Episode #170 Technology for a future that works with Cory Feco of the DOI Foundation
What does our future look like when it works? How can we harness the power of the Web 3.0 in service to a flourishing future? With Cory Feco of the DOI Foundation, who is embedded in just these questions.
The one big question that this podcast exists to answer is – what does our future look like when it works? When we endeavour to answer this, there seems to be quite a clear divide between those us born in the twentieth century who grew up in a world before broadband, and those born in the nineties and later who never got to know the strange weeble of the dial up tone, but instead grew in a world where their every move was dissected by their peers on social media.
We can look some other time at the emotional and spiritual impact of that but in this episode, I wanted to look at the people who are determined to use the rapidly evolving technology for good. In a couple of weeks’ time, I’m going to interview someone who is setting up a DAO—a disseminated autonomous organisation) to create not just a community, but a network of communities that she says could be free of the need to use dollars (or pounds or the currency of their nation/area) within 10 years.Which sounds pretty exciting. But I to understand how it works and what it is she’s planning to do, we needed to know what a DAO actually is. And to get to that, we have to unpick Blockchain: what it is and why it matters.
So this is the first time I’ve actually sought out someone on the basis that they could tell me what I wanted to hear. I wanted an idiot’s guide to blockchain, someone who could explain what a #DAO is, what #Web3 is and why it matters – and, particularly, the nature of the Web 3 Revolution that seems to be happening under our noses, but also under our radar.
All of which leads me to introduce this week’s guest. Cory Feco is a member of The DOI Foundation which describes itself as ‘an international community of communities bound by a common interest in persistent infrastructure.’ Cory himself is a podcaster at the DOICast – which is one of my must-listen podcasts – I’ve put a link in the show notes. Beyond this, he describes himself as a web 3 impactivist, and a recovering workaholic. He started as an entrepreneur at 9 selling products from catalogs door to door and ever since have been the most satisfied when walking the path less tread. He has founded and failed, founded and sold, trained hundreds, consulted dozens, lead teams of many, lead only himself, won some awards, and made countless mistakes – and through this the one constant has been growth. He is completely plugged in to a world about which I only have a transient and shallow understanding, but I know enough to know that it could make or break our chances of a flourishing future.
© thanks to the DOI foundation for the graphics
Manda: Hey, people. Welcome to Accidental Gods. To the podcast where we believe that another world is still possible and that if we all work together, there is time to create the future that we would be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. I’m Manda Scott, your host in this journey into possibility. And before we dive into the topic of this week’s episode, I want to tell you a little bit about a course I’ll be teaching on in a couple of months from now, that’s run by Nathalie Nahai and the amazing young women of Advaya. If you’ve listened to this podcast for any length of time, you will know Nathalie as both a guest and crucially as one of the three of us who meet at the winter solstice, to look back at the year just gone and have a look forward at the one yet to come. Natalie is host of the Hive podcast, which is absolutely essential listening. And I will put a link in the show notes, particularly to the recent episode in which she interviewed Ruby and Christabel Reed of Advaya. It’s completely worth listening to and out of that conversation has grown a six week online course that’s running from the 10th of April to the 15th of May, called The Digital Age; Understanding and Reclaiming Systems of Power. By demystifying the powers and the principles that seem currently to be determining our collective future, the course aims to trace the through lines between the worlds of agriculture and health care, finance and technology in the wider context of capitalism and colonialism. And in doing so, it will explore the path that we can take to reclaim our personal and our communal agency. And I am going to be one of the guest speakers alongside Vandana Shiva, Camila Moreno, Carl Miller, Manish Jain, Brett Scott, Ayishat Akanbi and a whole bunch of other really inspiring people. And it’s exactly the kind of thing that this podcast is for. How can we see what’s around us and then how can we break out of it and do something bigger and better? So if you’re at all interested, there is a link in the show notes. Head over and log in and join us. Anyway, that is our plug for that. So that aside, the big question that this podcast exists to answer is what does our future look like when it works? When we get it right, when we make all the good decisions from here on in? And when we try to answer this, it seems to me there’s quite a clear divide between the ideas of those of us born in the mid to late 20th century who grew up in the world before broadband and those born in the 90s and especially later who basically never got to know that strange warbling noise of the dial up tone and instead grew in a world where their every move was dissected by their peers on social media and they had the whole world in their hands on a phone.
Manda: We can look some other time at the emotional and spiritual impact of that. But today I want to look at the people who are determined to use all of this really fast evolving technology for good. In a couple of weeks time, I’m going to interview someone called Grace Rahmani, who has set up a DAO, which is a disseminated autonomous organisation on the blockchain. To create not just a community but a network of communities, which she says could be free of the need to use dollars or pounds or euros or whatever within ten years. Which sounds pretty darn exciting to me. But thinking about that podcast, I could imagine spending 90% of the time with Grace just finding out what a Dao actually is and does. And to get to that, we would have had to unpick blockchain a bit more. Because the one thing I learned when we invited Reiki Corden on to speak last summer, about the blockchain, was that we didn’t really get to people. It went over quite a lot of people’s heads. So this is the first time I’ve actually sought out someone on the basis that they could tell me what I wanted to hear.
Manda: Usually I find people whose opinions I really respect and then just see what they say, which is the case here, to be honest. But I went looking for Cory Feco because I wanted somebody that I believed would be able to give us the absolute baselines of what is blockchain, what is a Dao, what is Web3? What is the Web3 revolution and why does it matter? Because when I’ve been listening to particularly Cory’s podcast, The DOIcast, this does seem to be something that the people of this podcast are going to want to know about. So there are links in the show notes to everything that Cory does. He is a member of the DOI Foundation, which describes itself as an international community, or communities, bound by common interest in persistent infrastructure. And that idea of creating ineradicable ledgers of who owns what seems to be quite core to what they’re doing. I have to say, this isn’t something that I’d ever thought of as being a problem, partly because I imagine it could be overturned quite quickly. But then I’m not in this world. This really is something where I only skim the surface and there are people like Cory who really know the detail. So as I said, Cory is a podcast host on The DOIcast. Beyond that, he describes himself as a Web3 impactivist.
Manda: I love that. And a recovering workaholic. Aren’t we all? Actually, some of us are not recovering. He started as an entrepreneur aged nine, selling products from catalogues, door to door, and ever since that he has been most satisfied when walking the path less trodden. He has founded and failed, founded and sold, trained hundreds, consulted dozens, led teams of many, led only himself, won some awards and made countless mistakes. And through this, he says, the one constant has been growth. And he is absolutely plugged into this world where I really only glance off the surface. I have the most shallow understanding, but I know enough to know that this could make or break our chances of a flourishing future. So it matters, however hard it feels, to get our heads around what’s happening, how it works, why it matters to the people who are making it work, and how we can help. So with all that in mind, people of the podcast, please do welcome Cory Feco.Manda: Cory, welcome to the Accidental Gods podcast and thank you for taking the time out. Because you are in the process, I think, of talking to really quite high up political people in your state, in your country about quite technical stuff. Tell us a little tiny bit about that, just to set the scene for where we’re at in the UK and the US.
