2 April 2020

Epicenter Monthly Update for March

Peta Armstrong

March is one we won’t forget in a hurry, a month that has seen our world as we know it change forever. All of our lives were affected by the Covid19 crisis, and are continuing to be so. Here at Epicenter we not only brought you our regular episodes on all things Blockchain, but we also had some special bonus episodes focusing on the topic that everyone is talking about.

🎙 Podcast episodes

First up we were joined by Joe Lallouz, the CEO of Bison Trails. Bison Trails provides infrastructure for a variety of blockchains, including Cosmos, Tezos, and Algorand. They are also testing and adding several new protocols on an ongoing basis. Eth2.0 will be supported, of course, as well as a NuCypher, Near, Polkadot, and many others. Bison Trails focuses on providing enterprise-grade infrastructure, and they’ve built a really impressive system for deploying nodes across multiple cloud services, and over different geographies. They recently raised about $25m and it will be very interesting to see where this company goes, because it seems to hold a lot of promise.

Next we had Jacob Arluck on the show. Jacob is the Co-founder of TQ Tezos, a company that works to advance the Tezos ecosystem by creating open-source software and other public goods. It had been over two years since we last did an episode about Tezos and this was a good refresher on how that project is shaping up. We heard about the decentralized and permissionless nature of the Tezos infrastructure, the protocol development of Tezos, and how TQ is working to make Tezos more accessible.

This Eth CC Panel episode was recorded at the third annual Ethereum Community Conference in early March in Paris and we were joined by Gonçalo Sá, Co-founder of ConsenSys Diligence, Jérôme de Tychey, President of Ethereum France, and Cassidy Daly, Token Designer at Centrifuge. We discussed the issues surrounding centralization and DeFi in token governance, the security complexities of composability attacks like the ones we saw recently which leveraged flash loans, and of course, the coronavirus.

We were joined by Ryan Selkis, the CEO of Messari. Ryan was among the first in the crypto space to cover Covid19, both in his newsletter and on Twitter, and this was our first episode on this topic. While the world stood by seeing the crisis taking place in China, then Italy, Ryan has provided excellent analysis and insights about the growing pandemic. We talked about what was coming up for the US where Ryan is focussing a lot of his attention, how the markets are affected, what it means for crypto, and what changes this might drive. Maybe some good things will come out of this?

Then we had David Hoffman. David is the Chief of Operations at RealT, a company that tokenizes real estate assets into security tokens. He is also a well known figure in the Ethereum and Defi community since he’s been writing for some time about these topics. He’s well known for a piece he wrote in September of 2019 titled “Defining Ether as an Asset” in which he makes the comparison between the growing defi space and the early internet, and defines ether as something he calls a triple point asset. According to David, Ether is a capital asset, consumable asset, and store of value asset all at once. He’s also a strong proponent of this idea that Eth is Money. As you’ll hear in the interview, there were many things on which we disagreed, but it was a great conversation!

We also caught up with Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys, at EthCC. It had been over a year since he last came on the show, and we wanted to get his take on what has been happening in the ecosystem since then. We talked about the ConsenSys reorganization, interoperability between public and permission blockchains and the opportunities there, government-backed stable coins and the possibilities of nation-states building their own, DeFi and the phenomenal growth in the ecosystem, his predictions for 2020, and thoughts on the challenges facing Eth2.0.

We were so pleased to get Albert Wenger on for our final show of the month, and this one didn’t disappoint. Albert is a Partner at Union Square Ventures and a graduate of Harvard and MIT. He also holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology. Before joining USV, Albert founded several companies in the aughts, and was the President of del.icio.us when the company was sold to Yahoo! in 2005. One of the primary motivations for getting Albert on the podcast was his book World After Capital. He makes the case that technological progress throughout the ages (foraging, agrarian, industrial) brought a change in scarcities. As society transitions from the Industrial Age to the Age of Knowledge, scarcities will also shift. In a world after capital, human attention will become our most valued scarce resource, over capital. This is a fascinating episode you dont want to miss.

🏆 Tweets of the month

We were super happy to receive this praise from Brad Laurie, aka Blockchain Brad

And we were glad to hear David Weiss (@NYC_Sound) enjoyed this episode as much as we did

📢 Epicenter events, news & meetups


Epicenter were at EthCC in Paris last month which was an exhausting week for our hosts Sebastien and Friederike but they also had A LOT of fun. We had our own podcast studio which allowed us to pack in a bunch of interviews, both long and short forms. We have started to release some of the content with the rest coming out in April. We would like to thank Pepo for being our partners for the podcast studio and helping us put this together.

We also had a meetup on the Wednesday evening of the conference, which was a huge success. Huge shout out to all our amazing listeners who came along to that!

Reset Everything

In these very unique times, society has an opportunity to hit the RESET button. RESETEVERYTHING will explore the lasting effects of the current crisis in the areas of economics and finance, healthcare, labor laws, border controls, societal norms, work and collaboration, and privacy.

Hit the reset button on April 29th. Registration is FREE!

Epicenter Survey

Our survey is over! We are so happy with the response to this and would really like to thank all of you who completed this for us. It is so helpful for us to ensure we keep delivering what you guys want! We will publish some results of these over the next week or so but I can share that we gave out 111 free KeepKey hardware wallets to listeners!

🙏 Thanks to our sponsors

We would like to thank the sponsors of our shows in March — NervosPepoShapeShift, and Status.

📰 Newsletter

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