The Stack Overflow Podcast

Next stop, Cryptoland?

Episode Summary

Ben, Ryan, Cassidy, and Ceora talk about Cryptoland, “the first physical crypto island,” which has drawn fyre (oops, fire) from people trying to figure out whether it’s a real project, a parody, or a scam. From there, the team talks about the crypto world, how its reputation has suffered from associations with less-than-savory players, and how the blockchain concept has evolved from Bitcoin to Solana.

Episode Notes

The Twitter thread that brought Cryptoland to the team’s attention.

Ceora wonders whether participants in a hypothetical, decentralized version of YouTube (a YouTube-like dApp) would need coding skills to contribute meaningfully.

Why is Ethereum so expensive and so congested?

Ben outlines how Solana has become the fastest-growing blockchain in the world by evolving the Ethereum concept to make it more scalable and less congested.

Episode Transcription

Ceora Ford Yeah, I think we're at a point in time where there are some people who are like, crypto and the decentralized technology stuff is like, inevitable at this point. And instead of not being part of it, I rather get my foot in the door now. And then there are some people, which I probably fall more into this category, where it's like, I'm just gonna wait and see how this pans out. I think I could kind of tell what category everyone else here is based on the conversations we've had so far. [Ceora & Cassidy laugh]

[intro music]

Ben Popper Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Stack Overflow Podcast, a place to talk all things software and technology. I am Ben Popper, the Director of Content here at Stack Overflow, and I'm joined today as I often am by my wonderful co-hosts, Cassidy Williams, Ceora Ford and Ryan Donovan. Hey, everybody.

Cassidy Williams Hello!

CF Hi!

Ryan Donovan Hey Ben. 

BP So Ryan, you sent a fun link over this morning. It's not satire, but it feels that way. You want to tee this one up?

RD So somewhere on my Twitter feed, I saw this video about pitching this this place called Cryptoland, which is apparently a island for crypto coin and blockchain product--

BP Crypto enthusiasts.

RD Yeah, the video just feels like every satire of crypto-bros ever. It feels like Fyre Festival for crypto.

CW Oh gosh.

CF What is Fyre Festival?

CW Ohhhh. Let's get into that. [Ceora laughs] The Fyre Festival just as a quick aside, was supposed to be this gigantic music Island festival and tons and tons of influencers were going to go it was super super hyped up. And then turns out the whole thing was a scam. And so when all the people got there, you saw like these crappy sandwiches that were like basically a couple pieces of white bread and nothing else. And then five tents? 

BP No porta potties.

CW No Porta potties. That was just it. And so all of these people were just scammed and spent all this money to go to this place that had nothing.

BP They also made an amazing like promo video, they got all these influencers to buy in, and then they show up to this island. I think that they were stranded there like the planes left or something. And there was like three days from hell, all these like fancy influencers.

RD I think Ja Rule--

BP It was fun.

CF Was there a documentary on this or something?

CW There's two documentaries. Yeah, I know someone who is in the documentary.

BP Did they have a good time? 

CW You know, they were the kind of person who would get a ticket to Fyre Festival. And I'll leave it at that.

BP Right. Exactly. Does anybody here remember, Sea Setters? You know what I'm talking about? It was like this thing on a boat. When I first started the New York Observer in like, 2010, 2010 to 2012. That was a thing, kind of like the crypto bro Island. Like, if you're a cool person, you bought a ticket we all get on this boat. There's tons of talks, people form startups, we have parties, we stopped off at an island.

RD We're in international waters, so rules do not apply.

BP Soho House at sea for tech. And it's kind of cringy. But also like people who went had a great time, so you know, good on them.

CF So that one wasn't a scam, then?

BP No, that one wasn't a scam,

CW I did do something like this, at one point. I'm going to be as vague as possible, because it is a program that still exists. But there was a point where I went on one of these retreat things where there was a bunch of tech people who go to some beautiful place. And I thought it was going to be like a conference with a bunch of talks. And I don't know, programming, but it was truly just tech people nearby each other, where that that was it. And I was just like, do we just like float around near each other? And it was just like, oh, it's about the connection. It's about being around like minded individuals, creating, but we're not creating anything, we're just sitting here. Anyway, I can't speak highly of programs like that myself personally.

