Epicenter tracks on Soundclound

#epicenterbitcoin

  • #363 Sam Bankman-Fried: FTX & Project Serum – The World's First Decentralized Derivatives Exchange
    Epicenter
    01:19:57
    Technology
    11

    Alameda Research is a quant trading fund founded in 2017. Today it manages over $100 million in digital assets and trades $600 million to $1.5 billion per day across thousands of products: all major coins and altcoins, as well as their derivatives. Whilst running this fund, the team thought there was space for a robust crypto derivatives exchange build for traders which solves some of the issues they saw in derivatives trading. FTX is the crypto derivatives trading platform which came out of Alameda. In just under two years of existence, it has grown to become one of the top trading platforms for crypto, trading over $1B per day in derivatives. The FTX team are also working on Project Serum. It’s an ambitious project to create a fully decentralized and permissionless DEX and DeFi ecosystem with trustless cross-chain trading. Serum is being built on Solana to allow a centralized orderbook. This offers a much higher speed and throughput than Ethereum. The goal is to create a robust DEX ecosystem which can compete with centralized exchanges on speed, all while being fully interoperable with Ethereum. Today our guest is Sam Bankman-Fried, he is the CEO of FTX and Alameda Research, and co-founder of Project Serum. We hear all about his journey from Alameda, to FTX, and to his latest venture, Serum. Topics discussed in this episode: - Sam’s background and how he became involved in crypto trading - Why and how FTX was created - How FTX works and why the big focus on derivatives - The cross-over between FTX and Alameda - What Serum is and how it fits in the long term vision of FTX - Sam’s view on where products on DeFi are falling short and how it can be fixed - What are the trade-offs on Serum? - The off chain Serum order book - How cross-chain swaps work - The boundaries of the Serum ecosystem in relation to Solana - What is the governance mechanism on Serum - Sam’s view on the AMM argument - Where Sam thinks the DeFi ecosystem is heading and what is needed for it to gain legitimacy in the traditional finance world Links mentioned in this episode: - FTX: https://bit.ly/3kwzsof - Alameda Research: https://bit.ly/3kv7rx7 - Project Serum: https://bit.ly/34w6v60 - Epicenter episode 312 with Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-founder and CEO of Solana: https://bit.ly/2HrVE4F - SushiSwap Twitter thread: https://bit.ly/2HySzj2 - FTX on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2J796LI - Sam on Twitter: https://bit.ly/34uPOIf Sponsors: - Algorand: Learn how to start building on Algorand – Free webinar on November 17th - https://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/363

  • #362 Simon Polrot: Adan – Unraveling MiCA and the New Regulations Threatening Crypto in Europe
    Epicenter
    01:27:29
    Technology
    16

    Adan (Association for the Development of Digital Assets), is an organization which helps promote the development of the crypto industry in France, and more broadly in Europe. Its President, Simon Polrot, is also the Co-founder Ethereum France, which host the EthCC conference in Paris. The European Commission has released a regulatory proposal, MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets), which falls under The Digital Finance Package. The Adan team have been working hard to understand, dissect and establish positions with regards to this regulation. The scope of this MiCA is vast, and it covers nearly every type of activity which relates to cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, stablecoins, and security tokens in Europe. In addition to being broad, it puts enormous restrictions on the DeFi ecosystem by merely ignoring most decentralized use cases, making it nearly impossible for DeFi to continue existing as we know it. It's an important piece of regulation which would apply to almost every crypto asset company or issuer across the European continent, as well as companies who have customers or do business here. We chat to Simon who explains what the draft proposal means and the effects it will have on the European crypto industry. He also shares how the community can get involved in steering the regulation in favour of the industry before it's passed into law. Topics discussed in this episode: - Simon's background and how he became involved in crypto - Adan's mission in France en Europe - The high level principles of crypto regulations in Europe and the frameworks already in place - The EU Commission's Digital Finance Package explained - What MiCA is and who falls under this regulation - How the Commission identifies “token issuers” - How MiCA affects DeFi stablecoins like DAI - What are Crypto-Asset Service Providers (CASPs) and how they are concerned by MiCA - How the regulations may impact mining and staking - How MiCA favours financial institutions over startups in the crypto spcae - Why Simon thinks there is a positive side to this regulatory proposal - What Adan is doing to raise awareness and lobby to amend this proposal and repair the issues arising out of the draft proposal - How crypto companies can take part in the work of getting this regulation amended before it passes into law - The possibility for an alternative crypto finance ecosystem to emerge from this regulation Links mentioned in this episode: - Adan Website: https://bit.ly/2HfTrsQ - About Adan: https://bit.ly/37nypmF - Adan Webinar: Understanding the MiCA and Pilot Regime crypto regulation: https://bit.ly/35b4kUM - Become a member of Adan: https://bit.ly/35dpaTC - Adan on Twitter: https://bit.ly/3m5P8Pz - Simon on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2FQ7uoo Sponsors: - Algorand: Learn how to start building on Algorand – Free webinar on November 17th - https://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/362

  • #361 Kyle Samani: Multicoin Capital – The Thesis-Driven Cryptoasset Investment Firm
    Epicenter
    01:09:53
    Technology
    39

