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Cryptocurrencies Are SO Money

September 18, 2017

The purpose of this post is to explain in simple terms why cryptocurrencies are not a currency, not an asset, not a store of value, and not an investment. With apologies to the guys from the film Swingers, cryptocurrencies are (so) money.

What is Money?

Money was invented to be a physical (and now digital) representation of productive energy. Whether it is the energy from sun, soil, water and toil used to grow an ear of corn, or the labor and resources expended in painting your house, the energy spent practicing and performing music, or getting your CPA so that you can attest to a client’s properly reported financial statements, it’s all derived from energy and it all has a dynamic value when measured in terms of money. Blockchain miners might agree with that run-on sentence. Is there a difference between currency and money? With regard to cryptocurrencies, that may be the crux of the problem.

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If you read my February 1st POV post “How SoLoMo Companies May Enable You and The World to Interact” you will note the obvious similarities to this recent March 19th Roger McNamee (Elevation Partners) interview on the true potential value sought by Google through its Glass offering:

BLOOMBERG TV INTERVIEW March 19th, 2013

(For some reason I cannot embed this video player, so I had to use the link)

Read my entire 4 part series on the Hotel California scenario for more information and POV about emerging companies, offerings and privacy issues surrounding the “Internet of Things”.

Google Glass Google Glass (Photo credit: jurvetson)

How extensive and invasive will Google’s Glass strategy be?  Will it create an Omni-Web?  My crystal ball on Google’s long game strategy for future Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) solutions and offerings is unlike others I have seen written.

First, it would be helpful to define what I mean by future SoLoMo solutions and offerings. My last of four posts, How SoloMo Companies May Help You and the World Interact, listed a number of companies utilizing a variety of methods to identify and track people, places, and things in the physical world in order to personalize user experiences by learning more about out the preferences, locations and habits of our daily lives. Others have called this nearing SoLoMo transformation by a number of titles:

  • M2M – Machine to Machine
  • M2M2M – Machine to Machine to Man
  • The Internet of Things
  • Smart Services
  • The Contextual Web
  • The Sentient World
  • The Ambient Web

I provided several use cases showing how preference, presence and habit data can in turn be used / monetized by automating actions for us in our environment, and better personalizing content and advertising.

The various methods and technology being pursued by today’s enabling companies were highlighted in this “Hotel California” series of posts. Among these were:

Optical Recognition (Facial and Object), Hidden Cameras and Microphones, Gaze Tracking, Gesture Recognition, GPS and A-GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, Audio Frequency ID, Check-ins using QR codes, AR, Patches adhered to the skin, Opt-In Requests for Information protected by ToS, Platform Marketing, Tagging and Sharing of Photos, Business Intelligence and Data Mining.

Of these company categories, use cases, methods and applied technology, my take from publicly available information is that Google appears to be following the superior method of optical recognition.  With optical recognition, you need only one point of reference to capture the data presently missing; an always-on camera that scans the environment around a user.

As I see it, there are 2 fundamental enabling elements for Google to succeed as described in the excerpt I have appended below. These are:

1)   The Google Glass Project

2)   Software enablement through patented facial and object recognition, and augmented reality linked to profiles and databases.

Here is an excerpt from my last post as to how I see Google competing in the future, but first watch Google’s video on Google Glass.  Key points on how I think Google will compete are not mentioned in the video.  These key points are inferred from recent acquisitions, regulatory inquiries, patents and trademarks, and those of major competitors.

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