Membran Labs Podcast: Episode 1 w/Tyler & Art (2018–07–13)

Membran Labs is an R&D lab focused on exploring applications of blockchain technology in the music industry. We also have this regular podcast and host Meetups about blockchain, crypto, and music a few times a month.

Thanks to Podscriptor’s help, we will be providing transcripts of our podcast here.

This was our first episode between two of our devs, Tyler and Arthur, discussing Crypto prices, the role of money, browser mining, and other blockchain topics.

Listen to this episode: https://anchor.fm/membranlabs/episodes/Episode-1-w-Tyler--Art-e1rmt5

Tyler Harnadek — 00:00 — All right, so welcome to the inaugural episode of the Membran Labs podcast. I’m Tyler. I’m here with Art. I’m going to talk about some stuff, a couple of different things and just kind of go back and forth and uh, hopefully it’s fun. So what’s up first Art?

Art — 00:14 — Well, I was thinking we could talk about the market conditions. Currently Bearish as a most crypto enthusiasts would know bitcoin tried to drop below $6,000, made a big bounce back to $6,800, back down to about $6,200 right now, but it seems that it doesn’t want to dip below $6,000 approximately, which is good news.

Tyler Harnadek — 00:42 — Yeah, this has been a rough week.

Art — 00:47 — Definitely, definitely. Uh, people don’t have a lot of faith, but that actually brings me into a topic about an interesting article I read and it’s named the great crypto conspiracy. And essentially, have you ever seen the western series on HBO called Deadwood by any chance?

Tyler Harnadek — 01:07 — No, I haven’t.

Art — 01:10 — Okay. So essentially it’s in the gold rush in the late 1800s. And so pretty much what happened in it was the fixture, the wealthy miner, George in it, he swindled everyone out of their mining shares. So, um, and this is based on a little bit of truth because according to rumours at the time, he used murder, intimidation, misinformation to force people to sell their claims. And so in a bid to buy cheap, he spread rumors, he bought newspapers, any spread rumors that the government was going to come and seize all the land.

Tyler Harnadek — 01:53 — So he made it seem like it wasn’t valuable.

Art — 01:55 — Exactly. Yeah. And so what he did was started these rumors and he got all these mining shares for pennies. So at the time he bought it for about 1.7 million and it actually became the richest gold mine in history. And so now in today’s price, it’s actually worth 56.5 billion. So, uh, that’s kind of the idea behind the current crypto market right now. You have all these big banks. JP Morgan, CEO. He’s saying things like, he’s going to fire anybody, any of his employees that are gonna that buy crypto or trade crypto. Meanwhile, they’re trading it and buying it

Tyler Harnadek — 02:41 — so, so you think that the big players in the market or try and drive the price down so that they can buy it up and then profit off it

Art — 02:47 — that’s how it seems anyways.

Tyler Harnadek — 02:48 — And do you think that’s happening for all the cryptocurrencies or just Bitcoin?

Art — 02:53 — Well, the big one is Bitcoin, right? Like that’s what provides the liquidity for most of these altcoins and whatnot. So I mean that’s the big one, right?

Tyler Harnadek — 03:01 — Yeah, fair enough. That’s a, that’s actually really an interesting theory that, that gets into, um, like a lot of interesting kind of moral and legal grounds when you start talking about large entities trying to take over the blockchain in that way. And actually that’s like an attack vector that isn’t really covered under the kind of concept of having like a, like a 51% attack or anything like that, you know, you could take over the whole market just by, um, like basically propaganda. Right.

Art — 03:32 — That’s what it seems like.

Tyler Harnadek — 03:33 — That’s a pretty crazy idea. I don’t know. Do you think that it’s possible that that’s actually true?

Art — 03:38 — I think so, yeah, I mean um, has a lot of potential and um, I feel like people are saying hey, it’s not going anywhere. Nothing’s gonna happen yet millions are being invested, you know, and it seems like maybe $6,000 is kinda like this base point, Kinda like it’s bottom price. It doesn’t really want to dip below. Maybe that’s where they were. They had their sights set to just buy millions upright which spikes the price, you know, it gives it like an $800 candle or something.

Tyler Harnadek — 04:09 — Do you think that as soon as it hits a $6,000 or under it, those can be bought up in huge amounts?

Art — 04:14 — Well it has been for the past couple of weeks. Anytime. Yeah, that’s below just boom right up.

Tyler Harnadek — 04:20 — Have you been buying when it gets down to $6,000?

Art — 04:23 — A little bit more, but yeah, I don’t have much to buy with. You know, I’m trying to stack up the bitcoin and you know, making trades and trying to stack it and hopefully when the market turns around I’ll profit a bit.

Tyler Harnadek — 04:36 — What do you think about some of the other ones right now? Like, do you think that like Ripple and EOS are effected as well?

Art — 04:44 — Uh, well, what do you mean elaborate?