BP So I guess my only thing, Ryan, is like, this video is super cringy. And the whole idea of like, going to a private island in order to do something that also is all about being decentralized and open like buying one of 60 houses in the hills, you know, is very elitist and sort of the opposite of inclusive. But the other thing I will say about this is that it's fun, it's very fun to point fingers at the crypto bros and at the crypto and NFT community and on the other hand, people have been doing that since 2010. And other people have been making millions of dollars. So like, you know, if I was in their shoes, right, just been a crypto bull since the beginning. You know, I'd be laughing at me like I really feel crappy for having had multiple opportunities to get on this train and turn them all down. You know, like, makes you feel like a schmuck.

RD They got their money. Not gonna argue with that, but I think what is cringy about this is that it feels like like a scam and it feels like hucksters jumping on crypto. And I think crypto and blockchain have sort of suffered and reputation from having a lot of, let's say, you know, less than reputable things attached to them. And this just feels like, why do you need to go to this island in Fiji to party and make crypto blockchain stuff? With this video where all the cards are like, to the moon? It feels like they're not taking it seriously--

BP But yeah, apart part of it is like the meme humor, like Dogecoin was a joke. But some people became millionaires, Shiva was another joke. And some people became, you know, like, part of it is like you live in the culture of memes and not taking things seriously is like your whole affect. But at the same time, like maybe you did build something that, I don't know.

CF Someone mentioned that like crypto and the like DeFi community kind of has suffered in reputation. And I kind of feel like stuff like this makes it a little worse, especially in front when you're like on the outside looking in when you're not actually part of the like crypto world or whatever. We just discussed, like several instances where retreats like this were kind of like, either weird or actual scams. So when you're like not a crypto person, and you see something like this, you're like, here they go again, they're added again, with the with the weird scammy stuff. 

RD And to be fair, I think, you know, early in the .com blowout, like there's plenty of companies with serious business proposals who had marketing that was full of the memes of the time, but that was very hard to take seriously. You know, there were things that came out of that. But there were a lot of things that blew up in the, you know, early 2000s. A lot of people lost their shirts.

CF Yeah, I think we're at a point in time where there are some people who are like, crypto and the decentralized technology stuff is like, inevitable at this point. And instead of not being part of it, I rather get my foot in the door now. And then there are some people, which I probably fall more into this category, where it's like, I'm just gonna wait and see how this pans out. I think I could kind of tell what category everyone else here is in based on the conversations we've had so far.

CW It's tough, because there is so much money in it, it would be great to not have to worry about my mortgage, or paying certain bills and stuff. That would be amazing. But at the same time, I tried out Ethereum and I was just like, oh, maybe this whole Web3 thing is interesting. And then I realized scanning the QR code cost me $150. Because I didn't understand how gas fees worked. 

CF I did come across like a situation where like, I was like, okay, I see the validity of crypto, like that was the probably only time where I was legitimately like, okay, I really get it. Aside from like, potentially making a lot of money. A person on Twitter was talking about how they live in the country in Asia, I'm gonna say it's China. And they have like a YouTube channel and everything like that. But because of border stuff, currency, all that kind of thing. And also, for some reason, like certain policies with companies like PayPal, and Patreon, the only way that she could get money from people to like support her work was through crypto, like there are certain legitimate situations where like, the decentralized part of crypto helps people who are in situations where like, currency, or these companies that for us come naturally, like if I want to send somebody money, I'm just like, okay, what's your PayPal? What's your CashApp, whatever. That's not a possibility in every country, especially when you're doing like a cross border transaction type stuff. So in that situation, I was like, okay, I really get why crypto can be important for some people, because that's the only way she's going to get support financially from people consumer content. So that like, I was like, okay, I get it.

