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UnMoney
sparks & honey culture forecast
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
The Future of Money
Chapter 1
MONEY ISN’T REAL
2
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
Money is not real
Imagine a future where you don’t have to think
about money. Got it? You’re probably thinking
about it the wrong way. Because today, right
now, money isn’t real.
There are only transactions of value represented
by money.
That bill you can hold in your hand is simply
a representation of a transaction about to take
place, completely dependent upon our belief
that it has a value. We believe wholeheartedly
that a piece of paper can be exchanged for
a cup of coffee or a microwave oven. But,
when we strip away our dependence on this
concept of “money”, and the physicality of its
exchange, what remains is the pure transaction.
A transaction of value.
In this report, we look at value beyond
traditional financial notions: how value
is derived by scarcity and trust, often in a
government many people don’t trust. It’s
a system ripe for disruption, and it’s being
chipped away at by both tech startups and
small group communities working together –
people who want to challenge the way we’re
paying for our lives. The value system of
tomorrow is in peer to peer exchanges, without
middlemen and the need for verification
or validation handed down from a select
authority. They’re finding value in new assets
and creating ways to trade that value amongst
one another, systematically and fairly.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
3
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
The future of money
We see the movement, and it’s pointing to
an inevitable future; one where every person,
place, and thing has a measurable value that
can be exchanged intangibly, rapidly, securely,
and, most importantly, directly. It’s a system
where abstract notions like social currency
have a value that can be transacted in the same
way that we now buy that cup of coffee. It’s a
system that can empower a planet where every
single device, every head of lettuce, every drop
of fuel, every road and cable that make up our
infrastructure have a value, not only in and of
itself, but also in the context of its use.
Meet your new value system, or the future of
money. Simply, unmoney.
Tomorrow, we will all have a market value. Do
you know how much you’re worth?
Tomorrow, we
will all have a
market value.
Do you know
how much
you’re worth?
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
4
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
Cultural catalysts of
alternative currencies
Money as we know it is based
on trust. This trust is rooted in
the bedrock of finance – from
the Federal Reserve to banks and
government agencies. But what
happens when that trust crumbles?
Following the financial crises of
2008, frustration in the current
systems brewed innovation around
the world. People started to find
ways around the dependencies
established by the traditional fiat
currency model. Communities and
entire nations that had been hard hit
by the financial crises turned to more
primitive, local solutions. In Spain,
people began trading hours of time
in exchange for service – skipping
the euro altogether. In North
America, the barter economy took
off: I’ll trade you my closet-cleaning
for a dinner. On a local level,
currencies such as the Berkshares,
a local currency for the Berkshire
region in western Massachusetts,
attracted a renewed interest.
The monolith of trust, having
suffered at the hands of banks and
governments, was partially pieced
back together and re-channeled at
the local level.
And technology, moving fast at the
speed of culture, enabled people to
In 200 B.C., the Chinese
recorded value on squares of
deerskin. A thousand years
later, Polynesians were
using massive doughnut-
shaped slabs of stone, called
Rai, that weighed several
tons each.
In Latin, “fiat” means “by
decree.” The dollar is a
fiat currency because the
US government proclaims
it, by decree, to be the
only currency acceptable
for settling debt with the
government.
5
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
grasp onto alternative systems of
value. Peer-to-peer networks sprung
up, allowing people to exchange
everything from sofa cushions to
cars as currency. Instead of relying
on institutions, people were relying
on each other. A new paradigm of
trust emerged.
As governments around the world
scramble to re-establish themselves
as reliable stewards of the global
financial system, individuals
continue to experiment with their
own financial fixes. No longer do
political institutions have a monopoly
on the technology that we use to
denominate, transfer, and store our
value. And there is little doubt that
alternatives to our fiat currency will
continue to develop in the future.
Instead of
relying on
institutions,
people were
relying on
each other.
Find out more about fiat
currencies and the current
state of disruptive finance in
our UnMoney 101 report.
6
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
“It’s very clear that something important is happening here.”
-Matthew Spoke, Leader of Rubix by Deloitte
BLOCKCHAIN
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
Representing value on a blockchain
In the modern era, people have traditionally
turned to gold in times of financial strife. We
now have another alternative: cryptocurrencies,
electronic payment systems where two
individuals can transact directly with one
another – without the middleman.
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency,
emerged as a means to wipe away our
dependency on third parties when it comes to
making transactions. Instead, people could now
transfer money, in units of bitcoin, directly to
one another through its blockchain technology.
The seamless power of Bitcoin is in its
technology: It leverages a global network
of computers all of which run on the same
software that references the same dataset.
Actual value is represented on a shared
accounting ledger, which is periodically
updated to reflect the balance of everyone who
is a currency holder. Run by the computers
on the network, the software secures new
transactions by enforcing a consensus on
the state of the accounting database and by
making it extremely difficult (and prohibitively
expensive) to change entries once they have
been added.
Cryptocurrencies are
electronic payment
systems where two
people can make
direct transactions
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
8
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
“We’re all just amateurs in this.
You’re trying to build a house in
the middle of a minefield with
meteors all around.”
– Eric Lombrozzo, CEO of Ciphrex, at Scaling Bitcoin in Hong Kong
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
The Bitcoin experiment
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
The software is also responsible for
determining the parameters of the
currency. Think of it as the currency’s
boss. It decides the rate at which
new coins enter into circulation.
Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s
technology has spawned many
clones, each of which has its own set
of parameters. Ethereum is another
emerging platform for exchanging
value in the form of smart contracts
without interference from a third
party. “Ethereum is the way the
internet is supposed to work,” the
company touts.
With advancements in technology,
banking – or what we think of as
banking – has moved away from cash
you stuff in your pocket or credit
cards you swipe at checkout into a
space where transactions take on a
different meaning. In this system, a
transaction of your money is ruled by
algorithms.
This ultimately makes monetary
supply a question of math – rather
than politics.
“What is needed is an
electronic payment system
based on cryptographic
proof, instead of trust,
allowing any two, willing
parties to transact
directly with each other
without the need for a
trusted third party.”
- Satoshi Nakamoto,
creator of Bitcoin
21 MILLION, THE TOTAL
NUMBER OF BITCOINS IN
‘FOREVER’ CIRCULATION
10
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
Combined value of bitcoins in circulation today
$7 BILLION
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
THE FUTURE OF MONEY
Cryptocurrencies and
the new world of trust
Born out of universal desire for a feasible
financial alternatives, the emergence of
cryptocurrencies have opened up a space for
people to think of money vastly differently
than we used to. The mistrust in financial
powers is being sidelined for ‘trust’ in
technology and its algorithms. And this seismic
shift in the monetary world also has the
potential to challenge our very ideas of how we
conceive value.
When value can be applied outside of the
financial realm, what is valuable?
“The blockchain creates
the possibility of trustless
trust. Parties no longer
need to know or trust each
other to participate in
exchanges of value with
absolute assurance and
no intermediaries.The
blockchain makes all kinds
of cross-border commerce
easier, especially when
it involves places without
credit-card networks or
robust banking systems.”
- Reid Hoffman,
entrepreneur and
Blockstream investor
12
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
“What is needed is an electronic
payment system based on
cryptographic proof instead of
trust, allowing any two willing
parties to transact directly with
each other without the need for a
trusted third party.”
– Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Chapter 2
WELCOME TO THE
QUANTUM ECONOMY
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Welcome to the quantum economy
Cryptocurrencies have challenged
the bedrock of the financial realm.
