The Blockchain Attention Economy

This document is a text supplement to my podcast video overview (Soundcloud link). I hope this can be a community resource for anyone working on the Attention Economy — if you’d like to contribute, please comment on the google doc here.


- Rhys

Topics to Explore

  1. World After Capital
  2. Attention Economy as “Time Superset”
  3. Inputs (Consumption) and Outputs (Curation/Creation)
  4. Incentivizing New Language: Esperanto, Constructed Language, Universal Language of Visual Thought, Neuralink, and AI Communication.
  5. Curation (no time element) vs. Scaffold (flow through time)
  6. Curation Markets for Audio/Time
  7. Incentivizing “Maximum Difference” Empathy (1, 2)

Projects to Explore on Later Podcasts

  2. Steemit
  3. Brave and Basic Attention Token
  4. (and Curation Markets)
  5. Synereo
  6. Yours
  7. AdChain


  1. Decentralized News Network
  2. Wikitribune
  3. TimeWellSpent
  4. Civil

Future of Work:

  1. Crowdraising
  2. Colony
  3. EthLance/District0x


Other Resources:


By Epicenter:

By State Change (ConsenSys)

Steemit’s Curation Markets



Simon de la Rouviere’s Curation Markets




Decentralized News Network


System-Level Views:

Other Reading on the Transition from Scarce Capital to Scarce Attention

More Reading From Simon’s Google Doc:

  • Nick Szabo’s Shelling Out paints a great picture on the value of collectibles in reducing social transaction costs.
  • Robin Dunbar’s work on the social brain hypothesis, explains how after certain group sizes, we rely on other cues to coordinate, since we lose the ability accurately map strong social relationships due to the size of our prefrontal cortex.
  • Stigmergy—Research on Stigmergy details how individually localised actions can lead to complex, large enterprises. “The concept of stigmergy therefore provides an intuitive and easy-to-grasp theory for helping understand how disparate, distributed, ad hoc contributions could lead to the emergence of the largest collaborative enterprises the world has seen.” What’s interesting about stigmergy is that it splits the communication tools into signals (real-time: eg an upvote) and cues (traces left, eg: pinned topics). This works really well with blockchain-based signalling because you both have access to real-time truth as well as historical truth (signals left intact forever, to be re-interpreted). The details will explained soon. (1, 2)
  • Brian Butler has an excellent resource-based model on online social structures (that was a big inspiration for this work). It explains how the design of an online communication medium deals with the marginal return of adding more members.
  • It lead to some deeper thinking (article) around the usefulness of eustress in aiding social coordination. Eg, adding a barrier to entry (eg, proof of work of a collectible), results in reducing social transaction costs. The concept of eustress is found in other disciplines as well (such as biological hormesis: introducing toxins into a system to make it stronger).
  • Maciej Olpinski describes a Google for the economic web
  • Finally, Meher Roy’s, recent excellent work on incorporating signalling theory into upcoming, blockchain-based attention networks:

Thanks to Colin Wielga, Harry Lindmark, John Lindmark, Veronica Stamats, Jacob Zax, Katie Powell, Jonathan Isaac, Ramsay Devereux, Kenji Williams, David Long, and Jon Frechin for supporting me on Patreon!

About Me: My name is Rhys Lindmark and I’m creating a humanist blockchain future by writing, speaking, and advising at the intersection of Effective Altruism, UBI, the Attention Economy, and Blockchain. In other words, I work with blockchain and social good tech companies. I’m part of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition, live in Denver, CO and I’m an alumnus of Techstars Boulder 2015. Please reach out if you’d like to connect or have feedback! I’m curious about what you’re working on. You can support me on Patreon, follow me on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: I own less than $100 of any given cryptocurrency, so my monetary incentive is not directly aligned with Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.