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Bitcoin harvard business review

08.05.2021

bitcoin harvard business review

Crypto: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review will show you how today's most innovative firms are embracing decentralized technology. Over the last few years, the development of blockchain technology brought us new types of digital assets such as stablecoins and. The CFO of an online education platform considers whether to adopt Bitcoin for payments and investments. MSW BETTING RULES TEXAS

In the wet season in Sichuan and Yunnan, enormous quantities of renewable hydro energy are wasted every year. In these areas, production capacity massively outpaces local demand, and battery technology is far from advanced enough to make it worthwhile to store and transport energy from these rural regions into the urban centers that need it. Another promising avenue for carbon neutral mining is flared natural gas.

The process of oil extraction today releases significant amount of natural gas as a byproduct — energy that pollutes the environment without ever making it to the grid. But Bitcoin miners from North Dakota to Siberia have seized the opportunity to monetize this otherwise-wasted resource, and some companies are even exploring ways to further reduce emissions by combusting the gas in a more controlled manner.

To be fair, the monetization of excess natural gas with Bitcoin does still create emissions, and some have argued that the practice even acts as a subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, incentivizing energy companies to invest more in oil extraction than they otherwise might. But income from Bitcoin miners is a drop in the bucket compared to demand from other industries that rely on fossil fuels — and that external demand is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Given the reality that oil is and will continue to be extracted for the foreseeable future, exploiting a natural byproduct of the process and potentially even reducing its environmental impact is a net positive. Interestingly, the aluminum smelting industry offers a surprisingly relevant parallel. Regions with the capacity to produce more energy than could be consumed locally, such as Iceland , Sichuan, and Yunnan, became net energy exporters through aluminum — and today, the same conditions that incentivized their investment in smelting have made those locations prime options for mining Bitcoin.

There are even a number of former aluminum smelters, such as the hydro Alcoa plant in Massena, NY, that have been directly repurposed as Bitcoin mines. Once coins have been issued, the energy required to validate transactions is minimal. And that leads us to the final critical misconception: that the energy costs associated with mining Bitcoin will continue to grow exponentially. This was the premise of a widely-reported study that was recently cited in the New York Times , making the shocking claim that Bitcoin could warm the earth by two degrees Celcius.

First, as has become common in many industries, the energy mix of Bitcoin grows less reliant on carbon every year. In the U. And of course, as renewable options such as solar grow more efficient and thus more viable for mining, Bitcoin could end up serving as a serious incentive for miners to build out these technologies.

In addition, miners are unlikely to continue expanding their mining operations at the current rates indefinitely. The Bitcoin protocol subsidizes mining, but those subsidies have built-in checks on their growth. However, the protocol is built to halve the issuance-driven component of miner revenue every four years — so unless the price of Bitcoin doubles every four years in perpetuity which economics suggests is essentially impossible for any currency , that share of miner revenue will eventually decay to zero.

We can expect some miners to continue operating regardless, in exchange for these transaction fees alone — and in fact, the network depends on that to keep functioning — but if profit margins fall, the financial incentive to invest in mining will naturally decrease. Earn badges to share on LinkedIn and your resume.

Finally, mint and burn. Minting is a process that puts units of a cryptocurrency into circulation. Burning is a process of taking it out of circulation. In tandem, these processes help the Terra stablecoin keep its peg. Now, Terra is a fascinating project, even by the standards of the emerging field of crypto.

It has a lot of moving parts. Terra forms the core part of the Terra project. The other side, Luna represents its governance token. Terra, the earth. Luna, the moon. Terra is more than its stablecoin and Luna its governance token. It is a suite of financial products, which unlike many crypto projects, allow its users to interact with the real world. These projects include Mirror, a token that allows users all over the world to invest in popular US stocks, like Tesla or Apple, when it might be hard for them to access those stocks from their own country.

Anchor, a savings account offering eye-watering savings rates, and CHAI, a payment platform used by thousands of merchants in Korea. The ecosystem is an innovative aspect of Terra and one which is designed to stimulate growth, stability, and uptake of the stablecoin. The idea seems to have caught on. Terra was then the ninth most valuable crypto project in the world. Do, welcome to Exponential View. Glad to be here. And at the heart of it seems to be this stablecoin.

Why are stablecoins important and what differentiates your approach from the others? DO KWON: When I first started looking into crypto in late , early timeline, one of the most fascinating things to me is that for an industry that brands itself the cryptocurrency industry, there were very few people that was actually working on the problem of making better currency.

Most entrepreneurs were focused on either building better apps or creating better blockchains. And what that means is a cryptocurrency that retains all the price stability profile of Fiat currencies, like the dollar, the Korean won, the Japanese yen, while at the same time, it also maintains a lot of the programmable and censorship-resistant properties of Ethereum and Bitcoin.