The blockchain technology of
cryptocurrencies, and the transactions
it enables, could also radically shift
the way we think of non-financial
assets. Theoretically, any digital asset
or commodity could be represented
and traded as a kind of token on
a blockchain.
A token could even be an individual.
David Bowie was also a human token.
He had the foresight to envision the
drastic changes in the music industry.
In 1997, Bowie sold asset-backed
securities, Bowie Bonds, which
promised investors a ten-year stake
in his future earnings from royalties
from 25 albums, which included
classic songs such as “Ziggy Stardust”
and “Heroes”. Bowie took the
intangible, his music and talents, and
turned it into a future investment.
As our lives expand with the internet
of things, everything from tangible
items to the intangible, such as time
and relationships, can be thought of
as assets.
Propelled by the very speed of culture
and technology, a new ‘quantum
economy’ is emerging. In such a
system, every moment of the day
assumes a new value that lives
beyond the moment itself. Think of
generating heat by simply moving
In the quantum economy,
every moment of the day
assumes a new value that
lives beyond the moment
itself.
15
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
out of bed first thing in the morning, and then
using that energy to make coffee, for example.
Instead of traditional monetary currency, it’s
about shifting our understanding of how we
capture and trade value in a constant flow
of input and output. Everything has a value,
from the inanimate items in your home, to the
person next to you on the train, to the ultimate
value of time.
This new value system has a massive potential to
influence how we interact with one another and
our environment on a daily basis.
Tomorrow, everything will have a value.
Including you.
DAVID BOWIE WAS
A HUMAN TOKEN
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
16
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
Tomorrow, everything will
have a value. Including you.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
The living, breathing,
thinking machine
We’re living in an era where machines, formerly
controlled by humans, have assumed lives
of their own. The technologies being built
around the internet of things will only broaden
the category of assets that can be thought
of as tokens (in the blockchain). Objects in
the physical world – such as toasters, cars,
thermostats, and lightbulbs – increasingly owe
their existence and ability to perform tasks
to one thing: the internet. Imagine walking
to work and using the power generated from
your shoe to charge your device, and that’s
only one future scenario, as envisioned by MIT
scientists. The more sensors we bedazzle our
devices with, the greater voice they will have.
USE POWER GENERATED
FROM YOUR SHOES TO
CHARGE YOUR DEVICE
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
18
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
A life written by artificial
intelligence
Layered with artificial intelligence (AI) that
knows you better than you do, these ‘things’
will take on your voice and your life. It’s a
space where connectivity is controlled by a
layer of intelligence that inherently knows its
user: you. AI company Viv is developing a
“personal assistant” that integrates thousands
of different services together with your own
preferences. Described by the company as
having a “global brain”, Viv is not just in your
phone, but it also lives in your fridge or car. Its
technology is based on intuitively responding
to requests that it hasn’t been programmed for
yet (The Guardian). As you live your life, AI
writes your program.
The internet of things, then, assumes a more
sophisticated value when it’s intuitively
connected to your personal algorithm through
AI. Connecting all people, places, and things to
the internet and our individualized algorithms
will open up entirely new markets for goods
and resources that we do not yet think of as
having value, either because their trade has
been restricted or their capture is currently
impractical.
As you live your
life, AI writes
your program.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
19
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Tricky: the direct transfer of value
Consider the case of consumer-generated,
renewable energy. On a wilderness expedition,
you could rub two sticks together in the forest,
and much later, ignite fire. The value of the fire
was fueled by the warmth it provided to the
camper or traveler (the historic ‘consumer’).
But what happens when you install a solar
panel on your roof, and you manage to produce
a surplus of energy? Your activity has just
generated an asset: energy. But what are your
options for storing and selling the energy you
no longer need, and what do you get in return
for it?
Today, your only option is to feed that energy
back into your local grid, at which point
your power company decides how you will
be reimbursed. In New York, an individual
producer who is generating electricity and
pouring it back into the grid cannot make
enough profit on this resource. He can only use
it to deduct from his own power bill, even if he
is returning more energy than he is taking. The
electricity that gets added ends up supplying
the next, closest hop on the grid. But, as
of today, there is no way to sell your excess
electricity directly to your neighbor.
OUT IN THE WILDERNESS,
YOU COULD RUB TWO STICKS
TOGETHER TO PRODUCE ENERGY
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
20
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Freedom from the middleman
In this example, nearly all the parts
are there for a transaction to take
place – the product, the suppliers
and the consumers who want it. It’s
only the restrictions of the market
that stand in the way. As a result,
renewable energy in the US is what
we call a proto-economy. What’s
lacking is a good way for individuals
to ship the product, in this case,
energy, and receive payment for it.
In the future, however, the internet
of things will merge with blockchain
technology to solve the unanswered
problems of today – such as how
you’d transfer energy directly to
your neighbor and gain something
in return. Consequently, tomorrow’s
world will include a whole ecosystem
of proto-economies that have been
liberated from market restrictions
and liberated from the authority
creating those restrictions.
Your future transactions will be freed
from the clutches of the middleman.
A proto-economy is an
economic state in which the
supply, demand, and product
exist, but what’s missing is
the means to make an actual
transaction.
FREEDOM FROM
THE MIDDLEMAN
21
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
You will only pay for what you use, such as airplane seats.
PAY AS YOU GO
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Predictive payment:
what you need when you need it
Consider the value of an airplane seat. In
today’s crowded, security-obsessed travel,
flying has become more of a painpoint than
a pleasure. As a result, the idea of comfort
while flying has become a premium, one that
airlines will charge for, naturally. But apps like
Seateroo are banking on air travelers’ desire
for comfort by empowering flyers to change
seats with one another. With Seateroo, you pay
to swap seats with another passenger on your
flight, given that they also have the app. While
the airline industry is bound by stringent
regulations, there are “no government rules that
prohibit seat swaps,” according to the startup.
Like proto-economies, its business is based
on the idea of circumventing the middleman
and enabling individuals to make transactions
directly with one another.
Value exchanges like this will increasingly
become a part of our daily lives. You will
only pay for what you use, such as airplane
seats. Samoa Air, for example, is charging
ticket prices based on a passenger’s weight
and luggage load. It’s possible that we’ll see
situations where the your fellow flyer takes
over your armrest. With space as a premium,
the cost of the armrest in proportion to your
plane seat would be deducted from your seat
price automatically. Here, the value is tied to
space and the individual’s need for that space
– the armrest – over the course of your flight.
If you only ‘pay as you go’, the algorithm that
determines the usage of the armrest would feed
that information back to the blockchain, where
the currency tied to the blockchain would pay
for the transaction.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
23
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
When your washing machine grocery shops
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
The ghost(ing) transaction
Now imagine a kitchen that automatically refills
your pantry before you even know you’re about
to run out of eggs or turkey bacon. It knows
you have a house guest who eats pork bacon and
soy milk. When you host a dinner party, your
individualized AI, connected to the internet of
things, will order just the right food items for
your vegan or allergic friends. Today, Amazon’s
‘Dash Kitchen Replenishment’ is pairing with
consumer brands such as Whirlpool to take the
effort out of restocking consumer goods like dish
detergent. While you also get notifications along
with your new supplies, such transactions are
integrated into a friction-free, 24-hour economy
that never turns off, even when you do.
IMAGE A KITCHEN THAT
REFILLS YOUR PANTRY
BEFORE YOU EVEN KNOW
YOU’RE OUT OF EGGS
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
25
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
The internet of things
and emotional value
If your world is seamlessly connected – from
your devices, to your home and work spaces,
to your loved ones and strangers alike – you
become part of its intrinsic value chain. Your
own algorithm is tied to the internet of things
as much as it’s tied to, well, things.
