Hashing It Out
Hashing It Out

Episode 101 · 1 year ago

Hashing It Out EP#101​: Vivek Singh

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today we talk with Vivek Singh, Operations Lead at Consensus Systems. We dig into what the motivation is behind the work he does, how communities fit into the narrative of "blockchain," and whatever comes up! 

Links: Gitcoin

Links: Vivek Singh

Welcome to hashing it out, a podcast where we talked to the tech innovators behind blocked in infrastructure and decentralized networks. We dive into the weeds to get at why and how people build this technology the problems they face along the way. Come listen and learn from the best in the business so you can join their ranks. Welcome back to hashing it out. This is now doing video content and this is part of that kind of subset of episodes I'd like to do. Or I just in of you a person not necessarily focused on any particular topic or platform or project. The focuses on the person and today is going to be with the vexing. Let's not sit sing. Yeah, that's right, perfect, get coin. You've always been somebody that I think I've ad my ever doing interesting things and having an interesting perspective on kind of web three and why it matters. So welcome to the show. Do the normal thing like that's through. That no normal thing. I like to start these interviews off with a particular question which I think is a good kind of motivator for the rest of it, and that is what do you care about? What is it you care about? HMM, cool, cool. I'm happy to start with that. It's always good to hang out with Corey, so as we have fun. Howur for me, what I care about as of recently has been how we can build communities that allow US mental space with ourselves in a way that we have communities that serve their purpose, which is to bring great people together, to have experiences that are meaningful, to introduce ideas, thoughts and, ultimately, experiences to somebody's life that allow them to expand their perspective and deep in their relationships in a way that also helps that individual deep in their relationship with themselves. And so that's the I think the trickiest part about when you're building social networks, when you're building any technology that's supposed to bring people together, is that there's there's kind of this dual thing that's happening. You of course want to connect people to each other, but the individual can't get lost in the process, the individual can't be reduced in the process, and that's something that I think we've seen technology struggle with and and I'm hopeful that will do more with. Why what is it that technology is recently? What makes you think technology struggle with this. Why? What did the good indicators are using to say? Like technology struggling with this concept of the communities you're trying to build? I think it's my own experience when I'm on like for me, if I speak personally, if I speak about the way that I feel on a platform like twitter sometimes, or a platform like instagram or previously facebook, I think it's become like the norm to say, okay, these platforms are not always in our best interest. But like what? What is it that the people are really saying they're and for me, if I talked about myself, it's that I don't always feel like the best version of myself coming into my experience on the platform. If I have clicked the instagram icon on my phone, it's usually at a point of low motivation, low self control, and and when I stumbled through the APP for forty five minutes, I don't feel any better about myself that I did when I first was picking it up. And so that's an example of what I think I was saying right where the technology lends itself to perhaps the worst angels of our nature, not the better angels, and it does not support the the ultimate kind of experience that you know, we as humans want to see. You could see it doing the good things, and it does do them sometimes, where you're on instagram and get a funny DM from one of your friends and you get to hang out and explore something together that you know there was never a place for that before instagram. But my gut tells me that the platform does not act in my best interest the majority of the time, and if that's the case, then then I think that we have a lot of work to do in terms of making those platforms better. What makes you think whip three has of the victor for first off, like I have an absurd amount of thoughts and ideas around this, because I could. I think about...

...key building a lot in this ecosystem, like both working for status and having a couple podcasts and thinking about it. But I'm curious to know, like what Wus you think whip three has something to do with this? Why is it going to make an impact in this this concept of community building? Yeah, yeah, the quote that comes to mind is a super simple one that near and bub below I put in my head a long time ago. It's change the incentives, change the outcome and the incentives for these platforms prior at this point something that we kind of talked about a lot. They they're incentivised to get clicks there, incentivised to have you scroll. The best case scenario for an instagram is that I do scroll for Forty five minutes and get lost in the feed, not that I spend forty five minutes in the DM's talking to my friend about something interesting that really matters to me. And that simple fact that we might be able to shift the incentives in an interesting way in web three gives me hope. Not Saying that we will take it and do the right things. That's up to us and we have a lot to do in order for that to be true, but some of the things with with Colonel Most recently have have made me more excited about that and and it has to do it basically, these these positive some games, these infinite some games that are being played in one hundred three where, for example, how Corey and I have been able to hang out mores that Corey's very excited about building security communities and I'm very excited about building security community. So we were able to get together in a way that was beneficial, Corey, to you, I think, given that this is an interest of you, yours, to myself and also to seventy five security fellows who were people who are interested in web three, interested in security and potentially could become the next wave of really important kind of builders that help us get to the next stage of web three. And it's the fact that we all work on this open source technology called a theorium that even allowed us, the base level, to consider the first Google meet call that we did to figure out if it would have worked if you were working on some second technology and I was working on another one, the idea of US building a security community. Yeah, we might have been able to like pull it off, but the incentives here were automatically more well aligned, given that we're both working on the same open source peer to peer technology, that that allowed us to have that that conversation. So something I've seen or had issues with with, I guess, traditional social media and how people come together digitally to like to have conversations. We've seen a drastic rise in things like slack and discord and telegram, probably because of the stuff that you just mentioned. Were the platforms are designed to make you scroll, not to make you become a better person. Despite the like level of connectivity you feel you have with with the with the people in different places around the world, is like the concept of fake value, right, if you're on I reread it as a good example of this Karma has nothing to do with anything other than some weird feeling we give ourselves and the concept of other people up voting things that we say or do, and there's no real value attached to those things. It could be gamed because of that, it can be controlled because of that by the platform in any way, shape or form, or bought it for that matter. And Web three gives us an opportunity to directly attach real value to our contribution to any given community, whether that be like value only within that small, tight knit community. So I guess the given sebreddit or something even broader, so like the Theorem, is comthing. Like if we take a theorreum as it as an example, the base token etherium is kind of this this unit of value that transcends everything built on top of it, because it's necessary to make everything run. And then Ay, given platform that has a token would be more like a subreddit token, right, something that's more kin to value associated to that specific community and the concept that we're able to make give people the ability to gain value based on their contribution to a given community that like, is aligned with whatever the like the goals of that community are, whatever, whether that community defines it as good, and then remove that value and do something else with it outside of that community is something that we've never seen before. So not only are you, like, getting a better metric of what your contribution is to a given community based on the value you gain from it, you're also able to do something with...