Cory: Yeah, well, ultimately the underlying issue is that these types of technical advances are going to affect all of us throughout the entire world, whether or not we understand them, we like them, we don’t like them. It doesn’t matter. These things are happening. The problem is, that they’re so complicated that most people can’t really even process them enough to put them into a bucket. Nevertheless, to regulate on them or to support them or to use them. And so one of the biggest things that I’ve spent the last number of years of my life on, is trying to make these complicated concepts digestible in a way that you can actually purchase the goods and services that are now available because of these advanced technologies. You can regulate accordingly, because you understand the innovative properties, what things should or shouldn’t be. And whenever something is being manipulated because of people being people, not because of the system being faulty. And taking these things and packaging them up in a way where we can all understand. So in that way, yes, that’s led me to conversations with a number of people, from entrepreneurs trying to build in this space, developers trying to find opportunities in this space. Joe and Jane, every person trying to figure out what to do with it, what next steps they have and of course, regulators. And as of late, it’s a lot more conversations with regulators. Because whether we like it, you’re talking about the world, you know, the innovation is happening regardless with or without us. But whether or not we like it, how that happens is really kind of controlled by our regulators. If they don’t want something to happen a certain way, even if they don’t understand it, they can really handcuff the innovation or for that matter, even make it impossible to bring forth certain things.
Cory: And there’s a lot of really amazing opportunities, which I’m sure that we’ll talk about. I know that you’ve had an interest, you’ve mentioned before in previous conversations. Like being able to vote in a transparent way and the list goes on and on and on. But yes, as of currently, we’ve got tomorrow morning, I’m meeting with the Committee for House Bill 764 in the state of Missour. Which goes through how regulators should treat Bitcoin, how they should treat Bitcoin miners, how they should treat tokens in general, whether or not they do or don’t classify as securities. And how they should treat just innovation in general, so that way they can create fair and reasonable regulations so people can start to build without having to worry that they’re going to look over their shoulder and get sued about something. Because that’s the way, at least here in the States, the SEC has gone about things. Is they basically regulate through enforcement, which is not a great way to go about innovating things. But yeah, so it’s been keeping me busy as of late in a number of different places. But it’s quite frankly not where I would want to have spent my time. Like I’m not political by nature, like I’m probably the most centre person you can talk to. But at the same time, it seems like just because I know that this is where I need to be. I’ve been spending more time there, for better or for worse.
Manda: And we’ll head into what I really want to talk about in a second. But I struggle to imagine, frankly, anyone within the UK’s legislature getting their head around this. Have you got smart people in Missouri who can grasp the magnitude of what you’re saying? I think most UK MPs, as far as I can tell, have got their head around Twitter and they can rant, but anything more technical than that would really give them serious trouble. And if somebody is listening and wants to tell me that they have a technical minded MP, I’ll be terribly happy. But hey, is this a thing in the US? You’ve got people who can actually get this?
Cory: Well, fortunately for Europe, the European Union actually has been passing some fairly reasonable legislation so far, with the MICA bill. It’s not perfect, but it is moving in the right direction, so that’s favourable. Actually more favourable than anything happening in the States as of yet, with some notable standouts being like Wyoming, who are really trying to be champions in this space. But in Missouri, yes we have a number of, in government in general, I think you have a number of really intelligent people who are capable of understanding what they don’t know. And what we hope is that there are intelligent people who assemble around them the experts, who can communicate to them in simple terms, so they can understand it in a way where they can regulate appropriately on whether or not it’s true, or just being sold to them. Now, that said, yes, politics are hard, too. Because on top of the people not themselves by nature being technical, we just hope that they have good counsel of people that are technical and can make good decisions like, for instance, running a business. A good entrepreneur doesn’t have to be good at everything, they have to be just really good at getting good people around them. And politicians are the same way. Their staff needs to be good. But what I’ve seen that’s been the most concerning, but this is not unique to my experiences, is just everything being politicised and weaponized. It’s like, okay, if one side picks and says, okay, we agree with this, the other side has to say they don’t. Just so that way they’re at odds. And that’s a wider issue, but one not isolated to, you know, crypto or blockchain oriented technologies.
Manda: No, we need a new political system. And I did listen to your podcast on politics recently. It was really interesting. But let’s maybe get to that later. Let’s go right back to the basics and define for people listening, in simple terms, what blockchain is and why we might want it, how it’s useful in the world.
Cory: Yeah. So in simple terms, I think people hear blockchain and all these other terms, crypto, etcetera, and it doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to try to describe them in a way that gets 80% of the answer with 20% of the mental effort. Because otherwise you can get lost in the details. And 99.9% of people are at a basics level. So that said, there might be like a little nuance here or there or the other, for somebody who’s at super expert level, you might look at this and go, Well, but you didn’t clarify this. I get that, we got to start somewhere. So in that way, blockchain is essentially just think of it like a chain: links connecting together. So blockchain is just a chain of linked devices. So it could be like a phone or a computer. And in that way you go, okay, well, blockchain, why is that special, right? Well, if you have one computer that says something’s happening and another computer that says it’s not, then the question is, who’s right? Right? Now, if you have 500 computers saying one thing and then one computer saying another, then it’s a lot easier to reconcile, just through computer code, the bad actor. And the bad actor could be, you know, something malicious, like they’re trying to say that something happened that didn’t happen, because of their own self-interest. Or it could just be, you know, imperfection. It could be some kind of issue in the code or whatever it might be. Their computer access to the Internet.
Cory: So in that way, if you have 500 different devices, phones, computers, whatever it might be linked up, you can create a system where they all just kind of validate each other. They all kind of see, okay, what’s the right information that’s going on here? Just like a giant spreadsheet. Well, in that way, you can have private blockchains, you know, something owned by Google. So Google could, let’s say that they have sensitive information that they want to make sure doesn’t get taken down, or hacked into, or stolen, or whatever it might be. So they can do one of a couple of different things. They can put parts of that information on 500 different devices. So anybody could get into 100 of the 500 devices and still not have the full picture. Or they could have something that’s backed up that they can’t lose on a number of devices. So somebody would have to take down all 500 devices in order for them to actually lose access to that permanently. So that’s very powerful in a private sense.
Cory: But in a public sense we can actually, collectively, I can own a device, Manda you can own a device and whoever’s listening, they can own a device. And we can all be a part of validating the thing that we care about. So let’s just say we have a public blockchain that’s all around reforestation. You could have a public blockchain; okay, this is what we’re working on, this is what we’re doing. Well, we can validate that that’s what’s happening and write a simple code. And then with our phones and our computers, we can go, okay, is this happening or is it not? And if somebody tries to get in who’s a bad actor, unless they have the computing power to out compute the entire network, every single other person’s phones and devices, they’re not going to be able to put any false information there. And then that allows us to do all kinds of fun stuff, which, you know, we can go down that rabbit hole. But the simplest one is Bitcoin, to just start there. It allows us to basically exchange money. So let’s say that we walked up at a grocery store and you said, Hey, Cory, send me ten bucks because you didn’t bring your credit card and we’re going to buy those mangos, whatever it might be. Well, in this case, you may not be worried about whether or not I do or don’t actually have the $10, because it’s only $10. But what if it were 10,000 or 15,000? Then you want to know that I actually have the money, and you don’t have access to my bank and all that. It’d be super expensive to do that. And then if I sent the money to you, I don’t want you to be like, Hey, I never received your $10 or $10,000.