The internet of things is active, even when you
might not be. When we sleep (and genuinely
turn off), we could still be transacting with
our environment: feeding data on our sleep
quality, or lack thereof, to a sleep monitor or to
a mattress that adapts to your nocturnal sighs
and snores. After all, we wear our emotions
on on our sleeve, as wearable tech transcends
fashion. Without uttering a word or seeing
your face, strangers can see how you feel by
looking at your shirt. And if you want to show
more skin than sleeve, there’s always the tech
tattoo, or “tech tat”, which monitors your vitals
from blood pressure to heart rate and transmits
that data via electroconductive paint. The
next time someone asks you how you’re doing,
simply point them to your data.
YOUR VITALS, MONITORED
BY A TECH TATTOO
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26
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
The value of your resting moments are reflected
in the quality of your day, such as how alert,
vibrant, or restless you may be. And we may
turn to the internet of things to buoy us
through the 3pm post-lunch dip. Project Ario,
a smart lighting system, generates bright blue
light in the morning and warmer rays in the
evening to mimic natural light. Paired with
your wifi, the lighting adjusts to your sleep
patterns and fuels cortisol production.
The next time
someone asks you
how you’re doing,
simply point them
to your data.
27
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
Occupy my dreams:
sell your mind for advertising
If it can help you sleep better, your personal AI,
layered with the internet of things, could also
render your resting hours into a transaction.
Imagine, while you were sleeping you had
advertising messages beamed into your dreams,
in exchange for wellness benefits. While your
body is busy repairing itself, it could be doing
double duty: our nighttime emotions could be
quantified into a landscape of dreams that acts
as a canvas for advertisers to “rent”. Would you
sell your dream data if your sleep monitor could
transmit “sponsored messages” from a brand?
Perhaps, if it meant that you could alter your
brain into a smarter, faster version of itself.
OUR DREAMS COULD
BECOME A CANVAS FOR
ADVERTISERS TO RENT
28
Self as IPO
Chapter 3
WHEN YOU ARE THE PRODUCT,
THE BUYER, AND THE SELLER
29
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
SELF AS IPO
The human token
Could you be a token?
Yes.
In 2013, entrepreneur Shefali Kumar Friesen
used Upstart to raise $70,200 from 14
investors, who, in return, will split 6.94% of
her future earnings for ten years after the deal.
The music producer and developer used the
money to pay off student loans and work on
software that sends musical recordings through
text-messaging platforms (Forbes).
Friesen and David Bowie, with his
aforementioned Bowie Bonds, envisioned a
demand for their talents. They created a market
for their future. And people went for it.
COULD YOU BE A HUMAN TOKEN?
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
30
SELF AS IPO
Blockchains and the
individual commodity
In the future
we may be able
to represent
ourselves as
corporations on
the blockchain.
In the future, we may be able to represent
ourselves as corporations on the blockchain.
This would enable individuals to offer
themselves up as an IPO and seek investment
from people who were willing to bet on their
future worth. Gains and losses would all be
recorded on the blockchain, and dividends
would automatically be disbursed to investors.
Blockchains provide an automated platform for
managing the contracts between an individual
and a prospective investor. But going this
route would require the funded party to report
all earnings on a blockchain. And it would
require the funding party to accept dividends
denominated in a blockchain-enabled
cryptocurrency.
These expectations are only feasible in a future
where either Bitcoin becomes a dominant
global currency, or cryptocurrency platforms
evolve to a point technically where they are
intertwined with the dominant currency, and
where contracts deployed over the Bitcoin
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
31
BUY DINNER WITH YOUR DATA
network have binding repercussions on dollar-
denominated accounts.
In the meantime, there are companies, such
as Pave and Upstart, that are acting as the
necessary third parties between investors and
people who want to sell dividends on their
future earnings. These companies vet both
parties, ensuring that investors have enough
money to follow through on their promises (to
join as an Upstart investor you have to make at
least $200,000 a year) and rating the potential
future worth of those seeking investment based
on their education and work record.
We’re entering an era where individuals are
tapping into their inherent market value,
building self-sufficient economies of their own.
People will
tap into their
inherent market
value, building
self-sufficient
economies of
their own.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
32
SELF AS IPO
The authority of social data
Would you trade a tweet or two if it would
get you a taco? Whether we buy lunch with it
or not, we are defined by our digital imprints.
Unwittingly, social capital stands separate from
the individual it’s attached to, acting as an
authority that can add or detract value from
your life. Simply, your social capital can be
used for or against you. College admissions
and HR will scan your digital imprint as a
representation of your character. Eyeing your
Facebook or Instagram is a means of predicting
what your future value could – or could not
– be. And when it comes to buying property
one day, banks could look to your broader
networks to approve or decline your mortgage
application. Don’t keep your friends close,
since their bad credit ratings could make them
enemies of your future.
Social data is already saving lives, even if they’re
not yours. A woman who cried rape was found
out after cops uncovered evidence from her
Fitbit data contradicting her whereabouts at the
YOUR SOCIAL CAPITAL CAN BE
USED FOR OR AGAINST YOU
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33
SELF AS IPO
A simple ‘like’
could save lives
time of the alleged attack. Even a simple ‘like’
could save lives. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
detailed how terrorist propaganda can be
drowned out by spinning the messages of hate
groups. She explained an effort by German
Facebook users to “like” the Facebook page
of the neo-Nazi party and then post positive
messages on the page. “What was a page filled
with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance
and messages of hope,” Sandberg told The
Guardian.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
34
SELF AS IPO
Reputation economy
You reach for your device in the morning
and set it down as your last stretch at night.
Our lives are so intertwined with technology
that we’ll soon be striving to conscious digital
detox. Teens are stressed about responding
promptly to notifications, and we’re developing
tech related ailments, previously only seen in
the elderly. On the flip side, we’re also walking
around with a hefty load of social capital. How
much is your reputation really worth?
For the middle class of YouTube celebrities,
fame doesn’t necessarily turn into cash.
Even with millions of followers, some are
struggling to pay the rent and supplement
their videos with stints at Starbucks. Popularity
doesn’t always imply riches. The disconnect
between fame and financial rewards can be
vast. Take those who do have the riches, like
the Kardashians, but their stock is rapidly
plummeting too. Consequently, Kardashian-
sponsored posts for brands could result in
negative favor.
Would you trade
a tweet or two
for a taco?
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
35
SELF AS IPO
Trading spaces: the
barter economy
You could become your own energy machine
in the future. Your daily movements, such as
walking and cleaning, produce kinetic energy
that could be captured thanks to developments
by MIT scientists experimenting with
electrochemical technology. Imagine, after a
long afternoon walk, you want to give that
energy to your friend who will then use it to
cook you dinner.
What may seem far-fetched today is an
extension of economic transactions based on an
exchange between the value of individuals. In
Finland, a Helsinki suburb is offering hugely
discounted rents to young people on one
condition: they socialize with the seniors in the
community. Such a transaction helps bridge
the generational divide and provides wellness
benefits for both parties, not to mention a balm
for loneliness in a world where people are living
alone more than ever before. In the UK, a
landlord approached his rental with a keen eye
for a very specific type of tenant. A rent of one
A £1-PER-MONTH RENT WAS
AVAILABLE FOR A TENANT
WITH IT SKILLS
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36
SELF AS IPO
The value of the
intangible is
weighed against
exchanges that
would have
previously required
only money.
pound per month was available for the right
tenant with IT skills, in exchange for helping
the landlord with his sporadic tech issues.
