minutes3 April 2024

Vinay Gupta | Mattereum: Part 1

Hashing It Out
tokenization
digitization
blockchain
Share
SpotifyApple Podcasts

Vinay Gupta is a cryptographic applications developer and part of the original Ethereum team. In this episode, he introduces his company Mattereum, which focuses on securitising physical assets on the Ethereum blockchain.Corey, Dee, and Jessie talk to Gupta about Mattereum's goal to provide a scalable and legally-regulated way to conduct transactions involving physical assets, envisioning a system where blockchain functions as a namespace registry, while transactions happen on more efficient and ephemeral layers.

[00:00:00]

Corey Petty

Quick ability to introduce yourself. Welcome back to check it Out. Got another great interview for you with Vinay Gupta. We've, uh, we've interviewed quite a few times over the past years, over the past podcasts that we've called or at least the name of this podcast. But, um, why don't you do the normal thing and give us an introduction as kind of where you came from, what you're doing, and, uh, why you're here.

[00:00:23]

Vinay Gupta

Sure. Um, so Vinay Gupta. Uh, I, um, uh, I guess a kind of cryptographic applications developer by trade, among others. Uh, I was part of the Ethereum team at the beginning. Uh, and I now run a company called Mattereum, uh, which is Ethereum infrastructure for handling physical assets and, uh, potential real world assets in general on the Ethereum and maybe other blockchains.

[00:00:50]

Corey Petty

Why did you move that direction? That's not where you came from. That's not where you got started with Ethereum. Like why? Why did you choose? Physical assets and material as what were you spending a good portion of your attention in time?

[00:01:02]

Vinay Gupta

Mhm. So, um, I mean, for me, the critical thing about all of this stuff, uh, was if you want to really seriously improve how the world works, if you want to get just really get hold of the world, um, digitization is the place to do it. Like, if you wanted to fix the music industry, you'd fix how music got digitized. If you wanted to fix libraries, you would fix how libraries got digitized. So when we look at the problems doing, you know, food, shelter, transportation, you know, the clothing tools, if we look at the kind of chaos of the material world and all of its inefficiency. If we got digitization of the physical world right, we could get absolutely gigantic systemic efficiencies of the kind that we can't currently get, right. Really, really big stuff could happen.

[00:01:55]

Corey Petty

What's right? Right. You should get it right. What is right?

[00:01:57]

Vinay Gupta

Well, that is exactly that is an excellent question. So, um, and, you know, I don't want to be facetious here when I say right is not wrong. Right. There are ways of doing this which will make the world clearly, tangibly, measurably, much, much worse. And there are ways of doing this which will make the world much, much better. And then there are kind of ways in between where it's a little one and a little of the other. So to me, doing it right is now I have to I have to phrase this carefully because I don't want to step on the landmine. Doing it right is not reducing inequality. Right. I have no problem at all with inequality. Doing it right is increasing the standard of living for the absolutely worst off in the world, to the point where any of us would change places with them and not feel like it was a life destroying tragedy. Oh, right. That is not the same thing as reducing inequality.

[00:02:51]

Corey Petty

So lowering the barrier of access.

[00:02:53]

Vinay Gupta

Lowering the barrier of access. Um, so the kind of, um, the kind of model of this, right, is if we think about what a decent, sustainable quality of life looks like, it's not that hard and it's not that expensive, you know, 2500 calories a day if it's rice, beans and locally grown vegetables is not a dollar a day. Right. If you've got good supply chains, you've got good market access if everything's working properly. What is it? 50 times a day? Dollar a day. $2, you know, is lavish if you've got good access to markets. Similarly, you think about health care. 90% of health care is preventative medicine and a hundred drugs, which are all generic and cost like $0.20, you know, for a treatment. This stuff is all very, very, very cheap. But what we don't have is a way of doing global resource allocation and global resource distribution in a way that will successfully deliver these things to people who need them. Right. Stuff is just kind of borked. We've got unbelievable global abundance, but we don't seem to be able to let poor people buy stuff at anything like the real price. So if we think about this as just like we want the best possible supply chains to run to the poorest people on earth so they can buy the things they need, absolutely.