Manda: Send it again.
Cory: Send it again. So Bitcoin essentially solved that, what they call the double spend problem, which in banking there’s a whole issue with that. Is that you can double spend or you can even make false stocks and have a bunch of extra shares or stocks.There was a big issue with overstock.com and everything last year. But you can create a bunch of false money, false stocks, false value. And you can also say that like the money just gets lost along the way. There are stories right now, you can look up, where people send $4 million and the banks just lose it. $40 million and they’re just like, we don’t know. We got to find it. We got to track it down. Whereas with Bitcoin, you have a ledger that everybody can validate, so nobody has to trust each other. That one, the first person has the money and the second person received the money. And then the network makes sure that, moving forward, that somebody can’t falsify that in the future. Unless they have enough power to basically out compute the entire rest of the chain for their computing power.
Manda: So each transaction becomes a block on the chain. And as soon as another transaction happens, each block is replicated on however many nodes there are in the system. So let’s say 500. And so the fact that you gave me $10 goes equally to all 500. And then as soon as Gerald over there pays somebody else $10, that goes on top of it and it moves back down the chain very quickly. And you would have to change the entire chain on every computer to falsify this. And that would take more computing power than exists on the planet at the moment, and therefore, it’s not worth it.
Manda: So what we have, then, is a distributed uncorruptible ledger that everybody can agree that we all trust, correct?
Cory: Yep. Without having to have a central authority to give that trust to.
Manda: And so let’s head from there. You mentioned Bitcoin. Bitcoin was an early iteration of this and I guess you were in it early enough when you could mine a Bitcoin on your own standard desktop computer. And now, as far as I can tell, you have to have server farms in China right next to the hydroelectric dams to have enough power to actually mine a coin. And it’s not hundreds of little people in their back bedrooms doing something for fun. It’s 5 or 10 very big server farms using, last thing I heard, was more power than the whole of New Zealand per day. And that this is not necessarily a grand thing. So tell us about that.
Cory: Yeah so that’s actually interesting. So any time that you get information, I’ve found that there’s always a narrative. And the question is, who stands to benefit from that narrative? And right now there is a multi trillion dollar banking industry that stands to benefit from the narrative that Bitcoin is highly power inefficient. If you actually dig into that further, those claims are unsubstantiated. And in fact, actually, if you dig far enough into it, you’ll actually see that the existing banking system, with the full amount of resources, between building all the brick and mortars, between the creation of the money, between managing all the systems, is actually far more energy intensive than any of the major ones, you know, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etcetera. Even the proof of worth systems. Which is super relevant, just because at the end of the day we have to think future forward, where does that really mean for energy depletion? What does that mean for the resources of the planet? How are we evolving as a people? Does this make sense? Is it sustainable?
Cory: So in that way I can say a couple of different things. One is you can still mine on your computer. There are computers you can buy actually. So Calix Solutions is a computer that we like that you can mine off of. You can also get like an s-19 miner, and that’s actually a fairly durable miner. But you can get especially with some of the smaller blockchains, you can get just a small device, a couple hundred bucks. But if you’re willing to put in 800 or $1000, you can start effectively mining Bitcoin today. You don’t need to spend 50 grand.
Manda: We might have to describe to people what that involves, because I think most of the people here are not in the tech space and they don’t understand what mining a bitcoin is and why you need any computer power at all. Can you just give us the edited highlight of that?
Cory: Yeah. So actually I can summarise that super simple actually, because we already talked about the blockchain. So let’s say that in this case I see a future where you can ‘mine’ (and we’ll explain what that means in a second) on your phone. I really want that future, where you’re able to basically be part of that whole ecosystem. All you’re really doing is that you’re one of those 500 phones that are part of the blockchain or Bitcoin. One of the millions of devices, whatever it might be. That mining is just the reward you get for keeping the network validating. Your part of keeping track of the spreadsheet. So it’s kind of like you and 5 million other people are working towards something and then the mining is the reward that comes back. So you’re not actually like chipping away at a Bitcoin, but the new Bitcoin comes into circulation over time, with the last one being 2150. So as new bitcoin comes in there, it goes to the people that are basically keeping the network going. And so they use their computers to create the computing power that makes sure that no bad actors can come in and maliciously falsify stuff. North Korea can’t just come in and say that this much money went to North Korea, you know, whatever it might be, or whomever else. So that’s it. And so the mining is just a reward that you get.
Cory: Now because you have to solve an equation, which I’ll explain that’s kind of one layer deeper; but because you have to solve an equation with your computer, you’re essentially solving a randomly created problem and everybody’s solving that problem. And then once the problem gets solved, the reward gets distributed to those who solve it. And then that block is mine. It’s locked in history and you move forward. So in that way it’s just rewards. It’s just basically getting rewarded for giving your phone device up. And because of the fact that the solving the problem is random and yes, you can increase your odds if you have more computing power. If you’ve got a big server farm, it increases the odds, right? But you could still do it off your small device and mine Bitcoin as well. And so there breaks out to be a cost for every device, where depending on the market, most people on a household device without going too far can be positive. Break even with any energy expenses and equipment costs over a long enough period of time. Should they choose to want to do that. Now, I’m not the person who says that you’re going to go get rich being a miner, but you might want to do that as a way to say that this is your way of contributing to the network. Like you can pay for all of your expenses and then some, typically, if you do it intelligently and contribute to making sure that the Bitcoin network is true, and that it continues on and that people can exchange value and that it doesn’t get taken down.
Manda: Gosh, I can feel some really big rabbit holes opening up, but I think they’re quite arcane and maybe we’ll leave that for another time. So at the moment we’ve looked at Bitcoin, which is proof of work, which is my computer helped to solve a fairly complex cryptographic problem in order to create the next block. There are and clearly you’re not one of them, but there are people who say that using computing power to do that isn’t ideal and that we should have other ways of verifying the network, or of people having access to it. Tell us a little bit about proof of stake and why it’s different and why it might be useful if you think it is useful.
Cory: Yes, I think that first and foremost, it’d be very easy to just start propping up all these different electrically intensive systems, and justifying why they should exist, and then exploiting an energy grid that in many cases is already failing or decaying. So I mean, that that is clearly an issue. I mean, we can’t collectively as a community, oversimplify things and just say, hey, you know, Bitcoin’s not using a bunch of energy, comparative to other things. Therefore we should just continue using a bunch of energy. I think we need to identify the value of the energy usage and compare it to other sources. So then we can say, comparatively, is it better or worse and are we on the right trajectory? And I also think that we need to recognise the energy sources themselves. Because another issue is the local, regional, global issue with energy. Is that energy doesn’t transport well. I believe it’s like 500 miles or something like that, it’s reasonable range, where you have to create it from where you use it from. So what that means is that you have to create energy in places that are not energy rich, and that has a very huge cost. Because you’re transporting energy into places that it doesn’t naturally have it. And you have to be able to have the energy be beyond what the grid needs, because basically you create the supply and then the grid pulls from that supply. So you’re bringing in a bunch of energy, often through coal or worse, depending on if you’re in a third world country, whatever it might be.
