In this special live episode of Venture Stories, Erik Torenberg interviews two special guests about the present and future of crypto: Naval Ravikant (@naval), CEO and co-founder of AngelList, and Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis), CTO of Coinbase.
They start with an overview of the history of organizing societies and the role of centralized decision-makers from kings to democracies and why decentralization — where no one in particular is in charge but everybody follows the rules — has so much potential. They talk about how this could be disruptive to a wide swath of society today, including areas like money, electricity, social networks, storage, and more. They explain why decentralization will "fulfill the original promise of the internet."
Erik asks how each of them got into the space after having had success in other areas. It’s pointed out that it’s very rare that something comes along that is “technologically interesting, socially revolutionary, and that can also make you very rich.” They move on to a discussion of the history of money, the three key functions that money provides (store of value, unit of account and medium of exchange) and how good a job current cryptocurrencies are doing at fulfilling those three functions. They also point out that VCs typically didn’t buy Ether, but it has provided a 700X return in just a few years, which is better than VCs returned on Google or Facebook.
They move on to what they see in the future for crypto and how it will change society at large. They paint a picture of a world where there might be virtual “instant jobs” available on-demand in a feed akin to the feeds in current social networks and where the “99%” will be investors, as opposed to the present where only 1% of individuals are investors. There might also exist in the future “instant companies” that can be created as easily as someone can create an account on a social network today and that programmable smart contracts might spread opportunity far and wide without the need for armies of lawyers and judges.
They explain what it means when they say that blockchain will create “an open financial system” and what they mean when they say it will be to the current financial system what Linux was to Windows. They also talk about what kinds of facts would change their mind about blockchain, the role of identity and anonymity in a crypto world, and the concept of a “personal burn rate.”
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Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.