The Third Web

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Tlon COO Erik Newton and Community Manager Kenny Rowe join this session to provide some additional background to Tlon and the Urbit Community. Erik Newton begins by explaining the relationship between the Tlon corporation and the Urbit project. We also discuss the reason behind the valuation of the address space, business opportunities, and plans for the launch of Urbit OS 1. Then Kenny describes the cultural reach of the Urbit aesthetic and how he found himself pulled into the project from his prior employer, Maker. In particular the notion of the Kelvin versioning system evolving toward stability as opposed to complexity, and the power of unique terminology to avoid false cognates. Kenny elaborates on the community on-boarding strategy of Urbit and its suitability for the collaboration needs of DAOs and front end requirements of smart contracts.
The recurrent theme of calm computing is explored more deeply in this discussion with Logan Allen whose focus is infrastructure and product at Tlon. Logan sees the attention economy, with all it’s popups and news feed clickbait as a result of the way startups are organised and funded. In between rebukes of VC capital and the growth business model, Logan describes a software landscape where the user is king, extending the views of Christian and Anthony. The only way Logan believes this can be achieved is to create a computing platform with different product design incentives. Part of this picture is a unified tech stack that applications share rather than the bespoke, but very similar, internal tooling built individually by major tech companies like uber, facebook, airbnb and others. For Logan, Urbit addresses this by standardizing a large part of the system stack. As an abstract I/O interface it separates the software and hardware layers in a way that allows applications to be developed for an environment that is consistent across hardware. This makes Urbit a much more efficient way of developing software from a corporate perspective by reducing dev-ops and the size of the layer that security concerns can happen in. One of Logan’s most powerful revelations is that today, system software, linux for example, is deeply complex and growing ever more so and the number of people who understand the way it works is shrinking proportionally to the task of maintaining that software. Designing a new platform that evolves toward stability may be the only way to ensure a secure computing landscape in the future.
Christian Langalis is the resident bitcoin ambassador to the Urbit team. His motto is sound money requires sound computing and this well describes his role is to develop Bitcoin infrastructure for the Urbit ecosystem. Christian’s interest in Urbit derives from a desire for a sound foundation on which Bitcoin can operate. He makes the argument that for all its potential, bitcoin cannot offer the benefits of sound money (sound being a term that requires specific definition in this case) without a sound computing platform on which to operate. Unix sysadmins have access to this today, but that leaves the future unevenly distributed. More than just a piece of Bitcoin infrastructure, Christian sees Urbit as a response to the shift toward unowned software and data caused the popularity of Software as a Service and content streaming platforms. He also sees the platform as an opportunity for individuals to access the full power of server computing, instead having to rent individual functionalities from subscription based services. Christian views data harvesting, and the pursuit of user attention as deep personal abuses in a way that recalls Galen’s reference to Stockholm Syndrome in episode 1
As Ted indicated in episode 2, The Urbit ID public key infrastructure and the Urbit network are core to the way individual Urbits communicate and maintain self-sovereignty. In this episode we hear from three members of the Tlon team, each explaining the part of the system they are most familiar with. OS lead Ted returns to introduce the subject. Tlon engineer, Logan, Explains the use experience of Urbit ID, The reason for some of the design choices, and the topography of the Urbit Network. Philip is a resident cryptographer at Tlon focussed on Public Key Infrastructure. He rounds this episode out by explaining what a PKI is, the differences between PKIs, and the way the Urbit ID PKI is implemented.
The effect technology has on individual freedom is a recurring theme in lunchtime discussions in the Tlon office. Chief Product Officer, Anthony Arroyo has a background in linguistics and the philosophy of technology. This positions him well to explain the nature of this relationship and how Urbit positions itself between the two. Anthony offered the key insight that today computers have evolved from their nature as tools into mechanical colonizers of our lives. More than just absorbing our attention, the online services advertising greater human connection are in reality limiting the way we relate to one another to a centrally defined mode of interaction. This extends to the way we consume news, poisoning the well of information and leading to a toxic mass social environment. He offers Urbit as a solution that allows the user to determine their mode of interaction, and the scale of their social graph, rather than a graph that is global by default. Anthony also introduces three characteristics of a virtual tool that are needed for it to conform to our expectations of physical tools. He describes those characteristics as simple, durable, and yours. Finally, we learn about Urbit’s decrementing versioning system and the benefit of software that evolves toward stability.
