Refactor Camp: Cryptoeconomics

Refactor Camp: Cryptoeconomics

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May 12, 2018 to May 13, 2018 from Saturday, 09:00 AM to Sunday, 05:00 PM (CDT)
GasPedal Ranch 10300 Springdale Rd. TX

About Refactor Camp: Cryptoeconomics

What: A 2-day conference featuring talks, workshops, and breakout sessions focused on blockchain technology, the sociology of blockchains, and any other weird nonsense we can come up with.

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13th

Where:Austin, TX (Specifically The GasPedal Ranch, a beautiful venue just 15 minutes outside of downtown with ample meeting space and outdoor space.)

Theme: Cryptoeconomics and Blockchain Weirding

Topics we will cover include:

  • Blockchain as Metaphor - Take some feature of a mature blockchain ecosystem and map it into another domain (e.g. Decentralization in urban infrastructure or.)
  • Sociology of Blockchain Geopolitical implications of blockchain
  • Magic, Ritual & Blockchain
  • Blockchain as an International / Multicultural Phenomenon
  • Crypto Econophysics
  • Alternative views/histories of Blockchain and Cypherpunks
  • (More Speculative) Technology - what are some interesting technologies that are 5+ years out which are potentially important, but very few people are thinking about?
What-this-is-not: A place to “get up to speed” about Bitcoin or get Blockchain 101 exposure. While we anticipate content that’s appropriate for all stages of one’s crypto-journey, this isn’t a place for investment advice, “how to get started,” or how to launch an ICO.

Why: We want to “stretch the Overton window” a bit in terms of thinking about the implications and elements of blockchain technology. We want to facilitate more speculative thinking that involves both sides of the brain.

How much: $75

Our hope with this event is to “stretch the Overton window” a bit in terms of thinking about the implications and elements of blockchain technology and, in the Ribbonfarm tradition, facilitate some more speculative thinking and discussions than what happens at other cryptocurrency events.This is not a place to “get up to speed” about Bitcoin or get Blockchain 101 exposure. While we anticipate content that’s appropriate for all stages of one’s crypto-journey, this isn’t a place for investment advice, “how to get started,” or how to launch an ICO.


Friday (May 11)

  • 7pm – Informal hang out

Saturday (May 12)

  • 8:30 Doors and registration open and coffee
  • 9:30 Kick-off and Welcome Remarks
  • 10:00 Opening Keynote Talk
  • 11:15 Breakout Session 1 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 2:00 Breakout Session 2 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 3:15 Breakout Session 3 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 5:00 Group Activities – The venue we’re at has a basketball court; a pickleball court; other outdoor games or we may coordinate a trip to Austin’s famous Barton Springs

Sunday (May 13)

  • 8:30 Doors open and coffee
  • 9:30 kick-off and welcome
  • 10:00 Breakout Session 4 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 11:15 Breakout Session 5 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 2:00 Breakout Session 6 (Technical tutorials, workshops, and talks)
  • 3:15 Closing Keynote Talk
  • 4:30pm Closing Remarks
  • 5:00pm – Post Refactor Camp Social
As this is more a camp than a conference, we expect the conversation with fellow attendees prompted by the speakers will be as valuable as the talks themselves so we’ve left a lot space between to let the “hallway track” have plenty of time.

Note: If you aren’t able to attend we are working to make it possible to livestream and record most of the talks.



Vinay Gupta

Bio: Vinay is a co-founder of the Ethereum project and CEO of Mattereum.

Venkatesh Rao

Bio: Venkat is a Seattle-based independent management consultant, writer and proprietor of He is the author of The Gervais Principle, Breaking Smart and Tempo.

Abstract: Our economic system is based on the future prospects of societies, captured in the idea of sovereign bonds. What if we could reimagine economics based on the past? Ideas like blood debts have been part of economic relationships in the past. Could we model an entire socioeconomic history of vendettas, transgressions, reparations and such on a blockchain, and use it as the basis of the financial instruments needed in an economy? In this talk, I will explore a bit of design fiction in the form of a speculative blockchain concept called “blood coin” that attempts to explore this concept

Kyle Samani
“The relationship between medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account”

Bio: Kyle is the co-founder and managing partner of Multicoin Capital, a hedge fund focusing on blockchain technology.

Abstract: There are three commonly acknowledged purposes of money: medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account. How do these purposes relate to each other? Kyle will look at how these different purposes relate to each other and the emergence of new forms of crypto-money

Sonya Mann

Bio: Sonya Mann is a reporter with Inc. covering the business side of technology, with a focus on enterprise companies, the sharing economy, and marketplaces that empower informal entrepreneurship.