    Multicoin Capital is a thesis-driven investment firm that invests in cryptocurrencies, tokens, and blockchain companies. They manage a hedge fund and a venture fund, investing across both public and private markets. They are extremely bullish on smart contract platforms and DeFi is one of their main areas of focus. They've invested in several projects and companies such as Algorand, Arweave, Nervos, Skale, Solana, to name a few. We originally had Multicoin on the show in February of 2018 when they were still reasonably new and we were in the height of the ICO bubble. Kyle Samani, Co-founder and Managing Partner, joins us back on the show to share not only how Multicoin has changed since then, but also the cryptoasset industry as a whole. Topics discussed in this episode: - What are the Multicoin theses and have they changed since Kyle was last on the show - Why the most used smart contract platform will produce the winning store of value - The role of gold in today's economy - Bitcoin gaining traction in today's asset management circle - Other assets that will eventually displace Bitcoin - Which projects Multicoin are backing at the moment - DeFi vs CeFi and latency - Discussing what DeFi actually is - Cryptocurrency's future role in the traditional financial system and the impact of potential new regulations - How the cryptoasset industry has changed since Multicoin started and where it is headed - The underrated areas Multicoin are looking at today Links mentioned in this episode: - Multicoin Capital: https://bit.ly/34WCDyK - Multicoin's first appearance on Epicenter: https://bit.ly/2H0TM2d - Multicoin blog: https://bit.ly/3iURGhF - The Multicoin Thesis: https://bit.ly/2SPBtj1 - Multicoin on Twitter: https://bit.ly/3lH0klE - Kyle on Twitter: https://bit.ly/3iSnm7i Sponsors: - Algorand: To learn more about Algorand and how it’s unique design makes it easy for developers to build sophisticated applications. - https://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/361

  • #002 Ido Sadeh Man: Sögur – The Digital Coin Changing Global Currency for the Better (sponsored)
    Epicenter
    01:19:25
    Technology
    16

    Sögur, formerly known as Saga, aims to provide a global digital currency that acts as a store of value, a unit of account, and a medium of exchange. It is not impacted by any single nation state agenda and complements national currencies. And it is governed by its holders. The SGR is Sögur's digital coin. It's built to provide a self-sustaining, democratic and global currency. It uses a bonding curve market maker, which is modelled to control and mitigate volatility exposure and value loss when market conditions are fast-changing and unpredictable. All whilst creating an opportunity for sustainable intrinsic value growth. SGR holders are the currency decision makers, and enjoy democratic voting rights over how SGR operates now and as it continues to evolve. Sögur is interesting as it starts off looking like a stablecoin, but as the market grows it departs from its peg to become a free floating currency. It is currently pegged to the SDR (Special Drawing Rights). Deposits are held in FIAT reserves and as demand for SGR increases, the reserve ratio decreases. This causes the relative price to go up. Ido Sadeh Man is chairman of the board and founder of Sögur. He joins us on the show to discuss the background of the project and what it is hoping to achieve, and an in depth look into the monetary policy of the SGR. He also talks about the impressive team and advisory board that is behind the project. Topics discussed in this episode: - Ido's background and how he got into crypto - Why the time is right for Sögur to have a positive impact - Centres of stability on a global scale - What Sögur is and what problem it solves - How it works as a stablecoin - The economics of the Sögur (SGR) currency - The connection to the SDR (Special Drawings Right) - Redeemability of reserves - Why Sögur was built on Ethereum and not its own blockchain - The effects of limitations and gas fees - Will SGR bridge to all networks? - The bonding curve model - The governance structure of Sögur and the smart contract itself - Stake-based voting vs participant-based voting - Where reserves are held - The team of investors backing Sögur - The effects of changing regulations on Sögur - The long term vision for Sögur Links mentioned in this episode: - Sögur Website: https://bit.ly/3jJvx6Z - Sögur Monetary: https://bit.ly/30IreRU - The Voting Mechanism: https://bit.ly/2GsINib - Sögur on Medium: https://bit.ly/3jIw8po - Sögur on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2GIyVR0 - Ido on Twitter: https://bit.ly/33Gv5RC This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/002

  • #360 Demetri Kofinas: Hidden Forces – Uncovering the Hidden Forces of Today's Society
    Epicenter
    01:20:25
    Technology
    36

