contributors. Platforms like social media amplify these voices, magnifying the influence of individual expressions on the collective culture.

In this landscape, memes have carved out their niche as powerful conveyors of cultural sentiment. These succinct and often witty visuals offer societal commentaries, critiques, and satires, transcending linguistic boundaries.

The advent of crypto builds on this even further through the tokenisation of memes. Meme coins represent an intriguing blend of creative and financial expression. Although they fundamentally lack intrinsic value, younger generations have adopted meme coins as tools to express their viewpoints or humour.

By actively purchasing these coins, younger demographic groups aim to elevate the prominence of the underlying messages these coins represent. As the value of these coins increases, they draw more attention, thereby amplifying the impact of memes that mirror demographic sentiment. This unique convergence illustrates the dynamic and evolving nature of cultural expression in the digital age.

3. Cultural Embodiment: Ownership and Proofs

Cultural embodiment refers to the tangible or visible manifestation of a culture's essence, values, and attributes. It's the way society anchors its beliefs, customs, and identity into everyday life.

During the European Renaissance, cultural embodiment was deeply interwoven with the arts, intellectual pursuits, and symbols of distinction. The elite displayed their influence through patronage of art and by flaunting their literacy or membership in esteemed circles. These symbols—whether paintings, literary compositions, or exclusive memberships—served as public attestations of one's cultural capital, intellectual might, and societal standing, marking a shift from identity anchored primarily in lineage or religious adherence to one built upon personal achievements and affiliations.

In the crypto era, we see a parallel resurgence of this personalised cultural embodiment. Owning specific cryptocurrencies or rare digital collectibles in many cases represent a belief in a community’s cause or an appreciation of digital artistry. Participation in token-gated communities or holding an NFT attests to one's interests, allegiances, and expertise, akin to the exclusive intellectual circles of the Renaissance. Achievements in digital realms, whether in games, DAOs, or online communities, symbolise more than bragging rights; they signify digital literacy, commitment, and prestige in a virtual world.

Just as the Renaissance emphasised individualism and recalibrated societal values around humanism and personal achievements, the embrace of crypto utilities pushes towards a new understanding of value, ownership, and identity centred around decentralisation.

4. Cultural Figures: Thought Leaders and Community

Throughout history, certain people have greatly influenced society's beliefs and values, making a mark beyond just their jobs. From the Renaissance era to modern times, these 'cultural figures' have played pivotal roles in guiding the course of cultural evolution.

Leonardo da Vinci, through his influence during the Renaissance, demonstrated humanity's potential that extended beyond his artwork. He was never deified, but he became the embodiment of what humanity could aspire to.

Today, in the age of social media, the landscape of influence is different. Platforms have democratised fame and recognition, allowing for a many voices to be heard. This has given rise to numerous influential figures, each with their distinct niches and audiences.

In crypto, these influencers form a collective where each individual is typically united by a shared on-chain identity marker. Through this unification, the cultural significance of influencers is arguably more likely to be widely felt.

Wealth Redistribution

Driven by enhanced utility and shifts in cultural norms, and the move from centralised to decentralised, peer-to-peer systems are reshaping global commerce and financial markets.

This transition is set to create substantial wealth, particularly for those firmly rooted in the 'supply side' of the crypto sphere, including entrepreneurs, investors, speculators, and infrastructure providers.

History has shown that those with capital, robust networks, and sharp market insights frequently gain early advantages in burgeoning sectors. However, as these sectors mature, the distribution of wealth and prosperity tends to trickle down, touching more strata of society.

Value flows to and from most stakeholders across decentralised systems and crypto apps.

With the continued evolution of the crypto domain, we foresee initial capital concentration among early adopters and risk-takers. However, as time progresses, we anticipate a more evenly spread allocation of wealth across various societal tiers, especially when compared to historical patterns. Several elements underpin this forecast:

Education and Open Access

Inherent in the crypto space is its embrace of open-source principles, emphasising transparency and collective participation. Projects regularly surface challenges to the wider community, allowing for a decentralised problem-solving approach. This participatory method not only ensures up-to-date, detailed documentation but also serves as an ongoing educational platform, enabling anyone interested to grasp the intricacies of current innovations.

In tandem with this open engagement, there's an active drive within the community to enhance financial literacy. With a wealth of resources available, the barriers to understanding that once deterred many from traditional financial sectors are lowered.