RD I was just gonna say, I think with kind of authoritarian and or failing states, having that currency that operates on a global scale is is valuable. Like, I heard a story about Zimbabwe was having 1,000,000% inflation, something ridiculous. So there were all these ATMs that operated in Bitcoin. So they could have a stable currency to operate trades in. And you know, of course, people were like, let's fly down there. Let's transfer a lot of money into Bitcoin because this is a not only is it a way for these people to survive. It is a way for us to make money too.

BP We heard a good story on the episode we do with that journalist, Ethan Liu, which may be apocryphal, but I've heard, you know, told in a bunch of different ways about a woman who was in Afghanistan during a period where women started going to school and were getting technical education and she bought a few bitcoins as like, you know, to check it out to learn about it. And then when ISIS arrived, her family had to flee. They didn't have time to take their like possessions or whatever, she ended up essentially like a refugee. She got on a boat and she ended up in Europe, and she had memorized her, you know, six Seeing digit alphanumeric and so she brought essentially like $40,000 with her in her, you know, bitcoin wallet in her head. And that was like pretty life changing, you know, when you arrive in a new place. So, in that sense, if you can step outside of the financial system and preserve, you know, wealth or move wealth in some way, I guess like the essence of it is the internet is super interesting because nobody owns it. And in China, people can block it, there's ways around it, but you can move information anywhere, and nobody can shut it down globally, and crypto is the same thing. But for money, which is powerful, you know? The issue is right, like, what are we building on top of that, these days, it's mostly like trading platforms for speculative investment, and art, which is good art is good, but the art has quickly become like, a speculative investment or like an elitist club, which is too bad.

CF Yeah, I'm not so sold on NFTs, like I still haven't found a situation where I was like, Okay, I understand why this is a thing. And I feel like it's semi justified. But I've heard some situations in which like, artists who are deceased, or who didn't consent to their art being sold as NFTs, their art is being sold as NFTs. And like, they somehow find out I don't even know how they become aware of it. But some of these platforms that let you trade, the NFTs, won't like I guess the term should be invalidate the NFT or whatever.

BP They can't really, I saw recently some somebody lost their apes like two and $2 million worth of apes, this art dealer, and he was very upset. And he, you know, asked the community for help and Open Sea stopped trading his NFTs on Open Sea, and everyone started shouting, wow, this is crazy. It's supposed to be decentralized. Now you're taking control. But essentially, what Open Sea was doing was just saying, you know, you can still trade it on any blockchain anyway, you just can't use our platform to do this for now. And then the end, I think, the buyers, people who had bought them from the thief ended up getting a few of them back or whatever. But it is funny because it's supposed to be open. But like you're saying, it ends up coming back to issues of like authenticity and ownership, that, you know, can be very problematic. Like, that's, that's what happens with NFTs. Like you were saying, people will tell somebody, Hey, I saw somebody selling your picture for $5,000 saying it was there, you know, and then they tell that person, the artist had no idea. And so like, that's why then you you end up going back to a central authority, you're like, Well, if this auction house says this NFT really belongs to this artist, and I trust this auction house, then I will buy it. And it's like, oh, well, you just super centralized things again, you know, like, it's all about trusting an entity and not the network.

RD Yeah, there was a real life version of this a while back. This model on Instagram, I think her name is Emily, something, some artist painted an Instagram photo of her with like the Instagram interface around it, and it sold for, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And she had to sue to be like, that's my image.

CF I know someone on Twitter, again, they kind of described, especially the NFT ecosystem is more so being like unregulated, which I feel like is a better way to describe it, maybe then decentralized, because that's how it feels, especially when you see situations where like, I'm an artist, and I put my art out on the Internet, whether it be like on Instagram, whatever. And someone took a screenshot and decided to sell that as an NFT. And I didn't allow that. But now how am I supposed to like, remove whatever, however, you're supposed to, like, fix those kinds of situations. And there are no like rules that say that's not allowed, like, there's nothing you can really fall back on to be like, this is illegal. But is it? Because there's very little regulation with it.

