The emergence of cryptocurrency and blockchains 12 years ago changed everything.
Bitcoin showed that money doesn’t have to be issued by governments. It proved that a group of individuals could act together without knowing each other. It demonstrated that the internet can be both transparent and private.
From Bitcoin came Ethereum and a host of other blockchains, along with ICOs and stablecoins. From there we saw DAOs, DeFi and NFTs and much more. In 12 years, crypto has become a $2 trillion industry with radical implications for finance, central banks, corporations, nonprofits and the way organizations are founded and run.
Crypto and blockchain technology are foundational innovations that open new possibilities for transferring and building wealth, and that could allow a new internet to emerge from the broken Web 2 world we’re in.
These new concepts of money and human governance raise massive, almost existential questions – questions that matter to everyone well beyond the rarefied circles of technologists and financiers.
Can the U.S. dollar remain the global reserve currency when challenged by a new, electronic store of value that’s scarcer than gold? What role will envelope-pushing China play in an increasingly digitized international financial system? How can regulation work in a world of leaderless, decentralized teams and automated business agreements? What does value mean when money can be created not just out of thin air but without the coercive power or authority of a nation-state?
Layer 2 by CoinDesk is a neutral, open forum that aims to get to the heart of how societies resolve such challenges. From deeply reported, long-form journalism to a diverse range of opinion columnists to institutional-grade research to engaging interactive content, Layer 2 will go beyond the daily headlines and trending ephemera to tell the human stories of creative (and sometimes not-so-creative) destruction.
Even though CoinDesk is a purely digital media platform, we find the language of old, analog media helps to explain what we are doing here. We think of our flagship newswire service as an up-to-the-minute, comprehensive “paper of record,” while Layer 2 by CoinDesk is a “magazine of ideas” that builds on that base and puts crypto in perspective.
A key component of Layer 2 will be Theme Weeks, collections of articles about vital topics. We debuted the concept with Policy Week in October and Future of Money Week last month. Stay tuned for Culture Week, kicking off Dec. 13 with the rollout of the Layer 2 section of CoinDesk.com.
We hope you will find Layer 2 insightful and informative. If there are topics or people you want to see covered, or if you have a contribution to make, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.