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PYMNTS

How to Think About AI Regulation

Every year, for the last 16 years, economists have come to Toulouse for the Digital Economics Conference to present cutting-edge research on just about everything digital. For those who don’t know Toulouse, or only that it is the headquarters of Airbus, the La Ville Rose is a charming city in the Southwest of France, worth visiting if only to dine on cassoulet and sip on Armagnac afterward. 

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PYMNTS

Can the EU Get Its Digital Act Together?

Where’s the European Union when it comes to AI?

It has the world’s second-largest GDP — $18.4 trillion in 2023. Its 448 million population is more than 100 million greater than the U.S. It is home to many top educational institutions with some of the world’s leading scientists and regularly cranks out more. Put the United Kingdom back in and it is an even more impressive economy.

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PYMNTS

Humanity to OpenAI Board: You’re Fired!

The last time I wrote about governance was in the summer of 2016. The United Kingdom had put a decision to exit the European Union to a popular vote. Brexit squeaked through in a heated process with much misinformation. It will all be a piece of cake, it was said.

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PYMNTS

Platform Economics: How Instacart Leverages Time Into Profits

Time is our most precious asset. Each day, we get just so much. Twenty-four hours, 1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. If we don’t use it, we lose it. We try to make the most of it. We can do lots of things with it and increasingly do many things at the same time. When we are born, we are endowed with a lot of time, perhaps up to 120 years — more than a million days — though few of us will make it past 100.

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PYMNTS

What Lighting a Fire Tells Us About Igniting Threads and the Billionaires’ New City

It never hurts to brush up on basic skills, like how to make a roaring campfire in the woods before taking that next backpacking trip. How you make one also provides some timely reminders for Silicon Valley heavyweights who may be off on their next platform startup adventure.

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PYMNTS

To Reap Digital Gold Look for Kludge, Hope for Inspiration

If you want to come up with the next big thing for digital transformation, you shouldn’t wait around for inspiration.

Maybe the apple falling from the tree really did inspire Isaac Newton to develop his theory of gravity. In more recent times, it is harder to know whether eureka moments are more in the minds of the publicist than the founders. That’s what happened with the story that Pierre Omidyar started eBay because he wanted to help his wife collect Pez candy dispensers.

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PYMNTS

How Airbnb and 18th-Century Newspapers Found Profits from Frictions

New York City recently passed regulations that all but gave them the boot. Meanwhile, guests are griping — such as when they find, after a long trip, that the place they rented doesn’t exist or they get a surprise cleaning bill after they’ve done double-duty as housekeepers. Hosts, many of whom are making a living from renting and not just sharing the spare coach, are looking to make more money from their properties.

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PYMNTS

How Netflix Shows the Importance of Getting Innovation’s Timing Right

A bit more than 25 years ago, on March 10, 1998, Netflix shipped its first DVD, “Beetlejuice,” about two ghosts played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis. Last Friday, more than 5.2 billion DVDs later, it shipped the last one. Netflix is all in on its pioneering streaming subscription service, which it launched in 2007 at the start of its second decade in business.

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PYMNTS

The Demographic Debacle Meets the AI Miracle

The world is now witnessing one of the most momentous and consequential changes in centuries. It puts the social importance of artificial intelligence (AI) revolution in a different light.

It can take forever to get a doctor’s appointment with a specialist. China is no longer the most populous country, its population is falling, and that decline will continue. Restaurants are investing in robots because it is so tough to get help.

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PYMNTS

A Tale of Two GPTs

Except perhaps for those who have been completely off the grid for the last year, pretty much everyone has heard about ChatGPT. 

That’s the AI application that has convinced the world — including the long-overpromising and underdelivering artificial intelligence profession — that AI really is what it has been cracked up to be.

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OXFORD BUSINESS LAW BLOG

Don’t Let Crypto Hype Deter Tough Stablecoins Regs

Despite all the hype, cryptocurrencies are a small part of the financial system. At the peak value in October 2021 the market cap of crypto was about $2.7 trillion. The total value of physical money (M0) was about $40 trillion that year and the broader money supply (M3) was about $90 trillion. And crypto is largely confined…

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PYMNTS

A Pragmatic Guide to the Future of Crypto

This paper provides a pragmatic assessment of the future of crypto. As used here, crypto refers to public blockchains that rely on a cryptocurrency and the applications that use these blockchains to provide services to end users. Ether is an example of a public blockchain; it uses the ether cryptocurrency, and it supports applications such as Aave for lending and borrowing.

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OXFORD BUSINESS LAW BLOG

Regulation Is Coming for the Digital Transformation

Over the coming months, years, and decades the digital transformation will raise questions as to whether we need new laws and regulations, should modify existing ones, or do nothing at all. Much of the work to be done will be more nuanced, and diverse, than the current drive to regulate Big Tech. As I explain in my recent article ‘Tech Reg: Rules for…

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JOURNAL OF ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT

Planning for Catastrophes

It is hard to plan for catastrophes. They come in many varieties. Today we are focused on a global pandemic. Perhaps next, an asteroid will whack the planet. Electric power grids could go down. The digital payment networks might fail or maybe the global Internet. Nuclear disaster could hit. Global warming could cut off food supplies. Or a different pandemic might arise. Even for a given risk it is hard to know how it will play out and therefore how we…

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

The Businesses That Platforms Are Actually Disrupting

Platforms are all the rage these days. Powered by online technologies, they are sweeping across the economic landscape, striking down companies large and small. Uber’s global assault on the taxi industry is well known. Many platforms, some household names and others laboring in obscurity, are doing the same in other sectors.