BP I do see, I mean, I don't know, tell me if y'all think this is true, I do see an a bunch of projects, people essentially deciding that to bring digital artists they love in as the creators, and those people get to create a lot of work. And people spend a lot of money and feel happy to own the work. And so in that sense, it does empower digital artists, maybe in a way that was more difficult for them before because people, you know, naturally were sort of like, if I buy a piece of digital art, what does that get me like, I can just copy it. But people within the NFT community do care. And that is driving a lot of money to artists, which I guess is a good thing. 

CF I sound like such a contrarian here. And I promise this is not what I'm like. [Ceora laughs]

RD Makes for good TV!

CF But that's the one thing I like about NFTs is that it is allowing artists to get some income. But I kind of cringe a little bit when people like I guess I'll say pretend like I buy NFTs because I want to support artists when it's like this artist has been selling their art digitally and otherwise for years and has been struggling. But now that like NFTs are mutually beneficial, I guess because you can potentially make a huge profit off of them. Now people are like, oh artists like how how are you doing? Let me like look at your work, you know?

CW I saw a really interesting debate about the whole decentralization of all of this stuff, where people were saying should Open Sea exist? Should it not exist? Because it kind of centralizes what should be decentralized. And the hot take was well, Git was decentralized, and then GitHub made it not--

BP Hot take.

CW I know, hot take right? And people were just like, and you know, that isn't necessarily bad. But it did change things. And like Git did maintain some elements of its decentralized nature. But then it also was centralized, because there was suddenly a marketplace for it. And people had a hub of where to go and knew what to do. And then some people were saying, this is actually why I refuse to use GitHub for years. Because I just thought it was against the very nature of why Git existed. It was interesting to see this conversation. I don't know if I have any sides in it or anything. 

BP I mean, this is kind of the eternal like push and pull and technologies like the internet is distributed, but most people find it easier to use when it's Facebook, and now it's centralized, or like, web browsers are open, but most people find it easier to use these ones built by huge companies, you know, like, decentralization is fascinating and provides this underpinning that's really powerful. But then people really want yeah, some you have to build an interface on top of that, essentially.

RD I mean, you need somebody to adjudicate conflicts, right? Somebody if you have a conflict with somebody else who's stealing your stuff, somebody has to say, yeah, that's theft. Here's the penalties.

BP And that's what's so wild about, like the open trading platforms. And I, we had these people on there talking about, it's a really adversarial environment. You're writing smart contracts that say, Hey, you can use an API and talk to me and I can talk to you. This is my wallet, any wallet can talk to it. And we're all talking to the blockchain. And you screw up your code and your smart contract and somebody else read smarter code. They just take 100 million out of your account, and they've done nothing wrong. Like they followed all the rules. They were just better. You know, they were just clever.

CF It seems like when is truly decentralized, people get can get kind of scammed. But then if a centralized source of power steps into play, say Open Sea, and they decide we're going to set rules where like, you can't post or post, you can't share someone else's work as an NFT. That is no longer decentralized. So then if it's not decentralized anymore, what's the benefit of all of this? Or is this part of it? But essentially under the hood it's not?

CW It's like a hybrid model of centralization and decentralization. I think ultimately, people like organization in general, right, like, like, it's fun to have freedom. But if there's guardrails, then there's like a direction to move in, which is why I prefer conferences instead of random gatherings of tech people where you sit around and look at each other. [Ceora & Ryan laugh]

CF Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

BP And like, yeah, like Open Sea, might decide, hey, you know, because we know, these NF T's were stolen, we're not going to trade them on our platform. But there's 50 other platforms, you could use your or literally just a wallet to Wallet transfer to move those NFTs, like they can't stop the decentralized system from working in the background, they can only say, we're not going to process these transactions, because we know that, you know, these things were stolen. 