    Hidden Forces is a podcast devoted to exploring the underlying forces driving the most powerful changes we see in the world. Demetri Kofinas, host of the show, holds conversations with some of the most brilliant minds in technology, finance, social science, and the hard sciences. He consults blockchain and distributed ledger technology companies, and hedge funds and venture capital firms on how to invest in and around these same emerging technologies.  We chatted to Demetri about a range of current topics from the US presidential election, the financial crisis and the role of the federal reserve and how it's reacting to the crisis. Also the role of central banks going forward in this new reality in which we live. We also discussed crypto and specifically his thoughts on the DeFi space. He has some very interesting views there. Demetri does not hold back on what he wants to say, so this was a fun and interesting conversation which we are sure you will enjoy too! Topics discussed in this episode: - The US presidential election - Demetri’s background and why he started Hidden Forces - Hidden Forces and how he chooses guests and topics - Demetri's health - How Demetri sees the impact of blockchain on a societal level - The current economic crisis - The fundamental difference of the handling between past crises and the current one, by financial institutions - Is the US on the brink of collapse? - What is the role of the central bank if it can no longer function how it is supposed to, and can crypto play a role - What are some past dApps that would contribute value to society - Demetri’s views on Ampleforth - Can a cryptocurrency become a world reserve currency? Links mentioned in this episode: - Hidden Forces: https://bit.ly/34tnrsN - The story of Demetri's tumour: https://bit.ly/34pD4l0 - Demetri's website: https://bit.ly/30FV49P - Demetri on Medium: https://bit.ly/3iD2xfT - Hidden Forces on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2Gu9bbi - Demetri on Twitter: https://bit.ly/33zuRLI Sponsors: - Algorand: To learn more about Algorand and how it’s unique design makes it easy for developers to build sophisticated applications. - https://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/360

  • #359 Ismail Khoffi & Mustafa Al-Bassam: LazyLedger – The Data Availability and Consensus Solution
    Epicenter
    01:17:36
    Technology
    28

    LazyLedger is a scalable general-purpose data availability layer for decentralized apps and trust-minimized sidechains. It is a minimal, viable blockchain which does time stamping and block ordering. Think back to Bitcoin in the early days, before Ethereum. Layer-2 systems were being built on top of Bitcoin and were leveraging Bitcoin’s consensus layer. This is what LazyLedger is doing, although it is purpose built and scalable for the exact use case. The implementation details are a lot more complex, and the vision is to create a modular pluggable Layer-1 that does nothing but consensus and data availability. It is designed for people who want to create their blockchain without consensus. The project is yet to be launched, however we had Ismail Khoffi, Co-Founder and CTO, and Mustafa Al-Bassam, Co-Founder and CEO on the show to give us a deep technical overview and vision of LazyLedger. Topics discussed in this episode: - Ismail and Mustafa's backgrounds, and how they got into the crypto space - How Ismail and Mustafa met and created LazyLedger - The Data Availability paper which was co-written with Vitalik and introduction to LazyLedger - The purpose and function of LazyLedger - How data availability works and the advantages and disadvantages to their ledger - The purpose of LazyLedger - How transaction fees work - The interoperability aspect - Honest validators on the block - Non-interactive proofs on LazyLedger - The interaction between LazyLedger and Cosmos SDK - How will LazyLedger compete with other Layer One's, in particular Filecoin - When the ledger will be launched Links mentioned in this episode: - LazyLedger website: https://bit.ly/3ia5p3F - LazyLedger on Medium: https://bit.ly/3mZMzj9 - GitHub: https://bit.ly/2S7AUAU - LazyLedger Twitter: https://bit.ly/3i7Lpic - Ismail on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2GdJECH - Mustafa on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2S3GcNw Sponsors: - Algorand: To learn more about Algorand and how it’s unique design makes it easy for developers to build sophisticated applications. - https://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/359

  • #358 Camila Russo: Laying Bare the Story of Ethereum
    Epicenter
    01:09:29
    Technology
    36

    Camila Russo is a financial journalist, starting her career writing for Chile's largest national newspaper. She then spent 8 years at Bloomberg covering the Argentine market from Buenos Aires, the European stocks from Madrid, and analysed macro emerging markets moves for the Markets Live blog in New York. She is the founder of the Defiant and recently wrote and released a book on the foundations of Ethereum, “The Infinite Machine”. This tells the story of how 19-year-old coding genius Vitalik Buterin led a “ragtag group of feuding hackers with no business plan and no live product” to pioneer a whole new way of raising money, on a platform that’s grown to a value of $27 billion. It is being hailed a complete hit and we highly recommend you give it a read. Camila joined us to chat about how her journey through journalism led her to crypto, and how she became a successful author. Topics discussed in this episode: - Camila's background and how she got into the crypto space - Becoming involved with Bitcoin in Argentina back in 2013 - Her move to the US and the introduction to Ethereum in 2017 - What made her decide to write a book and the process involved - Some interesting stories that didn't make the final cut - Camila's views on the Ethereum narrative and how it has changed over time - Camila's view on the current DeFi situation and the risks of regulators becoming more involved - What is The Defiant? - How to follow Camila Links mentioned in this episode: - Camila Russo: https://bit.ly/33KQpEa - The Defiant: https://bit.ly/2EogT5H - The Infinite Machine: https://bit.ly/3kE6our - Excerpt from The Infinite Machine: https://bit.ly/3hMMWKk - “The Infinite Machine” review: https://bit.ly/3657yuS - Camila on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2G0zXau Sponsors: - Algorand: To learn more about Algorand and how it’s unique design makes it easy for developers to build sophisticated applications, visit algorand.com/epicenter - http://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/358

  • #357 MacLane Wilkison: NuCypher – Proxy Re-Encryption for Distributed Systems
    Epicenter
    01:10:34
    Technology
    21