Cory: Hopefully it’s natural gas or beyond, but some some kind of very ineffective system. You’re transporting it there. You’re mining it from somewhere else and then you’re building out a network. Even in the middle of the United States, there are some places that are not very ideal. And then you’re forced to use that energy. Or you might have heard of oil flaring and they have to constantly flare off energy and things like that. There’s all these places where energy is just being completely not used. So in the cases where you have proof of work, proof of work meaning that you have proof that it’s true because all the computers worked at solving it. So if they’re working and solving it, there’s the energy. So if you have proof of work, it doesn’t mean that everybody everywhere, in a perfect system, in a perfect society, if one were so be so intelligent to create it. And you know, I don’t know who that person is and I don’t really know that I’d want to. But the perfect society, if you were to engineer it, you would have the proof of work systems next to places where the energy is already being thrown away. Because there are a lot of places in the world where the energy is basically just being tossed out because it can’t be used. So you can validate networks without actually depleting extra resources.
Cory: And the good thing about a system like Bitcoin is you can do that, because it doesn’t matter from which parts of the world you validate those networks, so long as the network is validated. Now, that’s something that we have to do at an individual level because it’s not being done at a governmental level. And the network itself doesn’t choose your intentions, it’s just getting validated or it’s not. So all that to say, big conversation about energy, that’s a rabbit hole in and of itself. But proof of stake is what some might say is an answer to that; the proof is, is that all the people who care about the network agree. So the proof of the stake. Now, the trick is with proof of stake is there could be, back to these 500 devices, the thing with proof of stake is that the 500 devices are also the people who own the network, which means that they have the most financial interest in the network. So the pro is it takes a lot less energy because the fact that you don’t have to have 5 million devices, you just have to have the devices that are staked into the network. Now, to that end, the people who are most vested in that network are probably going to be the most interested and making sure that the network operates in a way that is free of fraud and in line with the mission, vision, values, etcetera. However, that also opens the opportunity to, with proof of stake you could basically buy the network.
Cory: So theoretically, if you were, let’s say, China, I’m not saying they would or wouldn’t want to and I’m not putting any political spin on this. I’m just saying they have the resources and the extra money. They could, let’s say, buy out the Ethereum network and control it because they would have the stake in the network. If they had enough of the nodes, they could buy those out from that point on. I’m not saying that will happen, I’m also not saying Ethereum is not a great network. I love Ethereum. I think a lot of things are built on it. But just whenever you’re comparing it, those that they call Bitcoin maxis, the Maximalists who believe that Bitcoin is the only way around, they would argue the proof of stake is just kind of more of financial system 2.0. Because the ones who had the stake in the systems are the ones who got to write the rules and validate what did or didn’t happen. Now on the opposite side, those who are not bitcoin maxis would say That’s easy to say, but you can also validate much larger amounts of issues, from voting to property rights, to contracts, to all that are very data intensive, for much less costs, much less energy. And there are safeguards put in place on proof of stake systems to keep them from going off the rails and being manipulated. And also a good thing is, the market can also choose because if China were to buy out the Ethereum network, then…
Manda: Create a new network.
Cory: Yeah, yeah, you’re right, a new network. So in that way, hopefully that not only explains proof of work a little bit, proof of stake a little bit, but also talks about the arguments on both sides.
Manda: Yes. And let’s not get embroiled in those because most of us out here in the rest of the world don’t really care. We just want a system that works. And then the question is, how do we create that? So let’s take a step back. I want to move on to DAOs. What our DAOs? And then I want to really move on to Web3. But very briefly, one of the foundations of this podcast is that the current economic system is wholly broken. We need to create a new way of accounting for and exchanging value and storing it. And that potentially cryptocurrencies, however they are created, are possibly the first time we’ve had a currency that is not backed by violence, worldwide. Since the time when humanity decided that we weren’t going to have tribal sharing, we were going to actually need bits of something, tokens, to have a common value stake. Leaving aside the exact technology, can you see ways in which we could create some kind of blockchain based cryptocurrency, that would form a sensible and sane global way of exchanging value? And if so, how is it created in a way that is equitably distributed, so that it isn’t the case that the people with the power of the money?
Cory: Yes, that is the reason why I’m in this space. So all the technological stuff, yes, I like that, I get it. I’m a techie person, and that’s fun. But I really want to do my part and try to make a better world. And so the underlying premise with the podcast, I absolutely agree. That said, okay, let’s dive in a little bit. Starting with DAOs. It’s a Decentralised, meaning that there isn’t a central hub. And then Autonomous, meaning that it can operate on its own, Organisation. Now I will say, most DAOs are varying shades of centralised. Some are more super decentralised and some are less decentralised. It depends on kind of which DAO you’re looking at, for those who know, and many of them are not yet autonomous. They’re working towards autonomy. Assuming that we’re looking at a good DAO, because there’s some beautiful DAOs out there, but assuming that we’re looking at a good DAO, they are good people with a good vision who are working towards writing their processes in a way that it can become code. Where it doesn’t actually have to be all the efforts done by people, much like a traditional organisation. I actually joke that my next book would be 50 Shades of DAO. So there’s a range there, there’s a spectrum. But to kind of speak about it generalistically, about why it would matter, as opposed to a normal organisation. And for that matter why even central organisations like Microsoft ET cetera might want their own DAOs inside of Microsoft.
Cory: In a traditional organisation you have a pyramid. You’ve got the top. The people need to kind of go up and down the chain and it is what it is. That’s been the way that we’ve organised ourselves throughout history, humanity has. Well, for the first time our society has gotten so complex and so specialised that you can be an absolute expert in the type of wood made for chairs. And not even just chairs in general, but a specific type of chair. You can spend your whole life becoming that foremost expert, and this whole top down hierarchy doesn’t make as much sense. When you start looking at hyper complex, complicated societies, where we now have aeroplanes with thousands and thousands of parts, you have all this specialisation spread about where it really can’t be managed. It can be organised in a certain way that the efforts go towards a shared cause, but you start having people that are acting with some level of autonomy, where they can kind of have purview over what they do and how they do it, so long as the outcome is yielded.
Cory: We didn’t really have a good mechanism, a good way for those people to get paid and a good way for them to contribute to anything. And we definitely didn’t have, and this is the biggest thing for me with DAOs and blockchain in general, we didn’t have a good way to collectively generate intellectual property. So we didn’t have a way where you and 3400 other people could collectively say that we contributed and have it tracked how much you contributed towards a certain piece of, let’s say computer code, to make it simple. But it could be also a certain pharmaceutical that was created, a certain cancer drug or whatever it might be. There was no way for you and hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of people to collectively own and create something. Like only Pfizer owned that thing. And so how do you create a tool that we can advance into where the future is already going? And it’s DAOs, because you can set up on the blockchain, a community, you can set up the rules, call it a DAO. You have varying shades of DAO, but you have set up the rules and say, okay, this is what we’re working towards. We are collectively working towards creating a cancer drug together. And then you can assign rules and bounties towards when certain milestones are met. And whenever a certain outcome is hit, like an actual a drug; let’s say funds are raised to take to clinicals and it passes clinical trials and it goes off and gets approved, then you can see who contributed how much and then you can reward them in perpetuity for their contribution.
