Jul 15, 2022
Dr. Nicholas Weaver’s well-known
lectures on cryptocurrencies explain why he believes it needs to be
“burned with fire.” Today, we speak to Dr. Weaver, an expert in
computer science and a long-time observer of the cryptocurrency
space. He holds a BA in Astrophysics and Computer Science and a
Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, where he was also a
lecturer until recently. His primary research focus has been
network security, among other topics. His interest and search for
comedy “godl” have also resulted in published papers on
cryptocurrency. In our conversation, Dr. Weaver untangles the
complexities of the perceptions of cryptocurrencies with the actual
technology. We talk about decentralization, if cryptocurrencies are
achieving it, and the underlying concept of blockchain technology,
as well as whether or not blockchains are secure and what the
potential benefits of cryptocurrencies are to developing countries.
We then go into detail about why Dr. Weaver thinks the crypto space
is not beneficial, why prestigious academic institutions are
teaching about it, and why he thinks it will never work in the
log-run. Please tune in for a truly eye-opening, no-holds-barred
episode as we learn the harsh truth about cryptocurrencies with
expert, Dr. Nicholas Weaver!
Key Points From This Episode:
- What public blockchain technology can achieve that was not
previously possible. [0:02:51]
- How well the original concept, introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto,
is living up to its theoretical promise.
- Weaver explains and outlines the general appeal of
- He elaborates on his perspective on trusted and honest
- An explanation of how Lightning Network attempts to solve
throughput limitation. [0:10:36]
- We find out if major blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum are
- Differences between how nodes and miners influence the network.
- How secure public blockchains really are.
- Whether a facility for censorship-resistant transactions, like
Bitcoin, is a good thing for society.
- Potential benefits of cryptocurrencies for people in countries
with limited access to banking and a good legal system.
- Steps governments can take to regulate and control
- Weaver’s opinion on why the regulation of cryptocurrencies has
been so slow. [0:29:17]
- Outline of how Dr. Weaver sees cryptocurrencies developing in
- How to incentivize miners not to attack the system to retain
the value of Bitcoin. [0:38:24]
- Weaver on how stablecoins fit into the crypto ecosystem and if
they’re decentralized. [0:39:18]
- A rundown of the new properties the blockchain data structure
- Find out if Walmart using a private blockchain is just
marketing hype. [0:51:20]
- Why the popularity of cryptocurrencies amongst venture
capitalists is rising. [0:53:12]
- Why prominent schools like MIT and Cornell are emphasizing
blockchain programs. [0:55:23]
- Weaver explains what the smartest way to invest is, in his
- Who the technologists in the crypto-space are that he respects
- He tells us whether he has heard any compelling arguments for
- A discussion about Dunning-Kruger economics in relation to
- What the general opinion of other technologists is on crypto
and blockchain. [1:06:23]
- We end the show with a final takeaway from Dr. Weaver.