Engineer Ted Blackman works on the Urbit OS kernel. Like many Tlon employees, Ted initially came to the project as an open source contributor. In this discussion Ted breaks the operating system down into its components and explains its relationship to Urbit ID which we will cover in-depth in episode 4. Ted begins by helping us establish a foundational understanding of what an operating system is and what roles traditional OSs excel in. Then he explores how Urbit functions as a layer above, creating a unique environment for applications to run within. A major question raised by the first half of this discussion, and which many Urbit enthusiasts will already have in the back of their minds is how can such a minimalist, universal operating system take advantage of the task specific performance benefits some CPUs offer? The answer lies in a unique Urbit innovation called Jets. In understanding Jets we can grasp the inherent performance limitations of an operating system like Urbit, and understand how those limitations can be overcome. Ted has a talent for making the complex understandable, so while this is a very advanced episode, even a non-technical person will find this discussion educational and entertaining.
Few software projects today share either the contemporary relevance or fringe mystique of the Urbit Operating and Identity System. As a highly secure personal server, Urbit aims to deliver on many of the ideas pioneered by the Cypherpunks, and, after nearly 20 years in development the platform has begun a phased launch. Urbit gives us persistent digital identity, a new benchmark for secure computing, and maybe even an open source response to more modern social computing platforms like WeChat and Kakaotalk. In February of this year, Tlon, the main company developing Urbit, invited me to their San Francisco office to interview the team for a podcast series. During the three weeks I was there we recorded many hours of discussion. This series is a collage of excerpts from those discussions. The episodes aim to introduce the philosophy of Urbit, establish the problems it is designed to address, explain the way the platform works, and relate it to the world through the lens of Bitcoin, Software as a Service, and the growth model of Silicon Valley startups. We begin our journey with Urbit veteran Galen Wolfe-Pauley who introduces the project and its design principles while reflecting on the collective Stockholm syndrome we suffer in the grasp of existing computing models.
Holochain has been a project simminging in the background of the blockchain space for several years now. The promise has been a panaceaic solution to the performance and scalability issues facing decentralised hosting platforms. It’s an oft heard claim, but, as founder Arthur Brock expounds in this interview, by giving up our insistence on global consensus in favor of discoverable and verifiable local state, a world of options is opened to us. This kind of discussion follows from the Secure Scuttlebutt and Urbit episodes. It raises, and offers answers, to questions of data vs agent based ontologies. But most interesting of all, it forces us to reconsider why we wanted to use a blockchain in the first place. Arthur Brock from Denver Colorado Interested in alternative currencies in 2001 Self organising companies are just a form of currency hacking Discovered what a huge leverage point for change currency is Change the business incentives and all business will reshape towards those incentives The Future of Money, Bernard Leotard 2003 alternative currency became main gig Metacurrency project 2004 Met Harris Brown Currencies as more than money - symbol systems that we use to coordinate at scale Out of metacurrency project came Ceptr 2006 Interact/transact with anyone else without intermediary Required a reinvention of most of the communications stack. Modeling on nature - biomimicry Prototyped for rewrite of computation, communication, commerce Took piece of Ceptr and built Holochain, completed in Go in 2017 Bitcoin neither blindsided nor felt like a culmination of work Seemed like a ham handed design Questionably successful Has captured a large following Has not achieved what Arthur Brock wants to achieve Not to dismiss blockchain - if nothing else it has prepared public consciousness and awareness for dealing with these problems. Blockchain has altered the discourse Pulled discourse in a crazy direction Recreates unhealthy patterns turbocharged Definitely need new money but need to do it in a manor that does not amplify volatility and wealth concentration Recreating old problems won't get us somewhere new Core issue is validation, not consensus Everyone must use the same validation scheme to participate in consensus [validation is more fundamental than consensus] Push for global state is a lazy way of modeling problems In reality there is no global state or time. Only relative state and time. Holochain uses an Agent Centric approach rather than a Data Centric approach. Each agent has their own chain for an application, only tracking the agents activity. Genesis block of each chain includes a hash of the source code of the application. #webscale #patriciatree
