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.
316 Episodes
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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
We're joined by Rob Dawson, Head of Product at PegaSys. PegaSys is the protocol engineering spoke of ConsenSys, and the team building Pantheon, a Java implementation of the Ethereum client. The Pantheon client was built from the ground up as both a mainnet, and consortium chain client. Written in Java with an Apache 2.0 license, it benefits from being easily accessible to enterprises, who predominantly use that language. The PegaSys team has built additional features into the Pantheon client like privacy, permissioning, and the ability to deploy chains on IBFT, a consensus algorithm better suited for consortium networks of up to 40 validators. Working closely with other protocol teams (Geth and Parity), and being a founding member of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, PegaSys is also working towards Ethereum 2.0.Topics covered in this episode:Rob’s background as an enterprise Java developer and how he became involved in the blockchain spaceThe role of PegaSys in the broader ConsenSys ecosystemThe Pantheon client and why they chose to build a new Ethereum clientThe case for Java and why enterprise has a preference for this languagePantheon’s unique features of privacy, permissioning, and performanceWhat is Istanbul BFT and how it differs from Parity POA and Tendermint BFTThe types of applications which are better suited for IBFTThe Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) and PegaSys’ work on standardsPegaSys’ work on Ethereum 1.x and Ethereum 2.0The team's recently announced certification programEpisode links:PegaSys WebsiteIntroducing Pantheon, a Mainnet Java Client - Demo & Roadmap (Devcon4)Another day, another consensus algorithm. Why IBFT 2.0?Scaling Consensus for Enterprise: Explaining the IBFT AlgorithmBlog Posts and Webinars - PantheonPegaSysEng/pantheon: An enterprise-grade Java-based, Apache 2.0licensed Ethereum clientPegaSysEng/artemis: Java Implementation of the Ethereum 2.0 BeaconChainKomgoSponsors: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/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/294
The complex and evolving regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies has been a topic for many years. After a long period of waiting, the SEC started pursuing fraud causes in the last 1-2 years. But the recent lawsuit against Kik is the first time that the SEC goes after a large, non-fraud case.We were joined by lawyer Stephen Palley to discuss the Kik case, the US regulatory landscape and recent announcement of the Libra cryptocurrency promoted by Facebook.Topics covered in this episode:The SEC lawsuit against KikThe potential path of the process and how it could resolve in the endWhy the Kik case is unlikely to provide any regulatory clarity in the next few yearsWhat a settlement in the Kik case could look likeWhether the Howey test is still a sensible way to regulate securitiesHow US regulators will deal with decentralized exchangesStephen's thoughts on LibraEpisode links:Annotated Guide to the SEC's Complaint against KIK - Katherine WuKik and the SEC: What’s Going On and What Does It Mean for Crypto? -Katie HaunKin Sets Up $5 Million DefendCrypto.org to Take on the SEC - UnchainedPodcastSEC vs. Kik: The Lawyers Speak - CoinDeskEpisode 135 with Stephen Palley: Lawmodynamics – How to Sue a DAOStephen Palley on TwitterSponsors:Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.comAzure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks - http://aka.ms/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/293
This is part two of a two part bonus series. These sessions were recorded at the first Interchain Conversations conference which took place in Berlin on June 13th and 14th, 2019.The firs part of this bonus episode features the validator panel moderated by Brian Fabian Crain, Co-founder of Chorus One. The panel included Florian Liss of Staking Facilities, Hendrik Hofstadt of Certus One, Aurel Iancu of Dokia Capital, and Jun Soon Kim of stake.fish. The conversation goes into the role of validators beyond staking, ways in which we can avoid too much centralization, and how validators will differentiate in a market which tends towards homogeneity.The second part of this episode is a governance debate moderated by Sunny Aggarwal. The first topic is on plutocracy and features Jae Kwon and Rigel Rozanski. The second is about revokable governance and features Chris Goes and Jack Jampolin.Subscribe to Epicenter for new episodes every week.
This is part one of a two-part bonus series. These sessions were recorded at the first Interchain Conversations conference which took place in Berlin on June 13th and 14th, 2019.The first part of this episode is “Epicenter Live,” a live podcast recorded on stage at the event. It features hosts Meher Roy, Sunny Aggarwal, Brian Fabian Crain, and Sebastien Couture. In this conversation, we discuss the topic of blockchain interoperability. We look at how different projects address interoperability and seek to form a picture of how these projects might interact in a multi-blockchain future. We also discuss how these protocols address application comparability and speculate on how they will remain competitive.The second segment is the opening Q&A between Jae Kwon and Sebastien Couture. Among other things, Sebastien spoke with Jae about the recent Cosmos launch, the Interchain Foundation, and the future of the Tendermint company.Subscribe to Epicenter for new episodes every week.
