DeFi on Bitcoin | Muneeb Ali Stacks 2.0

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you're just getting into crypto it's the perfect   place to start hey guys anna welcome back to 
my show i'm super excited to chat to you all   we had a week off but we're back so it's gonna 
be really exciting so as always as you know   it is powered by icon plus capital so a quick 
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let's bring on today's guest joining me today   is muneeb ali how are you doing today 
i'm good thanks thanks for having me   yeah i'm really excited to chat to you um because 
this topic is fascinating to me because you have   these two worlds right you've got like this 
narrative that bitcoins this store of value and   then you've got d5 and everything that's going on 
there but that's not quite the case is it because   you're trying to essentially bring that onto this 
side you're trying to you know do smart contracts   define everything on bitcoin so talk to me about 
this yeah so i think i think there's there's a big   misconception out there that uh bitcoin is like 
a hard rock and it can't do anything interesting   like in like if you think about it bitcoin has 
a blockchain where the original designers have   taken certain design decisions to keep 
it relatively simple at the base layer   and that's completely fine because you can build 
the rest of the functionality outside of the core   bitcoin blockchain right like their tools come 
to mind with sidechains and other other type of   technologies so it's just a kind of like a 
technical design decision that do you really want   to do it at the base there or do you want to do it 
like around the base layer uh and we bring smart   contracts to bitcoin by not modifying bitcoin at 
all but uh basically building a separate system   stacks that connects to bitcoin that settles 
transactions on bitcoin and brings smart contracts   there and if you compare that to other systems 
like ethereum and other ecosystems uh over there   they would have more native support for smart 
contracts right at the base layer but that's   just like a technical detail there's nothing 
fundamental about doing it this way or that way   a lot of the time when we talk about um building 
this kind of ecosystem on top of bitcoin there's   a huge criticism that you know it would mean 
compromising security decentralization but   i'm assuming that isn't the case because 
you're not changing the actual fundamental   technology yes so i think uh so i i have a 
distributed systems uh background so i've   been i've been kind of like doing research work 
in this area for for more than a decade and so   and uh discovered bitcoin around 2013 and 
even from back then it was abundantly clear   that you can't scale the base layer to do millions 
of transactions or store like an insane amount of   data there or to have full smart contracts at the 
base layer because you open for smart contracts   especially with like you know full tiering 
complete languages you're opening yourself   up to certain attack factors that you really don't 
want at the at the basic and similarly like the   bitcoin blockchain is not a place to store user 
data or to store like tons of information and   we saw that in the um in in the big blocks small 
block type of wars right like people who forked   off who wanted to basically store a lot of data 
in the bitcoin blockchain that that doesn't really   work that way right bitcoin is really a settlement 
layer only the most important transactions are   going to happen on bitcoin it is a store of value 
and just like the lightning network settles a lot   of uh transactions directly on the bitcoin 
function the stacks blockchain does the same   thing right so you can do thousands or potentially 
down the road millions of transactions on stacks   and they would just set you on bitcoin but they're 
benefiting from the security of the base layer   which is the critical thing to understand here 
right because everything that is settling on   bitcoin is benefiting from the proof of work from 
the security of the bitcoin blockchain because   once that transaction settles on bitcoin like you 
would have to go and reorg bitcoin to be able to   change the history of that right so those are the 
the benefits and at a high level uh bitcoin by far   is the biggest brand name uh it has the largest 
community it has over a trillion dollars of   crypto capital and most people are going to get 
introduced to crypto through bitcoin like bitcoin   is the first thing that they uh that they hear 
about and then interestingly you know developers   would be like oh i can't really program bitcoin 
at the base layer and then they would discover   ethereum or some other blockchain but 99 of the 
developers have never written a smart contract yet   right so the future developers would discover 
bitcoin and then be like oh cool i can also   program bitcoin here are a bunch of different 
options there are some programming languages   and i think that's that that's kind of like my my 
vision of the world of like where where things go   but if you're just building on top of it right 
and so you ha you have the bitcoin network which   maintains the security so that's not changing and 
you can rely on that what you're building on top   how do we know that that is secure and the 
reason i ask this is because one of the biggest   um criticisms of everything that isn't bitcoin 
