Bigger Than DeFi, the Metaverse, and NFTs Combined
Posted September 14, 2022
"If you put the government in charge of the desert, within 5 years there would be a shortage of sand."
- Milton Friedman
Imagine a world where patients and their families could directly fund scientists developing the novel treatment they need…
No matter where they are in the world.
Or imagine being able to frictionlessly pool your money together with your friends to fund research that (may or may not) go against the grain.
I’m talking about a world where the process of discovery and innovation is open, collaborative, and decentralized.
It’s a far cry from how most mainstream research is done today, but it’s more than possible. We have all the tools we need (well, almost).
And the amount of genius we could unlock and leverage around the world would be breathtaking.
Recently, James and I outlined six “pick-and-shovel” crypto projects that could lay the groundwork for such a world.
These projects go beyond just laying the digital pipes for the next wave of decentralized finance.
They go beyond just focusing on virtual worlds, crypto gaming, NFT projects, or any other narrative that’s being hyped right now in cryptoland.
These projects also have the potential to help fundamentally transform how research is published, conducted, and funded.
And we believe it’ll be possible because of a MASSIVE disruption in crypto happening as soon as tonight, while you’re asleep in your bed.
I’ll get to what I mean by that in a moment.
(Or skip ahead and see James talk about it right here at this link.)
First, let’s talk about how most scientific research is conducted today.
How the Sausage is Made
In academia there are two sayings that rule the roost…
“Get grants or get lost.”
“Publish or perish.”
If you want to have a promising career in science, you take these as gospel.
Here’s how much of this game works…
Scientists, largely funded by governments, create work and give it to the big journal publishers for free. The publishers pay scientific editors to see if it’s fit for print.
Other scientists, largely funded by governments, then peer-review for “free.”
The publisher then sells the product back to government-funded institutions and university libraries for big profits.
A 2005 Deutsche Bank report referred to this business model as a “bizarre triple-pay system” in which “the state funds most research, pays the salaries of most of those checking the quality of the research, and then buys most of the published product.”
It’s a good gig if you can get it.
In 2018, multinational publisher Elsevier reported profits of $900 million on roughly $2.2 billion in revenue. That’s a 37% profit margin, bigger than that of Apple, Google, or Amazon in the same year.
Now, here’s the big problem:
Imagine if the editors at our group, Paradigm Press, were all government employees who gave their research to Paradigm Press, which then sold that research back to the government (and to you, the taxpayer) at a premium.
Riddle me this…
How much freedom would we have to speak our minds and publish contrarian research and investment ideas without getting our funding cut?
(Answer: Precisely ZERO.)
The government would control everything down to the color of our ink pens.
This grant-and-subsidy system crowds out private discovery… allocates funding based on non-market considerations (agendas)… and acts as a gatekeeper for unapproved ideas.
Upton Sinclair wrote that it was hard to get someone to see something if their job depends on them not seeing it.
For instance, if a government is seeking a researcher to study “adverse effects of human-induced climate change on Cuban land crabs,” guess what that researcher is going to find?
(Hint: If he wants to keep his job, he’s going to find adverse effects of human-induced climate change on Cuban land crabs.)
The Separation of Science and State
The “DeSci” movement is a growing number of scientists who are applying decentralized networking technology (crypto) to improve and advance modern science.
The aim is threefold:
1.] To set research free, releasing it from siloes, paywalls, and eliminating reliance on middlemen like publishing giants.
2.] To make nonlocal collaboration easier and frictionless.
3.] To revolutionize the way scientific innovation is funded and how economic value is captured, allowing it to flow back into research.
Imagine a decentralized incubator and funding ecosystem for early-stage novel therapeutics.
Imagine a worldwide drug development community anyone can join, participate, and invest in with the click of a mouse.
Imagine being able to collectively own a portfolio of groundbreaking intellectual property by simply holding an NFT.
As a global movement, the most forward-thinking regulators will hop on board with the quickness…
The only other hitch is getting crypto ready for mass-adoption.
It Begins Tonight at 1:13 AM EST
Tonight, the third-biggest disruption in crypto history is happening.
The first was Bitcoin’s white paper.
The second was Ethereum’s white paper.
And James explains the third in a brand new interview…