Ep. 21 – New Work & Life Frontiers
This season is an introduction to a new frontier called Web 3.0. I’ll introduce you to the Metaverse, AI, VR, blockchain, crypto, tokens, smart contracts, decentralised organisations, and more.
Web 3 is going to merge our physical and digital worlds in ways we have yet to imagine, and impact our lives, the way we work and the way we do business. And it’s already happening.
In Season 4, we’re exploring these concepts to help create a foundation of understanding for how they may impact on our resilience, wellbeing, creativity and productivity. Episode 21 is a high level overview of blockchain, fiat vs sound currencies, and digital assets such as cyrpto currency, NFTs and more.
Any resources referenced in the episode are listed below the transcript.
Creating Cadence Transcript – Ep. 21
Hi and welcome to Creating Cadence, a podcast for life and work in motion.
I’m your host Mich Bondesio, a writer, coach, consultant and the founder of Growth Sessions.
The aim of my work is to help people develop better work life-cadence and more mindful approaches to work. To support their creativity, productivity and wellbeing, and manage their time, attention and stress better.
You can find out more about me and what I do at growthsessions.co. And very soon, you’ll be able to find me and these podcasts on their very own Creating Cadence podcast website, which will be ready later this year.
This is episode 21, and the first of season 4 of the podcast, being recorded in late September 2021.
Originally I had other plans for this next batch of episodes, but some exciting things have happened in recent months, which caused me to pivot my focus for this season.
After years of avoiding diving deep down the rabbit hole of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and web 3.0 primarily because they felt like intimidating concepts, earlier this year I finally started paying more attention to all the news that was coming out about the rapid advances happening in these areas.
And as luck would have it, over the Summer I was also offered the exciting opportunity via one of my networks to learn more about this world and to experiment in it, from a practical perspective too.
There’s a new frontier called the metaverse (which encompasses a whole lot of elements including things like AI, VR, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, tokens, smart contracts, decentralised organisations, and so much more).
Personally, through what I’ve learnt so far, I’ve realised that this new frontier, has long-reaching implications for my work and my life in both the near and far future. From how I communicate and interact with family, friends, coworkers and clients onilne, to the way I do business, and the types of products and services I create. And no matter how scary it might seem, this is something I need to face head on and embrace. As do you.
This new technology is becoming part of our reality more and more every day. We’re going to have to adapt and adjust and learn how to work with it. And it doesn’t matter what age you are, with our lifespans increasing, we’re going to be around for a lot longer, so we need to learn how to use it.
This technology is going to have far reaching impacts and it will affect every single aspect of our lives and every single sector of business.
But at this point in time, if I had to guess, I’d say that a third of my audience have no idea what I’m talking about, and another third may be at the same learning stage as I am. The final third of my audience are probably deep into this already and know a lot more than I do.
So this season is going to be a primer of sorts. I’m going to be about exploring these topics, defining them and connecting their dots for you, on a basic level to help you build a foundation of understanding about what it’s all about.
I’m also going to be considering the implications they have for our wellbeing, our productivity and creativity. And I’ll be contemplating how they may affect our ability to continue to create cadence in our lives. And how we can stay resilient in the face of all this fast-paced, topsy turvy change?
We hear a lot of doom and gloom stories of the robots taking over. And god knows I’ve read my fair share of Philip K. Dick stories. And then experienced subsequent anxiety brought on by imagining less than optimal futures, some of which are coming true as we speak.
But I urge you to consider the flip side of that and approach this topic with an open and hopeful mind. We can have a say in how our futures develop. We can choose to use the technological advancements to aide us in the way we work and live.
They can simplify the way we do life, work and business, giving us more autonomy, more privacy, more freedom. So I encourage you to be open to what I’m sharing, even if it seems intimidating, foreign or irrelevant to your current situation.
Now, I’m not an expert by any means. I am learning as I go, and I want to share what I’m learning with you. I’m putting myself way outside of my comfort zone in doing this, but I’m doing it because this is such important knowledge to share. Perhaps more important than you realise at this point in time.
I’ll try keep the episodes short for this season, so I don’t overwhelm you.
In the first two episodes I’ll be defining some of the terms I’ve mentioned, to create a foundation of understanding, so that you can become more comfortable rolling these concepts around in your mind and making sense of how they connect.
And in future episodes, we’ll look at the potential implications this new hybrid environment has for our wellbeing, productivity and creativity.
This is going to be a basic overview as this is a vast landscape of complex topics. But along the way I’ll be sharing links in the show notes to articles, podcasts and other resources that will help you dive deeper, if you’re so inclined.
Please note that things are changing so rapidly that what I share here might be out of date in 3 weeks let alone 3 months. But the way I see it, if you’re learning about it now for the first time, then you’ll be better equipped for keeping up with this rapid rate of change going forwards.
And for that third of my audience who are more in the know than I am, if I make any mistakes, or you have resources you think can help us, then please do share them. You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, after that lengthy introduction, if you’re ready, let’s dive into some key terms.
Key Terms Defined
Fiat Currencies vs Sound Currencies
I’m going to start with Fiat Currencies vs Sound Currencies.
Fiat Currencies are what many of us transact with. It’s the equivalent of what used to be paper money before it became ones and zeros in our online bank accounts. Examples of Fiat currency are Pound Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.
