It has been a tough 12 months for Crypto - battered by bank runs and regulatory pressure, the sector has also been relegated to the back pages due the arrival of the ‘next big thing’ - Generative AI. However crypto is much more than just currency, and as trust collapses in the era of GAI, we may well return to ‘trustless blockchains’ as the remedy. State of Crypto Report from Andreesen Horowitz, with some interesting notes on numbers of Blockchain Developers (30,000).
Generative AI has entirely displaced Web3 in mainstream cultural discourse over the past year but that doesn’t mean that interesting experiments are not continuing in the world of decentralised, peer-to-peer transactions. In fact, this period might turn out to be perfect moment to mature ideas outside of the hype cycle of media and capital. Web3 talent is a different type of candidate and brainfooder Amine Skalli describes what it takes to hire them.
The Generative AI hype train has seemingly sidelined Web3, but there are some equally interesting innovations going on in the blockchain world, especially with new thinking on how to organise a system of labour. We know already about Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAO) but how about this twist - the Networked Autonomous Organisation (NAO)? This may be semantics but it seems to me to be a better descriptor for a more likely type of organisation, one which has network - and therefore potentially emergent clustering - from a set of programmable rules.
Interesting feature of H1B visa applications in the US is that salary data of offered jobs is publicly available (see for yourself here), a roundabout way toward some idea national salary transparency, albeit only with data on immigrant workers. This post crunched the numbers in the crypto market, with some interesting insights and recommendations for engineers and engineering managers, specifically that Coinbase are (were?) offering the best rates
Accessible explainer from the WEF on the major event in the crypto world last week - the close to flawless transition from ‘Proof of Work’ to ‘Proof of Stake’ on Ethereum. Might also be proof that for some forms of projects, new organisational structures might be more suitable than the ones we currently hold as sacrosanct. Nice way to learn about Blockchain in any case, and to speculate on the nature of effective human collaboration.
Lex Fridman is an example of doing the irrational (ridiculously long multi-hour interviews) but doing it so well that it becomes a defensible moat that few can ever cross. His interview with Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase is an example of this genre - wide ranging, personal and covers a great deal of recruiting - fascinating to hear a CEO’s thought process on hiring, as the company scaled. Great listen folks.
It’s a good idea and surprising that it has been tried before, with greater success. Can human beings be publicly listed? Two brothers are giving this shot. Some blockchain innovations are doing similar, for the next generation of workers. Check out Talent Protocol if you want to see an example of the tokenised version of this.
Beautifully rendered interactive website, explaining how royalties work for artists on streaming platforms. This is post is both fascinating and educational for a form of work most of us don’t know too much about. I’m labelling it ‘blockchain’ because music might be one of the most appropriate verticals where this current structure gets disrupted by it. Imagine if the artist collected royalties programmatically on every play? Every middle man is out of the loop. Great website, have a play
Surprisingly accessible guide from WEF on the application of blockchain to organisation structure - the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO). Handy definition of terms, plus a taxonomy on the types of DAO there are. One for the future of work types or dedicated acolytes to Satoshi Nakamoto
Blockchain may no longer be cool with crashing of crypto currencies, but really there were always more exciting applications of the principle of decentralised, programmable and immutable way of organising work. This is a good example
So this is a post which could benefit from ‘just saying the thing’. It takes a little too long to get there, but the concept is exciting once it does - a VC built as DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) as a structuralist remedy to a non-diversity.
Excellent, accessible primer on the state of web3 or ‘the ownership economy’. Premise is this: web1 (read only) and web2 (social) both ended up aggregating control to an ever smaller group of companies (‘big tech bad’), which web3 (blockchain) will disrupt by fusing user action + ownership via tokenisation. It’s really quite simple.
Want an overview of Web3 and how it relates to work and organisation? Brainfooder Karl Osis kicks off the content component of his career with this massive post on blockchain. Lots to get into here, - should be a series really - but it is accessible and comprehensive.
I should really rename this category ‘Web3’ but I will need to rejig the Brainfood Larder in order to do so, so for the moment, it will stay as ‘blockchain’. Cool pseudo history on DAO - or distributed autonomous organisations - maybe a future of how we organise labour. Critically relevant because recruitment is fundamentally solving the problems of the pre-Web3 world.
As crypto takes a nose dive this past week, it is worth taking a moment to think beyond the asset value of currencies like Bitcoin. The greater promise of blockchain is decentralisation of the organisation of human labor. Probably no greater convert to DAO’s than Andreesen Horowitz, which not only backs the likes of Coinbase and OpenSea, but also claims to have converted itself into a DAO. This is a good overview of their thesis and a fair overview of the concept. H/T to brainfooder Pedro Oliveira for the share.
The discourse around Web3 seems to have tribalised early into cult-like evangelists who think it will change the world and die-hard naysayers who have seen it all before. This post is the antidote; comprehensive, accessible, balanced and thoughtful. If you read anything about Web3 or Blockchain, read this.
