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This is my conversation with Dan Romero about Farcaster - a decentralized social network being developed as an open protocol.We talked about how product decisions in social networks have ripple effects on society, Farcaster’s strategy in the highly competitive world of social products, and Dan's personal philosophies around hiring and team building.Timestamps:0:00 intro2:08 why this problem?12:54 both product and protocol23:41 the algorithmic feed29:40 Farcaster’s strategy for competing with Twitter1:00:52 approach to team building1:14:41 how to use social networks, and meme’ingRelevant links:Dan Romero - - docs - - -
This is my conversation with Jango and Nnnnicholas from Juicebox Protocol. Juicebox is a playful but ambitious project: the DAO operates as a full-stack instantiation of the protocol it's building, and fully reconceptualizes the relationship between contributors and shareholders. It has powered projects like SharkDAO, ConstitutionDAO, and AssangeDAO in the past.Timestamps:0:00 intro1:37 an alternative to traditional org structures9:53 philosophical alignment27:30 the key mechanisms of the Juicebox Protocol35:51 fundraising mechanics and the extensibility of Juicebox v246:05 a DAOs’s origins shape its culture54:46 guiding principles for compensation1:02:06 working backwards from the future1:12:11 the subtraction philosophy and Ethereum as the Big Bang1:31:25 StudioDAO and models for permissionless DAOsRelevant links:Jango - - - - - podcast about StudioDAO -
Nadia Asparouhova is an independent researcher. She previously wrote about her research on open-source communities in "Working in Public", and more recently, has been researching the history of and approaches to philanthropy - which she defines with this phrase “if venture capital is risk capital for private goods, philanthropy is risk capital for public goods”.In this conversation, we talked about public goods from this broader perspective. We talked about how previous generations have thought about this question, and how the tech ecosystem outside of crypto are grappling with this today. We talked about the second-order effects of wealth booms which have happened in both tech and crypto, how peer production happens, and the role that intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards might play in the development of crypto protocols.Timestamps:0:00 intro2:01 working as an independent researcher6:09 understanding wealth booms in tech and crypto13:01 the unique perspectives of each successive community25:46 the right (and wrong) question to ask34:41 the landscape of public goods provisioning39:22 innovative philanthropic funding models45:35 the first wave of open source communities and crypto54:42 different classes of stakeholders1:05:00 research methodology and tools for thoughtRelevant links:Nadia Asparouhova -’s website -“Working in Public” - -
Julien Niset is the cofounder and Chief Science Officer at Argent, a crypto wallet that's used and loved by many people in the crypto ecosystem.In this conversation, we talk about how Argent has evolved to get to where it is today. How Julien sees user experience evolving broadly in the ecosystem, and what the flow of a new person interacting with a crypto application for the first time might look like in the future.Another topic we get into deeply is L2s, how Julien and Argent have thought about the topic of EVM equivalence and compatibility, and why they ultimately chose to build on ZK Rollups like ZkSync and StarkNet.And lastly, we dive into what has been like to build on StarkNet, what the early community feels like today, what it's been like to write code in Cairo, and as a bit of a snapshot into this experience we do a deep dive into what account abstraction looks like on StarkNet.Timestamps:0:00 intro1:56 leaning into zk rollups and account abstraction7:29 scaling the self-custody experience13:20 what onboarding users to crypto will look like in 3 years20:24 some of the friction points that still need to be abstracted33:52 L2s and the trade-offs between different rollups39:45 is breaking EVM-equivalency worth it?48:01 Julien's experience in the StarkNet ecosystem58:24 a primer on account abstraction1:15:38 session keys1:28:17 starting a sensible wallet set up from scratchRelevant links:Julien Niset: - - - -
Pedro Gomes is the cofounder of WalletConnect, a communications protocol that enables wallets and apps to securely connect and interact.In this conversation, We talked about WalletConnect v2 and its architecture, account abstraction, potential downstream effects of a crypto-native chat protocol, and other topics.Timestamps:0:00 intro8:00 developing the user experience before creating the product10:23 account abstraction and the spectrum of security and convenience20:39 WalletConnect APIs and “Log in with Ethereum”28:55 how WalletConnect works37:45 light clients and generalized messaging protocols45:36 the politics of making big changes to the Ethereum protocol50:14 connecting wallets with WalletConnect ChatMentioned in the show:WalletConnect - (account abstraction) - APIs -