Tyler Harnadek — 04:46 — But it like, like, like are they, are they experiencing similar kind of drop and then buy or do you think it’s purely as a result of like bitcoin and ethereum being pumped?

Art — 04:55 — Uh, I mean generally like everything follows Bitcoin, right? Bitcoin drops, ripple drops.

Tyler Harnadek — 05:02 — is it. So I guess what I’m asking is like, do you think that these banks care about the altcoins or do you think that they’re only caring about bitcoin?

Art — 05:09 — I think that bitcoin’s the biggest … is the big one.

Tyler Harnadek — 05:12 — Yeah. Interesting. I actually, I really liked that theory. That’s, that’s an interesting take. Um, so I think that will, we’ll probably link to the article that you read on that.

Art — 05:20 — Sure. Sounds good.

Tyler Harnadek — 05:21 — Yeah, yeah. When we publish this.

Art — 05:22 — Yeah, I got, I got the link here.

Tyler Harnadek — 05:24 — Okay. What’s next?

Art — 05:25 — What’s next? Let me take a look here. Uh, let’s talk about some of the new coinbase listings or I guess not listings, but plan to be listed.

Tyler Harnadek — 05:36 — Yeah. Okay. So what coins are we looking at? What currencies?

Art — 05:39 — Alright. So we have … take a look here, so they, well I guess the official announcement is that they’re exploring the addition of the following assets, so they’re just exploring it. There’s no definitive answer where they’re gonna get they’re gonna get added or not. Uh, but Cardano basic attention token, stellar, z cash and zero X. Okay. Are the ones that they’re exploring.

Tyler Harnadek — 06:08 — Okay. And I think that they’ve had a pretty significant bump in value after that. Right?

Art — 06:12 — Oh, crazy. Crazy. I mean, uh, at least 10 percent. Um, some of the cheaper coins actually maybe took more of a 20% jump or so … let’s see here. Yeah, I mean uh, zero x looks like about … 30, 32% bump. Yeah. Just, just based on that announcement alone, see, Stellar took a, a. yeah. 12% bounce, which know not as significant, but uh, yeah, it’s amazing and it sits, it’s kind of nice to see in a bear market I guess. But uh,

Tyler Harnadek — 06:56 — what do you, what do you think about, like, um, previously when this happened, coinbase has always kinda quick to squash these rumors. This is uh, this more official?

Art — 07:04 — Well, it’s on their official twitter.

Tyler Harnadek — 07:05 — Yeah. So this is a real coin base kind of move here. Interesting.

Art — 07:08 — Yeah. But it’s, it’s, it’s kind of weird that people are kind of eaten up this news, you know, where, or ethereum classic didn’t get nearly as much as the pump as some of these other coins. They knit theory and classic is, um, it’s for sure getting listed on coinbase, whereas these are just exploring, you know what I mean?

Tyler Harnadek — 07:31 — Yeah. No, I see what you mean. What, what do you think about these different? Like what do you know about like Cardano?

Art — 07:36 — you know, honestly, I don’t know much about any of these altcoins I haven’t really looked into them too much, but you are familiar with basic attention aren’t you?

Tyler Harnadek — 07:46 — Yeah. Basic attention token. Um, the, for people who aren’t familiar is the idea is to be some kind of a payment based on the amount of attention that someone’s spending on a given resource. And it’s a, it’s developed by the same people who are doing brave or it’s associated with them in some way, but I think that that actually has a lot of potential, um, allowing people to like for example, you know, browse articles and things like that, and then the creators of the content would be compensated based upon how much attention people are spending on their content, which like to me it seems like if it could, if it could work, would be a really valuable model. Um, and then I don’t know how much do you know about like the, uh, the zero x protocol? That’s a, that’s a pretty interesting one too. Um, so the idea with the zero x protocol is it’s for decentralized exchange of Erc 20 tokens and probably eventually Erc 223 Tokens and 721 as well.

Tyler Harnadek — 08:46 — But the idea is that a, like coinbase right now is a great example of an exchange that’s very centralized, right? Right. Like, despite the decentralization of the network, because coinbase controls so much of the transaction in and out, it kind of becomes a bit centralized. Right. But um, because, because it’s possible to create smart contracts that can, that can handle that kind of stuff. decentralized exchanges. It’s theoretically possible and the zero x project is working on that.

Art — 09:17 — Really interesting.

Tyler Harnadek — 09:18 — Yeah. No, I, I actually, uh, I think that they would probably be a legitimate candidate for like, um, like an actually useful token. I’m like, I’m sure that, you know, that I’m not a big fan of most of the tokens that come out. I’m kind of skeptical, but I do like zero x and basic attention.

Art — 09:36 — Cool. Right on. Well, I mean I guess a coinbase might also see the value there. So

Tyler Harnadek — 09:41 — yeah, I’m sure they do. I’m sure that that coin base probably, uh, probably spends a lot of time considering this before they just pick things. Right?

