Data Sources for Tokens + Blockchains

One is Token Filings from William Mougayar (who run the Token Summit)

http://startupmanagement.org/2017/07/20/introducing-token-filings-a-transparency-directory-for-icos-and-token-sales/

Second is Coindexter from Jonathan Libov (who was previously at USV)

http://whoo.ps/2017/07/19/hello-coindexter

Token Filings is more offering facts + recent news (think SEC Edgar) while Coindexter is more focused on primary research + commentary.

SEC Issues Investigative Report Concluding DAO Tokens Were Securities

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-131

The SEC’s Report stems from an inquiry that the agency’s Enforcement Division launched into whether The DAO and associated entities and individuals violated federal securities laws with unregistered offers and sales of DAO Tokens in exchange for “Ether,” a virtual currency. The DAO has been described as a “crowdfunding contract” but it would not have met the requirements of the Regulation Crowdfunding exemption because, among other things, it was not a broker-dealer or a funding portal registered with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

This opinion blog post does a good job discussing the implications of this particular enforcement language:

https://www.inc.com/brian-d-evans/sec-report-about-the-dao-ico-being-a-security-is-g.html

As the report goes on, they continue to explain that ICOs that are offering investments must register with the SEC. However, they also point out that certain exemptions may apply. In some cases, if a token is not a security, but instead has an actual utility, then the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) may not have to register with the SEC since that would not necessarily be considered an “investment” or security. They have not released detailed explanations of exactly what would or wouldn’t be considered a security, but only commented on The Dao.

Token Network Effects

// https://medium.freecodecamp.com/token-network-effects-a-new-business-model-for-a-decentralized-web-6cde8b4e862

The underlying magic of the token is to align incentives across all stakeholders to hold the token.

In this flywheel, the token increases in value as the utility of the project increases. As long as everyone in the ecosystem believes there is value, it’ll be difficult for the token to drop to zero. Each participant of the ecosystem is now aligned to increase the value of the token.

This relationship increases the value of the token as demand for the token exceeds the limited supply, and drives up the price of the token. These market forces enable projects to fund more development (more developers, entrepreneurs, miners, participants, etc) which creates a better project.

The Shock Tactics Set to Shake Up Immunology

http://www.nature.com/news/the-shock-tactics-set-to-shake-up-immunology-1.21918

The technique, called vagus-nerve stimulation, has been used since the 1990s to treat epilepsy, and since the early 2000s to treat depression. But Katrin, a 70-year-old fitness instructor in Amsterdam, who asked that her name be changed for this story, uses it to control rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that results in the destruction of cartilage around joints and other tissues. A clinical trial in which she enrolled five years ago is the first of its kind in humans, and it represents the culmination of two decades of research looking into the connection between the nervous and immune systems.

The Deregulation of Private Capital and the Decline of the Public Company

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2951158

From its inception, the federal securities law regime created and enforced a major divide between public and private capital raising. Firms that chose to “go public” took on substantial disclosure burdens, but in exchange were given the exclusive right to raise capital from the general public. Over time, however, the disclosure quid pro quo has been subverted: Public companies are still asked to disclose, yet capital is flooding into private companies with regulators’ blessing.

Populism: The Phenomenon

Great historical context on populist movements globally from Bridgewater Associates

// https://www.bridgewater.com/resources/bwam032217.pdf

This report is an examination of populism, the phenomenon—how it typically germinates, grows, and runs its course.

Populism is not well understood because, over the past several decades, it has been infrequent in emerging countries (e.g., Chávez’s Venezuela, Duterte’s Philippines, etc.) and virtually nonexistent in developed countries. It is one of those phenomena that comes along in a big way about once a lifetime—like pandemics, depressions, or wars. The last time that it existed as a major force in the world was in the 1930s, when most countries became populist. Over the last year, it has again emerged as a major force.

Unicorns, Guardians, and the Concentration of the U.S. Equity Markets

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2928949

In recent years, in conjunction with rising inequality in the United States, there has been a decisive shift from broad-based ownership of firms to much more concentrated forms of ownership in both private and public markets. Private equity markets are concentrated by legal definition: relatively few people are qualified to participate directly. Yet private equity has become the preferred method of capital formation, epitomized by “unicorns,” firms valued at over $1 billion without being publicly traded. Public equity markets are dominated by funds with trillions of dollars under management, and small staffs, who are in effect “guardians” for the portfolios that ensure long-term stability for individuals and institutions, notably through retirement and endowments. The governance of the U.S. economy has to a surprising degree become a matter of grace: the nation now relies on a small elite to make good decisions on its behalf about the allocation of capital, the governance of firms, and the preservation of portfolio value. This consolidation of ownership rivals that of the late 19th century, and may challenge the law to address the equity markets in new ways.