Zeitgeist is a laboratory for building crypto-native products/protocols, and is what I've been working on alongside this podcast.We've come together for two seasons in the past with teams you'll be familiar with from this podcast like and Coordinape, and are bringing together a new cohort of teams for season three later this year. If you're building a new crypto-native product/protocol, get in touch by August 26 to participate:
Here is my conversation with Josh Stark.Josh has a long history in the Ethereum ecosystem going back to the early days of the community. He cofounded one of the first L2 scaling protocols with Counterfactual. He also cofounded ETHGlobal which is a much-loved series of hackathons/events that brings the community together and which acts as an entry point into the ecosystem for many people. And nowadays and most relevant to our conversation, he works in a leadership capacity at the Ethereum Foundation.In this conversation, we talked about two topics: one being the Ethereum Foundation, and two being the question of why blockchain is matter — this being something that Josh has spent a lot of time thinking about and which he's written about in a long form piece titled Atoms Institutions Blockchains.Timestamps:3:50 subtraction7:22 creating a self-sufficient crypto ecosystem12:33 the property of ‘hardness’ for blockchains17:47 understanding decentralization23:11 Atoms, Institutions, Blockchains26:00 blind men and an elephant33:06 our civilization’s infrastructure43:33 digitally-native hardness59:38 how the EF operates1:06:21 challenges with decentralized coordination1:12:08 infinite players have nothing but their namesMentioned in the show:Atoms, Institutions, Blockchains:
0age is the Head of Protocol Development at OpenSea, and this was a conversation about Seaport, the new marketplace protocol for buying and selling NFTs.0age takes us through a tour of the Seaport protocol, talking about how it's architected; how conduits and zones work; and we even get into the low level gas optimization work they've done on the contracts. I hope this can be a helpful resource for anyone looking to understand the Seaport protocol or anyone who's building with NFTs more broadly. I also consider 0age to be a true veteran of the space, and hearing him talk through the design of the protocol can be an educational experience in its own rights.Timestamps:1:42 why build Seaport10:20 the Seaport architecture12:44 EIP712 signatures14:17 the global concept of a nonce16:02 EIP1271 and bulk listings17:18 the Executor and conduits25:08 zones, additional rules that can be applied on top of an order29:47 implementing English auctions via zones32:17 layers of the stack36:05 fulfillment40:42 gas optimizations and understanding the low-level behavior of the EVM58:40 the interaction between OpenSea the product and Seaport the protocol01:07:06 criteria based items, and partial fills01:17:50 ideas to build on top of Seaport
Charles St.Louis is the COO at Element Finance, a protocol for fixed and variable rate yield markets and previously the governance architect at MakerDAO. In this conversation, we talked about Element’s governance system - with a particular focus on voting vaults, a powerful new primitive that decouple the relationship between capital and voting power and allow much more expressiveness in how users are given a governance voice in the ecosystem.Timestamps:2:54 MakerDAO’s arc of decentralization7:51 how Maker influenced Element’s design10:22 the Governance Steering Council21:25 voting vaults29:10 L1 and L2 for governance33:23 qualitative evaluation for contributions37:50 the ElFiverse and NFTs in the Element community42:24 on being a protocol delegateMentioned in the show: The Governance Steering Council - Voting Vaults - The Elfiverse -
Here is my conversation with Henri Stern who is building Privy.Henri was previously a research scientist at Protocol Labs and worked on Filecoin’s consensus protocol. And after many years of thinking through problems related to data privacy and security, he recently co-founded a new company called Privy where they provide a suite of API tools to store and manage user data off chain.In this conversation, we talked through a set of topics that Henri has a unique point of view on — starting with the question around the seeming trade-off between privacy/security on the one hand and UX/convenience on the other. We talked about principles he has in mind in designing an off-chain data system; how privy does encryption and key management; how they do permissioning; and how they think about data storage.Timestamps: 2:30 - designing the product/protocol roadmap 10:30 - privacy/security vs. convenience 19:27 - building an web3 application 23:20 - decentralizing Privy 32:09 - key management architecture 46:11 - verifiability, transparency as a disinfectant 59:02 - building a product with private data 1:07:08 - cofounder relationship