...it, like pay your bills or, if you're if like, and humans are invariably like a fiberal. They like their what they like doing changes from time to time. So, like and so like, they may want to leave a community. You now have the ability to potentially take the work you've put into something and move it to a different one, to like kind of trap your potential value and that community quayer. I think that's something like. These types of things are very, very interesting. That, yeah, like the social aspect of web three, enables that I don't think we've really been able to like start to explore. And, yeah, people like you, I think I've been thinking about these things and trying to build platforms that facilitate this stuff. Like how have you what's your experience so far, and one by trying to get that message across and your success in doing so. Yeah, totally, totally. I mean this is this is like the core of what gets me excited about what we're what we have the opportunity to build, is you you mentioned a theorem. The way that I would describe a theorem is this. It's this neutral base layer from with within which you can build reputation and different platforms and even a reddit. You know, there's pros and cons to to how things work in that community and they have rules and some of the rules can be gamed, some of them are are better put together and I think some people are really involved in the red community know you can build really awesome relationships there. But the fact that you can, in this new model, take whatever you've done on Reddit and have that be tied not to your reddit profile but to your overall digital identity in a way that is built into the Basse layer it. It allows for so many more opportunities, allows for you to feel very freely, I think, yourself in in that first community, knowing that if you ever decide to leave the community. That's fine. It's not something that will be something you leave in the past. It's not something that you'll have to leave behind it. It's something that you can leverage in other contexts. And so, to answer your question more specifically, the way that I I've seen this play out is mostly through my work at get coin. So I've been a getcoin for three years. It started as me being involved in the community, I transition to a CEO role and then now I've been spending a lot of my time on a community that's called Colonel, which we can get into at some point. But the story that get coin was that we first were kind of built for the sole purpose of growing open source software. We thought that this etherium movement was showing us that there was funding available for people to work on software that was not behind closed doors, like, for example, the Reddit code based or the Instagram Code base, but could be built in the open with a community of peers and in a way that benefited the public good, and the examples that were talking about. Now you can build at aplications on etherium that build a reputation for you, but since the Theorem is open source, that reputation can easily port to another community or another thing that you work on later. Is an example, like three years later, of that type of vision playing out. So what was happening at first was there was a community of developers, at the time, one to two thousand. This point it's Fortyzero, who were getting involved in Crypto and we're looking for their first projects to contribute towards, and so their first interaction with us in gitcoin world was by doing projects for open source crypto startups. So you can imagine, you know swap or status or any number of defied projects. have put up a bounty on gatecoin where developer can make their first touch with a platform by submitting a pull request and getting its accepted and then getting paid out for doing that work, and that was kind of like the first interaction that we thought was a really important thing that there was. Basically the primitive is, if you ever want to work with somebody and you have something that you want to get built on your code base, you can do that. Put a bounty up for one thou fifteen, hundred or a thousand dollars and if that work comes back good, you now have this relationship that you can set up with this individual for maybe longer term work and to tie it to what we've been talking about here. I think the exciting thing was was what happened once we got to a bit of a...

...larger scale, which was that we started to see some really awesome developers who are working across four or five different defied projects, switching gears. Often some of them were going on to like think of their own company ideas that were using some of these early defied projects. And and that was, for me, where the idea of colonel really started to feel like a good time to give it a go, where we said, let's get together a great group of two hundred builders out of this broader group of people that's in the gee kin get koin ecosystem in a way that uses their on Chaine Reputation, IE, the bounties that they've done or the grants that they've created or the other things that they've done in web three, has basically their passport, and into a program like colonel, and that's building a week experience for them that's exciting and enjoyable and, yes, of course, helps them with their projects but, more importantly, introduces this group to each other. And for us it's been a great joy to get to know these people and to have an environment where we can treat them as peers and, in general, build relationships that that have lasted well beyond the courts. You think that, like there's a lack of focus on community build thing, because my opinion, like the the only thing that really matters in any blockchain network is the community that's behind it. It's the only thing that gets it value. Like I've said in one of the previous bitcoin podcast episodes at a round table, like any token that has value is because it has a community and and this strength of that community and the ideals behind it is usually the like directly correlated with a value of that token. And yet we see you don't tend to see too much focused on the community building. In fact, most like companies tend to have like a community manager that is somewhat deemed of someone lower on the total pole and like, if you look at that, this like the gender, like traditional c sweet model, right, the community matter, some of you hire on to hand all the stuff that no one wants to do, and and it has this kind of maligned feeling of where the focus should be in terms of how these how this technology actually works, you feel like that's like that's a that's a reasonable assessment of like most projects trying to trying to push forward this stuff, I think that it's a reasonable assessment of where we started. And what gives me hope is that I think more and more people are realizing in encrypto that it it's not something that you can bolt on as a secondary thing and the investments that I've noticed in the community space have been meaningful and I think it's it's gotten to the point where that word itself community, community building, community manager, these words are are words that are starting to lose their meaning because they're used so much. And it's important point to me because the ultimate way that community is formed is through stories, is through collections of words that are put in a way that get people excited about your mission, your ideas and give you a sense that you could be a part of that particular story. And the specific point, I think, in the most powerful stories is that there's an individual journey that is required within this community context, and that's the point that I was trying to drive home and is really the biggest part of colonel is that while there is this great group of two hundred people that we think some of these people might end up being, you know, your co founders or people that end up at your wedding or people that are friends that you get to hang out with, we hope, for a long time. The the journey is also an individual one. It's a question to you of what do you want to do within this particular context and in general, like what what drives you? And so what I think many community projects to this day still struggle with is is how you do both. How you make sure that a community is not created with the intention of getting this group of people together to do what you want, but instead that you're getting this community together to support them in doing what they want to do. How do you do that? What's the like? What's that? What's some some some...