    NuCypher is a decentralized threshold cryptography network offering interfaces and runtimes for secrets management and dynamic access control. It provides cryptographic infrastructure for privacy preserving applications and it exists as a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. They are currently in testnet but once launched you will be able to use NuCypher to carry out proxy re-encryption. Proxy re-encryption is a cryptographic method that allows you to delegate re-encryption of data to a third party and in this case validators in the NuCypher network. With this method you issue a re-encryption key that is assigned to a specific public key and a third party has the ability to re-encrypt data for that third party to decrypt. In this case the NuCypher network acts as the third party service. It is useful for when you want to share data, with the ability to revoke access at a later stage. They also have an interesting token distribution mechanism called the WorkLock. This is similar to a Lockdrop but with work required from the participants. MacLane Wilkison, Co-founder and CEO of NuCypher talks about how and why the protocl was created, the challenges faced with it, and the problems it solves. Topics discussed in this episode: - MacLane’s background and how he got into the blockchain space - Challenges with working with corporate entities and getting people to understand privacy preserving technologies - The zeroDB protocol and how that led to NuCypher - What was MacLane’s goal with starting NuCypher - What proxy re-encryption is and why it’s desirable over manual systems - What are threshold signatures - Attributability on the protocol - Some use cases of using FHE on NuCypher and why they have chosen this for the protocol - MacLane’s thoughts on trusted hardware - The infrastructure of NuCypher and why it is on Ethereum - Results from the testnet - WorkLock - their token distribution mechanism and how it compares to Lockdrop - How you can set up a node on NuCypher - Current gas costs and the impact of this - The NuCypher business model and how they make money - Where to learn more about NuCypher Links mentioned in this episode: - NuCypher Website: https://bit.ly/3mkmL0R - NuCypher Discord: https://bit.ly/2RpRQ55 - NuCypher blog: https://bit.ly/32rA9IP - WorkLock: https://bit.ly/3hrwwa9 - NuCypher Twitter: https://bit.ly/3mhMLdo - MacLane's Twitter: https://bit.ly/32tE1ZD Sponsors: - Algorand: To learn more about Algorand and how it’s unique design makes it easy for developers to build sophisticated applications, visit algorand.com/epicenter - http://algorand.com/epicenter This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/357

  • #356 Tarun Chitra: Gauntlet – The Simulation Platform for Blockchain Protocols
    Epicenter
    01:13:57
    Technology
    32

    Gauntlet is a simulation platform for building financial models of blockchain protocols and applications. Their platform uses machine learning methods to simulate different environments with various user behaviors and see how the system holds up in those conditions. They perform analysis on things like core mechanisms to test for liveness, block propagation, and at higher layers like simulating markets. Their offering is complementary to security audits as their analysis goes beyond code functionality and looks at how systems may behave in real-life conditions. Tarun Chitra, CEO & Founder of Gauntlet, talks about his previous life in chip manufacturing and how he built Gauntlet. He also goes deep into the machine learning and statistical analysis involved with Gauntlet. It is quite a fascinating concept and when applied to blockchain systems, there is huge potential for this to become something that is expected by users, investors, and the community for new protocols. Topics discussed in this episode: - Tarun’s background and how he got into crypto - Chip manufacturing in the US and its geopolitical implications - What sorts of things does Gauntlet model? - How does historical data play a part in predicting blockchain protocol behavior - Simulation models used by Gauntlet - Game design analysis - The parts of the crypto economic stack that would benefit from this simulation work today - How does Gauntlet complement a security audit for a new blockchain - What tools they use for simulation - What Gauntlet looks like as a business and what is the roadmap going forward Links mentioned in this episode: - Gauntlet website: https://bit.ly/3jWq6Bl - Gauntlet on Medium: https://bit.ly/32aTC0d - Tarun on Medium: https://bit.ly/2GGCDut - Tarun's papers: https://bit.ly/3297msj - Gauntlet on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2R7TkRk - Tarun on Twitter: https://bit.ly/328xO5c This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/356

  • 355
    Epicenter
    01:11:00
    Technology
    23

    Celo has a clear mission - to build a financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity, for everyone. The Celo Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the growth and development of the open-source, decentralized Celo Platform. Its aim is to build a flexible network of applications built on a blockchain to facilitate payments and remittances to people’s phone numbers. Guided by the Celo community tenets, the Foundation contributes to education, technical research, environmental health, community engagement, and ecosystem outreach. These activities support and encourage an inclusive financial system that solves real-world problems such as lack of access to sound currency, or friction for cash-transfer programs aimed to alleviate poverty. They are aiming to create a new platform to connect people globally and bring financial stability to those who need it most. Rene Reinsberg and Marek Olszewski, founders of Celo, talk about how they are using blockchain technology to achieve this. Topics discussed in this episode: - Rene and Marek’s backgrounds and how they got into blockchain - The history of Celo and its mission - Some of the friction points with the project and how they have overcome them - What Celo are doing differently than other networks - How Celo are dealing with privacy issues - Why they chose to build on the EVM - The go-to-market strategy that Celo has chosen - How cUSD works and how they deal with the scalability issue on the system - As the reserve holds Bitcoin, how does the transfer of cUSD work? - cUSD vs Maker - The issuance protocol for transferring assets - Host debrief Links mentioned in this episode: - Celo website: https://bit.ly/3jzqFkt - The Celo blog: https://bit.ly/31N2lpi - cLabs announces acquisition of Summa: https://bit.ly/3hMdVGA - Rethinking Remittances with Blockchain Technology and Celo: https://bit.ly/2YVr0WH - Celo Dollars: https://bit.ly/32JYZT1 - Plumo Channel on Discord: https://bit.ly/2YTG2fP - Valora: https://bit.ly/3hOyEd5 - Celo on Twitter: https://bit.ly/3lEThdJ - Rene on Twitter: https://bit.ly/3jzSMQt - Marek on Twitter: https://bit.ly/34WngYP This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/355

