DiscoverThe Let's Talk Bitcoin NetworkThe Third Web #16 - Urbit, Your New Server
The Third Web #16 - Urbit, Your New Server

The Third Web #16 - Urbit, Your New Server

Update: 2019-03-18


The range of third-web platforms in development today is greater than ever. From data-centric blockchain based approaches to agent-centric designs like Secure Scuttlebut, the potential futures of the third web are rapidly expanding. Today we look at another approach with the Urbit platform. Like Secure Scuttlebutt, Urbit is agent centric. It is a deterministic operating system designed to be the filter between a user and the online services they use. I last covered Urbit in 2016 and the project is now nearing public launch. Galen Wolf-Pauly explains.What is Urbit?A personal ServerA secure computer that you actually ownStores an event log of everything that has ever happened to itThat's designed to live on any cloud serverBut be controlled by a private key that you actually ownYour Urbit is meant to replace all of the consumer cloud software that you already useHow can it possibly be better than all of the expensive software that has already been created?The basic thesis is that everything we use today runs on top of a unix of some kind.The reason we wound up in this centralised world of cloud-based software is that Unix is too complicated.Because the Unix is complicated, complicated layers between Unix and the application are needed.The Urbit solution is to rip all of that out and create a single, extremely simple, complex system.Urbit is a virtual machine, programming language, and operating system in 30,000 lines of code.For comparison, Wordpress, an application that runs on Unix is 500,000 lines of codeTechnical simplicity should turn into user interface simplicity.Additionally, by hosting your Urbit in the cloud you no longer have a middleman serving you applications, Instead you only need them to host your virtual computer. What does an Urbit future look like?A single platform allows tighter integration of, for example, productivity software like Git & Asana.As a designer, Galen looks forward to interface standardisation, -having messaging, documenting, code collaboration, task management and other consumer software working seamlessly as one system.Rather than interfaces built for many people.Do we need a new back end for a new front end? Hasn't Wechat done this?Today we use many services that have unified UIsGoogle has both email and documents but do you really trust Google to have total control and visibility into your use of those services?What if Google goes away?Being able to run a server myself that I trust will be around a long time and is secure to me makes me feel alot better. [Platform Risk]Wechat is a really great achievementApps are more like modulesBut you have given total power to a single companyThe decentralised Wechat pitch has gotten tired but Urbit is very much targeting that problem.The future of cloud computing does look like that but makes no compromises in privacy or durability.So is your vision as a designer that an individual defines their interface standard and that the applications automatically conform to that individual standard?Yes, instead of going to facebook, twitter, Google Docs, etc. and having them deliver the interface to me it is much more like installing a desktop application.In a desktop application scenario most applications make use of common interface elements because it makes more sense to the userYour computing environment should feel like your physical environment. Individuals have different preferences with regard to furnishing and it is relatively easy to pick from different modules of furniture or colours of walls. These are decisions of the size that we are comfortable making. Contrast this to computing interfaces which are like a prefab trailer, or hotel room that you wind up living in the whole time but have no power to customise, only choose between. The alternative is being a Linux SysAdmin who builds their entire interface home themselves. That tradeoff is as unfair and unrealistic as everyone physically building their own homes from scratch.To clarify, it is people working on Urbit full time who would be the ones building interfaces but those interfaces would be able to be applied to all of the applications that run on Urbit, and tweaks to those interfaces would affect all apps.Moving on from the interface. What is the advantage over existing cloud platforms? How is it possible to build something from scratch that is easier to use than the systems that have been developed by hundreds of thousands of people over the course of 30 years?Firstly, Urbit runs on Unix, the internet, TCP/IP, UDP We take the existing infrastructure and build a new layer on top.We are antagonistic toward the existing web stackUrbit is designed for an individual to useYou can think of Urbit as a personal blockchain or a 100 year computer - something