Matilda Wysocki
Bio: Matilda studies how different aspects of the world are connected, and how they may be reconnected for the better. They feel most fulfilled as a community organizer, having organized around homeless rights, access to education, climate justice, and disability rights, but have a creative practice incorporating programming, art, and design into their pursuit of the above goal.

Abstract:  Blockchains allow for the possibility of distributed communal control over the shared narratives that mobilize communities, and the divergent ones that are pushed to the margins only to redefine social movements (e.g trans women and women of color being ignored in 2nd wave feminism, only to become integral to 3rd wave feminism).

This talk will discuss how we can embrace a floodgate of previously unheard voices as our power structures decentralize more and more, how we can feel supported even as our traditional communal support structures (families, cities, nations) become more nebulous, and how the alienation that comes with unsatisfactory networks (e.g unknown Twitter followers) can make way for a deep sense of Beloved Community.

Brett Scott
“Visions of a Techno-Leviathan: The Battle of Blockchain Ideologies”

Bio: Brett Scott is an economic explorer and financial hacker traversing the intersections between money systems, finance, digital technology and cities. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (2013), and collaborates with a wide range on groups on diverse topics, including banking systems, financial activism, digital finance, blockchain technology, hacker culture, technology politics and the dynamics of cashless society. He tweets as @suitpossum.

Abstract: Since its inception in 2008, blockchain technology has lived a double-life. On the one hand it exists a practical set of protocols designed to achieve certain practical ends. On the other hand it is space for people to pin their hopes, desires, dreams and political projects. The technology has become host to an array of ideological visions for how society should be arranged, but whether the actual technology enables these visions is a separate question. In this talk, Brett Scott will explore the various ideological strains, from the dominant strands of conservative libertarianism, Austrian economics and cyber-utopianism, to the neo-fascist elements that have appeared, charting the connection between commodity theories of money and far-right thought. Finally he’ll look at the attempts to create left wing versions of blockchain technology, or ideological hybrids.

Harry Potash
“The Mutable Mythology of Money”

Bio: Harry is a wide ranging enthusiast with experience in activism, software development, cryptography, religion, and ritual magic. He previously worked as a web developer for, and is currently enrolled in a seminary program to become an interfaith chaplain.  Harry has been engaged in the cryptocurrency community since 2012, and wrote his first dapp in march 2016.

Abstract: When people think of money, they tend to think of it’s physical representation, a paper bill or coin, but money is actually a shared myth. Often the myth that constitutes a type of money or wealth is different for the naive user and the sophisticate. These myths also change over time with fluctuations in public confidence, relative power,  and policy changes. We will explore some of the common myths that make up a few currencies, and how they have changed through time.

Workshop: Try out a dApp for the first time. Let’s get Metamask installed, and buy a crypto-kitty.

Anders Aamodt
“The future of DAOs, magic, and the glass bead game”

Abstract: Destacking is a (long-term or ultimately) foolproof method for decapitalization and generating negentropy. It is almost the most basic white magic and it is identical with dharma. I will discuss destacking it in relation to blockchain and Holochain.

Toby Shorin 
“A New Era of Trust”

Bio: Toby Shorin is a product builder and writer interested in systems of identity, agency, and value. He writes about and consults on the intersection of these topics—brands, software, aesthetics, culture, and community. Toby is currently located in New York. His blog is

Abstract: Historically, aesthetic was a reliable indicator of quality, social allegiance, and trustability. Even after global supply chains enabled the wide distribution of high-quality goods, brands relied largely on visual signals to communicate trustworthiness to consumers. But in a world of ethically relative and utterly remixable aesthetics, a world increasingly composed of programmatically-generated images created at zero marginal cost, what can be trusted?

We live in a time where brands are expected to not just reflect our values but act on them. Consumer trust can no longer be based on visual signals of authenticity, only on proof of work. This talk will explore the history of visual trust signals and the relationship between brands and identity, and outline the impact of blockchain technology and smart contracts on brand marketing and value creation.