  • #354 Cory Doctorow: Reviving the Cypherpunk in All of Us
    Epicenter
    01:06:37
    Technology
    26

    "Cory Doctorow is a blogger, author, and podcaster known for being cypherpunk and activist. For over two decades, he has been a central figure in the fight for digital rights, creative commons, and an open Web. In the midst of the global pandemic, Cory has been vocal about the risks on digital rights and the Patriot Act-ification of security and surveillance measures implemented by governments worldwide. We spoke about his early days, growing up in Canada and discovering the intersection of technology and arts on the web. He also shares his thoughts on crypto its role in the broader vision for the decentralized Web. Topics discussed in this episode: - Cory’s background and how he became interested in science fiction, technology and activism - The role of technology in society and how this has changed over the years - Cory’s views on regulations and the government’s ability to influence technology - Cory’s thoughts on blockchain and cryptocurrency and the impact of energy mining - The current state of the economy - Can crypto as a tool for governance bring something good to the world? - What Cory is currently working on and how you can learn more about him Links mentioned in this episode: - Pluralistic blog: https://bit.ly/3jfIPY6 - Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FViZdQ - New and past novels: https://bit.ly/3gunPv7 - Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://bit.ly/3aZ0qRh - Cory at Reset Everything: https://bit.ly/3lgaUAC - Cory on Twitter: https://bit.ly/2EyzXOx This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/354"

  • #353 Ken Nguyen: Republic – Bridging the Gap Between Investing and Startups
    Epicenter
    01:09:18
    Technology
    32

    "Republic is an investment platform that allows anyone pretty much anywhere in the world, of any income and net worth, to invest in some of the best private equity startups. It allows regular people, not just a few wealthy accredited investors, to invest in highly vetted private startups, with as little as $10 or as much as $100,000 per investment. In the past, accredited investors were the only ones allowed to invest in startups through equity-based incentives. However the JOBS Act of 2016 created an exemption under the federal securities laws so that crowdfunding can be used to offer and sell securities to the general public. Republic launched just after the JOBS Act was passed with a goal to create an investment platform which was truly accessible to everyone. This was around the time that companies began raising funds with ICOs, and Republic was among the first platforms to offer a framework for Security Token Offerings. Republic has recently innovated again with their Republic Note product. This is a profit sharing token which allows investors to receive dividends when companies who raise money on the platform make an exit. The tokens are issued by Republic which distributes a portion of the exit profits to investors in proportion to their holdings. This is a similar model to the Binance Token, which isn't surprising since Republic was the first portfolio company of Binance Labs. Ken Nguyen, Co-founder and CEO of Republic, explains the advantages of crowdfunding over traditional investing, the long term regulatory implications, and the opportunities this model opens up for startup funding. Topics discussed in this episode: - Ken’s background and his history with AngelList - The implications from the JOBS Act 2016 - Ken’s vision for Republic and making investment more accessible for more people - Overview of the US Securities Law and investing - The interaction between Republic and crypto - The types of start-ups and investors using Republic - The importance of the community aspect within start-ups on Republic - The Republic Note token - Republic Note’s Reg A offering and what the benefits of this will be - Where Republic Note can be traded Links mentioned in this episode: - Republic website: https://bit.ly/3g6Vvih - Republic on Medium: https://bit.ly/3iSs9WI - Republic Note: https://bit.ly/3iO53QU - When will the Republic Note’s Reg A offering be qualified?: https://bit.ly/3iRuVeS - Republic Twitter: https://bit.ly/314BjsY - Ken Nguyen Twitter: https://bit.ly/3g6PfHo This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/353"

  • #352 Jack O'Holleran: SKALE Labs – An Ethereum Scaling Solution Using App Specific Blockchains
    Epicenter
    01:09:40
    Technology
    21