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

The Best Retailers Combine Bricks and Clicks

Retail profits are plummeting. Stores are closing. Malls are emptying. The depressing stories just keep coming. Reading the Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Target earnings announcements is about as uplifting as a tour of an intensive care unit. The Internet is apparently taking down yet another industry. Brick and mortar stores seem to be…

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FORBES

Five Questions on Matchmaking

Fundamentally, the new economics of multisided platforms helps us understand that the darlings of the 21st century aren’t using a new business model, but are using powerful new technologies to make an old business model work much better and add value in new settings. This, in turn, lets us see that the fundamentals of these new businesses are similar to those of old, familiar ones — from how they price, to how they solve the chicken and egg problem of…

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

What Platforms Do Differently than Traditional Businesses

One of the oldest business models in the world is using new technology to trample traditional businesses, drive innovation, and create new and immense sources of value. Matchmakers, the subject of our new book, make it easy for two or more groups of customers, like drivers and riders in the case of Uber, to get together and do business. They…

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

Why Winner-Takes-All Thinking Doesn’t Apply to the Platform Economy

Yahoo’s core business is worth next to nothing, and buyers are struggling to see if there’s any there there. Twitter’s market cap just plummeted after a bad earnings report. Given that news, it seems that businesses that have…

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

Some of the Most Successful Platforms Are Ones You’ve Never Heard Of

When most of us think of multisided platforms, the ones that come to mind are those, like Apple and Facebook, that make heaps of money. Or unicorns like Uber that, if cap tables mean anything, someday will. Of course, anyone…

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PYMNTS

Bitcoin’s Rollercoaster Ride to Nowhere

The Bitcoin exchange rate gets a lot of attention. Look at all the stories today over the fact that the exchange rate dipped below $300 on October 5, 2014 for the first time in 11 months, reaching $288.82 and down $869.51 from its all time high of $1158.33 on December 4, 2013. Most people have missed the really big story. Despite all the…

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PYMNTS

Digital Currency Deep Dive: Is Bitcoin Cheaper and More Efficient than Traditional Payments?

Remember the day when a coin was just a bothersome piece of metal that you were happy to toss in the tip jar to…

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PYMNTS

The Great Bitcoin Debate In Six Points

Last Friday PYMNTS ran a short article by me that made the pretty simple and accurate point that Overstock.com receives dollars when people use their Coinbase wallet to send bitcoins. Little did I know the firestorm I would start. Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, was not happy with me…

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WALL STREET JOURNAL

Bitcoin Isn’t Ready for Prime Time

What better evidence of the frothiness of technology markets could one want than Andrew Kessler’s “The Weekend Interview with Brian Armstrong : Angling to Be the MasterCard of Bitcoin” (May 17). Mr. Armstrong is the founder of Bitcoin processor Coinbase. Tens of millions are poring into Bitcoin startups and, like most bubbles, investors dismiss all the bad news. For example: Bitcoin…

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PYMNTS

Overstock CEO’s Angry Response on Taking Bitcoin

It looks like I poked the hornets’ nest and awakened the slumbering bear at the same time with my article last Friday about Overstock not really taking bitcoin. The hysterical reaction is puzzling since the point of my article is simple and no one, including Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s CEO, seems to disagree with it (see his rather angry…

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PYMNTS

Guess What Folks, Overstock.com Does Not Take Bitcoin

Yes, we know what you’ve heard, but nope, Overstock doesn’t take bitcoin as payment and never actually handles bitcoins at all. And, it’s not just them. Merchants that accept bitcoin wallets don’t either. Confused? You should be. Luckily, economist David Evans isn’t and after reading this article, we promise you won’t be either…

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PYMNTS

Digital Currency Deep Dive: Hey Who’s In Charge Around Here?

Remember the day when a coin was just a bothersome piece of metal that you were happy to toss in the tip jar to benefit the underpaid baristas at your local coffee shop? Well no more. Now a coin might be worth more than many people make in a week. Over the next few weeks Economist David Evans will be taking a deeper look at…

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PYMNTS

It’s the (Bitcoin) Protocol, Stupid

“Bitcoin as a currency is so last year” is the sentiment in Silicon Valley these days. Serious enthusiasts of bitcoin and its digital currency brethren insist that the thing that will change the world is “the protocol” – the block-chain and the rules for verifying and recording transactions. What’s behind this pivot away from currency to protocol? And is the public ledger, which requires an army to move the…

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PYMNTS

Digital Currency Deep Dive: So What Makes Bitcoin So Special?

Remember the day when a coin was just a bothersome piece of metal that you were happy to toss in the tip jar to benefit the underpaid baristas at your local coffee shop? Well, the world has changed and so have coins. Economist David Evans takes a deeper look at bitcoin AND OTHER…

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