Cory: So that means that you and 4200 other people created this cancer drug. You own that cancer drug forever. And then the cool thing about that is, okay, what about the next level up? Let’s say that the newest cancer drug is basically only 2% different than the old cancer drug, but it has 50 times the results. Well, right now, with the current patent system, you have to create a completely new product. If you took it to a patent court, somebody could argue that you’re using a similar drug. So they create products that aren’t better, they create products that are more defensible after the patent shelves drop. Which is why the health care costs keep going up and up and up and up and up like crazy, because they have to bring in new drugs that are patentable. Because once they become generic, then the money isn’t there, for Pfizer to take them through clinicals. Because then generic companies could just copy it and they’re not going to spend all the money on all that. So it allows you not only to create the first layer, which is the innovation, the intellectual property, but it also allows for iteration.
Cory: So you could have a cancer drug that 42,000 other DAOs, collectively 120 million other people, now iteratively add to and still have the end result being like a new cancer drug where everybody down the chain from the first contributors all the way to the last contributors get their respective portions. DAOs are the only mechanism. We’re moving into a society that is mostly intellectual property. It’s mostly code and it’s mostly advanced technologies. For instance, to go down a quick rabbit hole and I’ll make a real fast, because it’s easy to do. AI. If you have extremely intelligent AI, would you want that to be owned by Facebook or Google? Or would you want that to be owned by a decentralised autonomous organisation of, let’s say, 42 million people that collectively say this is what we want AI to do and not do. We want to vote on whether or not it should be able to mine our information from our children or not. Like if it sees everything that’s going on, and it sees our kid just said something, and they’re nine years old, do we want it to recognise whether or not that kid should get in different classes in school or not? We can vote on those things because collectively we own it and also collectively, whatever we build, we receive rewards off of it. But we have a say not only on where the money is coming from, but how.
Cory: Whereas if it’s owned by a central authority, you don’t have that anymore. And then you get to this winner takes all scenario, where especially looking at the way AI is advancing and quantum computing and all that kind of stuff, it’s not unreasonable to think that some time in our lifetimes, somebody could get to the point in time where their AI is ten times smarter, ten times faster, and then it’s learning by the second. So it goes from ten times to 100 times to 1000 times faster in one minute, than all the other AI collectively in the world. And at that point in time, if it’s designed strictly for the purpose of mining resources, i.e. making money, then at that point in time the globe is controlled, or this part of the solar system or whatever that looks like, is controlled by that organisation should they choose. And we only have to hope that the people who own the organisation choose to be morally just, and not use that power even though they have it.
Manda: Yeah, that always struck me as the definition of the technological singularity, is when we create the system that can design and build its own successor, we are effectively redundant in the Evolution of that kind of intelligence. And at that point the exponential growth is we have no idea where it’s going to take us.
Cory: Yeah. And a DAO is a perfect way for us to try to grapple with these large concepts. We go, okay, what are things that we would like? We would prefer to be owned by a lot of us, as opposed to a handful of us. And how can we design systems that benefit everybody who’s contributing in a way that is in perpetuity? Because that’s the other thing about a DAO too, is you can create a token around an outcome. And if that token is yielding a result, like i.e. a cancer drug, you brought it to market and there’s money to be made off of that. Unlike if you worked for Pfizer, where you only got paid for your time, you would be able to move yourself over into the space where entrepreneurs are at, where you actually get paid for your efforts in perpetuity, so long as your efforts are yielding results. And that’s where a lot of people get stuck in this poverty trap, is that they’re constantly trading their time for money, just enough money to survive, at the expense of all the other time they can put in other places. So if you can create something iteratively that pays you back through a DAO, then that also allows us to open up a lot of different opportunities economically for people who might not otherwise have them.
Manda: Gosh, this opens up so many fields. I really want to move on to Web3, but I have a question in that last statement. I have so many questions in the DAO field. But I started off life as a veterinary surgeon. Your side of the Atlantic, that would be veterinarian. Having worked in science, so much of science is in not getting results. I was talking to a social scientist yesterday and she said, now nobody is allowed to get a PhD unless it’s actually proved that something does work. When I was growing up, lots of PhDs proved that something didn’t work and actually that was really useful. If you work for Pfizer at the moment and you work in something that doesn’t work, you still get your salary. I’m not suggesting I think this is a good way of doing things, but it does allow you to explore things that might work, but don’t. If we go to a world where you only get the funding for the stuff that works, that pyramid collapses quite fast because you can’t do the experiments that you don’t think are going to work, because you’re not going to make any money. Has anybody thought their way through that?
Cory: Yes. Yes. So that’s actually a big issue. So I have an entrepreneurial background, so I know what it’s like to actually pay people for services. And the fact that if you can’t pay somebody before an outcome is yielded, they can’t show up to work because they don’t have food or a place to live, etcetera. So there’s clearly a need to resolve that issue. And of course, you can set up a DAO that you can set up through the rules, where if you want to pay people, you can do that. It’s just you define what are the terms of payment. But I will say that’s been an issue in the industry, and an issue that I’ve talked about a lot, is that right now, because it’s a nascent industry, a lot of it is being done based off of results. And the problem with that is I’ve seen so many people get super excited about a project, that I truly believe the project will be successful eventually, but they’re expecting it to be successful tomorrow or worse. And I don’t ever advise this. Because they want the token to moon, go to the moon, go up or whatever. That’s not why I’m crypto, don’t ever advise that, that’s not what matters to me. But for people that do that, they expect some kind of outcome to happen tomorrow. And whenever it doesn’t, because it’s not how it works; we overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in ten. Six months from now there’s huge attrition. All these people came in, maybe dozens, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands of people came in and they wanted to help in some way, but there wasn’t money to pay them to help, yet.
Cory: And the money then, whenever it actually starts to work, comes in well after they’re gone. Because DAOs don’t have a clear structure for how to divvy out funds from people contributing in the beginning, and a way that we can afford to do it between here and there. I do think that we’ll understand, because as someone who’s thinks about innovation all day, every day, I also think about history. And I recognise that we sometimes throw away all of the lessons from the past, whenever we want to engineer something for the future. And we don’t look at, okay, why did those things come into come into being. DAOs have to grapple with the fact that whenever they start as an organisation, there is an obligation to any of the contributors coming in and so they need to have funds for that. Then you have ways to pay people to do certain things. Even if it’s less to start, they need to recognise that there has to be some sustainability there. Or otherwise it’s relegated to only be done by the people who are already financially well off enough to be able to join a DAO and then wait for a reward 4 or 5 years from now. Fortunately I’ve been able to stay in this space because I could do things like that. But that’s the vast minority of the world’s population, where they can just step in and be like, Hey, I’m going to contribute to this. And, you know, I just want to see it happen for impact alone, I’d be satisfied. One, most people can’t say that because they still have to survive. And two, if there is a financial return, if and when, if it’s four years from now, that’s fine. That is an issue that some are solving better than others, but then that kind of creates a scenario where some DAOs are becoming more centralised. So there’s pros and cons throughout all this, to make a simple thing complicated.