Art — 09:49 — So, uh, you think that pirate bay might start mining some of these other tokens instead of Monero because I know that they, uh, use ad based scripts to use people’s CPU power to mine Monero.

Tyler Harnadek — 10:07 — yeah. That’s interesting here that the pirate bay is being caught doing that. Again. They’ve been, they’ve been caught doing that in the past as well. This isn’t the first time. Um, so the, the, the deal there is basically that the pirate bay, which is a pretty famous, a torrent site, um, they’ve been embedding scripts on their webpage to mine Monero on their users’ computers. Um, it’s pretty scummy thing to do I think. But yeah, I mean although at the same time I can kind of get it like it. The fact that they’ve sort of hidden it and they’re not exposing, it kind of bugs me, but you know, for, for how much time most people spend on that site, you know, that actually could be an interesting way to cover costs.

Art — 10:49 — Well, I mean instead of the ads, right?

Tyler Harnadek — 10:51 — Yeah, exactly. Like I’d almost rather have my computer mined for the three minutes that I’m on a site rather than actually pay for ads. But the way that they’ve gone about it, I’m not happy about, you know, like kind of hiding it at the bottom in small print and sort of sneaking it into ads like

Art — 11:05 — yeah, you know, like it’d be nice if they were just a little more transparent about it. If you’re using our services

Tyler Harnadek — 11:11 — or even if you could have the option say of a like you can have the ads or you can say no to the ads, you can mine Monero for us. Right. I mean that would actually be an interesting model. I kind of would be interested to explore that.

Art — 11:22 — And I feel like people would be open to that honestly.

Tyler Harnadek — 11:25 — Yeah, maybe. I think that it, it would depend on the economics of it. Like you’d have to make it clear that it’s not going to be too expensive for users to,

Art — 11:36 — to mine.

Tyler Harnadek — 11:37 — Yeah. Because you’re burning the users of electricity. Right?

Art — 11:40 — Well, I mean how much can you really burn if someone’s like, you know, on their laptop for example.

Tyler Harnadek — 11:45 — Yeah. Well I mean a CPUs are, you know, in the tens to hundreds of watt kind of range. They’re not super, super hungry for electricity, but I could see it being a bit of an issue.

Art — 12:01 — I mean, I wonder if maybe in the future they’ll somehow relate, hey, if you’re able to mine this much, this is the speed that you can download at, you know what I mean? Like link it to your download speed.

Tyler Harnadek — 12:14 — Yeah. You familiar with the uh, the seeding model that torrents work on?

Art — 12:18 — Well, it’s peer to peer.

Tyler Harnadek — 12:19 — Yeah. It’s peer to peer and the way most trackers a used to work, I’m not, I haven’t been involved in any kind of torrenting in years because Netflix is just too easy. But um, the, the way that the model works is basically the tracker keeps an eye on, on how much each user shares and how much they download and they say you have to keep a good ratio so you have to share like at least as much or better than the amount that you download in order to be able to continue to use the tracker. And if you don’t share as much data as you download. So that’s called seeding, sharing. Then you’re kicked off the tracker. So only, so the, a big problem in torrenting is people who leach, so they, they come onto the torrent and they only download but they never upload so they’re just sucking resources from the network without contributing back to it.

Art — 13:09 — Right. And it makes sense. But like, I know personally I’ve never run into that issue where I’ve been kicked off a tracker.

Tyler Harnadek — 13:15 — No, normally the big public trackers don’t do it because they have so much momentum. It doesn’t matter. But if you ever go onto like a demonoid or something like that, like a private tracker, they always have pretty strict rules about your seeding ratios and um, yeah, I can’t even remember where I was going with this anymore. But uh, yeah, just kind of having like a model where, where you could somehow give back to these networks. And actually, um, I don’t know, are you familiar with the protein folding programs that used to be really popular?

Art — 13:45 — Protein folding?

Tyler Harnadek — 13:46 — Yeah. So, uh, what they were was they were doing a research on, uh, on protein folding. So like, um, I don’t understand the biology behind it, but basically they were using computers to try a whole bunch of combinations of like protein shapes for DNA. And what they did is they had this program, I think it was called folding at home and basically you would put it on your computer and it would just use the little bit of extra resources that your computer has. This not, you know, like right now my computer is open and I’m looking at a webpage but not doing anything, you know, my CPU is running at like two percent. Right. And this is a lot of like if you look at everyone’s computer in the whole world, that’s a lot of resources that could be used that aren’t right. And um, most of the power that my computer’s consuming is, is from the screen being on and keeping a hard drive spinning and you know, keeping it like the, the amount that it would take to use like say 10 percent of my CPU to do protein folding when I’m not working is it’s pretty insignificant to me. But to someone who’s trying to do research, that can be huge.

