Brainstorm Tech 2019: The Future of Blockchain Companies



hey thanks for being here guys thanks matheus yeah let's do an audience poll who here owns cryptocurrency okay bunch of ants who here's thinking about buying cryptocurrency okay everybody who owns it that's it that's a pretty even split nobody else who doesn't does thinking about it but alright so just by way of introduction dom Definity you are calling yourselves the internet computer basically decentralized cloud platform that relies on blockchain where you have servers across different data centers so it's sort of a decentralized data center and that is part of the foundation of what you're trying to do in terms of potentially disrupting some of these big tech giants whether that's Salesforce or LinkedIn you're talking about decentralized versions of these big social social media companies or Amazon companies like that Joe you are co-founder of aetherium you also run consensus which is a blockchain development company but tell me you know thinking about a theorem which right now is the second leading cryptocurrency was this a goal you know when you started a theorem because you hear a lot of people talk with blotching about disrupting banks versus disrupting big tech how what was it was that part of it when when you started a theory and you know thinking about potentially the new a different type of facebook a different kind of Google or how did that play into your vision sure so Bitcoin essentially invented a couple of things and invented this next generation decentralized database and something called crypto economics and a token that via mechanism design and crypto economics would incentivize people to essentially create a money it was of the people by the people and for the people and in that way essentially build a maximally decentralized trust system and so in 2012 many people came along and said we should be using this kind of database infrastructure for everything and so of that the theorem was born and we built essentially what what we then called a world computer and many since then including us at our company consensus have built tools and infrastructure and have been building in different verticals to essentially do some of the things that the DOM is intending to do where we do go after these major services on the Internet but it's also much more than that because we're bringing a new trust foundation we're building a global settlement layer and we're able to build a new kind of financial plumbing where we can issue we've issued essentially billions of dollars worth of digital assets on that platform yep Dom so the idea of an internet computer I mean we already have the internet we already have Amazon Web Services we already have etherium why do we need defend on the internet computer so the internet computer is reinventing the Internet as a computer that can host and run secure software with sort of range of superpowers and these address problems major problems that are stalking attack today so it's intended as a complete replacement to the sort of three point six trillion dollar legacy IT stack and addresses major issues such as the difficulty of creating secure IT infrastructure it also address addresses the difficulties we have with the monopolization of the Internet today and provides a platform to create a new breed of open Internet services that will provide a better platform for innovation entrepreneurial ISM investment and so on going forward so the idea I mean decentralisation we you know to create a decentralized version of some of these you know huge tech companies is there any evidence that a decentralized organization you might not even call it a company could rise to that level where it could actually challenged that dominance I mean the only example that I can think of is Wikipedia and it's not even theirs you know it's not even competing on the same level so the most powerful force in tech is network effects and the increasing monopolization of the Internet is kind of driven by network effects so one approach to deal with that increasing monopolization of the Internet is to you know bring it antitrust regulation or so on and try and break up big tech and the internet computer provides an alternative means to address the increasing monopolization of the internet by providing a platform for the creation of open Internet services an open Internet service you can think of as being something roughly analogous to an open-source project where the service itself has its independent exist and independent existence and is managed by a decentralized governance system most of all these things provide a means to address something called platform risk so an early example or harbinger of what was to come was provided by zinger you know Zynga built on Facebook the IPO they're a very successful company Facebook changed the rules a few months later they lost 85 percent of their value scroll forwards to today eighteen of the last 22 tech IPOs mention platform risk as existential threats in their s-1 filings and the problem is if you build on the api's if you build on top of big tech you're building on sand you know you just can't trust it and for example recently hundreds of startups years ago now had their access to LinkedIn revoked and open Internet services would provide a way to create for example open whatsapp open LinkedIn open Salesforce taking things in for an example an open LinkedIn would become part of the fabric of the Internet itself and would be able to guarantee that it's api's would never ever be removed or revoked so that entrepreneurs and investors wanting to build new internet