CF I didn't even think of it as being a hybrid situation. I think our last podcast episode had me kind of like thinking about how, you know, these big tech companies kind of use our data and our information and stuff like that. And I can see potentially, like in a tech utopia, how like, big companies providing like the user interface where we do stuff, and they set certain rules about like what we can and cannot do on their platform. But somehow, our actual data information is still relatively decentralized, if that makes sense. Like I have ownership over what's mine, and I decide what can be can and cannot be done with it. But then when I think about that, I'm like, okay, how do the big companies or companies period, make a profit, if they can't do anything with your data?

BP  I mean, one thing, you know, that is, I think, kind of retro. And talking about the pendulum swing of like, centralized or decentralized is like, in the Ethereum world, everybody holds their own wallet, and nobody else has the keys. Sometimes there's a multi SIG environment where you hold something with, you know, a couple of other people, but I hold my money there, or my art there. And, you know, conceivably I could hold my data there. And I would only get my data to a website I visit that runs on the Ethereum blockchain if I decide to, and so that goes back to like a different vision of the web, you know, where every person essentially was more the custodian of their own information and money and, you know, imagery. 

RD Everybody runs their own server.

BP Everybody runs their own server. Exactly. So like that's kind of like the blockchain, in essence is acting as like a centralized server. You can pass information there through smart contracts. It's validated by a decentralized network of you know, trustless nodes, and then that can process data and some transaction can occur, some image can be passed. It doesn't work as the internet because it takes like 10 minutes to process, every block and so you know, billions of times can't be transacting with it all at once. But like, you know, it holds out the possibility. And I don't know, if we're gonna get there of like, a way the internet could have gone in the past and where it could go in the future, which is, I think some of what excites me about like, the Web3 stuff is like, I like the idea of communities. Like if we built YouTube now, and it was built as a DAO, and it was like, everybody owns YouTube together, and in the future creators will make money off the advertising, and every single person who uses this site will make money and will decide the future of the site through voting. You know, if that ever worked, that would be amazing. Will that ever will we ever build a product with like the capacity and the capability of a YouTube as a massive decentralized organization voting on things? Probably not. But it would be, I don't know, maybe maybe the wisdom of the crowd could do it.

RD Yeah, I think the problem with everything like this, fundamentally, is that there's got to be a backbone, right? The internet has DNS servers, and massive cables that, you know, shunt all the data around, if you want this decentralized, YouTube, somebody has to decide who gets to vote, how votes are distributed, they have to create policy, like, what's the violation, and then they have to enforce it. And somebody has to hold the hammer.

BP Right, and it all runs on top of that same as bias, right? And all the Etherium stuff runs off the same DNS. And you know, without the internet, you wouldn't be the blockchain wouldn't work either.

RD And it all runs on people. And that's the ultimate problem.

CF I have a question too. Earlier, you mentioned like, if you really want to be like super decentralized about all this stuff, and you don't want to like I don't want to use any platform, I don't I want to do things myself, you would have to essentially know how to code your own smart contracts, which makes me think about how accessible this really is to like non-technical people. I don't even like to use it term. But like people who don't know anything about software development, like, I know, a lot of people push, like the use case of like, oh, you know, like, we just talked about a lot of people who can benefit from cryptocurrency, when you are in a place where for whatever reason, your current your local currency is not working, or you can't make international transactions, whatever. Cryptocurrency can be useful. But I'm wondering how accessible it is. And maybe, since it seems like a couple of you here have actually had, you know, experience making these transactions, maybe you can tell me if you think a normal person, like a family member, you know, who has no idea what anything coding wise, is, if they could really like be a part of this in a way that would give them real power as a part of the decentralized system.

CW I think it's our job as tech people to make this kind of stuff accessible. And I think some people have, but it's still early days. We live in a bubble. In our in our tech bubble, it's most accessible to people who are tech, tech adjacent, or have relatives in tech and stuff. And for everyone else that kind of have to figure it out.

