Software licensing is a complicated topic, but knowing a little bit about its background can help you better understand ICOs, as the tokens being issued very much represent a form of license that floats across users and products.
The “crypto ecosystem,” of course, has no central bank. Nor is it a bank. That does not mean that we should not think of it, in terms of how risk is accumulating as Bitcoin’s price rises, as being something very much like a bank with substantial exposure to a risky asset whose risk increases by the day.
As you are beginning with Ethereum development, and after going through some of the many excellent tutorial posts out there, you are faced with the challenge of building your first Ethereum-based app.
So many token-backed networks look to build decentralized governance in “Phase 3", usually 2018 or 2019 and as a bolt-on to the existing system? Why? Not because it’s such a difficult problem to solve. Engineers love difficult problems. But they don’t like “soft” problems. Soft as in human behaviour. Subjective. Imprecise. Political.
These notes, based on talks at the Ethereum Foundation’s third annual developer’s conference earlier this month, were shared internally over email, as part of our ongoing sharing of ideas and learning inside a16z. They’ve now been reposted here, unedited, as a resource for those interested in ethereum technology, research, development, and more