services that needed to incorporate business profiles can securely build on top of open LinkedIn and this will credit cut a mutual eyes Network effect which will drive the development of the openings in F forward very rapidly in my opinion who's gonna build you so the idea is to essentially build on protocol based open platforms if you're building on Facebook you're building on a platform that somebody else controls and they're probably towards the end of their monetization psycho they're probably gonna end up having to eat your lunch and if you're building on tcp/ip which is a protocol then you can be relatively certain that that that's not going to shift out from under you for competitive reasons so web 3.0 which will be the evolution of where we are right now web 2.0 will be lots of decentralized open platforms it'll be platforms like a theorem for trusted transactions automated agreements it'll be platforms like Definity it'll be platforms for decentralized storage decentralized bandwidth decentralized heavy compute decentralized identity and all of these things we can have the governance discussion soon all of these things are currently contemplating massively decentralized governance and that plays out in a lot of different dimensions in this case those that you incentivize the building of this I mean you know if you don't if it's decentralized you don't have a CEO it's not a company it does it it is it only nonprofits who can do this know protocol based open platforms with this new invention of Satoshi called crypto economics enable the issuance of a token and effective mechanism designs so that lots of different actors can pursue their selfish interests perform different roles and achieve the goals of the system so you can achieve decentralized governance while still enabling people to pursue their own interests can you make money doing it though absolutely I mean put it this way if you're an entrepreneur and you wanted to build a new business service that needed to incorporate business profiles would you rather build on top of closed proprietary LinkedIn and you haven't even got that choice anymore because it's already closed all the api's down the only people they have API access to LinkedIn ain't a Salesforce WeChat Microsoft and so on but let's say closed proprietor LinkedIn still provided api's who would you rather build on closed proprietary LinkedIn or open LinkedIn the guaranteed your foundations were solid and would never revoke your your access and break your service as LinkedIn did to hundreds of startups would you rather build on that's the reason the open Internet will succeed and triumph over the closed proprietary Internet and there's enormous numbers of engineers and researchers leaving places like Google Facebook IBM Microsoft partly because the technology is very interesting but also because they believe in sort of taking the internet back to its roots making it more open creative innovative providing a better platform for entrepreneurs and investors there's a huge movement which of course is party represented by the success things like a theorem stone and it's it's not going away it's a part of a major transition to a different model mm-hmm yeah I'm gonna come to questions in a minute so get him ready raise your hands they'll bring you a microphone but you know I wanted to talk a little bit about aetherium you know because its second leading cryptocurrency which had this terrible crash crypto winner all of that started to bounce back this year so bitcoins up about 160 percent aetherium slagged a bit it's about only about about 60% still good but you know it hasn't had the same bounce back that Bitcoin has and here I know you're still trying to scale there's still questions about that you are planning to launch a theory of 2.0 starting early next year you've also had some restructuring at consensus a bit too with some headcount reduction but I guess you know in terms of scale is this a technology that really can rise to the level where it could replace you know these huge platforms Google Amazon some of the others yes whoo it's fair to say that a theorem is the second-largest cryptocurrency if you only look at that to mention but it's by far the largest watching ecosystem if you look at the number of developers and the number of projects that are building on the platform we have scaled enormous Li even during crypto winter so many of the people who were focused on the more speculative aspects related to Bitcoin or related to e Thor related to the many tokens they were launched on the athira platform some of those projects worked out well many of them worked out quite badly and a lot of the speculators have fled some of the speculators are coming back at this point as we've seen but all through that the technologists the entrepreneurs that have been drawn into the a theorem ecosystem have stayed now once you see the value of decentralization and building systems in different ways you can't unsee that you can't really go back to do building on web 2 architectures and so throughout that period our ecosystem has grown enormously throughout that period enterprise usage of our ecosystem we work in many different verticals has gone growing exponentially and so we've seen even on a transaction basis the hit on a theorem is that it can handle around 20 transactions per second but that's at layer 1 at the base trust layer at layer 2 where we have many different technologies that anchor into layer 1 for enhanced trust we're seeing tens and hundreds of thousands of decentralized transactions coming online on exchanges and games etc and so scalability is