The range of third-web platforms in development today is greater than ever. From data-centric blockchain based approaches to agent-centric designs like Secure Scuttlebut, the potential futures of the third web are rapidly expanding. Today we look at another approach with the Urbit platform. Like Secure Scuttlebutt, Urbit is agent centric. It is a deterministic operating system designed to be the filter between a user and the online services they use. I last covered Urbit in 2016 and the project is now nearing public launch. Galen Wolf-Pauly explains. What is Urbit? A personal Server A secure computer that you actually own Stores an event log of everything that has ever happened to it That’s designed to live on any cloud server But be controlled by a private key that you actually own Your Urbit is meant to replace all of the consumer cloud software that you already use How can it possibly be better than all of the expensive software that has already been created? The basic thesis is that everything we use today runs on top of a unix of some kind. The reason we wound up in this centralised world of cloud-based software is that Unix is too complicated. Because the Unix is complicated, complicated layers between Unix and the application are needed. The Urbit solution is to rip all of that out and create a single, extremely simple, complex system. Urbit is a virtual machine, programming language, and operating system in 30,000 lines of code. For comparison, Wordpress, an application that runs on Unix is 500,000 lines of code Technical simplicity should turn into user interface simplicity. Additionally, by hosting your Urbit in the cloud you no longer have a middleman serving you applications, Instead you only need them to host your virtual computer. What does an Urbit future look like? A single platform allows tighter integration of, for example, productivity software like Git & Asana. As a designer, Galen looks forward to interface standardisation, -having messaging, documenting, code collaboration, task management and other consumer software working seamlessly as one system. Rather than interfaces built for many people. Do we need a new back end for a new front end? Hasn’t Wechat done this? Today we use many services that have unified UIs Google has both email and documents but do you really trust Google to have total control and visibility into your use of those services? What if Google goes away? Being able to run a server myself that I trust will be around a long time and is secure to me makes me feel alot better. [Platform Risk] Wechat is a really great achievement Apps are more like modules But you have given total power to a single company The decentralised Wechat pitch has gotten tired but Urbit is very much targeting that problem. The future of cloud computing does look like that but makes no compromises in privacy or durability.
What is Edgeware Edgeware being developed by an entity called Commonwealth Labs Built on Parity’s Substrate Grandpa finality tool On-chain governance Scripting built in. Using Web Assembly (Wasm) Building on Substrate People used to build their own web servers, now they use the cloud. People used to build new chains, now they can use Substrate. This enables builders to focus on the area of their expertise. One month after development began a test net was operational Three months the project was live. EOS was too centralised Ethereum was not flexible enough WebAssembly Being able to use Rust or C++ is great Still being experimented with The Polkadot and Substrate ecosystem Friendly and helpful community 20 projects underway 100 planned for the end of the year Platform still stabilizing People are building now planning to switch to the security of the Polkadot chain. Securing the edgeware chain Delegated PoS aiming to move to Nominated PoS as Sybil resistance mechanism Grandpa for finality Round Robin leader selection The ultimate goal is to rely on the security of Polkadot The problem of governance It’s a problem that has been pursued by humanity for all time Blockchains increase social scalability Improves legibility Enables new organisations These new organisations need new governance systems Blockchains are new so there is naturally experimentation and opportunity. Want to further this human endeavour in the blockchain world How does edgeware actually do governance? Allocate tokens using a “Lock Drop” of ether. One token one vote. Vote can be allocated Focusing on core changes to the network/protocol, allocation of on-chain treasury that is bootstrapped by the block reward. The Lock Drop Initial token distribution is the linchpin of effective network governance Require the belief in the economic value of the token Previous ways of doing this were an ICO or airdropping a token The Livepeer Merkle Mine was an interesting experiment Edgeware hopes to get the same effect of distributing tokens to people who want to actively participate without the bloat of a Merkle Mine. Ether tokens are locked in a contract that prevents the tokens from moving for a period of 3, 6, or 12 months. The registry of locked tokens is used to initiate the Edgeware chain with additional tokens allocated to individuals who locked their tokens up for longer periods. Infrastructure on top of infrastructure Are we locked in an infrastructure phase?