Conner Chevaillier 
“AI, Etymology, Blockchain, and the History of Strange Government Technology/Programs”

Bio: Data Designer-Philosopher- General Systems Researcher and Theorist. Conner’s areas of interest include the History of Emergence, Technological Evolution, Etymology, Blockchain, Authority Analysis, and the Occult

Abstract: The hidden history and emergence of Blockchain and Authorities role in the emergence of Ledger and Secure Systems

This lecture is a History on the advent of Ledger services and its uses for military communication, escrow from the 1800’s to 2018’s. Furthermore, performing a critical analysis on the six generations of encryption in the context and use in systems of Authority and hierarchies. These generations being: mechanical, electromechanical, vacuum tubes, integrated circuits, electronic key distribution, and network/blockchain centric systems. Lastly, encryptions by types of application: Voice and Trunk encryption, Fleet broadcast, Strategic  forces, Internet, Public systems and Escrow.

Jeremy Welch
“Capital as an abstracted reputation system”

Bio: Jeremy is the cofounder of Casa, a personal key management system for crypto Hodler. Previously Jeremy has founded or worked with three different startups and Google.

Abstract: There’s lots of talk around the blockchain ecosystem of using blockchains to create a decentralized reputation system, but does capital already serve some roles as a reputation system? Referencing and building on the work of Deleuze and Guttieri, Jeremy will investigate the roles of capital as an abstracted reputation system.

Arjun Balaji
“Optional Decentralization”

Bio: Arjun is an investor and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Double Financial, the friendliest retail brokerage for cryptoassets and is a partner at Shomei Capital, where he invests in companies building the infrastructure needed to support crypto as a $5T asset class.

Abstract: Most future protocols, billed as “decentralized X” (e.g. money, storage, computation, DNS, etc.) will bill decentralization as a core tenet when almost all users don’t care. Nearly all of the early internet protocols, e.g. SMTP are accessed in a virtually centralized way. Give this, what will the future of decentralization look like when it comes to regulatory and scalability concerns?

Justin Mares 
“Meta Problems and the Crypto Stack”

Bio: Justin is the founder of Kettle and Fire and author of Traction.

Abstract: Human capital is a scarce resource with highly illegible ways to drive returns. Both value investing and value capture are difficult, but the payoff can be tremendous. Crypto creates a new layer of abstraction that allows for not just the abstraction of code, but programmable value and the abstraction of value. This programmable value allows for the creation of markets in previously illegible sectors of the economy.

Joe Kelly 
“Cryptoeconophysics: New analogies for systems of belief”

Bio: Joe is the founder of Unchained Capital which offers Bitcoin collateralized loans. Previously, Joe founded and sold Infochimps, a CSC Big Data startup.

Abstract: By the arrival of the 20th century, no reputed scientist believed powered flight was possible until it was demonstrated by the Wright brothers and other pioneers.  Likewise, no one believed that an uncontrolled, digital money system was possible until Bitcoin.

After the modern airfoil was invented, the aerospace industry advanced through a combination of practical results and new theories about fluid flows, a fundamentally chaotic and difficult area of nature to model.  Human social systems are similarly chaotic and difficult to model, but blockchain ecosystems offer a new technology that inspires us to develop better theories.

Joe combines ideas from the history of technology, microeconomics, and the physics of fluid flows to develop rich visual metaphors for models of social organization made possible by blockchains.

Taylor Pearson 
“The Blockchain Individual”

Bio: Taylor is an independent consultant and writer. He is the author of The End of Jobs.

Abstract: The Organization Man, a term coined by William Whyte in his 1956 book of the same name, became the canonical image of the 20th century workforce.

Over the next two decades, blockchains will bring transaction costs down replacing existing firms with markets and enabling as-yet-unconceived-of business models. As organizations fracture, we’ll see the emergence of a new archetype: The Blockchain Individual.

Taylor will discuss the sociological implications of this shift and the emergence of The Blockchain Individual.

Note: If you are interested in speaking, we still have spots available. In particular, we’d like to bring in more female speakers to contibute needed perspective. Please email one of the organizers to let us know if you (or someone you know) is interested. Our emails are Darren (darren at unchained-capital dot com) Taylor (taylor at taylor pearson dot me) or Joe (Joe at unchained-capital dot com).

See you at

GasPedal Ranch

GasPedal Ranch 10300 Springdale Rd. Austin TX USA 78754

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About the Organizer

Refactor Camp

This year's Refactor Camp: Cryptoeconomics is organized by Taylor Pearson, Joseph Kelly, and Darren Kong. It is the latest of the almost-annual Refactor Camp conferences created by Venkatesh Rao and sponsored by the blog Ribbonfarm ( Organizational support provided by Unchained Capital (

Contact the Organizer