is just the fact that it's not proof of work and   it's not bitcoin and it's just not bitcoin right 
and that's kind of what what it comes down to so   this is another layer of technology that isn't 
bitcoin so how can we trust it why is it not   why is it not the same as you know another layer 
on top of ethereum given i know obviously the   ethereum layer one is different yeah so i think 
think of this way that theoretically we could have   started a separate layer one proof-of-work network 
which is actually what ethereum did right like   ethereum started the separate google work network 
and now you have a different set of miners who are   doing proof of work on bitcoin and a different set 
of miners with a different algorithm for for the   for the hashes that they're calculating for 
doing proof of work uh on ethereum and ethereum   has plans for moving to proof of stake and so 
on and we can we can we can separate that out   but fundamentally speaking you're actually 
not sharing the compute power of bitcoin   you're you're starting a separate network and this 
is the this is the exact thing that we wanted to   avoid in the sense that what we have figured out 
is consensus between blockchains right now usually   a blockchain system would just have consensus on 
at a single blockchain level so we figured out a   consensus protocol between two blockchains between 
bitcoin and stacks and what happens is that our uh   stacks is completely dependent on bitcoin for for 
survival right like we are we are not competing   with bitcoin we are not trying to be money uh this 
tax cryptocurrency is a uh asset that is used as   gas uh for smart contracts right and it completely 
depends on bitcoin for even survival and our   miners work on the bitcoin chain right so instead 
of doing proof of work they are actually uh   we have a new mechanism called proof of transfer 
where it's like they're using bitcoin to secure   this tax chain right so it's a little bit like 
you've already produced bitcoin by doing proof of   work now just use the bitcoin as as almost like 
proof of computation and use that to secure a   blockchain that kind of like depends on on bitcoin 
but the the critical difference here is uh once   the transactions settle on bitcoin you would have 
to go and reorg bitcoin uh to be able to change   that history right whereas if you had a separate 
system then the security of the blockchain really   depends on the security of that completely 
separate uh separate system in blockchain   you have nothing to do with bitcoin at that point 
and obviously the lightning network is very much   to do with literally just speeding up transactions 
so would you say that what you're doing is similar   to that just with more added features essentially 
yes it is very similar in design and uh   so people who understand lightning network 
think of it this way that you have to set up   uh the nodes in a lightning channel and then you 
can actually do fast transactions and that at some   point the channel is going to go and settle on 
bitcoin so the way we design stacks is uh that   that there are miners who are effectively they 
already have these channels open all the time   and they're settling by default every single 
bitcoin block so every single bitcoin block   all the transactions that happen on the stack 
side they automatically set on a bitcoin so you   don't have to worry about who's setting up the 
channels who's actually going to settle on on the   chain and then the biggest difference is actually 
the clarity smart contract programming language   so clarity is a new smart contract programming 
language that has full visibility into bitcoin   meaning that you can developers can start 
building smart contracts uh where they're   actually programming against bitcoin state which 
is super exciting because you know bitcoin is   a trillion dollars in capital and i think 
i think uh developers would want to do very   very interesting things for them so how are you 
then different because you have some competitors   out there and there's rsk there's liquid btc so 
what's the difference there yeah so i think first   of all like i'm a i'm a bitcoiner at heart and 
yeah i love all these different efforts because   in my mind these are different design points 
that people are exploring so in terms of rsk   i think they are more in the camp of trying to be 
a really true side chain in the sense that they   don't have a separate uh asset for for gas and 
transactions and they're focusing on trying to   move bitcoin from the bitcoin chain using that as 
as the asset and then and bringing that back right   so liquid is also more in that cam uh you have so 
so rska does uh merge mining right so a subset of   the bitcoin miners would actually also mine on the 
rsk chain and in terms of of liquid they have a   slightly different design so they also have a peg 
asset called uh called liquid bdc and uh you can   you can transfer that into the liquid chain but 
on the way back you have to trust a federation   right so it's like a somewhat of a semi federated 
model where where uh to get the bitcoin back from   liquid chain into the into the bitcoin blockchain 
you have to kind of trust the figuration and and   again i'm not that's going to be some yes but 
these are these are different design choices right   so people whoever feel comfortable with whatever 