Tyler Harnadek — 14:49 — Right. And if you think that everyone’s got all these computers laying around that are basically doing nothing, 90 percent of the time, that could be a resource that you could really, you could use really effectively. Right.

Art — 15:01 — So, uh, I don’t get what they were using this, this, these resources for processing power.

Tyler Harnadek — 15:08 — Yeah. Processing power. Not like, just think of it as math calculations.

Art — 15:10 — Right. Gotcha.

Tyler Harnadek — 15:11 — Yeah. Well, which is something that you could actually apply to the blockchain, right? Like you could, you could potentially be running light nodes on thousands of computers, like anywhere, right. It could be actually really interesting for increasing the speed of some stuff, but I mean peer to peer caching is an idea that, that people might explore. Um, but I don’t, I don’t know how much, uh, how much of an advantage those would be over the current system

Art — 15:36 — It’s hard to say

Tyler Harnadek — 15:38 — it doesn’t seem like nodes are really the bottleneck in the system right now. So

Art — 15:43 — scalability, right?

Tyler Harnadek — 15:45 — Yeah, it was a big thing, but it’s interesting to look at other solutions like that for similar problems, right? Because now we’re dealing with like, like things like ipfs which is the uh, interplanetary file sharing or whatever, um, which is kind of the defacto way to share a dapp if you, if you want it to kind of run forever, right. If you don’t want to have to pay for a server, but um, it, it’s got its own issues. It’s not really production ready either. Um, and just kind of looking at how torrents have worked and how ipfs works is giving a lot of people, I think kind of ideas of how to build the next generation of distributed file sharing that we could use for, for dapps and other sorts of non-centralized information storage. That actually is pretty exciting to me outside of just like the, like a ethereum concept, but just like as a, as an interesting way to actually store, handle and manage data. It’s pretty fascinating.

Art — 16:47 — Definitely.

Tyler Harnadek — 16:48 — All right, well what’s next on the list?

Art — 16:50 — No, it’s just funny. I feel like we come on this podcast and like, you’re just dropping so much knowledge and know and I just like, I learned lots, you know, trying to put out knowledge, but I’m learning lots of myself.

Tyler Harnadek — 17:02 — I’m just, I’m just a rambler,

Art — 17:04 — rambler, intelligent, rambling at that. But.

Tyler Harnadek — 17:08 — All right. What’s our next topic?

Art — 17:12 — I don’t know. Um, I kind of wanted to talk about, um, what’s your stance on money in general? I mean, I’m, I, I recently talked to my friend who, um, I guess, uh, he, he’s fed up with the current state of the world and know how it is and he thinks that, um, everyone’s feels that everyone bases each other’s value off of possessions and a financial status, you know, and he’s moving somewhere where money is, have little concern and um, I dunno, it kinda got me thinking like maybe he’s onto something.

Tyler Harnadek — 17:49 — So where, where’s he moving?

Art — 17:50 — I have no idea. He wouldn’t tell me. He just, uh, he said he bought a truck and like, because he sold his car and he bought a truck and he’s using that truck to go wherever.

Tyler Harnadek — 17:59 — So He’s me. He’s going to go live in the woods or something.

Art — 18:02 — That’s what I’m thinking, man. Like where else? Where else could you go?

Tyler Harnadek — 18:05 — Or a us that’s interest. Interesting. Like what was my opinion on money? Um, I was going to ask you later on about the book you’re reading, but um, I’ve been reading this book called a debt and it’s by. Is it by David Graven? I think so. I meant to look this up, but um, it kind of talks about a lot of that .. David Graber… Yeah. Um, so the concept of the book is kind of that the…it talks about like the early development of money and things like that and I’ve seen some criticisms of it, so like maybe it’s not the most accurate or whatever, but it brings up a lot of interesting kind of thought provoking like concepts. Um, and one of them is that a, like he, his concept and the, in the early part of the book is that the idea of a barter system like never really happened. Um, you know, because you always hear people talking about money and saying like, Oh yeah, once upon a time, you know, we traded rocks for sticks and stuff like that.

Tyler Harnadek — 19:05 — Right. And uh, and his argument, at least in the early parts of the books is that that never actually happened. Like no one has any evidence for a legitimately used barter system in any society.

Art — 19:17 — So no trading was actually happening,

Tyler Harnadek — 19:20 — well trading would happen. But trading is the primary form of exchange. Like for example, you know, you go to the, the guy who makes bows and he gives you a bow for your cow, you know, like.

Art — 19:29 — Yeah so isn’t that bartering then?

