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 12, 2022 75 min

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 infrast...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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 ...
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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, an...

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Guests:

Yves Bennaïm: twitter.com/ZLOK
George Selgin: twitter.com/georgeselgin


Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “It's a bad idea to make Bitcoin compulsory tender.”

If you’re somewhat into crypto, you must have heard about El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law that has made Bitcoin a legal tender in addition to USD. With an asterisk. Dictionary definition of legal tender says a legal tender is a money that must be accep...

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Guests:

Bennett Tomlin (twitter.com/bennetttomlin)
Sam Kazemian (twitter.com/samkazemian)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “Algo and fraction stablecoins are flawed.”

A good stablecoin can sustainably hold its peg, and recover quickly from a premium or discount. This is a basic requirement for stablecoins. 

An obvious design is the bank coin model, where coins are backed 1-to-1 by fiat. But this creates a single ...

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Guests:

Anatoly Yakovenko (twitter.com/aeyakovenko)
Dankrad Feist (twitter.com/dankrad)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “Security is about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners.”

This is a mouthful. The minimum set of colluding miners is the smallest cartel of dishonest block producers you need to attack a network. Maximizing that set is about increasing the size of such a successful cartel, essentiall...

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Guests:

Bob Hockett (twitter.com/rch371)
Larry White (twitter.com/lawrencehwhite1)

Host:

Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)


Today’s motion is “The US urgently needs to catch up on CBDC.”

Central Bank Digital Currencies are sort of like government-run Paypal accounts. They allow the government to do scalpel-like fiscal policies more easily, such as airdropping cash to citizens and stimulating spending.

At the same time, CBDC could also a...

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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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