What could be more valuable than a good idea?
At its inception, the US dollar could be reliably exchanged for some amount of gold. Whatever you opinion of gold, its international recognition meant its value was unlikely to reach zero. In 1933, President Roosevelt did away with this “gold standard”. While this was meant to be temporary, the gold standard was never reinstated. So what did the dollar represent after the gold standard was revoked? It represented a feeling, a sense of trust, in the success of the United States. This has more or less worked out, and was relatively unquestioned. That is, until Bitcoin came along.
Bitcoin, which in one sense means nothing apart from the ability of computers to solve very complex calculations, has somehow managed to leverage this seemingly benign activity into an economy that will be valued at more than 180 billion US dollars before the end of 2020. How is that possible? The easy answer is drugs, purchased on the dark web alongside an apparently endless supply of other questionable products and services. And yes, legal stuff too. A complex answer would take into account the emotional premium of buyers with hopes of someday 10x’ing their investment, or the hopeful anarchists who envision a world without central banks. While all of these “meanings” are valid, especially the ability to buy therapeutically-proven-yet-astonishingly-illegal drugs, I can’t shake the feeling that cryptocurrencies are somehow incomplete. What if we could build the same systems, decentralized, global, and democratically accessible, but founded on something that we all care deeply about?
Unless you have a fetish for the hot, mindless computer groan of hardware humming away in an attic somewhere, I think you’ll agree that an ideal currency should represent something more meaningful than shiny rocks or arbitrary calculations.
“I want you to have access to more things because you’re more creative, then I get back more things that are the result of your creativity.”
– Daniel Schmachtenberger
on The Portal podcast ep.27 [02:39:08]
I created Eureka to serve as the main tool in a decentralized, autonomous, and bulletproof idea marketplace of the future. Throughout this process, I realized that the creation of such a system would eventually result in a truly meaningful currency. More importantly, it will eliminate the many soft costs of “doing business” (much to the chagrin of legacy banking institutuions). But first, let’s consider what it takes in today’s world to transform a good idea into food on the table.
First, you perfect the idea as much as you can on your own, because you’ll be damned if you ask for help from your neighbor and risk him stealing it from you. Next, you find someone who gives a shit about your idea and has the capital to invest in it. You are lucky enough to get the loan, at a generous 8%, and begin the process of monopolizing the production and distribution of the thing as much as you can. When the patents are filed and the lawyers are paid, you’ve gained eighteen pounds from the stress of the whole gamble. In the end, hey, you might get lucky. But you probably won’t. At least you did your part to Make America Great Again, you sucker. While that’s common practice, I wholly reject that it’s ideal, or even necessary in the current era of near-perfect global communication technology.
Now, imagine that you log onto Eureka in the morning while you sip your morning coffee. You share your ideas freely, respond freely to the ideas of others, and rest assured that the quality of your ideas and responses will net you a bit of cash before the diuretic takes effect. All of your activity is assigned a relative score by your peers. If you have a great idea, or give great responses to the ideas of others, you will receive a great amount of points. If you do this in a short amount of time, your points will be conferred exponentially. You could trade these points for private tutoring, pay for access to exclusive communities, or attend a seminar. Most importantly, you’d be able to use this currency at the local market to buy groceries and feed your family.
While the platform I’ve proposed effectively ensures that nobody ever makes “a big break”, I invite you to consider the benefits of a system that does not rely on private individuals making huge bets against staggering odds. By atomizing the innovation process, using an algorithm to connect one’s ideas with the people who are most likely to be able improve upon them, and open-sourcing all of the intellectual property manufactured by the system, we approach an anti-rivalrous system that meets everybody’s basic needs.
Considering that access to this system would require only an internet connection, the pool of available collaborators will only grow in time (looking at you, Elon). Furthermore, it’d render one’s status and station in life meaningless. The man-child you report to every day at the office, pushed into the job by his rich daddy, wouldn’t cut it here. By anonymizing users and preventing one from using the platform to build a “following”, these classic shenanigans of human tribalism would be impossible. Alternately, a genius born into the slums would be quickly recognized. Her ability to “mine her mind” for tangible resources will be a meaningful step to solving world poverty and wealth disparity in a relatively short amount of time.
“…there’s some deep learning that I can actually have that allows me to grow my capacities in response to the world and may in fact resolve that problem completely and forever.”
– Jordan Hall on the Jim Rutt Show, ep.26 [00:24:00]