Manda: Can you see a way to a world where we have tokens that store exchange and account for value flowing, in such a way that people can do what they want to do and explore the stuff that they want to explore? In a world where they have enough food, water, shelter, clean air and social connection, assuming that those are the real basics. If you listen to Simon Michaux, we also need kind of sewage control and industrial creation. But where we’ve got the essentials of living that are exchangeable for tokens, in a way that the tokens do not accumulate at the top, how does cryptocurrency or does cryptocurrency enable more equity? And if so, how? Let me just take this one step back. We started off with money in human society, the small portion of human society that used money. Because for most of human history we haven’t. It was little bits of metal because it’s ductile and it doesn’t decay. And you can’t clip the edges off it. And if you’re Nero you can make the silver, you can water it down with nickel and it still looks much the same. And so you could trade one little coin for another little coin and it was actual physical stuff. And then we moved to the era of imaginary money, which is what we’re in at the moment, which, as you said, governments could basically make it up out of nothing and hand it out, and hope that the whole system didn’t collapse. And we’re a bit like Wile E Coyote. We’re way out across the canyon on that one. At some point someone’s going to realise that these things are just basically bits and bytes in a computer and they have no reference to anything tangible. If we start off with cryptocurrency knowing that it isn’t reference to anything tangible, how are we going to create it and share it in a way that everybody agrees that it has value? And that its value is exchangeable for actual tangible things that you can eat and drink and build a house with.
Cory: That’s a fantastic question. So I’ll start with the simple answer, which is Bitcoin has value because the network has value because being able to transport millions of dollars or tens of dollars, whatever you want, or $0.42 in seconds or minutes, that’s valuable. Now that said, you start getting more abstract as you get further down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole. So I believe, personally speaking, this is a personal belief and I know that not all in the industry agree with me, but that those things should be attached to tangible value. That it should be attached to proof of, you know, intellectual property, proof of real property. So taking like proof of ownership and putting it on the blockchain, I believe that that’s where the value for the future is really at. So there’s $500 trillion worth of physical assets that could be put on the blockchain and you could own them better. You could get to the point in time where you can own $10 worth of a 345 unit apartment complex that yields rents. Never before has somebody who, let’s say, was impoverished had the opportunity to get access to anywhere where the money didn’t just evaporate. Because right now, whenever you look at basically even middle class, most middle class, they’re just struggling to survive. They’re not able to save up enough money to get into financial instruments that won’t deplete in value. Because even if you’re saving money, the money that you have, we know inflation, right? It’s going down in value over time.
Cory: So. Even if you have money, until you get into something that’s at least stable or increasing in value, you’re losing money by the second. So all the efforts that you went are just depleting in value. And so what happens is there’s a good percentage of the world that doesn’t get the access to be able to get into like museum art pieces or real estate or any of the kind of stuff that we’ve learned, hold value or appreciate in value over time. Now if you take that and put that on the blockchain and then turn that into a token and allow somebody to have proof of the fact that this this one token is actually this percentage of this apartment complex. And nobody can say that you don’t own it, or nobody can create more tokens of the apartment complex, so they can water down the value of it like they do with the dollar. They just distribute more. And you can have all of that verifiable on the blockchain. Like that’s extraordinarily empowering. So we’re kind of getting into layers of abstraction. The next layer of abstraction down, is where we go, okay, those are tangible things we already know have value, and saying there’s a better way for you to be able to purchase them, get into them at lower values, own them, be able to sell them, transfer countries with them.
Cory: That’s all valuable. But what about the layer where we get to define value for ourselves? Because this is the first time in human history where we can, with this layer of complexity, with how complex our society is and the things that we value are, we can collectively as a group go, you know what, you know what I think is more important as money or equally as important as money? Planting a tree. Whatever it might be. And assign a value to that and create a token for every single time that that happens. And then have that token have value not only through inside of our community, but outside of our community, to other communities who go, You know what? I also value that and I think it’s equally as value as my, you know, save a whale coin, whatever it might be. And so long as people in the community and outside the community find that that’s valuable, then it has value. Now, that said, you go, okay, it’s attached to a real outcome, right? In crypto, there’s a lot of people saying we’re going to do something, so it’s a hypothetical outcome, like not realised outcome. I’m not advocating for that.
Manda: Okay. Yeah. Because that’s just inventing money again isn’t it.
Cory: Just inventing money again. Yeah. What I really don’t like about the banks is that I’m not the bank, so I’m going to create my own form of money and off I go. So in that way, attached to actual outcome, it gives access to the rest of the world to go, You know what? I also find value in that too, and I’d rather trade my money for that outcome. And so long as the outcome is tracked, so I can verify that the outcome happens, then the rest of the world might find some value to the fact that I contributed to that in some way. Much like people mining bitcoin contributed to people being able to send money, by getting some bitcoin in return, you can get a token for a tree getting planted. How all these systems work, though, really depends on us. We’re at a point right now, where technologically it isn’t the issue for us to say what we find valuable, how we interact with it, how we compensate each other. The issue is just how creative we are with actually building these systems out and whether or not regulations allow for us to innovate in these new creative ways. So if you don’t like the way that cryptocurrency is working right now, and by and large, I don’t. There are some things I love, of course or I wouldn’t be in this industry. But if you don’t, if you don’t like the way it’s working, create something new. There are tools, there are communities, there are systems. As you step into it, you can build kind of a parallel system and operate inside of it. Try it out. This is a beautiful time in history. So for all of those who are disenfranchised and thinking that crypto is just another one of these things, you get to decide whether or not it is or isn’t. Like write down on a board. And by the way, you can reach out to me, go on LinkedIn, you can reach out. Cory Feco, also Twitter. But you can just reach out, DM me and say, Hey, look, this is what I care about. What do I do about it? Because chances are, you’d be surprised, most people are surprised that there’s already an organisation probably working in that sphere, working on that, that they can just join. Or there’s tools already existing. Not like tomorrow tools, but today’s tools where they can build around that core cause or passion.
Manda: Brilliant. Again, lots of rabbit holes we could go down there. We might get to. But let’s move on to further down my list of things I wanted to talk about, because we’ve only got two down. The Web3 revolution. Tell us what it is and what its core values are as you understand them. Who’s perpetuating it? And particularly how can people listening become involved? Because it’s a continuation of what you’ve been saying.
Cory: So web3 in the simplest possible way is Web1, the first version of the Internet, you couldn’t contribute to it. It was read only. You could go on, you could read stuff, but you couldn’t contribute to it. Not in any meaningful way. And then Web2, it was read, write. You could read it, you could also write onto it. You could think Facebook. You get in there and be like, Oh, this is what’s going on with my day. Here’s what I care about. You contribute to it, but you still don’t really own Facebook per se.
Manda: You definitely don’t own Facebook. Zuckerberg owns Facebook.
Cory: Yeah. They might own you. But in that way, though it was read write. And then the concept of web3 is read, write, own. So you actually own this thing in a meaningful way. You actually have say on what happens. Meaning you can vote if you don’t like the way that Facebook operates or if you have a social media platform like Facebook, not only do you get to read what’s on there, you get to write what’s on there, because you’re a contributor, but you can also have a say in whether or not it operates a certain way. And you can also, too, if there’s rewards, financial returns from your contributions, then you can also receive those returns. So it allows you to go from a way where, in a much more real manner, you can actually own the bits of the internet that you create or that you contribute to. And it’s as simple as that, really.
