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Guests:Lee Bratcher (twitter.com/lee_bratcher)Ben Hertz-Shargel (twitter.com/benhertzshargel)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Bitcoin mining is good for the grid.”Bitcoin advocates think bitcoin is a good invention for many reasons, one of which is that it makes the power grid more robust. In 2021, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas made the claim that Bitcoin is, and I quote, “a way to strengthen our energy infrastructure.”But is it? How exactly does bitcoin mining make the grid more robust?In today’s debate, I wanted to focus more on whether bitcoin is good for the grid, not whether bitcoin is good. So I try to steer the conversation away from whether bitcoin is a societal good, independent of its impact on the electric grid.One of our guests today is a researcher in the subject matter of electric power grids. The other guest runs a trade group that tries to advocate for bitcoin and crypto industries in the state of Texas.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/04/bitcoin-miners-say-theyre-fixing-texas-electric-grid-ted-cruz-agrees.htmlhttps://www.utilitydive.com/news/bitcoin-mining-as-a-grid-resource-its-complicated/617896/https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2021/11/29/why-cryptocurrency-miners-pose-the-next-big-threat-to-the-texas-electric-grid/https://www.woodmac.com/industry/power-and-renewables/grid-edge-service/Guest bios:Lee Bratcher is the President and Founder of the Texas Blockchain Council. The Texas Blockchain Council is an industry association that seeks to make Texas the jurisdiction of choice for Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain. The TBC helped to research two pieces of blockchain legislation that were passed by the state’s Legislative body signed into effect by state Governor.Ben Hertz-Shargel is Global Head of Grid Edge at Wood Mackenzie, where he leads research across electrification, distributed energy resources, and demand flexibility. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and serves on the external Advisory Committee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Energy and Environment Program. Ben holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UCLA and spent a decade developing demand response technology.
Guests:Ed Felten (twitter.com/edfelten)Tushar Jain (twitter.com/TusharJain_)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “We should always reduce MEV on blockchains."Generally speaking, MEV or Miner Extractable Value is a way for miners to derive additional revenue by executing transactions based on information in the mem pool. For instance, say a miner notices a transaction in the mem pool waiting to be included in a block. Maybe this is a transaction to buy up some cheap Ethereum. The miner can execute that purchase themselves, at the expense of the trader that placed the original order. And of course, this means value got extracted by the miner, transferred from the original trader. This behavior pattern, of course, applies to both miners and validators. Or to all block producers, to be generic.The question is, is MEV an inevitability of blockchain systems? Are there ways to reduce it? Are our resources better spent creating systems that reduce as much MEV as possible, or should we acknowledge their existence and try to distribute that MEV more fairly, or at least transparently?Our two guests today include a layer-2 founder and a VC well-versed in this area. It will be a great discussion.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):https://pdaian.com/blog/mev-wat-do/https://multicoin.capital/2021/09/08/tokenizing-mev/https://medium.com/offchainlabs/meva-what-is-it-good-for-de8a96c0e67chttps://docs.flashbots.net/flashbots-protect/overviewGuest bios:Ed Felten is co-founder and chief scientist at Offchain Labs, the inventor of Arbitrum, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum. He was previously a professor of Computer Science at Princeton, and before that the Chief Technologist for the Federal Trade Commission as well as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House.Tushar Jain is co-founder and Managing Partner of Multicoin Capital, one of the most successful crypto funds in the last cycle.
