Since the debut of Bitcoin, crypto systems have further complicated the relationship between public and private projects. Particularly since around 2018, venture capitalists have begun devoting money to companies that build on Bitcoin or Ethereum. But because of the nature of blockchain networks, the benefits of such investments haven’t accrued entirely to the companies being funded. Crypto as a whole has begun to generate significant “public funding,” of a sort, for an entire ecosystem of developers, researchers, even philosophers and journalists (ahem).

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