that has never existed.Who is the target user?The gold standard is 'œWould I recommend this to my Mom?'More than just the technical community is interested in online privacy and security.The question is more like 'œWould I send an Urbit to my cousin?'This year your friend will be able to acquire an Urbit address and use it to chat with others and make the decision for themselves.Urbit is most interesting to somewhat technical people who are interested in unusual system software. It is also populated by small interesting micro-communitiesThe Urbit testnet has been live since 2013Does Urbit have enterprise applications?In the world of agriculture you cannot customise the software that runs in the machinery commonly available.You can't customise the software inside a Nest IoT device. You cant even connect it to a different server.Urbit operates on it's own network of devices.It is ideal for industrial IoT and can communicate on a local network.Currently data from these devices is collected and stored by third parties who represent a risk of abuse or leaks. Let's take a look at how it works, the networking and application stack.3 main components:Azimuth - the identity system. A series of Ethereum contracts. An Azimuth point is like a combination between a domain name, an email address and an IP address. There is a finite address space and each address is represented as a pronounceable phrase. In total there are ~4 billion user addresses. These addresses are divided hierarchically and have different uses in mind: 264 'œMoons' (devices), 232 'œPlanets' (user addresses), 216 'œStars' (routing nodes), 28 'œGalaxies' (protocol governors).Arvo - the Urbit OS. Very clean separation from external identity system on Ethereum, connected by a common key pair. The Arvo OS has a file system, a system for building applications, a webserver, a networking protocol which is routed over UDP, a vault for secrets or keychain, and a build system. These aree individual kernel modules that provide things from the web stack. A core kernel manages the interactions between these components. The OS is written in a custom language called Hoon which compiles to the Urbit assembly language called Nock. The result is a single deterministic function that Urbit executes every time it gets an event.Aegean?Who makes money from Urbit?Employees of the Tlon company that is developing Urbit, in the form of wages.Holders of Azimuth address space.Providers of Urbit hosting & application development services Recently, Curtis Yarvin, the founder of the Urbit project, left. Is it true that he gave all of his address space to Tlon?NoCurtis Yarvin signed over the the Galaxy addresses he held to Tlon. He retained the control of the stars.Future & FearsThe biggest threat to Urbit is success. If it begins to succeed as an alternative computing model, its possible that large players will attempt to build products that solve the same problems.Urbit's goal is not to be a single network, but rather a network of networks.It takes granular tools to map the way people interact in a computing environment and Urbit aims to make the many different permutations of human communication representable.
In Channel
Griff Green: Giveth '" Creating the New Economic Model of Giving
We're joined by Griff Green, one of the founders at Giveth. The organization, which emerged out of the ashes of the DAO, aims to create a better model for charitable work. Operating as a Dapp, Giveth aims to bring new governance models in the nonprofit space. The goal is to create better incentives for donors and charity workers, in all types of social good projects.Topics discussed in this episode:Griff's background as a gold-hodling digital nomadHis time spent at and his involvement in the aftermath of the DAO collapseHow traditional charity organizations workThe problems these organizations face and how funds get allocatedThe Giveth backstory and why the team chose to start the projectIncentive alignment in the charity spaceThe use of bonding curves and continuous organizations to fund charity projectsThe project's roadmap and futureLinks mentioned in this episode: Giveth websiteRewriting the Story of Human CollaborationGriff's talk at EthCCEpisode 282 with Simon de la RouviereGiveth on GitHubGiveth on TwitterGriff Green's TwitterThe Giveth blogSponsors: Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicksSupport the show, consider donating: BTC: 1CD83r9EzFinDNWwmRW4ssgCbhsM5bxXwg ( 1M4dvWxjL5N9WniNtatKtxW7RcGV73TQTd ( 0x8cdb49ca5103Ce06717C4daBBFD4857183f50935 ( episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture & Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options:
The Tatiana Show Ep. 193 Jonathan Kohn of Cripto Conserje