The concept of a decentralized exchange has been a holy grail in the cryptocurrency space for many years. Many attempts have been made, but most decentralized exchanges suffered from central points of failure, poor user experience and little liquidity.Launched during Ethereum's DevCon 2018, Uniswap is one of the first fully decentralized exchanges and managed to become the leading DEX very fast. We were joined by Uniswap Founder Hayden Adams to discuss Uniswap's unique model, the different participants in the protocol and the importance of decentralized exchanges for the blockchain space.Topics covered in this episode:How Hayden's exploratory project to learn smart contract development took off and became UniswapHow Uniswap works and its different participantsThe advantage of an automated exchange instead of using order booksThe role of liquidity providers in UniswapFeedback loops that can make Uniswap markets popular or collapseThe challenging economics of liquidity sharesAddressing Arthur Hayes' criticism of decentralized exchangesWhy Uniswap didn't create a tokeneconomic monetization modelEpisode links:Uniswap Exchange ProtocolUniswap WhitepaperUniswap: Getting Started & DocumentationUnisocks ExchangeDistributed 2018: Presentation about Decentralized Exchanges by Arthur Hayes (BitMEX)Buidl Asia 2019 Conference in Seoul, Korea on July 22-23HackAtom Seoul on July 19-21Sponsors: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 Brian Fabian Crain & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/292
We're joined by Tal Moran, Chief Scientist at Spacemesh. This new consensus protocol is designed to run on home desktop PCs, filling free space on users' hard drives to create a Proof of Space-Time. The goal of this new blockchain protocol is to solve the issues with Proof of Work and Proof of Stake, that is, energy inefficiency on the one hand, and possible centralized plutarchy of rich validators on the other.Topics covered in this episode:Tal's background as an academic and researcherThe problems with Proof of Stake and Proof of WorkWhat is Proof of Space-Time and how it worksHow miners use their hard drive space to establish proofsHow randomness is generated in SpacemeshSpacemesh's DAG architecture and how blocks are added to the chainThe tortoise and hare protocols proposed by SpacemeshThe Spacemesh team and recent funding roundThe project's business model and roadmapEpisode links:SpacemeshSpacemesh white paperTal's CESC18 talk in San FransiscoSpacemesh on GitHubSpacemesh on TwitterSpacemesh on MediumInterchain Conversations Berlin event – use code EPICENTER for discounted ticketsCosmos Hackatom BerlinSponsors:Vaultoro: Trade gold to Bitcoin instantly and securely starting at just 1mg - http://vaultoro.comCosmos: 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/291
We’re joined by Dominic Tarr, a sailor, and the Founder of Secure Scuttlebutt. This curiously named project has a fascinating approach to creating a truly distributed social network. One might even say that Secure Scuttlebutt is “localized” as it gracefully degrades to Sneakernet, something few blockchain projects can claim. In actuality, the SSB protocol isn’t a blockchain in the traditional sense – each user’s feed acts as a sort of localized chain of posts, signed by their public key, and possibly encrypted for a friend's key to decrypt. When users meet, the system syncs their local databases using a gossip protocol and replicates the data. Encrypted data is transported from peer, to peer, to peer (or friends of friends) until it reaches its intended recipient. User may also optionally rely on public servers to sync data over the internet.Topics covered in this episode:Daniels background and life living on a boat off the coast of New ZealandHow being at sea gave him the idea for Secure ScuttlebuttWhat is Secure Scuttlebutt and what are the goals of the projectThe issues with centralization and redefining decentralization as a positive statementThe notion that the technological singularity only serves the goals of centralized powerHow SSB stores information and how posts get propagates from between friends, and friends of friendsHow the network leverages “Pub” servers to sync data over the internetUsage of the platform and the communities which thrive thereThe cost of spam and how users protect against DDoS attacksThe project’s funding and roadmapEpisode links:Secure Scuttlebutt websiteScuttlebutt Protocol GuideManyverse mobile clientDesigning a Secret Handshake: AuthenticatedKey Exchange as a Capability SystemEfficientReconciliationandFlow ControlforAnti-Entropy ProtocolsScuttlebutt: an off-grid P2P social network that runs without servers andcan fall back to sneakernetThe Nomad Who’s Exploding the Internet Into PiecesCounter-Anti-Disintermediation“The Third Web” interview with Dominic TarrDominic Tarr on 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/epicenterThis episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/290
We’re joined by Dan Robinson, a research partner at Paradigm, and the author the “Rainbow Network” paper. The paper describes an off-chain decentralized synthetics exchange which leverages payment channels. The Rainbow Network is based on the idea that “rainbows are basically just multicolored lightning,” borrowing from the concepts used in the Lightning Network. The protocol relies on trusted oracles and allows participants to trade any type of liquid asset off-chain. All that is necessary to complete a transaction is an on-chain payment channel collateralized by a single asset. Though it is still at the idea stage and has yet to be implemented, the Rainbow Network could have applications in prediction market and as a new type of decentralized exchange.Topics covered in this episode:Dan’s background as a securities layer turned coderHis trajectory from working at Chain, to spending some time at Stellar, to joining Paradigm FundHis involvement in the development of the Plasma Cash and Plasma Debit protocolsThoughts and criticisms of using HTLC’s in LightningWhat is the idea behind Rainbow Network and how to understand it in the context of LightningWhat are synthetics assets and the ability to trade multiple assets in a single payment channelThe ability to have leverage in a Rainbow channel tradeNext steps in research and implementationDan’s contribution to the Ivey “smart contract” language for BitcoinEpisode links:Rainbow Network white paperIvy Playground for BitcoinMirror projectParadigmDan Robinson on MediumDan Robinson on TwitterInterchain Conversations Berlin event – use code EPICENTER for discounted ticketsCosmos Hackatom BerlinSponsors: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 Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/289
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Comments (1)

Philip-Alexander Jach

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

Jun 5th
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