Tyler Harnadek — 19:31 — Well. So what I’m saying is that that’s not, there’s no real examples of societies that only did that. Okay. Right. So the idea is that almost every society pretty quickly develops some kind of form of currency and what that is might differ, right? Like one tribe might for example decide to use first or something like that is like a mode of trade, right? So it becomes less about like, you know, trading furs, for thing. It is kind of like, oh, you can now keep a large number of furs and it makes it a lot easier for you to kind of manage your exchanges because if you’re dealing with like, I don’t know, the things where they’re not easily tradable one for one, right? Like if you’re someone who wants to trade like a hut, if you don’t have anything to store value, it’s pretty hard to like gather up enough stuff to trade for a hut.

Art — 20:27 — Okay. That makes sense.

Tyler Harnadek — 20:29 — And like if you’re a guy that like say say, say you’re like a blacksmith and you build like lots of tools and you’re trying to buy a house, right? Like the guy selling the house isn’t going to want 200 axes. Right. Do you know what I mean? Like it’s like in what world would that make any sense? Like who would do that?

Art — 20:49 — So in any society, the idea of currency like

Tyler Harnadek — 20:53 — really came to fruition quickly develops, right? And it makes sense too because if you have a currency that allows you to specialize, right? If, for example, you live in a society where you’re not able to easily trade for things, you have to be pretty self reliant. Right? But if you, if you never specialize in anything, it’s hard to develop a society that’s really good at anything because like, like I just said, blacksmithing, you know, someone who’s like a part time, blacksmith, part time farmer part time has to build their own houses and also raise animals is probably not going to be especially good at any of those things. Right. Do you know what I mean? And I mean maybe they’ll get by, you know, maybe they’re a talented individual, but I don’t think that it’s reasonable to expect that everyone can develop all these skills to high level. Whereas it’d be a pretty natural progression for you to say, Oh, like Tyler, you’re better at making axes than me. How about you make the axes and I’ll raise the cows and then it pretty quickly developed into some system of money.

Art — 21:49 — Right, right. Okay. That makes sense.

Tyler Harnadek — 21:51 — We’re not just talking about currency, right? Like when we talked about furs, like it could also be like, you know, dried fish or like grain, rice, you know, like whatever, whatever it is, um, or I mean even just even just like an IOU, you know what I mean? Which pretty quickly turns into debt, which turns into real money.

Art — 22:07 — Right. So, um, before money or, or the, the idea of legal tender.

Tyler Harnadek — 22:14 — Sure. Yeah. So you’re thinking like fee at currency,

Art — 22:15 — right? There was gold, right?

Tyler Harnadek — 22:17 — Sure. Yeah,

Art — 22:18 — sure. So, um, does the book talk about anything about the gold standard? I’m not too sure about the gold standard in Canada, but the gold standard in the US, I know that it was abolished at some point and like used to be able to take your Fiat currency, go to the bank and say, Hey, I want to redeem this in gold coins. Yeah. And like now all of a sudden or not all of a sudden, I guess it was like 19 something. The gold standard was abolished and that does the book talk about that at all?

Tyler Harnadek — 22:47 — Uh, well I’m only about 150 pages in, so I’m, I’m sure it brings it up at some point, but for now I haven’t come to that point, but it is kind of interesting that you mentioned that, right? Because when you think about the gold standard, you’re talking about a type of currency that the reason that works is because the government is giving a guarantee right? Right. But the government still giving a guarantee. It’s just not a guarantee of exchange of value to commodity. Do you know what I mean?

Art — 23:15 — Elaborate a bit on that.

Tyler Harnadek — 23:16 — Well, when you have a gold standard, the idea is that like, you know, every dollar that you have represents a unit of gold. Right? Right. And that’s, that’s the whole concept is that when you have a gold backed currency that provides stability, but currencies nowadays are backed more by like national debt than anything is that if that makes sense.

Art — 23:36 — Faith in the currency as well.

Tyler Harnadek — 23:38 — And if you just, if you look at like the GDP of like North America, that how much gold would you need it be ridiculous. True. Like the amount, like the physical mass of goal. It would be crazy. There’s no way would work. Right, right. So there’s like, there’s issues with both, and I’m not an economic, an economist, so I don’t know enough about it, but my understanding is that the, the practical and other reasons why we don’t use gold anymore.

Art — 24:05 — Right. Um, yeah, no, I just find it really interesting because uh, I don’t know, it feels like it’s almost like, hey, like I have this cash that I can redeem in gold, but like now I can’t redeem it for anything. It’s just based on nothing, you know.

Tyler Harnadek — 24:21 — But you could buy gold with it.

Art — 24:23 — I mean, I guess you could,

Tyler Harnadek — 24:25 — but is that any different for you?

Art — 24:27 — You know, it doesn’t affect me personally, but, uh, it is different, right? Like I just mean that.

