Epicenter tracks on Soundclound

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  • #323 Silvio Micali & Steven Kokinos: Algorand – In Pursuit of the Blockchain Trilemma
    Epicenter
    01:32:18
    Technology
    2

    The blockchain trilemma is the generally accepted concept that it's not possible to scale public and permissionless blockchains without compromising on security, decentralization, or both. While the industry seems focused on building Layer 2 solutions to scale the transaction capacity of public networks, Algorand believes it has solved the trilemma, offering a network that scales without compromise to security or decentralization. Silvio Micali, Algorand's Founder and Head of Research, as well as the company's CEO, Steven Kokinos, discuss the project's background, recent protocol upgrades, and how Algorand will create a great ecosystem for developers. Topics discussed in this episode: - Silvio’s path from academia to blockchain entrepreneurship - What Algorand addresses that other blockchains don’t - The blockchain trilemma: security, decentralization, scalability - How Algorand mitigates risk present on other blockchains - The TEAL smart contract language and how it's unique - Building primitives: atomics swaps, asset issuance, and a smart contract language called TEAL - Applications and use-cases for Algorand - The Algorand Foundation - What’s next for Algorand Links mentioned in this episode: - Algorand Website: http://bit.ly/2RMrw5d - Whitepaper: http://bit.ly/30DbGxy - Algorand on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2RbWowQ - Algorand on Medium: http://bit.ly/2uiBRxk - Algorand on YouTube: http://bit.ly/37cxORR - Algorand Year in Review (YouTube): http://bit.ly/364Fc0o Sponsors: - Status: A multi-purpose communication tool that combines a peer-to-peer messenger, secure crypto wallet, and web3 browser - https://status.im/ - Cosmos: Compete to win 100,000 ATOM by building and running Cosmos Zones - https://cosmos.network/goz/ - Pepo: Meet the people shaping the crypto movement - https://pepo.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/323

  • #322 Dillon Chen: Edgeware – Coordinating Distributed Communities With On-Chain Governance
    Epicenter
    59:31
    Technology
    30

    Governance within any community has been a work in progress for humanity's history. The blockchain ecosystem continues to develop and offer an alternative to today's centralized powers. With this, distributed projects and technologies will need to enact clear governance to ensure viable competition with the streamlined decision-making processes present in today's institutions. The absence of codified governance in Bitcoin may be one of its most significant traits, signaling to the world its predictability due to its inability to change drastically. New projects like Edgeware, however, hope to encode the rules of governance on-chain and ensure a transparent process for stakeholders wishing to participate. Edgeware is a smart contract platform built on Polkadot's Substrate. Focused on developing community-owned governance tools, Edgeware is a distributed project where participants use the tools themselves to vote, delegate, and fund each other to upgrade the network. While initially developed by Commonwealth Labs, Edgeware at launch will be entirely managed by the community, which holds 90% of the tokens and resulting influence. Topics discussed in this episode: - What attracted Dillon to crypto and why he co-founded Commonwealth Labs - Multi-chain governance - How Edgeware is unique - Building Edgeware on Polkadot’s Substrate - Retrospection from the soft-launch of Edgeware - What a “lockdrop” is, and why Edgeware had one - The issues and controversy around the Edgeware launch and lockdrop - The zero-day fork of Edgeware, Straightedge - The future of Edgeware Links mentioned in this episode: - Edgeware Homepage: http://bit.ly/2Rcxo7d - Commonwealth Homepage: http://bit.ly/2QN0J9s - Relaunch: A Clean Genesis for Edgeware: http://bit.ly/2tYyH1W - Edgeware White Paper: http://bit.ly/35VcTS8 - Edgeware blockchain launch gets hijacked by rival fork - Decrypt: http://bit.ly/2tfBPpR - Edgeware Participation Statistics: http://bit.ly/2NnOe1R - Straightedge: http://bit.ly/2QSTgpv - Hey Straightedge - Conspiratus episode: http://bit.ly/30kVQI0 - Edgeware on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2R8ijUk - Edgeware on Discord: http://bit.ly/2RqdWnV - Edgeware White Paper: http://bit.ly/35VcTS8 Sponsors: - Pepo: Meet the people shaping the crypto movement - https://pepo.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/322

  • #321 Charlie Shrem: The Untold Story of a Bitcoin Pioneer and Renegade
    Epicenter
    01:18:56
    Technology
    47