Matthew Chaim is building a laboratory experimenting at the edges of music and web3.It's called Songcamp, and right now they're running their third immersive experience. They're coming together with a group of musicians, visual designers, developers, and at the end of this process, will be releasing new music under the moniker of a single headless artist called Chaos.I've been personally completely nerdsniped by Songcamp and think it’s one of the most beautiful corners of our web3 ecosystem.Timestamps: 1:08 - Songcamp a web3 laboratory 3:27 - songwriting camps 6:30 - imaginative language and lore 11:12 - incentive alignment 20:55 - selection and curation 30:31 - immersive digital theatre 36:18 - having fun 38:03 - the power of IRL 43:01 - what’s next 51:37 - economic models for internet-native collectives
Here is my conversation with Simon de la Rouviere.Simon’s exploration of creative mechanism design through the years is documented on his blog. His contributions to the space range from seeding the idea of bonding curves and curation markets, to building one of the first creator platforms with Ujo, to writing a full length novel experimenting with different publishing models, to now working on bottom-up storytelling with Untitled Frontier.In this conversation, we talked about cc0, designing NFT economies to welcome derivative works, bottom-up storytelling, and much more.Timestamps: 1:29 - How Simon got into the craft of storytelling 6:25 - The lonely process of long-form content creation 9:53 - Kishōtenketsu 14:26 - Top-down vs. bottom-up storytelling 21:52 - “The medium is the message.” 27:17 - CC0, derivatives, Jenkins the Valet 34:43 - Harberger Taxes and mechanism design 39:51 - NFTs vs ERC20s for ownership and governance 44:06 - New power structures
Here is my conversation with David Greenstein, Matt Masurka (Gigamesh), & Vignesh Hirudayakanth, the cofounders at is a platform that helps musicians host listening parties and engage with their fans. It's a suite of tools that will grow over time to help musicians make a living using NFTs and other web3-native primitives.I was particularly looking forward to this conversation since David, Matt, and Vignesh participated in Zeitgeist Season One and we got to work pretty closely together. They're moving fast and are working towards a beautiful vision of the world.Timestamps: 3:42 - Redefining engagement between artists and fans 7:23 - MySpace, HypeMachine, Optimism, and Friends With Benefits 12:50 - Using Discord DMs for recruiting 16:53 - NFTs as the perfect medium for music patronage 20:34 - Fair-play incentive structures for music 26:25 - Differentiating the first fan and the millionth fan 32:03 - The technical architecture underpinning Sound 34:33 - Getting to market and building in public 39:45 - Oshi breaks the website 41:37 - The Daniel Allan EP 42:14 - RAC and deploying to mainnet 44:12 - Zeitgeist’s impact
Mike Sall and Blake West are the founders of Goldfinch, a decentralized protocol facilitating uncollateralized credit.“One of the borrowers is a company based in Uganda. They provide rent-to-own loans for motorcycle taxis to thousands of customers. They've borrowed $5m to expand their operations."Thousands of people in countries like Uganda, India, and Brazil have been financed by Goldfinch loans through local lenders, largely without realizing crypto is the source of funds.These local lenders are largely innovative fintechs in the global south, and have historically fallen into an uncanny valley — they need too much capital for what is available in their local financial markets, and too little capital to navigate foreign institutional markets.3:09 - The 'lightbulb' moment8:20 - The financing gap for emerging-market borrowers13:04 - Borrower profiles; Tugende, DiviBank, and Greenway15:43 - Interfacing with Goldfinch20:37 - Crypto-native KYC and how UID works23:18 - Bottlenecks for the global adoption of crypto34:40 - Compliance requirements for Goldfinch in the United States45:25 - Compliance requirements for borrowers in emerging markets50:56 - Demographics of ‘Backers’52:43 - Incentive alignment and fraud-prevention1:03:53 - Learnings from shipping a production smart contract system1:15:01 - Launching GFI token and governance of the protocol1:26:04 - The macro point of viewCheck out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
The conversation on publishing today is the very first one I recorded for the podcast about six months ago. It's a conversation with Justin Glibert about patterns he's uncovered while building Ember (an onchain game) and Lattice (the engine behind the game) — patterns related to inflation and zero sum resources, spacial constraints, and user impersonation. I hope you enjoy.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
