DiscoverEpicenter - Learn about Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies
Epicenter - Learn about Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

Epicenter - Learn about Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

Author: Epicenter Media Ltd.

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Epicenter brings you in-depth conversations about the technical, economic and social implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Every week, we interview business leaders, engineers academics and entrepreneurs, and bring you a diverse spectrum of opinions and points of view.

Epicenter is hosted by Sebastien Couture, Brian Fabian Crain, Meher Roy, Sunny Aggarwal, and Friederike Ernst. Since 214, episodes have been downloaded over 4 million times.
324 Episodes
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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 covered 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 metadataEpisode links: - [David Chaum’s website](https://chaum.com)- [DigiCash](https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/digicash.asp)- [lists.cpunks.org Mailing Lists](https://lists.cpunks.org/mailman/listinfo)- [DigiCash - Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DigiCash)- [Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payments](https://www.chaum.com/publications/Chaum-blind-signatures.PDF)- [DigiCash announcement article from 1994](https://www.chaum.com/ecash/articles/1994/05-27-94%20-%20World_s%20first%20electronic%20cash%20payment%20over%20computer%20networks.pdf)- [Project Page: Multiparty Computation](https://www.chaum.com/spymasters/)- [Security without Identification](https://www.chaum.com/publications/Security_Wthout_Identification.html)- [Elixxir - Home](https://elixxir.io/)- [Elixxir - Real Cryptography, Real Time: Precomputations in Elixxir](https://elixxir.io/blog/real-cryptography-real-time)- [Elixxir - Why Mark Zuckerberg wants no privacy, why he wrote his letter, and why it won’t help him](https://elixxir.io/blog/why-zuckerberg-wants-no-privacy)- [Elixxir - Point of Departure](https://elixxir.io/blog/point-of-departure)- [cMix white paper](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B1jv03qc8E1kx0kvGFx4blzwXrQepMyy/view)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.comThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: [epicenter.tv/304](https://epicenter.tv/304)
We're joined by Ayo Akinyele, CEO of Bolt Labs. Bolt is building a new privacy-focused layer-2 payment channel network design. Initially designed by Matt Green and Ian Meyers, Bolt is being commercialized by Ayo and his team. Beginning with a Zcash integration, they have plans to implement on several crypto networks. We chat with Ayo about the technical design of BOLT channels, their privacy guarantees, how they complement designs like Lightning, and their synergies with the Zcash team.Topics covered in this episode:Privacy in LightningTechnical design of Bolt channelsArchitecture of Bolt channel networksIntegrations with existing networksSynergies with Zcash projectRegulatory aspect of payment channel hubsEpisode links:Bolt Labs websiteBolt: Anonymous Payment Channels for Decentralized Currencies (white paper_Bolt Zcash implementationBolt: anonymous payment channels for decentralized currencies – Part IBolt: anonymous payment channels for decentralized currencies – Part IIAyo Akinyele on TwitterStarkware Session: September 16th in Tel Aviv – 20% off with the code EPICENTERChain-Aviv #4: The era of new rising chains and assets – September 11th in Tel AvivSponsors:Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Meher Roy & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/303
We’re joined by Eric Conner and Anthony Sassano, founders of EthHub. Started in January of 2019, EthHub’s goal is to provide a trusted, objective source of information for the Ethereum ecosystem. The platform is made up of an open-source documentation website, a weekly newsletter, and a podcast, “Into the Ether” hosted by Eric and Anthony. Both active and vocal members of the Ethereum community, they are known to embody what some consider to be Ethereum Maximalism.Topics covered in this episode:What is EthHub and why they decided to start the organizationEric and Anthony’s view on the current state of the Ethereum communityThe different cliques, factions, and sub-groups in EthereumThe role of the Foundation and Vitalik Buterin as they see itA close look into project funding in Ethereum and the emergence of DAOs for fundingReflections on Anthony’s “Why Ether is Valuable” pieceThe state of Ethereum 2.0 research and the different parties involvedTheir views on where the crypto space is heading in the next 5 yearsEpisode links:EthHub websiteInto the Ether podcastEthHub NewsletterWhy Ether is ValuableIs Ether needed for transaction fees?Ethereum Project FundingEthHub on TwitterAnthony Sassano on TwitterEric Conner on TwitterEpicenter Meetup at TelAviv Blockchain Week – Monday September 16thSponsors:Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.comTrail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.comThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/302