    Charlie Shrem became fascinated with Bitcoin in 2011 but grew frustrated with the hassle of buying it from the leading exchange at the time, Mt. Gox. To make the process faster and more convenient, Charlie created BitInstant in 2012. BitInstant quickly grew and by 2013 became responsible for processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. This was with the help of Roger Ver and the Winklevoss twins, who were his seed investors, and Erik Voorhees, who led their marketing efforts. The success of BitInstant was short-lived. In a time where Bitcoin's primary applications were price speculation and buying things on the Silk Road, Charlie spent time in prison after a lack of customer due-diligence attracted the attention of the law enforcement. Our conversation with Charlie recounts the Bitcoin industry at its beginning, his time in prison, and what he is doing now that he's able to continue his work as a Bitcoin advocate. Topics discussed in this episode: - Learning of Bitcoin on IRC in 2011 - The Bitcoin community in the early days - Collaborating with competitors to grow the ecosystem - Frustration with Bitcoin infrastructure in 2011 - Why Charlie decided to create BitInstant - Meeting Roger Ver, Erik Voorhees, and the Winklevoss Twins - Charlie’s time in prison and its effect on his personal life - Podcasting and daily life after prison Links mentioned in this episode: - Untold Stories Website: http://bit.ly/2s2JBTD - Untold Stories on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2QwIyVv - Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption: http://bit.ly/39PcGTq - Charlie and Best Selling Author Ben Mezrich Discuss Bitcoin's History: http://bit.ly/39PcGTq - 60 Minutes Podcast - Sunday, May 19, 2019 with Charlie Shrem: http://bit.ly/2N5CDEz - Crypto.IQ: http://bit.ly/2tyFG1j - Charlie Shrem on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2FpsiPF Sponsors: - Status: A multi-purpose communication tool that combines a peer-to-peer messenger, secure crypto wallet, and web3 browser - https://status.im/ - Cosmos: Compete to win 100,000 ATOM by building and running Cosmos Zones - https://cosmos.network/goz/ - Pepo: Meet the people shaping the crypto movement - https://pepo.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/321

  • #320 Monetary Systems in an International Context
    Epicenter
    33:16
    Technology
    58

    With global commerce and finance continuing to digitize, the world’s borders are seemingly becoming more fluid, even as physical walls are built. How does this globalization affect the sovereignty of nation-states and their ability to democratically direct their own economic future? In a panel moderated by Epicenter host, Sunny Aggarwal, we explore the interpretation of monetary policy from a global context, discuss the morality of impacting other nations, and the potential for new technologies to offer alternatives in a dollar-dominated world. The conversation includes Jae Kwon, CEO of Tendermint; John P Conley, Professor at Vanderbilt University; Steve Randy Waldman, Author of Interfluidity, and Baek Kim, Senior Associate at Hashed. Topics discussed in this episode: - A moral perspective on making monetary policy that is beneficial to one nation, and detrimental to another - Who matters when determining externalities in governmental policies - The possibility of a fiscal union without a monetary one - USD stablecoins promoting the notion that the US should control the world’s monetary policy - Comparing the Libra to the Euro Links mentioned in this episode: - Dani Rodrik's Blog: The inescapable trilemma of the world economy: http://bit.ly/39njJ5D - Euro and Rodrik's Trilemma: http://bit.ly/2ZG8II0 - Interfluidity Blog - Steve Randy Waldman: http://bit.ly/36c60wv - John Conley Macro WTF Talk: http://bit.ly/2MGRMMw - Steve Randy Waldman Macro WTF Talk: http://bit.ly/2MMxC3M - Jae Kwon | Twitter: http://bit.ly/2rDC6Cg - Steve Randy Waldman | Twitter: http://bit.ly/2MHPgWl - John P Conley | Twitter: http://bit.ly/2SDRiur - John P. Conley Personal Website: http://bit.ly/36btRwb Sponsors: - Pepo: Meet the people shaping the crypto movement - https://pepo.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/320

  • #319 Increasing Wallet Usability to Decrease the Anxiety of Self-Custody
    Epicenter
    51:07
    Technology
    3,080

    Managing crypto-assets can be an anxiety-inducing experience for a lot of people. While it's quite empowering to “be your own bank,” it's also scary for a lot of people who understand the risks associated with self-custody. Although cryptocurrency wallets have made tremendous progress since the days when a full-sync of the blockchain was required, there are still significant hurdles that limit broad adoption. This conversation on the future of wallets at SF Blockchain Week Epicenter conference includes Taylor Monahan of MyCrypto, David Gold of FIO Protocol, Dan Finlay of MetaMask, and Ouriel Ohayon of ZenGo. They discuss design, app store policies, and the evolution necessary to enable more people to send, receive, and manage their tokens confidently. The panel is moderated by Epicenter host Sebastien Couture. Topics discussed in this episode: - Advancements in the usability of cryptocurrency wallets over the last year - The importance of mobile-first development - Frustrations with iOS and Android app stores - How to make developing wallets economically feasible - The future of wallets - Self-custody vs. custodial wallets - Regulation of self-custody wallets - What to look forward to in the near-term Links mentioned in this episode: - MetaMask: http://bit.ly/2dtZFCa - ZenGo - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Wallet: http://bit.ly/2legfyi - FIO Protocol Developer Hub: http://bit.ly/2Q3juE1 - MyCrypto: http://bit.ly/2Mc4X7F - Taylor Monahan on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2t57OJ5 - Dan Finlay on Twitter: http://bit.ly/38YsTFz - Ouriel Ohayon on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2Z6B5Py - FIO Protocol on Twitter: http://bit.ly/36Tqbzb - MetaMask on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2MeSP62 - MyCrypto.com on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2sVUK8G - ZenGo on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2PFCRnu Sponsors: - Cosmos: Compete to win 100,000 ATOM by building and running Cosmos Zones - https://cosmos.network/goz/ - eToro: Automatically copy every trade of eToro's top crypto traders at the exact price in real-time - https://www.etoro.com/ - Pepo: Meet the people shaping the crypto movement - https://pepo.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/319

