Preston Byrne, a CoinDesk columnist, is a partner in Anderson Kill’s Technology, Media and Distributed Systems Group. He advises software, internet and fintech companies. His biweekly column, “Not Legal Advice,” is a roundup of pertinent legal topics in the crypto space. It is most definitely not legal advice.
Everyone has a bad take about what the world is going to look like after COVID-19. “Coronavirus is making the future happen faster,” or “It’s not changing the future, it’s accelerating it!” is one common refrain.
What the hell does that even mean? In most cases, it means the writer-flack usually points to some technology that already exists but nobody uses because current implementations mostly suck (videoconferencing, 3D printing, or VR) and are only regarded as mainstream in dissident tech applications, e.g. firearms manufacturing.
“Will the Coronavirus kill globalization?” is another seemingly insightful-yet-not-really observation. This literally asked by Foreign Policy magazine – not when Donald Trump was elected, or when Salvini or Orban or Boris Johnson were elected, or when the U.S. shut its borders to China, or even when the U.S. shut its doors to Europe, but rather this week, under circumstances where global trade has ground to a halt. Any country capable of doing so has sealed its borders, and both Democrats and Republicans are openly discuss re-on-shoring supply lines.
Journalism is a lagging indicator. With the exception perhaps of the feeds belonging to Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis), Ben Hunt (@epsilontheory), and Jon Stokes (@jonst0kes), Twitter is not much better. Internet macro takes on COVID that appear, at first brush, to be insightful and quantitative are usually also easily debunked. On Twitter, I have seen COVID described as an impossibly unlikely event, a seven-sigma or even 12-sigma occurrence.
Translating from math-ese into…