design choice like for example i understand that   that some people in the bitcoin community are not 
going to like the fact that stacks has a different   asset right yeah if you want to be if you want to 
be very much on one end of the spectrum that you   believe in just one asset maybe you would uh you 
would be more uh inclined to use a network where   there's no other asset but but interesting i have 
a question on that point though i have a question   on that point though so if so why do you have 
why do you have your own asset i know you said   for gatsbys but is it even possible you know i'm 
not super techy i don't know is it possible to do   what you're doing without that it can you not just 
be bitcoin only in it exactly so i think these are   the trade-offs right that because we have the 
new asset our mining is actually permissionless   you don't have to rely on a on a federation 
because miners have incentives right so mining   is permissionless secondly these miners have 
incentives to store the extra smart contract   state you don't want to put that data the smart 
contract logic into the bitcoin blockchain itself   right so because of the stacks asset these 
miners have an incentive to store that data   right and keep that data alive and finally 
that is the asset that is being used for gas   so you have to whenever whenever you're asking 
another party to do computations for you you   have to basically pay them right and that payment 
is in is in stacks and if you were trying to make   it in bitcoin like my like it would actually 
be extremely expensive right like bitcoin is   is is a very expensive asset and we have actually 
tried that some earlier versions of our system   were directly trying to build on top of bitcoin 
directly trying to actually use bitcoin as the   asset and very quickly you were in situations 
where let's say you're trying to register a three   dollar domain name and you're paying a 50 bucks in 
in transaction fees on that three dollar of worth   of transactions right and also the bitcoin core 
developers would hate the fact that now you're   storing all that additional data into the bitcoin 
blockchain itself right so we revise our design   and the sax blockchain that launched two months 
ago uh actually does not make any changes to   bitcoin at all does not write any additional 
data uh on the bitcoin side and and effectively   you can do cheap transactions that are that 
are they're settling on bitcoin automatically   so what would you say the main reason for doing 
this is then because right now we have d5 okay so   ethereum is is slightly broken potentially we've 
got 82.0 coming at some point one day but you know   this finance smart chain a lot there's been a 
massive um you know migration and move to bsc   so right now bitcoin has really adopted that store 
of value narrative i mean people like elon musk   and michael saylor they're not buying into bitcoin 
for any d5 purposes they're buying into bitcoin   because it's gold 2.0 so is this necessary like 
why of course it's necessary because you're doing   it but why is why would you say it's necessary why 
can't you just leave it as it is and let finance   do as they're doing and all the other you know 
projects polkadot and so on yeah no that's a great   question so i think let's let's play it out uh 
bitcoin is kind of like winning the sort of value   uh use case so let's say we start getting more and 
more capital right now we're at one trillion maybe   it goes to two trillion three trillion and right 
and that's saved as bitcoin now people want to do   useful things with that capital and what you're 
noticing is that people would have things like   uh synthetic bitcoin assets like wrapped bitcoin 
and they're so in in wrapped bitcoin let's look   at the user flow first of all there's a custodian 
in the middle uh so you're getting a tax hit when   you're going from bitcoin to wrapped bitcoin and 
then back you're actually now introducing a tech   stack that maybe bitcoiners don't want to trust 
because now rap bitcoin is being issued on top   of a theory right so in some ways they're taking a 
tax head they're going through a custodial and now   their asset is on on a technology stack that they 
might consider to be too experimental uh and and   they're taking additional risk there versus 
imagine that a bitcoin lending application   where uh built on stacks because tax is doing 
the reverse of that instead of taking an   asset to a different blockchain it's bringing the 
smart contracts to bitcoin right so once you have   smart contracts on bitcoin directly uh you can 
have a lending application where your bitcoin is   just going from a pure bitcoin address to another 
pure bitcoin address on the main chain as the as   as the lending side of it and the smart 
contract logic lives on the stack side that   has a collateral and can release the collateral 
automatically if your loan doesn't come back so   i think it actually reduces a lot of complexity uh 
it's a much more simpler approach and it it cuts   out a lot of the the custodians or risk factors 
and other other blockchains so i think the model   to think about really here is that once you have 
so much capital locked up as bitcoin people would   want to do interesting things with it like they 
would want to have bitcoin lending they would want   to deploy that capital uh to provide liquidity 
or have other other types of use cases and what   we're doing is we're basically bringing the use 