Care of DFINITY I was privileged to attend the Web 3 Summit in Berlin last year. While there I interviewed Aeron Buchanan, the Executive Vice President of the Web 3 Foundation and Gavin Wood, Founder of Ethereum, Parity, and the Web 3 Foundation. These guys are two of the individuals that launched the programmable blockchain revolution and these interviews plot a course from the founding of Ethereum to their vision of the decentralized web and give us a trajectory beyond. A quick production note. These interviews were filmed in the style of the other filmed interviews on The Third Web, unfortunately the footage was lost to a dead macbook leaving only the audio. As I usually cut myself out of the filmed interviews my contribution is less geared for production. Visit , for more information Aeron Buchanan Executive vice president of Web 3 Foundation Masters in Computer science with a focus on engineering at Oxford Worked in film Then completed a PHD in computer vision Became algorytm designer Tell us about your time at Ethereum Ethereum was initial exciting Went from raising interest to actually delivering and things changed a lot Aareon ran most of Eth Dev Very stressful Was Ming Chan hard to work with? Came later Eventually delivery of Ethereum was on course. A CEO or COO type role was needed. Eth foundation was not doing much at the time. The plan was to transition EthDev responsibilities to foundation After a worldwide search Vitalik chose Ming Chan Aeron transitioned out shortly thereafter Web 3 Foundation Drives the development and deployment of polkadot. Parity is building the rust implementation The runtime of polkadot is Parity’s Substrate. What is Web 3? Web 3 is different things to different people. To The Web 3 foundation Web 3 is the deentralized web. The Web 3 foundation aims to map out and build the technologies needed. This seems very blockchain focussed Yes, and polkadot is blockchain platform The blockchain platform part is only part. There needs to be a large number of other components to build the decentralized web How do you build decentralised messaging and storage? We are leaving that to others like IPFS. Proof of replication is something that people who looked at proof of storafge instead of proof of work overlooked. Whisper and Secure scuttlebutt are interesting options Coordination can happen on the blockchain but messaging on the blockchain is a non-starter. When will all this stuff come together to make ausable platform? We are not yet at a stage of maturity. The technologists building all of this know we are not at the end yet. We started with scripting Moved to scalability, reputation, messaging & everything else. We are not yet through the checklist. Polkadot takes us 95% of the way to scalability The next one is reputation. No clear solution yet. Whats the challenge with reputation? Proposals look at the result rather than the approach. Reputation is different in different contexts. There must not be an originator. Reputation must be decentralized. Gavin Wood Founded Ethereum Founded Parity Founded Web 3 Foundation Lead of Polkadot.
Aparna Krishnan is head of education at Blockchain at Berkeley and co-founder of Mechanism Labs, an open source blockchain research lab. Earlier this year, Aparna was awarded a scholarship by the DFINITY Foundation for Mechanism Labs’ research into consensus mechanisms. This episode is essentially a primer for advanced discussion of consensus in decentralized networks. Aparna Krishnan Co-founder mechanism labs open source research lab All work and research is on Github Telegram: @mechanism_labs Co-founder of the education team at Blockchain Berkeley Consensus researcher Teaches executive education courses Consensus Proof of Work Proof of Stake Old Field History Cynthia Dwork developed stronger adversarial models Did not have many applications Blockchain has brought cryptography and consensus into the mainstream eye Protocols DFINITY Tendermint Bitcoin Focus has been on proof of stake protocols Mining may not be sustainable Long term sustainabilities and lack of externalities is important Proof of stake offers efficiently As does proof of elapsed time and proof of space and time Consensus Sybil control Coming to agreement relies on traditional consensus PoS, PoW refer to the sybil control mechanism PoS - Putting down capital Financial penalty for misbehavior Token holders are participants PoW - burning energy One cpu, one vote No connection between token custody and rewards P o Elapsed Time Proof of Authority placing reputation A cost of playing ball Traditional Consensus (PBFT) No concept of probabilistic finality All honest nodes come to final agreement Closed, permissioned Blockchain All nodes may with a high degree of probability agree A probabilistic guarantee Longest Chain Rule Longest sequence of blocks is the Ethereum Ghost Can be attacked by a stealthy entity Open, permissionless, decentralized Inefficient Node churn Better liveness properties Early PoS 2013 PeerCoin NXT Bitshares Primitive State grinding attack vulnerable Randomness derived from blockhashes New Generation DFINITY Uses threshold relay decentralized randomness Tendermint Round robin Has social layer fallback Ethereum Casper Thunderella Algorand Hides the block creator until the block has been created In Tendermint a minority below the assumption cannot break finality In Bitcoin >10% can change the finality through threatening to censor Hard to get both economic and cryptographic security. Not clear that bribing and collusion attacks have been solved. No protocols have shown sophisticated economic models. Mechanism Labs Focussing on incentive schemes What does it mean to have a stable, scalable protocol Scalability Proof of Replication Recent work with Verifiable delay functions In commit/reveal schemes there is an opportunity to manipulate by giving only one person the ability to reveal the randomness Verifiable delay functions allow anyone to reveal the randomness ASIC resistance because not parallelizable
Subodh Sharma is a professor of computer science at IIT Delhi, one of the most prestigious universities in India. While he’s not teaching, Subodh conducts research into the formal verification of distributed systems, and his work on the automated formal verification of smart contacts has drawn international interest. I called up Subodh because I was looking for someone to explain an approach to writing software called the actor model. The actor model essentially involves sandboxing tasks in such a way that complexity is minimized and all behaviors of a software system can be known under all conditions. Currently the actor model is applied to the management of telecommunications networks through the Erlang language, and also in secure servers. Understanding the way robust distributed systems are constructed assists in the assessment of platform designs and gives us a view into the future of the ultimate distributed system - the Third Web.