already here and it's gonna be here in spades when we release if there m2 which get started in its release early next year yeah thanks any questions in the audience did we have any see a hand in the back please yes hi Jeff Roberts fortune I'd like to hear a little bit more about governance which you sort of alluded to but didn't explained if you're decentralized governance how can you build something that will take on Google and Facebook because a lot of people say aetherium government has been dysfunctional it's been years to create basic scaling and what exactly are you gonna do to put in a government structure people can understand and possibly participate in yeah so the theory of decentralization is a very powerful one but it does require good governance like everything else on the planet and as I think we would all agree governance is difficult governance of decentralized platforms is a new thing that we're trying to figure out I feel like the etherium foundation governance has been excellent I believe that we launched an unprecedented platform in about a year and a half and have continued to improve it and and have pioneered an architecture that will scale it enormous Lee and essentially end up being a a base trust layer for the planet governance on the etherium project is different from Definity different from polka-dot in that we are focusing on having lots of different actors in different roles who are all incentivized to make the platform better have voice and I like the idea of more automated governance there will be governance by token boats and we already do some of that but there are projects in dawn can take it from here there are projects that are contemplating building layers and layers of governance of these platforms and I think it's going to take years to figure all that out at there and we'll do the same thing slowly and prudently but even without that I believe that many different actors all committed to improving the platform will be able to challenge the began to these who have a perhaps a smaller number of highly incentivized actors and as we get the layers of governance right over time it'll be a foundation for many kinds of systems on the planet thinking about governance yeah so the internet of course has not profit governance organizations like I Anna which give us a number and IP addresses and so on if you're a ISP the internet computer has automated algorithmic governance systems that serve both to insure the internet computer network which is comprised from independent data centers remains open it's also a key part of the means we use to address platform risk which is so important with respect to the second part of the question how can we compete with giant organizations like Google and Facebook the definitive foundation's strategy is to apply enormous resources to Rd and although it's a lot of profit organization it operates really uses the Silicon Valley playbook we've got research centers Kearney and Zurich Palo Alto and San Francisco there are more going live soon and you know we're powering the Vote world's very best researchers and engineers and using the best engineering research practices we can and to deliver internet computer technology so in that sense although it's an opera profit we work in exactly the same way and indeed you know we've been successfully hiring some of the very brightest and best example from from places like Google so the thing I mean you know with Facebook you know if somebody if they wanted to they could ban somebody from their platform if Google you know somebody submits an ad that's fraudulent or a phishing scam they can ban from the platform what do you do about bad actors I mean what is your power or what's the network's power so that's a difference between internet computer and aetherium so the internet computer does have the network has an on-board open governance system and it is capable of neutralizing bad actors there's debate about you know whether that's our a good or a bad thing perhaps maybe libertarians think bad actors should be tolerated and you know I wouldn't want to I don't really have a firm position on that but we do have the technological means to address that kind of yeah start the etherion project assumed that the vast majority of apps transactions on the network would be valuable because they would be between significantly identified or fully identified actors we built infrastructure that enables us to issue digital assets in many different countries with full identity checks ml kyc etc and so we're bringing identity and reputation to these applications but it's a it's a deep philosophical issue yes or no that should we have a base trust layer that is permissionless or should we have one that is essentially sensible by government actors it's a it's a powerful technology in our society our different jurisdictions of our society are gonna have to have those discussions and fit the technology and with their belief systems your personal belief yes or no bad actors should be tolerated yes or no that's a that's a difficult question I would say generally no but who defines the bad actor yeah no it's a question we'll have to it's a longer discussion that's all the time we have but thank you both so much for being here [Applause]

4 thoughts on “Brainstorm Tech 2019: The Future of Blockchain Companies”

  1. Very excited about what Dfinity will bring to the table. Dom is such a chill guy, super humble. Dfinity for the win! 🏆

  2. ethereum and dfinity compliment each other well.. no more infighting, this is what the crypto space needs

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