My prior blog post created quite a controversy among many in the BitShares community. I cast a vision for BitShares as an an non-violent alternative to government. These ideas are considered niche and a distraction by some. Today I am going to justify the raw business benefits of a vision.
In an article on entrepreneur.com, Jeff Boss laid out 8 ways a vision statement adds value to any business.
- A vision statement offers guidance
- Vision statements set decision-making boundaries
- Vision statements serve as behavior boundaries
- Vision statements instill emotion
- Vision statements spur growth
- Vision statements keep curiosity spurning
- Vision statements allow difficult conversations
- Vision statements enable leadership
I suggest everyone read his full article for a bit more depth on each of those reasons.
Vision vs Strategy
Creating a well ordered society governed in a manner compatible with the NAP is a vision that is as open ended and universally desirable as calling for "world peace". I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who likes to pay taxes or likes to be bothered by bureaucratic regulations that are impossible to follow but might just land you in jail.
I set out a vision that is inclusive of everyone. In my vision there is universal health care, unemployment insurance, and welfare to take care of those unable to help themselves. In my vision there is justice, accountability, and community enforced standards of behavior. The vision is big enough to include everyone from anarchists to communists united under a single universally desirable principle of non-violence.
Violence is a shortcut that is taken when people get frustrated and lack innovative alternatives. People don't choose violence because they want the violent solution, the choose it because they don't see any other way.
My vision for BitShares is to show them another way.
The strategy is something that must evolve over time based upon market feed back. Phase I of the strategy was the creation of a decentralized exchange, smart coins, and a self-governing blockchain. Without BTS and the exchange then the later phases would not be possible.
In the short term we have the addition of privacy features to BitShares. Privacy is something that is a critical component of any disruptive system.
Shortly after that I wish to add support for the creation of Mutual Aid Societies. This idea is perceived as niche today, but within living memory once involved the majority of the population. MAS fell apart due to government regulation and the creation of health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, unemployment insurance, disability insurance and welfare.
Those who follow the economic tradewinds know that the world economy is on shaky ground and our social safety nets such as social security, welfare, and food stamps cannot continue forever. When the system finally implodes under its own weight it will once again fall to private MAS to pick up.
Go Fund me
Gofundme.com is personal crowdfunding platform that has raised over $1 billion dollars to help individuals. They have created a community of giving and that community has given more than twice the combined daily volume of all non-bitcoin trades for a year. They charge a fee of 5% plus credit card (3%) on every dollar given. In total they have earned $50 million dollars from helping people raise money for their cause.
If the DEX managed to capture 100% of the non-bitcoin trading volume and charge 0.2% on every trade it would only earn $1 million dollars per year. Most of that income would go to asset issuers and not the DEX. In other words, capturing just 2% of the market targeted by gofundme.com is worth more than capturing 100% of the non-bitcoin exchange volume.
Gofundme recently sold for $600M dollars.
It is easy for those of us in the cryptocurrency industry to lose perspective on how small our industry is. No one has actually created anything that is gaining real traction. Sure, it looks like Ripple, Ethereum or Doge are gaining traction but they are insignificant. The reason they are all insignificant is because like BitShares today, they are technological solutions to real problems but still fail to serve the average Joe.
Lets have a bigger vision with a focus on helping other people. A vision that the average Joe can benefit from and get behind. A blockchain is a means to an end, it isn't an end in itself. While everyone else is busy creating advanced "smart contracts" and new "privacy solutions" and attempting to partner with banks that want nothing to do with them we can actually start helping people.