cases to bitcoin treating bitcoin as a center of   gravity versus being in this weird sort of a world 
where people are trying to issue synthetic assets   uh on on top of other chains right and you you 
mentioned a couple of efforts there i would also   like to point out that there's also a bitcoin 
way of building things right where a bitcoin   way did you say a bitcoin way of doing yeah 
like like like if you look at the bitcoin stack   uh the the quality bar for for for the technology 
is actually very very high right people are very   much concerned about the security of the code base 
they're very concerned about uh you know consensus   issues and so on so whenever you're you're 
adding something more experimental to the mix   it will actually give pause to a lot of bitcoiners 
that they might not want to use that technology   so with with stacks one thing that we're really 
trying to do is we're trying to focus a lot   on these things that we we use bitcoin as much 
as possible for security uh our smart contract   language is actually uh you can have formal 
proofs of verification there so so people can   feel feel safe that this contract can only do what 
it's supposed to do and can't do anything else   and and best of all it's a permissionless system 
right so you mentioned the binance smart contracts   there are like 15 or so nodes that it's it's 
again a federated network they're 15 or so   nodes that are controlling that finance smart 
chain and i think that might not go that well   with a lot of bitcoiners who are are believers in 
in decentralization and permissionless things and   and basically doing things uh that that 
are more clearly on one end of the spectrum   yeah i think that's a massive um criticism 
of uh binary smart chain that i keep hearing   even in comparison to to ethereum but okay so 
everything that we're seeing right now is taking   time especially with eats 2.0 um and i really feel 
there's there's some there's just huge competition   there's a lot of talk um obviously i was 
doing a lot of research about stacks before   our interview there's a lot of talk about 
whether you guys are looking to replace ethereum   but you're not looking to replace ethereum are 
you yeah i would i would say that there is some   overlap but there is definitely a lot of a lot 
of green field as well like for example there   are certain applications that are possible 
on stacks that are simply not possible on   popular theory right i'll give you one example 
yeah uh so we have this uh px contract where   people can lock up lock-up capital and they're 
earning bitcoin as a yield and these are pure   bitcoin transactions on the bitcoin blockchain so 
people you if you lock up capital there like you   are actually getting a bitcoin yield and it's 
around 10 so we launched around two months ago   and over that time uh we first got 100 million 
uh total value locked and 200 then 300 then 400   and i think last week it crossed a billion dollars 
right so within two months we are actually seeing   uh traction on a smart contract where people 
can lock up capital and earn bitcoin and these   types of functionality would be impossible or 
at least very very hard to do on blockchains   that are separate from bitcoin and that are not 
kind of like directly building on top and that's   just one use case imagine different types of 
bitcoin yields different types of stable coins   that are actually backed by bitcoin that actually 
settle on bitcoin and so on so i would say there   is a lot of green field of innovation directly on 
top of bitcoin where we are not competing with it   with ethereum or other chains and then there are 
overlapping areas like for example if someone is   trying to issue nfts uh on the edm chain well you 
can do that on on top of bitcoin now through two   stacks and so on and there would be a subset of 
these applications i think ethereum is it will   it is likely going to survive in one form and 
another for years to come uh i've been a skeptic   of e2 purely from a computer science uh like 
technical design perspective and i think they   have morphed the design several times it still 
keeps changing although there's a lot of kind   of like marketing hype around it and people are 
getting excited as if uh e2 is about to happen   but i think it's it's years and years out and it 
is not in its final form uh at all at this point   yeah not at all but so what's the reception 
been um from the bitcoin community i've been   really fascinated because when we had that whole 
d5 summer uh but people were just sort of saying   you know bitcoin as melee was saying d5 is just a 
scam um but i wonder whether they don't feel that   way now that it's sort of going to be built on top 
of bitcoin i don't know what's the reception been   yeah so i think uh i would i would 
separate separate out two things one is um   useful things you can do with decentralized 
finance i think that actually a lot of   bitcoiners would like that like why do i need 
to depend on a bank or a financial institution   for for taking a loan out like imagine a bitcoiner 
is like hey i want to give bitcoin collateral   and i want to take out a stable currency like 
a usdc loan right use it and then give it back   because i don't want to sell my bitcoin 
that's defy but that's the kind of d5 that   they're going to love that yes i don't don't 
want to sell bitcoin i'm not trusting anyone   and you know i'm taking a loan loan from a from 
