The recent bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major financial institution has sent shockwaves throughout the startup world, particularly for those in the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and blockchain/cryptocurrency sectors. The impact of this bankruptcy could have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only startups but also venture capitalists and pension funds.
One of the major risks associated with this bankruptcy is the domino effect it could have on venture capitalists and pension funds. For example, Vanguard Group has 11.2% of its holdings in SVB, which has a significant stake in the ESG and blockchain/cryptocurrency industries. If SVB were to suffer from bankruptcy, it could have a ripple effect on investment firms, followed by a temporary loss of trust in the market.
Furthermore, its collapse could erode investor confidence in smaller regional banks and drive investment toward larger, “safer” banks. This shift in investor sentiment could make it more difficult for startups to secure funding and could hinder the growth of ESG innovations and DeFi initiatives.
It’s important to note that investors with significant influence in the markets, such as Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), can have a major impact on market psychology. Whether right or wrong, their opinions can sway investor sentiment and potentially exacerbate the negative effects of downfall.
In light of these developments, startups should be vigilant and prepare for potential challenges in securing funding. Investors should also carefully consider the risks associated with investing in these industries and the potential impact of external factors such as bankruptcy cascade. Overall, the effects of this financial earthquake serve as a reminder of the interconnectedness of the financial world and the importance of being mindful of potential risks and challenges.
I was busy with professor Gytek when a high-priority notification arrived, so I ask my AI family assistant for a voice reading.
“Good morning Yannick, you’ve spent 1704 CU this semester. The consumption is unusually high by 27% compared to the previous period.”.
I guess it is because my grandchildren are living with us since ‘that’ incident. And my work with professor Gytek is certainly for something. Sometimes I feel I turned like my old folks, thinking my civilian bills is a high priority!
It feels like ages ago when, in 2034, Europe voted for the General Digital Access Regulation or GDAR. The GDAR has invited country members to the standardization of digital facility services for all European citizens. The implications were multiple with some bonuses. It became mandatory to provide access to the Internet to residents. Therefore, at least a device was to be given for truly digital equality and sustainable civilization development. Hence all citizens could study, work, buy, and vote online free of “access fees”.
Today, each and everyone is connected, could it be brain-wired, phygital reality glasses, in-bone sensorial devices, you name it. Not that it is necessary, holographic coating comes by default now. Wall paints, object textures, and glasses contain diamond-shaped optical picobots that give the illusion of depth without wearing anything. Actually, holographic surrealism is the latest design trend! Consequently, it has created an outstanding dependency on Decentralized Cloud Computing and Centralized Cloud Computing Networks.
The first sign of significant transformation was post-COVID-19, which revealed the need for remote work.
The intense need started really in 2032 when governments realized they could not be relying only upon Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for the future of digital expansion. The main reason is that GDAR states the following foundation principle:
Article 3. Pursuant to legal principles of ownership and privacy, it is hereby declared that all data, computing resources, and services shall be considered the personal property of the individual to whom they belong. Any access to or utilization of said property by any third party must be fully authorized by the owner and must be recorded in the EU Secure Non-Repudiable Ledger for the purposes of personal auditing and consumer accountability. Any unauthorized access or use of such property shall be deemed a violation of the owner’s rights, and may subject the offending party to legal action.
The negotiation with US and Chinese companies demonstrated the frail adherence to these requirements. Sometimes there were even reluctant to do so, which, considering the balance of the tripolar world order, was already quite an achievement. In parallel, to ensure national intelligence security, and intellectual property preservation, the only option left was to rely on a European Cloud.
This is when GAIA-X also became a so-called superunicorn company, switching from a federated cloud project to a single organization of a new kind: a European company, managed like a private company, with an obligation of result, but publicly owned by all state members, and, that’s a first, explicitly owned by the people. As a result, GAIA-X became ATHENA, and Octave Klaba, the founder of OVH Cloud, its CEO. What made it truly unique was the redistribution of benefits to the population; Indirectly, of course, but still, the business model was innovative, sustainable, and fair to citizens. The only thing you need to get started is your wallet!
During the same period, a new kind of Trade Exchange has been created: the EU Sovereign Trade Exchange, where only state citizens could buy and sell ATHENA’s shares and Computing Units tokens (CU). The latter serves as the foundation for receiving your free volume of TPU to satisfy your basic need as an individual and to extend the growth of enterprises based on how citizen wishes to invest in their business expansion.
The real benefit and the paradigm shift, at least for me, was computing becoming a utility resource like electricity and water. It changed everything:
Secondly, individuals can be CU providers when they have devices and servers producing more computing units than they consume. Nowadays, Cloudfluencers are the real deal!
Thirdly, all dwellings, devices appliances, were by default connected to your dHome Network, which is your dedicated network for privacy compliance. In 2034, the first GDAR amendment was issued in Luxembourg, where it forced all new construction and existing construction to incorporate a pluggable dHome network. Thus, the civil architecture standards and IT digital standards were upgraded and propagated throughout Europe. As a consequence, private-to-public Internet gateways were included in all housing plans by design.