Dominic Tarr is a hacker who resides on a sailboat, usually found in New Zealand's beautiful Hauraki Gulf. In recent years he has risen to fame as the creator of the Secure Scuttlebutt protocol, Scuttlebutt for short. Scuttlebutt is comprised of a standardized message format and a subjective append only log stored locally by users. The first application has been a multi-client decentralized social media platform that is an absolute joy to use, and I encourage everyone to download my favourite desktop client, Patchwork, or Manyverse for Android. As an autonomous software system, like Bitcoin, Scuttlebutt rewards the provisioning of resources to support the network, only rather than a point system and money myth, Scuttlebutt offers something far more valuable, conversation. This mostly covers the origin of the protocol but I will definitely conduct more interviews with Dom and others close to the project, which is today one of the most impressive, and well used decentralized applications in existence. Visit for more information, @ecfGe81VMJ3iko5++/KfD51omfNtLSd50nS1omUyj/Y=.ed25519 History of Secure Scuttlebutt The name is coincidental. It comes from an old amazon paper describing a subsystem of the amazon dynamo database that used a gossip protocol. Gossip protocols are robust because, like human gossip, messages can be passed through third parties ensuring that if a network is disrupted communication can still take place. However as the message is passed from party to party there is the opportunity to manipulate its contents. This is easily countered using cryptography What is secure scuttlebutt? Came from looking at the problem of getting two databases to store the same information. Dom was looking at building something like IPFS he called Cyphernet Cyberspace is the space made by signals, cypherspace is the space made by algorithms Hyperlinks tell you where to go to find a piece of information, a hash is the primary identifier in cypherspace. The hash tells you what the thing is once you have found it but not where to find it. With hyperlinks the server can give you anything. With a hash you always know you have the right thing but another system is required to help you find the thing. Dom found that in private software development there was an incentive to make poor software because that results in more billable hours for the service industry This is because software contains a power structure encoded in it Today we live in an age of digital feudalism From reading the Dynamo paper and learning node.js dominic became recognised as a distributed systems expert. This was the toolkit needed for the data replication he imagined. After presenting at a javascript meetup people responded well He got a job at a company, nearform, to build a distributed database. Through this project the idea for secure scuttlebut emerfged and dom gained the skills he needed to build it Disappointment with blockchain There is so much potential in cypherlinks - hashes and signatures - an opportunity to create a “third web” In the early days of the internet everything worked so well just being free, why would you make everything cost money? Insisting on strict ordering makes it really hard to “get life done” Additional third web projects IPFS Dapp Git Gun Swarm SSB Maidsafe
Recently I visited India representing the DFINITY Foundation. The trip was supported by upstart venture production and consulting group, Dunya Labs, and advocacy group, InCrypt. Those ten days altered my understanding of the way technology manifests products and the driving role the needs of high growth nations will have in defining the digital landscape of tomorrow. In this episode, I’m joined by co-founder of Dunya Labs, Cathy Guo, and co-founders of InCrypt, Nitin Sharma & Sumukh Shetty. We examine the Indian startup, business and regulatory environments. We also look at the growth of telecommunications infrastructure alongside macro demographic trends and the unique business conditions they create. Incrypt Investment, community building, and policy research and advocacy Has produced study and guidence on regulation Dunya Labs Research Arm Product specific research Infrastructiure team connecting applications to protocols Community and incubatioon Cathy’s Book Entrepreneurial philosophy Corporate responsibility Emerging tech landscape in India Emerging startup ecosystem The way that Indian startups create social and economic value How do you see blockchain technology beign deployed in india? Low trust, high administrative friction in india Middlemen are a big problem Desire for transparency and automation More data is moved through Indian infrastructure than the US Beginning with banks and private ledgers Supplychain, etc. basic pilots that we are used to seeing in the first phase of blockchain experimentation Next