Vitalik’s concern hit the nail on the head: The seasaw problematic

Spiros Margaris opened his Tedx talk “How Fintech can positively impact the world” with a clear message that Fintech is not about the Tech but about the people. The same holds for the Tech-led 4th industrial revolution.

Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, sounded the alarm on Twitter as he has become deeply concerned about all crypto communities getting lost in a pile of monetary gains instead of being ambassadors of a radical, positive and purposeful societal change.


Sadly, there is no evidence of societal change with regards to animal instincts and hunter behaviors in the markets (financial, commodities, values etc). Men continue to operate out of the hunter archetype and businesswomen too out of that male energy. Female energies continue to be disadvantaged resulting in a hugely imbalanced societal status quo. The immediate gratification principle dominates, long-term benefits and non-financial values continue to be under-valued, and social impact is still in doubt.

As the New Year starts, let’s all reflect on three main distinctions that are the current reality:

Traders versus investors.

Corporations versus communities.

Private success versus social impact.

Warren Buffet took an aim at the first one: Traders versus Investors.

Vitalik Buterin took an aim at the second one: Corporations versus communities.

Muhammad Yunus took an aim at the third one: Private success versus social impact.

We need to shift to a world that Buffet, Buterin, and Yunus are not the only ones, the exception. We need to use the decentralized technology that is evolving in favor of this societal shift. We need to invest in this future vision. This won’t happen if we don’t reach the tipping point that will change the current imbalance.

Investors, communities, social impact – the WE – needs to be overweight compared to 2017 rather than the –Traders, the Corporates, and the Individuals.

The seasaw problematic

Remember that Artificial Intelligence from narrow to general, will be coded by humans and it will create values that are in alignment with the original code. If our core intention is to use AI for short-term financial profits, then 2018 will be all about the new crypto hedge funds, crypto VC or crypto managed accounts. If our core intention is to use AI to create the next GAFA or BATS batch, then 2018 will be about the next ultra-unicorn batch. If our core intention continues to be using the evolving tech knowledge and the rapid informational asymmetry in societies to our advantage, then there is no real change. No matter which technology proves to be adopted (read Will the Blockchain Economy be powered by something totally different like  IOTA Tangle or Hashgraph? for a clear understanding of where we stand and what may be ahead of us) it is the culture of the people creating it and “using” it that counts.

Efi Pylarinou is a Fintech thought-leader, consultant and investor. 

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  1. Thank your for this much needed post. I have invested angel money in a venture that aims to address these concerns: I believe it to be a good example of a beneficial societal initiative which is firmly rooted in individual responsibility.

  2. Love, love, love, this article thanks so much for sharing and couldn’t agree more!! Not sure if you’re already listening, but there is a great podcast out there called Impact Innovation and through it Sergio Marrero shares insights from the conferences, talks, and engagements he attends. Some great episodes included the ones from the Consensys Blockchain for Social Impact Summit back in October. Check em out if you haven’t already.

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