  • #318 David Vorick: Sia – Creating a P2P Marketplace for Data Storage to Disrupt the Cloud Industry
    Epicenter
    01:24:01
    Technology
    40

    Much of the digital world now operates in the cloud. A handful of companies are responsible for the massive market, and the centralization makes many people worry about censorship, privacy, and network resilience. David Vorick’s passion for distributed file storage had him start Sia in 2014. He’s been working fervently ever since to develop a viable competitor to the centralized solutions that are responsible for much of the content on the internet today. David aim’s to create a more private, resilient, and secure alternative to Amazon Web Services while also outperforming it. Topics discussed in this episode: - Why David started Sia rather than taking a job in big-tech - The Sia launch in 2015 - Why Sia has prioritized development over marketing in the beginning - The importance of decentralized storage solutions - How decentralized storage can be cheaper than AWS - Why Sia needs its own blockchain and protocol's tech stack - David's views on Proof of Work how that lead him to start a mining company - The circumstances around the Sia blockchain fork of 2018 - Where David envisions decentralized storage in the next few years Links mentioned in this episode: - Sia API Documentation: http://bit.ly/2tmTE68 - Sia Blog: http://bit.ly/2YYA4J2 - Decentralization & Cutting-Edge Cryptography - Starkware Sessions Talk: http://bit.ly/38R9W7s - Busted Setup - MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019 Talk: http://bit.ly/2M0l88f - Recovering Payment Channel Midstates Using only The User's Seed - Scaling Bitcoin Talk: http://bit.ly/36LUiZn - The Sia Ethos (Sia Blog): http://bit.ly/2tttz5y - Blockchains of the Sia family: http://bit.ly/38OZQEk - Obelisk: http://bit.ly/2M2yP6n - SiaStats: http://bit.ly/38OZU72 - David Vorick on Twitter: http://bit.ly/36M7Xzs - Sia on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2M3k6Z6 Sponsors: - Pepo: - - eToro: Automatically copy every trade of eToro's top crypto traders at the exact price in real-time - https://www.etoro.com/ This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/318

  • #317 Taylor Monahan: From Side Project to Center Stage – The Story of MyEtherWallet & MyCrypto
    Epicenter
    01:10:13
    Technology
    47

    Many people find that the crypto-finance space is quite difficult for non-technical people to understand and interact with the technologies. Some projects and people have made tremendous progress in creating tools and interfaces that allow a broader audience to participate, speculate, and learn. Taylor Monahan started MyEtherWallet as a side project in 2015, only for it to grow into one of the significant pieces of software people used to participate in the 2017 ICO boom. She has since "design-forked" the codebase and created MyCrypto, an open-source tool for generating ether wallets, handling ERC-20 tokens, and interacting with the blockchain with a clean and intuitive design. Topics discussed in this episode: - Taylor's background, and how she got into cryptocurrency - What her experience was with Ethereum so early in the projects lifecycle - How Reddit comments helped guide the feature list in the early days of MyEtherWallet - How the DAO hack got her working full time on MyEtherWallet - Building a project before “founding a company” - Experiencing the ICO boom as the main wallet used to participate in token generation events - Where MyCrypto is at today - How Taylor wants MyCrypto to change the user experience in cryptocurrency - Taylor’s view on centralized exchanges and view of the future Links mentioned in this episode: - MyCrypto Beta: http://bit.ly/2E1yQ6a - #MyCryptoWinter is back! (Medium): http://bit.ly/2DZAS74 - Try The New MyCrypto! (Medium): - MyCrypto Twitter: http://bit.ly/35aens6 - MyCrypto GitHub: http://bit.ly/2DZGcqW - MyCrypto Discord: http://bit.ly/2seFwv6 - Taylor Monahan Twitter: http://bit.ly/2t57OJ5 Sponsors: - Cosmos: Compete to win 100,000 ATOM by building and running Cosmos Zones - https://cosmos.network/goz/ - eToro: Automatically copy every trade of eToro's top crypto traders at the exact price in real-time - https://www.etoro.com/ - Pepo: - This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/317

  • #316 Dr. Luka Müller: MME – The Law Firm Behind the Rise of Switzerland’s CryptoValley
    Epicenter
    01:07:48
    Technology
    2,803

