The Blockchain Debate Podcast

The Blockchain Debate Podcast

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.

Episodes

May 28, 2021 107 min

Guests:

Ruben Somsen (twitter.com/SomsenRuben)
Muneeb Ali (twitter.com/muneeb)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “Trustless smart contracts for bitcoin are impossible without forks.”

A few projects have been known to try to bring smart contracts to bitcoin. But are they doing this in a way as you understand it? This episode explores this question. We pitted a bitcoin developer against the founder of Stacks, and...

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Guests:

Edmund Schuster (twitter.com/edmund_schuster)
Andrew Steinwold (twitter.com/andrewsteinwold)
Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)
Special co-host: Maria Shen (twitter.com/mariashen)

Today’s motion is “NFTs are dumb.”

Non Fungible Tokens have taken the world by storm. A transaction in NFT is a transaction in some sort of digital ownership. Or as the Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine put it, “digital ostentation.” As the new owner...

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Guests:

Lyn Alden (twitter.com/lynaldencontact)
Qiao Wang (twitter.com/qwqiao)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “Ethereum is too early for institutional money.”

Quite a few institutions have voted with their feet on Bitcoin. This ranges from corporate treasuries to money managers. At what point will Ethereum catch the attention of non-crypto native capital allocators? Our debaters today are Lyn Alden and Qiao Wa...

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Guests:

David Gerard (twitter.com/davidgerard)
Bryce Weiner (twitter.com/bryceweiner)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “Diem is a glorified PayPal.”

Diem of course used to be called Libra. It’s a cryptocurrency floated by Facebook in 2019. It was a big deal back then. A global borderless currency for 2 billion install base is a game charger for commerce and remittances, and would have implications on capital con...

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Guests:

Bennett Tomlin (@bennetttomlin)
Larry Cermak (@lawmaster)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
Patrick McKenzie (@patio11, special co-host)


Today’s motion is “Tether has always been acting in bad faith.”

This topic is very relevant for today’s markets because Tether is simultaneously an incredibly important, if not the most important, source of on-ramp liquidity for crypto, and a controversial, legally-challenged, blackbo...

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Guests:

Jorge Stolfi (@jorgestolfi)
Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Bitcoin is a scam.”

At the time of recording and release, Bitcoin reached its all time highs. And it just seems that every few weeks, a traditional financial institution or a well-known investor is announcing their interest in the orange coin.

Simultaneously, some skeptics continue to insist that this is all a mira...

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Guests:

Lewis Cohen (@NYcryptolawyer)
Gabriel Shapiro (@lex_node)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Legally speaking, tokens are more like commodities than like securities.”

Today’s guests are two legal experts in crypto space. One of them will argue that token transactions on the post-ICO, secondary market should for the most part be regulated like commodities and not securities. He will argue that the tokens ...

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Guests:

Evan Shapiro (@evanashapiro)
Anatoly Yakovenko (@aeyakovenko)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Today’s blockchains can’t increase TPS without taking a hit on decentralization.”

This is a follow-up debate, or you can think of it as a re-match. Previously Emre from O(1) Labs also debated Anatoly from Solana on this very topic on the show. So make sure to check that out if you’re interested.

Here are some ...

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Guests:

CasPiancey (@caspiancey)
Matthew Graham (@mattysino)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Tether will likely get crushed by authorities in the next two years, thanks to its shady practices and defiance against regulators.”

In this debate about the controversial pioneer stablecoin, we talked about pending lawsuits, a lack of regulatory framework for Tether to work with from the outset that cornered them int...

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Guests:

Alex Gluchowski (@gluk64)
John Adler (@jadler0)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
James Prestwich (@_prestwich, special co-host)

Today’s motion is “ZK rollup has a better set of security/scalability tradeoff than Optimistic rollup.”

Rollups are a class of layer-2 Ethereum scalability solutions. They allow an off-chain aggregation of transactions inside a smart contract. Users can transact inside the contract with secur...

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Guests:

Haseeb Qureshi (@hosseeb)
Meltem Demirors (@melt_dem)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
Tarun Chitra (@tarunchitra, special co-host)

Today’s motion is “Yield farming is an innovation.”

