Green Zen

Green Challenge
  • In the East, Zen is associated with meditation; in the West, it invokes imagery of calmness and tranquility.
  • Another meaning of Zen is virtuous direct action and Elon is going Zen on carbon.
  • There two main ways to address CO2 buildup in the atmosphere: Reduce CO2 emissions or increase CO2 sequestrations.
  • While emission reduction gets a lot of attention (EV, cycling, carbon tax etc), it is slow and laborious (but necessary nonetheless).
  • Musk is instead pushing for massive, breakthrough sequestrations via an Xprize challenge. The bounties total $100 million (the biggest challenge prizes in the world), apply here (faq).

CBDC Challenge
  • Countries can develop a their own CBDC, which would be technically challenging, or they can build upon or adopt a third party digital currency.
  • For example, after flirting with BTC, El Salvador is now mulling its own Tether-like CBDC. Makes sense, El Sal can't print USD, but if its CBDC is like Tether, it can...
  • On a similar note, SG - working with IMF, World Bank, UN, Mastercard, HyperLedger etc - is calling for proposals for a CBDC.
  • Candidates will have to reconcile opposing considerations such as centralisation versus privacy. Sounds irreconcilable? This can be solved by having banks keep accounts (rather than the central bank). The feds don't have access to transaction data (unless by regulation or court order), no different from current arrangements.
  • Bounties are up to $180,000, apply here (closing July 23rd, 2021).