    We were joined by Luka Mueller, who played a key role in establishing Switzerland as a cryptocurrency center and in laying the legal groundwork for the ICO boom. In 2014, his law firm MME worked with the Ethereum team to set up the Ethereum Foundation and run its public fundraiser. A model that was later copied by countless other projects and led MME to work with many other leading protocols like Cosmos and Tezos. We also discussed his new project Sygnum, a cryptocurrency-focused bank. Nearly every company that works in the cryptocurrency space has had problems with its banking partner. Legal uncertainty, lack of knowledge, or simple unwillingness to work with cryptocurrency companies has made this a frequent nightmare for companies in this emerging sector. With a presence in both Switzerland and Singapore, Sygnum aims to fill a piece of missing infrastructure in the crypto-ecosystem: a bank that is able to receive, hold and transfer protocol tokens while offering a secure fiat gateway to easily transfer from the old world of finance to the new. We also discussed Switzerland’s regulatory environment and why it is able to provide more regulatory clarity. Topics discussed in this episode: - What life was like for Luka before blockchain - How Luka met Vitalik and went on to set up the Ethereum Foundation and run their fundraiser - What protocols his law firm, MME, helped launch - The lessons learned over the years, and how he would do it differently - Why Switzerland is a great jurisdiction for crypto projects - What Luka thinks of asset-backed tokens - What is Sygum, and why did he decide to start a crypto bank - What Luke believes will happen when the tech giants release their own currencies - The difference between Sygnum and similar banks - What Luka's fears are in the space, and what he is hopeful for Links mentioned in this episode: - MME Law Firm: http://bit.ly/2Y9ZSBW - Sygnum Website: http://bit.ly/2rHV8qH - Institutional Custody: A Portal to the Digital Asset Economy (Sygnum Blog): http://bit.ly/2Ov167t - How Tokenization is Closing the Gap Between Public and Private Markets (Sygnum Blog): http://bit.ly/37YXNNE - Sygnum gets green light to operate in Singapore (SwissInfo): - Switzerland’s first crypto bank reports “overwhelming” demand (Decrypt): http://bit.ly/2q2Rlnv - Sygnum on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ryjlQl Sponsors: - eToro: Automatically copy every trade of eToro's top crypto traders at the exact price in real-time - https://www.etoro.com/ - Cosmos: Compete to win 100,000 ATOM by building and running Cosmos Zones - https://cosmos.network/goz/ This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/316

  • #315 Viktor Radchenko: Trust Wallet – Building and Growing the Official Binance Wallet
    Epicenter
    01:06:57
    Technology
    2,713

    As the crypto ecosystem continues to grow, wallets and exchanges are quickly evolving to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. Viktor Radchenko, CEO and founder of Trust Wallet, joins us this week to talk about why he created a noncustodial wallet solution, what makes Trust Wallet unique, and how the acquisition by Binance has allowed his team to focus on a long term vision. Viktor helps us understand what it means to be part of the Binance Ecosystem, and what he believes the future holds for wallets, key storage and custody.  Topics discussed in this episode: - Victor's bio and how he ended up moving from the Ukraine to the US - How hacking games got Victor into cryptocurrency - What Trust Wallet is and its' strengths in the wallet landscape - What it means for Trust Wallet to be secure, opensource, decentralized, and anonymous - What Vicktor believes the future holds for wallets and key storage - The Binance acquisition of Trust Wallet - Trust Wallet's policy for adding new coins and the criteria they look at Links mentioned in this episode: - Trust Wallet: http://bit.ly/35t6Jsg - Trust Wallet Blog: http://bit.ly/35BuFKn - Crypto exchange Binance buys Trust Wallet in first acquisition deal (TechCrunch): https://tcrn.ch/2pUeUyX - 7 Essential Steps to Keep Your Crypto Wallet Secure (Trust Wallet Blog): http://bit.ly/34nw1rQ - Ethereum Name Service is Now Supported (Trust Wallet Blog): http://bit.ly/2Ddt3tQ - Trust Wallet DEX is growing up, Order book and Trading History added (Trust Wallet Blog): http://bit.ly/33mjXpf - Wallet Core documentation: http://bit.ly/2XKpkNW - Wallet Core on GitHub: https://bit.ly/2KVr69W This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/315

  • #314 Nishant Sharma: Bitmain – Rising to Mining Dominance
    Epicenter
    01:06:18
    Technology
    3,265

