The Product Signals of Distributed Computing

The theory of it all

It is necessary to ask though what the north star is, that we’re aiming for within this whole decentralization movement? Is it simply to add a technological layer to society or in the case of the thesis provided — should we not be looking to find a business layer and a design layer to all of this that fits?

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The business layer(s) that some have sought to align this technological layer to is the crowdfunding model, which is why ICOs were born. They of course have taken on different names like TGE’s — Token Generation Events, but in the end — this business model hasn’t proven to be sustainable. Even IEOs are invalid because they still require an intermediary that takes on the form of a centralized exchange; this defeats the entire purpose of the decentralization movement. DAICOs on the other hand meet the philosophical criterion.

Another business model that some have sought to align distributed computing to is the “… as a service” business model. This however stands to reason is something that at a philosophical level once again — doesn’t really stand true to decentralization. If people are paying to a central body on a recurring basis in order to access said digital service, should that be considered a true Web 3.0 product? Though, this may already be disingenuous to begin with as these “… as a service” — based distributed computing products out there aren’t really Web 3.0- products, but rather Web 2.5 products.

Therefore, the business layer as identified by Andreessen Horowitz and myself that I think will make the most sense and be the best fit is the business cooperative. The reason for this is laid out quite clearly:

Because crypto-networks are information networks based open source code, shared state, automated “smart contracts”, and 24/7 international markets — all tools that allow participants to find one another, share information, and coordinate — these networks can more easily get past the bootstrap hump that cooperative enterprises traditionally face. By encoding commitments to continued cooperation in software, crypto-networks can engender trust at new scales, both granular (due to cost efficiencies) and macro (due to

social scalability).

As a means to look at the future state, long-term viability, and providing a solution that aims to systemically tackle the grand challenges of our world: crypto-network cooperatives can possibly be one of the best manifestations of Capitalism 2.0.

With that said, what about the design layer? To expand on the article Andreessen Horowitz published, I would argue that the final missing piece has to take into account of one more crucial element within Capitalism 2.0. By considering the grandest challenges facing humanity today — in other words, the Sustainable Development Goals and what many consider to be the area that distributed computing will have the most relevancy to — we should look to answer questions pertaining to large-scale systems and processes.

Having done design work for a blockchain-based social enterprise called Raise and being friends with folks such as Lucia (founder of Emerge), I can confidently say that blockchain and social impact go hand-in-hand. The truth is however that everything is still evolving and in my mind — for distributed computing to have the kind of social impact it needs to have, a certain body of knowledge should be looked into.

This is where Circular Economics comes into play:

By peering into this world, we would find the answer to our above question:

Our design layer — Circular Design — the innate quality of cooperatives that makes natural sense for them to be married. Cooperatives are communal by nature and therefore has the potential to be circular by nature, because circular systems are self-perpetuating, self-sustaining, and self-supporting. Principally-speaking, cooperatives and circular economics make a “magnificent pair”.

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