BP Yeah, I mean, if you're working with a tech person, as an artist, I know this thing Illuminati, which again, super, they're the way they're approaching it, I think is well, it's both. It's inclusive, anybody who's on the internet or on Twitter, and you know, just wants to be involved in loves and a piece can get involved. But it's also, you know, the whole goal is to build like an exclusive club of NFT holders, who then get to go to parties of you holding it, yada yada anyway, the artist themselves don't have to have super technical knowledge, but they have to partner with a technical person. And that without the artists, there's no project and without the technical person, there's no project. So they kind of complement each other. And you know, you could have both those skills and do it on your own. And I heard an interview the other day with somebody in finance, who's created a whole bunch of like, you know, like a uniswap kind of thing. And they were saying, you know, they started talking about smart contracts, and the person asked them, like, do you know how to read these? And they're like, are you kidding me? Like, I don't know how to read Solidity is the name of the Ethereum language like, I don't have a clue. Like we have coders who do that. My job is to like, figure out how to build, you know, financial markets and decide what financial products we should build on this smart contract platform.

CF Yeah, I just wonder how like, in a situation like with the, if YouTube was remade, and it was totally decentralized, and like, for people to make decisions about what they want to happen with the platform, and what they want to happen with their information and their piece of the party, whatever, it seems like they would have to know something semi technical, semi technical, or coding related. And I wonder if they would cut people off from being part--

BP Let me give you a hypothetical. You tell me if what if you buy this, okay, a group of people from a DAO, and if you can you all you have to do is download an app and set up an Ethereum wallet that you could walk through as a non technical person, they guide you through it, and you you know, get $500 worth of Ethereum and then they say you know you're part of this DAO now we're going to meet in this Discord and talk. We've got a group of five coders, they're going to build this part of the site. We've got a group of five designers. We've got a group of five marketers, and we've got a group of five creators and like this is the seed these 20 people. And the way this one is going to work is you can come to the site and just watch videos, or you can come to the site and just upload videos but if you want to join the DAO, you connect you wallet. And then any money we make, you know, through advertising as people watch the videos, oh yeah, we've got a group of five salespeople to sell the advertising. Any money you make as a creator goes into your Ethereum wallet, and anybody who leaves a great comment, and that you know is going to get money in their wallet, anybody who shares it on Twitter, and that leads to a bunch of views, they're going to get money for helping to like boost the views. And so all you really need to do is be a consumer with an Ethereum wallet, who helps the community grow, and you can get rewarded as like the community grows and the size of it. And then you get to these these like inflection points where it's like, okay, well, now we want to set up a system so that we can censor videos that are objectionable? Well, who's going to decide what's objectionable? And how are we going to set up this, you know, all then it's like, it gets complicated with a DAO, you could vote on it. And you know, everybody could pass a vote, and it would only pass with a certain, you know, a majority. Or you could say, everybody's been getting tokens when they create videos, or like videos or share videos, the more tokens you have, the more influence you have on the community, we're gonna vote, you know, submit your tokens, and we'll decide within phase two of open tube is, you know? So that's kind of like one of the that's like the theoretical hypothetical ideal platonic version of what a DAO could do that's different than Web 1.0, is you can work together like we could all the four of us could create a website, and we could talk about how to do it. And we could have like a governance board. With the blockchain, financialization, and governance can be mediated through an open distributed network that none of us control, and you can vote on things and you can vote on changes. And you can move money around without any one of us needing to say, Well, I'm the CEO, I sign off on this, or I'm the banker, you know. 

CW So I have a question then. Because, again, gas fees and crypto things. Stigma, does it cause I'm just going to ask a series of questions. Band, bang, bang. Does it cost money to create the DAO? Does it cost money to create the content? Or to create the comments? Does it cost money to delete comments or content? Does it cost money to cost to cast a vote? Is it one of those things where gas fees will cost money, but the actual votes and stuff themselves cost nothing?