Manda: And how does that take us to revolution? Because I’ve heard you refer to the Web3 revolution and it sounded like it was very aligned to the premise of this podcast, that it was creating a much more equitable, regenerative, sustainable world. How do you get from read write own to that?
Cory: So for the last thousands of years, there was no way to iteratively build value for the poor and middle classes. I Mean, for that matter, there wasn’t even middle classes for all of history. There’s no way for you to contribute in a way where the moment your time is done, your income is over. Now, you do need obviously, to cover your income because, that was something we touched on earlier, because you have to pay the bills. Right. But above and beyond paying the bills and having your minimum needs met, which I do agree also includes social. But after you have your minimum needs met, what happens towards future contributions? What can you really hand on to your kids or your community if you don’t have kids? And there’s not a lot of ways to do that that don’t also require more money, that aren’t something you can easily get into. And whenever you allow for Fractionalised contribution and ownership with returns and perpetuity on everything that we touch, and most importantly the Internet. Some people forget we’re actually at the beginning stages, it’s not that old. Even the Internet, I’m not even talking about blockchain, the Internet as we understand it, is not that old. And if you plot it out as over time, and start thinking about where the future is going to be in 2030, between artificial intelligence and also even like the Internet of Things.
Cory: And they’re all communicating back and forth. Your refrigerator talks to your phone, talks to your front door or whatever. And you start thinking about all this. You go, okay, well, how do I actually get in on that? So as the industry scopes up, I actually get some kind of return on that. And by and large, most people can’t. Unless they actually own some piece of that in some kind of fractional way, where their contributions are returns in perpetuity. And the ownership is something that they can hold no matter whether or not their government goes down or their government feels one way or another politically. You know, because if you’re thinking over a long enough timeline, right? If you look over a 20, 30, 40 year timeline, you think of generations, not to get too scary or anything like that, but you go two, 300 years back, the governments that are around today, by and large, aren’t the same governments. And so you start thinking about like generational wealth and how you can start to reshape things over time.
Cory: You want to be able to create mechanisms where 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years from now you aren’t reliant on the contract rights. Even if you are more advanced and you have money, you aren’t reliant on the contract rights of a government that’s been modified or changed or whatever it might be. Because then all of a sudden your generational wealth is gone. I mean, you’re gone, but it’ll affect your kids, your, your grandkids or whatever, community members, etcetera. So all of these tools allow you something that is without those central parties, I mean ideally without those central parties, you now have something that you can verify you own and over time can reap whatever returns based off of however you design it. So that allows not only the opportunity financially for the lower and middle classes, but also I think the biggest thing is it allows for hope. Because right now if you’re in those situations, you don’t really have a lot of tools and you don’t see a clear way to get out of your situation. And there’s plenty of people that would step up and say, just pick yourself up by your bootstraps. But they’ve clearly never lived in those situations and had those lack of resources, etcetera.
Cory: And so they start to see, okay, here’s a clear way where I can contribute, get the outcomes I’m looking for. And then on the opposite side of that, there’s trillions of dollars worth of resources that want to get poured into people that now no longer care where they live. So long as they have internet access, they can contribute to this larger thing and they can also contribute in a fair way. So whether you live in Ghana or you live in Colombia, it doesn’t really matter if the outcome you yield is is worth $120,000 a year plus whatever perpetuity stock type, you know, comparable. That’s what you’re going to get paid now, because you can contribute to these larger communities, so long as that community actually abides by those principles and pays those people fairly regardless of where they live. But all of these things didn’t exist before in this same manner. And now they do. And now you can get creative on like how you pick a particular sector or particular industry and build on that. But at the end of the day, owning something and owning it in perpetuity where it can’t get taken away from you, really accounts for a lot.
Manda: Brilliant. It’s really interesting, because listening to your podcast, I had somehow got the idea that we were building an anti-capitalist, differently energised, different property rights subculture, that was basically forking out a new government. Did I get that wrong or is that inherent in what you just said?
Cory: I would say that to approach the conversation in a way that makes sense, we need to change things. There are two ways, to overgeneralise, that you can change them. One is you can set it on fire and then take the pieces and try to cobble them all together. The other one is you can build something better and over time people can see that that’s a better place to put their resources, their time, their energy, their money. Et cetera.
Manda: The Buckminster Fuller idea of you don’t overthrow the system, you create a new system that makes the old one obsolete.
Manda: Brilliant. And that’s what you’re doing.
Cory: Yes. And so in that way, to clarify, it’s something if I were in any level of government, I would adopt this wholeheartedly. So for the governments that are corrupt, for the politicians that are corrupt, nothing we can say to them matters. So clearly they’re outside of this conversation, because if they’re trying to extract from the people, own self-interest, etcetera, like we are clearly not talking to them because there’s no point in wasting energy. But of the people that are inside of a system, who love their constituents, who love the people, who love, who want to see a better world, who care about these causes, but are stuck operating in a certain way because of the way that that system is currently designed; by giving them tools to do more of the things that they care about, they can actually step in. Like, for instance, a government bod. Like you could have a government official come in and say, okay, let’s actually raise money from the community, so the community actually owns this infrastructure project. And then whenever we build it, pay and returns base off the actual outcomes of the infrastructure build. And then you actually get the outcome that you’re looking for and it’s not just raising tax money.
Cory: Because I think by and large, those who want politics to work, are in politics, don’t want any of that kind of stuff. And so if we start giving the transparency, like sunlight being the best antiseptic, you start giving that transparency and allowing them to do the things they say they want to do and they actually want to do, hopefully. We’re talking to that section of the political sphere. Then that allows governments themselves to transition into the ideologies that they really want to have and spend less of the time being the governments that all of us, I think even them, want to fight against. So in that way, I just want to make sure that somebody listening to this from a governmental side of things goes, This is for you too. Like so long as you aren’t one of the ones that want to control the money supply.
Manda: I’d be really surprised if anybody in any government around the world listens to this podcast, so I wouldn’t worry unduly about that. But it seems so from my perspective. There’s a project in a city called Hull, which is in the north east of England. It’s extremely deprived. It was one of the places that used to get a lot of EU money and then we decided not to bother, turn it all down. And they’ve created something called Hull Coin, which is on the blockchain and it’s a social currency. And so they’ve defined, the governance structure has defined, but I’m guessing you could get a citizens assembly to define, what it is that’s worth value. So for instance, they might say that giving up smoking is a good thing. And if you’ve gone to a giving up smoking clinic, I have no idea, but whatever. And the people there go, Yep, showing every sign of having given up smoking, then you get a Hull Coin. And you keep getting one every two weeks until you go back into smoking or you don’t. Helping little old ladies across the road, teaching kids to read and write. Hull Coins. And then it’s not linked to the UK currency, which is interesting. It’s not taxable. What it’s worth then is also a highly variable feature. The incidents that I heard was that when a football match starts, a soccer match in the US, ten minutes after the whistle is blown for it to start, the tickets are worth nothing. Earlier they were worth, I don’t know, £50, £60.