    Bitmain is one of the most well known, and one of the most polarizing companies in the blockchain space. The largest ASIC manufacturer and operator of several mining pools, Bitmain is the center of many controversies and discussions around centralization in the space. But not only is it the subject of discussion, Bitmain breaks out of the “passive miner” stereotype and is very active in many of the discussions in the community, most notably the Great Scaling Debates. In this episode, we sit down with Nishant Sharma, Head of Community Relations, who is responsible for acting as a bridge between the Bitmain company and the many communities it interacts with through its mining and ASIC operations. We explore the origins of Bitmain and its founders, the economics of ASIC production, its past and current relationships with different communities, and the future of the company. Topics discussed in this episode: - Nishant's Story in the Bitcoin mining space and how it led to joining Bitmain - Origin of Bitmain and its founders, notably Jihan Wu - Does Bitmain contribute to centralization in the blockchain space - How Bitmain maintains its superiority in the ASIC manufacturing space - Economics of ASIC production and manufacturing - Balancing business models of ASIC production, operating multiple mining pools, and exploring new verticals - Bitmain's role in blockchain debates like the scaling debate, Bitcoin Cash split, and ProgPow Links mentioned in this episode: - Bitmain Website: https://bit.ly/2D9HHTf - Nishant on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2pBywaU - Bitmain on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2OpCxHP - Fallout: Everyone’s a loser after Bitcoin Cash split – Brave New Coin: https://bit.ly/331LyfB - Bitmain Wikipedia: https://bit.ly/2KAAIGY - BTC.com Pool: http://bit.ly/2NZTjOM - Antpool: http://bit.ly/2NZTjOM - Leaked Transcript Details Power Struggle Inside Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain – CoinDesk: http://bit.ly/2r6rwDd - Dovey Wan on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2qiMLBV Sponsors: - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com - Cosmos: Change the future of finance at the SF Blockchain Week Defi Hackathon – $50,000 prize pool for winning teams - https://epicenter.rocks/sfcosmos This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/314

  • #313 Jesse Powell: How Kraken Accelerates Cryptocurrency Adoption
    Epicenter
    01:18:03
    Technology
    3,014

    As the cryptocurrency space has grown, exchanges have become the dominant juggernauts of the industry. One of the earliest and most reputable exchanges is Kraken. From the company's formation in 2011, Kraken has grown to 4m users and almost 1,000 employees. We are joined by Kraken Founder and CEO Jesse Powell. We dove into the history of Kraken, their values and the vision that's driving them. Topics discussed in this episode: - How selling virtual goods for games led Jesse to discover Bitcoin - Why cryptocurrencies will lead to a better financial system - How Kraken launched and ended up getting strong traction in Europe - The challenges and changes of the regulatory environment - His thoughts on DeFi and decentralized exchanges - Kraken's approach to listing assets on the exchange - How to create a strong culture in a distributed company - His vision for Kraken to become a general trading and investment platform Links mentioned in this episode: - Kraken: https://bit.ly/34Vnigd - How to Grow A Decacorn | Crypto Podcast | Kraken: https://bit.ly/2CANUai - How to Trade Crypto On Kraken: https://bit.ly/2NIjXM4 - Kraken on Wikipedia: https://bit.ly/32EkVNn - Kraken Exchange Twitter: https://bit.ly/2NIX5fp - Jesse Powell Twitter: https://bit.ly/2Kk2Xto Sponsors: - Cosmos: Change the future of finance at the SF Blockchain Week Defi Hackathon – $50,000 prize pool for winning teams - https://epicenter.rocks/sfcosmos - Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.com This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/313

  • #312 Anatoly Yakovenko: Solana - Reaching for the Limits of Blockchain Performance
    Epicenter
    01:37:23
    Technology
    3,085

    The vision of a world computer on which anyone can deploy smart contracts has captured our imagination since the publication of the Ethereum whitepaper. But while Ethereum demonstrated the viability of the concept, its shortcomings in terms of capacity and throughput prevent it from realizing the vision. Today, throughput has become a major bottleneck for widescale adoption of decentralized technologies. Many projects have set out to deliver where Ethereum 1.0 falls short. Most projects, including Ethereum 2.0, aim to create some kind of sharded network with many interoperable chains. Solana may be the only project that went the other way. Through identifying every performance bottleneck for a single blockchain and developing novel ways of removing them, they target to achieve throughput of 50,000 tps. We were joined by Solana creator and CEO Anatoly Yakovenko to discuss Solana's approach to building a web-scale blockchain. We covered some of their novel ideas including proof-of-history and parallelizing smart contract execution. Topics discussed in this episode: - The performance-obssessed engineering background of the Solana team - The arguments against sharding for scalability - The value of a shared sense of time in a distributed system - How Solana's Proof-of-History creates a global clock for the network - How Solana uses GPUs to parallelize smart contract execution - How value could be accrued for the native token if transaction throughput is abundant - Solana's upcoming Tour de Sol testnets and launch timeline Links mentioned in this episode: - Solana Website: https://bit.ly/2ChWD0T - Proof of History: A Clock for Blockchain: https://bit.ly/32lQU4M - The World Computer Should Be Logically Centralized - Multicoin Capital: https://bit.ly/34Aw17t - Multicoin Capital: The Separation of Time and State - Multicoin Capital: https://bit.ly/34yY8ny - How Solana's Proof of History is a Huge Advancement for Block Time: https://bit.ly/2oSoba5 - Tower BFT: Solana’s High Performance Implementation of PBFT: https://bit.ly/2NmpiIq Sponsors: - Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.com - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com This episode is hosted by Meher Roy & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/312

  • #311 Rhys Lindmark: MIT's Digital Currency Initiative – Why We Need Blockchain Ethics
    Epicenter
    01:12:48
    Technology
    2,746

    Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have the potential to change the world in meaningful ways. And this change may drastically impact people’s lives – both for the better and for the worse. While ethics are often discussed for technologies like AI, the ethical considerations around blockchain technologies have received less focussed attention. We’re joined by Rhys Lindmark, Head of Community and Long-Term Societal Impact at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. Previously the host of the podcast “Creating a Humanist Blockchain Future,” Rhys’ approach to blockchain was always about considering its potential impact. Since joining the DCI, his podcast, now “Gray Mirror,” continues to explore these questions. He has also recently started teaching a blockchain ethics course with the DCI’s Director, Neha Narula. Topics discussed in this episode: - Rhys’ background as a podcaster and proponent of Effective Altruism - His advocacy work around universal tithing and donating to charity - The controversy surrounding the MIT Media Lab and the resignation of their Director Joi Ito - The difference between ethics and morals - Why we need to study blockchain ethics - Should we have ethics committees in blockchain as there exists about AI - The ethical considerations for different use cases and applications of blockchain technology - The role of miners and should they have ethical obligations to censor certain transactions - The DCI’s blockchain ethics class and what students learn Links mentioned in this episode: - Blockchain Ethics Class: http://bit.ly/2PsvMXV - Blockchain Ethics Class Syllabus: http://bit.ly/32XCetU - Why it’s time to start talking about blockchain ethics (MIT Technology Review): http://bit.ly/31YXazc - Jeffrey Epstein case: Federal prosecutors broke law, judge says (Miami Herald): https://hrld.us/2BW5KnG - Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein (New York Times): https://nyti.ms/2PsXDHu - MIT Digital Currency Initiative: http://bit.ly/2pp3K4L - Rhys Lindmark on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2WshmbB Sponsors: - Cosmos: Change the future of finance at the SF Blockchain Week Defi Hackathon – $50,000 prize pool for winning teams - https://epicenter.rocks/sfcosmos - Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.com - B9Lab: Level up and become a Solidity smart contract auditor – 5% off the with the code EPICENTER - https://solidified.b9lab.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/311

  • #310 Eli Ben-Sasson: StarkWare – Productizing zk-STARKs to Provide Blockchain Scalability & Privacy
    Epicenter
    01:17:17
    Technology
    2,972

    This past year, we have witnessed what some are calling a “Cambrian Explosion” in zero-knowledge proof systems. New proof systems based on a variety of cryptographic assumptions are popping up every week. And while zero-knowledge systems are known for their privacy-preserving characteristics, they have proven particularly useful for scaling blockchains through off-chain computations. We're joined by Eli Ben Sasson, Co-founder and Cheif Scientist in the East at Starkware. His company is developing a full proof-stack, which leverages STARKs. Pioneered by Eli, STARKs are zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs, which are succinct, transparent, and post-quantum secure. StarkWare has demonstrated how zkSTARKs may be leveraged to provide off-chain scalability by generating proofs of computational integrity which may be verified on-chain. Topics discussed in this episode: - Eli's trajectory and transition from academia to the startup world - The origin story of Starkware and the founding team - The current explosion of zero-knowledge proof research - An overview of zero-knowledge proof systems and how they work - What are STARKs and what are their properties - How STARKs are different from SNARKs and Bulletproofs - What are zk-Rollups and how they are used by StarkWare to achieve scalability - The StarkDEX experiment and scalability benefits it had demonstrated - The issue of data availability with layer-2 scaling solutions - StarkWare's business model and the solutions they are building for customers Links mentioned in this episode: - StarkWare: https://bit.ly/2W4sxXJ - StarkWare resources: https://bit.ly/2Jfh82l - StarkWare blog: https://bit.ly/33W9XDQ - StarkWare Twitter: https://bit.ly/2BArGVs - StarkWare Sessions conference videos: https://bit.ly/2pDMGrD - Epicenter Podcast SFBW Week Meetup: https://bit.ly/2N1PQxv - DeFi Hackathon sponsored by Cosmos: https://bit.ly/35YnJbd - SF Blockchain Week 2019 (use the code EPICENTER for 20% off tickets): https://bit.ly/2BzSIfz - Macro.WTF: https://bit.ly/2MAdths Sponsors: - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com - B9Lab: Level up and become a Solidity smart contract auditor – 5% off the with the code EPICENTER - https://solidified.b9lab.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/310

  • #309 Yoni Assia: eToro – The Social Trading Platform
    Epicenter
    01:14:26
    Technology
    2,575

