Stefano was a guest on Laura Shin's awesome Unconfirmed podcast yesterday
The discussion touches on a number of trends that we've seen and been thinking about, including fully-digital security tokens, dual token economies, "personal data monetization", DAOs and the end of capitalism ( ?).
Going in more detail on the discussion, Stefano talks about a few areas of interest for him.
Fully-digital security tokens, for lack of a better definition, are tokens that are clearly securities but never have to interface with the "old-school" offline world. So, no real-company shares, or tokenized funds or real estate.
Instead, what is fascinating is the creation of tokens representing shares, income, dividends, debt, transaction fees, staking nodes, other digital estates, and whatever else can be thought about a security but which exists only in the realm of the crypto world.
Tokenized offline equity and fund interests are a massive innovation, and probably the best application of blockchain technology in the short-term, but they still have some major drawbacks in the view of a crypto-utopist: mostly, they interface with the offline world in a single, weak-link point. This means you have to trust an issuer, a depositary or a trustee depending on what type of asset we're talking about. Additionally, and most importantly, the flow of funds will never be programmatic. There will always be someone that needs to take in actual old-bank wires in an account, go on an exchange, buy some ETH or other currency, and then distribute this to the rightful owners.
(As Yannick rightly points out, one mid-way solution could be interacting with offline securities but conducting the business through smart-contracts with stablecoins. This would still have the issues of "court-mandated" reversibility, but could be a great first step.)
This seems like both a very risky offering, as you just need one person or entity to unravel the whole system, as well as a terribly inefficient one.
The plus, obviously, is that you get access to the offline judicial system - and thus all the standard protections. This point may be more or less important depending on much you trust that system and think that those safeguards can actually hold.
But now, we have a completely new technology that opens a world of possibilities for programmable money, and most importantly programmable equities and securities.
This means that we can have shares in DAOs and crypto-corporations or crypto-funds, that could issue dividends, or even pay a percentage of revenues, or interest on loans automatically every month from their wallets.
This flow of cash can now go straight to the ultimate beneficiary, in a completely trustless dynamic.
Examples of this are starting to show up, like Siafunds
, which are the security tokens complement to Siacoins."Siafunds pay out a real-time transaction fee from all storage-related payments on the network. This means that, if you hold one of the 10,000 Siafunds in existence, you receive a piece of this transaction fee as users pay for storage space.
Because Siafunds only generate revenue when users pay for storage, holders are incentivized to take a long-term view and directly contribute to product development and growth."
The interesting part for us is that when you have a new type of infrastructure like this, the possibilities are usually larger than our current imagination, meaning that we'll see completely novel securities and cash-flow dynamics we can't quite grasp yet.
If you are working on something similar, we'd love to see it and help bring it to market.
Sia has also shown one interesting usecase of a dual-token economy, but there are dozens of similarly shaped token ecosystems popping up everywhere, which will probably warrant a post of its own, along thoughts around "personal data" monetization and how DAOs and crypto could usher a new type of economic system that complements or replaces capitalism. Will add to the Medium drafts queue!
In the meantime, you can listen to the episode here