Public Goods have long been Capitalism’s problem child, but a subset of the crypto world is building new tools to address them — a quick overview on 1Hive, Gitcoin, and the Token Engineering Commons.
At this point in cryptocurrency’s infancy, most of the work being done is still on infrastructure, i.e. protocols, exchanges, fiat ramps, oracles and such; the equivalent of public transportation, sewage systems and electrical grids for our new city. Most of the real-world economic solutions being built with crypto so far are addressing low-hanging fruit, like:
Circa 2013, I remember Googling something along the lines of “what is the total value of all Bitcoin?” and seeing coinmarketcap.com for the first time. The great big list of tokens was overwhelming — I had a basic understanding of Bitcoin by then, but I couldn’t wrap my head around what all those tokens were and why they existed.
AirCarbon is issuing crypto tokens backed by carbon credits, bringing a $300 billion market to the Ethereum platform, giving investors global access to tokens that fight global warming, and advancing an important class of financial asset.
Back in 2012, it looked like the experiment to create a global carbon market might fail. Carbon credits had been in a downward price spiral since the recession and their survival was in jeopardy. Since then, carbon markets have more than recovered, reaching a $296 billion market value in 2018 and continuing their growth since.
What would the world look like if we stored the economic value of our public goods?
It’s not an intuitive problem, but the fact that public good value isn’t stored has been devastating for society. Our public goods are severely underfunded because we’re dependent on government spending and donations to finance them, and from a strict financial returns perspective, these are terrible investments.
A public good whose value was stored, on the other hand, would allow investors to put capital down that contributed to the creation of that good, and then later sell their investment for market value, maybe even…
Born in Rochester, NY