...foot guns associated with the former? The the answer to me is is is you look for ways that these people can build things of value that are there's using tools, resources or ideas that come from your community that could help them move quicker. And so, to give some examples, iftherium is in some sense an open source technology that anyone contributes to, that, that many people own, many people have some amount of ethern that represents their stake in this overall net work. So one thing that you could do is say, okay, well, you know you should, you should build on a theory. We own some etherium and to be awesome, if you come join us in the etherium community. And this is something that we are doing on a like global scale very regularly. Everyone's on twitter saying, holy smokes, we need more engineers from everywhere in the world to start working on atherium again, or not again, but for the first time. We need that to happen. We need that time. But the the real way, I think that that you we have to focus is say, okay, here are nft's, here is decentralize finance, here are these primitives that none of us really know what is going to happen with these. But if you have ideas, or if you want to look at these fifty ideas that we see that we know some people who are already building the kind of first versions of these, these are projects that are at the stage where you could be either a founder of this project, you could be a CO founder of this project or, in general, you could contribute to this project and be an owner as a result of that contribution and now building on a theorium is being done not because, hey, we want people to build in the Atherum community because that's that's good for us. No, it's there's interesting opportunities that might fit what you're excited about as well and if your individual journey is something that's also good for the overall the theorium story. There's that win win component and I think very regularly if we're thinking about community, we have to think when, when, first, and if we don't think that it's it's just obvious to people and they don't they don't buy in. What's the difficulty there in terms of from what I've found, motivating people to action is one of the hardest parts for for anything in a community or like getting them to do something. So you can cold, you can convince them that something is true, but give them to act on that truth is very difficult. What are good ways of trying to motivate people to do something that's in their own benefit or like help them understand what maybe in their own benefits so they can figure out what to go do that? Because, like it's easy, like it's very easy to say this is what I want to do, is, this is what and this is how you contribute to it, because I personally know what like. If I find someone that has a strong passion and wants to go in a certain direction, it's easy for me to break that up and delegate it to people who your who don't don't have that same confidence or understanding or or motivation to get something done. How do you get people to think about that and then consider what's good for them and what's beneficial and how that fits into a larger group and why it may be beneficial to both of them and the group? HMM, yeah, it's a it's a difficult thing to do and ultimately we can only do kind of like our best and I'll give the example of how I think we do this in the kernel context. In the kernel contexts, what we say is II to kernel and the hope for us is that we get your application and when we go through the four hundred or five hundred applications, we end up with a group of two hundred people that are truly incredible human beings. The application flow is not an application that will just ask you about your web three interests. It will ask you about who you are and the things that make you excited about the world. And what that means is when you join a kernel blog on May twelve, is the next kickoff, the first thing that happens is that two hundred people are making their introductions and you get to see who these people are, and our bet is that this group and the energy of that group and realistically, the Energy of that first week is something that will show you that if you choose to invest here, there will...

...be great things that can happen there. There's just like too many great people around in this particular place, where the particular amount of energy right now dedicated towards this eight week exploration, that it is in your interest to give it a go and invest your time. That's your time and rest your time. Yeah, and for me, you know, I've seen this born out in an example. For me, like very regularly you see somebody like a Tony Snark, who was in the security track, who cory will know, or Carl Paterson is a great example as well, who Carl Smart, conject engineer, incredible developer, building like four different projects at a time in Crypto, joined us with the security track, has a bunch of things that he could have been doing outside of doing this, but then joined us for the colonel security track and I think kind of looked around and said hey, there's a bunch of people who are interesting people here who I could engage with, and he ended up starting something that he called best practicers, where his idea is that he wanted to do not audits but reviews of smart contracts for protocols that were as soon to go live, give people an initial look that you know what they should be thinking about security wise, before they go in and have to pay for a really expensive audit. And I don't think that Carl would have done that if he didn't have the opportunity at first to look around and say, well, Hey, there's seventy five great security engineers here, what could I do here? If we just told him, well, Hey, this is colonel, you know, what do you want to do? But you didn't put the context of all there's two hundred people here and sixty of them might be people that could be collaborators. The mindset changes and and it it at least foster's the potential that you could some of those things could could come come together and what like. Like you basically just said, if you build it, they will come right. What do you need to build, like what's the what's the what's the environment? What's the framework that foster's collaboration and and people being motivated to try something within that community? Yeah, I don't know if it's all. You build it and they will come, because there are two things that are like, that are true about this particular part of Crypto. One is that very regularly you can get together two hundred great people are getting into Crypto, at least in the kernel context, because so many people are coming in. But that's because of the work that this whole industry is done over the last three years, where nfts are at a spot where mainstream developers can easily see how they can use it. Defy has enough things going on that if you're coming from a finance or a traditional tech background, you might be able to see things that you can do in that space, and those are kind of the like tailwinds that we're getting from the technical progress that is happening in Crypto. But the yeah, I guess the secondary piece is is, yeah, just just giving people a starting point that's not themselves behind a computer, giving them a starting point that's themselves with a group of two hundred other incredible people that might be collaborators. For a very long time. You have definitely felt that and its synonymous with community building, is network building. More off than not, I've like people say, Oh, whichuld I invested is? You definitely get that during these bull runs and people come in and say, I don't know how to navigate the space. What should I buy or what should I invest in? It's usually like my answer to that is always invest your time and understanding, join a community and start asking questions and contributing to it, because more off of than not, those, those connections, that networking, that experience is way more valuable than any particular coin you may purchase at any given time, because it gives you the the wisdom and experience to make better decisions as you keep doing that and and leverage those relationships and build something that may that may be useful, or contribute to something that may be useful or change something, and it's it's paid dividends in the communities that I've been a part of, watching people come in, get better at something, contribute and then go off and build projects that go on to be successful. And you can't get that by buying and holding and...