Announcement: I have a new show called “Crypto This Week.” It’s a weekly, five-minute news comedy satire focused on the world of crypto. Check it out on YouTube here: Crypto This Week with Richard YanGuests:Liron Shapira (twitter.com/liron)Kyle Samani (twitter.com/kylesamani)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Web3 is worse than Web2.”Web3 is a new buzzword that’s generated a lot of excitement, but also a lot of confusion and division. You’ve got plenty of intelligent and reputable individuals on both sides, either advocating it as the future or denouncing it as a delusion.Here are two succinct ways I have heard Web3 described:Web1 is read-only. Web2 is read-write. Web3 is read-write-own. Read-only as in, static pages served by relatively few content publishers. Read-write as in, explosion of user-generated content, think social media. Web3 as in, users do not only contribute content, they also own that content and can port it from web application to web application.Here’s a second way I have heard Web3 articulated. It was from Li Jin’s Means of Creation podcast:A mental model for Web3 is a world computer where everyone has access to its data and can change its data.I think for some of you, these definitions seem refreshingly clear. For others, they only add to the confusion.In any event - Our two guests today include a Web3 advocate in the form of a successful token fund founder, and a Web3 skeptic who has openly questioned the legitimacy of various claims of this new paradigm. Interestingly, the Web3 skeptic confesses to seeing some value in crypto as a medium of payment and enabler for digital art NFTs.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Liron's skepticism of views from Web3 advocates:Chris Dixon's Web3 thread: https://medium.com/bloated-mvp/chris-dixons-crypto-claims-are-logically-flimsy-a26cc8906b3fNaval and Dixon's appearance on the Tim Ferriss show: https://medium.com/bloated-mvp/naval-ravikant-and-chris-dixon-didnt-explain-any-web3-use-cases-affc45ec3c60Multicoin on Helium: https://multicoin.capital/2021/03/17/the-helium-flywheel/Axie Infinity as potential ponzi scheme: https://medium.com/coinmonks/axie-infinity-gaming-nft-revolution-or-ponzi-scheme-3d81b1647429Guest bios:Liron Shapira is a rationalist, entrepreneur and angel investor. He is the CEO of Relationship Hero, a Web2-based relationship coaching service. He has expressed his skepticism of Web3 extensively on social media and on Medium.Kyle Samani is a cofounder at Multicoin Capital, one of the most successful venture funds this cycle. Kyle is a day-one supporter of Solana, a smart-contract platform optimized for high throughput
Announcement: I have a new show called “Crypto This Week.” It’s a weekly, five-minute news comedy satire focused on the world of crypto. Check it out on YouTube here: Crypto This Week with Richard YanGuests:Jeff Dorman (twitter.com/jdorman81)Joel Monegro (twitter.com/jmonegro)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “The industry is growing out of the Fat Protocol Thesis.”The Fat Protocol Thesis was coined by a blog post on Union Square Ventures’ website. The Fat Protocol Thesis postulates that because crypto protocols are investable assets, they will likely capture more value than the applications built on top. This is contrary to the Internet stack, where applications captured much more value than the protocols they operated upon.This thesis seems to have worked out nicely so far, with the aggregate valuation of various layer-1 protocols far exceeding that of the applications. But will this continue to be the case? What are the nuances related to the Fat Protocol Thesis that would inform sharper thinking about relative value of protocols vs applications?Our two guests today are both investors at well-known digital asset funds. One of them is the author of the original Fat Protocol Thesis. The other has a few questions about it, to say the least.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best-known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Joel’s Fat Protocol Thesis: https://www.usv.com/writing/2016/08/fat-protocols/Joel’s Follow-up piece Thin Applications: https://www.placeholder.vc/blog/2020/1/30/thin-applicationsJeff’s Blogpost “Revisiting the Fat Protocol Thesis”: https://www.ar.ca/blog/revisiting-the-fat-protocol-thesisLaura Shin interviews Joel Monegro on the Fat Protocol Thesis: https://unchainedpodcast.com/placeholders-joel-monegro-on-the-fat-protocols-thesis-today-ep-65/Arca Fund's crypto taxonomy: https://www.ar.ca/digitalassettypesGuest bios:Jeff Dorman is the CIO of Arca, a digital asset investment platform with more than $500 million in assets under management. Prior to Arca, he worked in portfolio management and trading at various places including Citadel Securities, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.Joel Monegro is a founding partner at Placeholder, a crypto venture fund. Prior to Placeholder, Joel was at Union Square Ventures, where he developed the firm’s early  blockchain thesis and portfolio. He is also the author of the seminal blog post Fat Protocol Thesis, which is still up on Union Square Ventures’ website today.
Announcement: I have a new show called “Crypto This Week.” It’s a weekly, five-minute news comedy satire focused on the world of crypto. Check it out on YouTube here: Crypto This Week with Richard YanGuests:Kain Warwick (twitter.com/kaiynne)Edmund Schuster (twitter.com/Edmund_Schuster)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “DAOs are better than corporations.”Crudely speaking, DAOs are chat rooms with a joint bank account. More sophisticated DAOs code up treasury management decisions to be dictated by the outcomes of on-chain community voting. DAOs generally operate with a culture of maximal, real-time transparency. And there are very restrictive rules about what the governing body of DAOs can do.As DAOs gain popularity, we are increasingly seeing claims of how DAOs are superior to the corporate form. In the summer of 2021, the state of Wyoming even passed a DAO-related law that will provide liability protection for DAO members who organize as a Wyoming LLC.But are DAOs truly revolutionary forms of governance as they’re made out to be? This remains up to debate.Our two guests today are the founder of a major DeFi protocol and a returning guest in the form of a law professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. It was a great debate, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I hosted it.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):DAOs related to Synthetix: https://decrypt.co/37011/synthetix-is-now-controlled-by-three-daosEdmund Schuster's paper on smart contracts: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3476678Wyoming DAO law: https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2021/04/22/state-lawmaker-explains-wyomings-newly-passed-dao-llc-law/Guest bios:Kain Warwick is the founder of Synthetix, a protocol for trading synthetic tokens that wrap non-crypto assets such as currencies and stocks. Before Synthetix, Kain founded Blueshyft, a cash payment gateway for online services in Australia. In July, Kain published an article called “DAO First Capital Formation” where he advocated DAOs as a powerful mechanism for fundraising of new crypto startups.Edmund Schuster is an Associate Professor of corporate law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on corporate law, law and finance, takeover regulation, as well as the economic analysis of law. In October 2019, he published the paper “Cloud Crypto Land” that discusses inherent obstacles in the legal system that prevent blockchain systems and smart contracts from being truly useful. He is a self-declared no-coiner.