Tyler Harnadek — 24:33 — No, I get it. I get why I got what you mean. But like does it actually have any difference for like the, the actual user of the currency? I guess I would have to find someone who’s willing to sell gold as opposed to being able to just go to the government. So you’ve give me my gold, you’re right. But like,

Art — 24:50 — I mean, I can’t find any real use for gold for me unless I want to like, you know, wear jewelry and looked like Mr T or whatever and you know, but

Tyler Harnadek — 24:58 — yeah. Yeah. No, you’re probably right. It’s not the most, uh, the most necessary for your day to day life. Although electronics, do use a lot of gold.

Art — 25:06 — Do they?

Tyler Harnadek — 25:07 — Yeah. Yeah. It’s more important now for the final products. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good conductor. Doesn’t corrode. Right. It’s important.

Art — 25:17 — Interesting. Interesting.

Tyler Harnadek — 25:18 — Yeah. Okay. What’s our next topic? What do we have here?

Art — 25:21 — I don’t know. Uh, we can talk about the deep web, but I mean that’s a, that’s a very broad topic.

Tyler Harnadek — 25:28 — Yeah. I don’t know where to even start on there.

Art — 25:30 — I mean I’ve been just, uh, I’ve been listening to a lot of people talk about their experiences on the deep web recently and uh, it’s kind of weird.

Tyler Harnadek — 25:42 — Yeah, I think. I think that’s it. The concept of deep web is kind of misunderstood.

Art — 25:46 — Why is that?

Tyler Harnadek — 25:47 — Well, when people say like the deep web or the dark web. I dunno, it’s if you have like a personal intranet that only you can access and there’s like some weird port that you can open up like by most definitions that will be part of the deep web. Do you know what I mean? Like stuff that’s not indexed by Google and that’s not…

Art — 26:18 — Hm. But like I’m, I’m just talking like this stuff that you know, you don’t want to see.

Tyler Harnadek — 26:25 — I guess that’s more. I know what mean. Even even the word, the dark web, the dark web really only means like stuff that’s encrypted between things like onion routing, like Tor. Do you know what I mean? Right. Like it doesn’t, it doesn’t actually encompass anything that’s actually like know, say, like awful. Like just just being a part of like the deep web or the dark web doesn’t make something bad.

Art — 26:50 — It doesn’t,

Tyler Harnadek — 26:50 — do you know what I mean? Like they’re really just terms that kind of describe actual, like technical qualities of a network. So like I dunno, like I’ll give you an example. So, you know, if we’re having a conversation on Slack and see you and I know that conversation won’t be indexed by a search engine and it’s not accessible to other people. Right. So isn’t that part of the deep web? You know, I mean, I mean by that definition, we’re on the deep web every day in the office.

Art — 27:23 — Well then that’s pretty cool. I’m going to put that on my resume.

Tyler Harnadek — 27:26 — Deep Web, the deep web explorer Art. Yeah, I dunno, it’s, it’s an interesting topic, but I think it’s pretty broad. I, yeah, there’s like, there’s all sorts of ways that people do. I’m amoral things right.

Art — 27:43 — And the guy that deployed the NPM worm.

Tyler Harnadek — 27:47 — Yeah, that’s an interesting topic. That’s totally unrelated to any of this stuff. But yeah, I mean, do you wanna talk about that?

Art — 27:54 — I mean, uh, I was, I was just getting the info from you earlier. Yeah. So elaborate a bit on it.

Tyler Harnadek — 28:01 — The, this, this thing that happened in the past couple of days here.um on NPM, which is the node package manager. Uh, basically anyone who develops in node.js will be familiar with, with npm because the host all sorts of repositories of useful, uh, libraries. Um, so anyone who uses like react or any, any web development framework will, will have used npm. Uh, so basically, uh, yesterday I think, um, someone, uh, was able to compromise one of the ES Lint dependencies. ES Lint is a, it’s what’s called a linter. It kind of checks your code for, for like styling and bugs

Art — 28:42 — keeps it consistent across developers.

Tyler Harnadek — 28:45 — Yeah. So ES Lint is hugely popular. It’s got like millions of downloads and one of their dependencies was compromised and they actually managed to upload this, this piece of code and what it was a worm to that repository. So anyone who would have downloaded ES lint and that package over that time period from like yesterday night would’ve been exposed to this worm and a. So if anyone’s not familiar with the concept of a worm, what a worm is, is, is a piece of malicious software that tries to clone itself onto as many systems and to as many locations as possible. So the concept behind this particular worm was that it would, um, once it arrived in your computer with this ES Lint package, they would try to check and see if you had a credentialed for deploying npm packages. So say you were a developer on a different package like um, like react is a package or even a smaller one, like a, like a very small utility package for dealing with some strange numbers.

Tyler Harnadek — 29:48 — If you had permission in your NPM, like configuration to do anything .. what this worm would do is it would attempt to upload itself to those repositories as well. And so very quickly everyone who uses npm repositories will be infected with a worm. luckily in this particular case, the developer made some kind of dumb javascript mistakes and the worm failed, but it really seems to have a open people’s eyes to this issue.