from a smart contract or the other way around   that i want to lend out my bitcoin in a trustless 
way and earn interest on it because i don't want   to sell my bitcoin right so these are all d5 
applications and and bitcoiners would like the   decentralization aspect of it i think where 
they get more hung up is sometimes the more   experimental nature of things on ethereum or other 
systems or the kind of like the marketing and the   hype around some of the these these new assets and 
how it's it feels a little bit like gambling and i   think that's where uh there's a almost like a cult 
like a cultural reaction that hey we don't like   that type of activity and we would just rather 
stay out of it i don't but i don't think that   uh if you talk about like useful applications 
that are decentralizing finance like they are   quite appealing to to a lot of bitcoiners 
and interestingly i'll mention something   so i think overall i would say the reception 
for stacks since the launch two two months or   so ago has been really well there are obviously 
uh bitcoin hardliners who just don't who are very   skeptical of any new type of an asset like doesn't 
matter what that asset is they just don't like it   and interestingly uh sometimes people would be 
skeptical of the stacks asset when you need it   and you would have to get into a discussion 
like the one we did that it actually ensures   permission that's mining it gives incentives for 
miners to keep that data because you do want to   keep that data outside of bitcoin and and so on 
but then they would have like some sort of uh   some sort of a moment where they're like okay it's 
a new asset i generally don't like new assets but   this asset earns bitcoin right i do want to earn 
bitcoin though right so they would have like that   moment where where they would actually uh start 
getting more curious and start start learning   more more about the project so there's a bit 
that i'm still not 100 on which i just want to   get right in my head because you you made a tweet 
the other day and you also spoke about it just now   the the idea of lending with bitcoin so i love 
that because i'm one of those people that will   never sell their bitcoin dad asks me what my 
pension plan is i say it's bitcoin like that's   that's a serious conversation we're having um 
but you said there's no counterparty risk you   just have to trust the network but how can we 
trust the network because it's not because i   i know of course we've got the bitcoin base 
layer but how can we trust the stacks network   sure you know because it's not bitcoin yes 
that's what i can't get my head around the   the way to think about this is that any system 
that's kind of like an extension of bitcoin   yes it introduces some risks but you can 
understand but you can understand those risks like   for example if you're using the lightning channel 
you can try to understand what what my risks are   and what would happen if things go wrong right so 
this is where stax comes in and why we focused a   lot on the clarity smart contract language uh 
so the clarity language has formal verification   meaning that if you're doing uh let's say there's 
a lending application built built uh both using   it so you're lending your bitcoin and what 
you're trusting it that here's a smart contract   that has let's say 200 collateralized uh 
some sort of a stable coin called a usdc loan   so your risk factor is that if by a certain 
bitcoin block my bitcoin doesn't come back   is the collateral going to automatically release 
to me or not right and you can have formal   verifications that yes this smart contract will 
release you know usdc to you if if your if your   bitcoin doesn't come back because this smartphone 
rack actually has full visibility into bitcoin   you're actually trusting the bitcoin state so 
the smart contract knows about bitcoin blocks   the smart contract knows about when money moves on 
bitcoin right so the logic in the smart contract   is saying if bitcoin x amount of bitcoin does not 
come back to this address by this block number the   smart contract is going to release the collateral 
to your address and then you can go and buy   buy more bitcoin you mentioned um nfts earlier and 
i really want to talk about that because obviously   that's going to be part of all of this but before 
we go into that where do you stand on nfts because   i think the the hype is slowly dying down um 
of course bitcoiners don't like it um so so   where do you stand do you think it's a bubble 
or do you think there's some actual value there   i think i think there is definitely a lot 
of hype around it but uh i i think there's   definitely signal amongst all of the noise like 
there are some very interesting real applications   and i am one of those people who always want to 
focus on the signal and kind of like ignore the   noise the noise is going to go away at some point 
interestingly the interesting thing about nfts is   that nfts are actually a very old concept like 
i'm actually seeing some some talk in circles   that nfts were invented on ethereum and i'm like 
scratching my head because uh domain names are   nfts like non-fungible tokens and the very first 
fork of bitcoin namecoin i've actually worked on   it i'm i'm i'm og enough in this space that i 
actually have hacked on namecoin i've worked on   the endpoint this is like 2013.

