News Volume I Issue 26
 
Living in Digital Times
 
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Digital Currency’s Rollercoaster Days
 
I’ve been to three crypto/blockchain conferences in the last month, so let me get it off my chest. First, these folks need to go back to work and stop conferring with each other. You tend to hear and see a lot of repeats, which is why I’m so bullish about giving them a different audience at The Digital Money Forum at CES 2019.

Second, they are definitely figuring things out as they go. I’m starting to put them into camps. You’ve got the true believers who earnestly want a better system based on more decentralized trust and value. Next, you’ve got the gold miners who follow the new money. And then there are the quasi-outlaws who are raising funds by staying one step ahead of the law. My best tool for sussing out who’s who? Eavesdropping on the lunch lines.
 
 
 
Ripple vs. Bitcoin: The Crypto Equivalent of Tariff Wars?
 
The US and China are like dogs peeing at the fire hydrant when it comes tariffs on goods, but what if that one-upmanship spreads to digital currency? Even though its government has clamped down, China is the undisputed world leader in Bitcoin mining with nearly 80% of Bitcoin mined in China.

Stands to reason that the US is suddenly taking an interest in Ripple. As reported, Corey Johnson, who will be speaking at this year’s Digital Money Forum, was feeling the love when he took Ripple to Washington. Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is a payments network with its own coin, XRP, used as a digital asset. “When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And…the administration… seem to get that and think that might matter,” said Johnson. Read more
 
 
 
SEC Starts Weighing In
     
This past week, the SEC announced it’s getting in on the act, trying to educate investors, startups, and ICOs so that the rules, even while they’re changing, are being codified. The new portal the SEC is building is called the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub for short). Seems like a good first attempt at taming the unruly masses. For more on the announcement
 
 
 
 
Why Does Digital Money Matter to CES?
 
Why should CES attendees give two hoots about blockchain, crypto or ICOs? For one, you can bet that the next Google, Wikipedia or Facebook is going to be built on the blockchain architecture. And for a number of reasons, that will solve some existing identity, rights and other problems plaguing the Web today.
 
 
 
Equally important, device manufacturers and carriers need to understand and implement blockchain-ready equipment. If your phone is going to be your digital bank, it darn well better be secure.
 
 
 
And finally, entertainment companies are flocking to the blockchain as a more equitable, accountable way of consuming entertainment. If you don’t believe us, ask Nolan Bushnell of Atari fame, who just teamed up with Shidan Gouran’s Global Blockchain to create a new entertainment empire. If you’re in the hardware business, you need to know.
 
 
Can Kids Be Taught Entrepreneurship?
 
I’m predicting entrepreneurship may replace history as the required course at school. While I have misgivings, I’ve seen some great examples of how to codify the skills an entrepreneur needs. A recent visit to Draper University, where I got to watch Tim Draper lead a cohort of young wannabes, demonstrated a curriculum that uses BizBucks. Students build real businesses, using their bucks to pay rent and salaries, and thinking hard about the kind of production they’ll need to get the ROI they need. They get pretty crafty about loans and VC money, too. To the North, The Knowledge Society in Canada, created a curriculum for 13-17 year-olds teaching leadership and entrepreneurship. Seems like STEM and STEAM are no longer sufficient without leadership skills.
 
 
 
 
So will we have tech at CES this year? You betcha. But it’s going to come with a lot of discussion about how to write the instruction manual for the next 25 years.
 
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January 8-11, 2019
CES 2019, Las Vegas
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