The Third Web #14 - Dawn Of An Ecosystem: Substrate & Polkadot

Released Wednesday, 30th January 2019
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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 https://web3.foundation/ , https://www.parity.io/ 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.

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