And the numbers back this up. It makes up the greatest amount of volume in both TVL and quote currency volumes across DeFi and on-chain metrics. So I would say that both from sort of a future-proof perspective and how the numbers speak today, the stablecoin is far the most important product in crypto. And of course, to hear you say, well, stablecoins are really the most important dynamic I think is quite refreshing. One question, of course, is how do stablecoins maintain that peg to the US dollar or the Korean won?

So where does the stability come from in the case of Terra? And the operating costs are also massive, both on the compliance and just on the pure operations side. Now, the thesis that Terra puts forward is that a stablecoin, if it is to be truly used across DeFi and crypto in general, needs to be decentralized. So the slogan, sort of like the founding war cry of Terraform labs was that a decentralized economy needs decentralized money. Rather, it uses a mint and burn mechanism against its native staking token, Luna, in order to guarantee that the stablecoin has stability.

So this has some interesting properties. So what sort of gives that the arbitrager the faith that that would happen? I think people who are not connected and thinking about the world of finance and how central banks operate may not be familiar with the idea of the open-market operation, which is the way that central banks ultimately implement their policies when they want to change interest rates and so on, They buy and they sell bonds on the market.

And what that basically meant was that we can create a decentralized money that is easier to spend, more attractive to hold and invest than what we can find in the Fiat world, and that is more convenient than what you can find at Bitcoin and Ethereum. So you can either hold it, you can invest it, or you can spend it.

So how Anchor works is that it enhances the savings aspect of TerraUSD so that it becomes more attractive to hold. Anchor offers a Therefore, it makes the UST more attractive to hold. And therefore, it makes TerraUSD a better conduit for people to get into investing into various different asset classes.

And therefore, it just makes TerraUSD a more attractive asset by which you can settle in. The only end product that we had at Terraform Labs is to create a form of money, and that is really our principle product, and everything else is a means to an end.

The importance of any currency is its ability to be useful in some sense. And it seems to be the case that you can through Terra. And that, I think, is quite an important dynamic. The first thing that I noticed when I first got in was there are very strong structural incentives for people in crypto to look inwards.

And I think in order to do those things, I thought that it would be far more important to touch upon the base use cases of what people can do with their money instead of building novel structure products that might appeal a very specific niche. So CHAI is like a payment system started in the Korean market, as I suppose, as an alternative to paying perhaps via a credit card or some other mechanism.

And it was quite interesting that you have a very clear offer to the merchant, which is that the payment fees that the merchant has to pay are much lower through CHAI than through many of the other players in that market.

And I guess that creates a Trojan horse because a merchant enables CHAI, and that then gives them incentives to get their users, or their customers, to start to become CHAI enabled, which then brings those people into the Terra Ecosystem. Do you then start to actively interact with either the UST or the Luna governance coin, or is that still sort of a couple of steps away? So you can do lots of these things. The value proposition, as you said, is pretty simple. And then the fees are also structurally much lower.

Big push that we were trying to make in is geographic expansion. And I read a lot of the stories up front saying that there had been tremendous end user acquisition, but when I checked in the last couple of days on ChaiScan to see what the sort of total user base looked like on CHAI, and it seemed like kind of growth was flattening at around two and a half million users.

I mean, is growth still very, very fast from an end user perspective? Has it started to slow down? How many people would you actually say are within the ecosystem across these different products? I would say growth for CHAI has been pretty flat over the last year. Most of the volume and emphasis has been going two different business lines instead of the e-wallet. So one of them is the CHAI debit card. This is sort of like a gamified experience where users can top up into their CHAI debit card using crypto, and then they can spend it.

But yeah, on the payment side, I think within Korea, after it sort of tackled sort of the novel use cases, so essentially like a lot of crypto-friendly users within the country, growth has been relatively flat. And I think back to when I first got onto the internet, which was back in , and it was okay when you were in university. The moment you left university, and you tried to do this at home, it was really, really painful.

And it took six or seven years from that point before the on-ramps became really simple and straightforward. We talked about CHAI, which was kind of, you can use to buy useful things in the real world. And Mirror is really fascinating because Mirror allows people who might find it really difficult to invest in companies like Apple or Tesla to get exposure to those stocks in their markets.

And I think Mirror has been successful in Thailand and for that reason. But my sense is that you are still discovering what that on ramp product market fit is, that thing that would show that this acceleration of users just signing up is taking off like Topsy. Is that a fair assessment? Are you still experimenting for that really ideal on ramp? One part of it is just me like experimenting with different types of products.

So a part of it is my journey. But the second is also how the macro landscape in crypto is shifting. So to put things in some context, when we first launched payments, there was pretty much nobody else that was looking to get into crypto payments. So from that perspective, I think building a large network of merchants and users that were willing to transact using a stablecoin was a valid mission.

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