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Crypto Cummings is back | Financial Times

Dominic Cummings updates

When Dominic Cummings said back in May that he had the “only copy of a crucial historical document” and that he was going to auction it off as an NFT, we hoped that this was just going to be a fleeting flirtation with the world of blockchain. A way of showing off his tech bro credentials, perhaps, or even an attempt to push Brexit and Barnard Castle further down the suggestions list when you type “Dominic Cummings b” into Google.

But alas, it appears our Dom is still riding that crypto wagon. Here’s his latest “very very unappreciated” (by us anyway) tweet:

“This” doing a lot of work there isn’t it. What is “this” in fact? Blockchain? The enabling of automated accounting by something crypto-flavoured? And what specific “government problems” is he referring to?

As you can see, Cummings was in fact quote-tweeting a quote-tweet by Balaji Srinivasan, a bitcoin-broish VC whose Twitter bio is: “Immutable money, infinite frontier, eternal life. #Bitcoin”. Balaji was quoting the following response to his tweet (yes it’s all a bit convoluted sorry):

(The “Carry” there is a VC term that refers to “carried interest”, ie their compensation, not to anyone who has ever been cruelly called Princess Nut Nut.)

We are not sure what crypto-enabled accounting has to do with people being paid by the hour, or how “more complex models for economic alignment” can help solve government problems. Does our Dom think complexity should be an end in itself? We guess policy circles just very very don’t appreciate cool techy complex stuff (and perhaps neither do we).

Luckily, some sensible person on Twitter (yes they do exist) quickly pointed out to Dom that a lot of accounting is already automated and that crypto isn’t very helpful in this area, but Dom used real mathematical probability to win the argument:

We asked our pal Martin Walker —director of banking at finance at the Center for Evidence-Based Management, who has been advising banks on blockchain for about six years — for his thoughts on the matter, and he told us:

People, generally who know nothing about accounting, have been coming out with this c**p for years.

He then thought he’d better give us a slightly politer version, and said:

There is a great deal more to accounting than keeping a ledger of transactions . . . Using some form of blockchain does not in any way make it easier to model financial transactions. Arguably, depending on what form of blockchain is used, it can make it considerably more complicated.

In the process of writing this post, Dom has also retweeted the following, on the ability of “a coin’s community” to basically solve the problem of the lack of free speech:

We give up.

Related links:
Cummings swaps Barnard Castle for the blockchain – FT Alphaville

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