This is a conversation with Phillip Wang and Nate Foss two of the co-founders of Gather.Gather is a video chat platform that puts you and the people you're communicating with in a virtual space - and gives you the ability to move around and interact with them based on your locations in that space, just like in real life. It's had a ton of traction over the last year and is being used by millions of people around the world. It's one of the coolest products I've personally used in recent memory.As you will hear in this conversation, Phillip and Nate are two incredibly thoughtful and mission-oriented people — and they plan to build Gather into a progressively open and decentralized system. So in this conversation, we went deep on what this could actually look like. We talked about how Gather is architected under the hood and how they think about decentralizing the game engine and the tech stack. We talked about identity, login, and social graphs. We talked about business models. And lastly, we talked about the metaverse and the path dependence of how the future unfolds from here.I hope you enjoy the conversation.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter: notes:- Gather's websocket API.
This is a conversation with Tracheopteryx about the evolution of Yearn, Coordinape, and pseudonymity.Tracheopteryx has been a key leader in the Yearn Finance community since its legendary genesis event. In this conversation, we talk about key moments in Yearn's evolution with an eye towards takeaways that might be useful for other projects. We talk about the introduction of the multisig; the mint — a complex governance proposal where the community eventually chose to dilute themselves in order to reward core contributors; and constrained delegation - the governance framework that Trach helped design and which is operating in Yearn today.The other big area we get into is Coordinape. Coordinape is a protocol for decentralizing compensation. It was designed and incubated inside of Yearn, and is now being built as an independent project.Towards the end of the conversation, Trach tells the story behind his name and shares a perspective on becoming pseudonymous that has stayed with me since.I hope you enjoy the conversation.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
This is a conversation with John Palmer and Danny Aranda about PartyDAO and PartyBid - the product that lets people pool their funds and participate in NFT auctions as a team.We dive deep into their experience building this project. We talk about what they see as the role of product vision in the DAO, how they think about hiring, the organizational design, the stack of tools they use to operate, and the legal structures they're considering. And that's not all — we also touched the role of community in NFTs, social investing, and what John and Danny see as interesting things to work on today.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
This is a conversation with Austin Griffith about his continued journey as a builder/educator, and learnings from onboarding thousands of developers onto Ethereum.Austin is a friend and someone I've had the good fortune of working with extensively in our shared time at the Ethereum foundation. In this conversation, we take a tour through the different projects he's worked on over the last two years — starting with (the graphical interface for working with smart contracts), moving to scaffold-eth (his development starter kit that has really taken off and been used by thousands of developers), and then moving onto the BUIDL GUIDL and the Moonshot Collective (DAO-like collections of developers who work on prototyping interesting new ideas). We also go down a few fun tangents around Loot, the Doge NFT, DAO tooling, and we get to hear a walkthrough of Austin's curriculum for bringing a new developer into the space.I consider Austin to be a gem of the ecosystem, and feel lucky that we have him here. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
This is a conversation with Gubsheep about Dark Forest and building crypto-native games.Dark Forest is a uniquely crypto-native game, and embodies patterns that we can all learn from. It's a game that takes place in a procedurally-generated universe that's shared by all players, where the smart contracts enforce the rules of the game, but where they don't leak information about what each player is up to by using ZK SNARKs.In this conversation, we talk about how Dark Forest uses ZK SNARKs to enable this core game mechanic, how it has organically built a community of players and developers, how early DAOs are participating in the games, how the game might interoperate with other games in the near future, and we also have a good discussion on Layer 2s and the trade-offs involved in choosing a scaling solution.Check out our website for other episodes: intothebytecode.xyzSubscribe to our newsletter for updates: bytecode.substack.comTwitter:
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