    SKALE Network's modular protocol is one of the first of its kind to allow developers to build application specific blockchains. These are interoperable and compatible with the Ethereum mainchain, and the entire Ethereum ecosystem. They provide the benefits of decentralization without compromising on computation, storage, or security. The focus of SKALE Network is slightly different to other scaling solutions, many of which we have had on the show in the past. SKALE Network aims to scale smart contracts, not necessarily transaction throughput. Think of it as a highly performant Ethereum as a service side chain, where developers can deploy their own app specific blockchains. Within the scale network, their dapps will benefit from thousands of TPS with zero gas fees, and addons like file storage. In the future, it’s possible that SKALE will support other addons like machine learning. Jack O'Holleran, CEO and Co-Founder of SKALE Labs, talks about how they are tackling the scaling issues on Ethereum. Topics discussed in this episode: - Jack's background and how he got into cryptocurrency - Jack's thoughts on the problem of scaling on Ethereum - What is a SKALE node and how to start one - Comparisons to Cosmos, Polkadot and Eth 2.0 sharding - The SKALE Network - The purpose of the SKALE Manager and how it interacts with validators and nodes - Creating a dapp on the SKALE network - What is the future of access to connectors - are stores an option? - How security properties work on the network - Who are the users of SKALE and how does one onboard to the network - The NODE Foundation - the launch and grants available Links mentioned in this episode: - SKALE Labs Website: https://bit.ly/2PEkzCm - SKALE Whitepaper: https://bit.ly/31ESdO7 - SKALE Developers: https://bit.ly/3fN8buu - SKALE Discord: https://bit.ly/2DUhDPg - The NODE Foundation: https://bit.ly/30O6Q2p - SKALE Labs Twitter: https://bit.ly/2PGKlGj - Jack Twitter: https://bit.ly/3afbidn This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/352

  • #351 Evan Kuo: AMPL - the Controversial Digital Currency With an Elastic Supply
    Epicenter
    01:13:43
    Technology
    33

    Ampleforth is a cryptocurrency attempting to become an essential building block to an alternative financial ecosystem. The protocol’s native token, AMPL, is a non collateralized cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, but with a twist: It is supply elastic. This means the token and protocol will automatically increase or decrease the quantity of tokens held in user wallets based on 24 hour weighted volume price. AMPL operates as an ERC-20 token on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Some claim that the Ampleforth protocol’s implementation of “countercyclical” economic policy makes it a good complimentary collateral because they posit that this mechanism ought to give AMPL a low correlation to the likes of BTC and ETH. Others are not so sure: Does it really make a difference whether you have an inelastic supply without a target price, or an elastic supply with a target price of one? Is AMPL really not correlated to other types of collateral, and should this be so, does it even matter? There has been a lot of chatter about Ampleforth in recent months. Is it legit, or is it a scam, 'HEX with Stanford credentials', as one pundit commented? We spoke with the co-founder Evan Kuo, who attempts to explain how it all works and straighten out misconceptions surrounding the protocol. Topics discussed in this episode: - Evan’s background - What is Ampleforth and its mission - What is Ampleforth’s value proposition and the rules based system it uses - How the rebasing works - Slow traders vs fast traders - Where profits from fast traders come from - Using Ampleforth as base money - Token distribution - The integration hurdles with AMPL - Does the community truly understand the protocol? Links mentioned in this episode: - Ampleforth website: https://bit.ly/2DuNLZU - AMPL Talk: https://bit.ly/2DiaTei - AMPL Token Distribution: https://bit.ly/3fpCgjG - Ampleforth White Paper: https://bit.ly/2PoiudI - Ampleforth Twitter: https://bit.ly/3ftE8rq - Evan Kuo Twitter: https://bit.ly/33tDnwf This episode is hosted by Friederike Ernst & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/351

  • #350 Fernando Martinelli: Balancer – The Automated Market Maker Protocol for Programmable Liquidity
    Epicenter
    01:33:43
    Technology
    48

    Balancer is a generalized automated market maker (AMM) protocol built on Ethereum. It allows anyone to create or add liquidity to customizable pools and earn trading fees. On one side there are liquidity providers (LPs) that generally seek to balance their holdings, and they get rewarded with trading fees. On the other side, traders that are looking for the best rate possible. One way to look at Balancer is as a generalization of Uniswap, however Balancer pools aren't restricted to the same 50/50 split between 2 tokens. A Balancer pool can support up to 8 tokens with any weights. It supports smart order routing which ensures trades get sent to the pools which provide the best rate possible. They can be seen as self balancing index funds which pay you for contributing liquidity to the platform. Instead of paying fees to portfolio managers to rebalance your portfolio, you collect fees from traders, who continuously rebalance your portfolio by following arbitrage opportunities. The inner workings are quite complex but CEO & Co-founder of Balancer, Fernando Martinelli, breaks down the token economics and governance of the protocol for us. Topics discussed in this episode: - Fernando’s background and how he got into the space - Balancer's connection to Maker - An introduction to liquidity mining and some of the problems with this - The connection to the Uniswap formula - What Balancer is and how the protocol works - How does this work as a Portfolio Management tool and how dynamic are the fees - How smart pools wok - The network of pools and the offchain set up - How the weighting system works on Balancer - The options for users - keeping it simple and the data that is available in your Balancer account - Governance tokens - How the BAL token is designed and how it works - How finance for the protocol is raised - The future plan of dissolving Balancer - How they plan to attract volume - What’s coming up in Balancer V2 Links mentioned in this episode: - Balancer Website: https://bit.ly/2EsmyHG - Balancer White Paper: https://bit.ly/3f9yuL3 - Balancer Discord: https://bit.ly/3jNuPpJ - Balancer Blog: https://bit.ly/30PxNkW - Balancer Twitter: https://bit.ly/2OZElrG - Fernando Twitter: https://bit.ly/39C5pGM This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal & Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/350