This week we're joined by Daniel Shin. He is the Co-Founder of Terra Money and previous CEO and Co-Founder of TMON, one of Korea's largest players e-commerce platforms. Today he talks about his success in that area and how that drove him to enter the cryptocurrency and blockchain space with this new project.Daniel was lead to blockchain when looking for a solution to reduce transaction fees paid by online merchants. Not satisfied with just using an existing stable coin, he set about to make his own, which is how Terra was born.Topics covered in this episode:Daniel's background with TMON and his need to explore new transaction cost-cutting ideasHow Daniel discovered that cryptocurrencies may help reduce intermediaries in the payment spaceTerra's impressive partnerships with some of Korea's largest e-commerce playersThe stability mechanism and the role of the Luna tokenThe role of miners in Terra and the currency's seigniorage modelComparisons to other stablecoins like Maker DAI and LibraThe contingency plans in the event of a catastrophic plummet in demandHow Cosmos formed the basis on which Terra was builtTerra's business model and product roadmapEpisode links:Terra on GitHubTerra white paperIntroducing the new Terra ProtocolUse Cases for Decentralized Money (Stablecoin)Scaling SeigniorageTerra Research ForumTerra TwitterTMONSponsors:Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/301
We’re joined by Erik Voorhees, Founder & CEO of Shapeshift. His third appearance on the podcast is timed nicely as July marked ShapeShift’s fifth anniversary. From its early days as the “Google Translate for cryptocurrencies”, it has grown into an organization of 75 people, and Erik talks about the learning curves he has endured on his journey. Our conversation also coincides with the launch of ShapeShift’s brand new V2 platform, which includes a self-custodial asset management dashboard, hardware wallet support, and many other new features. One notable change is that ShapeShift now requires users to create an account and perform KYC, something which very much pains Erik. We also discuss Bitcoin, Libra, and the future of money, topics which are always fascinating to approach from Erik’s Libertarian viewpoint.Topics covered in this episode:ShapeShift celebrating its 5th anniversary the lessons learned since launchWhat is ShapeShift 2.0 and the problems addressed by this productShapeShift's new features and what people can expect to come in the futureWhy users now have to register and perform KYCWhat is the FOX token and what is it's utilityShapeShift's business model and target segmentWhy the company chose to shut down PrismErik's views on the Bitcoin and Ethereum ecosystems todaySpeculations about Libra and the future of moneyEpisode links:ShapeShiftShapeShift on GitHubBuilding a Bridge to Financial Sovereignty (ShapeShift 2.0 announcement)Erik's tweetstorm on LibraKeepKey Release NotesShapeShift TwitterErik Voorhees TwitterSponsors:Trail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.comAzure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks - http://aka.ms/epicenterStarkWare Sessions: September 16th in Tel Aviv – 20% off with the code EPICENTER - https://epicenter.rocks/starkwareThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/300
We're joined by Igor Barinov, the tech lead of the POA Network. The POA Network achieves a reduction in transaction costs by many orders of magnitude by having a set of trusted validators. All validators must be US public notaries, so their identities are known and legal recourse against them can be taken in the offchain world. We also talk about the xDai network, which enables Dai transactions on a POA chain: Dai are transferred into a smart contract on the mainnet and then become available to be transferred at much lower cost on the POA Network. Similarly, they can be transferred out of the xDai network and become available again on the mainchain. We talk about use cases, governance, and limitations.Topics covered in this episode:Igor's background and how he got into blockchainThe POA network setup and how to become a validatorWhat informs design decisions and how to find suitable notariesThe consensus mechanism on the POA NetworkThe role of the POA tokenThe xDai network and its purposeThe role of the DPOS tokenUse cases of POA and xDai NetworksEpisode links:POA Network websitePOA products overviewxDAI ChainPOSDAO White paperOcean Protocol releases own POA networkBeginners guide: What's the POA networkSponsors:StarkWare Sessions: September 16th in Tel Aviv – 20% off with the code EPICENTER - https://epicenter.rocks/starkwareTrail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.comVaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.comThis episode is hosted by Meher Roy & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/299
We're joined by Rune Christensen, CEO and Co-Founder of MakerDAO. We discuss the rise of Maker DAI as an algorithmically backed stable token and get into the weeds of the new version featuring multi collateral DAI as well as the ability to natively generate interest on DAI. We also cover the current governance model and how this can be attacked. The governance will undergo an overhall for the new version of Maker, introducing an Emergency Shutdown that can be triggered through MKR holders and promises to make the system more resilient. Lastly, we venture into what Rune hopes the future will bring for MakerDAO.Topics covered in this episode:Recap of how single collateral DAI is kept at peg of 1 USDWhy was DAI intermittently trading at < 1USDGovernance functions exercised by MKR holdersSale of MKR tokens and MKR distributionIs the current governance model satisfactory?New governance mechanisms to be rolled out soonIntroduction of multi collateral DAIInterest generating DAI: Implementation and rationaleFuture of Maker DAO: What will be able to serve as collateral?Episode links:MakerDAO white paperMakerDAO CDP portalMakerDAO BlogRoadmap Multi Collateral DAIDAI in numbersDAI in DeFiSponsors:Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenterAzure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks - http://aka.ms/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Sunny Aggarwal & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/298