Furthermore, the crypto space often directly incentivises education through financial and non-financial rewards. For instance, some crypto companies and protocols are paying people with cash to learn about different crypto-networks. This approach not only educates individuals about the diverse aspects of crypto but also rewards them financially, making learning more appealing.

Similarly, some projects use crypto primitives to gamify learning through ‘quests.’ Upon completion of these quests, users are rewarded with reputation-based rewards that tie to their on-chain identity, adding an exciting layer to education. This approach not only encourages participation but also helps in building a system that provides verifiable proof of competency.

The combination of open-source transparency, easily accessible education, and financial incentives creates an environment where an ever-expanding segment of the population can both comprehend and participate in crypto. This emphasis on inclusivity, education, and incentivisation is expected to play a key role in levelling the playing field, fostering wider distribution of wealth and understanding in the crypto universe.

Token-based Models (Stakeholder Capitalism)

Token-based models are at the heart of redefining economic structures within the crypto ecosystem. Unlike traditional business models that primarily serve shareholders, these systems aim to distribute value more equitably among all stakeholders. The use of tokens as a means of exchange, compensation, and value accrual inherently decentralises power and economic benefits.

In practice, this means that not only investors but also users, developers, and other contributors can be rewarded for their participation. This more holistic approach to value distribution encourages a wider range of people to engage with and benefit from the system, potentially leading to a more inclusive economic landscape.

Transparent Attribution

At its core, decentralised systems offer immutable and timestamped records of transactions, ensuring that every digital asset can be traced back to its origin. This therefore drastically improves the practice of properly crediting the origins or sources of information, ideas, or materials. In practical applications, such as in the world of art, music, or content creation, this means creators can now have indisputable evidence of their contributions.

Marketing initiatives can be precisely linked to consumer decisions through direct association with their financial transactions. This direct correlation allows marketers to identify the specific touch points influencing consumer preferences. Such accuracy in attribution not only enhances marketing strategies but also ensures professionals across different sectors receive compensation commensurate with their actual value-adding contributions.

Beyond offering fairer compensation, this transparency holds the potential to redress value imbalances, empowering demographic groups previously sidelined due to design inadequacies in current platforms.

Changing Power Dynamics

Power structures have historically experienced shifts. These can range from gradual adaptations to abrupt revolutions, affecting both societal and individual dimensions.

Examining the Renaissance period offers insights that may help us understand the impacts of decentralisation. The rise of city-states and the expanding influence of the merchant class marked significant departures from the declining feudal system. These city-states, strengthened by trade and economic success, began to challenge traditional power hierarchies. However, the full emergence of the modern nation-state system and the crystallisation of capitalism's tenets were processes that spanned beyond the Renaissance, culminating in subsequent centuries.

As we observe the unfolding landscape of decentralised technology, certain parallels become evident. We predict that the transition towards decentralised systems will be a measured process. This is primarily because society needs ample time and evidence to place trust in such transformative systems.

Trusted intermediaries might still play roles in areas where human judgment, expertise, or centralised decision-making are beneficial or necessary. In many envisioned scenarios, crypto won't necessarily replace these entities but rather put pressure on their roles or reduces the scope of their required trust. By aligning with technological progress and shifting cultural norms, crypto will likely subtly and overtly reshape the influence of current power structures. The implications may go beyond intermediaries and impact a variety of companies, where these companies feel compelled to adopt or adapt due to cultural shifts in their target customer base.

Indirect Influences and Direct Impacts

The cultural transformation set to unfold will be amplified by social media platforms that promote uncensored expression on either centralised or decentralised rails. These platforms, by allowing unrestricted discourse, threaten the often unnoticed sway that existing power entities have on public sentiment.

Additionally, the acceptance of on-chain identity markers is paving the way for pseudonymous avatars to gain societal trust. As a result, individuals will feel empowered to criticise existing power structures and elites without the looming fear of coordinated attacks on their reputation, often conspiratorially orchestrated by traditional media outlets influenced by vested interests. This evolving environment could expose and challenge any malpractices within traditional power structures.

Moreover, self-sovereign capabilities will grant individuals unparalleled control over their digital identities, assets, and interactions. With this paradigm shift, the need for individuals and businesses to solely rely on custodians for the safekeeping of their assets or data will be eliminated. Consequently, institutions will lose their ability to build exclusive barriers around asset or data accumulation, diminishing their power and reigniting a more competitive environment.

