…NARKS now. Five years ago, blockchain equalled everybody could see everything, everything was open. But once you’ve got zkSNARKS and the other confidential transaction technologies, the fact that it’s on a blockchain doesn’t mean anything to anybody. It could be completely encrypted, completely anonymous, completely private, nobody knows anything, and all the transparency benefits are thrown away. I think a society that runs on that kind of cryptography is going to be like mafia states, I think we will be miserable there, because people will be exploited by people that they can’t even see.
…ulls together to develop the technology to get us away from that problem and to permanently fix it. We need global innovation machinery to pull us away from the abysses when we find them.
…m. We don’t take custody of user funds, but instead swap our own assets for theirs, at a set price. We don’t touch fiat currency, so users cannot swap their dollars/euros/yen for our Bitcoin/Ethereum/Dogecoin. Not a single dollar, euro, or yen has ever been laundered through ShapeShift. It can’t be done.
Or consider the problem of network governance. Today, unaccountable groups of employees at large platforms decide how information gets ranked and filtered, which users get promoted and which get banned, and other important governance decisions. In cryptonetworks, these decisions are made by the community, using open and transparent mechanisms. As we know from the offline world, democratic systems aren’t perfect, but they are a lot better than the alternatives.
…wer of this new architecture, we must also think about the organization of the hardware it sits on. For distributed ledger technology to be able to accomplish its most ambitious applications at scale over the short-term, we need to be thoughtful about hardware architecture. This isn’t critical for just the ability for protocols to load and run — it’s critical for their c…
But what it provides on top of that is these extra trust guarantees: the guarantee that the computer will run in the way that you expect it to run, and that a few people can’t make that guarantee fail by going out of business, getting hacked, dying, having their company go bankrupt, deciding to be evil one day, deciding they have some monopolistic interest to start acting differently one day, and all of those different issues.
It stores what the code of all the smart contracts is, what the memory of all these smart contracts is. It accepts incoming instructions — and these incoming instructions are signed transactions sent by a bunch of different users — and processes them according to a set of rules.
all the …the analogies I keep going back to is this idea of a “world computer.” The idea, basically, is that a blockchain, as a whole, functions like a computer. It has a hard drive, and on that hard drive, it stores what all the accounts are.
Basically we’re trying to figure out, given these constraints and given these building blocks, what kind of systems and what kind of mechanisms can we design to achieve the properties that we want? And under what kinds of assumptions do those properties hold?