Blockchain Evolution

In this lesson, Emilie Choi and Chris Dixon detail the futuristic world of Web 3—powered by blockchain technology and cryptocurrency—and the prospects of the “new internet.”

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Topics include: Comparing Centralized and Decentralized Networks • Scaling the Ethereum Chain on Web3 • Making Easy-to-Use Tools • The Key to Web3


[SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] CHANGPENG ZHAO: To understand the landscape of this industry, we need to look at the technology and how it's evolved over time. That's the new features for the blockchain side. There's capacity of performance. And it's less friction for people to use and more adoption, more transactions, et cetera. WOMAN: The great thing about Web3 is that it is so dynamic and this idea that you want to have your decentralized identity in your hands at any given time and do great things with it on different applications and sites. [FUTURISTIC MUSIC] - One of the really exciting things about new computing platforms is it's really this broad canvas that anyone can build new things on using these new mechanisms that can be built on blockchains so that you can create new financial services that think about services like you have at your bank. But instead of you relying on a kind of an institution, a sort of traditional institution with a bunch of people and systems and rules that maybe are opaque and arcane-- instead, everything is run by open-source code, which can be audited and anyone can see and trusted. We have two practices in our firm, infrastructure and applications. The infrastructure layer, this typically means what are called Layer-1 blockchains. So Ethereum and Bitcoin are Layer-1 blockchains. I think of Ethereum as sort of pioneering what we think of as programmable blockchains. We call-- our sort of internal shorthand is Bitcoin was generation one. Ethereum with generation two. There was a generation three, which we were investors in a bunch, of including blockchains like Solana and Avalanche and a whole set of other, that kind of took the ideas of Ethereum and tried to improve on some of the limitations of Ethereum, including around the performance and scalability. [FUTURISTIC MUSIC] - So blockchain is not just one thing. It's not linear. It's an open, decentralized ecosystem. Anyone can contribute to it. Anyone can fork Bitcoin's source code or take a part of it or rewrite their own one using the concepts they learn from there. So now I would say we have millions of people around the world, just for the developers of this industry. So with time, we believe the processing capacity will increase and you will do more and more complex things. So Bitcoin is the grandfather of blockchain. And it's also one of the simplest ones, so it's actually the easiest to understand. We see that today, many of the faster blockchains, higher-throughput blockchains that have less nodes, meaning less participants in the network, they typically have validator nodes that validates transactions and then a bunch of other what we call synchronizing nodes that just synchronize with the validators. Then this brings the debate of, how centralized is that? How decentralized is that? Decentralization versus centralization is not black and white. Many people have a very simplistic view or definition of central...

About the Instructor

Since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, crypto has offered the hope of a stronger, more democratic financial system. And it’s raised plenty of questions as it continues to evolve. Now experts and skeptics at the center of the conversation are sharing a straightforward look at how this ecosystem is changing. Learn the basics, dive deep into the world of blockchain and Web3, and get the breakdown on what you need to know now.

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Chris Dixon, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Emilie Choi, and Paul Krugman

Get critical intel on the evolving landscape of crypto. Learn the basics—or dive deep into the issues—with noted experts and skeptics.

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