Grassroots Cryptocurrencies: A Foundation for a Digital Economy

Ehud Shapiro

Ehud Shapiro (Weizmann) introduces the idea of “grassroots cryptocurrencies” – a digital means for turning mutual trust into liquidity. Their coins are units of debt that can be issued digitally by anyone – people, communities, corporations, banks, municipalities, and governments – and traded by anyone. The purpose of grassroots cryptocurrencies is to provide a foundation for a grassroots digital economy. With grassroots cryptocurrencies, local digital economies can emerge without initial capital or external credit (beyond the financing of smartphones), and gradually merge into one global digital economy. This talk introduces the principles that underlie grassroots cryptocurrencies; elaborates economic scenarios derived from these principles; and discusses their implementation and deployment.

About the speaker

Udi is a multidisciplinary scientist, artist, and entrepreneur. He holds the Harry Weinrebe Professorial Chair of Computer Science and Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He has made fundamental contributions to many scientific disciplines, from biomolecular computing to internet democracy. Shapiro was also an internet pioneer and a successful entrepreneur. He is a winner of two ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grants.

About a16z crypto research

a16z crypto research is a multidisciplinary lab that works closely with our portfolio companies and others toward solving the important problems in the space, and toward advancing the science and technology of the next generation of the internet.