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While it is conceivable that PayPal could become a ‘financial API’, capitalizing all of the pieces of a production value chain, PayPal, like eBay, is an artifact of the transition to hyperconnectivity, an arbitrageur exploiting imperfections in hyperconnectivity. Once everyone is directly connected, it is possible to transfer capital between peers, without any mediating exchange service.

Given the capital flow restrictions of central banks, fiat currencies can not be employed in transactions crossing international boundaries. Instead, individuals and organizations will begin to develop their own exchange mechanisms, perhaps based on precious metals (a de facto return to the gold standard), but more likely employing virtual currencies: perhaps kilowatt-hours, abstract ‘labour units’, or other measures of value.

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As capital migrates from friction-filled national and international finance markets into hypereconomic frameworks, institutions dependent upon those frictions will be threatened. Banks will not be able to collect interest. Governments will not be able to tax – customs duties and user fees look to be the only ways governments can generate revenue. Courts will not be able to seize assets. The peculiar arrangement of laws and regulations which keep our economic system stable will grow increasingly meaningless. Governments and courts will try to follow capital flows into hypereconomic zones, only to learn that their mechanisms of control and enforcement are poorly matched to such a fluid environment.

Mark Pesce — Hypereconomics

Hyperconnected education

Thirty-seven percent of children between Kindergarten and Year 2 have their own mobile (of some sort), with one fifth having access to a smartphone. By Year 8, that figure has risen to eighty-five percent, with fully one-third using smartphones.

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The next years are an interregnum, the few heartbeats between the ‘before time’ – when none of us were connected – and a thoroughly hyperconnected afterward. This is the moment when we must make the necessary pedagogical and institutional adjustments to a pervasively connected culture. That survey from last year found that even at Kindergarten level, two-thirds of parents were willing to buy a mobile for their children – if schools integrated the device into their pedagogy. But the survey also pointed to opposition within the schools themselves:

“When we asked administrators about the likelihood of them allowing their students to use their own mobile devices for instructional purposes at school this year, a resounding 65% of principals said “no way!”

Mark Pesce — Hyperconnected education