Institutional Responses and Reforms

While the exact sequence of events leading up to this remains unclear, these implicit and explicit changes are forecasted to prompt existing corporations and governments to respond to mounting pressures by integrating decentralised technologies into their current workflows.

Institutions will respond by making changes to corporate governance practices as the trends that emphasise employee needs, consumer demands and the blurring of lines between consumers and the workforce take fold. It will lead to them adapting to these new dynamics through the introduction a ‘hybrid DAO’ model that will embrace inclusive participation and community-driven decision-making, empowering external stakeholders to be rewarded based on merit or may even have a voice in strategic decisions.

With a heightened understanding of the benefits offered by the immutability and transparency of crypto, alongside the power of zero knowledge proofs, institutions will need to respond by transitioning financial operations and record-keeping onto decentralised systems in order to bolster accountability. This essential shift will aim to instil integrity across diverse sectors, including government, with the potential to uncover and eradicate malpractices and corruption.


While predictions about profound shifts in power structures are speculative, the increased transparency and individual empowerment provided by decentralised systems could foster societal turbulence, resembling the chaos and fragmentation during transitional phases in history.

The Renaissance era exemplifies such a transition, where altered economic, religious, and political landscapes introduced both challenges and innovations. The waning of feudalism, emergence of merchant city-states, and religious divides epitomised the tumultuous nature of evolving power dynamics.

Should DAOs and decentralised judicial systems advance to a point where they can reliably foster trust and handle subjective conflicts on a large scale, it could prompt a rethinking of the traditional role and concept of the nation-state in the future.

As these decentralised models challenge conventional norms, heightened tensions may arise between advocates of traditional and innovative systems. Empowered by decentralisation, individuals could robustly contest established institutions, causing societal, economic, and political strain.

However, history suggests that chaotic eras often come before reorganisation, innovation, and progression. The changes during the Renaissance led to the Enlightenment and the birth of modern governments. Similarly, potential disruptions caused by decentralised systems could herald a new societal framework emphasising transparency, fairness, and individual rights.

A concept ideated and popularised by Balaji Srinivasan, which is gaining traction, is the "Network State." Unlike traditional states defined by geography, a Network State is underpinned by a digital network of globally distributed individuals unified by shared values and ideals. This could lead to multiple co-existing network states, each catering to different societal values and norms.

The idea posits a future where society exists in harmony, with individuals having the freedom to choose a governance system that mirrors their beliefs and political views. While this may seem far-fetched given our current reliance on physical territories, the increasing gravitation towards virtual worlds makes the Network State a plausible future prospect. However, the translation of this concept into reality has hurdles to overcome, such as balancing digital and physical realities, defining the relationship between Network States and traditional nation-states, and ensuring security from a military standpoint.

Current Perspective

The promise of a decentralised future is not a recent phenomenon.

Tracing back to the internet's rise in the mid-1990s, the world embraced visions of global collaboration and a redistributed wealth model, with the internet bridging divides. The early days of the internet brought hopes of uniting people and spreading knowledge, kindling hope for positive societal change. Yet, as we ventured further into this digital world, optimism surrounding societal evolution was overshadowed by power plays from dominant institutions.

The current challenges we face are multifaceted and complex. They include the escalating issue of wealth inequality, which is exacerbated by digital monopolies and loose monetary policy. Additionally, there's the concern of surveillance capitalism, which includes the employment of advanced algorithms to exploit personal data primarily for engagement purposes. This often leads to the amplification of divisive content, with little regard for the potential consequences.

As we grapple with the challenges of economic imbalances, cultural fractures, pervasive surveillance, and dwindling trust in conventional institutions, the looming spectres of China's ascendancy and the AI revolution further amplify the need for change. These multiple threats risk ushering in an Orwellian world marked by stark wealth divides, rights erosions, and omnipresent surveillance.

Our existing systems' frailties are exposed further by the staggering debts shouldered by nation-states and their often ineffective responses to crises, as evidenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. It feels like we are witnessing an inevitable disaster, seeing the signs but feeling incapacitated.

The transformation promised by crypto is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity.

Cultural Evolution: State Of Affairs

In the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis, Bitcoin rose as an alternative, a consequence of fading faith in traditional institutions tainted by banking scandals and the undue financial burdens placed upon the public. As time has progressed, the world of crypto has expanded. It has notably made headway in peer-to-peer transactions, global remittances, gated communities, and specific DeFi offerings. Although there's room to perfect its foundational technology, its practical benefits are already tangible.