Manda: Now they’re worth nothing at all. But you could say, okay, they’re worth half a Hull coin. And you can come in ten minutes after the match had started and frankly, you’re not going to miss very much. And we’ve got a bunch of empty seats. You can come in and have them. Or the municipal swimming pool has a space at 11:00 on a Thursday morning where there’s not many people here. So it’s quarter of a Hull coin, come in and swim. Or the library is open and it’s whatever. So you’ve got a social currency. Or I could say, you know what, my car now it’s worth a Hull coin. You can have my car for one Hull coin. And if you want to actually pay money, it’s ten grand. So you’ve got a parallel currency. And it seems to me that when you’ve created that, you could equally say, we’ve all got solar panels. We’re going to give everybody solar panels and all of the energy is going to be channelled in and you will get an amount of coin dependent on the solar panels on your roof. And roughly that should be equitable. And suddenly we have ways of creating and generating currency that have got nothing to do with the current system. If we could tie that to ways of generating governance, that has nothing to do with the current system. I love your enthusiasm for you thinking there are people in the current political system who are actually not kleptomaniac psychopaths. I haven’t met many.
Cory: I didn’t say what percentage.
Manda: That’s true. Okay. Yeah. Yes. Okay. I could probably name the ones in the UK and it wouldn’t take me very long. Let’s assume that we have other people. We are in a global meta crisis where we’re facing extinction. It would be nice to elevate actual people who have actual brains and actual emotional literacy. It’s not impossible to think of political systems that allow those people to become the people who create the means of implementing the decisions made at local level by citizens assemblies. All of that becomes something that is blockchain able as a way of maintaining the uncorruptible ledger that you mentioned right at the start. Is this where the Web3 revolution is heading, or am I just projecting all of my wishes and wants onto it
Cory: No, I would say that I am of the opinion that most things are better more localised. That’s not everything, but most things. And the problem is that you don’t have ways to create localised value outside of web3, to create localised value that transfers in a global way. That’s fungible, meaning you can transfer it and it’s something that carries along with you. And you also don’t have ways, prior to web3, to decide what that local value is in creative ways. So you can now determine what your local value is and get creative about that. And so long as there is an exchange, somebody willing to exchange for that value, that local value can go anywhere in the world. And that really opens up a lot of opportunities. Because I would like to believe that most people are good. Now I’m not saying everyone’s good, but I’d like to believe that most people are good. And so the outcomes where things aren’t good or because the systems incentivise something to be bad and therefore, you know, obviously, as incentive goes, so the money flows. So if people are inherently good, they want to be able to support things that they care about and they want to create a network of those things, so long as they’re able.
Cory: So if I can see that at a local level, I can support something. Because this is not new. I mean, charity has existed forever. It just this is kind of almost like charity 2.0, if you will, in some ways. Like for those not looking for a return, like you can just verify that the outcome happened and you can verify where the funds went and you can verify what other market goes along with it. People want to make the world a better place, especially if they’re in the position to do so. They want to create these local communities that care about the things that they’re working on. They just haven’t always had the tools. Now we do. And so really, where we’re at is just a point where the limit is based off of, especially over the next ten years or so, is based off of creativity and regulation. But if we can move things towards a hyper local, I think the world would be much better off, by and large.
Manda: Okay. We haven’t got to chat GPT but let’s do that another time because that’s a whole huge rabbit hole on its own. And it’s. Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. Right. Thank you. In that case, thank you. If people want to get hold of you, I’ll put your LinkedIn, if you’re open for that. I hope you don’t get 10,000 emails all at the same time. But yeah, this has been really interesting. If people want to learn more, where would be a good place for people for whom this is not a familiar space but who have become encouraged by what you’ve said. To find out particularly more about DAOs and Web3.
Cory: Yeah, well, so first and foremost, you can listen to the DOI Foundation podcast that’s on Spotify, iHeartRadio, iTunes. Most of the places, Google Music, where you’re listening.
Manda: I will link it in the show notes. Yeah, for sure.
Cory: You can listen to that, but also there’s actually a number of really fantastic websites, one being DAOHQ. So, good people over there, Lucas and Emmett started that up and launched it and it’s a fantastic website where you can go and you can search for DAOs by category. So you can start like categorising different things that you might be interested in and you can even buy governance tokens. And then from there, of course, if you’re not in the space, you’ll find out that you’re very quickly going to get on to Telegram or Twitter or Discord or something like that, because there’s going to be some community discussions that are happening there. But I would say kind of go into daohq.co and go down that rabbit hole. If you’re still looking for inspiration, you can of course reach out to me through the DOI Foundation and also through crypto world, which I’m also a part of as well. We’re going to continue to create a number of educational content pieces and tools to onboard people into the space. But in the meantime, you can always, if you’re you got an idea, you’re not seeing anything anywhere about it. You can always send me a DM that says, Hey, I want to change the world in this way. Is anybody doing anything about it? And I’ll direct you if I can. And if not, I’ll be like, Hey, that’s a great idea. Maybe you should try these tools and keep me posted as you go.
Manda: Brilliant. Okay, I will link to everything in the show notes and hopefully we’ll see an explosion of DAOS based in the UK. That would be really cool.
Cory: That would be cool.
Manda: Fantastic. Cory, thank you so much for your time. This has been so, so interesting and I hope your conversations with the lawmakers go well in the next few days.
Cory: Me too.
Manda: And there we go. That’s it for another week. A deep dive into the world of bits and bytes and DOIs and web3 and the revolution and why it matters. I still think I have a lot of learning to do on this. And particularly this seems to be a way of looking at the world that is new to me. Genuinely, I had never thought of trying to set up something that permanently allocated ownership of things, partly because I think I’m trying to get to a world where ownership is held in common. But maybe that’s not going to work and maybe this is the way forward. So I will carry on exploring. And in the meantime, huge thanks to Cory for all that he’s doing. At the time I am recording this outro, he is busy talking to lawmakers about how to make all this stuff work, which is really quite exciting. So there we go. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with Grace Rahmani talking about her DAO, which is one of the reasons I didn’t ask explicitly for examples, because we’re going to have a whole podcast devoted to one example.
Manda: And then there’s a group of people setting up something called the Kin DAO that has been on Cory’s podcast. And if I can possibly speak to them probably 6 or 8 months from now, then I will definitely do that. Because again, these things sound like the future of the ways that we can create communities of place and of passion and of purpose, around the world. In ways that might actually work. So, as ever, we’ll be back next week with another completely different conversation. In the meantime, huge thanks to Caro C for wrestling with the sound and for the music at the head and foot. Thanks to Faith Tilleray for the website and the continual conversations that keep us moving forward too. To Anne Thomas for the transcripts. An extra thank you to Ben, of Earthsong Seeds for writing me a very lovely card to say that he listened to the podcast when I was ordering my seeds from earthsongseeds.co.uk. I will put a link in the show notes. And as ever, thanks to all the rest of you for listening. It really makes a difference to know that you are out there, that you care, and that together we are endeavouring to change the world. So if you know of anybody else who wants to get to grips with DAOs and blockchain and all the rest of it, please do send them this link. And that is it for now. Thank you and goodbye.
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