In these instances, the value of the intangible
– friendly socializing and a specific skillset to
be used outside traditional ‘work’ spaces – is
weighed against purchases that would have
previously required only money. But that
was yesterday. Tomorrow, social exchanges
like these will only increase, along with our
collective idea of value in society.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
37
SELF AS IPO
Quantifying the self economy
“How we spend our days, is, of course, how we
spend our lives,” wrote author Annie Dillard. It’s
our very experiences that drive us through the
often mundane and occasionally thrilling hours
of our lives that take on a different meaning
or an intrinsic value. Neuroscientist David
Eagleman’s utopian fiction views the afterlife
as blocks of emotional experiences, with one
following the next in sequence. His book “Sum:
Forty Tales From the Afterlife” quantified all the
parts of your day that share a given quality, such
as pain or joy, into a single, continuous moment.
From such a perspective, it’s easy to think of our
daily experiences as blocks of time. And every
block of your life can have a specific value.
Life, of course, is unruly and chaotic. But what
if every minute of your day, regardless of what
you’re doing, could take on a value outside of
the tangible experience? At sparks & honey, one
of our cultural strategists figured out he spends a
full month of the year underground in the New
York City subway system. Wanting to make his
time more useful, this information inspired him
to read amongst fellow straphangers. Now, he
devours two books a week during his commute.
The value of his time on a subway is translated
into expanded knowledge and leisure time.
A DIGITAL DUDE READING BOOKS
IN A CROWDED NYC SUBWAY
38
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
SELF AS IPO
The cost of living:
leisure and pain
Consider the very simple instance of
binge-watching today’s must-see show or
documentary. The experience of enjoying your
program in one continuous stream has become
a commodity of leisure time. The nightclub
industry is suffering because, well, Netflix
and chill, combined with a side of Tinder,
is preferable to getting dressed up to shout
at strangers over a loud beat. In fact, such a
premium has been placed on this experience
that you won’t have to miss a second of it, in
case you fall asleep while binge- or cringe-
watching. Because now there are Netflix socks
that have sensors that will pause your show
when your bio-data tells them you’re no longer
paying attention.
Or, maybe you are staying in to nurse your
broken heart. However painful, breaking
up can assume a value that has nothing to
do with running anyone’s heart over with a
NETFLIX SMART SOCKS HAVE
SENSORS THAT WILL PAUSE A
SHOW WHEN YOUR BIO-DATA
TELLS IT YOU’RE ASLEEP
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
39
SELF AS IPO
We’ll live in a space
that brings emotion
from something you
feel to something
you see.
bulldozer. With ‘Never Liked It Anyway’, an
online marketplace for the lovelorn, you can
cash in on the leftovers of your ex: sell concert
tickets for a show you’ll never go to or buy a
perfectly good shirt or other goods from lost
relationships. Getting rid of the tangible debris
of an ex can help you move on, but the site
also encourages users to dump their personal
heartbreak stories on the ‘Tell it’ page, which
helps build community as it heals.
While it may seem amusing today, the signals
above relate to a future environment that will
know what we need – even before we do. There
are already interactive lighting systems such
as ‘Moti’, which responds to the emotional
outbursts or calm vibes of the inhabitants of a
home. Tomorrow, we’ll live in a space that is as
much a part of us as we are. One that brings
emotion from something you feel to something
you see.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
40
SELF AS IPO
The ultimate value, time
Our lives are becoming the sum of a friction-
free world where we rely on that which is
intangible: the technology and value systems
that allow us to do the things we want to do,
even before we know we need them.
Consider the aptly named ‘Trim’, an app that
consolidates all of your subscription services
and pays your beer-of-the-month club and
streaming services for you. It will also cancel
the subscriptions that bore you. You could even
stay at home while your gas tank is refilled
with Silicon Valley on-demand gas startups like
‘WeFuel’. Removing such tedious tasks from
your day will open up space to explore and live
a life that is valuable to you. We’re on the cusp
of the “Lazy Economy” which puts a premium
on not making an effort – in order to be more
efficient.
Businesses are being encouraged to develop
technology design to help our lives, and not
starve them of attention. Created by Tristan
Harris, the ‘Design For Time Well Spent’
manifesto says, “We believe in the possibility of
an economy that’s built to help us spend time
well, where products compete for net positive
contributions to our lives.”
The “Lazy Economy”
puts a premium on
not making an effort
– so you can be more
efficient.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
41
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
The “Lazy Economy” puts a premium on not making
an effort – so you can be more efficient.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
SELF AS IPO
The ultimate value of life is found in the
freedom to live it as we please. We have
technology to tell us how well we’re living, a
home that tells us when we need to calm down,
apps that measure our heart rate to relay when
we’re attracted to another human, and behind-
the-scenes machinery that works tirelessly to
make sure we do not.
When our lives simply work, we can revel in
the abundance of time. APPS THAT MEASURE OUR HEART
RATE TO RELAY WHEN WE’RE
ATTRACTED TO ANOTHER HUMAN
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
43
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
unmoney: the value of everything
sparks & honey culture forecast
reports.sparksandhoney.com
@sparksandhoney
research & cultural intelligence
Sarah Davanzo
Chief Cultural Strategy Officer
Larisa Kluchman
Director of Cultural Listening
Dan Gould
Senior Cultural Strategist
creative & editorial
Eric Kwan Tai Lau
Senior Art Director
Anna Sofia Martin
Senior Writer
Barbara Herman
Senior Writer
Morgan Peck
Special Contributor
agency & consultancy
Paul Butler
Chief Operation Officer
Mike Lanzi
Chief Client Officer
Tim Ettus
Managing Director, West Coast
Sean Mahoney
Editorial Director
Camilo La Cruz
Head of Content
Terry Young
CEO & Founder
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
UNMONEY
METHODOLOGY
For this report, sparks & honey conducted research and
interviewed experts at DevCon1 in London (2015) and the
Scaling Bitcoin Workshop in Hong Kong (2015). Using new
social listening tools, we gauged public sentiment around the
disruption of established currencies and financial systems.
Tapping into our global scout network and proprietary
cultural intelligence system, we combed through thousands
of signals to build a vision of the future of value in an
unmonied world.
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
46
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
SOURCES
sparks & honey
Asktrim.com
Berkshares.org
Brainpickings, How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives
Complementarycurrency.org
Digital Trends, Seateroo Flight App Lets You Pay to Switch Seats On a Plane
Engadget, Scientists use battery tech to harvest energy from movement
Engadget, Temp tech tattoos can monitor your health and location
Ethereum.org
Forbes, The Self-IPO Is The Newest Way To Raise Money
Fusion, Fitbit data just undermined a woman’s rape claim
Fusion, Get rich or die vlogging: The sad economics of internet fame
Instructables, Power Generating Shoe
Investopedia, Bowie Bond
Kickstarter, Ario: Smart Lighting
LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman: The Future of the Bitcoin Ecosystem and “Trustless Trust”
MIT Technology Review, The Quest to Make Your Shoe A Power Source
Neverlikeditanyway.com
Studio Toer, Moti
Quartz, 77 hours of confusion, 14 minutes of joy: A neuroscientist quantifies the mundane beauty of our lives
Tech Crunch, Dating App Once Uses Your Heart Rate To Help You Find Love
The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order, by Paul Vigna and Michael J.