[00:04:17]

Vinay Gupta

The lowest possible prices that would get you very, very close to where we want to be in terms of improving quality of life for the poorest people. Right. It's not about wealth redistribution. It's about making sure that everybody has access to the market in an optimal way. That will solve two thirds of the global problems with poverty, maybe more. And then you sort of take what's left after that process and say, okay, do we need to do some redistribution? Do we need to do this? Do we need to do that? Those are kind of separate questions, right. But the first step is market access. And market access is a tech problem. Most of the time getting people efficient access to markets is a problem of technology. They just don't have the stuff that they need to get access to the markets, that have the things that they need to survive and to thrive. Right. This is not just about keeping people alive. It's about making sure that everybody shares the benefits of the high tech industrial civilization that we're lucky enough to enjoy.

[00:05:13]

Dee

And what about, like, the people that don't necessarily want access to the markets? Like maybe they're living a life that's so, um, I don't know, just relaxed and, uh, you know, they're just real well connected. And they have what they need. They don't need access to the market or the field that they don't need it.

[00:05:33]

Vinay Gupta

Um, so the, the kind of archetype of this is the self-sufficient villagers. You know, your goat farmers and vegetable growers and some, you know, rural corner of India. You know, the nearest road is a 40 kilometer walk. And, you know, your folks have been there for 6 or 8000 years, right? So it's great up until your kid gets an infection. And then you kind of need some antibiotics, and the antibiotics cost you $0.65, and then your kid goes from being dead to alive. Uh. It's one thing to talk about treating infections. It's a whole other thing. When you start talking about vaccinations, you know your kid gets a tetanus shot. Your kid doesn't die of freaking lockjaw costs since MMR, right? Most of the folks in your village, they get MMR vaccinations if you don't do that. Mumps, measles, rip through rubella. Your you know, all kinds of problems come from these diseases. We've eradicated them here because people have access to the market for that stuff. Everybody needs those vaccinations. Everybody needs the antibiotics because the alternative is you watch your kids die and nobody wants to do that.

[00:06:46]

Corey Petty

I got a I have a disconnect here. Access to digital markets. Is one thing that is a tech problem, but you're talking about markets of physical assets. How do you connect those two things?

[00:06:57]

Vinay Gupta

Ah, that's what I do for a living, right?

[00:06:59]

Corey Petty

I mean, what is that connection and how do you keep that private. If you if you lower the barrier of the entry to the market, how do you ensure that that same market of physical assets is still low?

[00:07:09]

Vinay Gupta

Okay. So let's talk about this in kind of a macro strategy sense. Right. Digitization overwhelmingly makes markets efficient and overwhelmingly makes markets brutally centralized. So if we think about the music, um, you know, the music is the thing which has been most effectively digitized and with the most horrible results. Right? That is an example of doing it wrong because we digitized music customers consumers have access to. Was it 60 million tracks for $10 a month now from any one of half a dozen vendors? Um, but artists find it almost impossible to get paid to make new music. So in the process of digitizing music, we manage to basically kill the people that make it. And all the wealth was captured by the people that distribute it who can't sing a freaking note. And that is a tragic outcome. You know, I mean, probably half of my company are musicians, and there are people that would have been professional musicians if the music markets worked in the 20 tens and the same way they had in the 1990s maturity and probably wouldn't exist because literally half of the company are musicians. You know, we've got two choristers that would spend most of their time singing choral music. Uh, my managing director, Anton, uh, is, uh, a member of a band that, you know, played live gigs of the kind that you're recording deals in the 1990s very, very casually.

[00:08:36]

Vinay Gupta

Um, uh, Andrew, the guy who did my beautiful staging, uh, is a folk musician and, you know, basically just kind of does the video and a bunch of stuff for materiam, um, and, you know, like, how does he monetize that set of skills? He's a fantastic musician. But turning being a fantastic musician into actually making a living as a musician, the way that we digitize the markets, destroy the markets. And that if we repeat that for physical goods, there are. Imagine what happens if digitizing the housing market turns out to be the Blackrock owns 80% of the property in America, and then they basically just set prices for it. So we have to fight against the centralizing power that comes with digitization and markets, or we're going to wind up with centralized markets for physical goods. And you say that could never happen. How many of the things that you own came from Amazon? Like as a percentage if we just go in your house. I mean, for me, it's probably 50% from Amazon, 20% or 30% from eBay. I don't think I've bought anything substantial by walking into a shop and paying cash. You know, well, you've even used a credit card. I don't think I've done like over the counter retail for anything of substance more than 2 or 3 times a year.