And namecoin was 
effectively a fork of bitcoin introducing nfts   and those nfts were uh domain names right and then 
we have seen things like counterparty on bitcoin   where we had rare pepes and other types of 
entities on top of the bitcoin chain and some of   the difficulties with these things i think those 
challenges are still there for example namecoin   was a merged mind chain with bitcoin again those 
types of questions that do you want to share the   compute power of the bitcoin do you want to build 
this separate network and and with counterparty   you were actually storing a lot of information on 
the main bitcoin chain and it was a bit clunky and   so on and early days i think it's the same set 
of underlying technical challenges that in many   ways like we work on with stacks where we're like 
okay this thing is not merged mine this thing is   permissionless uh you are not storing the data on 
the bitcoin chain and you can have nfts you can   have domain names uh you can have other types 
of digital art and that is secured by bitcoin   when you're talking about nfts and their ownership 
and their provenance uh like what better way to   store the ownership information than the bitcoin 
blockchain that's going to be there uh a hundred   years from now and so on right and and you don't 
want to uh kind of like become a scalability   problem for the bitcoin blockchain that's why 
you want to settle uh thousands of transactions   on bitcoin in a single transaction instead 
of like every time there's a sale of an nft   you're paying like a hundred dollars on the main 
blockchain to actually record that information   but you didn't tell me i don't know do 
you think it's a bubble or do you think   there's genuine value i think i think they're uh 
in the long term there's genuine value right in   the short term we might be in a bubble where a lot 
of people who have kind of like formered into nfts   when the markets turn a little bit they would 
realize that they're holding highly illiquid   assets and and the prices have actually gone 
down and nobody's willing to buy these things   so i think the the way to think about this is 
i am very bullish on the underlying technology   in future use cases uh but i definitely think that 
in the short term there there there's a bubble and   you know it's gonna it's gonna burst or something 
yeah i think it's a really interesting one because   i've always said i can see value in it just given 
everything is gone digital it just makes sense   that even physical items would have some kind of 
tokenized um identity on the blockchain just to   verify whether it be um you know like a designer 
handbag or a watch or whatever it is you know   ornaments just to give an actual you 
know you can track the whole supply   chain to me i find value in that the whole 
bubble that's kind of where i'm not sure about   yeah i mean they're they're already things online 
like i think domain names are actually a perfect   example it's a purely digital asset has nothing 
to do with the real world it has value like domain   names have been around for decades now people 
pay a lot of money for for domain names domain   names are nfts they and similarly if you look 
at a lot of games any in-game asset is actually   an nft it could very easily be converted to an 
nft and people are paying money for these things   like they're they're paying money to get an avatar 
in a video game they're paying money to actually   buy and resell things and what nfts kind of 
like do is that they define ownership at a   global scale so you can actually take things 
from one video game sell it on a secondary   market somewhere outside and that's a that's a 
that's a pretty pretty kind of like a huge market   and i also wanted to learn a little bit more about 
you on a more casual level like how did you get   into crypto where did your journey start yeah it's 
interesting actually uh yesterday a friend of mine   sent me a clip of a talk i was giving at the at 
the princeton club here in new york it was in 2014   i think there were some uh uh comments 
there where i was telling people that   i am 100 in bitcoin like i actually cash out to 
uh eat right like and in 2014 in hindsight like   that turned out to be a really good decision but 
my journey has been that uh i'm i'm a computer   scientist i did my phd at princeton and i have 
always been working on uh internet protocols like   next generation internet protocols cloud computing 
uh like high scalability distributed systems and   so on and i was actually working originally 
on almost like a next generation internet   architecture there have been many such efforts in 
academia at princeton stanford and other places   but none of them got commercialized and 
that really bothered me right so i wanted to   almost like build this thing out as a commercial 
entity that what would a future more secure more   decentralized internet look like and discovered 
blockchains on the way right so this is this is   2013 when uh me and my co-founder we discovered 
uh blockchains and that fundamental question of   should we build on bitcoin should we build 
on namecoin which is like a merge mine   chain or three should we start a separate 
blockchain your camera's gone a little bit is it is it better oh i think we're back all 
right yeah yeah very good yeah sorry go on yeah   so i think that that question of like you know 
should you build directly on bitcoin should you   work on a merge line chain like name coin or 
three should you go off and start a separate block   i think that is literally still the question 
that people are asking even right now   that hey should you build on bitcoin should 
