RTE Roundtable Talk #3: Cryptocurrency: Centralization vs. Decentralization
Featuring Joel Smalley and Kristov Atlas
“I would unironically wager money that Gresham's Law was in China prior to Aristophanes conceiving it.” – Mathew Crawford
Today's discussion featured two guests for whom I have a great deal of admiration, equally for their talents and their character. We discussed several fundamental aspects of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency economies that I believe will be educational to a wide audience.
Some things that we agree about:
There are more and less decentralized ways to run either digital currency systems in general or blockchain systems.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are different from Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies.
The path that digital currencies take is not yet fully determined.
Some differences in perspectives:
Whether the global monetary system will be primarily run off of Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS) (or possibly some other) protocol.
Whether Bitcoin will ascend to reserve currency status first, or whether token economies will flourish without any cryptocurrency becoming the reserve currency first.
We have other common ground and divergent thoughts as well. You can listen to all that in our discussion.
I am thankful to have had the conversation about PoW vs. PoS in this discussion in particular because it has me thinking in new ways about the way Energy and stakeholders affect monetary systems, which I plan to talk about in one or more future articles. That this debate exists makes me wonder if any of the bright minds in the space have formulated a theory about the way work/energy and owners/agents necessarily interplay in monetary systems. If you know of such a theory, please drop a link in the comments.
You can watch us here on Rumble:
Also, here we are on YouTube where our first two podcasts managed not to get us punished (yet):
You can watch us live on Tuesdays at 1 PM Eastern. The RTE podcast is on numerous platforms including Rumble, YouTube, Bitchute, Odyssey, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple, and some other places that Liam knows better about than I do. Written transcripts will be available for paid subscribers. We thank all of our supporters.
WTF?!?! YouTube hasn't banned you for life? How is that possible. I must be reading this in my dreams.
Either that or you aren't over the target :)
"Proof of Work" has invoked dissonance in me since I first read the bitcoin white paper. I spent the 2000's and 2010's working on software in the oil industry processing seismic data. There were tens of thousands of GPUs and/or CPUs where the software engineers' jobs were to eliminate every possible CPU cycle that did not contribute to the final answer. PoW, by contrast, reminds me of the description of electron tunneling where you throw millions of ping-pong balls against a brick wall knowing only that the quantum reality is that, on occasion, a few of them will materialize on the other side. I can't get past the thought that those are the winners of the bitcoin block mining and everyone else just wasted energy beating their heads against a brick wall.