Guests:Giacomo Zucco: twitter.com/giacomozuccoPaul Sztorc: twitter.com/truthcoinHost:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Toxic maximalism is great for bitcoin.”I hear many no-coiners say that “the worst thing about bitcoin is the bitcoiners.” They are referring to their negative encounters with staunch bitcoin believers on social media. The criticism is that these bitcoiners are irrational, vicious and annoying, and they attack no-coiners in unison like a coordinated army. The essence of this behavior is captured by the term: toxic bitcoin maximalism. The idea is that bitcoin is superior to all other currencies, which include fiat, obviously, and all other cryptos; and impolite behavior online is justified in promoting bitcoin or defending its legitimacy. Well, obviously not all bitcoiners are like that. Today, we will have two bitcoiners facing off, on whether such behavior continues to serve bitcoin well.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Article on the Bitcoin blocksize war: https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@tobixen/a-brief-history-of-the-bitcoin-block-size-warBook about the Bitcoin blocksize war: https://www.amazon.com/Blocksize-War-controls-Bitcoins-protocol/dp/B08YQMC2WMGiacomo Zucco personal website: https://giacomozucco.com/Paul Sztorc personal website: https://truthcoin.infoPaul Sztorc article on Bitcoin post-maximalism: https://www.truthcoin.info/blog/bitcoin-post-maximalism/Paul Sztorc's drive chain proposal: https://www.drivechain.info/Guest bios:Giacomo first heard of Bitcoin in 2012 and shortly started to mine the cryptocurrency. He quit to focus on Bitcoin full-time in 2013 and has since cofounded and supported Bitcoins startups. He is cofounder of BCademy, a website dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology education and consultation.Paul is a self-branded independent Bitcoiner. He is perhaps best known as the proposer of Drivechain, a project that seeks to leverage sidechain technology in order to introduce additional functionality to Bitcoin. One use case of this is a zcash-like fully encrypted sidechain using Drivechain.
Guests:Yves Bennaïm: twitter.com/ZLOKGeorge Selgin: twitter.com/georgeselginHost:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “It's a bad idea to make Bitcoin compulsory tender.”If you’re somewhat into crypto, you must have heard about El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law that has made Bitcoin a legal tender in addition to USD. With an asterisk. Dictionary definition of legal tender says a legal tender is a money that must be accepted if offered in payment of a debt. But El Salvador goes one step further, and says not only do lenders have to accept payment in bitcoin, but merchants that provide products and services must also. This is why the motion uses the term compulsory tender instead of legal tender.The two debaters today will discuss what all this means. One of them will argue why this is not in line with bitcoin’s values and why this may even hurt bitcoin’s adoption. The other will argue that adoption of a new money necessitates such coercion, and this will give the little guys the same kind of opportunity as sophisticated financiers in getting involved with bitcoin.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Full text of El Salvador Bitcoin Law (3-minute read): https://freopp.org/el-salvadors-bitcoin-law-full-proposed-english-text-9a2153ad1d19Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador: https://www.bitcoinbeach.com/How the community custodial wallet works on Bitcoin Beach, explained in another podcast: https://stephanlivera.com/episode/279/Explanation of how Strike uses a private instance of the Lightning Network: https://twitter.com/AdrianoFeria/status/1411344200390557701Guest bios:George Selgin is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Georgia.Yves is the founder of 2B4CH, a Bitcoin Think Tank and Industry Advocacy Group in Switzerland. He also writes about Bitcoin and crypto for the Swiss business magazine Bilan as well as the daily Swiss newspaper Le Temps.
