Today’s episode features a conversation between Ari Paul - the cryptocurrency investor and co-founder of BlockTower Capital who also serves as its Chief Investment Officer - and Muneeb Ali, co-founder & CEO of Blockstack PBC.
Ari and Muneeb cover a variety of crypto developments from both a Political Science and Distributed Systems Engineering perspective. They focus particularly on the issues of scaling networks like Ethereum, whether sharding is a holy grail or not, the challenges of digital asset custody, and more.
- 0:41 Muneeb: "How we met through Naval..."
- 2:33 There aren't many industries or asset classes where you can show up and be talking with the leaders almost immediately.
- 4:13 Muneeb: "What are you up to these days?"
- 7:10 Muneeb: "I'd love to get your Poli Sci perspective on a complex system being directly interacted with by users versus a very simple base layer being built on top of."
- 8:19 Ari: "One thing you see throughout time is some form of federalism."
- 10:31 Muneeb: "Imagine a mainframe computer for the entire world... it's not scalable by definition."
- 12:19 Muneeb: "Should you even be trying to attempt sharding at the blockchain layer?"
- 14:19 Muneeb: "Nodes would need near global information... which kind of kills the purpose of having shards in the first place."
- 16:52 Muneeb: "There's this notion - if you’re interacting with the blockchain - that smart contracts are the only interface available."
- 19:04 Muneeb: "Imagine a word processor... what parts do you want to hit the blockchain layer?"
- 24:24 Ari on how development of solutions like sharding gets going.
- 26:50 Muneeb: "We recently got pulled into some of the Ethereum scalability research... and recently did this public review of Casper's CBC."
- 29:04 Ari: "It's very frustrating to me when I discover the religion in politics of crypto."
- 30:03 Muneeb: "Sometimes people will ask me 'How is your Gaia storage system different FileCoin?'"
- 32:58 Ari: "Are you going to be integrating any Craig Wright innovations into Blockstack?"
- 35:34 Ari: "When you're playing poker, you want to play rational actors."
- 36:11 Ari: On custody and the value of vanishing.
- 37:07 Muneeb: "I do think [custody is] something that more and more people will start worrying about as our assets are in crypto currencies."
- 40:11 Ari: "Something that scares me in an existential sense: all tech is breakable."
- 42:30 Muneeb: "We really believe in the ability to exit."
- 45:32 Ari: "My concern is in the asymmetry."
- 47:57 Muneeb: "Look at SSL: maintained by one individual, then Heartbleed happened."
- 49:24 Ari: "I think it's wonderful we’ve had some Proof of Work attacks on the Ethereum Classic network... that's antifragile."
- 49:59 Ari: "The financial system doesn't worry about this because there's the fallback to legal."
- 50:57 Ari: "Andreas Antonopoulos would say Bitcoin is uncensorable because the network can block bad actors, but..."
- 51:28 Goodbyes.
- 51:52 Credits.