Ethereum is my go-to crypto asset on the basis that it’s programmable money; just that it hasn’t found its iPhone moment. My thesis is that Gen AI and Ethereum provide that missing economic model for creators in the age of Gen AI.

Ethereum is the “silver” of the cryptocurrency world behind Bitcoin, which firmly anchors itself to Digital Gold and primarily as a store of value. While I have both cryptocurrencies in my portfolio, Ethereum is between the both of them, the stronger conviction investment for me. Here’s why.

“Blockchains are not databases; they’re full-fledged computers.” - Chris Dixon, Read Write Own

Forget the old notion of blockchains as static ledgers. Ethereum has shattered this perception by proving itself as a dynamic, programmable computer. This is a virtual computing platform that has ownership as a core design principle; “logging-in” doesn’t mean the same thing in Web3 as it does in Web2. This distinction is crucial; Ethereum provides a foundation for innovations that could reshape the internet as we know it.

The concept of “programmable money” is where I see the real game-changer. Ethereum allows for creating smart contracts, which are essentially programs that execute financial transactions under certain conditions. However, Ethereum hasn’t yet found its “iPhone moment” — that breakthrough application that makes its value obvious to everyone. We’ve seen sparks of interest with NFTs and DeFi, but these haven’t quite bridged the gap to mainstream adoption.

“Most current AI systems have no economic model for creators.” - Chris Dixon, Read Write Own

The intersection of generative AI and Ethereum presents a compelling narrative. With Ethereum, there’s potential to create a new economic model for AI, where creators are compensated through smart contracts, and AI-generated content and services are traded on a decentralized marketplace. This could pave the way for fairer, more transparent economic systems for digital content and services. Moreover, as AI continues to evolve, integrating with Ethereum could ensure that the creators and developers behind AI innovations are directly rewarded for their contributions, fostering a more sustainable ecosystem for digital innovation.

I am cautiously optimistic, but the success of Ethereum feels like a matter of “when” rather than “if.” I’m betting it’s Gen AI-related.