...not doing anything else. Totally, and the risk associated with buying and holding the wrong thing is so much higher than going to a community and asking the wrong questions and in the the detriment of that. Totally, totally. It's so much more sustainable. Yeah, it's just like a more as a peaceful process into the cryptal world, if you want to get greedy with it, right, because the ultimately the this is all these are. These are value networks, regardless of a round of the social or not, and an investment and growing wealth is certainly a part of it. But I've always said that, like, the more you spend time understanding the ecosystem, the more likely it is that eventually you're going to see fruit bear that no one else seems the sea and your ability to pluck it's going to be really, really, really easy. Right. It's just like it's like, well, why is it just seems this seems obvious. I'm just going to do this, and it turns out more often than not that that's the case because you have an understanding and such a brand new technology and it's such a green field of opportunity with like what you could be doing, that could be done. It isn't being done, that there's so much fruit being born that no one's seen totally totally. Yeah, it's still more true than before that we're I think the the recent proof points of like new primitives that are is coming out, and FT is being an example. But even like some of the newer mechanics with bonding curds, they're not. They're not like taking this green field and like filling it, they're just making a green field look way bigger than it did even six months ago. There's a like I've trying to come up with a visualization for this, because it's I've been trying to explain why understanding is so useful. Right, because everyone comes in with their own unique perspective, path, experiences, domain expertise that is going to be differentiated than like what the core people who started all this stuff right, and I see this like a spiderweb kind of. And you've a visualize the spider web. You have these like core pieces starting from parching out, from the sinner spreading out, and in there you have connecting pieces from one of those spires to the other spire, if it's the spires the right word, I don't know. Yeah, and and as you grow out more and more and more. You like these pieces get longer and it but like eventually, like those pieces that connect the main core central spires are missing, and the further you out, go out, the more they're missing. And so like the if you just understand a couple sections, you're able to identify those missing pieces and say look, why is there a hole here? I'm just going to fill that hole and it's going to be useful and connect the web to make it way stronger in the whole, in the than it was before. And it's but you can't get that unless you learn a bunch of different things from all the people that are currently here who are just desperate to teach you. Yeah, yeah, definitely. The examples of that that I've seen most recently is like you had the like Nft web and then you had the defile web and they were kind of like building in their own little silos. They all they had incredible ideas, many of which have been very useful. But then there is this moment where the nft world in the defile world both realize that there was this opportunity as it related to nft liquidity that actually sat right at the middle of those two worlds, and it's just one example of ways that nfts and defy these two big stories, big memes. They there's been a group of people who are involved enough in both of those communities that they said, okay, like, this isn't this is something new that you can do. And Yeah, I like the web analogy, another one that we use as often as the tree analogy, using open source code and and get has one of the main drivers of that story, and it's true that. Yeah, so the on that goat the other, darker side of that. We have these visions of the future that are usually pretty beautiful in terms of like this is what this technology can do, and this negative connotation of the social implications that led that the web to led to and how web three usually fixes all these things and make them so much better. But that's not that. That's not always going to be the case. Right like that, there are social implications that the technology...

...we use like. The general term for that is like the medium is the message, and as you're confined to a specific medium, the message usually conforms to it as well. And like how like you are doomed to behave the way the technology forces you to behave when you use something especially for like communication and finance and so on and so forth. What ime, I often try and think about what the negative things, emergent properties of this technology you can lead to up seeing. What are the social implications that these particular like communities that we're trying to build are that we're not seeing? Can you have thought about what bad things can happen if these communities, like about value communities, value networks, grow to a point where they're like they become significant in that people's everyday lies? Definitely that's a big question and the same way that we can bash on instagram and read it, I guarantee we will deservedly be bashed on for things that we don't do perfectly. But we do have the opportunity right now to think critically, not just by saying Oh, we can do all these things better than web to, but say what is it that we're doing UX pattern wise, that is healthy when we're creating the next medium and one of the things we talked about a kernel so of this is that at some point you want to get past these paradigms. You want to get past the social media paradigm as the way to connect on the Internet. You want to get past the Wikipedia and the Google paradigm of searching for articles or searching for information, and the biggest gift that crypto could give is a leveling of the playing field to the potential paths by which you interact with the Internet, not going just down the facebook path or just down the reddit path or just down the X Y Z path and using those mediums because they are the ones that are required of us socially, whether we like it or not, but an Internet that more readily allows for less paradigms and kind of paradoxically, less paradigms comes through more options. And when we think about, like, the digital identities of the future and when core you were bringing up the like the beauty of being able to take your your social identity from platform the platform, that to me is a part of the vision of kind of the benefit of it. That's one way to talk about it. Another way to talk very specifically about a pitfall. Is the focus right now in Web thary on ownership. I think that that word is being thrown around a lot as a benefit of crypto that as a creator, as an artist, as an individual, you can be an owner of the things that you contribute and collaborate towards, and I think that what that means is a lot of the ways that we interact with cryptos is via scoreboards. We see who has a particular amount of Eth, we see leader boards. What what? What's the leading cryptocurrency? What's its market cap? How many people do we know who hold it and it it's a very different mindset than the mindset that that you need when you think about like the wet the web is is kind of like a give first mindset where you, to your point, are looking at this web of things and what your pinpointing is where in that Web can I add something of value and can I trust that if I build something valuable, I'll end up at an okay place on the score board? Right? So my worry is that we will continue the trend in Crypto of emphasizing the score boards, which I think just increases the pace of some of the trends that we see, including the trends of income inequality, to name one thing, but that we still do have the opportunity to generate these give first communities where you feel like by giving your particular project or your particular idea in a community context, but you will be rewarded in ways that that allow you more freedom in terms of like...

