While I’m pleased to see the recent attention received and value created in the NFT space, I must say I have not really been intrigued from a critical perspective since Cryptopunks — that is until Pak’s latest collection “The Title”. This is one of few works (Mr. Fox’s “Burn Before Reading” also comes to mind) that seeks to understand itself.

A small amount of art historical knowledge is perhaps helpful context for my perspective. In the late 50s and 60s, at the same moment Michel Foucault was deconstructing our grand narratives and institutions, and Marshall McLuhan was penning that the…


This piece has also been posted to the Yam Discourse Forum, join the conversation here.

Following a successful relaunch of the audited and fully functional YAM, it is time to turn our eyes towards the future. The relaunch of YAM was meant to largely replicate the initial YAM parameters in order to expedite the governance and auditing process. We are now able to begin gathering live data on the functioning protocol, tuning parameters for optimal functionality, and leveraging the treasury beyond high-yield stablecoins.

This is less of a roadmap than an opportunity set. It is the product of conversations I’ve…


While it seems like an eternity has passed, Yam was launched just one month ago. Since its release, we’ve seen a proliferation of forking experiments, fair and not so fair launches, and DeFi communities testing long-held assumptions. On Friday Sept 18th, Yam will be re-launching into a landscape it helped create, and it will continue to push the bounds of decentralized governance and innovative protocol design. As we prepare for this relaunch, it’s worth taking a moment to recap the brief but dramatic history of YAM.

The launch of YAM took place on August 11, 2020, but its inception was…


Disclaimer: I assisted in the launch of YAM, an unaudited, experimental protocol. The ideas you see below are simply my own personal thoughts and don’t reflect the views of the YAM community or any of the other individuals who helped build YAM. It’s important to note that any potential experiments listed below may never be tried, may not work, and that only the community of YAM holders has the power to enact any future ideas regarding YAM. When we said we don’t have any ability to control or dictate outcomes for YAM, we meant it.

Over the past several days…


Honestly, looking at the UMA website right now filled mainly with explainers and docs extolling the broad design space enabled by their open synthetic asset infrastructure, it’d be easy to think they are a young DeFi upstart hopping on the train. There’s no product interface, no dashboard of market metrics, nor even demo of functionality. The irony, of course, is that UMA (Universal Market Access) has been in DeFi far longer than anyone having such a thought — so why no dapp?

It’s a valid question given the established DeFi playbook pioneered by the likes of Compound, Synthetix, Uniswap, Aave…


This week at DeFi Summit in London, I presented my thoughts on using Ben Thompson’s Aggregation Theory as a model for understanding DeFi. It’s something that has been top of mind for us at Topo Finance, as we aggregate functionality of underlying protocols to create our interest rate optimization product, but it’s clear the DeFi ecosystem as a whole is thinking hard about these types of frameworks. In every presentation I attended, someone asked the presenting business, “How do you plan to monetize?” This is a subset of the the question Aggregation Theory answers: Where and how does value accrue?

Traditional and Digital Value Chains


At the height of the hype and fraud of the 2017 ICO bubble, a number of unflattering comparisons were made between ICOs and penny stocks — and not without good reason. Both penny stocks and ICOs have a track record of fraudulent activity resulting from bad actors capitalizing on a lack of regulatory disclosure and uninformed investors. A shared basis of fraud is largely where the comparisons end for utility token ICOs, however, as the basic nature of a utility token differs so significantly from stock. …


Security tokens offer a new way for companies to raise capital from a wide pool of investors in full regulatory compliance. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 includes a provision (section 12(g)) that would mandate that companies must report to the SEC as public companies if their investor base grows larger than 2,000 holders of record. This would seriously hinder those companies’ potential adoption of security tokens and/or their ability to realize the benefits of tokenization. To combat this, the security token industry can utilize a precedent set in traditional finance in which the number of holders of record only…

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