    We’re joined by Yoni Assia, Founder and CEO of eToro. The concept behind this world-leading social trading platform is users invest smarter by automatically copying the top traders in the community. With over 10 million users, over a trillion dollars traded on the platform just last year alone, this fascinating approach to trading is making huge waves. A decade after its original launch, eToro entered the crypto space with eToroX, their crypto exchange. More recently, they added cryptocurrencies to the growing list of assets that users can add to “Copy Trades.” Yoni shares his long-term vision in which he sees the tokenization of all traditional asset classes eventually taking place. Topics discussed in this episode: - Yoni's background and how he first became interested in financial trading - How Yoni and his brother came up with the idea for eToro - The background of the Bitcoin community in Israel - Yoni's predictions for the finance industry - How the power of tokenization paved the path for eToro - What makes eToro unique compared to other crypto trading platforms - eToro's blockchain wallet - The launch of the eToroX crypto currency exchange - eToro's views on custody of assets and DeFi Links mentioned in this episode: - eToro: https://bit.ly/29d7iyN - eToro on GitHub: https://bit.ly/2Bd1C2n - The eToro Crypto Wallet: https://bit.ly/2MHe1RD - eToroX: https://bit.ly/2VKgCy9 - eToro Twitter: https://bit.ly/2BgUX7A - Yoni Assia Twitter: https://bit.ly/2DOtSYI Sponsors: - Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenter - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/309

  • #308 DappCon 2019 – Tales of Governance: DAOs, Swarms and Anarchic Systems
    Epicenter
    45:27
    Technology
    2,716

    As we take some time to record new interviews, we’re releasing content from DappCon which took place in Berlin in August. This week, you’ll hear a panel moderated by Sunny all about blockchain governance. The panelists where Ameen Soleimani of MolochDAO, Stephanie Hurder of Prysm Group, Jorge Izquierdo of Aragon One, and Sebastian Gajek of ditCraf. Topics discussed in this episode: - Hard Governance vs. Soft Governance - What types of governance we should apply to different systems - Different approaches to governance formalization - How we should govern things like trademarks - Representing all stakeholders in a governance system - Building in exit mechanisms in DAOs - Conservatism over Liberlism in governance mechanisms - How to account for different value systems Links mentioned in this episode: - DappCon: http://bit.ly/30q2M5V - Ameen Soleimani on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2Yqblj8 - Stephanie Hurder on Twitter: http://bit.ly/35fPaNb - Jorge Izquierdo on Twitter: http://bit.ly/35hAbCA - Sebastian Gajek on Twitter: http://bit.ly/35mlMVN - Community manager job posting: http://bit.ly/2ogqaVa - Epicenter Meetup at SF Blockchain Week: http://bit.ly/2MscG0M This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/308

  • #307 DappCon 2019 – Look at My Flashy Colors And Rounded Corners!
    Epicenter
    53:51
    Technology
    157

    As we take some time to record new interviews, we're releasing content from DappCon which took place in Berlin in August. This week, you'll hear a panel moderated by Sebastien on usability and user experience in blockchain-based apps and products. The panelists where Chriss Sugg of AirSwap, Alex Van de Sande of the Ethereum Foundation, Itamar Lesuisse or Argent and Pedro Gomez of Wallet Connect. Topics discussed in this episode: - The state of usability in the blockchain space - How evolving technology inform concepts in user experience - Building products in Web2.0 vs. Web 3 - Creating dialog between engineers and designers - Why crypto product haven't gained adoption from non-crypto savvy people - Adoption of crypto by the unbanked - Gathering usage data for the purpose of product development Links mentioned in this episode: - Chriss Sugg on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2nCepYX - Alex Van de Sande on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2mKBcBF - Pedro Gomez on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2nz8Udy - Itamar Lesuisse on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2okc84C - Community manager job posting: http://bit.ly/2ogqaVa - DAPPCON: http://bit.ly/30q2M5V This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/307

  • #306 Omer Shlomovits & Ouriel Ohayon: ZenGo – The ‘Keyless’ Crypto Wallet
    Epicenter
    01:14:56
    Technology
    5,489

    Those who have been in crypto long enough remember the not-so-good-ol’ days when an air-gapped machine was the only way to store private keys securely. Thankfully, the wallet space has come a long way from that era. But we still live in a world where the seed phrase is the single atomic point of failure. Enter threshold signatures schemes (TSS), a multi-party computation (MPC) where different parties generate a key and are all required to create a valid signature. We’re joined by Omer Shlomovits and Ouriel Ohayon, Co-founders of ZenGo. Their product is a ‘keyless’ crypto wallet, which means users never need to generate or store a key which gives them access to their funds. Keys are created with an MPC, where both ZenGo and the user are required to sign a transaction. TTS opens up exciting new possibilities like social recovery, user permissions for teams, and inheritance planning schemes. The important distinction between ZenGo and existing multi-signature wallets is that they achieve this using only cryptography, and do not rely on on-chain elements like smart contracts or op_scriptSig in Bitcoin. Topics discussed in this episode: - Omer and Ouriel’s respective backgrounds in academia and online consumer-facing products - What lead them to want to build yet another crypto wallet - The state of custody in the crypto wallet ecosystem and the challenge which remain unaddressed - A quick refresh on cryptographic primitives and multi-party computations (MPC) - The building blocks of cryptographic signatures and threshold signature schemes (TSS) - How TSS is different from Bitcoin multi-sig and smart contract multi-sig - TSS in ECDSA vs. Schnorr signatures - Applications and use cases for TSS - ZenGo’s on-boarding, restore process and use of biometrics - The future of wallet interoperability in a world of proprietary cryptographic schemes Links mentioned in this episode: - ZenGo: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Wallet: http://bit.ly/2legfyi - ‎ZenGo: Bitcoin & Crypto Wallet on the App Store: http://bit.ly/2lpa5LI - Threshold Signatures Explained: http://bit.ly/2mW1yjP - ShareLock: Mixing for Cryptocurrencies from Multiparty ECDSA: http://bit.ly/2mtrUcu - KZen Networks on GitHub: http://bit.ly/2kMuKca - Zengo Research: http://bit.ly/2mW6JjL - KZen Research Telegram Group: http://bit.ly/2mQoi4x - Tel Aviv Blockchain Week Recap with Anna Rose of the Zero Knowledge Podcast: http://bit.ly/2kVaB3U Sponsors: - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com - Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.com This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/306