...the things that you can work on. Examples of this, just to be more practical, right, it's like, let's say it, I'm a part of a community of owners of the RAC token. This is something that there's a grammy winning artist name is is rack. He's he's been involved in the theorem space as a social token community, which means that there's a bunch of people who own a Toke that's called Rac that allow them to participate in kind of governance proposals relating to what what OURC does into the future and, in general, interact with him as an artist. And I think that, like you know, in one sense you could look at it and be, like her, who owns the most RAC tokens? Do I have enough to have like a particular dollar amount? But the other thing that you can look at it as is, well, what are the things that I could do within this context that are my specific skill set? And now somebody's interested in community. One thing that I think about for our se is like, could I get together a group of the fifty most excited rac kind of community members and build a space for that group of fifty to get to know each other, to interact and maybe they're willing to pay a hundred dollars per person to be a part of a community like that. Now you've built an environment that has generated, let's say, five thousand dollars in revenue that goes back to Orac community, but more importantly, you've given a space for hundred fifty, maybe upandcoming artist, maybe creators, other really uniquely talented people within the Rac community, to actually get to know each other, to build relationships, to maybe find some of the that that they end up getting married to. These are the types of things that like. That's that's an infinite game. That's not looking at a leaderboard. That's saying well, Hey, I can be a part of this community. It doesn't really matter exactly how many tokens I have. That's kind of in the background of this, but what's in the forefront is that if I do something valuable here genuinely, I can generate enough value to be very happy with my own living situation, but that other people derive value from as well. You're right, I understand that it's a tensuy concept of don't think I've quite thought about too much of your boards of a given token are a almost like a direct quantification of worth within that community, because we because we have this kind of training to associate worth proxied by value. Right, right. So, like we'd like, people generally trend towards assuming wealthy people know more than them because they're wealthy or understand something more because because they're wealthy. And so you have this like you have this proxy of value for understanding or worth and tokens and you give a community serve the same purpose in a lot of ways. And you're saying that that may be. That may like continue that trend of making people feel like they need to hoard in order to gain value within that thing. So, like yet and you're saying how do you can? You don't get away from that, like unless that's you change the way that they'll have the reason for using the token or hoarding it or using it. Is it the same as like it doesn't have that same strong connection as a proxy to value. Yeah, the way in my head that we get around this is by not so regularly emphasizing how much of a particular token you have more than, for example, how many communities you're apart of right, like that's that's where I think it starts to get interesting. Is like, well, sure, you're in this particular token community and you have x number of tokens, but I as an individual and chosen to be a part of seven or eight different communities, and sure, maybe I don't have as much of the total amount and maybe in dollar terms it's not it's not equivalent. But but the point being that we like we let that kind of like play out in the background. Where the foreground is is not thinking so much about the ownership of these communities and thinking much more about what are the ways that I would like to interact in the world more generally, and can these connections like real human connection? So, like how does the...

...token facilitate real, more natural human connection? Exactly, exactly, as opposed to just another leaderboard that takes away human connection. Ever, try to figure that out. Like it's because this I did a talk a couple of years ago, I want to say, at a bitcoin conference, called the social implications of blockchain infrastructure. And so, basically, like what web to technology kind of like the use of this technology, and it's like how ubiquitous it is led to various social implications that we kind of now deems bad and how the like full swing from centralization to decentralization leads to different social behaviors and what implications they may have and how, reasonably speaking, like real, like real human connection and relationships are incredibly differentiated, right, and one side of the spectrum versus the other isn't the right answer. And having the availability of both technologies gives us the option to actually mold the technology to the relationship, versus what we've been doing, which is mold relationships to the technology. Right, and I'm curious to see, like what we come up with, if, if, if that's a powerful thing and if it's right, what we come up with to really facilitate more natural human, human connections and relationships based on like the more options of technology we have today. Yeah, and and if we treat the tokens of any given any given project the same as we've treated like Fiat money as a proxy for power and looking at leaderports, that that doesn't really change much. Yeah, yeah, I did a bunch of dish. Like I remember a long time ago that when like ICOS first started early two thousand and seventeen, maybe the sixteen, I forget when the first ones were. I was doing like distribution analysis of like what the ICOS were doing. So like basically who was buying the token and what the distribution knows of, like how many people had x many tokens versus how many people had like like one token versus how many people bought Tenzero Tokens, so and so forth, right, and looking at that distribution of people, because the narrative at that time, like what people were talking about at that time, back then, was how inclusive everything was, how beautifully done, how beautiful the theorem ecosystem had done to like open it up to everyone to be involved with investing in projects, and how equally distributed it was and how like wonderful the project is done. When you looked at the token distributions of the early ICOS, that wasn't the case. The tail was longer, for sure, more people who had never had access to investing in projects certainly had access, but in terms of like relative power, if you would make that connection of like number of Tokens to power, it was still held in very few people's hands. Yeah, and so like it's curious to see, like we we talked about the concepts of opening up these networks to be more inclusive and allowing people access to things that have an access to. But if you look at the underlying power dynamics, it's hard to say it's changing. It's maybe moving in the right direction, certainly moving in the right direction because people are talking about it and caring about it more, but I don't know what it's going to take to make a significant debt. Yeah, yeah, that part for sure. There's like a lot of there's just the reality. The Genie Coefficient of theorium in Bitcoin is worse, not better, than most currencies in the world, which means that there's few holders, few holders, that are the largest holders of the theorem and Bitcoin that of the US dollar or most Fiat currency, which, yeah, why? Why do you think that is? I mean, to your point, in the early days, right, it was. It wasn't that. There wasn't that many people who were you were willing to get into the etherium. I see him right. First like it's the pool of people who knew about it was small. Whose little people who, based on ideology at that time, we're willing to say, yeah, I want to do best in that was even smaller, even smaller. Yeah, yeah, and so, yeah, many people made huge bets and those bets paid off, and I'm not I'm not necessarily commenting on that as a bad thing. This this like to me from a philosophical perspective. There's this question of inequality, of course, I think as a very important topic, but I do think it's secondary to the topic of rising tied slifting old boats and US...