Art — 30:20 — Well, it’s just you, you take npm as a fully everybody kind of trust. And I know like the time I had been working with node package manager, I just kind of trusted it, right? Like, Hey, I need this npm install rate and good to go. Not really thinking like, Hey, you know, there could be something behind it.

Tyler Harnadek — 30:39 — What was that most interesting about this to me is that this vulnerability has been known for a long time. So I’ve got an article here which I’ll, I’ll share that actually talks about this vulnerability from March 26, 2016 and at this time the NPM project actually acknowledged that it exists. Like they, they accepted that as a, it’s like a thing, um, if anyone is interested in how it works, basically, um, the, this worm takes advantage of the post until install scripts that happened after a packages installed, um, because they’re not locked down and you can do pretty much anything you want on the user’s machine with a post install script and it’s kind of, it’s not like a, there’s not like a bug in the traditional sense of. So it’s like a choice that they made developing the software and it’s created this vulnerability.

Tyler Harnadek — 31:36 — Um, but it is interesting because the NPM project is like a closed source corporation right? and tons of people trust them for their open source projects, but they don’t seem to value security as highly as like extensibility, like getting it to as many people as possible and reducing barriers. It seems to be more important to them than building a secure piece of software. Um, which I think is something you have to be aware of when you’re choosing a package manager. Just like trusting where you’re getting the sources from is, is pretty important because this could happen to like any package.

Art — 32:15 — Right? But I mean, what are you going to check into every single package you install? You know what I mean? It’s a, seems like a hassle. I feel like people are going to be more oblivious to it than anything.

Tyler Harnadek — 32:29 — I mean the average NPM user installs 500 packages a week, a week, a week. Okay. So you’re not going to look, there’s no way. No, it’s not going to happen. No. So the then becomes, who do you put the responsibility on for ensuring that these packages are secure? You know what I mean?

Art — 32:46 — I mean, I guess,

Tyler Harnadek — 32:48 — do you put it on npm? So then you’re, you’re solely allowing one company to sensor packages. That sounds a little bit suspicious. Do you put it on the package owners as it is right now? I mean that works, but then you’re trusting open source developers who don’t have to do anything to prove their credentials in order to publish packages. Right.

Art — 33:08 — Some sort of middle ground, but I don’t know,

Tyler Harnadek — 33:10 — like, do we need some kind of oversight body to do this? Like that sounds expensive. I don’t know. It’s an interesting question. Um, I’ll, I’ll be interested to see if this, this event has any kind of repercussions in the longterm or if, if everyone just kind of carries on like business as usual. How long we’ve been going for now, 33 minutes.

Art — 33:32 — I mean, that’s not bad.

Tyler Harnadek — 33:35 — Not Bad. Do we have any more interesting ones? Anything else pressing?

Art — 33:39 — Nothing too much. I mean, uh, uh, the coin based thing. It just happened today with all the, you know, announcing that.

Tyler Harnadek — 33:46 — That’s actually very interesting. Yeah.

Art — 33:48 — And uh, so that just happened today. Um, that’s all I got for now. I mean, I’m sure things will come up in the next week. I’m curious to see if we’re going to move a little more bearish or maybe we’ll go a little more bullish in terms of a market sentiment, but other than that, yeah.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:08 — Should be interesting to watch.

Art — 34:09 — No, it definitely. Yeah.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:11 — Hey, are you excited for the final of the World Cup this weekend?

Art — 34:16 — Not particularly

Tyler Harnadek — 34:17 — France and Croatia, not, not your picks.

Art — 34:21 — They’re not that. They’re not my picks, man. I’m just not a big soccer guy, you know, but maybe I should get into it.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:27 — It’s fine. You know, it’s a for a, for a month, every four years. Get into the World Cup.

Art — 34:35 — Maybe I should take a little more interesting.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:37 — Yeah, it’s, it’s fun. It’s cultural.

Art — 34:39 — Yeah, definitely.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:40 — Yeah. What else was going on this weekend? Uh, you know, rock the shores in Victoria that music festival this weekend.

Art — 34:47 — I heard, I actually wanted to go to that, but you know, yeah. I’m going to visit my girlfriend’s family and stuff instead.

Tyler Harnadek — 34:53 — So you’ll be out of town,

Art — 34:54 — you know, I’ll be out of town and it’s all good, you know, but uh, maybe next year I’ll hit up rock the shores is, is it like big, big names are kind of like more local things.

Tyler Harnadek — 35:04 — They’ve got a few big names. Do you know the x ambassadors?

Art — 35:08 — Nope.

Tyler Harnadek — 35:09 — Now they’re pretty successful. They’ve got some, they’ve got some big names. It’s a pretty, it’s a pretty legitimate festival.