BP Right, great questions. So if you have, let's say we create an OpenTube token, right? And that's built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. That's where things get very complicated is that so many, it's we're basically at a point where so many people are trying to build on top of the Ethereum network, because it was sort of the first one to take off post Bitcoin that had smart contract capabilities written into it, that has become unbelievably congested. And a million people want to do a million things on Ethereum. And so everybody's competing for space to write their smart contracts into each block. And so that's why it cost so much money. If there weren't as many people using it. If it hadn't gotten very popular, then it would cost like it used to cost years ago, it cost nothing, it costs one cent to write a transaction to the Ethereum blockchain. And the more it grew in popularity, without the underlying infrastructure changing, the more expensive it became. So Solana is like a tier three. So like Bitcoin was tier one. Ethereum was like, let's make some advances and some changes to that. And Solana saw Ethereum and said, alright, well, we're going to do it differently. And on Solana, which is one of the reasons it's grown so fast this year, it's not as congested, and it may avoid some of the problems that Ethereum had, and be a permutation of this idea that can scale better. That's what some people think. And so it is very true that when you start talking about DAOs, and minting and this and that, the problem is that yeah, each exchange, there has to be processed over the Ethereum blockchain. And that becomes very slow and expensive. And so, you know, that is one of the things definitely holding the whole ecosystem back.

CF So potentially with another chain?

BP Yeah, another chain, a new chain.

CF With another, like, for instance, if you use Solana, they wouldn't be as financially I don't know the word for word, but it wouldn't cost as much, I guess, is the phrase. Now, is that because Solana is not as widely used as Ethereum and Bitcoin?

CW Right, like as it grows, will it cost more? 

CF Right. Like is that like the lifecycle for every cryptocurrency?

BP There's two main things, and I'm not an expert in this, but Bitcoin was brilliant in that it had this proof of work. So the reason it's really, really hard to fake money or, you know, illegally do a transaction is that somewhere somebody has to run some intense hash calculations to make the block happen. That's a miner and they get paid to do that. And everybody else benefits by getting to basically write their transactions on each block and pass things around. And as Bitcoin grows, it gets harder and harder to do the transactions. And as more and more people want to use it, it gets harder and harder to get space on the block. Ethereum level that from Bitcoin by adding smart contracts, but they didn't change the fundamental approach of proof of work. So there are Ethereum of miners who get paid and people want to get on the block, and it's become very congested. So long I believe uses proof of stake, which is a different approach than proof of work. And so proof of stake is like a idea that people put up collateral basically like you say, like, I want the Solana ecosystem to work, I'm going to take 100 Solana and put them in this pool. And that will be used to certify various transactions. I don't know exactly how it works. But essentially, instead of using these like super computationally intensive hashes, you use some kind of collateral, and that supposedly will make it less environmentally destructive, because you're not just running supercomputers all the time to mine, and potentially more scalable in terms of the velocity, the number of transactions and the cost, you know, that you'd have to pay to the miners or the stakers in the future. And Ethereum, and this gets back to governance, the whole like Ethereum Collective is essentially arguing now about whether or not they should move from proof of work to proof of stake. And whether or not Aetherium will survive as a blockchain Cassady to your point if they don't, because it's really not feasible to do, like, a big distributed project with a million users, because there's not enough space on each chain. Like I many times I've tried to use an Ethereum wallet, or your transaction was canceled, or sorry, it didn't work or sorry, when you hit send, the transaction cost $50. But by the time we received your signal, it costs $90. And so now you need to try again, you know, it's so borked. I mean, it's like, you know, it's a terrible experience.

RD Is it possible for people to create their own blockchain space

BP Anybody can create a new blockchain, that's what Solana is.

RD So if there's a DAO that wanted sort of a private space to cast all their votes on the blockchain, they could create their own right?

BP Yes. But it takes a lot to get a network moving, you know, and to get people to believe in it and to get critical mass. But to go back to the governance, I'm pretty sure, I have the foggiest clue that a theorem has been arguing for a long time about whether or not they should move from proof of work to proof of stake. And because it's open, you know, a CEO can just be like, well look like people are having a terrible experience. We're doing this like, yeah, prioritize already focused, like some people disagree, but we're doing this, they've just been going back and forth forever, you know, arguing proof of work, proof of stake, the miners don't want to change the miners and making money, they hold power. Other people are building on a theory and they want to move that the interest, you know, and so that's one of those areas where open governance kind of falls flat, is like it's hard to be quick and nimble. And when people have conflicting interests within the working group.