you build on ethereum which is a separate chain   or should you build on something something like 
rsk which is which is merged right and i think   i think uh over there over the years from the 
lessons that we have learned i think we have   uh we are pretty much in the camp that there will 
be more experimentation in the short term there   will be many different blockchains many different 
types of experiments but in the long term i think   we'll see consolidation on top of bitcoin 
and that's that's our core thesis that any   uh any application or smart contract that 
actually finds a product market fit will   eventually exist in some form on top of bitcoin 
which is the bigger market and more more secure   i think what really fascinates me about all of 
this is the fact that it is just so experimental   and i've been following um rao powell's kind 
of interaction and journey through this space   um because i think at one point he was 90 in 
bitcoin 80 in eth and now he's really delved into   many other different things and he's very much 
of the mindset which i i sort of i do share this   mindset i for me bitcoin is number one and i just 
won't sell it it's just not happening um but i am   interested in all sorts of other innovation that's 
happening and i think that we have to i don't i'm   not i just i think it's just reductionist to be 
so close-minded and not and not open your eyes   and see what else is coming along it doesn't mean 
that what else is coming on along is necessarily   going to replace bitcoin or be better but i just 
think everything is so early we always go on about   how early everything is and how early we are and 
we just don't know what's coming next so i just   feel that we i i'm open to seeing everything 
and hearing about all the different projects   and seeing you know what comes of it yeah i think 
definitely like humans are curious-minded people   right so even if you're like i've i've i've pretty 
much been in the bitcoin camp since the beginning   but i've kept kept like a small pocket i've called 
it like five percent 10 experimentation especially   if they're people that like and trust and they're 
trying to do something interesting like like juan   at fault coin is is a colleague of mine i like 
i would i would i would back them right i'll   see like what happens it's a it's an interesting 
ambitious project let's see let's see what happens   over there but i think the this mentality of 
actually uh like bitcoiners i can see their point   of view as well like they've actually seen the 
story play out several times over like whenever   you're in a bull market uh sometimes the more 
experimental things end up getting more attention   because they're very risky but they might be maybe 
showing better returns right like safe moon you   remember you saw moonlight like that that was 
wild yeah i heard heard some things about it but   but then given a long enough timeline like these 
more experimental things then crash very hard as   well right so if you have actually lost bitcoin 
in kind of like trading these assets like you   uh you you have those those scars right and you 
want to be extremely careful of uh of engaging   there yeah and i i totally get that um i i just 
think that the hostility is is quite unbelievable   um so it always blows my mind but listen i'm 
wondering we have a lot of questions coming   through so i'm wondering whether you'd be open 
to do a quick ama um if i throw some questions   on the screen yep happy too all right cool so 
guys if you do have any questions then just drop   them below in the chat now because we're gonna 
answer some of them so i'm just gonna go through   i think my wi-fi is cutting in and out maybe i 
don't know um but here we go let's have a look is he okay having jack associated with their 
project is jack associated with your project   ceo jack yeah jack is not a investor in the 
project but i have connected with him on twitter   he's a bitcoiner he's very excited about seeing 
more innovation on bitcoin but he's officially   i don't think he's a uh he is a measure of 
the product okay someone has also asked um   about hiro they've said that they're excited about 
the platform if you can give any updates on that   yes so i think uh my company did the early r d 
and public infrastructure building and once we   launched the the stacks 2.0 blockchain two three 
months ago we clearly separated out the open   source project uh stacks from my company right so 
my company focuses on developer tools for for uh   for the system and what we're doing is effectively 
building out all the developer tools that people   would need and the and the latest version that 
we announced today the the hero platform it's   meant to be a hosted service that makes it super 
easy for developers to uh deploy apps and smart   contracts on top of stacks and bitcoin right 
so think of it that the underlying network is   open and decent life but we want to make lives or 
developers as easy as possible give them all the   right tools the apis uh to make it super simple 
to build built on top of bitcoin and this one's   fun so could we give a tip about the next game 
changer in crypto so i actually asked my community   this the other day we've had icos we've had d5 
we've had nfts what earth do you think is next   yeah so i think i think interestingly i would 
say that my experience in crypto has been that   there are ideas that are around for a while but 
the conditions are not right for them to kind of   take off i think nfts are a great example they're 
by far not a new thing like they've been around   for years and years but suddenly the market 
conditions were right for them to kind of like   go mainstream uh similarly i think uh decent 