Art — 35:16 — Yeah. I’m actually just going to take a look here, see what they want. They got happening. Brian Wilson, sheepdogs,

Tyler Harnadek — 35:29 — sheep dogs. Oh, they always have the sheep dogs. That’s cool.

Art — 35:32 — Bedouin soundclash. Uh, I know they have a couple good songs. Alright. Okay. Kytami, have you ever heard of Kytami?

Tyler Harnadek — 35:42 — No.

Art — 35:43 — She’s like a electronic violinist. Kind of like mix. It’s actually really? Yeah.

Tyler Harnadek — 35:48 — That’s cool. That’s cool. Yeah. I don’t know, maybe I should go. I was thinking I might go off to Tofino or something this weekend though.

Art — 35:54 — Oh, are you a surfer

Tyler Harnadek — 35:56 — No.

Art — 35:57 — I actually want to learn

Tyler Harnadek — 35:58 — A. Yeah, one of my friends offered to teach me, so maybe I should, but

Art — 36:02 — yeah. Well, uh, maybe later in the summer we can go together and we can embarrass ourselves because I don’t know how to surf either.

Tyler Harnadek — 36:08 — Yeah. Uh, okay. Oh, when’s our next meetup going to be?

Art — 36:15 — July 25th. I think I set it

Tyler Harnadek — 36:18 — July 25th. Okay. That’s cool. Yeah. Hopefully we have a better, a bit of a better plan this time, right? It’s a little bit more, little bit more organized. Yeah.

Art — 36:25 — A little more structured. I’m going to create a document there that kind of outlines the topics and the flow of the meetup and uh, you know, I’m, I’m breaking it into two sections, two hours for the first hour, have kind of a bitcoin blockchain 101. Really get into the nitty gritty of what blockchain is all about, how bitcoin came to be a, and then for the second hour is going to have a discussion about the more complex Ethereum blockchain and a, have a proper demo setup of Treblekey.

Tyler Harnadek — 36:54 — Yeah. Really good into some things. Yeah. Yeah. That should be interesting. Last time I kind of felt that there was a pretty big distance between the people who are more technical and less technical.

Art — 37:04 — Yeah, there’s a big gap for sure.

Tyler Harnadek — 37:06 — So definitely splitting it up a little bit so that we can be a little bit more like welcoming to those people is probably a good choice.

Art — 37:11 — Definitely. Yeah. You know, some people could come for both or either or. Right.

Tyler Harnadek — 37:15 — Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I’m sure that people, if people have questions about things that we can answer, so

Art — 37:20 — definitely, you know, and also in the meetup group there, I put um, put an open for suggestions right?

Tyler Harnadek — 37:27 — Yeah. For, for anyone who doesn’t know, we’re uh, we’re developing dapps here for, for Membran Labs. So we’re, we’re actually doing a lot of development on the Ethereum protocol working with, uh, with smart contracts and, and regular web development stuff. So I’m like, I guess that we have, we have lots of insight into some of the realities of working with the, with the software the way it is right now. So

Art — 37:53 — yeah, I hear a, I hear a lot of complaints definitely from David. They’re working with solidity and whatnot. Right. So, uh, I haven’t really dove into that portion yet, but I hope to at least scratch the surface and get my hands yesterday. A little bit there.

Tyler Harnadek — 38:10 — Yeah. There’s lots to talk about in this sphere of, of distributed applications. So I think that, that, that should be an interesting meetup.

Art — 38:20 — Definitely. Uh, so what, uh, it’s four, 4:30 now.

Tyler Harnadek — 38:26–4:30. You’re ready to get outta here?

Art — 38:27 — Yeah, I got to start getting outta here.

Tyler Harnadek — 38:30 — All right, well let’s wrap it up then. I will get this cleaned up and posted.

Art — 38:36 — Definitely. Uh, do we have an actual, I guess, place to post this where people are gonna hear it? Not just soundcloud.

Tyler Harnadek — 38:45 — Uh, I mean we probably should find somewhere that’s a little bit more official. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll figure that one out.

Art — 38:56 — All right. Yeah, we’ll leave that to you. Alright. Alright.

Tyler Harnadek — 39:01 — Alright. Good job man.

Art — 39:02 — Yeah, always see you.

Tyler Harnadek — 39:03 — Yeah. So you, when your back, uh, what under next week.

Art — 39:07 — That’s right.

Tyler Harnadek — 39:07 — All right.

Art — 39:08 — All right.

Links to our podcast:

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/membranlabs

Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/membranlabs/id1416888522?mt=2

Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81NjcwZjQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4OajcNXwqCCJFoJdwYp3xm

Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/membranlabs

Castbox: https://castbox.fm/channel/id1398076

Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1416888522/membranlabs

Pocketcasts: https://pca.st/yDeS

PodBean: https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/6aku8-733aa/MembranLabs-Podcast

RadioPublic: https://play.radiopublic.com/membranlabs-WoAMXr

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/membranlabs

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