▲ Management Series
By: Jan Lamser, Co-founder & Board Member, Adel
Gabriel Dusil, Co-founder & Board Member, Adel
Challenges in Contemporary Economics
In most of the developed world, people enjoy improved health, relatively stable economics, unrestricted access to information, and a dynamic increase in personal freedom. However, as the force of globalization has increased over the past decades, we have paradoxically created a gap between individuals and communities, as well as between personal and social identities.
This is particularly the case where money is an underlying driver or motivational factor. The control of monetary policy and national budgeting, as well as project-specific investment allocation and respective yields, are confined to licensed experts who are largely regulated and centralized. These professionals are attuned to the prevailing globalization paradigm. Some of these authorities, by attempting to portray stability and growth, generate gigantic budget deficits which have the paradoxical effect of creating market volatility and instability in the longer term. By trying to mask the issues, they ignore real economic problems and create new instability. The Greek public debt resolution[i] and Jean-Claude Juncker’s (European Commission President) plans of exorbitant public spending[ii] are just two examples. The regulatory framework for banking, investments, and the economy as a whole is nominally aiming at maintaining stability. However, such protection can be seen as little more than a precursor to control, exclusion, and the formation of a technocracy[iii]. As a result, financial resources are deployed through the complex hierarchical structures of stock exchanges, banks, and fund management. This system is caught in a prevailing technocratic paradigm with very little opportunity for individuals to influence out-of-the-box thinking and FinTech proposals. As a result of this rigid structure, many entrepreneurial initiatives have limited access to institutionalized investment funding. Spontaneity and creativity is impeded by a heavily formalized process, established by sizeable institutions that have evolved over the last couple of centuries. Because of this, innovation is impeded as entrepreneurs are required to follow an arduous, compliance-based paradigm.
There is currently a lack of flexible investment options that allow a new project to pool enough resources to gain critical financial support and, at the same time, establish constructive influence and involvement over how they are deployed. A good idea, or successful project outside the mainstream, may not be able to access the funding opportunities that a more traditional, less disruptive project will have access to. Furthermore, projects that threaten monopolies in established markets run the risk of being trampled by large companies with seemingly endless legal resources or lobbying influences. This has resulted in many innovative or disruptive ideas being disqualified from investment consideration. The oil industry’s efforts to stifle electric car innovation throughout the second half of the twentieth century is just one example[iv]. Another is the systematic destruction of urban rail systems in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. As a consequence, the ability to borrow or invest is compromised or restricted for some projects. The adage “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”[v] rings true in regards to this particular form of exclusion. The choice, therefore, is not between the innovator or investor, but between risk management policies and/or political affiliations.
There are a number of attempts to circumvent these obstacles, such as crowdfunding websites like kickstarter.com which launched in 2009, as well as P2P lending schemes[vi]. Nevertheless, systems that can pool resources to finance viable, innovative projects on a larger scale and redeploy these resources gradually have not been created thus far.
Opportunities for a Distributed Ledger
A distributed public ledger using blockchain technology in combination with cryptocurrency fills an opportunity gap in today’s investment environment. Adel provides such a platform and is underpinned by a community-based scheme that combines elements of:
- Venture Capital
- Collective Intelligence
- Participatory Economy
- Co-working Entrepreneurship
- Code of Ethics and Integrity
- Cryptocurrency Technology
Adel will be built on the Nxt platform and will move to Ardor when suitable. This provides a robust infrastructure for this ecosystem. Adel allows stakeholders to pool financial resources using cryptocurrency. This eliminates traditional intermediaries and focuses momentum on projects decided by the community. At the same time, this model allows a majority consensus to co-exist with projects supported by only a minority of the community. With the decision power in the hands of the community, activities and decisions related to business, both analytical and operating, are controlled within the ecosystem. However, external professionals and associations outside of the ecosystem will be solicited to improve performance where necessary.
Distinctive Features of Project Funding
Adel provides a dynamic platform of entrepreneurship, freedom, management, communication and technology. The team has experience and expertise across multiple areas of business, as well as backgrounds and successful track records in various industries. As a community-based ecosystem, Adel will create an open architecture for joint entrepreneurship and challenge contemporary business principles. The unique structure of Adel is as follows:
- Open Economic Interactions ▲ This allows certain roles that have been standard in classic investment vehicles to be eliminated (i.e. fund managers, brokers and auditors). Thanks to the distributed ledger system, many of these roles are no longer necessary as many administrative tasks can be automated through the use of the secure Nxt blockchain system. Administration overhead is thus decreased, leading to a much higher degree of agility and versatility. There is individual and community supervision on resource deployment, while maintaining a high standard of compliance and fiduciary accountability. Individual expertise and responsibility is also solicited for specific contributions without agency intervention.
- Scrutinizing Outdated Assessment Processes[vii] ▲ By facilitating collective deliberations, Adel has the agility to filter social biases, political ideologies, and traditional economic beliefs. These are deeply ingrained preconceptions that could negatively influence the viability of new ideas. In some cases, they severely undercut innovation and the resources available to support them. Resource pooling with Adel is designed to be free of such indoctrinated ideologies. Adel institutionalizes the evaluation and relevance of ideas based on a pool of engaged individuals and their perspectives. This collective accountability allows for the funding of initiatives that may be legitimately rejected by a majority, but agreed upon by a select minority who may choose to maintain a vested interest in the project.