On this episode I spoke with Jonathan Kohn about the unbelievable work he is doing with Cripto Conserje down in Venezuela when they are educating people of blockchain and cryptocurrency. They are currently rebuilding a school with the help of artists such as cryptograffiti, who is a personal favorite artist and also previously a guest on the Tatiana Show. Listen in to find out more about the impact they are seeing on the ground in Venezuela, Columbia, and how the crypto revolution is spreading throughout South America.About the Guests:Jonathan Kohn is a Venezuelan born executive with experience in land acquisitions and information systems management for the Oil and Gas Industry. Prior to founding Cripto Conserje, Jonathan served as VP for Balanced Energy LLC where he was directly involved in the development and capitalization of over 70 drilling projects in Texas. He was central in the first drilling project funded partially in Bitcoin in 2013. Later he went on to found BitPetro where he focuses on exploring the investment and infrastructure potential of crypto assets and blockchain technologies, and UM Inspections which focuses on the use of unmanned and remote sensing technologies for inspections and surveying in the energy industry. His first venture in the world of crypto entrepreneurship was which makes custom precious metal coins laser engraved with a QR code of one's public keys. Mr. Kohn co-founded Cripto Conserje in April 2018 to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Cucuta Colombia through cryptocurrency education, merchant adoption, and philanthropy.More Info: and Sponsors of the Show:The Local Maximum Proof of LoveFree RossCrypto Stars Events
Proof of Love Ep. 11 Naomi Brockwell on Assange & Sex Work
We had an eye opening conversation with Naomi Brockwell, who will be performing at our Crypto Stars event on May 11th. Her research and videos with John Stossel about sex work have sparked conversation and controversy. We talk about everything from legal and illegal prostitution to sugar babies, and how morality in many cases dictates law and if it should. Speaking of the law, we also discuss platforms such as Craigslist and Backpage and how they have been impacted by recent rulings. We also discuss the recent arrest of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Ben Shapiro, and Wikileaks. About the Guests:Naomi Brockwell is a film and television producer, and host of the show "Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Technologies of our Future". She is a producer for Stossel, a producer for the TV series HardFork, and formerly produced for Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel.Naomi is the co-founder of The Soho Forum, on the Advisory Council at the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, and in 2017 was awarded Uber's "Young Libertarian of the Year" at the Friedman Conference. She has produced numerous award-winning feature films, including the 2015 feature documentary Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It (Best International Documentary, Anthem Film Festival; Winner of Special Jury Prize, Amsterdam Film Festival), Audition (Best documentary, Lone Star Film Festival) and the Lionsgate thriller, Subconscious. Check out her daily videos at you have a burning question, or a show idea for us? Please email us at!Thank you to our sponsor Crypto Media Hub.Remember, this is a new show, so if you like it, please be sure to tell 3 friends! Leave a good review on Itunes, and be sure to follow us on our socials!More Info:
Yaniv Tal: The Graph '"A Marketplace for Web3 Data Indexes Based on GraphQL
At the core of the Web 2.0 stack lies the REST API. It's the fiber which allows frontend applications to communicate with their backend counterparts, as well as the services on which they depend. But the API model is highly constrained and inflexible. The API is divorced from the data model, which creates a number of restrictions and inefficiencies. Most blockchain clients, including Geth, Parity and Bitcoin Core, use a JSON-RPC model which suffers from similar issues. Several Ethereum DApps maintain high-availability, centralized data indexes which sit between the client and the blockchain. Thought user experience is greatly improved, the practice means most of the ecosystem relies on centralized infrastructure. We're joined by Yaniv Tal, Project Lead at The Graph. The project aims to create a scalable marketplace of robust and high-availability blockchain data indexes. Relying on the modern GraphQL data query language initially developed by Facebook, The Graph allows developers to make complex queries to a robust and high-availability data infrastructure. Launched as a hosted service earlier this year, The Graph plans to move to a decentralized model in the future.Topics discussed in this episode:The vision of The Graph and why the team chose to work on this problemThe REST API client-server model in the Web 2.0 paradigmThe state of the Ethereum ecosystem and the challenges relating to data availabilityHow DApps work behind the scenes and their backend infrastructureGraphQL as the evolution of the