step is public blockchain This is limited by the regulatory environment Look at india for talent, users & capital The 4g Rollout India is experiencing a leap frog effect for technology rollout Tech companies Indian tech companies are moving from a service based model through a period of optimizing external business models for the indian market to a native innovation model where they will begin exporting technology There are 18 tech companies valued at over USD1b It is important not to overestimate the Indian consumer base There is limited local market protectionism There may be 1.3 billion people but the number of consumers of tech products may be 30-50 million Users can’t pay the way that they can in China or the US Companies survive by being very lean Talent is cheaper This makes it a good place to launch Deep tech is still limited Need funding and educational support If we compare the indian market to where it was 10 years ago you see 10 - 100x growth but it is still an order of magnitude lower than china/us There is a huge impact in reducing fees on increassing addressible market Almost 50% of indians are under 30 Little legacy infrastructure but high web and mobile penetration 3 million software developers in india with a 50-70% increase in graduates yoy Legacy Primacy of agriculture Fear of automation (computers) This has changed What are the business models that will drive the next generation of Indian unicorns Many current unicorns are already expanding overseas Enterprised focussed, or SaaS companies can be based in india and address markets abroad - Zoho, Freshworks A new crop of SaaS companies are emerging with that model This allows the targeting of specific niches because of the lower cost of talent Many blockchain projects fit this model Engineering Education Theoretical Lack of innovation focus Desiged to pass you on to a services company MOOCs and open source are enabling autodidacts and hackers to innovate Tertiary education is of variable quality Brain drain is a major problem Regulation Bit Connect took USD3b equiv from India
In 2015 I interviewed Jack du Rose about Colony - his autonomous platform that could track contribution to a common enterprse and reward tokens representing stake in said enterprise. Three years and two private betas on, we hear from Jack about his experience building a system to revolutionize the way we work together. Part of what makes Colony facinating is to see the enormity of the events that have taken place in the years since it’s conception and how in spite of these events, the process of product design has proceeded in a linear and systematic fashion, uninfluenced by the white hot speculative market. Colony is preparing to go live this year if you’d like to learn more visit, or visit them on twitter
Zilliqa is a Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance based, public, programmable blockchain platform that uses Proof of Work as a syble resistance mechanism. Combining PBFT and PoW is a brilliant trick to bring the state finality required for scaling through network and state sharding. Amrit Kumar, Head of Research, and Xinshu Dong, CEO, offer an overview of the project. At the same time, we learn from two of Singapore's innovation magnates of innovation about the advantage provided by both the government and educational institutions of the region. [Especially noteworthy after the success of Project Ubin] Epicenter episode: @the3rdweb
On this episode of Web 3.0, we hear from Brian Behlendorf, the head of the Hyperledger project at the Linux Foundation, and leading figure in the open-source software movement. Brian began developing open-source code during the mid-1990's and was also the lead developer of Apache Web Server — one of the worlds most used pieces of software. Today, in the midst of a blockchain boom, Brian’s focus is still on free software development. I spoke with Brian in October. We were both in Cancun for Def Con 3.
"The DFINITY project was formed to research ways of enabling public decentralized networks to host a virtual computer of unlimited capacity. This rests upon a new blockchain computer that is similar in concept to Ethereum but has vastly improved performance and, ultimately, unlimited capacity. The starting requirement was that the systems developed should be useful in joining 1 million or more mining clients." Huge claims, but the DFINITY project is indeed one of the most interesting infrastructure builds in blockchain today. This episode has been under embargo for almost four months so it's with great pleasure that I finally get to publish. Dominic Williams, the inventor of many of the technologies employed by DFINITY joins to walk me through the consensus paper. This is a highly technical episode, but as the white paper is now available it will make a valuable companion.