- Cryptocurrency Roots ▲ Rooted in the distributed ledger, as well as blockchain and cryptocurrency communities, Adel does not derive its value from fiat currencies. While not rejecting the concept of fiat value, Adel´s approach is more nuanced and versatile. Adel allows for a larger set of funding possibilities for a given project proposal, including large or smaller group contributions[viii]. Adel opens up opportunities for new ideas and projects and potentially enhances their chances of success through intense interaction and community wisdom, all while securing communal or sub-communal resources and support.
- Collective Intelligence ▲ The formula that Adel subscribes to is People, Process, and Technology. This contrasts with prevailing beliefs that technology alone leads to success. It is human nature to be suspicious of individual motivations and personal agendas, but project resources require human engagement, both in selling the business case and in the launch and operational functions of the project. At Adel, the experience and involvement of individuals is subject to communal approval and will be monitored by the Project Review Committee.
- Expert Knowledge ▲ Cognitive science has shown that combined schemes which engage both experts and collective groups are the most effective. This has proven to be superior to alternatives that give full authority to an expert or leader or the community alone[ix]. Adel combines effective managers, individual experts, and a participative community. In an entrepreneurial context, this provides a balance of analytics, integrity and prudence, all of which contribute to the success of the ecosystem.
- International Community ▲ Adel is a global platform that aggregates disparate parties interested in joint innovation. Participation is set by the Code of Conduct which is entirely non-discriminatory. Its main purpose is to ensure legal and regulatory compliance. This not only protects the Adel brand, but the integrity of the blockchain initiative and its reputation as well.
While Adel is driven by a team with European roots, its ambition is global. Project participation may involve contributing as an analyst, technology expert, fiduciary enforcer, manager, developer, or back-office participant, to name but a few. This community model enables participation from individuals who have local cultural experience and/or industry expertise. Adel enables innovation through resource placement in all phases of project development, encouraging experts, project leaders and controllers to both invest and participate in the community in a role that advances the development of a particular project.
Built for Innovation
Adel is inspired by the social structures that have evolved from a distributed public ledger and related blockchain applications. This community is relatively independent of collective governmental bodies by design. If certain jurisdictions become involved, the community can call on parties with appropriate skills and expertise to act on its behalf when there are none in the community who are capable or willing. Adel will have a constantly open dialog with the community while relying on its wisdom and expertise.
Adel represents a number of unique funding features. While associated with cryptocurrency, venture capital, startup incubation, and a cooperative platform, Adel is, above all, a technology-driven means for experts to collaborate. There are support systems in place to assist with successful project execution while acting as a distributed ecosystem in terms of process, procedure and power.
Adel is a technology incubator for blockchain innovation.
- Adel is a global cryptocurrency community that is self-sustained, and offers its own economic ecosystem with the Adelphoi token. Our community focuses on creating, developing and implementing use cases involving blockchain technology that covers a wide range of digital and physical industries. Projects are chosen by the community and successful ventures are either re-invested in for further growth or issued as rewards to Adel’s stakeholders.
About the Authors
Jan Lamser, Co-founder
Jan served for twenty years as a Senior Executive Officer and Board Member at Československá obchodní banka, a.s. (part of the KBC Group), the #1 commercial banking institution in the Czech Republic. He is one of the best business strategists in the region with a reputation for visionary talent and abilities. Jan is a FinTech entrepreneur and leading spokesperson for blockchain innovation in Central and Eastern Europe. He is also an associate of the Czech FinTech Association (CEFTAS), Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Computer Science, and has authored several articles on distributed open ledger technologies.
Gabriel is a seasoned sales and marketing expert with over twenty years of experience in senior level positions at companies such as Motorola, VeriSign (part of Symantec), and SecureWorks (part of Dell). His strengths lie in international business development and strategic partnerships, as well as the unique ability to translate complex ideas and technologies into language that decision makers can easily understand. Gabriel has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and possesses expert knowledge in cloud computing, IT security, and video streaming technologies (Over the Top Content, OTT). Gabriel also runs his own company, Euro Tech Startups s.r.o., and manages two blogs: https://dusil.com/ and https://gabrieldusil.com/.
[i] “Explaining Greece’s Debt Crisis”, 16th June, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/business/international/greece-debt-crisis-euro.html?_r=0
[ii] “Germany plans €10bn extra public spending”, By Stefan Wagstyl, 6th November, 2014, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a973366a-65dd-11e4-898f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz4JHxgV7MT
[iii] The self-referencing nature and overwhelming power of technology – oriented rationality as predicted in mid-20th century by Horkheimer, Adorno, Heidegger and others – is about to come true in contemporary global finance.
[iv] “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F
[v] Act I, Scene III of William Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet”.
[vi] “30 Peer-to-Peer Lending Experts Reveal Their Top 3 Investing Tips”, by Warren Lee, http://thelendingmag.com/peer-to-peer-lending/
[vii] Paraphrasing Adorno´s key book on contemporary rationality, Adel promotes “negative economic dialectics”. This means that Adel stands against ideologies embedded in contemporary economic global frameworks.
[viii] As opposed to mainstream economic frameworks dwelling on the ideology of economic equilibrium, Adel is inspired by Schumpetrian thinking which underscores the creative power of free innovation. Destructive and outdated business concerns portraying instability as a natural state of the economy are avoided.