Guests:Bennett Tomlin (twitter.com/bennetttomlin)Sam Kazemian (twitter.com/samkazemian)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Algo and fraction stablecoins are flawed.”A good stablecoin can sustainably hold its peg, and recover quickly from a premium or discount. This is a basic requirement for stablecoins. An obvious design is the bank coin model, where coins are backed 1-to-1 by fiat. But this creates a single point of failure and incurs compliance overhead. Hence MakerDAO, which made a smart contract driven stablecoin, and is de-coupled from the banking system. But it requires over-collateralization. So new designs popped up and tried to make the next capital-efficient stablecoin to allow under-collateralization, with innovative collateral adjustment mechanisms. We call these algorithmic and fractional stablecoins. Historically, most of these coins failed to hold their pegs. Is there a fundamental problem? Or can these challenges be overcome?The two debaters today include the founder of an algo/fractional stablecoin that has been holding its peg relatively well since launch, that is about half a year, as well as a well-known critic of various stablecoins.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Dragonfly research on FRAX stablecoin: https://medium.com/dragonfly-research/a-visual-explanation-of-frax-bcce72c1730fBennett Tomlin article on FEI stablecoin: https://bennettftomlin.substack.com/p/fei-protocol-analysis-last-reminderFrax stablecoin: https://frax.finance/Bennett Tomlin blog (mostly crypto): https://bennettftomlin.substack.com/Maker DAO's Black Thursday: https://medium.com/@whiterabbit_hq/black-thursday-for-makerdao-8-32-million-was-liquidated-for-0-dai-36b83cac56b6Guest bios:Bennett Tomlin regularly publishes articles about fraud in the crypto space via his blog. His dayjob is data scientist and fraud investigator in the pharmacy benefits area.Sam Kazemian is cofounder and CEO of Frax Finance, a stablecoin project that brands itself as the world's first "fractional-algorithmic" stablecoin. Sam also started Everipedia, the first decentralized online encyclopedia on the blockchain.
Guests:Anatoly Yakovenko (twitter.com/aeyakovenko)Dankrad Feist (twitter.com/dankrad)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Security is about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners.”This is a mouthful. The minimum set of colluding miners is the smallest cartel of dishonest block producers you need to attack a network. Maximizing that set is about increasing the size of such a successful cartel, essentially making it harder for block producers to collude. Note this debate statement leaves out full nodes. And that’s the essence of this debate: Are they important in securing the network?So, to get more context on this, take a look at a recent blogpost by Vitalik Buterin on limits to blockchain scalability. This article instigated the sparring between our guests on Twitter, and led to today’s debate. In his article, Vitalik argued that the ability for consensus nodes to collude and do bad things should be held in check by full nodes. And therefore, there’s a strong need for regular users to be able to run full nodes. Today’s debate is essentially an examination of the validity of that statement. Is security about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners (aka increasing the smallest number of consensus nodes required to censor or collude), or should we also worry about making sure to onboard more full nodes?The two debaters today are from Solana and ETH 2, respectively. When it comes to ensuring security of the network, they disagree on how important it is to make it easy to run full nodes.The debate took a major detour. The two debaters were very passionate about their respective projects and went down the rabbit hole several times pointing out potential weaknesses they see in each other’s designs. I decided to keep all of that in, because one way or another, those discussions found their way back to the topic at hand.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Multicoin article on Solana’s decentralization: https://multicoin.capital/2021/05/25/technical-scalability-creates-social-scalability/Solana’s dashboard for validators and full nodes: https://solanabeach.io/Dankrad Feist article on full nodes: https://dankradfeist.de/ethereum/2021/05/20/what-everyone-gets-wrong-about-51percent-attacks.htmlVitalik Buterin’s article on the limits of blockchain scaling: https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/05/23/scaling.htmlGuest bios:Anatoly is founder and CEO of Solana, a layer-1 public blockchain built for scalability without sacrificing decentralization or security, and in particular, without sharding. He was previously a software engineer at Dropbox, Mesosphere and Qualcomm.Dankrad Feist is a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, working on ETH 2.0. He was previously an engineer for Palantir, and co-founded a healthcare startup named Cara Care.
Guests:Bob Hockett (twitter.com/rch371) Larry White (twitter.com/lawrencehwhite1)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “The US urgently needs to catch up on CBDC.”Central Bank Digital Currencies are sort of like government-run Paypal accounts. They allow the government to do scalpel-like fiscal policies more easily, such as airdropping cash to citizens and stimulating spending. At the same time, CBDC could also allow the government to track individual spending behaviors. China is obviously leading the effort in CBDC adoption for all major countries. As of recording time, it’s already run multiple trials in various major cities. This has spurred a debate as to whether the US should follow suit.We discussed:* CBDC and privacy * The consensus from the right and the left on the importance of CBDC, but the lack of urgency for implementation* Countries adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender* Hype vs reality: The possibility of China's CBDC becoming a currency to settle international trade and therefore be a real threat to USD* CBDC's potential cannibalization of private banks If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Bob's article explaining his position: https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/497427-americas-digital-sputnik-momentLarry's article explaining his position: https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/spring/summer-2021/should-state-or-market-provide-digital-currencyGuest bios: Bob Hockett is a professor at Cornell Law School, focusing on Corporate Law and Financial Regulation. He is a fellow of the Century Foundation and a regular commissioned author for the New America Foundation. Bob also does regular consulting work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, Americans for Financial Reform, the 'Occupy' Cooperative, and a number of federal and state legislators and local governments. He is the author of the book “Financing the Green New Deal: A Plan of Action and Renewal.”Larry White is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. He is also a professor of economics at George Mason University. He has written five books on banking and monetary policy, including The Clash of Economic Ideas, The Theory of Monetary Institutions, and Free Banking in Britain. He is editor and co-editor of various publications, including Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution and The History of Gold and Silver. He also writes regularly for the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives publication called Alt‐​M.