Artificial Intelligence Researcher Ben Goertzal and Blockchain Solution Architect, Simone Vulpem discuss the SingularityNet artificial intelligence marketplace. Currently, the market for artificial intelligence is dominated by industry giants with huge monolithic offerings with features far beyond the often niche applications may businesses have a need for. Smaller organisations provide bespoke solutions but these can be expensive and configuration heavy. SingularityNet gives independent developers the ability to place their purpose specific components in a wrapper which can be plugged into a global network of AI components. These components can be hired to perform tasks, and may outsource tasks to one another through the use of a reputation system. This allows an optimal configuration of independent components to self assemble. What is really exciting about SingularityNet is the sheer demand it places on blockchain systems. Applications like this are creating economic pressure to solve the scalable blockchain problem in a way that is effective not only as a PR tool, but also in practical applications.
In today’s episode we look at spank chain, an adult industry cryptocurrency payment system built using Ethereum. Currently, financial intermediaries in the adult entertainment industry exploiting their position to impose arbitrary rules on content by refusing to serve participants who produce content a specific payment processor finds objectionable. The effect of this is to persecute already marginalized groups like trans men and women and as well as severing the income of both individuals and businesses in a one hundred Billion dollar industry. Using payment channels and a novel ethereum based tech stack, Ameen Soleimani and Janice Griffith aim to liberate the adult industry from exploitation by evil financial intermediaries. Soon there may be a place so spend ether. This episode contains graphic descriptions of pornographic content so if that makes you feel uncomfortable you’ll want to give this one a miss. Take a moment now to stop this recording. For more visit
Today we are taking a quick look at a range of problems and their solutions through the lens of a little known project known as Gazecoin. Under the gaze coin banner are a range of projects, among them, a virtual world with purchasable real estate which serves as a content delivery channel. I first encountered Gazecoin when founder Jonny peters invited me to check out the project’s pilot content-creation studio in Sydney. Jonny is an accomplished entrepreneur who made his first move in the entertainment tech space in 1998. He began looking into transmedia and virtual worlds in the mid 2000, and hosted cryptocon, a cryptocurrency summit in 2014. His vision for a narrative driven virtual world and economy enters around one simple input: measuring a users direction of gaze. Bok Khoo is the legendary Australian Ethereum developer tasked with making Jonny’s vision a reality. This requires a range of tools and is the subject of our discussion today.
Video, mobile first, open APIs, an existing two-sided market, and a userbase already transacting digitally. The YouNow live video platform is an ideal candidate for a monetary network-based business. YouNow’s Props project aims to achieve just this. Decentralized economies will reshape digital media. Decentralized monetary networks work well when applied to existing producer-consumer networks. Today digital media is a producer-consumer network with despotic intermediaries like youtube, Spotify, existing live video sites, etc. It may be possible to build a new type of business that can compete symmetrically with these intermediaries using a monetary network. Which businesses can adopt the micro-economic business model? Two-sided marketplaces Established digital economies Network-based businesses
Joshua Ashley Klayman, co-founded the blockchain and smart contracts working group at the law firm Morrison and Foerster and the WSBA’s Legal Working Group. We caught up in person at a Cafe in Central Park to discuss gender disparity in tech and ICO regulation, a subject of considerable significance right now. Women in blockchain: Social barriers to entry, Counterproductive responses to gender disparity in blockchain, Public displays of bigotry. ICO Regulation: What percentage of ICOs are legal? How do “facts and circumstances” bear on the Howy test? Analyzing the SEC ruling that TheDAO was a security Regulatory focus on preserving the innovation space Fear of fraud, scams and terrorist financing Most ICO tokens are securities The utility token misunderstanding The Swiss foundation model and the challenges of separation of governance Is it irresponsible for ICOs to be raising $200MM in funding?
Joshua Ashley Klayman, co-founded the blockchain and smart contracts working group at the law firm Morrison and Foerster and the WSBA’s Legal Working Group. We caught up in person at a Cafe in Central Park to discuss gender disparity in tech and ICO regulation, a subject of considerable significance right now. Women in blockchain: Social barriers to entry, Counterproductive responses to gender disparity in blockchain, Public displays of bigotry. ICO Regulation: What percentage of ICOs are legal? How do “facts and circumstances” bear on the Howy test? Analyzing the SEC ruling that TheDAO was a security Regulatory focus on preserving the innovation space Fear of fraud, scams and terrorist financing Most ICO tokens are securities The utility token misunderstanding The Swiss foundation model and the challenges of separation of governance Is it irresponsible for ICOs to be raising $200MM in funding?
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Podcast Details

Created by
Arthur Falls
Podcast Status
Jun 4th, 2014
Latest Episode
Apr 13th, 2020
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes

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