Fourthly, connection to the Internet is also included. The network is software-generated and the adaptive routing is part of the civil infrastructure coming by Satellite’s PolyLight technology (which is the advanced distribution network using directed polyphasic beams of light, and each “column building” is a piece of architectural art), distributed electric grid network, where each device and vehicle act as a distribution node, or air using the old school 10G network used by the purists and the developers. Underground internet distribution is forbidden nowadays. You only had to select your Cloud Computing Providers for additional services, like on-demand Entertainment Services, the same way you used to subscribe to Netflix!
Finally, you had a single billing system where your utility invoices were sent directly to your EU Citizen One Stop Shop portal, the dHome, while payments were performed automatically (see Banking in 2060)
The security of ATHENA’s distributed network was the best.
The Core Network, BREW, was virtually inaccessible. The reason was simple, it was located in space. Its data center was a giant polyhedron, entirely built by machine. It is not that, nowadays, we do not trust humans, it is just that people trust the public and the unbias aspect of machine-generated code.
The most impressive was the servicing of qCPU. Each of them is unique, embedding in its core a set of private metamorphic keys only known and bound to the citizen. Then, the qCPU is printed on demand inside BREW autonomous factory. Furthermore, the qCPU is destroyed, recycled, then replaced periodically to ensure maximum security. Finally, human interventions, if any, are performed remotely, from ATHENA Earth Control Center, using a repair drone, which was shipped from the daily Falcon Cargo Shuttle.
“Where was I again… Ah, yes. Professor Gytek, we need to work out what is happening to you. This cannot happen again…”
I am sitting in my garden watching my granddaughter, Aleïs. She is playing with one of her advanced robotic toys, a Tyranausore Rex, and a ghost diplodocus. Yes, an invisible diplodocus. At least, this is what it looks like with my naked eyes. She is seeing more things despite she wears corrective glasses. In reality, she is playing with another digital dinosaur that only exists in the digital world. Glasses come with augmented reality by default, even for kids now. I remember when Apple launched them for the first time for the mainstream. I was just before the 5th digital revolution came, the age of the Phygital Internet
First, it was a gadget, it became rapidly a social advantage, to conclude as a social divide. It became indispensable when Apple partnered with major Glassmakers. Wearing glasses was no longer a sign of disability but a sign of “Augmentation”.
Suddenly Alëis sees virtual options popping atop The T-Rex. Some of them are locked and can only be obtained as “in-thing” payment. This kind of payment is sneaky but convenient, but sneaky! Of course, she wants to see the brand new flame animation coming out of her toy, and she wants to download cool dance moves like in Fortnite back in the day. She is into robotic animal engineering. She is much more skilled in information technologies than I was at her age. Like me, she is thrilled by trying and messing with new techs. I am so proud of her.
She taps on the menu to buy it. She is 14, and at this age, she cannot buy anything without the consent of one of her parents. One of the good features was family group management and sharing of financial assets and digital rights. Because I am an elder of her family, I receive her authorization to buy.
My Smartphone displays a notification. I smile because now they are holographic. And even when I am still amazed to see holograms popping out of the screen, smartphones are nowadays considered a relic from the past. Never mind, I am old anyway, I too am a relic. I should have died a long time ago. But they print organic lungs now, turning pneumonia into vintage flu. I put my finger on the notification and I approve with my face and my voice.
It reminded me of something. I say to Aleïs “There you go. You’re lucky, 15 years ago you couldn’t buy this option yourself”.
And she replied, “What do you mean, Papi Yannick?”.
“You see when I was younger, my mother had to go to the bank to open my account. I had to fill out some paper, present a printed copy of my national id card, and sign the paper with a pen. Later on, we could do it with our smartphones. Digital Onboarding was the coolest thing. We struggle to make it happen due to the strict regulations of the financial industry. Cyber fraud was high, and trust in the system was low. Eventually, the governments decided that laws had to be strictly enforced by code. You know, IT programming. Actually, this was the birth of the now famous expression “In Code We Trust”. Now everything is different. I mean normal for you but different for me. Ever since financial matters entered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it did change a lot for the good. Now each human has a bank account the moment they land on planet earth. It is a birthright. Of course, they have to pay if they want more options, like your T-rex! If I recall correctly, Mankind agreed on changing the law after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Now look at that. You can ask permission to pay with your glasses. Then I can approve it with my relic. You get the right to spend the money from your bank account. Finally, you get a T-rex spitting flames and dancing like Justin Bieber!”
“Justin Bieber? Papi, you are soooooooooo old”
“Yeah… I know”
“But I know things that you don’t”
“Ok tell me! Tell me pleeeeaaaassseeeeee!”
“Did you know that, in fact, you are not paying directly? It is your T-Rex that sends a payment to Amazon?”
“Seriously??? How come???”