Guests:Ruben Somsen (twitter.com/SomsenRuben) Muneeb Ali (twitter.com/muneeb) Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Trustless smart contracts for bitcoin are impossible without forks.”A few projects have been known to try to bring smart contracts to bitcoin. But are they doing this in a way as you understand it? This episode explores this question. We pitted a bitcoin developer against the founder of Stacks, and you can draw your own conclusions after listening.We discussed:* How Stacks differentiates itself from other projects that also operate at the intersection of bitcoin and smart contracts. * Whether there is a trustless way to fully utilize bitcoin on the STX chain.* The robustness of the reward mechanism for staking STX (or “stacking”) in return for rewards in BTC. * We also went off course a bit and spent a significant amount of time discussing adoption of Stacks in the bitcoin community, since Stacks introduced yet another altcoin, generally not something welcomed by the bitcoiners.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Stacks 2.0 Whitepaper: https://blog.stacks.co/stacks-2-whitepaperRuben Somsen’s work: tiny.cc/somsenSpacechain explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY8CDEpg5_UUnhashed podcast: https://www.unhashedpodcast.comGuest bios: Ruben Somsen is a self-proclaimed Bitcoin Sorcerer. He does protocol design in order to enhance Bitcoin. He has previously proposed softchains, statechains and spacechains for Bitcoin. He also helps maintain the bitcoin-dev mailing list, and is co-host of the Unhashed Podcast. Lastly, he is organizer/founder of the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup.Dr. Muneeb Ali is the founder of Stacks, a decentralized network that brings apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin. He serves as the CEO of Hiro a company that builds developer tools for the Stacks blockchain. He has raised $75 million USD in funding from investors like Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, and others. 
Guests:Edmund Schuster (twitter.com/edmund_schuster)Andrew Steinwold (twitter.com/andrewsteinwold)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Special co-host: Maria Shen (twitter.com/mariashen)Today’s motion is “NFTs are dumb.”Non Fungible Tokens have taken the world by storm. A transaction in NFT is a transaction in some sort of digital ownership. Or as the Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine put it, “digital ostentation.” As the new owner of the NFT of a song or a jpeg, you don’t have exclusionary access to the 0’s and the 1’s that make up the digital object. But there is still scarcity ascribed to the thing you’re buying, because the seller promises to only do this transaction a small number of times.So as a buyer, you may feel good about a special bond you have now formed with the seller - in general an artist. Or you can signal to the world that you have deep enough pockets to have made such a transaction.In our debate today, on one side, we have a London School of Economics professor who is both a staunch no-coiner and an NFT bear. On the other, we have a founding partner of a NFT dedicated fund that started in 2019. Our cohost is from a renowned crypto fund, an NFT advocate and a collector herself. So this will be interesting.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Listen-along transcript: https://share.descript.com/view/NnA9YEyInkESource of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Edmund Schuster: http://edmundschuster.com/Andrew Steinwold’s podcast: https://twitter.com/zima_redAndrew Steinwold’s NFT & Metaverse newsletter: http://andrewsteinwold.substack.comMaria Shen at Electric Capital: https://www.electriccapital.com/team/maria-shenNBA Topshot: https://nbatopshot.com/Opensea (NFT sale platform): https://opensea.io/Beeple’s $69M NFT sale: https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/11/22325054/beeple-christies-nft-sale-cost-everydays-69-millionTwitter thread questioning whether NFT is true un-censorable: https://twitter.com/jonty/status/1372163423446917122Guest bios: Edmund Schuster is an Associate Professor of corporate law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In October 2019, he published the paper “Cloud Crypto Land” that discusses inherent obstacles in the legal system that prevent blockchain systems and smart contracts from being truly useful. He is a self-declared no-coiner.Andrew Steinwold is a managing partner of an NFT-focused crypto fund named Sfermion. He also publishes content about the NFT world via his newsletter and podcast, both named Zima Red. He thinks “NFTs are eating the world.”Maria Shen is a partner on the investment team at Electric Capital, a well-known crypto fund. NFTs are part of their scope of investment. She is the author of the well-followed crypto developer report.