API modelHow The Graph addresses the issue of data querying and availabilityTheir hosted services and plans to move to a hybrid modelHow The Graph addresses privacy and scalabilityThe incentive mechanisms and economics related to data integrityEarly applications and the project's near-term roadmapLinks mentioned in this episode: The Graph - A Query Protocol for BlockchainsThe Graph on MediumBrowse and Explore SubgraphsGraph DocsGraphQL Will Power the Decentralized WebThe Graph's Research and Specifications are Now Open SourceOur Investment In The Graph - Multicoin CapitalGraphQLYaniv Tal on TwitterSponsors: Cosmos: Join the most interoperable ecosystem of connected blockchainsSupport the show, consider donating: BTC: 1CD83r9EzFinDNWwmRW4ssgCbhsM5bxXwg ( 1M4dvWxjL5N9WniNtatKtxW7RcGV73TQTd ( 0x8cdb49ca5103Ce06717C4daBBFD4857183f50935 ( episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sebastien Couture. Show notes and listening options:
The Tatiana Show Ep. 192 Doug Casey of Casey Research
Tatiana and Josh are joined by Doug Casey of the Casey Research Center. Author of best selling books International Man and Crisis Investing, Doug discusses the future of world governments, crypto and social currency, and life extension. His thoughts on gold and new crypto investments are also a must listen. As a visitor of 155 different nations, he shares with us his thoughts on countries to pack your bags and head for.-Casey Research Center-Based in Argentina-Josh talk about his experiences with Berlin-First book he wrote was the International Man (1977-8)-Guidebook to the world's countries, financial freedom and opportunity. -Largest selling book in history of Rhodesia.-Second book was Crisis Investing. (1979)- Profits and opportunities coming in greater depression.- New York Times List for 38, Number One for 15 weeks.-Strategic Investing-$800,000 investment from Simon and Schuester-Written novels with John Hunt- Speculator - Drug Lord- Charles Knight - Politically incorrect occupations can be engaged by a "good guy".- Putting finishing touches on Assassin.- "Just some people that need killing."- Writing fiction for his own gratification and amusement.- Governments of the world headed in the wrong direction.- In Argentina, insulated from the bad stuff happening in the U.S., we're on the cuff of a civil war.- He estimates that he has been to 155 countries, lived in 10. - Better off in Argentina than the U.S.- Proposers of socialist programs are criminally insane. - Modern Monetary Theory - Free license to print money.- Driving cars and trucks is dog work. Machines should work, people should think. - Self-driving cars equals central control, they'll know where you are- Cryptocurrency is a double-edged sword.- 75% of people live in countries with blocked currency, making it useless.- Major governments are going back to gold standard, led by China and Russia.- Social Currency- Rated on speech and actions- Traffic Violations- Social Penalties - Life Extension- Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw- Life Extension - A Scientific Practical Approach- Moore's Law- Hold on for twenty more years.- Science is expensive, and socialism could destroy it.- Tatiana reluctantly embracing the upcoming Jurassic Park scenario.- Make friends with camp freaks.- Going to redo International Man.- Regrets not becoming an Eagle Scout.- Josh earned the inaugural Computer Badge- Crypto Advice- Marco Wusser (sp?) - Genius German- Weekly newsletter in Gold is not an investment, it is money and can occasionally be a good speculation.- It is a great way to preserve capital.- Makes it a good reason to own lots of physical gold.- Focus is commodities and newer crypto-related currencies.- Venezuela, Uruguay, and New Zealand.- The Market for Liberty (Book he read in 1971).- www.HighGroundBooks.comMore Info: InternationalMan.comHighGroundSeries.comFriends and Sponsors of the
The Tatiana Show Ep. 191 The Libertarian Party with Jess Mears
It was such a pleasure talking to Jess, who talks about how she became involved with the Libertarian Party along with an increasing number of women. We talk about her efforts in the 2016 election as a staffer for Gary Johnson and what to look forward to in the 2020 Presidential Election. Jess also talks about Libertarian stances on everything from the environment to the sex work industry. If you are a member of the Libertarian Party or seriously considering, you do not want to miss this episode. About the Guests:Meet Jess, the Libertarian Party's Membership Manager. Jess Mears has been a Libertarian activist since 2007. She founded Libertarian groups on a college campus, a retirement community and at the county level. In 2010, Jess ran for state senate in Ohio at the age of 21. Jess has been involved with over a dozen Libertarian campaigns. In 2016, Jess traveled the country with Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld as the campaign's Director of