Ben’s List 44



Digital ownership, the birth of a new concept

“From a legal standpoint, our immersion in this entirely digital world is posed to challenge a number of legal concepts that have arisen out of the material world, including the fundamental concept of ‘ownership’. Important questions, such as whether virtual assets qualify for ‘ownership’, or whether new forms of ownership will emerge from the metaverse, are going to demand attention from users of the metaverse, and potentially from law makers, as the world transitions into virtual environments.”

Fat Protocols

“What’s significant about this dynamic is the effect it has on how value is distributed along the stack: the market cap of the protocol always grows faster than the combined value of the applications built on top, since the success of the application layer drives further speculation at the protocol layer. And again, increasing value at the protocol layer attracts and incentivises competition at the application layer. Together with a shared data layer, which dramatically lowers the barriers to entry, the end result is a vibrant and competitive ecosystem of applications and the bulk value distributed to a widespread pool of shareholders. This is how tokenized protocols become ‘fat’ and its applications ‘thin’.”

Publishing on crypto

“Crypto’s innovation is infusing value exchange with all the desirable attributes of a digitally-native information medium—programmability, interoperability, composability, virality, transferability. Importantly, crypto solved the one major limitation of digital mediums that previously made them unsuitable for a purely digital representation of value—scarcity guarantees.

Crypto protocols therefore blur the line between information and value. They encode value as information, and, consequently, information as value. Crypto turns media into financial assets, and as well as financial assets into media.

With crypto, sending five dollars to a relative across the globe is finally as easy as sending them a family photo.”

Chris Dixon and Packy McCormick on the future of crypto

“The year ahead will show that blockchains can support a lot more applications beyond money and finance. In 2022 decentralised services will chip away at big tech companies’ stranglehold on the internet. A cluster of new ‘web3’ technologies, such as tokens, will dramatically improve the digital economics of creators, technologists and small businesses.”

Crypto & NFTs: Network Effects in Web3

“The second possibility is that we are still too early in the web3 cycle for sustainable defensibility to emerge — similar to Yahoo during the early years of web 1.0 and Myspace in web 2.0. In other words, most projects are still experimenting with the capabilities of web3. And the long-term winners — with stronger and more defensible network effects — will only emerge after this phase of experimentation.”


Game Design for Public Services

“Gamification, or the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts, has demonstrated a unique ability to capture attention and promote behaviour change in users. This is true across a number of fields that are relevant to public sector challenges, including Health and Social Care, Sustainability, and Education. We explore the opportunities for Gamification to transform public service design across these areas, as well as in Diversity and Inclusion and Financial Welfare and Wellbeing, and make recommendations for government to enable and take advantage of this transformation.”


Generative Art Guide: Examples, Software and Tools to Make Algorithm Art

“Generative Art is a process of algorithmically generating new ideas, forms, shapes, colors or patterns. First, you create rules that provide boundaries for the creation process. Then a computer  follows those rules to produce new works on your behalf.”

Generative Art by Manolo Gamboa Naon, an Argentinian artist who uses algorithmic tools including Processing to create art.


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