Today we will be breaking down Ethereum. Launched in 2015, Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based platform with a native cryptocurrency, Ether. Today, ETH stands as the second most valuable cryptocurrency to Bitcoin, and Ethereum is the preferred platform for blockchain projects.
To help me break down Ethereum, I am joined by Justin Drake. Justin is a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation. During our conversation, we cover what differentiates Ethereum from Bitcoin, the increasing number of projects being built on the Ethereum platform, and what a shift from proof of concept to proof of stake means for Ethereum. I particularly enjoy Justin’s framework for defining money and various analogies to better conceptualize the blockchain. I hope you enjoy this breakdown of Ethereum.
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[00:03:02] - [First question] - What a blockchain is on a fundamental level
[00:04:36] - A core overview of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin blockchain
[00:06:40] - Proof of work and why security is so important
[00:08:38] - How much miners spend to secure the network
[00:10:20] - Early days of Ethereum and what separates it from Bitcoin
[00:12:02] - Vitalik’s role in the rise of Ethereum
[00:13:14] - What can currently be built on top of the Ethereum blockchain
[00:16:28] - Gas fees and an overview of ETH as a triple point asset
[00:19:42] - What generates ETH and decides its value
[00:22:36] - Defining proof of stake, how it works, and staking incentives
[00:25:10] - Yields from staking ETH in the form of newly minted tokens and tips
[00:29:15] - Load to power ratio of the Ethereum network
[00:33:38] - Terms for staking your ETH and how much is expected to be staked
[00:39:19] - Sequence of events when using ETH to buy an NFT
[00:43:13] - Transaction fees how they’re calculated when buying and selling ETH
[00:46:11] - Pros and cons of high network demand while trying to scale the Ethereum blockchain
[00:50:41] - Defining money and why Ethereum’s design makes it optimized to become an economic engine
[00:55:11] - Defi Pulse - The Decentralized Finance Leaderboard
[00:55:47] - Ethereum’s rigorous decentralization standards and best in class proof of stake
[00:58:57] - Overview of Bitcoin Wrapped and ETH as the native currency writ large
[01:01:16] - A further in-depth analogy to better understand the Ethereum network
[01:05:19] - Potential competitors and new DeFi blockchain innovation
[01:08:27] - Key lessons for builders when studying Ethereum and decentralized finance
[01:11:03] - Bankless, Epicenter.tv, Zeroknowledge.fm, Into The Ether