Casey, 2015
The Atlantic: Cashing in on Breaking Up: an eBay for the Brokenhearted
The Atlantic: This Helsinki Suburb Is Offering Millennials Cheap Rent to Live in a Senior Center
The Economist, The trust machine: the promise of the blockchain
UNMONEY
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
47
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
SOURCES
The Guardian, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘likes’ can help stop Isis recruiters
The Guardian, London room to let for £1 a month – but only IT experts need apply
The Guardian, Meet Viv: the AI that wants to read your mind and run your life
The Guardian, Spain’s crisis spawns alternative economy that doesn’t rely on the euro
The Verge, Amazon is ready to start automatically restocking your home for you
The Verge, WeFuel is the latest app to deliver gas to your parked car
Time, Netflix Smart Socks Can Pause Your TV Show When You Fall Asleep
Timewellspent.io
The Washington Post, Samoa Air prices tickets based on passengers’ weight
Viv.ai
UNMONEY
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
48
Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
UNMONEY
No parts of this publication may be reproduced, copied, distributed or
transmitted in any form without the permission of sparks & honey.
© 2016 sparks & honey, LLC. All rights reserved.

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UnMoney: The Value of Everything

  • 1. UnMoney sparks & honey culture forecast THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING
  • 2. The Future of Money Chapter 1 MONEY ISN’T REAL 2
  • 3. THE FUTURE OF MONEY Money is not real Imagine a future where you don’t have to think about money. Got it? You’re probably thinking about it the wrong way. Because today, right now, money isn’t real. There are only transactions of value represented by money. That bill you can hold in your hand is simply a representation of a transaction about to take place, completely dependent upon our belief that it has a value. We believe wholeheartedly that a piece of paper can be exchanged for a cup of coffee or a microwave oven. But, when we strip away our dependence on this concept of “money”, and the physicality of its exchange, what remains is the pure transaction. A transaction of value. In this report, we look at value beyond traditional financial notions: how value is derived by scarcity and trust, often in a government many people don’t trust. It’s a system ripe for disruption, and it’s being chipped away at by both tech startups and small group communities working together – people who want to challenge the way we’re paying for our lives. The value system of tomorrow is in peer to peer exchanges, without middlemen and the need for verification or validation handed down from a select authority. They’re finding value in new assets and creating ways to trade that value amongst one another, systematically and fairly. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 3
  • 4. THE FUTURE OF MONEY The future of money We see the movement, and it’s pointing to an inevitable future; one where every person, place, and thing has a measurable value that can be exchanged intangibly, rapidly, securely, and, most importantly, directly. It’s a system where abstract notions like social currency have a value that can be transacted in the same way that we now buy that cup of coffee. It’s a system that can empower a planet where every single device, every head of lettuce, every drop of fuel, every road and cable that make up our infrastructure have a value, not only in and of itself, but also in the context of its use. Meet your new value system, or the future of money. Simply, unmoney. Tomorrow, we will all have a market value. Do you know how much you’re worth? Tomorrow, we will all have a market value. Do you know how much you’re worth? Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 4
  • 5. THE FUTURE OF MONEY Cultural catalysts of alternative currencies Money as we know it is based on trust. This trust is rooted in the bedrock of finance – from the Federal Reserve to banks and government agencies. But what happens when that trust crumbles? Following the financial crises of 2008, frustration in the current systems brewed innovation around the world. People started to find ways around the dependencies established by the traditional fiat currency model. Communities and entire nations that had been hard hit by the financial crises turned to more primitive, local solutions. In Spain, people began trading hours of time in exchange for service – skipping the euro altogether. In North America, the barter economy took off: I’ll trade you my closet-cleaning for a dinner. On a local level, currencies such as the Berkshares, a local currency for the Berkshire region in western Massachusetts, attracted a renewed interest. The monolith of trust, having suffered at the hands of banks and governments, was partially pieced back together and re-channeled at the local level. And technology, moving fast at the speed of culture, enabled people to In 200 B.C., the Chinese recorded value on squares of deerskin. A thousand years later, Polynesians were using massive doughnut- shaped slabs of stone, called Rai, that weighed several tons each. In Latin, “fiat” means “by decree.” The dollar is a fiat currency because the US government proclaims it, by decree, to be the only currency acceptable for settling debt with the government. 5 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 6. THE FUTURE OF MONEY grasp onto alternative systems of value. Peer-to-peer networks sprung up, allowing people to exchange everything from sofa cushions to cars as currency. Instead of relying on institutions, people were relying on each other. A new paradigm of trust emerged. As governments around the world scramble to re-establish themselves as reliable stewards of the global financial system, individuals continue to experiment with their own financial fixes. No longer do political institutions have a monopoly on the technology that we use to denominate, transfer, and store our value. And there is little doubt that alternatives to our fiat currency will continue to develop in the future. Instead of relying on institutions, people were relying on each other. Find out more about fiat currencies and the current state of disruptive finance in our UnMoney 101 report. 6 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 7. UNMONEY UNMONEY “It’s very clear that something important is happening here.” -Matthew Spoke, Leader of Rubix by Deloitte BLOCKCHAIN Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 8. THE FUTURE OF MONEY Representing value on a blockchain In the modern era, people have traditionally turned to gold in times of financial strife. We now have another alternative: cryptocurrencies, electronic payment systems where two individuals can transact directly with one another – without the middleman. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, emerged as a means to wipe away our dependency on third parties when it comes to making transactions. Instead, people could now transfer money, in units of bitcoin, directly to one another through its blockchain technology. The seamless power of Bitcoin is in its technology: It leverages a global network of computers all of which run on the same software that references the same dataset. Actual value is represented on a shared accounting ledger, which is periodically updated to reflect the balance of everyone who is a currency holder. Run by the computers on the network, the software secures new transactions by enforcing a consensus on the state of the accounting database and by making it extremely difficult (and prohibitively expensive) to change entries once they have been added. Cryptocurrencies are electronic payment systems where two people can make direct transactions Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 8
  • 9. UNMONEY UNMONEY “We’re all just amateurs in this. You’re trying to build a house in the middle of a minefield with meteors all around.” – Eric Lombrozzo, CEO of Ciphrex, at Scaling Bitcoin in Hong Kong Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 10. THE FUTURE OF MONEY The Bitcoin experiment THE FUTURE OF MONEY The software is also responsible for determining the parameters of the currency. Think of it as the currency’s boss. It decides the rate at which new coins enter into circulation. Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s technology has spawned many clones, each of which has its own set of parameters. Ethereum is another emerging platform for exchanging value in the form of smart contracts without interference from a third party. “Ethereum is the way the internet is supposed to work,” the company touts. With advancements in technology, banking – or what we think of as banking – has moved away from cash you stuff in your pocket or credit cards you swipe at checkout into a space where transactions take on a different meaning. In this system, a transaction of your money is ruled by algorithms. This ultimately makes monetary supply a question of math – rather than politics. “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof, instead of trust, allowing any two, willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” - Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin 21 MILLION, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BITCOINS IN ‘FOREVER’ CIRCULATION 10 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 11. UNMONEY UNMONEY Combined value of bitcoins in circulation today $7 BILLION Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 12. THE FUTURE OF MONEY Cryptocurrencies and the new world of trust Born out of universal desire for a feasible financial alternatives, the emergence of cryptocurrencies have opened up a space for people to think of money vastly differently than we used to. The mistrust in financial powers is being sidelined for ‘trust’ in technology and its algorithms. And this seismic shift in the monetary world also has the potential to challenge our very ideas of how we conceive value. When value can be applied outside of the financial realm, what is valuable? “The blockchain creates the possibility of trustless trust. Parties no longer need to know or trust each other to participate in exchanges of value with absolute assurance and no intermediaries.The blockchain makes all kinds of cross-border commerce easier, especially when it involves places without credit-card networks or robust banking systems.” - Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur and Blockstream investor 12 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 13. UNMONEY UNMONEY “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” – Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 14. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Chapter 2 WELCOME TO THE QUANTUM ECONOMY
