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May 29, 2024

Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All

Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all." (

I am noticing a number of firms are beginning to make technical architectural choices that are a pivot away from decentralization. BTC was launched with the payload of the Genesis Block of Bitcoin containing the message, "EThe Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" (

The goal of a decentralized ledger is to do away with intermediaries who can and do manipulate the markets. We want greater efficiencies, to remove rent seekers in the middle who add no value, to simplify the market structure, but most of all we want an architecture, that is open, fair, and exceeding difficult/impossible to manipulate (or if it is manipulated, It is known). This decentralization will bring about the most robust form of free markets to the population of the entire planet. This is the best way to empower people to be the primary agent of change in their own life, rather than waiting for a politician. This will be transformative to global development, human rights, and the ability of people to have the dignity of feeding themselves and their family, and all the good that comes with this.

Any erosion of this for a short term gain comes as executives, boards, and teams become tired. In almost every case those enticing them to forsake decentralization are the incumbents who will lose the most with decentralization. We must not condemn the individuals who are giving in, but let us call out the cowardice, and be clear to say this is an abdication of why most of us got into the digital markets space in the first place.

Ripple co-founder Chris Larson spoke at a conference right after the Ripple decision. It was excellent, immediately after he was done 5 partners of notable VC firms spoke about investing, and all 5 said they would not back a founder who had the power Chris had at Ripple. I asked them if they were on the board would they have pushed Ripple to have settled the case after the Wells notice, and all 5 said they would not have fought the SEC. These are not the people you want on your board if you are a founder.

There are choices along the way that have short and long term consequences. The goal is to aggregate liquidity across silos, to do that the ledger, compute, and data that feeds the value of what is on the ledger all need to be decentralized. If you move any of these to a point of centralization you sell part of the promise down the river... (i.e., centralized data bases, walled gardens, proof of authority, and even proof of stake). The incumbent market structure will use/manipulate these points of centralization... proof of work will come back. It is okay to get tired, and survival is a strategic outcome, but seek help, pray, recharge, get in shape, and get the right people on your board, and keep building

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