Guests:Lyn Alden (twitter.com/lynaldencontact)Qiao Wang (twitter.com/qwqiao)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Ethereum is too early for institutional money.”Quite a few institutions have voted with their feet on Bitcoin. This ranges from corporate treasuries to money managers. At what point will Ethereum catch the attention of non-crypto native capital allocators? Our debaters today are Lyn Alden and Qiao Wang, both well known in crypto circles. Lyn wrote a well-researched article arguing that from an institutional perspective, Ethereum feels like an unfinished product and isn’t likely to pick up significant interest in the short run. Qiao has been looking at Ethereum as an investment in its early days, and it’s fair to say he has been a perma-bull. If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.By the way, we're planning episodes on CBDC, centralized lending versus de-centralized lending, the fad of NFT or non-fungible tokens, whether Bitcoin is good for America and whether Bitcoin is good for the environment.So if you're interested or know someone that would be interested in debating, please feel free to DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter. Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice."Listen-along" transcript: https://share.descript.com/view/aDjpT7gmJCnSource of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Lyn's investment strategy website: https://lynalden.comDeFi alliance: https://defialliance.co/Grayscale ETHE trust: https://grayscale.co/ethereum-trust/John Pfeffer paper on crypto value accrual: https://medium.com/john-pfeffer/an-institutional-investors-take-on-cryptoassets-690421158904Guest bios:Lyn Alden runs an investment research service for both retail and institutional investors at LynAlden.com. Her focus is on fundamental investing with a global macro overlay, with a specialization in currency differentials and equity valuations. She also manages financial operation of an aviation simulation research facility.Qiao Wang is a macro and crypto investor. He is one of the founders for DeFi Alliance, an accelerator for decentralized finance projects. Previously, Qiao Wang helped build Messari, a startup aiming to create Bloomberg for the crypto markets. Prior to that, Qiao was a quantitative trader. He ran R&D teams and helped build two trading businesses at IMC and Tower Research.
Guests:David Gerard (twitter.com/davidgerard)Bryce Weiner (twitter.com/bryceweiner)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Diem is a glorified PayPal.”Diem of course used to be called Libra. It’s a cryptocurrency floated by Facebook in 2019. It was a big deal back then. A global borderless currency for 2 billion install base is a game charger for commerce and remittances, and would have implications on capital control. There were some very high profile congressional hearings held on this matter with Facebook executives including Mark Zuckerberg. This also supposedly accelerated the adoption of CBDC by certain countries.So, what are the ambitious promises and regulatory constraints around Diem? What are the politicians’ biggest concerns on Diem? Will it end up getting reduced to a PayPal? How will Facebook make money from this? Our two guests will cover all of the above.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Diem official page: Diem.comSummary of Zuckerberg congressional testimony on Libra: https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/23/zuckerberg-testimony/David Gerard's book on Diem "Libra Shrugged: How Facebook tried to take over the money": https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/libra/Tao network: https://tao.network/Guest bios:David Gerard is the author of two crypto books, “Libra Shrugged: How Facebook tried to take over the money” and "Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum and Smart Contracts." He is a no-coiner, and writes a popular no-coiner newsletter also named “Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain.”Bryce Weiner is a former Fortune 500 developer with over 20 years of software engineering experience, with nearly a decade in cryptocurrency development and monetization. He is the lead developer of the Tao smart contract network and the CEO of US-based exchange AltMarket.
Guests:Bennett Tomlin (@bennetttomlin)Larry Cermak (@lawmaster)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)Patrick McKenzie (@patio11, special co-host)Today’s motion is “Tether has always been acting in bad faith.”This topic is very relevant for today’s markets because Tether is simultaneously an incredibly important, if not the most important, source of on-ramp liquidity for crypto, and a controversial, legally-challenged, blackbox operation that make market participants worry about their undesirable dealings and, worse, imminent collapse.We previously had a similar debate on this with Matthew Graham from Sino Global Capital vs Cas Piancey, the independent crypto commentator and Tether skeptic. So definitely check that out.Today’s debaters are Larry from the Crypto publication and Bennett Tomlin, another crypto commentator and Tether skeptic. The episode was also co-hosted by Patrick McKenzie, who also did extensive independent research on Tether.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Paper claiming unbacked Tether drove BTC price:https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3195066Papers dispelling the above notion:https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3175876https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3508006Patrick McKenzie comprehensive history of Tether: https://www.kalzumeus.com/2019/10/28/tether-and-bitfinex/Bennett Tomlin blog: https://bennettftomlin.com/The Block publication: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/Amy Caster Tether timeline: https://amycastor.com/2019/01/17/the-curious-case-of-tether-a-complete-timeline-of-events/Guest bios:Bennett Tomlin regularly publishes articles about fraud in the crypto space via his blog. His dayjob is data scientist and fraud investigator in the pharmacy benefits area.Larry Cermak is Director of Research and Analysis at The Block, a crypto research, analysis and news outlet geared toward institutional investors.Patrick McKenzie is a Tokyo-based entrepreneur and commentator. He wrote a thorough recount of the Tether controversy on his personal website. Patrick works for the Internet at Stripe. All comments are his own.