Events. In 2018, she served as campaign manager for the Foxall For Florida House District 72 Special Election; this campaign broke records for fundraising and media garnered. Jess received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati in Communications and Public Relations. She lives in Alexandria, VA and works out of the Libertarian Party's National Headquarters. In addition to managing the party's membership programs, she serves as the Social Media Manager and in various other roles. During the recent government shutdown, with a little help from her friends, Jess coordinated a nationwide effort of Libertarian activists to remove litter from 20+ national parks. This effort resulted in some of the best media exposure the party has received for non-political campaign related activities. Jess's spring 2019 speaking engagements will give Libertarians a forecast on the 2020 presidential race and how to best prepare.More Info: and Sponsors of the Token Talks Podcast
The Tatiana Show Ep. 190 Tim Picciott of Crypto Self Direct
On this episode we have Tim Picciott who is a wealth advisor and the founder of Crypto Self Direct. He joins us to discuss how as a financial planner, he helps people manage their crypto, pay the right amount of taxes and advises on how to invest into Crypto IRAs & so much more. Hope you learn as much as I did! About the Guests:Timothy Picciott CFP CRPC is the founder of Crypto Self Direct and Wealth Advisor with Innovative Advisory Group. He is also a trailblazer in the field of Crypto wealth management strategies. Tim understands the challenges Bitcoin early adopters faced, as they struggled to get their substantial cryptocurrency gains from the virtual world to the real world' without getting killed by taxes. Tim works with Bitcoin and Crypto early adopters to provide advanced financial planning solutions to help them pay as little taxes as legally possible on their highly appreciated asset(s). He also advises crypto-enthusiasts as to how they can invest into "Crypto IRAs"; using self-directed IRA's and 401(K)'s. Tim's contrarian viewpoints and handle of Austrian Economics makes him an incredible asset for those who aren't looking for cookie-cutter financial advice. Tim has been helping his clients retire with the feeling of security for over a decade.More Info: and Sponsors of the Show:
The Bitcoin Game #62: Michel Rauchs of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance
Welcome to episode 62 of‚The Bitcoin Game, I'm Rob Mitchell. Michel Rauchs is the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain lead at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). For the past few years, Michel has devoted his life to studying the space, and he's been a big part of several comprehensive studies that dig into many aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You'll see Michel and his reports cited in tons of articles, particularly those that focus on Bitcoin's energy use. I hope you enjoy Michel as my guest on today's episode.EPISODE LINKSMichel Rauchs on Twitter Centre for Alternative Finance (2017) - Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study (December 2018) - 2nd‚Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study (Section 7 has mining stats and map) (August 2018) - Distributed Ledger Technology Systems Bevand (2017) - Electricity consumption of Bitcoin's 2018 Blog post, "A note on censorship resistance" Rauchs, Xmas Lecture (December 2017) IN TOUCHThanks so much for taking the time to listen to The Bitcoin Game! upcoming Bitcoin2019 conference is taking place on June 25 and 26 in San Fransisco. There's an amazing line-up of speakers, and it's one of the most affordable Bitcoin conferences around. Go to now and claim a 25-percent discount with promo code BG25.Bitcoin2019Conference.comWhile much of a Bitcoiner's time is spent in the world of digital assets, sometimes it's nice to own a physical representation of the virtual things you care about. For just the price of a cup of coffee or two (at Starbucks), you can own the world famous Bitcoin Keychain.As Seen OnThe Guardian ' TechCrunch ' Engadget ' Ars Technica ' Popular MechanicsInforwars ' Maxim ' Inc. ' Vice ' RT ' Bitcoin Magazine ' VentureBeatPRI ' CoinDesk ' Washington Post ' Forbes ' Fast Company Bitcoin Keychains - CREDITSAll music in this episode of The Bitcoin Game was created by Rob Mitchell.The Bitcoin Game box art was created from an illustration by Rock Barcellos.Bitcoin (Segwit) tipping address:3AYvXZseExRn3Dum8z9tFUk9jtQK6KMU4gLightning Network tipping: We've migrated our RSS feed (and primary content host) from Soundcloud to Libsyn. So if you noticed the Soundcloud numbers aren't nearly as high as they used to be, that's the reason.
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The Third Web #16 - Urbit, Your New Server

The Third Web #16 - Urbit, Your New Server

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