On Music NFTs

During a postprandial conversation last Christmas, one of my nieces brought up Taylor Swift’s drama with Carlyle over the sale of her back catalog.

I had recently minted my first music NFT on Sound (Daniel Allan’s “Too Close”), and the potential for crypto to disintermediate industry incumbents and empower artists was top of mind.

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Thinking on a tokenized investment vehicle

At the beginning of the year, I participated in Wharton’s course on the Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets.

The capstone project entailed brainstorming up an idea for a digital asset.

In the spirit of building in public, I thought I’d share where my head was back in February.

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Is the Dollar Standard Ending?

Last month, world governments learned that property rights do not apply to foreign exchange reserves.

Recall that before Russia’s abhorrent invasion of Ukraine, the United States government froze $7 billion of Afghanistan’s U.S.-based assets. The United States earmarked half for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, while the balance was reserved to cover potential claims from U.S litigants who sued the Taliban for losses due to terrorism, including the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In effect, the leaders of the world’s largest economy — with a gross domestic product surpassing $20 trillion in 2020 — seized the assets of a country with a gross national income per capita of $500. Data from the United Nations reveal that more than half of Afghanistan’s population wasn’t even alive on 9/11.

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Favorite Books of 2021

For selections from years past, please click here: 20202019201820172016201520142013.

The Key Man by Simon Clark & Will Louch

An engrossing read chronicling the rise and fall of Arif Naqvi and the Abraaj Group. It has the pace of John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood, but with an unbelievable cast of credulous characters who fell for a fantasy.

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A Reaction to Rory Stewart on Intervention

I recently finished Rory Stewart’s thought-provoking essay about Afghanistan in Can Intervention Work? It prompted many reactions, but I thought I’d share two:

See also:

Ubuntu

USV’s Albert Wenger inspired me to scoop up a used ThinkPad, boot install Linux, and see if I could peel myself away from the walled gardens of Apple and Microsoft (for fun, if not for work).

It has been decades since I used the terminal / command line in MS DOS to search directories and run .exe files. But as tedious as it was to get started, the nostalgia is real, and it’s fun to be using new muscles.