Justin Kan, founder of Twitch in conversation with Adam Jackson and Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski, founders of Braintrust. Good entry into Web3 and why blockchain matters for HR. H/T to brainfooder Mark Chaffey for the share,
As cryptocurrencies ‘go on sale’ this week, it’s worthwhile having a think about other applications of blockchain which might have more direct relevance to our work. Here is a ‘big list’ (I miss those days!) of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations or DAO’s - for those who want a deeper dive.
This is the paper which launched the idea of blockchain into the public consciousness, and I’m sharing it here for two reasons - No1, we need to become Web3 literate and No2, this is an interesting way to communicating potentially dense textual information in a more accessible way. Pretty cool huh?
Blockchain is more than Bitcoin; it’s the technological underpinning for decentralising systems of distribution. And it’s attracting a lot of smart folks who are keen to help build it. Cool thread by our buddies Talent Protocol (more on them soon), how you too can join the movement.
Cool snapshot of the blockchain labour market from our buddies at Indeed. Insights include a) greater correlation of remote with blockchain opportunities, and b) increasing percentage of non-engineering roles in blockchain - a sign of business maturation.
DAOs could out-compete by out-cooperating the modern firm.
Unapologetically long, this essay on the rise of the DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) is a fascinating primer for a deeper dive into web3 and the future of co-operation. One for the anthropologists, crypto nerds, gaming enthusiasts and anyone interested in how technology shapes human organisations.
In the week where Tim Berners-Lee sold the source code for the World Wide Web via a $5.4 million NFT, it probably makes sense to review what the hell NFT’s are, and why they matter for the world of work. Accessible slide deck taking from the basics of Blockchain all the way up the value chain to non-fungibility. H/T brainfooder Pedro Oliveira for the share
If you wonder why I share blockchain articles in this newsletter it is not because I am secret bitcoin gazillionaire (I am not a secret bitcoin gazillionaire…), this would be the reason. The ‘human IPO’ has become a thing, and new methods of earning income, attracting investment and discovering collaborators is already here. If you care about the future of work, you have to take notice of this. Accessible brainfood - must read
…and I’m prretty certain it is too, David Arnoux. Great to see this is demonstration by Growth Tribe, as ever prepared to dive into the future and learn by swimming in it. More on NFT here, and if you want to dig a little bit deeper on the opportunity that Blockchain represents to the world of work, check out this page in the larder. H/T brainfooder Aurelian Arnoux for the share
Digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for a massive $69 million dollars this week. Think about this for a moment - a piece of digital art - a jpg - which before NFT would be close to worthless, can now make artists into millionaires overnight. How? OP here tells you how, why and what from the creator perspective. Accessible read.
Non-fungible Tokens or NFT’s show us a future of work which might be truly revolutionary. Concepts like ownership, copyright, compensation and companies as the optimal way of co-ordinating labour are up in the air. Brainfooder Andy Spence is one to follow here, and his overview is accessible and well referenced for those who want to dive deeper. You really should.
…the key to which, is actually to get rid of the company as the unit of organising labour. We’re getting close to being able to say this secular heresy, as brainfooder Andrew Spence outlines 4 ways in which blockchain might align with our moral imperative for good work.
The creation of a new asset class is perhaps an unexpected outcome of the mainstreaming of blockchain. ICO’s though, make more sense than stock options though, as Nick Neuman explains in this excellent overview of the tokenized economy.
Great post from our buddies at ZINC, who make the point that if decentralisation is core to your product, it also has to be core to working culture. Will Blockchain tech companies default to distributed? Looks like they will - have a read here
Perhaps the most comprehensive yet accessible essay yet on Blockchain. Thought provoking stuff and highly relevant to our world of HR and recruitment. After all what are companies if not ‘closed systems’?
Fascinating article comparing inflation, reward and behaviours in the experiment economies based on Blockchains: Steem, EOS, Everipedia, and Karma. If you’ve been hating on the inequities of modern society of late, and want to have a glimpse of the real potential of blockchain, then this is a post for you.
Good summary post from Gartner which does a nice job of describing a) the essential characteristics of blockchain, b) emerging technologies built on blockchain and c) uses cases for HR. Readable and useful - if you want to get a grip on blockchain
We’re starting to get it with blockchain. dock.io is a decentralized data exchange protocol on blockchain. Imagine if ‘reputation’ and 'experience’ were the same thing and you might see why some feel that this is the game changer to the $200 billion people industry. You can also download the white paper here
These days, it’s hardly surprising to hear that a hot new startup has received gobs of money from eager investors. But a new company called the DAO (short for “decentralized autonomous organization”) is not your average startup. You got to read this.
