This was originally posted at tannerphilp.com, which is where most of my content goes. I would encourage you to follow me there.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Google for what it claims is anti-competitive behaviour in monopolizing search.

This post will dive into this case at a cursory level but the main thrust of my argument is that (1) the goal should be maximizing value for consumers and (2) antitrust actions like this won’t push that forward, and (3) we should be talking about how we accelerate emerging competitors, not slowing down incumbents.


Note: more writing on other subjects at tannerphilp.com

Something new is coming. Just as farming societies differed in kind from hunting and gathering bands, and industrial societies differed radically from feudal or yeoman agricultural systems, so the New World to come will mark a radical departure from anything seen before.

- The Sovereign Individual

Money is a means to an end, not the end itself. It may not feel that way given the obsession society has for accumulating money, but in the end it is just a tool. A tool that enables humans to engage in one of the most…


Human production is in the midst of a sea-change. The growth in global connectivity, coupled with advancements in automation is giving rise to a new economy, the sharing economy.

Sharing economics is not a new phenomena. In fact, the modern sharing economies catalyzed by Uber and Lyft, often touted as innovative, are a derivation of the most primitive economic structure: trade and barter. The Uber and Lyft S-1s have shed light on the vulnerabilities in the economics that underpin their business model. This has brought about discussion with respect to the long-term viability of these businesses, and at a cursory evaluation of the financials, it makes sense that people would draw that conclusion. …


I recently wrote a post about the trade offs of decentralization. This was a practical piece, exclusively unpacking the impact of decentralized infrastructure on objective measures of consumer experience (i.e. UI/UX). What it did not do was unpack the other side of the trade off space; where decentralization nullifies implicit trade offs in the holistic consumer experience (i.e. access, incentives, permeability, etc.)

Where the first post focused on what trade offs we make at a micro, product level; this post will focus on what trade offs are abstracted at the macro, socio-economic level.

State of the world today

People are spending an increasing amount of…


Blockchains have unlocked a new design space for computing with the advent of trustless computing. In a world of increasing centralization (a la, the Big Four), increasing control and exploitation (a la, Facebook), and increasing censorship (a la, the State). The promise of a decentralized, self sovereign, censorship resistant protocol is exactly what the world wants/needs. You need not look any further than the ICO boom that seeded 2000+ new projects from in the span of 18 months to see there is a desire to build a new internet, devoid of the systemic challenges we are faced with today.

Enter…


Decentralized applications (dApps) are in vogue and we hear about them in almost every forum. Currently, there are more than 2,100 active dApps, with a cumulative DAU around 25,000 — source. The lack of user adoption is not solely a symptom of early market entry, it is a fundamental limitation of decentralizing a consumer application. What I would argue is that the killer apps in crypto are going to be centralized with decentralized components. Rather than building on top of decentralized protocols, they will integrate decentralized protocols in their centralized consumer apps.

Before we jump in let’s first align on some definitions:

  • DApp: an app that runs on a shared…


A flippening is coming — a point where the the human experience is dominated by digital. The advancement of the digital experience has been anything but linear — we see step function advancements in new domains (Web, mobile, cloud, AI, AR/VR), and within those domains, logarithmic advancements.

The compound impact of this is the birth of a new economy — the digital economy — where the physical world serves as a means to maintain our physical existence but the we experience everything in the digital world. …


Coordination in decentralized systems is all tied to incentives. The Bitcoin white paper is an 8-page playbook for an incentive protocol. The block reward is a set of rules and procedures outlining how supply is distributed to incentivize specific actions (mining). The result is a coordination of resources around a shared objective — this was only made possible by the appropriate incentives. For this ecosystem to take life amongst a group of actors, unknown to each other, there needs to be an explicit protocol to obfuscate the need for trust.

The thickness of protocols has been a topic of discussion…


Coinbase’s recent acquisition of Earn.com adds to the important dialogue of cryptocurrency’s application as a transactional currency — not just a speculative investment vehicle. This is something we’ve been working on at Kik for years — first, a centralized economy in Kik Points — and now a much, much bigger decentralized economy in Kin.

Earn.com is a compelling use case as it creates employment opportunities as an entry-point to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Earning the native currency of an economy as opposed to “buying-in” has significant impact on user behavior. Earning Bitcoin was largely limited to those who had the resources…


Kik Points was a centralized digital economy that lived within Kik for about 2.5 years, and was highlighted in the Kin Whitepaper (page 10). The whitepaper references some impactful metrics on the project’s aggregate transaction volume, but in the interest of brevity a lot was left out.

Now, I want to take this opportunity to unpack some key insights from Kik Points — the centralized economy — that emphasizes the impact of a decentralized economy.

Genesis of Kik Points

What makes Kik unique is that it is not just a chat app, it’s a chat community. The core function of messaging is relatively commoditized…

Tanner Philp

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