We’re joined by Ameen Soleimani, Co-founder and CEO of SpankChan. From his humble beginnings at ConsenSys, he went on to create SpankChain in 2017 at the height of the ICO boom. The project aims to create a better and safer environment for sex workers by removing the intermediaries who take significant commissions on their revenues. SpankChain’s initial product, an adult cam platform, allows users to pay performers in crypto with a native asset over sophisticated payment channels. More recently, Ameen headed a project called Moloch DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization with the goal to fund Ethereum 2.0 development. Moloch has but few simple functions: making proposals, voting on proposals, and exiting. This simple design, heavily inspired on “The DAO” of 2016 has attracted funding from Vitalik Buterin, Joe Lubin and other prominent community members.Topics covered in this episode:Ameen’s background as an early ConsenSys employee working on payment channelsWhy Ameen decided to found SpankChain and how the project has evolved since its inceptionWhat is Moloch DAO and why he decided to launch itThe mechanism behind Moloch and how it compares to other DAOsHow one becomes a member of Moloch and participates in governanceThe simplicity of Moloch DAO and its essential functionsHow Moloch DAO scales and its intended lack of a smart contract upgrade mechanismThe attention and funding the project has already receivedProposals already made on Moloch, including YangDAO, and their utility to the ecosystemAmeen’s views on the broader Ethereum space, his outlook on Eth 2.0 and the future of the projectEpisode links:Moloch DAOMoloch Ventures · GitHubMoloch DAO white paperMoloch Summoning GuideThe State of Ethereum 2.0 reportA Study of Libp2p and ETH2A Call for a Temporary Moratorium on The DAOYangDAOAmeen Soleimani on TwitterMoloch DAO on TwitterSpankChainDappCon – 20% off with the code “EpicenterDappcon2019”Epicenter Meetup at Berlin Blockchain Week – Thu 22 Aug 2019Berlin Blockchain Week 2019Sponsors:Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks - http://aka.ms/epicenterTrail of Bits: Trust the team at the forefront of blockchain security research - https://trailofbits.comThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/297
We’re joined by Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center. Having discovered Bitcoin in 2011, Jerry was among the first lawyers to talk about crypto in the U.S. capital. In 2014, he founded Coin Center, a leading research and advocacy center focussing on cryptocurrencies.In this enlightening conversation, we talk to Jerry about his paper titled “The Case for Electronic Cash,” in which he articulates why private peer-to-peer payments are essential to an open society. We also discuss Libra and the possible regulatory challenges the proposed private cash system may face. Finally, Jerry explains the recent FinCEN guidance on cryptocurrencies, which broadly follows the recommendations of Coin Center.Topics covered in this episode:Jerry’s background as a lawyer and his crypto beginnings in D.C.Coin Center, it’s mission and the primary battles which the organization is fighting“The Case for Electronic Cash” paper and why cash is vital for a free and open societyThe main dysfunctions of cashless societiesJerry’s high-level views on LibraHow Libra is different from other cryptocurrencies and electronic payment systemsThe backlash immediately following the announcement and how it was received by governmentsWays in which Libra could be regulatedThe recent FinCEN guidance and how it affects cryptocurrency users and companiesEpisode links:Coin CenterJerry Brito's websiteFinCEN’s new cryptocurrency guidance matches Coin Center recommendationsThe Case for Electronic CashThe differences between Bitcoin and Libra should matter to policymakersJerry's thoughts on Libra (tweetsorm)Jerry response to Libra Association's Head of Policy on sanction's list (tweetsorm)Buidl AsiaHackAtom SeoulDappCon – 20% off with the code “EpicenterDappcon2019”Announcing the Chorus One PodcastCosmology – A newsletter about the Cosmos networkSponsors:Vaultoro: Vaultoro - Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mgAzure: Azure - Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicksThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/296
In this episode, we caught up with Robert Leshner, founder of the Compound protocol. Compound is a fascinating smart contract protocol, running atop Ethereum, that allows users to lend and borrow specific ERC-20 tokens with a duration-free interest model. The protocol acts as a central borrower and lender of user tokens and algorithmically prices the interest charged to borrowers and lenders. Compound is one of the first examples of a well-functioning lending market built using smart contracts.Topics covered in this episode:Robert's background and how he came to found CompoundThe workings of the compound protocolStatistics of usage of the protocolIntended plan for governance of the protocol in the futureBusiness model of the company and the protocolComparison of compound to other lending protocols on EthereumOutlook and future plansEpisode links:Compound WebsiteCompound Protocol StatsOur plan to create Compound v2Robert Leshner on TwitterRobert Leshner on LinkedinCompound Finance on TwitterSponsors:Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchains - http://cosmos.network/epicenterVaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.comThis episode is hosted by Meher Roy & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/295
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Comments (3)

Philip-Alexander Jach

Was ein Ehrenmann!

Aug 17th
Reply

Philip-Alexander Jach

Libra shouldnt be regulated, and neither should anything else

Jul 26th
Reply

Philip-Alexander Jach

Fuck your regulations, crypto exists to undermine them. Dont tread on me.

Jun 5th
Reply
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