by social networks or or decentralized identity   it's an idea that has been around in 
crypto again like five six years now   but it might be that there is there are some 
market conditions like down the road i don't know   if it's going to be next year a couple of years 
from now where suddenly uh it just feels like   oh my god everyone is moving to a crypto social 
network everyone is everyone now has their own   kind of like crypto identity and they're kind 
of like moving away from the facebooks of the   world like that that would be one one of 
the things that i would like watch out for   so that's really interesting i'm so torn when it 
comes to um when it comes to those sorts of things   so decentralized social media applications because 
we're trying to do that um with there are quite   a few but it's so hard to bring people over isn't 
it um number one people won't want to pay for for   content you know they want it free twitter's free 
instagram facebook youtube is all basically free   because we're the product um and i i just 
it's hard to bring people over and with   user experience not being so great i mean hive 
wasn't the easiest of user experiences you know   just as an example it just wasn't um how likely 
do you think that actually is you know because   user experience matters yes i think there are 
there are several challenges uh ux is one of them   uh i think it's also kind of like network effects 
as well like what incentives do people have to   move over but i think like the same same thing 
with with some of the other other stuff right   like even the d5 it's like a marketplace like 
you need to have liquidity you need to have the   right right protocols you need to have enough 
of incentives for people who can like move over   but once the stars line up and i think there 
has been slow and steady progress suddenly   it feels like oh this happened overnight but that 
thing actually didn't happen overnight it was like   years and years and years of work in different 
directions when it finally clicked and i think   it's entirely possible that a decent life social 
network comes around a couple of years from now   when the ux challenges have been solved when the 
incentivization uh is actually like like like much   better understood that why would people move over 
and and more more importantly why would people   move over with their distribution and networks 
intact right so it's actually better for them like   when the content creators switch over because 
they're making more money on a decentralized   social network than a centralized one like i think 
they will pull their their distribution with them   right and i i don't know what that magic moment 
is like but i can see the slow and steady progress   towards over the years and just final question 
for you then um bitcoin price i have to ask you   when you don't have to give us a prediction i 
won't put the pressure on you but what are your   thoughts on the general market because right now 
i'm looking at the price about 40 54 sorry 0.5   a lot of people say that we are slowly parachuting 
down now we're not going to have a sharp snapback   we're slowly parachuting down a lot of people 
say well also let's say about 60 70 of the way   through the bull market where do you think we're 
at right now yeah so i think interestingly um   like i'm i'm buying more bitcoin like i have buy 
orders yes at 50 000 and so on i've been i've been   buying since bitcoin was 90 so i'm a long-term 
holder and uh to me it doesn't feel like we're   at the end of this this bull market again this 
is just not investment advice this is just my   personal observations uh i i wouldn't be 
surprised if we see a hundred thousand uh   bitcoin in this bull market like i i do have the 
the laser eyes on on my twitter but uh but from   i'm just sharing what i personally do like 
i'm buying at 50 and uh you know if you cross   100k that would feel like okay that was a lot of 
progress for a single single cycle yeah absolutely   i think we're kind of at a strange point in in 
the cycle where a lot of people i don't know we   don't know where where it's going i also feel 
i have i i sort of gauge a sentiment that we're   around 60 70 the way through this bull market i'm 
still hoping for 100k this year um but but we'll   see um manipu so where can people find you um what 
are you working on um just tell us about yourself   and where they can find you yeah so i think i'm 
i'm fairly active on twitter uh i'm at the neeb   m-u-n-e-e-b and for people who want to learn more 
about smart contracts for bitcoin they can go to   stacks dot co and stacks is a open source project 
there are actually several entities behind it   and then you can learn about all the different 
work that these different entities are doing and   the different app developers and the interesting 
things that they're building on top of bitcoin   manip i want to thank you so much it's been 
really interesting i've been so fascinated about   this entire topic um especially because i've been 
spending a lot of time in clubhouse rooms and you   really gauge the i don't know if you so much time 
on there um but you gauge the the maximalism um so   i i've been i've been interested to see uh what's 
happening basically on bitcoin yeah clubhouse is   great and it's great to connect with the bitcoin 
community there yeah absolutely thank you so   much for coming on and guys thank you so much for 
watching thank you to the sponsors block find luno   and um icon plus of course and we will see you 
all next week bye awesome thanks for having me bye

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