  • 15. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Welcome to the quantum economy Cryptocurrencies have challenged the bedrock of the financial realm. The blockchain technology of cryptocurrencies, and the transactions it enables, could also radically shift the way we think of non-financial assets. Theoretically, any digital asset or commodity could be represented and traded as a kind of token on a blockchain. A token could even be an individual. David Bowie was also a human token. He had the foresight to envision the drastic changes in the music industry. In 1997, Bowie sold asset-backed securities, Bowie Bonds, which promised investors a ten-year stake in his future earnings from royalties from 25 albums, which included classic songs such as “Ziggy Stardust” and “Heroes”. Bowie took the intangible, his music and talents, and turned it into a future investment. As our lives expand with the internet of things, everything from tangible items to the intangible, such as time and relationships, can be thought of as assets. Propelled by the very speed of culture and technology, a new ‘quantum economy’ is emerging. In such a system, every moment of the day assumes a new value that lives beyond the moment itself. Think of generating heat by simply moving In the quantum economy, every moment of the day assumes a new value that lives beyond the moment itself. 15 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 16. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING out of bed first thing in the morning, and then using that energy to make coffee, for example. Instead of traditional monetary currency, it’s about shifting our understanding of how we capture and trade value in a constant flow of input and output. Everything has a value, from the inanimate items in your home, to the person next to you on the train, to the ultimate value of time. This new value system has a massive potential to influence how we interact with one another and our environment on a daily basis. Tomorrow, everything will have a value. Including you. DAVID BOWIE WAS A HUMAN TOKEN Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 16
  • 17. UNMONEY UNMONEY Tomorrow, everything will have a value. Including you. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 18. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING The living, breathing, thinking machine We’re living in an era where machines, formerly controlled by humans, have assumed lives of their own. The technologies being built around the internet of things will only broaden the category of assets that can be thought of as tokens (in the blockchain). Objects in the physical world – such as toasters, cars, thermostats, and lightbulbs – increasingly owe their existence and ability to perform tasks to one thing: the internet. Imagine walking to work and using the power generated from your shoe to charge your device, and that’s only one future scenario, as envisioned by MIT scientists. The more sensors we bedazzle our devices with, the greater voice they will have. USE POWER GENERATED FROM YOUR SHOES TO CHARGE YOUR DEVICE Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 18
  • 19. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING A life written by artificial intelligence Layered with artificial intelligence (AI) that knows you better than you do, these ‘things’ will take on your voice and your life. It’s a space where connectivity is controlled by a layer of intelligence that inherently knows its user: you. AI company Viv is developing a “personal assistant” that integrates thousands of different services together with your own preferences. Described by the company as having a “global brain”, Viv is not just in your phone, but it also lives in your fridge or car. Its technology is based on intuitively responding to requests that it hasn’t been programmed for yet (The Guardian). As you live your life, AI writes your program. The internet of things, then, assumes a more sophisticated value when it’s intuitively connected to your personal algorithm through AI. Connecting all people, places, and things to the internet and our individualized algorithms will open up entirely new markets for goods and resources that we do not yet think of as having value, either because their trade has been restricted or their capture is currently impractical. As you live your life, AI writes your program. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 19
  • 20. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Tricky: the direct transfer of value Consider the case of consumer-generated, renewable energy. On a wilderness expedition, you could rub two sticks together in the forest, and much later, ignite fire. The value of the fire was fueled by the warmth it provided to the camper or traveler (the historic ‘consumer’). But what happens when you install a solar panel on your roof, and you manage to produce a surplus of energy? Your activity has just generated an asset: energy. But what are your options for storing and selling the energy you no longer need, and what do you get in return for it? Today, your only option is to feed that energy back into your local grid, at which point your power company decides how you will be reimbursed. In New York, an individual producer who is generating electricity and pouring it back into the grid cannot make enough profit on this resource. He can only use it to deduct from his own power bill, even if he is returning more energy than he is taking. The electricity that gets added ends up supplying the next, closest hop on the grid. But, as of today, there is no way to sell your excess electricity directly to your neighbor. OUT IN THE WILDERNESS, YOU COULD RUB TWO STICKS TOGETHER TO PRODUCE ENERGY Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 20
  • 21. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Freedom from the middleman In this example, nearly all the parts are there for a transaction to take place – the product, the suppliers and the consumers who want it. It’s only the restrictions of the market that stand in the way. As a result, renewable energy in the US is what we call a proto-economy. What’s lacking is a good way for individuals to ship the product, in this case, energy, and receive payment for it. In the future, however, the internet of things will merge with blockchain technology to solve the unanswered problems of today – such as how you’d transfer energy directly to your neighbor and gain something in return. Consequently, tomorrow’s world will include a whole ecosystem of proto-economies that have been liberated from market restrictions and liberated from the authority creating those restrictions. Your future transactions will be freed from the clutches of the middleman. A proto-economy is an economic state in which the supply, demand, and product exist, but what’s missing is the means to make an actual transaction. FREEDOM FROM THE MIDDLEMAN 21 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 22. UNMONEY UNMONEY You will only pay for what you use, such as airplane seats. PAY AS YOU GO Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 23. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Predictive payment: what you need when you need it Consider the value of an airplane seat. In today’s crowded, security-obsessed travel, flying has become more of a painpoint than a pleasure. As a result, the idea of comfort while flying has become a premium, one that airlines will charge for, naturally. But apps like Seateroo are banking on air travelers’ desire for comfort by empowering flyers to change seats with one another. With Seateroo, you pay to swap seats with another passenger on your flight, given that they also have the app. While the airline industry is bound by stringent regulations, there are “no government rules that prohibit seat swaps,” according to the startup. Like proto-economies, its business is based on the idea of circumventing the middleman and enabling individuals to make transactions directly with one another. Value exchanges like this will increasingly become a part of our daily lives. You will only pay for what you use, such as airplane seats. Samoa Air, for example, is charging ticket prices based on a passenger’s weight and luggage load. It’s possible that we’ll see situations where the your fellow flyer takes over your armrest. With space as a premium, the cost of the armrest in proportion to your plane seat would be deducted from your seat price automatically. Here, the value is tied to space and the individual’s need for that space – the armrest – over the course of your flight. If you only ‘pay as you go’, the algorithm that determines the usage of the armrest would feed that information back to the blockchain, where the currency tied to the blockchain would pay for the transaction. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 23