Interestingly, during a time where trust in established entities like governments and corporations is arguably at an all-time low, crypto's appeal however remains confined primarily to a niche demographic. Its reputation as a ‘trust machine,’ by and large, has as fallen short in the public's eyes.

To truly embed the decentralised mindset into the mainstream, these technologies must demonstrate utility and consistently honour their pledges of trustworthiness and safety. The fledgling state of the technology stands as a tangible roadblock. The stack remains under construction, and many of its promises await full realisation. Its touted benefits are restricted at this stage, hindered by present scalability challenges.

At the foundational level, there's a dire need to strengthen the integrity of smart contracts and proactively address vulnerabilities to mitigate the risk of malicious attacks through stringent security protocols. Furthermore, integrating AI and spatial computing is vital to unlock the full potential of crypto, both of which are still maturing.

Moreover, standardised on-chain identity verification is crucial for establishing trust in decentralised systems. This evolution will redefine online reputation, tying influence on platforms to verifiable integrity and credibility. Such advancements will offer newcomers to the crypto space the assurances they need to engage confidently. Absent such mechanisms, the crypto landscape risks retaining its untamed 'Wild West' image.

Wealth Redistribution: Promises vs. Reality

The vision of wealth redistribution has seen some success, benefiting people from various backgrounds and regions worldwide. However, the primary gains have often been limited to a select few. This trend is evident in the analysis of wealth distribution in the crypto sector, as shown by metrics like the Gini coefficient. Moreover, the ecosystem has witnessed opportunistic exploitation by malevolent actors, capitalising on existing inefficiencies, vulnerabilities, and complexities to amass capital, arguably in an unjust manner.

This exploitation has not only intensified regulatory scrutiny on the industry but also impacted the innovative capital formation methods that crypto and DeFi spaces have introduced. It has inadvertently led to a capital concentration trend among money managers operating under traditional fund structures. Such concentration risks engendering value-extractive practices benefiting a minority, potentially thwarting the broader movement's egalitarian objectives.

However, a silver lining is emerging in the form of innovative shifts within the venture capital model, fostering new power dynamics centred around inclusivity and meritocracy. These pioneering structures could potentially offer a more equitable alternative, challenging traditional venture capital approaches and paving the way for a future where investment is more accessible and merit-based.

Changing Power Dynamics: Institutional Adoption

Despite the challenges and turmoil experienced during the last crypto frenzy, institutional interest in crypto's transformative potential remains undeterred. Progressive entities are rethinking their operational strategies to align with decentralisation trends, with some actively incorporating these technologies to enhance user engagement and community building.

Notable examples include companies like Starbucks and Reddit, among others, who have demonstrated a growing commitment to implementing merit-based systems. They are proactively exploring innovative approaches to engage their loyal customer base, foster stronger community bonds, and establish frameworks for recognising and appreciating valuable contributions from stakeholders. In many cases, these initiatives already entail the integration of decentralised technologies on the backend to streamline these processes.

Communal participation and communal voting mechanisms are gaining traction as well. For instance, platforms like X (formerly Twitter) have introduced features such as community notes to involve users more actively in the platform's offering. Influential figures, namely Elon Musk, are also taking a proactive approach by engaging communities in decision-making processes related to their companies through community voting and feedback channels.

While these may not appear entirely to be crypto related on the surface through the many means in which these actions are acted upon, these institutional shifts are instrumental and an indicate a broader cultural trend influenced by crypto's evolving landscape.


Please note that much of the inspiration for this written work has been drawn from years of experience working in crypto, engaging with, listening to, and learning from a diverse array of voices both within and beyond the crypto industry. It would be unfair to claim sole ownership of the ideas presented here.

Some sources of inspiration include, but are not limited to:

  • Davidson, J. D., & Rees-Mogg, W. (1997). The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age. Simon & Schuster.
  • Srinivasan, B. (2021). The Network State. (Self-published).
  • Johansen, B. (2017). The New Leadership Literacies: Thriving in a Future of Extreme Disruption and Distributed Everything. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Lyon, B. (2018). How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone. Liveright.

Special thanks to @0xtanler, @RobinDotETH, @Crypto_McKenna, @sia_kazi, @FloydCrypto, @alexopeagbe and @0xdimes for discussion and detailed feedback.

Disclaimer: This post is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investment and should not be used in the evaluation of the merits of making any investment decision. It should not be relied upon for accounting, legal or tax advice or investment recommendations. The opinions reflected herein are subject to change without being updated.

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