Crypto as an onramp for reimagining our world and reinvigorating our excitement for change is my single most important takeaway from this past year.

It takes you down deep rabbit holes of learning. Stimulates unfettered imagining. And somehow instills a sense that anything is possible.

Some of what crypto promises seems obvious, or at least possible from a market perspective.

Like the inevitability of collective micro-ownership of commodities like real estate, art, storage, even energy. These feel natural to the innate structure of the blockchain itself and more important, the possibilities of crypto economic market evolution.

Social behavior though is something else altogether.

The idea that you can incentivize human behavior, tokenize social communities is something we want badly to be true, yet the hardest to truly visualize.

As we built the current social infrastructures over the last decade, we learned that they platformed existent, often latent behaviors. Giving grease to the niche, the local and the obscure, making them global as communities and memes by their very ease of access and use. Broadening connections cross people and shared beliefs everywhere.

We also learned that bolting on social to existent platforms and compensating groups for activities like viewing videos, invariably didn’t work at all.

There is a grounded naturalness inherent in behavioral socialization that simply couldn’t be stimulated no matter how well programmed or marketed.

There are undeniable reasons why we want to believe that the social nets can be rethought within a crypto economic framework.

Blockchain technology as a platform for change simply inspires the possibility of this. And consequently, a large number of the hundreds of white papered ICOs are premised on the inevitability of socially-incentivized networks.

There is obviously as well a techno-cultural backlash against the status quo where the Facebook model monopolizes attention, repurposes personal data, driving corporate profit under the legacy belief that without advertising, there is no way to support the internet.

We collectively want this reimagined.

We want to believe that Facebook can be challenged. We want social democracy along with the financial decentralized possibilities that the very economy and secure identity potential of crypto, in abstract appears to promise us.

This is a tough one to calibrate with reality as both historically and experientially this is counterintuitive to the facts. Certain analog behavioral truths remain sacrosanct regardless of platform dynamics.

Reading scads of ICO white papers which assume this is reality simply because it could be is not enough.

But there’s a kicker here.

We need to step back and rethink how true innovation happens.

If you submerge yourself in the library of everything being written about crypto, you get the sense that we are recreating our transportation, financial, security, credit, marketing and other industries in a better, albeit decentralized fashion. Replumbing with better pipes.

This is the wrong way in.

Crypto envisioning at its best smacks of how the creative community approaches the arts. Where we consciously let ourselves suspend disbelief and in that meditative space of emotional connections, find natural truths and emotions in completely unfamiliar realities and couplings of peoples and ideas.

This idea is emblemized in what my friend Hue Rhodes spoke to me as a game-theory driven world where our emotional nature gets rewired along with the quest for new intellectual possibilities. Where as he put it, this is an audition for human behavioral evolution where we, as actors, perform in uniquely non-obvious ways.

I wonder whether my questions of whether we can tokenize social behavior or communities is the right one.

Why bother to recreate Facebook on a new platform? Why start with efficiency as the first foot forward?

If you look at some of the early but functioning experiments like or the prescient writings of Nick Szabo, you realize that thinking differently is not an option, it’s what is required.

Think not of how to replumb or rewire the world, but how to create the environment where interactions can be different, social, within a new economic order.

The creative palate of the crypto economies and communities, may just be the economies themselves and the behaviors that are incubated and normal within them.

Maybe a more useful way to rethink a world without a media model driving social communities and tokenized behavior is not something as primitive as compensation for emotive responses. But a dynamics perhaps where exchange is rethought, value is rejiggered, and socialization finds a different expression where the ‘them’ becomes the ‘us’ and brand ownership and consumer intent are driven by a different script.

Since the beginning of time, artists and humanitarians have created stages and codes of beliefs to act out social experiments to evolve culture past its own restrictions.

In a sense, crypto economies are part of this trend but with the powerful and unique twist of economizing them in collective ways.

That’s a dream I think worth waking up to

Not the mundane presupposition of making emotions transactional, but a contextual shift to make emotions and community dynamics more natural within an economy that supports the individual first, not last.

Food for thought moving into the new year.