“Ok. When I was still working at the bank, we figured out that autonomous cars were always connected to the internet because they needed specific cloud resources. As you know, the management of a fleet of cars is completely reliant upon the vehicle’s intelligence and collective intelligence. To operate correctly, each car needs to dynamically allocate computing power. I mean significant computing power. Now everything is quantum computing and photonic memory, it was ridiculous compared to now. The allocation is performed by buying volumes of TPU in the Financial Stock Exchanges. Funny story though, this is how Nvidia came to dominate by far the NASDAQ.
Besides, these cars were expensive to make. Thus, they needed to come with insurance from a third-party company. So what we decided at the bank is to create a bank account for Things. Nowadays, we generalized this concept to almost all objects. Fridges, washing machines, carrybots, you named it. So, in your case, the T-rex you received on your birthday has:
a bank account
a 10 years insurance bound to it
a return policy that mummy and daddy can use if they want, and the list of features unlocked
There is also a piece of information that says “this T-rex belongs to Aleïs Huchard”. Thus even if you lose it, someone can bring it to the nearest Post office and a delivery drone will bring it back to you. Isn’t that great?”
“How does the bank knows that it is mine?”
“Actually the bank does not know. The bank information system request the Worldwide Identity Service — a blockchain so to speak — to verify that this object is yours and it is safe to send a payment to Amazon. And since the monthly spending limit on your toy that your parent has set is not reached, you can buy your options. I mean the T-rex can pay for its hot upgrade, ah ah ah!”
We are both laughing loud together.
I continue with “ What do you want for your upcoming birthday? I was thinking about a trip or something”.
“Yes, I’d like to go to Senegal. You find the best Agrotech schools there.”
“You’re already thinking about university? Geez, you’re growing so fast.”
“Indeed. According to my personal finance advisor, we all have to save €20 per month on our “special event group account”. Annnnnd, this is me supposing I’ll receive €50 from you, Granny, Mummy, Daddy, and auntie Azea at my birthday!”.
“Yeah, sure you can count on that…. When did you become so good at finance?”
“I simply asked my personal financial advisor.”
“Can you show me?”
“Sure, here it is”. She looked at me with her glasses and made a swipe gesture in the air like I used to do on my NotSoSmartphone.
A hologram pops up. I was expecting a dude in suit-and-tie, like… a banker. How cliché. Instead, it was an oldish robot covered with rust. And says “How may I help you, Yannick”.
“Show me your list of features, please?”
“Sure, here it is”
A mind map of all features floats in the air. Then I say “I get it, this is an upgraded version of mine. I guess I should ask questions more often to my own personal advisor to train it with my needs. Or even better, I am going to ask your personal finance advisor to train mine. Although mine looks much more friendly. Why this robotic face, Aleïs? It looks like a half-baked Optimus Prime!”
“Don’t you like this skin, Papi? If you don’t like it, just change it. You can replace skins and voices. Check the marketplace.”
“Hmm… Open the marketplace please”
Now I am checking the marketplace. I see a lot of stuff produced by independent artists. Ever since ING came up with the “Platform Bank” idea, all Banks built their own “Financial Auchan”
See that, I can buy ad spaces on social media… Buy games on Playstation XR… Hmm… Buy tuition to the Elon Musk School of Technology… And, oh, even get me the avatar of Gary Vee for defining my attention strategy. Sweet.
Oh, you can even buy Investment Strategies too !? “The Warren Buffet Strategy by Eleanor Neetz”… “The Silent Investor, by the Wall Street Journal”… “The Sustainable Index Strategy” is currently trending. And they even have a leaderboard now. Wow, did you know that the top performer of the month won €34023! Little one, your friends, and you should buy this strategy to fund your trip!”
And she replies “You prefer Social Network Investments to cool Skins, Papy? Your so oooooooooold!”
Understand what new business models, organization models, like DAO, and features the Web 3.0 is bringing with respect to Web 2.0. Then research how Web 2.0 and 3.0 complement each other.
Select one Blockchain technology and stick to it, in the beginning, to understand how Dapps are being built, distributed, and promoted in the ecosystem. Some of the most popular depending on your areas of interest: Uniswap (DeFi), OpenSea (Digital Art, NFT), Axie Infinity (Gaming), …
Understand token economics and how it is possible to have such a huge valuation and market capitalization.
Learn to use blockchain tools like Etherscan and Bitcoin Explorer, to see all Ethereum Blockchain transactions. And now is the time to look up your own wallet!
Then, you could fund your wallet using the most popular and safest Crypto Trade Exchanges like Kraken, Coindesk, or Crypto.com. Notice that you can buy cryptocurrencies with Paypal, but you currently cannot transfer them to your own wallet. Paypal is holding bitcoin for you.
Follow the various companies and foundations expanding the web 3.0 (tech websites, Twitter) to grasp how the ecosystem is expanding. Then, ask yourself how these companies are regulated.
Interact on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit with knowledgeable people and enthusiasts.
If you are an IT engineer, start programming with Solidity. I find the Truffle Suite genuinely good to build Smart Contracts and NFTs in an easy way.