  • #349 Allison Lu: UMA – The Open Financial Platform for Building Synthetic Assets
    Epicenter
    01:20:49
    Technology
    37

    UMA, or Universal Market Access, is an open source financial contracts protocol for building synthetic assets. It allows any two counterparties to design and create their own financial contracts for derivatives. An example of these assets in the traditional finance world, are interest rate derivatives. These are used to hedge against fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Today, interest rate derivatives are commonly used and the contracts to create these are standardized. Similarly, UMA allows anyone to create a derivative on a blockchain. Enforcement of agreement will be enforced by the network and so will settlement. What’s unique about UMA is how it ensures proper collateralization of derivatives. Maker and other platforms based on collateralized positions use a price oracle and will automatically liquidate positions if they go below a certain threshold. UMA is ‘priceless’ and does not use an on-chain price feed as the primary means to determine proper collateralization. Rather, it incentivizes participants to identify improperly collateralized positions. UMA token holders essentially vote on the price. Allison Lu, co-founder of UMA, chats in-depth about the platform and provides a great introduction to the world of financial derivatives. Topics discussed in this episode: - Allison’s background and how she got into blockchain - What derivatives are and how they work in the legacy financial system - How the UMA protocol works - How synthetic tokens are traded and fungibility - Creating put options on the framework - How does this compare to prediction markets - UMA’s liquid mechanism - Priceless synthetics - What are the incentives on the protocol - The importance of delayed reaction times - How liquidation work and minting works - How to prevent scamming - The dispute process and corruption - What makes the UMA protocol unique - The UMA roadmap Links mentioned in this episode: - UMA Website: https://bit.ly/30rn2Fi - UMA Docs: https://bit.ly/30BkMv6 - UMA Github: https://bit.ly/2BiuYAd - UMA Medium: https://bit.ly/2BjhLHp - UMA Twitter: https://bit.ly/30xVXQL - Allison Lu Twitter: https://bit.ly/2OK91xa This episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/349

  • #348 Richard Craib: Numerai – The Crowdsourced Predictive Model Hedge Fund
    Epicenter
    01:19:37
    Technology
    42

    Numerai, the "hardest data science tournament on the planet". It's a hedge fund with its own distributed research platform designed specifically for AIs. It's the first of its kind and takes a radically different approach to making market predictions. It's completely crowd-sourced and data scientists around the world compete to create the best predictions and get paid with cryptocurrencies. Users are completely blind to the data and Numerai is blind to the code, and the predictive models users generate. The result is a hedge fund which is market neutral, currency neutral, and geography neutral. It makes all decisions solely on the data. Richard Craib, Founder of Numerai, was first on the show 3 years ago when the project's token, Numeraire, was just launched. Since then they have released a number of additions to the network including Numerai Signals and Erasure Bay, with plenty more in the pipeline. Topics discussed in this episode: - An overview of what the past 3 years since the last episode - The Numerai staking model - Numerai datasets - What is a market neutral fund - Numerai’s current assets and their position in the market - Staking liquid NMR - The latest project - Numerai Signals - Numerai's prediction markets Erasure Bay - How the future looks for hedge funding on the blockchain Links mentioned in this episode: - Numerai website: https://bit.ly/3eyT1sk - Erasure Bay: https://bit.ly/2ZreleL - Numerai Signals: https://bit.ly/32eOSqG - Numerai Medium: https://bit.ly/32hpSPy - Numerai Twitter: https://bit.ly/2AXTbvn - Richard Craib Twitter: https://bit.ly/2OpKop2 This episode is hosted by Friederike Ernst & Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/348

  • #347 Dieter Fishbein & Joe Petrowski: Polkadot – Claiming Digital Sovereignty on Blockchain
    Epicenter
    01:14:42
    Technology
    60

    Polkadot is a unique protocol connecting multiple purpose-built blockchains into one scalable network. It's using blockchain technology to make way for new markets and future decentralized economies and has many stand out features. It's a sharded multichain network enabling many transactions on several chains in parallel. It offers interoperability and cross-chain communication. Communities on Polkadot govern their own network, and hold a stake in the future of Polkadot’s network governance as a whole. It also enables forkless upgrades, allowing blockchains to evolve and adapt easily. Over 100 projects have been or are currently being built for the Polkadot ecosystem, in a wide range of services and systems. After being in the development stage for 3 years, Polkadot was launched earlier this year. It's the first project by Web3 Foundation, and Parity are behind the development. Dieter Fishbein, Head of Ecosystem Development at Web3 Foundation, and Joe Petrowski, Research Analyst at Parity Technologies, share an in depth overview on the economics and incentives behind the protocol. Polkadot is designed to take back our digital sovereignty from powerful third-parties who currently control the web. It promises to take blockchain technology to the next level, and we believe it will do just that. Topics discussed in this episode: - Dieter and Joe’s backgrounds and how they got into the crypto space - The Polkadot vision - The key components of the Polkadot protocol - Kusama - Polkadot's cousin - Scalability, Security, and Interoperability - The stages of the Polkadot launch and what is coming next - Building with Substrate - The parachains being developed - Leasing parachain slots - Running validators on Polkadot Links mentioned in this episode: - Polkadot Website: http://bit.ly/2qkm5wM - Kusama Website: https://bit.ly/2VSEtxc - The Polkadot launch: https://bit.ly/2VUX4sa - Polkadot Twitter: https://bit.ly/3e4PIc6 - Dieter Fishbein Twitter: https://bit.ly/2CgfrRi - Joe Petrowski Twitter: https://bit.ly/2BNveHs This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/347

