Hash Power – Ep. 1 - Understanding Blockchains


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By Patrick O'Shaughnessy. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Welcome to the first episode of Hash Power, an audio documentary that explores the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies with leaders in the field like Naval Ravikant, Olaf Carlson-Wee, Fred Ehrsam, & Ari Paul. Hash Power is meant to be an introduction, but really, it is an invitation to explore this emerging world on your own.

In the coming weeks, we will cover the technology, the power of decentralization, bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs, cryptography and hashing. We will spend time with the leading active hedge fund managers in the field, and with outside investors who are both optimistic and skeptical. Episode one covers the big picture, and answers the question: what is blockchain and why might it significantly affect our world?

If you enjoy what follows, you’ll still be very early in understanding this field. Most don’t. So help me spread it like wildfire, because the more people that understand blockchain, the better its impact might become. Please enjoy episode one, and stay tuned next week for episode 2, which explores investing in cryptocurrencies.

Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments

For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/hashpower

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

To get involved with Project Frontier, head to InvestorFieldGuide.com/frontier.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Books Referenced

The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

Nostalgia for the Absolute

Links Referenced

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Reddit User jav_rddt

SHA-256 Calculator

The BitCoin Model for Crowdfunding

Fat Protocols


Show Notes

0:05 – Introduction

CHAPTER 1 – Understanding the Concept of Blockchain (3:25)

4:30 – Jeremiah Lowin explains how blockchain is like a database

5:14 – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

5:46 – Owning a digital asset

7:14 – Naval Ravikant, CEO of Angelist on how blockchains can help to create personal networks and organize humans

11:01 – How blockchains represent a way to coordinate global activity through tokens

13:33 – New coins popping up around data storage and utility needs like solar panels

14:57 – Permission vs permissionless networks

16:37 – Protocols and the introduction of scarcity

18:13 – Keeping track of scarcity and the introduction of tokens

18:49 – Societal structures and how blockchains will change them again

18:51 – The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

21:55 – The role of blockchains in the informational age and the rise of more individual sovereignty

23:29 - Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, on the increasing shift to digital worlds led by incentive structures

CHAPTER 2 – Blockchain Technology (27:48)

29:09 - Reddit User jav_rddt

30:43 - SHA-256 Calculator

31:53 - Charlie Noyes, Pantera Capital, explains how SHA-256 was developed and what make its so special

35:48 – How miners create new blocks and the incentives to do so

40:22 – The nonce field

43:48 – The incentives that exist for miners and the arms race to build more powerful systems to mine

45:20 – The development of mining pools

46:54 – Ethereum, the “spiritual successor” to bitcoin

48:36 – How the Ether network is an ecosystem in which other tokens can sit

50:51 - Naval Ravikant on alternative coins or tokens

50:50 - The BitCoin Model for Crowdfunding

51:37 – How the protocol creators are the ones getting wealthy

52:35 – Fat Protocols

53:22 – Blockchain as an experiment in distributed government

54:47 – How cryptocurrency is more than just technology, it’s a movement

54:50 – Nostalgia for the Absolute

57:27 - #cryptotwitter

1:00:58 - Peter Jubber, of Fidelity, on how huge institutions, like theirs, are getting into the cryptocurrency game

1:4:01 –The notion of cooperation in an open source project or protocol

1:05:21- Olaf Carlson-Wee, first employee at Coinbase and the founder of Polychain, on the early excitement for cryptocurrency

1:06:56– Closing thoughts from Patrick

Looking to work in this space - hashpowerdeveloper@gmail.com

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

215 episodes