Crypto Market Musings
Back in December, I dug into the concept of “effective altruism,” or the goal of making as much money as possible to maximize philanthropic impact. Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), founder of fallen crypto exchange FTX, was one of its biggest proponents. Ironically, in the mess following the collapse of his exchange, SBF is now asking for his money back.
According to The New York Times, SBF and other FTX executives donated more than $90 million to political campaigns. SBF won the silver medal as the Democrats’ second-largest donor ahead of the midterms last year. But his donations also reached across the aisle. In a YouTube interview with Tiffany Fong, SBF claimed to have used “dark money” to come in as the third-largest donor to the Republican Party, also ahead of the 2022 midterms. For some time he kept this under wraps to avoid media criticism (which is also incredibly ironic).
Politicians who received donations from FTX were first faced with return requests in December. If the politicians don’t return the money by February 28, they risk facing bankruptcy court and added interest. Safe to say SBF’s altruism was less than effective.
Get Early Investing into your inbox
Become a smarter investor in startups, crypto and cannabis by subscribing to our FREE newsletter filled with market research, trends and expert analysis.
What Olivia Is Thinking About
Sticking with the theme of politics and government, I want to take you across the Atlantic to Norway. The country’s government just announced a cap table management platform called BRØK that will be powered by Arbitrum, an Ethereum-based second-layer platform. BRØK will allow for faster and more secure shareholder management of unlisted companies.
Though the program is only in the testing stage, it represents a huge leap forward in blockchain applications. As a refresher, a blockchain is a distributed ledger that stores data across a network of computers. As such, blockchain has two huge advantages over traditional databases: transparency and immutability. Thanks to blockchain explorers, anyone can trace transactions in real time. Transactions are also permanent once they are recorded on the blockchain.
Applying blockchain technology to shareholder data will make for transparent ownership information and quicker, safer transfers. Here’s how it works: Company stock is represented as ERC1400. ERC1400 allows for the tokenization of financial assets on the Ethereum blockchain and is already supporting a number of other projects.
I have remained bullish on ethereum throughout this bear run because of its smart contract functionality. Applications like this only make me more excited for the future of blockchain tech. Democratizing ownership of private companies is a mission I have worked on for four years at KingsCrowd. I am excited to watch BRØK develop as an ethereum bull, champion of democratized private investing, and shareholder of several private companies. I applaud Norway for being a first mover in this application and hope to see the project succeed and ultimately expand to other nations.
For a deep dive into Norway’s new shareholder management system, I strongly encourage you to check out this article by Jon Ramvi, CEO and founder of Blockchangers.
Speaking of expanding blockchain applications, innovation is coming in the most unlikely of places: the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The California DMV is attempting to become more efficient by introducing car titles on the Tezos blockchain. A proof of concept was conducted in late January in partnership with software firm Oxhead Alpha.
Unfortunately for California residents like myself, the DMV will still have oversight — and we likely won’t be avoiding it entirely anytime soon.