Guests:Jorge Stolfi (@jorgestolfi)Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)Today’s motion is “Bitcoin is a scam.”At the time of recording and release, Bitcoin reached its all time highs. And it just seems that every few weeks, a traditional financial institution or a well-known investor is announcing their interest in the orange coin.Simultaneously, some skeptics continue to insist that this is all a mirage.There seems no better time to visit this fundamental topic on the boundary of our entire industry.Today’s debaters include a computer science academic and a macro investor. I am especially appreciative for the former to appear on this show and be willing to engage. Outside perspectives can be very sobering at times.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Paper claiming unbacked Tether drove BTC price:https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3195066Papers dispelling the above notion:https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3175876https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3508006Tracker of institutional interest in Bitcoin: https://bitcointreasuries.org/Preston Byrne on why BTC is not a literal ponzi but is its own category of scam: https://prestonbyrne.com/2017/12/08/bitcoin_ponzi/Lifting BTC 21m cap via soft fork: "extension record" trick ala SegWit: https://np.reddit.com/r/bitcoin_uncensored/comments/43w24e/raising_the_21_million_btc_limit_with_a_soft_fork/Debater bios:Jorge Stolfi is a computer science professor at the State University of Campinas in Brazil. His specialty includes computer vision, image processing, function approximation methods, graph theory, computational geometry and other fields. He is a vocal opponent of Bitcoin. In 2016, he submitted a letter to the SEC outlining what he perceives as similarities between Bitcoin and fraudulent penny stocks or ponzi schemes. Jorge received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1988.Lyn Alden runs an investment research service for both retail and institutional investors at LynAlden.com. Her focus is on fundamental investing with a global macro overlay, with a specialization in currency differentials and equity valuations. She also manages financial operation of an aviation simulation research facility.
Guests:Lewis Cohen (@NYcryptolawyer)Gabriel Shapiro (@lex_node)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)Today’s motion is “Legally speaking, tokens are more like commodities than like securities.”Today’s guests are two legal experts in crypto space. One of them will argue that token transactions on the post-ICO, secondary market should for the most part be regulated like commodities and not securities. He will argue that the tokens changing hands in said capital markets do not themselves represent securities, because they don’t capture the same rights as conferred in the primary transaction. He laid out his thoughts in the paper “Ain’t Misbehavin’: An Examination of Broadway Tickets and Blockchain Tokens,” which will be included in the show notes.And of course, the other guest vehemently disagrees on this point.Throughout the debate, we also cover the SEC vs Kik case and Ripple’s security status.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Lewis Cohen's paper: "Ain’t Misbehavin’: An Examination of Broadway Tickets and Blockchain Tokens": https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3501764SEC vs XRP: https://www.coindesk.com/xrp-untradeable-sec-securitySEC vs Kik: https://www.coindesk.com/kik-sec-rulingLewis Cohen: https://dlxlaw.com/who-we-areGabe Shapiro blog: https://lex-node.medium.com/Debater bios:Lewis is co-founder of the New York based DLX law firm. His main focus is blockchain, tokenization, and other new capital raising techniques and structures. He was previously a partner at two of the Global 25 law firms, and his practices included securitization and other complex structured financings.Gabe is partner of the San Francisco based law firm Belcher, Smolen & Van Loo LLP. He has published several pieces diving deep into US Securities Law, in which he shares his vision and philosophy for how Tokenized Networks should be regulated. His specialty also includes M&A transactions for high tech corporate clients.
Guests:Evan Shapiro (@evanashapiro)Anatoly Yakovenko (@aeyakovenko)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)Today’s motion is “Today’s blockchains can’t increase TPS without taking a hit on decentralization.”This is a follow-up debate, or you can think of it as a re-match. Previously Emre from O(1) Labs also debated Anatoly from Solana on this very topic on the show. So make sure to check that out if you’re interested.Here are some of the topics we covered:* the inherent shortcoming of proof-of-stake in guaranteeing the canonical chain for a new full node* why some chains have been designed to disallow rollback beyond certain point* How Evan thinks faster synching process for new full nodes will allow further decentralization* Why Anatoly thinks trustless synching doesn’t solve the Byzantine Generals ProblemIf you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Solana: https://solana.com/Coda: https://www.codaprotocol.com/Weak subjectivity explained: https://academy.binance.com/glossary/weak-subjectivityLong range attacks: https://blog.positive.com/rewriting-history-a-brief-introduction-to-long-range-attacks-54e473acdba9Coda article on mental model of Scalability-per-unit-of-Decentralization: https://codaprotocol.com/blog/solving-the-scalability-trilemmaByzantine general's problem: https://medium.com/coinmonks/a-note-from-anthony-if-you-havent-already-please-read-the-article-gaining-clarity-on-key-787989107969Debater bios:Evan is CEO of O(1) labs which operates Mina protocol, previously known as Coda protocol. He used to be an engineer at Mozilla and Personal Robotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.Anatoly is founder and CEO of Solana, a layer-1 public blockchain built for scalability without sacrificing decentralization or security, and in particular, without sharding. He was previously a software engineer at Dropbox, Mesosphere and Qualcomm.