  • 24. UNMONEY UNMONEY When your washing machine grocery shops Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 25. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING The ghost(ing) transaction Now imagine a kitchen that automatically refills your pantry before you even know you’re about to run out of eggs or turkey bacon. It knows you have a house guest who eats pork bacon and soy milk. When you host a dinner party, your individualized AI, connected to the internet of things, will order just the right food items for your vegan or allergic friends. Today, Amazon’s ‘Dash Kitchen Replenishment’ is pairing with consumer brands such as Whirlpool to take the effort out of restocking consumer goods like dish detergent. While you also get notifications along with your new supplies, such transactions are integrated into a friction-free, 24-hour economy that never turns off, even when you do. IMAGE A KITCHEN THAT REFILLS YOUR PANTRY BEFORE YOU EVEN KNOW YOU’RE OUT OF EGGS Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 25
  • 26. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING The internet of things and emotional value If your world is seamlessly connected – from your devices, to your home and work spaces, to your loved ones and strangers alike – you become part of its intrinsic value chain. Your own algorithm is tied to the internet of things as much as it’s tied to, well, things. The internet of things is active, even when you might not be. When we sleep (and genuinely turn off), we could still be transacting with our environment: feeding data on our sleep quality, or lack thereof, to a sleep monitor or to a mattress that adapts to your nocturnal sighs and snores. After all, we wear our emotions on on our sleeve, as wearable tech transcends fashion. Without uttering a word or seeing your face, strangers can see how you feel by looking at your shirt. And if you want to show more skin than sleeve, there’s always the tech tattoo, or “tech tat”, which monitors your vitals from blood pressure to heart rate and transmits that data via electroconductive paint. The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, simply point them to your data. YOUR VITALS, MONITORED BY A TECH TATTOO Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 26
  • 27. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING The value of your resting moments are reflected in the quality of your day, such as how alert, vibrant, or restless you may be. And we may turn to the internet of things to buoy us through the 3pm post-lunch dip. Project Ario, a smart lighting system, generates bright blue light in the morning and warmer rays in the evening to mimic natural light. Paired with your wifi, the lighting adjusts to your sleep patterns and fuels cortisol production. The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, simply point them to your data. 27 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 28. UNMONEY THE VALUE OF EVERYTHING Occupy my dreams: sell your mind for advertising If it can help you sleep better, your personal AI, layered with the internet of things, could also render your resting hours into a transaction. Imagine, while you were sleeping you had advertising messages beamed into your dreams, in exchange for wellness benefits. While your body is busy repairing itself, it could be doing double duty: our nighttime emotions could be quantified into a landscape of dreams that acts as a canvas for advertisers to “rent”. Would you sell your dream data if your sleep monitor could transmit “sponsored messages” from a brand? Perhaps, if it meant that you could alter your brain into a smarter, faster version of itself. OUR DREAMS COULD BECOME A CANVAS FOR ADVERTISERS TO RENT 28
  • 29. Self as IPO Chapter 3 WHEN YOU ARE THE PRODUCT, THE BUYER, AND THE SELLER 29 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 30. SELF AS IPO The human token Could you be a token? Yes. In 2013, entrepreneur Shefali Kumar Friesen used Upstart to raise $70,200 from 14 investors, who, in return, will split 6.94% of her future earnings for ten years after the deal. The music producer and developer used the money to pay off student loans and work on software that sends musical recordings through text-messaging platforms (Forbes). Friesen and David Bowie, with his aforementioned Bowie Bonds, envisioned a demand for their talents. They created a market for their future. And people went for it. COULD YOU BE A HUMAN TOKEN? Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 30
  • 31. SELF AS IPO Blockchains and the individual commodity In the future we may be able to represent ourselves as corporations on the blockchain. In the future, we may be able to represent ourselves as corporations on the blockchain. This would enable individuals to offer themselves up as an IPO and seek investment from people who were willing to bet on their future worth. Gains and losses would all be recorded on the blockchain, and dividends would automatically be disbursed to investors. Blockchains provide an automated platform for managing the contracts between an individual and a prospective investor. But going this route would require the funded party to report all earnings on a blockchain. And it would require the funding party to accept dividends denominated in a blockchain-enabled cryptocurrency. These expectations are only feasible in a future where either Bitcoin becomes a dominant global currency, or cryptocurrency platforms evolve to a point technically where they are intertwined with the dominant currency, and where contracts deployed over the Bitcoin Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 31
  • 32. BUY DINNER WITH YOUR DATA network have binding repercussions on dollar- denominated accounts. In the meantime, there are companies, such as Pave and Upstart, that are acting as the necessary third parties between investors and people who want to sell dividends on their future earnings. These companies vet both parties, ensuring that investors have enough money to follow through on their promises (to join as an Upstart investor you have to make at least $200,000 a year) and rating the potential future worth of those seeking investment based on their education and work record. We’re entering an era where individuals are tapping into their inherent market value, building self-sufficient economies of their own. People will tap into their inherent market value, building self-sufficient economies of their own. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 32
  • 33. SELF AS IPO The authority of social data Would you trade a tweet or two if it would get you a taco? Whether we buy lunch with it or not, we are defined by our digital imprints. Unwittingly, social capital stands separate from the individual it’s attached to, acting as an authority that can add or detract value from your life. Simply, your social capital can be used for or against you. College admissions and HR will scan your digital imprint as a representation of your character. Eyeing your Facebook or Instagram is a means of predicting what your future value could – or could not – be. And when it comes to buying property one day, banks could look to your broader networks to approve or decline your mortgage application. Don’t keep your friends close, since their bad credit ratings could make them enemies of your future. Social data is already saving lives, even if they’re not yours. A woman who cried rape was found out after cops uncovered evidence from her Fitbit data contradicting her whereabouts at the YOUR SOCIAL CAPITAL CAN BE USED FOR OR AGAINST YOU Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 33
  • 34. SELF AS IPO A simple ‘like’ could save lives time of the alleged attack. Even a simple ‘like’ could save lives. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg detailed how terrorist propaganda can be drowned out by spinning the messages of hate groups. She explained an effort by German Facebook users to “like” the Facebook page of the neo-Nazi party and then post positive messages on the page. “What was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope,” Sandberg told The Guardian. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 34
  • 35. SELF AS IPO Reputation economy You reach for your device in the morning and set it down as your last stretch at night. Our lives are so intertwined with technology that we’ll soon be striving to conscious digital detox. Teens are stressed about responding promptly to notifications, and we’re developing tech related ailments, previously only seen in the elderly. On the flip side, we’re also walking around with a hefty load of social capital. How much is your reputation really worth? For the middle class of YouTube celebrities, fame doesn’t necessarily turn into cash. Even with millions of followers, some are struggling to pay the rent and supplement their videos with stints at Starbucks. Popularity doesn’t always imply riches. The disconnect between fame and financial rewards can be vast. Take those who do have the riches, like the Kardashians, but their stock is rapidly plummeting too. Consequently, Kardashian- sponsored posts for brands could result in negative favor. Would you trade a tweet or two for a taco? Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 35
  • 36. SELF AS IPO Trading spaces: the barter economy You could become your own energy machine in the future. Your daily movements, such as walking and cleaning, produce kinetic energy that could be captured thanks to developments by MIT scientists experimenting with electrochemical technology. Imagine, after a long afternoon walk, you want to give that energy to your friend who will then use it to cook you dinner. What may seem far-fetched today is an extension of economic transactions based on an exchange between the value of individuals. In Finland, a Helsinki suburb is offering hugely discounted rents to young people on one condition: they socialize with the seniors in the community. Such a transaction helps bridge the generational divide and provides wellness benefits for both parties, not to mention a balm for loneliness in a world where people are living alone more than ever before. In the UK, a landlord approached his rental with a keen eye for a very specific type of tenant. A rent of one A £1-PER-MONTH RENT WAS AVAILABLE FOR A TENANT WITH IT SKILLS Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 36
