bettina warburg

bettina warburg.png

intro’d to Bettina via her tedsummit 2016 – How the blockchain will radically transform the economy

*economists have been exploring people’s behaviors for 100s of years.. show how we make decisions.. how we act individually/groups.. how we exchange value.. they’ve studied institutions that facilitate our trade..

*in ways similar to Bruce Alexander‘s rat park

so false .. money as os.. science of people .. et al

but there is a new tech institution that will fundamentally change how we exchange value..

it could.. if we quit exchanging ness.. if we don’t quit this exchanging ness.. it won’t be fundamental change.. just a tweak of our broken feedback loop

while blockchain tech is relatively new.. it’s also continuation of a human story.. as humans *we find ways to lower uncertainty about one another .. so that we can exchange value..


*we find ways to lower uncertainty when forced in the supposed to box.. so.. we’ve been taught/voluntarily complianced.. to lower uncertainty.. but if free.. truly 100% free.. we embrace uncertainty.. like a healthy 5 yr old.. falling in love with our whimsical/wild ways/days..

go back further/deeper..  unless you’re thinking block chain can take us to the limit of that 100% trust/ginorm-small (which means money, value, measuring/validating transactions/people.. all become irrelevant) – which i believe it can

ie: hosting-life-bits on some type of blockchain ness ness via self-talk as data through some type of chip ness

one of first to study institutions as tool of econ to lower our uncertainty about one another and be able to do trade was douglas north… pioneered new institutional economics.. what he meant by institutions was really just.. formal constitution and informal constraints like bribery.. these institutions are really the grease that allow our econ wheels to function

see play out in history: back w hunter gatherer econ just traded w/in village structure….. enforced all our trade with violence/social-repercussion

as societies grew more complex and trade roots more distance.. built up formal institutions: banks for currency; govts; corps.. helped us manage trade as the uncertainty/complexity grew and personal control was much lower

eventually with internet .. we put these institutions online.. amazon/ebay/alibaba…just faster.. that act as middlemen to facil human/econ activity..

institutions are a tool to lower uncertainty so we can connect and exchange value – north

for first time.. we can lower uncertainty.. not just with banks/govts.. but with tech alone

blockchain – decentralized database.. stores registry of assets/transactions.. basically a public registry.. of who owns what and who transacts what.. transactions secure through cryptography

creates an immutable/unforgeable record.. replicated on every computer..

not an app.. not a company;.. closest to wikipedia.. we can see everything.. composite.. constantly updated.. can create own wikis.. just a data infrastructure

blockchain.. open infrastructure that stores many kinds of assets.. history of custodianship/ownership/location… bitcoin, title of ownership, certif, contract, personal ie, ..

how they lower uncertainty..

uncertainty a big term.. 3 forms.. we face everyday  1\ who dealing with  2\ visibility into transaction  3\ recourse if goes wrong..

1\ look at reviews/ratings/checkmarks.. today very fragmented.. blockchain allows an open/global platform.. any individual.. any source.. user controlled.. more than a profile.. can selectively reveal.. for trade/interaction.. portable id.. means we can do all kinds of human trade in totally new way

2\ any kind of data/product we don’t want tampered with.. when not using same infrastructure hard to see over time ness… w/ blockchain don’t have to know/trust each other.. like wikipedia.. shared database.. one single truth.. decentralized database with same efficiency of a monopoly.. whole new world in terms of visibility

3\ write code.. binding contracts.. guaranteeing they work w/o 3rd party.. don’t need to release funds till all conditions are met.. one of most exciting ways.. we can collapse institutions/enforcement.. automated.. human intervention to edges..

very thing that makes the blockchain work is our mutual distrust..


perhaps we let is help us get back to us.. where trust is not measurable..

rather than all uncertainties slowing us down.. harness collective uncertainty and use it to collab..

not just an econ evolution.. also innovation in computer science.. creating a record of human exchange.. currency/property/personal-attributes.. become tech institutions w/a lot of benes of original but in a decentralized way.. by converting a lot of our uncertainties with certainties..


q: rate of adoption?       a: my lab is pretty much focused on going the enterprise/govt root first.. a complex tech.. not everyone understands it but uses.. scully: tech should be invisible/beautiful.. & blockchain is neither right now .. so better for early adopters who get it.. or finding best use cases..

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake


find/follow Bettina:

link twitter

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Animal Ventures. Blockchain Expert. Executive Producer of Tech on Politics – listen @

her site:

from her about page:

I’m Bettina Warburg and I think about the convergence of technology and politics and its impact on our future

Right now, I work at Animal Ventures, a venture studio and consultancy I co-founded with practice areas in Blockchain Technology, Artificial & Augmented Intelligence, Digital Platforms and the Internet of Things.

I also co-founded and am the executive producer of Tech on Politics, a tech show where we interview some of the greatest minds in technology, media, venture capital, and politics.

Before all this, I worked as a public foresight strategist at the Institute for the Future, a Silicon Valley think tank, developing its philanthropic direction and governance research practices.


page on skoll site:


from Thomas Seyfried talk:

(otto) warburg had it pegged a long time ago in germany.. one of leading biochemists of the 20th cent:

related to bettina..? both linked to warburg family..


nov 2017 – 40 min video of Bettina @bwarburg explaining blockchain at 5 levels

Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty

Blockchain is something everyone should understand in 2018 and beyond. It will change our society. Here’s a good place to start.

Original Tweet:

level 1: it’s actually a way we can trade

ugh – exchange ness.. let’s go deeper

level 2: have you every traded or sold anything.. it’s kind of this big ledger.. accounting system.. where all sorts of things get traded..

imagine if instead we used it to facil curiosities

tech as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

level 3: allows us to trade at scale.. w/o company in middle.. instead a bunch of software code.. beyond bitcoin.. taking any asset and transacting that..  then into id ness for security

level 4: a lot of the assumptions won’t hold true.. obviously a need to work on the trust

ie: money.. measuring transactions

to make sure avg people can use it.. need more ed/standards


level 5: persistant transparent append only ledger.. thru a mech of creating consensus. parties that don’t need to trust each other.. possible apps.. ie: electricity

worries: not paying attention to *bad actors.. mech not **flexible enough.. ie: contracts need to be flexible

*gershenfeld sel

**hlb via 2 convos that io dance.

to trade at scale.. and make that trade more decentralized

let’s go deep/simple/open enough