  • #346 Dan Guido: Trail of Bits – The Evolution of Smart Contract Security
    Epicenter
    01:06:02
    Technology
    34

    Just like all software, smart contracts on the blockchain are subject to serious security vulnerabilities and coding errors. The fact however that smart contracts are often directly in charge of assets and cannot be changed once they are on the blockchain, makes secure development and running essential. Some smart contract platforms have their own languages, for example Solidity in Ethereum. Bugs and vulnerabilities in the source code, and errors in the virtual machines used by the network, are the main reasons behind security issues in smart contracts. Projects using blockchain applications should expect constant changes in the security landscape. New bugs, security risks, and best practices will continue to emerge over time. Trail of Bits is a software security firm who advise in a range of industries for some top companies, including in the blockchain space. They are experts at identifying top-level risks and implementation vulnerabilities, and providing essential recommendations on best practices. Dan Guido, the CEO and Co-founder, explains all things software security in a really detailed and technical, yet easy to digest way. We also recommend you check out their exceptional blog packed with invaluable resources. Topics discussed in this episode: - Dan’s background and how he came to create Trail of Bits - What led Dan into the blockchain field - How security software has changed over the last 20 years - The unique challenges for security on blockchain and smart contract protocols - Smart contract languages and security - Slither - Trail of Bits’s suite of Ethereum based security tools - Dan’s opinion on Solidity’s future and Vyper as an alternative - Formally Verified Languages - A use case on how Trail of Bits works - Working with upgradeable contracts - Composability and security - Are compilers trustworthy? - Other security issues in the blockchain space as DeFi grows - The future of software security and the role of AI Links mentioned in this episode: - Trail of Bits Website: https://bit.ly/31wdnQ4 - Anatomy of an Unsafe Smart Contract Programming Language: https://bit.ly/2BMNqAN - Slither, Github: https://bit.ly/31rvgzn - Slither: The Leading Static Analyzer for Smart Contracts: https://bit.ly/2NErOcw - 246 Findings From our Smart Contract Audits: An Executive Summary: https://bit.ly/2CYivSR - Rapid Risk Assessment (RRA): https://mzl.la/3dGQjQN - Our Full Report on the Voatz Mobile Voting Platform: https://bit.ly/3dK73Xt - A Guide to Post-Quantum Cryptography: https://bit.ly/3eMsp7L - BSides Lisbon 2016 - Keynote - The Smart Fuzzer Revolution by Dan Guido: https://bit.ly/2YKixG1 - The Smart Fuzzer Revolution: https://bit.ly/3gffmwi - Trail of Bits Twitter: https://bit.ly/2ZnXR5V - Dan Guido Twitter: https://bit.ly/3dOYKJU This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/346

  • #345 Hugh Karp: Nexus Mutual – The Decentralized Insurance for Ethereum
    Epicenter
    01:00:19
    Technology
    41

    Nexus Mutual provides an alternative decentralized insurance solution for Ethereum. The protocol is built on the public chain and operates under a discretionary mutual structure meaning it is owned wholly by its members. It allows anyone to become a member and buy cover, and the model encourages engagement as members receive incentives for participating in Risk Assessment, Claims Assessment and Governance. At present the product offered is cover to protect against hacks in smart contract code. When Nexus Mutual is alerted to a claim, members will also be asked to vote on whether to pay out on that claim or not. Hugh Karp, the CEO and Founder of Nexus Mutual, has combined his insurance industry knowledge with his passion for decentralized technology to build this platform which is replacing the traditional insurance setup. They are currently looking into expanding to offer more insurance products and we are excited to see where they go next. Topics discussed in this episode: - Hugh’s background in insurance and how he moved into the blockchain space - What drove Hugh to build this decentralized platform - Mutual insurance and the regulations involved - The scaling problem in mutual companies - The benefits this type of insurance can bring to the DeFi world - The claim assessment process - The native token, NXM - How Nexus tackle price discovery - How does Nexus manage correlation risks - How much has been contributed to the pool so far - Mutual vs other models of insurance on the DeFi space - The legalities behind Nexus - Where they are looking to expand and what the next 12 months look like Links mentioned in this episode: - Nexus Mutual Website: https://bit.ly/37Tq88l - The White Paper: https://bit.ly/2B05KGs - Nexus Mutual Use Cases: https://bit.ly/2CzdHmB - Nexus Mutual Discord: https://bit.ly/2Yp34eo - Nexus Mutual Twitter: https://bit.ly/2YYGfO0 - Hugh Karp Twitter: https://bit.ly/3191103 This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: https://epicenter.tv/345