  • 37. SELF AS IPO The value of the intangible is weighed against exchanges that would have previously required only money. pound per month was available for the right tenant with IT skills, in exchange for helping the landlord with his sporadic tech issues. In these instances, the value of the intangible – friendly socializing and a specific skillset to be used outside traditional ‘work’ spaces – is weighed against purchases that would have previously required only money. But that was yesterday. Tomorrow, social exchanges like these will only increase, along with our collective idea of value in society. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 37
  • 38. SELF AS IPO Quantifying the self economy “How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives,” wrote author Annie Dillard. It’s our very experiences that drive us through the often mundane and occasionally thrilling hours of our lives that take on a different meaning or an intrinsic value. Neuroscientist David Eagleman’s utopian fiction views the afterlife as blocks of emotional experiences, with one following the next in sequence. His book “Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlife” quantified all the parts of your day that share a given quality, such as pain or joy, into a single, continuous moment. From such a perspective, it’s easy to think of our daily experiences as blocks of time. And every block of your life can have a specific value. Life, of course, is unruly and chaotic. But what if every minute of your day, regardless of what you’re doing, could take on a value outside of the tangible experience? At sparks & honey, one of our cultural strategists figured out he spends a full month of the year underground in the New York City subway system. Wanting to make his time more useful, this information inspired him to read amongst fellow straphangers. Now, he devours two books a week during his commute. The value of his time on a subway is translated into expanded knowledge and leisure time. A DIGITAL DUDE READING BOOKS IN A CROWDED NYC SUBWAY 38 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 39. SELF AS IPO The cost of living: leisure and pain Consider the very simple instance of binge-watching today’s must-see show or documentary. The experience of enjoying your program in one continuous stream has become a commodity of leisure time. The nightclub industry is suffering because, well, Netflix and chill, combined with a side of Tinder, is preferable to getting dressed up to shout at strangers over a loud beat. In fact, such a premium has been placed on this experience that you won’t have to miss a second of it, in case you fall asleep while binge- or cringe- watching. Because now there are Netflix socks that have sensors that will pause your show when your bio-data tells them you’re no longer paying attention. Or, maybe you are staying in to nurse your broken heart. However painful, breaking up can assume a value that has nothing to do with running anyone’s heart over with a NETFLIX SMART SOCKS HAVE SENSORS THAT WILL PAUSE A SHOW WHEN YOUR BIO-DATA TELLS IT YOU’RE ASLEEP Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 39
  • 40. SELF AS IPO We’ll live in a space that brings emotion from something you feel to something you see. bulldozer. With ‘Never Liked It Anyway’, an online marketplace for the lovelorn, you can cash in on the leftovers of your ex: sell concert tickets for a show you’ll never go to or buy a perfectly good shirt or other goods from lost relationships. Getting rid of the tangible debris of an ex can help you move on, but the site also encourages users to dump their personal heartbreak stories on the ‘Tell it’ page, which helps build community as it heals. While it may seem amusing today, the signals above relate to a future environment that will know what we need – even before we do. There are already interactive lighting systems such as ‘Moti’, which responds to the emotional outbursts or calm vibes of the inhabitants of a home. Tomorrow, we’ll live in a space that is as much a part of us as we are. One that brings emotion from something you feel to something you see. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 40
  • 41. SELF AS IPO The ultimate value, time Our lives are becoming the sum of a friction- free world where we rely on that which is intangible: the technology and value systems that allow us to do the things we want to do, even before we know we need them. Consider the aptly named ‘Trim’, an app that consolidates all of your subscription services and pays your beer-of-the-month club and streaming services for you. It will also cancel the subscriptions that bore you. You could even stay at home while your gas tank is refilled with Silicon Valley on-demand gas startups like ‘WeFuel’. Removing such tedious tasks from your day will open up space to explore and live a life that is valuable to you. We’re on the cusp of the “Lazy Economy” which puts a premium on not making an effort – in order to be more efficient. Businesses are being encouraged to develop technology design to help our lives, and not starve them of attention. Created by Tristan Harris, the ‘Design For Time Well Spent’ manifesto says, “We believe in the possibility of an economy that’s built to help us spend time well, where products compete for net positive contributions to our lives.” The “Lazy Economy” puts a premium on not making an effort – so you can be more efficient. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 41
  • 42. UNMONEY UNMONEY The “Lazy Economy” puts a premium on not making an effort – so you can be more efficient. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 43. SELF AS IPO The ultimate value of life is found in the freedom to live it as we please. We have technology to tell us how well we’re living, a home that tells us when we need to calm down, apps that measure our heart rate to relay when we’re attracted to another human, and behind- the-scenes machinery that works tirelessly to make sure we do not. When our lives simply work, we can revel in the abundance of time. APPS THAT MEASURE OUR HEART RATE TO RELAY WHEN WE’RE ATTRACTED TO ANOTHER HUMAN Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 43
  • 44. UNMONEY UNMONEY Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 45. UNMONEY UNMONEY unmoney: the value of everything sparks & honey culture forecast reports.sparksandhoney.com @sparksandhoney research & cultural intelligence Sarah Davanzo Chief Cultural Strategy Officer Larisa Kluchman Director of Cultural Listening Dan Gould Senior Cultural Strategist creative & editorial Eric Kwan Tai Lau Senior Art Director Anna Sofia Martin Senior Writer Barbara Herman Senior Writer Morgan Peck Special Contributor agency & consultancy Paul Butler Chief Operation Officer Mike Lanzi Chief Client Officer Tim Ettus Managing Director, West Coast Sean Mahoney Editorial Director Camilo La Cruz Head of Content Terry Young CEO & Founder Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 46. UNMONEY UNMONEY METHODOLOGY For this report, sparks & honey conducted research and interviewed experts at DevCon1 in London (2015) and the Scaling Bitcoin Workshop in Hong Kong (2015). Using new social listening tools, we gauged public sentiment around the disruption of established currencies and financial systems. Tapping into our global scout network and proprietary cultural intelligence system, we combed through thousands of signals to build a vision of the future of value in an unmonied world. Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 46 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 47. UNMONEY SOURCES sparks & honey Asktrim.com Berkshares.org Brainpickings, How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives Complementarycurrency.org Digital Trends, Seateroo Flight App Lets You Pay to Switch Seats On a Plane Engadget, Scientists use battery tech to harvest energy from movement Engadget, Temp tech tattoos can monitor your health and location Ethereum.org Forbes, The Self-IPO Is The Newest Way To Raise Money Fusion, Fitbit data just undermined a woman’s rape claim Fusion, Get rich or die vlogging: The sad economics of internet fame Instructables, Power Generating Shoe Investopedia, Bowie Bond Kickstarter, Ario: Smart Lighting LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman: The Future of the Bitcoin Ecosystem and “Trustless Trust” MIT Technology Review, The Quest to Make Your Shoe A Power Source Neverlikeditanyway.com Studio Toer, Moti Quartz, 77 hours of confusion, 14 minutes of joy: A neuroscientist quantifies the mundane beauty of our lives Tech Crunch, Dating App Once Uses Your Heart Rate To Help You Find Love The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order, by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, 2015 The Atlantic: Cashing in on Breaking Up: an eBay for the Brokenhearted The Atlantic: This Helsinki Suburb Is Offering Millennials Cheap Rent to Live in a Senior Center The Economist, The trust machine: the promise of the blockchain UNMONEY Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 47 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 48. UNMONEY SOURCES The Guardian, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘likes’ can help stop Isis recruiters The Guardian, London room to let for £1 a month – but only IT experts need apply The Guardian, Meet Viv: the AI that wants to read your mind and run your life The Guardian, Spain’s crisis spawns alternative economy that doesn’t rely on the euro The Verge, Amazon is ready to start automatically restocking your home for you The Verge, WeFuel is the latest app to deliver gas to your parked car Time, Netflix Smart Socks Can Pause Your TV Show When You Fall Asleep Timewellspent.io The Washington Post, Samoa Air prices tickets based on passengers’ weight Viv.ai UNMONEY Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved. 48 Copyright © 2016 sparks & honey. All rights reserved.
  • 49. UNMONEY No parts of this publication may be reproduced, copied, distributed or transmitted in any form without the permission of sparks & honey. © 2016 sparks & honey, LLC. All rights reserved.