This week I was listening to a great podcast featuring Mr. Balaji Srinivasan. He is a serial entrepreneur who is currently on the board of many successful investment companies, including Andreessen Horowitz, and whose last job was as a CTO of Coinbase. Mr. Srinivasan’s latest project really caught my attention because it’s an online platform that allows anyone to create a task and use crypto to pay the person who solves it. Inversely, anyone can go on the site, 1729.com, and attempt to solve any task posted and get paid in crypto. The first thing that made me very curious about the site is the name. Long story short, the number 1729 which is used as the project’s name, was made famous by the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam. In India, December 22nd is known as Math day in honor of Mr. Srivinasa’s birthday. One day the English scientist G.H. Hardy visited Ramanujan in the hospital, he remarked that he had ridden in a taxicab with the number 1729, adding "what a dull number to ride in to the hospital". To which Ramanujam immediately said "No, on the contrary it is a very interesting number! It is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways". Pure Genius…
I believe the site will bring awareness to this amazing mathematician and to the fact that they way we relate and use money will be different for ever. As crypto and blockchain projects become omnipresent we will become more acclimatized to trading crypto, getting paid and paying with it. As a matter of fact, everyday more and more companies and individuals are normalizing the use of the currency.
Japanese Internet leader GMO Group announced late last year that its employees could start receiving part of their salaries in bitcoin. The initiative was aimed at promoting the spread and development of cryptocurrencies. The offer was open to around 4,000 employees of the GMO group in Japan.
Spot.IM, the Israeli company that enables media companies to take back ownership of their audience and conversations and let go of their reliance on external social networks, are in talks with the country’s tax authorities to be able to pay their clients in cryptocurrency.
Purse.io, a website that brings people with unused Amazon gift cards together with people who want to buy on Amazon using crypto, pays its employees in Bitcoin Cash.
Ethlance allows its users to hire or work for ether (ETH). Ethlance is a first of its kind job market platform, built entirely on blockchain and using the only cryptocurrency for payments.
Many payment processors and e-commerce sites such as shopify are giving their clients the option to get paid in crypto. This, among thousands of other protocols being deployed, is accelerating the use and mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and bringing with it an avalanche of innovations that will change for ever our relationship with money and value. If a few years ago every company became pretty much a data company because of the way we capture, use, and utilize data. Now, we can say that every company can become a financial entity because almost anyone can use simple open-source programs to create smart contracts and issue tokens and/or coins for any purpose imaginable.
One of the first companies that I founded a few years back was a Bitcoin ATM company. At the time there were very few of these machines and people were amazed that they even existed. Now they are popping all over the world. The time will be here when every regular ATM machine will be programmed to allow deposits and withdrawals in cash as well as in any crypto of your choice to any wallet. The technology is here already, the hurdle is regulation and centralized institutions that are very fearful of losing control of money as we know it.
Many times when you have conversations like this, you hear people say that the future is very exciting. I say, the present is very exciting as we are creating it every second of our lives and it seems that anything is quite possible with a little bit of coding and a lot of imagination.
Imagine a world where you can settle your tax bills with any crypto, a world where you can travel to any where in the world and any crypto is accepted as a form of payment and easily transferable from your phone (wallet) to a POS. If products have value and anyone can create a product, could we create our own tokens/coins and transfer them as we please? Can everything be tokenized and be stored on ultra elastic blockchains that are democratic and accessible by anyone to verify ownership and current value? Can we create a testamentary trust on a blockchain with smart contracts that distribute the wealth we leave behind evenly and at specific times? This sounds to me like it can solve many issues, but it can definitely be scary and challenging. Challenging because we would have to create a world where everyone is tech savvy to the point of understanding how this works. Scary because in a way this decentralized technology is centralized well… in Technology. Its 100% dependent on technology. If anything tech fails it may become a domino effect.
I wonder so many things…
Would love to hear your comments about the state of this technology and how is shaping our traditional knowledge of the things.