CF So this is the kind of stuff that makes it hard for me to be convinced about like the ideal DAO in, like, Blockchain stuff, because it's like, that's not how it's panning out at all right now. And I know people are like, oh, we have to just work out the kinks. But I don't know and then add on top of it, like you didn't mention how environmentally destructive like the trading of Bitcoin or Ethereum is, I don't know if we have time to wait for us to work out the kinks, in addition to the fact that, like, we're seeing a lot of flaws with the system as it is. So should we really trust that it's going to be able to pan out to like, how--because, believe me, I truly do want things to work out that way. Like I'm not a big tech cheerleader, who just loves the fact that they're like, selling my data to whoever and profiting off of it, and all that kind of stuff. Like I would like for this to work out. But I don't know if that's actually possible. And then like, do we really have like, yeah, the time to, like, wait for us to iterate enough to like, get it right?

BP It's gonna happen, essentially, it's like, do I want to participate, like you can't put the genie back in the bottle. So you can choose to participate and be like, this is how I want to build it. And I want to look like this. Or you can just say, like, I don't think this is going to pan out just going to be another worse version of the internet. Like, I'm gonna go over here and build something else, you know, like, we can't turn it off. But you can choose not to participate or not. And that's kind of gets us back to the original, where we started, which is like, I feel like a schmuck would have chosen not to participate since 2010, and still have yet have to be paying my mortgage and working a job, why did I make that choice?

CF I still feel like it's early enough where you can still, like, 1020 years from now be like, I was an early adopter. Like, I think it's not like something to beat yourself up over. And one thing I think about too, is like, you know, as someone who does front end development, like, you still need all those skills. It's not like, you know, front end development in the typical fram, UI stack is going to change, and those things are still needed. So I can still participate at any time if I really wanted to, like, I could still get in on it. But I'm just deciding not to now.

BP I think your your point is really valid. It feels like 1990 was like the beginning of the consumer internet, but it barely worked. And nobody knew about it. So let's call that 2010 for Bitcoin. And 1999 was like the height of this crazy bubble and everybody was trying to get in, but actually, like e-commerce sucked, like doing transactions on the internet sucks, you know, like, people were like, nobody will ever not shop at a store like e-commerce is a joke, you know, it's never gonna really pan out. And now obviously, you know, another 20 years later, like it's, it's effortless and everybody does it. So like, we're at like the 1999 level of what blockchain technology can do. I feel like looking back at history, it's like, well, obviously I got to participate now because if I'd gotten in on the internet in 1999, I'd be sitting pretty in 2022. Will it develop into something great, free of horrible people and horrible things? Probably not. It's made by people, in the end. In the end, it's people and not something else. 


BP Alright everybody, it is that time of the show. I will read us a lifeboat. Thank you to Alexander Shatkin awarded three hours ago. 'Recycle application pool using PowerShell script.' Alright, everybody, thank you so much for listening. I am Ben Popper. I'm the director of content here at Stack Overflow, web3 maximalist, crypto bro in-waiting. You can find me on Twitter @BenPopper. You can always email us with questions and suggestions and if you like the show, leave us a rating and review, really helps.

RD I'm Ryan Donovan, editor of the blog at Stack Overflow and resident cranky old man. I'm on Twitter at @RThorDonovan. If you have great idea for a blog post, please email me

CF I'm Ceora Ford. I'm a developer advocate at Apollo GraphQL. You can find me on Twitter. I usually occasionally talk about how I'm not convinced about web3 and crypto and if you want to hear that kind of stuff, check me out there. My username there is @ceeoreo_.

CW I'm Cassidy Williams, I am head of developer experience and education at Remote. You can find me @cassidoo on most things.

BP Awesome. Alright everybody, thanks for listening, be safe out there. Keep your NFTs safe, cold storage or nothing. [Ryan & Ceora laugh] All right, bye!

CF Bye!

CW Bye!

[outro music]