In the 1990s, Linus Torvalds turned his community software project Linux into the leading choice for global server infrastructure, paving the way for free and open source software (FOSS) in an industry used to large bankrolls from powerful corporations. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto took the next step with open-source money, a concept set to change the world to an even greater extent. Decentralized currency provides new incentives for engineers and creators and redistributes power among individuals.
As Apple rolls out surveillance technology to iPhones, technology approaches a crossroads. Only projects with a strong ethical mission will be principled enough to turn down the temptation of harvesting their users’ data, once Apple sets the precedent. In the same way that wireless headphones exploded in Apple’s wake, centralized services owe it to their shareholders to seize the market opportunity of user surveillance. Restricted freedom makes for better sales.
When an industry starts to overflow with venture capital (VC) funding, there is an increased tendency to compromise. Even in traditional business circles, critics point out that this type of funding pushes startups to grow however they can, to secure the next funding round and an ever-higher valuation and, ultimately, to cash out via IPO or acquisition by a large corporation looking to buy innovation. In cryptocurrency, this high-risk pursuit is exacerbated by targeting absurd returns and underestimating Bitcoin’s resistance to compromise.Building without limits
There are two approaches to building cryptocurrency-related projects: build for short-term growth, or build for long-term sustainable value. Internet users have been increasingly monetized over the past two decades, and crypto communities as a subset are highly engaged and willing to invest in entirely new services and products, making it an attractive bet for investments from venture capitalists targeting a significant short-term ...