The crash of cryptocurrency is running in parallel with the more interesting applications of blockchain. This decentralised hiring network from rblock (and brainfooder Luke Shipley) looks promising. Check out their whitepaper here, and get involved in the crowdsale, which is now on, here.
Smorgasbord of a post on the potential impact of Blockchain, going from the trivial (CV verification) to the revolutionary (end of the company). One to bookmark if you’re interested in Blockchain in HR - it’s well linked to other relevant posts. H/T OH subscriber @Anna Ott for the share.
Gems look like the first serious attempt at doing Blockchain where it’s really going to matter - gig working. They’ve just raised $60 million to build a decentralized Mechanical Turk on the Blockchain. The ambition is huge, and the end game, maybe the end of the recruiting itself - even more so.
It’s fair to say I’ve been the pre-eminent ‘blockchain bore’ on recruiting, nothing to do with my massive hoard of bitcoins, and all to do with me buying the hypr that it’s going to change the world of work. I didn’t think Goldman Sachs would produce the most accessible demo of it though. Check it out, be bedazzled.
For once, the content justifies the clickbait - this is a fantastically well researched post on the technology underlying Bitcoin. It’s accurate, comprehensive and accessible. Bookmark if you want to understand the hype.
Hard to write about blockchain and make it both accessible and comprehensive. David Kelnar manages it here - about as good a summary post as you’re going to find on the topic. Not recruitment specific, but relevant to many aspects of the work we do. This is a great post for the blockchain-curious. Have a read
I get it - Blockchain has lost its cool, as blockchain investors have lost their money. But that doesn’t mean it’s application to the world of work is any less relevant. This overview of the potential of blockchain to organise the next generation of business is somewhat technical but accessible enough for us casuals.
Andy Spence is becoming the pre-eminent voice working in the Blockchain + HR space. This is part 2 of a running series of blog posts which keep us up-to-date on the progress of blockchain in business. It’s a fantastic overview of a sometimes challenging topic - have a read here
Well articulated vision on how blockchain can change the world of work. Written by Gitcoin founder, Kevin Owocki, it’s a bit technical but accessible for most. Must read if you still think ‘blockchain CV’s’ is the end game. H/T brainfooder Chris Bourke for the share.
‘Agile’ might actually return to its original meaning in an organisation built on Blockchain. If you’re new to idea, this interview transcription with Gerrit Smits introduces no less than half a dozen mind blowing ideas. H/T OH subscriber Kayleigh Smart for the share
The excitement behind Blockchain isn’t the crypto currencies, but on the potential of programmable smart contracts that sit on the blockchain. This explainer by Gjermund Bjaanes is inevitably technical but accessible enough for the non-expert. Well worth a read for anyone interested in going beyond ‘blockchain CV’s’
This is a stunning visual guide from Reuters on what blockchain is and how it works. The potential lies in the inherent immutability of the blocks-in-the-chain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better presentation on a sometimes difficult technology to grasp, so take a look and have a play here
’Evancoin’ might become the canonical example of Blockchain applied to the world of work. Forget boring crap like using it to ‘verify CV’s’. This is where the real potential of Blockchain to HR is - connecting work to reward without the intermediary of a company.
If you care about the future of work, you should probably know Ronald Coase and his theory of the firm. He gets quoted here, in Taylor Pearson’s amazing essay on the relationship between work, organisations, markets and yes, blockchain. It’s long, dense, not-at-all easy read. But if you want brainfood, here it is.
This is the real disruption that comes from Blockchain - eroding the need for a company to be the central mode of organising labour. Forget Blockchain startups who are ‘verifying CV’s’ real disruptors will remove the need to 'recruit’ because there won’t be 'companies’ to recruit for. Must read essay by Nick Tomaino
Excellent overview of a sometimes challenging topic from brainfooder Andrew Spence, who is fast becoming UK’s most well informed commentator on it. Great to see our buddies at Zinc get a mention. Read the full post here.
Blockchain development is now the hottest skill in the freelance job market, growing more than 6,000% in the last 12 months. Overview of the market from ComputerWorld, including a decent summary of what blockchain actually is about 2/3 of the way down.
Those of you who follow this newsletter will know I’m a believer in Blockchain. It’s got the potential to change how we organise human work. This impressive immersive infographic from Goldman Sachs is a great way to learn more about it.
I see this post as a sign of the maturation of the conversation around blockchain. We’re now discussing what industries have most obvious use case for it. This is a strong overview by Anuj Varma, accessible and well argued.
For those wondering why I get excited by blockchain tech applied to the world of work, here is the reason why. It promises a fundamental transformation of our relationship with labour, value, organisation and production. This whitepaper by Chronobank is quite technical, so you may also wish to check out their more accessible website for a quicker snack.
Most of you know that I am a proponent of the theory that Blockchain will have huge impact on the future of human labour. Here’s a great cartoon that explains why I think this. With santa and unicorns, as a bonus.