...attempting to grow the Pie in a way that the lower bar for everyone is at a level that anyone who's a human being can be can have their necessary rights to be human and not to be slaves to a system. And My gut tells me that inequality is a very important part of that to focus on, and we have work to do there when it comes to Crypto, for sure, but we also have mechanisms that might be able to rise tides and and we should, we shouldn't be mindful on both fronts. There's an interesting question then, like and the effect and the event that there's a project. I'm making something outbut it know like that's a project that overwhelmingly benefits an individual or a few individuals, but still benefits the broader community more than what I had is that good like you have, like basically you have the situation with a distribution of wealth is incredibly asymmetric. But right, the access to wealth is rise. Like this, the tide is rise for everyone. Right, that a good system, but it's a straw man kind of like you get what I'm trying to get at. Like how much do we have to try and get to the point of equal distribution is good versus the overall average is better than what it was. Yeah, I mean, yeah, for me, like the like a big part of it to me starts with access in education at the kind of like most elementary levels, literally starting from like elementary school education. But we should not penalize the people who have the ideas, who can come up with incredibly asymmetric returns that are good for humanity at large. And if somebody comes up with an idea that's worth a billion or two billion dollars, judged by, you know, a market cap, sure, but more importantly by the productivity of that particular thing, I don't think that we should, at face value, say that that's a bad thing just because two people became billionaires off of that idea. But what we should be thinking about is how should we make it easier and easier for anyone anywhere to be the person who comes up with that idea that has those asymmetric returns and and the those two things in tandem bring us towards the future that we're looking for. Number One, the people who do things that push things forward, never feeling like they're, let's say, great power great responsibility. So like if you're Amazon and your Jeff Bezos, like, yeah, you're going to get a lot of flat for the things you're doing and that's a part of what's being signed up for. But you know, thinking about if he, in one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, for example, didn't even try because the system worked against him, which would have been true if Jeff Bezos was born in India, or if he was born in Africa, if he was born in the Middle East, he wouldn't have even thought to try in many cases. Changing that so that those people who are in that particular position today feel more and more available to the opportunity of doing something they're excited about. That's your definition of inclusion, is removing those artificial barriers of kind of systemic pressure for people like not be not feeling they're able to try or a like able to try and not being able to succeed. Exactly. Yeah, I would, I would add to a lot to that. If that first part of with great power comes great responsibility is that when you, I would, I would consider one of those systems bad that has this overwhelming asymmetric of wealth distribution, I consider leaning towards bad when the person who has the large portion is able to manipulate those that don't. Write. If you build a system which gathered, which would which gathers your resources and with those resources you're able to dictate what happens to the everyone else, then it so frinds, yeah, bad and there, yes, it's like it's the difference between don't be...

...evil, it can't be evil. Yes, and a lot of the blockchain systems, in my opinion, or at least my idealization of them, is minimizing the gap between what someone can do to the rest. Yeah, like you gather resources so that you have power to manipulate others. And most, in most, in most cases, that's the reason for gathering resources, that you can assert your influence on the rest of the world using those resources or the threat of using those right verces and the systems that were building and web three are minimizing that gap of small individuals. My best friend, called one of best friends, calls it the asshole index, like the assholes of a system gathering resources to assert their will on others that don't want to yeah, yeah, I love that. And and yeah, I do want to be clear, right, because I think you're right. And and get coin. We've been thinking about this in a very practical sense, in in terms of public goods funding, and maybe this will take a second on pack, but I think it's really important and I'm glad that to bring it up because, yes, that's kind of like a high level. I don't want the capitalist entrepreneurs to be stopped from building amazing things and I want us more to focus on inclusion and ensuring that anyone is willing to give that thing ago if they're so inclined. But there's a middle way between those two paths that you have just described right, that I think we have the opportunity for with crypto. And for anyone who hasn't read the talk's recent post on legitimacy, I think he outlines this in an incredible, incredible way, which is to say that, yeah, and what he did very practically was says that, okay, we do have some projects that we know have received some of these asymmetric returns, many of the projects that are over a billion dollars in mark rypter right now. I've done so and have created treasuries that basically have hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars that are in theory for the furthering of that ecosystem. In the traditional world, you could look at this like Amazon to or apple having their balance sheet, apples balance sheet having like billions of dollars, maybe trillions soon, in cash that they are used basically in banks stock builing so that they can like increase their star price over time. What if it was a social norm in Crypto, with the unit swap or with the Badger or with any of these projects, that they put one percent of those token treasuries towards public goods, which meant that each of these defied projects, from the Basse layer built in, was giving back to a pool of funds that was, by definition neutral, that was not something they controlled, not something that they had power over, but that the community could help allocate in a way that is democratic, fair and gives kind of this new primitive to builders who are coming into Crypto, where you don't have to be entitled to the UN Swap Community, to the etherium community, to poker doc community, to any of the communities, because there's this neutral pool of funds that's billions of dollars in the future. Is what kind of I think fatallic sees when he writes this, this type of a paper where those billions of dollars can be allocated towards projects people, individuals around the world, no matter who they are, without coercion, in a way that like literally they're building for the public good, right, they're building things that are open source, that help web threes ecosystem grow and in a way that, from the Geitcoin perspective, we think ends in this like this better middle ground where you don't have the Amazons of the world who control everything and don't have any value streams that they're giving back to, you know, automatically, let's say like Inner City community building, but you have, yeah, these public protocols that are giving one percent of token treasury and that that we can allocate as we see fit as a community. So you're saying, like those that have benefited from this ecosystem allocate a percentage of their benefit towards a pool of money that they have no control over how it's dispersed, and I'stensibly like the main example here for understanding how that money gets dispersed is getcoin. Goodcoin grants, like the rounds of grants where people come in and vote and using using quadratic voting mechanisms of like basically using the community of signaling to where this money should go exactly.