Yield farming, or liquidity mining, refers to a newly popularized practice of DeFi protocols, where the protocols incentivize usage with reward tokens. The trend was kickstarted with Compound offering their native tokens for anyone lendi...

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Guests:

Alex Gladstein (@gladstein)
Dave Jevans (@davejevans)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Blockchain analysis companies are bad for bitcoin.”

Blockchain analysis companies are effectively on-chain detectives. They help exchanges and other financial institutions detect and monitor money-laundering activities and therefore stay in compliance. They also help law enforcement do financial investigations.

But th...

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Guests:

Emre Tekişalp (@etekis)
Anatoly Yakovenko (@aeyakovenko)

Hosts:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
Uri Klarman (@uriklarman, special co-host)

Today’s motion is “Today’s blockchains can’t increase TPS without taking a hit on decentralization.”

Today’s guests are from two different public blockchains Coda and Solana. The CEO of Bloxroute came on as special co-host. So Coda came to this topic from the angle that, adding full nod...

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Guests:

Georgios Konstantopoulos (@gakonst)
Anatoly Yakovenko (@aeyakovenko)

Hosts:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)
Tarun Chitra (@tarunchitra, special co-host)

Today’s motion is “Scalability is impossible without sharding and layer-2 solutions.”

Today’s discussion is highly technical in nature and I’m glad to have Tarun as my co-pilot. Between the two debaters, one is building a public chain that insists on achieving scaling with...

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Guests:

Mike Kelly (@mikekelly85)
Hasu (@hasufl)

Host:

Richard Yan (@gentso09)

Today’s motion is “Nation-state attack on the bitcoin network is an unresolved ticking time bomb.”

In this thorough and fascinating debate, we covered these topics:

  • The motivations of nationstate attacks
  • The mechanisms of nationstate attacks
  • The aftermath of nationstate attacks
  • The preventive mechanism of nationstate attacks
  • The idea for this debate was...

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    Guests:

    Jonathan "JP" Padilla (@JPadillaCA)
    Nick White (@nickwh8te)

    Host:

    Richard Yan (@gentso09)

    Today’s motion is “I largely approve the US government’s fiscal and monetary response to the ongoing economic crisis.” 

    We recently had another debate on a similar topic, between Qiao Wang and Jimmy Song. 

    While Qiao argued for the pro-establishment view, he still saw lots of issues with the government’s intervention in th...

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    Guests:

    Qiao Wang (@qwqiao)
    Jimmy Song (@jimmysong)

    Host:

    Richard Yan (@gentso09)

    We all know the dominant crypto-native perspective on corporate/Wall Street bailouts — as generally anti-intervention, both fiscally and monetarily. But it’s important to hear the other side, if only to kick the tires of your own beliefs. After all, many smart people embrace a statist, big government view, in how to run an economy.

    In this debat...

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    Guests:

    Uri Klarman (@uriklarman)
    Mrinal Manohar (casperlabs.io)

    Host:

    Richard Yan (@gentso09)


    The guests we have today have close ties to Ethereum. One is actively working on a solution to scale the 1.0 version. The other was an early investor in Ethereum.

    In this episode, I learned about:

  • An interesting layer-0 approach to improve the performance of Ethereum 1.0 as well as any layer-1 protocol;
  • Disadvantages in layer-2 solutions ...
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    Guests:

    John Wolpert (@jwolpert)
    Richard Brown (@gendal)

    Host:

    Richard Yan (@gentso09)

    Today’s session is about enterprise blockchain and features a co-founder of Baseline protocol and CTO of R3. The former is building an enterprise solution on a public blockchain, whereas the latter is doing so on a private blockchain. So you will learn about the two approaches as the two guests compare notes on their respective products. A...

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    Guests:

    Illia Polosukhin (@ilblackdragon) - debating FOR the motion
    Zaki Manian (@zmanian) - debating AGAINST the motion

    Host:

    Richard Yan (@gentso09)

    In a world where decentralized applications proliferate, will these applications be built on top of a few or many public blockchains? Exploration of this topic would help us understand the merits of the coexistence of many protocols. On the extreme, each dapp can have its own ...

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