Bitcoin, Property Rights, and Why The Old West Says You Should Own Your Socials

Today on the Brief:

  • A record week for peer-to-peer exchanges in the developing world

  • A digital dollar gets discussed in Congress 

  • Previewing the Federal Reserve’s FOMC guidance 

Our main topic: A brainstorm on digital property rights

Here’s a radical idea. What if by virtue of the fact that you had put so much time and effort into building a following on social media and filling that following with content you had legal claim to and distinct property rights around your corner of social media platforms? 

It’s wild in the context of today’s terms of service, but has significant legal precedent in the world of physical land. 

In this new type of deep-dive 20-minute episode we’re calling a “Breakdown Brainstorm,” Castle Island Ventures investor Nic Carter looks at:

  • The two schools of thought around digital property rights

  • The historical precedent for squatter’s rights

  • What the specific example of the USA’s Westward Expansion can teach us

  • Why this type of approach can be highly economically generative, according to economists like De Soto

  • How John Locke’s theories provide a moral basis for the argument 

  • Why today’s platforms are akin to anti-democratic feudal lords

  • How bitcoin provides a model and a mechanism for digital rights enforced on the protocol level rather than by a state or other external actor 

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