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Episode 57
Featuring Joseph Lubin
Scalability challenges have plagued the ethereum network since its creation. As a co-founder of ethereum, as well the founder of the ecosystem’s largest development incubator, no one has made a bigger bet on the future of blockchain technology than Joseph Lubin has. He joins us to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Cosensys.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joseph Lubin about the progress being made at Consensys and precisely how Joe believes that Ethereum will overcome the scalability challenges that have plagued its network since the earliest days of its founding.

For the last few years, many blockchain enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the release of what many have referred to as “the Netflix moment.” In other words, blockchain enthusiasts expect to see a killer application running atop Ethereum, or some other distributed ledger, that will be adopted by the mass consumer. One of the criticisms of this view is that comparisons between the mid-to-late 1990’s and the current era in blockchain technology are overblown. It took twenty years of Internet protocol development and tweaking before Tim Berners-Lee gave us the World Wide Web in 1989. It wasn’t until 1998 that Netflix released its online, DVD rental store. When asked about the comparison between 90’s Internet and today's blockchain technology, Joseph Lubin makes the point that there isn’t going to be one moment when the scalability problems are “solved.” According to Joe, the process of scaling a complex, permissionless database is "always ongoing." To his point, ConsenSys alone employs close to 40 engineers who are working just on the Ethereum base layer protocols, clients, and enterprise scaling solutions. The company is closely aligned with a variety of efforts currently being undertaken to scale the ethereum network, including sharding, proof-of-stake, Casper CBC, Casper FFG, and a number of layer two solutions including state channels and plasma. Demetri has already devoted an entire episode to exploring some of these layer one solutions in great detail with Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir. That said, Joseph Lubin offers an additionally interesting perspective on some of the layer two protocols, which he thinks can solve many of ethereum’s throughput limitations without requiring applications to reconcile directly on the main chain for every transaction. Demetri and Joe spend a good deal of time exploring the challenges of building layer two solutions in more depth, including the counterparty risk problem created from the use of state channels.

Additional topics include SEC regulations, artificial intelligence, and questions about specific applications in the areas of news, music, and team organization. Demetri asks Joseph Lubin about Ujo MusicCivilOpenLaw, as well as something called TMNT or “Traditional Management Nullification Tools,” which enables a different organizational approach to team and systems management that more closely resembles an organism than a corporation.

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Play
Episode 56
Featuring Tom Trowbridge
Episode 56
Featuring Tom Trowbridge

Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of blockchain computing platform Ethereum and the founder of Consensus Systems, a blockchain venture studio. Lubin graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1987 – 1992). He worked in the Princeton Robotics Lab, at tomandandy music developing an autonomous music composition tool, and at private research firm Vision Applications Inc. building autonomous mobile robots. As a software engineer and consultant, Joseph Lubin worked with eMagine on the Identrus project and was involved in the founding and operation of a hedge fund with a partner. He held positions as Director of the New York office of Blacksmith Software Consulting, and VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. Through these posts, Lubin focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance. Switching gears, Lubin moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on projects in the music industry. Two years into his musical endeavors, Joseph Lubin co-founded the Ethereum Project and has been working on Ethereum and ConsenSys since January 2014.

Twitter @ethereumJoseph

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