Ampleforth (previously known as Fragments), a decentralized store of value protocol, announced today that historian, author, and financial expert Niall Ferguson will be joining its advisory board.
Niall Ferguson is the author of fifteen books and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford, as well as the Center of European Studies at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
The idea of reinventing money excites me,” said Niall Ferguson. “Bitcoin, currently, is incapable of being ‘money’ that can be a means of payment. But at the same time, I am doubtful of fiat-pegged stablecoins. As someone who is deeply interested in financial innovation, I’m attracted by Ampleforth’s mission to reinvent money in a way that protects individual freedom and to create a payments system that treats everyone equally.
Ampleforth is a digital asset protocol that moves volatility from unit price to unit count and achieves price stability by algorithmically expanding and contracting supply among holders based on demand.
Ferguson is the author of the best-selling book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, which was also a multi-part documentary series for U.K.’s Channel 4 and PBS. His most recent book is The Square and Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook.
Ferguson has noted that financial systems that are highly regulated are not always sounder and safer. In fact, new regulations may have unintended and unforeseen consequences once markets adapt. Manny Rincon-Cruz, Ferguson’s Hoover colleague and occasional co-author on questions of network science and tech policy, believes hedging these systemic risks is the first use case for digital assets. He said:
In the longer term, a market correction is the trial by fire that will expose whether digital assets can remain uncorrelated from other asset classes, and whether they deserve a bigger role in portfolio construction.
Evan Kuo, CEO of Ampleforth, commented:
Niall’s comprehensive knowledge of the history of economics and money provides a much-needed context for the space, as the best way to design the money of the future is to begin by acknowledging the many experiments that have been conducted before us.
As digital asset markets converge with traditional financial institutions, it is unclear that stablecoins will play too important a role–as regulation in the crypto space develops, their use case will likely shrink. Thus, finding a plausible use case requires an ability to systematically think about the broader socio-economic and political context of blockchain technology. The Ampleforth team consistently engages with this context, which is why I find their continuous experimentation compelling.
The company has recently completed a second security audit. The first audit was completed by Chinese security firm SlowMist over the course of 1 week and reported no vulnerabilities.