  • #305 Sharon Goldberg: Arwen – Centralized Exchange Trading Without Counterparty Risk
    Epicenter
    01:12:04
    Technology
    4,924

    We're joined by Sharon Goldberg, CEO of Arwen, a protocol solution for non-custodial trading. From communications engineering to Internet protocol security, to then becoming a Professor at Boston University, she shares her journey into the world of cryptography. Beginning as a whitepaper on eclipse attacks, Arwen has grown into a platform enabling atomic swaps on centralized exchanges. Sharon chats about Arwen's integration with KuCoin, how it compares to ShapeShift, Interledger, and Lightning, and the exciting new release of the Layer-2 atomic swaps from Ethereum into Bitcoin. Topics discussed in this episode: - How Sharon became interested in blockchain technology - The meaning of an eclipse attack - Arwen's co-founder Ethan Heilman - The backbone of Arwen - The Arwen protocol and how it uses atomic swaps - How trading takes place on the exchange - Arwen vs Shapeshift and Interledger - Creating multiple orders using the same channel - Arwen vs Lightning and the use of SegWit - How the relationship with KuCoin was formed Links mentioned in this episode: - Arwen website: http://bit.ly/30aLmgm - Arwen's first white paper on eclipse attacks: http://bit.ly/304HuOc - Arwen's Trading Protocol whitepaper: http://bit.ly/2NnOYps - Announcement of Arwen's partnership with KuCoin: http://bit.ly/304HDRK - Arwen's Twitter: http://bit.ly/2UZiaUR - Sharon Goldberg on Twitter: http://bit.ly/303AtgC Sponsors: - Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/305

  • #304 David Chaum: The Forefather of Cryptocurrencies and the Cypherpunk Movement
    Epicenter
    01:03:57
    Technology
    4,220

    We’re pleased to be joined by the legendary cryptographer and computer scientist, David Chaum. From his early beginnings at Berkley, David pioneered many of the cryptographic techniques used in secure systems and cryptocurrencies today. Blind signatures, which are used in zero-knowledge proofs, and mix networks, used in Tor heavily rely on his work. At the dawn of the Internet, David founded DigiCash, what many believe to be a direct ancestor of Bitcoin. Today, David continues to pursue his mission to bring data privacy to all as his most recent project, Elixxir, aims to create a truly private messaging and payment app with a mass-market appeal. Topics discussed in this episode: - David’s background as a Ph.D. student at Berkeley and his thesis entitled “Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups” - What drove him to work on cryptography and privacy systems - His relationship to the early cypherpunk movement - David’s contribution to cryptography primitives such as blind signatures, undeniable signatures, group signatures and mixers - The story of DigiCash and how the company was founded - The idea behind Cyberbucks and why the company ultimately went bankrupt - Cryptocurrency adoption as a chicken-and-egg problem - David’s personal views and practices with regards to online privacy - His thoughts on the blockchain space today and his views on the future of the industry - His current project, Elixxir, a messaging and payment app which protects users’ data and metadata Links mentioned in this episode: - David Chaum’s website: http://bit.ly/2A5cRJF - DigiCash: http://bit.ly/2ZOMuqX - lists.cpunks.org Mailing Lists: http://bit.ly/2ZQtgB5 - DigiCash - Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/300gNu4 - Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payments: http://bit.ly/2A7j6ga - DigiCash announcement article from 1994: http://bit.ly/2ZM4h17 - Project Page: Multiparty Computation: http://bit.ly/2A44Dl6 - Security without Identification: http://bit.ly/2A5x7Lj - Elixxir - Home: http://bit.ly/2ZNqZqi - Elixxir - Real Cryptography, Real Time: Precomputations in Elixxir: http://bit.ly/2ZQDIIQ - Elixxir - Why Mark Zuckerberg wants no privacy, why he wrote his letter, and why it won’t help him: http://bit.ly/2A44TR6 - Elixxir - Point of Departure: http://bit.ly/2A3csrn - cMix white paper: http://bit.ly/2A4rwVp Sponsors: - Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.com - Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.com This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/304