People, individual vote, individual donations don't have to be large, in fact they're motivated to be small, so that the signal is very, very strong, which the only which tells you how to allocate that large pool of funds from all of the current winners of the system exactly, exactly exactly. The main point of that automatically think about this stuff is understanding how those systems could be gained are gained exactly. I'd say quadratic voting is at least how it's implemented, and Getcoin is at least an example of something that's harder to game then but still very possible. For everything's everything's gamable. There's if there's rules, that's gamable, but like it's more difficult to do so and it leads to our towards a better outcome than not, which means it's reasonable to do yeah, I mean I like the idea. Yeah, I think it's wonderful, but how do you commits people to do it other than, like the tellic, writing a blog and people feeling bad if they're not? I think that was kind of the idea. With this post of legitimacy, is we are creating the social norms for what it means for somebody to create an NFT and raise thirty million dollars or do an ICEO or do a token and generate a pool of five hundred million dollars in treasury. What do you do with that five hundred million million dollar pool? And can we create social norms as a community that basically make it cannon to give it forward? Yeah, and here's the thing. Here's the thing, like I get it right, it's but it's unless you frame this in a way that's beneficial to the person who's giving that one percent. If you don't frame it in a very greedy way like then it's less likely to be done. Because of it, I think we all know systems that run on altruism or don't work. It's sure and there is a treminous amount to be gained as as a project who does this. But if that's not if that's not highlighted, then it's hard to it's hard to for them to justify doing it. Yeah, in the short term one of the things that could be highlighted is by doing this you're allowing more funding to get new people into crypto and those people might not want to work on your pro to call, but if you get them into the cryptospace, that's the infinite game that you play now. But to your point, we we need to think about how that story works every time. It can't just be based on all truism. But that is not being a good player, you know. I mean like it's like really just like yeah, you're not being a good player, like a lot of people are, especially as we bring in more and more of the ruderful finance ecosystem. Who the fuck cares is going to be there? Is Basically like I've made the money, who cares, and so like. If you want to cultivate this community of like, I don't like more equitable community and fairness and inclusion, there needs to be very selfish. It's the reason why bitcoin works the first place, is that be as selfish as you want. It's beneficial to everyone. Yeah, and while I, while I agree with you like this is the best outcome and it's wonderful to fund this type of stuff, I feel as though the justification for getting people to do it needs to be stronger. It's a good point. It's a good point. I'm glad you say it because you're right. It, I think, can work in a short term. But you know, in a bear market people are people are like only smokes, we don't have any money. That's where the rubber really meets the road on these types of things, and so you're right there. There needs to be something there, and I think that it's yet to be completely figured out. If I had to think about it all the top of my head, sirly allows the funding of projects. Okay, if we if we are to assume that the signaling process of the community participates, that, I'd say those who participated getcoin grants, is really large in terms of a signal of what should be funded. Then it allows an individual organization to not focus on what they should be allocating funds to. It's literally just like it's a onestop shop. I allocate this one percent of funds. It goes to where the community thinks that you go best and that's going to benefit me from better infrastructure and in synergy with things that can interoperate with that allow me to build application better. Exactly exactly. You've actually put it better than I have in this version, because it's true. There was a post today by the UMBRA team. Do you know those guys? I've heard of them, I haven't looked hard not. Solomon and Ben Di Francisco. They were in they were in Colonel Block one, really great e engineers. They put a post up today that was talking...

...about Secp to fifty six K one. Do you know this library? If you know this library, yeah, that's the doctor curve up exactly. So they put a thousand dollar generation through on Ber cash and they said that this contract needs to be audited. The etheromey becosystem badly needs an audited dependency free JS library. This library can fit fill the need. Here's a thousand dollars towards that, cause they are people in the space. You really get it. They made that statement. Other people will donate towards that and that's the type of dependency that if we fund properly, and this developer, I think I've just given a shout out Paul Miller, who's working on this, if he is funded to do this, it's good for everybody. It's public infrastructures, roads and bridges for the future of the Internet. And to your it's a lot of securities. So it is. Yes, it's a lot more confidence and some underlying cryptography that's used for everything. Yeah, incredible. I obviously don't know nothing about it. Check it out, but now I know because the community has said something about it and it's not something that I would have liked been able to figure out without these people, and now these people are helping me. Here's another aspect of a greedy benefit, or at least a consequence, of people doing something like this, because it removes them from their need to focus on what should be funded with with money. Right is, if that's the case, if people do this and they rely on the signaling mechanism to allocate these funds, then a lot more attention gets put on the signaling mechanism and how fair it is and how good of a job it's doing, and the education around what's important and the ecosystem, the types of things that should be funded. And if I were to guess, like if I were to point to the most important things that need to be continued in ongoing it's education and understanding of where the space is going and what's that getting proper enough funding working on those things. It's really good point. You right, that's the thing everyone has to do and come to conclusion on and use a signaling mechanism to say ut, like cast their vote. Yep, yeah, that's a really good point. It's really good point. Like there's there's two things that are going through my head. One is like the actually u x of the Gatecoin grant site so that we can better allow people to educate others. The simplest version of this right now is collections, where Danny Ryan, who runs many of these two things, I don't know if you'd be happy in these things with his reality. He had a collection of eat two grants that he wanted to see support it. I'm like, who else in the world would I ever you know who knows more? Who would I dredge more than Danny Ryan on? What should you funded here? People use this word as a pejorative or like a negative thing. But you're appealing to authority, right, because they have the domain expertise that you don't have and you trust them right, and it's in that case I'd call it a really good bet. But but the but, to put it at scale right, there's there's Danny Ryan talking about Youtube, there's somebody else talking about privacy, there's somebody else talking about those talking about that. And when I say talking about it, basically they're just putting the collection of grants that they would support and if you care enough about that topic. For me, maybe that's dows because I care a lot of doubts and I look at somebody else who's made a doubt collection and I get to look through the projects that way. That's, in my mind, kind of like one of those education streams where I use a Gif going grants around to try to like learn about the new things that I had no idea that some part of the community found incredibly valuable and now I know. And that's one point. But another point is I am of the opinion that quadratic funding is fantastic and that they should be making it as good as possibly can be and we should be exploring on their mechanisms. We need different ways to allocate what will soon not be millions but billions of dollars in a good way, and quadratic funding, I think, has a really good case to be the lions share at this point with some of the things that have happened, but that we should always be experimenting. Part of the reason is it's this democratic nature of how the funds are allocated and the fact that the individuals impact on the matching is quite literally, like, mathematically speaking, at its highest possible amount. A dollar contribution and quadratic funding, that is, a vote towards a particular project, is worth almost as much as a hundred dollar contribution, almost as much as a thousand. A thousand dollar contribution. There's there's there's not that much on that graph that you can do to basically have so much money that you skew the results of the route.