Guests:CasPiancey (@caspiancey)Matthew Graham (@mattysino)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)Today’s motion is “Tether will likely get crushed by authorities in the next two years, thanks to its shady practices and defiance against regulators.”In this debate about the controversial pioneer stablecoin, we talked about pending lawsuits, a lack of regulatory framework for Tether to work with from the outset that cornered them into the way things are for them, how Tether issuance is affecting bitcoin prices, why Tether dominates stablecoin market cap despite its troubles, and more.Today’s debaters include CasPiancey, a long-time and vocal Tether skeptic; and Matthew Graham, the founder of a well-known Asia-based crypto fund.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.I hope you will enjoy listening to this debate. Let’s dive right in!Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):UT Austin paper suggesting correlation between Bitcoin price and Tether issuance: https://archive.is/fMbooPaper #1 showing no correlation between Bitcoin price and Tether issuance: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3508006Paper #2 showing no correlation between Bitcoin price and Tether issuance: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165176518302556New York Attorney General case against Tether: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ny-attorney-general-sues-bitfinex-210643545.htmlTether lawsuit from crypto traders: https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-traders-lawsuit-claims-bitfinex-tether-cost-market-over-1-trillionDebater bios:CasPiancey is an independent investigator and reporter of business and financial fraud. He writes regularly about projects, exchanges and scams in crypto.Matthew is CEO of Sino Global Capital. He has seven years of mainland China investment banking experience with a focus on representing international technology companies in China for strategic partnership and investment. Matthew has been involved in blockchain since 2013, first slowly, then all at once. As Managing Partner of Sino Global's Liquid Value blockchain fund Mr. Graham invests in blockchain technology with strategic relevance for China. Significant 2020 investments include primary market deals such as FTX, Serum, Mintbase, Mask Network; and secondary market deals such as Solana and Nexus Mutual.
Guests:Alex Gluchowski (@gluk64)John Adler (@jadler0)Host:Richard Yan (@gentso09)James Prestwich (@_prestwich, special co-host)Today’s motion is “ZK rollup has a better set of security/scalability tradeoff than Optimistic rollup.”Rollups are a class of layer-2 Ethereum scalability solutions. They allow an off-chain aggregation of transactions inside a smart contract. Users can transact inside the contract with security guarantees, and they will settle to the mainchain at some future point.ZK and optimistic rollups are different in the way they ensure the validity of these transactions that are being kept off-chain.The ZK approach uses math. It bundles the transactions, compresses them, and adds a zero-knowledge proof that indicates the validity of the state transitions. When the transaction is sent to the mainchain, the block is verified by the attached zero-knowledge proof.The optimistic approach uses economic incentives. An operator publishes a state root that isn’t constantly checked by the rollup smart contract. Instead, everybody hopes that the state transition is correct. However, other operators or users can challenge the validity of the transactions, revert the incorrect block, and slash malicious operators.We compared the two approaches from the standpoint of security, usability, capital efficiency of exits and more.Today’s debaters are John Adler and Alex Gluchowski. John is the proposer of the original construction of the optimistic rollup and cofounded Celestia, and Alex is implementing a ZK rollup at Matter Labs. Our co-host James Prestwich is a security consultant and auditor for solidity contracts, among many other things.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate:Coindesk's layman guide for rollups: https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-dapps-rollups-heres-whyAlex Gluchowski on the difference between the two rollups: https://medium.com/matter-labs/optimistic-vs-zk-rollup-deep-dive-ea141e71e075John Adler explains optimistic rollup: https://medium.com/@adlerjohn/the-why-s-of-optimistic-rollup-7c6a22cbb61a Celestia: https://celestia.org/Fuel Labs: https://fuel.sh/Matter Labs: https://matter-labs.io/Debater bios:Alex Gluchowski is co-founder of Matter Labs, currently working on scaling Ethereum with zkSNARKs. He was previously CTO of PaulCamper, an online platform for sharing campervans and caravans in Europe.John Adler is co-founder of Celestia and Fuel Labs. He is the original proposer of the optimistic rollup construction. He previously did layer-2 research at ConsenSys. Interestingly, he is a self-proclaimed blockchain skeptic.James Prestwich founded cross-chain solution company Summa, subsequently acquired by the layer-1 blockchain firm Celo. He previously founded Storj, a decentralized cloud storage provider.
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