S3T Feb 20: Super Bowl, crypto winter, NFTs for musicians, charities, healthcare, Minefields, Nature restoration, Lemurs, SORA...

S3T Feb 20: Super Bowl, crypto winter, NFTs for musicians, charities, healthcare, Minefields, Nature restoration, Lemurs, SORA...
Smoke & Mirrors Pen and Colored Pencil - Ralph Perrine 2022

Smoke and Mirrors or enduring value? Amid jittery markets, crypto gets its Super Bowl commercials. How many will get on board due to fear of missing out? How many will join in order to help build a better future? To join those builders working outside the limelight, who are diligently learning, creating and restoring?  

Finance

Crypto Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl featured multiple Crypto commercials this past Sunday and some are comparing it to the Jan 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV (a.k.a the "Dot.com Super Bowl") which can be summarized in 3 numbers:

  • 14 dot.coms
  • spent $44M, and  
  • 4 remain today.

I remember the dot.com years, and am not sure the comparison to dot.coms is accurate. Yes, both eras have their share of hype. My recollection could be faulty, but it seems that today's crypto space has a lot broader participation from non-institional non-regulated entities than the dot.com era did. It also bears noting that the dot.com bubble and crash was facilitated by the actions of institutional and regulated investment firms and markets.

The crypto space has grown - and survived its own hair-raising ups and downs - without any meaningful facilitation from the regulated financial establishment. As crypto seemingly achieves its "mainstream moment" some worry the emerging space is already losing sight of its founding principles. This week Bitcoin fell back below 40k, prompting fears of a "crypto winter". Vitaly says a winter might be beneficial.

Continued discovery of NFT use cases

The range of reactions to this thread are worth reviewing:

Charitable organizations are trying NFTs, taking a test and learn approach to see if NFTs offer advantages over traditional fundraising approaches.

NFTs can offer musicians better opportunities says Veteran DJ and producer Steve Aoki, far better than established music industry's stingy royalties which he says aren't adequate for paying musicians bills. The above article explains a number of creative ways Aoki plans to leverage NFTs and the Web3 ownership model.

💡
"OK, in the 10 years I’ve been making music… six albums, and you [combine] all those advances, what I did in one drop last year in NFTs, I made more money." - Steve Aoki, Feb 10

NFTs have implications for healthcare as noted here (Fast Co), here (Medical Futurist), and here (Nasdaq) building on ARK Invest's original 2016 thesis about the potential of blockchain for healthcare.

NFTs may additionally be able to play a role in facilitating initiatives focused on improving health outcomes, as described in the next segment below.

Healthcare Minefields

The negativity of American healthcare: a non-stop stream of problem statements and shame narratives fueling what often feels like helpless outrage. There has to be a way to engineer outcomes in a more intentional way.

Fig.1 Healthcare issues are like mines - except they grow and multiply over time.

Using minefields as an analogy, we can think about two mindsets we could choose between, when thinking about how to engineer better outcomes. Figure 1 shows a hypothetical progression of unmet health needs present in a population over 3 years. The red dots represent individual cases of unmet and worsening healthcare needs. The size of the dots represents relative severity and costs.

Mindset 1: Avoid the Mines

In the first mindset, unmet health needs in populations are like landmines in a field. The challenge is to avoid having to pay for very expensive health treatments - to tiptoe through that minefield without setting off an explosion of medical expense.

Mindset 2: Clear the Mines

The second mindset recognizes that unmet health needs in populations differ from landmines in one key aspect: they grow and multiply over time. Over time, unmet health needs in a population get bigger, more costly and harder to avoid.

  • When 1 person is on an unhealthy trajectory, the situation will grow worse over time.
  • Unhealthy trajectories replicate themselves: an individual on an unhealthy trajectory is more likely to have children who are also not healthy. They are more likely to be attended by stressed out caregivers who are neglecting their own needs. Relatives or close associates may emulate their unhealthy patterns and habits.

Mindset 1 is purely focused on capital preservation one plan year at a time (the phrase "plan year" refers to any 12 month period during which a group of people have coverage).

Mindset 2 may seem to be a more conscientious mindset, but it may also be more effective at capital preservation over multiple years. It motivates one to think about the value of clearing the mines vs. avoiding them. Rather than wallowing in moral hazard and cost sharing logic (which has been debunked), let's figure out the best way to work together to arrest the progression of unmet healthcare needs of our communities. This will require corporate and community stakeholders to plan across multiple years rather than 1 fiscal year at a time.

It would also require a way to grant membership and track - in an immutable but private way - the health progression of individuals as well as groups such as corporate workforces, communities at risk, or affinitized groups (caregivers of people with specific conditions, workout groups, etc). This space may offer one or more use cases where NFTs could serve a valuable healthcare function.

I like Mindset 2 because it feels like a good place to start a conversation about shared goals, the obstacles between us and those goals, and our options for getting there. Obstacles and options are just 2 of the best questions good mentors ask those who want to do better. And we most definitely want to do better.  

The Best Mentors Ask These 8 Questions
An essential part of being a good mentor is asking the right questions. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started.
Photo by Juan Camilo Guarin P / Unsplash

Nature Notes

Veritree, a climate solutions platform, enables nature restoration using blockchain technologies that provide an optimal approach for enabling restoration teams to collect and manage ground-level data and deliver it directly to all stakeholders. For example Veritree allows people around the world to fund tree planting campaigns, claim trees and track their trees as they grow. Happy customers include Cardano and Samsung:

Learn more and get involved at Veritree.com.

SORA - the Searchable Ornithological Research Archive is a gateway to our rich heritage of 41 ornithological journals and resources, documenting 120 years of North American bird life and research. Unlike many research repositories, SORA does not require registration or subscription fees for access.

Welcome to SORA, the Searchable Ornithological Research Archive | Searchable Ornithological Research Archive

Final Note

Thank you for reading! Couple of quick points to share:

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Have a great week!

Ralph

Opinions mine. Not financial advice. I may hold assets discussed.