#26 A New Era of Participation
Why crypto will re-inspire all of us to get more involved
Join the 405 readers of Karthik’s Crypto Takes to understand how crypto & web3 is gonna change your life by subscribing below.
1 Take 🌶️
Web3 / crypto will usher in a new era of hope and optimism by getting people involved.
Think about how often you impact change outside of your personal life. For many of us, that answer is little to none. But when we hear stories from older generations, it felt like people were more actively involved, whether in community organizations, school boards, local politics, worker unions or something else. What happened?
When a group of humans is still relatively small, coordination is easy. This empowers people to participate and generally give a shit. For example, did you know that the Andrew Jackson would hold open houses at the White House back in the 1820s? Startups are another example of the benefits of being small. However, as groups get bigger, coordination becomes harder. To help scale, we invented representation, which effectively proxies the wants of a large group of humans to a smaller, trusted set who make decisions for the group.
On one hand, the results have been fabulous. Elected officials are able to govern countries of hundreds of millions of people while board of directors are able to manage corporations worth hundreds of billions of dollars. However, on the other hand, it’s created a sense of powerlessness for the people being represented. Don’t like a decision your elected official made? I guess you can go protest or try to vote them out 2 years from now, but is that really changing anything? Don’t like the new strategy of a company you’re a shareholder in? I guess you can go to the shareholder meeting next quarter and speak your mind, but is that gonna change anything? Being unable to actively participate once scale is achieved leads to apathy and nonchalance. Even worse, it can drive disillusionment which I believe is the root cause for many recent, unexpected election outcomes that are effectively protest votes. How do we do better?
One of the more under-appreciated elements of crypto/web3 is the ability to enable stakeholders to align money with mouth. Owning a token in a protocol, a NFT project, or any decentralized community allows stakeholders is effectively a vote on its future. Love it? Keep owning it. Hate it? Sell it. Want to change it? Utilize on-chain governance to make your voice heard. The latter is most compelling to me because it creates a way for small groups of people within large communities or organizations to drive change, instead of relying on others to do it for them. Techniques like quadratic voting are really exciting and leading the charge here.
In a future where everyone is “on-chain”, I believe organizations at all levels will evolve to get direct general public direction (via votes). This will help make our schools, governments, and companies much more aligned in what we the people want, and more importantly, empower us to once again become active participants in our society. Who’s ready?
2 Things To Check Out 🤔
1 . Exciting news: I’m fundraising for what I’m building over at GMneedhelp. If you or any web3 angels/early stage VCs you know are interested in investing, reply to this email and happy to send you the deck.
2. Good life reminder..