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What Happens When You’re the Investment

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What Happens When You’re the Investment

Social capital is becoming economic capital

The Atlantic,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The monetization of social capital may be the latest wrinkle in decentralized finance.

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary
  • Hot Topic


Do you have anything for sale? Consider yourself. The ascent of democratized finance, emerging from developments in decentralized finance, is shaping a new ecosystem in which you’re the product. Financial writer Rex Woodbury explores “self-tokenization” in this intriguing look at how individuals are becoming the masters of their financial destinies by removing intermediaries and controlling their economic narratives. But in a world where everyone is an investor, everyone can be an investment, Woodbury astutely notes, running the risk of human relationships becoming purely transactional.


The old ways of finance are prone to gaping inequities.

For a long time, wealth has accrued to the few at the expense of the many. For example, only half of Americans invest in equities, and exposure to that market is a function of earned income: More than 90% of families in the top 10% of income earners are equity investors, versus just 15% of households in the bottom quintile. Financialization has benefited those who can afford to invest in securities, art and collectibles.

The Great Recession and the coronavirus pandemic impelled younger generations to rethink traditional mind-sets about work and investing. Many are eschewing the conventional option ...

About the Author

Rex Woodbury is an investor with Index Ventures, and he writes the Digital Native newsletter.

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