37 episodes

It seems that the future of blockchain industry can go down very different paths, and each path has its group of hard core believers. They can’t all be right. Perhaps by hearing the experts debate, the rest of us can compare their reasoning and see the future a bit more clearly. Whether you’re a builder or investor, whether you consider yourself blockchain-savvy or blockchain-curious, if you want to hear all arguments before predicting the future of blockchain, this podcast is for you. Follow our twitter at @blockdebate. Host: Richard Yan (@gentso09). See you soon! Consensus optional, proof of thought required.

The Blockchain Debate Podcast Richard Yan

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 23 Ratings

It seems that the future of blockchain industry can go down very different paths, and each path has its group of hard core believers. They can’t all be right. Perhaps by hearing the experts debate, the rest of us can compare their reasoning and see the future a bit more clearly. Whether you’re a builder or investor, whether you consider yourself blockchain-savvy or blockchain-curious, if you want to hear all arguments before predicting the future of blockchain, this podcast is for you. Follow our twitter at @blockdebate. Host: Richard Yan (@gentso09). See you soon! Consensus optional, proof of thought required.

    Motion: Bitcoin mining is good for the grid (Lee Bratcher vs. Ben Hertz-Shargel)

    Motion: Bitcoin mining is good for the grid (Lee Bratcher vs. Ben Hertz-Shargel)

    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.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Motion: We should always reduce MEV on blockchains (Ed Felten vs. Tushar Jain)

    Motion: We should always reduce MEV on blockchains (Ed Felten vs. Tushar Jain)

    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/overview
    Guest 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.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Motion: Web3 is worse than Web2 (Liron Shapira vs. Kyle Samani)

    Motion: Web3 is worse than Web2 (Liron Shapira vs. Kyle Samani)

    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 Yan

    Guests:

    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-3d81b1647429
    Guest 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

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Motion: The industry is growing out of the Fat Protocol Thesis (Jeff Dorman vs. Joel Monegro)

    Motion: The industry is growing out of the Fat Protocol Thesis (Jeff Dorman vs. Joel Monegro)

    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 Yan

    Guests:

    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/digitalassettypes
    Guest 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.

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Motion: DAOs are better than corporations (Kain Warwick vs. Edmund Schuster)

    Motion: DAOs are better than corporations (Kain Warwick vs. Edmund Schuster)

    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 Yan

    Guests:

    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.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Motion: Toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin (Giacomo Zucco vs. Paul Sztorc)

    Motion: Toxic maximalism is great for Bitcoin (Giacomo Zucco vs. Paul Sztorc)

    Guests:

    Giacomo Zucco: twitter.com/giacomozucco
    Paul Sztorc: twitter.com/truthcoin

    Host:

    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.

    • 1 hr 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

KG123723n2356 ,

So glad that I found this!

I am new to blockchain and I am so glad that I found this podcast. It’s easy to digest but also super insightful. Unlike many other blockchain podcasts, it cuts all the gibberish and focuses on topics that truly matter. Can’t wait for more!!

math music mouse ,

A great forum for understanding blockchain technologies, for novice and experts alike

If you are interested in blockchain tech, this is a great place to learn about it, for the following reasons:
- The debate format keeps things interesting
- The guests invited are typically experts in this area (some are published authors, some are techno-preneurs)
- There is some "auxiliary" content that goes with the debates: eg, surveys, audience questions in twitter
I enjoyed listening to the Jimmy Song episodes. Look forward to listening more of them!

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