That's, from a mathematical perspective, one of the things that I think is proving itself. That being said, there are other options. One example that metallic mentions in that post is, you know, swap grants, for example. You know, Sooft grants right now is like a five hundred million dollar treasury in theory focused on, you know, sap only. What if they allocated fifty million of that and fifty million of that, but was was more general? Maybe it's not just everything, which is what getcoins project is, where any open source project you can put on there. But but maybe they put that fifty million towards broader defy infrastructure and maybe the right people to do something like that. But that's getting away from your question, the question on why for quadratic funding. To me the answer is there is to date not a more democratic way within which to allocate funds in a way that allows for every individual voice to have as close to an equal playing field as possible, assuming that it can't be simple correct correct by assuming people, people can't pretend to be multiple, multiple small phot to the same time. Right, right, and that's where, like you know, this last quadratic funding around was one point nine million dollars, which is by far our biggest, quite right in front around. It's incredible. Thank you. Thank you. It was amazing and you know, we're you know, we know going for one point nine million dollars to a billion dollars is a huge jump and the biggest part of it, and the most exciting part about it is that along the way we're being forced to work on these problems that have been problems on the Internet since it's begun, which is, how can you ensure that one person is one person on the Internet? How can you make sure that there's not all these sock puppet agains? How do we validate it without without trampling individual rights? Exactly exactly, and it's such a wonderful question to be spending time on with, you know, a huge incentive to get it right from the GITCOIN perspective, because if you get this right, there's an incredible number of use cases on the Internet to get opened up. If you can start saying, within a very high degree of confidence, I know that that's Corey petty and it's the only corey petty on the Internet. No matter how much corey petty tries to fool us, he's not going to be it's not going to be economically possible, and that's where this stuff starts getting interesting. I would I would be scared, you know, shitless, if you told me tomorrow let's do a billion dollars through a coin quadratic funding ground. But I do think that the civil resistance work that's going on now is going to allow for that to feel more and more comfortable. I agree. I agree. It's getting better and a lot of the technology were using it's getting better to like provide that functionality with it without trampling on individuals rights. Yep, pretty questions for me. You know, I've been leading the conversation most like think. What are you? What are you? What are you talking about? My my question for you would be about, yeah, how your Colonel Experience was the future of these composable type communities where you were a track leader for the security track that had seventy to seventy five colonel fellows. I just sent your landscape of security and web three two a good friend WHO's trying to break into crypto. I mentioned to you and I think we put together some really cool materials. But I'm curious what you thought about how the program felt and how you could see it evolved. Program felt wonderful. It was like the cohort of people who applied and we're there was the was it was was such a high quality group of people, and that was just within the security track. I didn't have much exposure to everyone else. But what explain closure I did have to the rest of the colonel track was like, how did you get this many people together and get them to contribute to a community? So, so much right because, like right now, the ultimate resource is a tension and getting people to pay attention to things and contribute to them, because there's so many options available right now across the board, even outside of a three, and so like the Group of people that you're you were able to gather, both within the security track and elsewhere, was was phenomenal. I wish that I had more time to teach them more right, because there's so much to...

...be learned. It was my opinion about what security is in Web Thary and how it differentiates itself and what materials people can go to to become useful as fast as possible inness ecosystem, especially with like hands on material and talking about we did earlier, like motivating people to actually do something, as opposed to watching Youtube video and saying cool, I really like that then ultimately not doing anything. So I think next generation is focused on getting people to do things and trying to basically gain the system, to get them hands on experience and better understanding of what things they need to learn with respect to where they'd like to go, to start becoming useful and contributing to the communities that they want to be in, and I think that's an important part of it because, like I, don't wanted to find their future right. It's more about here are the options that I see in the tools that are best used to to bootstrap yourself to get into those places. I mean it's, like you said, it's it's it's anyone's individual journey. The Best I can do is give them tools to push them along that end of all journey as fast as possible, based on the experience I've had and the experience of the people that I've convinced to become partners and and help me do that. Many great people. Yeah, that's great. That's really great to hear and I'm excited, like from our side, whatever we can do so that it's easier for you to focus on the individual journeys and less focus on, you know, the talks that we have to put together. Now we've put some of the materials out there. There's youtube many of its right, like then, I'm I come from physics, PhD and Computational Science and teaching. I've talked graduate courses and so, like, my initial framework for doing this is very academic it. Show up to the lecture, take your notes, to your homework. If you do this work, you have an intuition of the concept. That may not be the optimal way to do this type of thing, especially when you're building trying to teach people how to participate in communities as fast as possible. And so restructuring that and trying to remove my personal academic bias, even though it's it is a useful framework good to like help people, is kind of where my yep focuses now for this next track. Yet we've done the work, we've put the syllabus out there right, so now we give ourselves the space to focus in on the people. So it is a testament to the work that you did using your physics PhD brand and now you get to put on the community brand way more fun. Yeah, thank you all right. Cool. Thanks. Thanks for bact for coming on the show. I'm I'm excited to start doing morevies and getting to know the people that I happen to spend my time with. Yeah, I find ourselves, at least in my my experience, I find myself talking with many interesting people but never having the time to really understand them, and it's stuff like this that I enjoy more than like hey, we're not having a meeting about work, we're talking about what we care about and how we view this ecosystem where it's going. So thanks for help, thanks for being a part of that. Yeah, thank you. It's been a lot of fun at the just one on one level, and hopefully anyone's watching you enjoyed it as well. Appreciate you being a part. I.

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