Fiat currency is government backed, which means it is also government controlled. They can “print” or release as much as they want. It’s affected by inflation, so as the cost of things goes up, the value of these currencies can decline.
Sound currency, or sound money, is more stable. It reflects currency or assets that are less affected by sudden appreciation or depreciation in an economy. They can be digital assets (such as crypto currencies) or physical assets (such as owning gold, for example kruger rands).
Cryptocurrencies are essentially another form of money. But they are not government controlled (although governments are starting to take a keen interest). There’s usually a finite amount of cryptocurrency, so you can’t print more, like you would with normal money.
Cryptocurrencies are decentralised and managed on public ledgers spread across networks of computers (called blockchains). I’ll talk more about Blockchains in a minute.
Cryptocurrencies have more sovereignty and more accountability than fiat currencies and they are less prone to censorship from governments.
The most familiar cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ether. Bitcoin is more like holding gold, and Ether is more of a fluid currency. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency on the Bitcoin blockchain network and Ether is a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum network. And you can exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies on a variety of different trading platforms.
Tokens vs Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are blockchain-based digital assets, but there are other types of assets too, namely tokens. Cryptocurrencies have their own blockchain.
Tokens are built on an existing blockchain, such as the Ethereum network.
Tokens are a store of value, and can represent an asset or have a specific use or purpose.
There are currently four types of tokens: fungible tokens such payment tokens, utility tokens and security tokens; and then there’s non-fungible tokens (or NFTs for short).
An example of fungible tokens would be creator coins, (which are branded digital currencies) and non-fungible tokens or NFTS are unique investable assets and can represent proof of ownership, such as for a one-of-a-kind original artwork.
Creator Coins and NFTs are currently taking the world by storm, in an 80s gamer kind of way, with pixelated lores jpegs selling for millions and everyone and their doge minting coins in their name.
Some of it may seem silly, like a fad and you may be struggling to understand their application in contexts that might apply to you. It is confusing and some of it seems totally bonkers.
All I can say is watch this space. The concepts behind, and use cases, for Tokens and NFTs are evolving daily. But as the months progress, they are going to be come an important part of how we not just do transactions financially, but how we contract with each other in a host of other business and administrative scenarios.
There are links in the show notes so you can dive deeper.
Which brings us to Blockchain technology, which is the foundation upon which all these digital assets sit.
When we hear the word blockchain many of us first think about Bitcoin, the first digital currency implemented on a blockchain network in 2004 by Satoshi Nakamoto (a pseudonym). But the idea behind blockchain has been around since 1982, first proposed by a cryptographer called David Chaum.
Blockchain technology is used to record and secure financial transactions through the process of requesting or validating a transaction. The accuracy of the transaction is confirmed by a series of cryptocurrency miners, which in their simplest form are essentially computer geeks solving puzzles online.
Each transaction or record is stored in a block on the chain. Each block’s information is dependent on the previous block, so over time this creates a chain of information on public record, hence the name blockchain.
Blockchain technology is like the internet, in that it can’t be owned by one specific person or organisation, but it can be used by anyone.
There are currently 4 types of blockchains: Public blockchains (which are decentralised), Private blockchains (which are centralised), Hybrid or Consortium Blockchains (which are a mix of public and private) and Sidechains (which are blockchains running in parallel to the main chain).
Now unless you want to become a cryptominer, you don’t really need to know the nitty gritties of how it all works, you just need to know that it’s a thing, and it’s going to become far easier to use and interact with as it develops and is adopted more widely.
If you want to dive deeper on blockchains, check out the blockgeeks resource I’ve shared in the show notes.
Blockchain technology is one of the foundational elements for building the metaverse, which is this new hybrid environment which embraces both the physical and digital. It’s being developed as we speak and it’s going to become part of our everyday lives in coming years, whether we like it or not.
So, in the next episode I’ll be exploring the web 3.0 and the metaverse, AI and VR, where that’s heading and how it connects with what I’ve already shared here today.
I know it can seem mind-boggling at first, but let these concepts percolate. My aim is to try and help clarify these things for you, as I’m learning about them too. Let’s see what comes up in the next couple of episodes.
If you have thoughts about this one or you have a question relating to productivity, wellbeing, hybrid working, or the future of work, then I’d love to hear from you. You can write to: hello at creatingcadence.co
If you’re liking what you’re hearing on the Creating Cadence podcast, please make my day by giving it a 4 or 5 star review via Apple Podcasts.
At this point in time, the podcast isn’t yet sponsored, so the cost of my time in making the show is covered by lovely listener donations. If you want to support us too, with a once off or ongoing contribution that is equivalent of the price of a cup of coffee or a book, then you’ll find creatingcadence on both Patreon and Buy Me A Coffee platforms.
Thanks for listening. Until next time, please take care out there. Be brave, think big and keep moving forwards, one step at a time.
Bye for now.
Links to articles and online guides that will help you develop a deeper understanding of the terms I’ve discussed in this episode.
Ethereum Defined (Ethereum.org)
Bitcoin Defined (Investopedia)
Cryptocurrencies vs Tokens (Gemini)
Cryptographic Tokens (Metaco)
Creator Coins & Their Applications (Copyblogger)
NFTs & How They Work (FutureLearn)
Getting Started With NFTs (ContentInc)
Guide on Blockchain Technology (Blockgeeks)
Blockchain & Cryptocurrency – Applications (PWC)