[00:09:58]

Vinay Gupta

So about micro center, right? You know, we're on the way towards a centralization of access to physical resources. And if that happens, you're going to get the same kind of crappy results that you got with music. So to me, the decentralization quest goes back far beyond beyond blockchain. You know, I was a decentralization fundamentalist in 2004, 2003. You know, I mean, we were talking about decentralization of manufacturing. We were talking about permaculture. We were talking about decentralization of energy grids. You know, um, uh, why you should put solar panels on the roof of every building rather than just having enormous solar factories, all of those kinds of things. Um, you know, there is an entire decentralization movement agenda and platform way before crypto. And the peer to peer foundation, the thing run by Michel Bauwens, where the, um, initial bitcoin, uh, discussions were held, peer to peer foundation was not about software. Peer to peer foundation was about manufacturing. It was about culture. Software was a kind of minor aside for the peer to peer foundation. A vault was where Satoshi published the Bitcoin white paper. Remember correctly, it's certainly where a lot of the discussions were. I think it's where the paper was published.

[00:11:21]

Dee

So I think we're still kind of flirting with Corey's question, like, what is right then you? I mean, I have been a Spotify fan for a long time, and as an end user, it's like, oh, musicians are starving. I my music is great. The bass hits nice. Like, I just don't like. No, it's it's obviously been said to me time and time again and I even have musicians in the family. Um, and they're like, yes, I am starving. And I'm like, man, I am not. This music is great. So how do you how do you reconnect, I guess, how do you fix that? How do you digitize it correctly? Like, I think we're still kind of on the same question.

[00:12:04]

Vinay Gupta

Oh, absolutely. Um, and if you think it's bad for Spotify, let's talk about the working conditions for the people who made our phones. Right? I mean, if you think the musicians are starving, wait until you see the people working in the assembly factories, right? You know, I mean, it's a very dangerous thing, right? If we start picking away at this question, what you're going to realize is that the world is not that different from the way that it was in, say, 1820. Right. The slavery has moved around, but it has not ended. And if we pull that particular plaster off, you're going to have a hard time with this, right? Because the simple fact of the slavery didn't stop. It just moved around. And then we can take the kind of, you know, I'm an Indian, right? Post-colonial theory. We practically get fed that stuff when we're in primary school. Ah, well, there was this guy called Gandhi. And let me tell you. Right. So if we take the kind of Gandhian political analysis of modern capitalism literally, you just take the bark off the box, you turn it upside down and you shake it, and the whole of our society collapses. Right. And I used to do that a lot for people. I would just sit down and say like, well, so let's just talk about the supply chain. What is it that compels the factory workers in China to make your iPhone for so little money? Uh, well. Socialism, communism, capital. Oh, wait, this is all class war, isn't it? Yeah, that's right, it's class war.

[00:13:38]

Vinay Gupta

But the classes are now divided in different countries. Here's your industrial proletariat. That's called China. Right here are the people that are the agricultural proletariat. That's Africa and South America. Oh, so, you know, in Marx's era, because we didn't have global logistics, um, the classes tended to be co-located in the same society. Right. The Russian Revolution was angry peasants with sickles marching into town to behead their landlords. More or less. Um, so once you get container logistics, the classes begin to stratify, right? The bourgeois, that's your Americans and some of your Europeans. And it's a few of the big cities in India and China, the industrial proletariat, that's mostly China. Um, other places do a lot of manufacturing. But by far the majority of the people you'd think of as industrial proletariat are in a handful of countries. Uh, and then you have the agricultural workers and the lumpenproletariat and all the rest of this kind of stuff who are largely in the resource extraction countries, which are the places where they still have kind of plantation labor. Right. Nothing changed. All that happened was our cultures became the concentrated bourgeois class. And those were the winners of World War two, who simply took all the good stuff in the world and concentrated in their countries, and everybody else just got shoved to the wall because as capitalism fused with colonialism, what you got was a stable world system ruled by finance and bombs, and that's what we're trapped in. Right in any direction. If you start really asking hard political questions about why are things the way they are? All that it boils down to is why can't people who are a factor of things get charged an appropriate price for their labor? If I'm manufacturing an iPhone, why do I live in a dorm of, you know, whatever it is, 14 people in bunks and work, you know, nine, nine, six hours, rather than having a standard of living closer to the people that designed the iPhone or the people that use the iPhone.

[00:15:40]

Vinay Gupta

What is it that prevents me negotiating a fair price for my labor? And what you see then, is the structural oppressions on which capitalism runs. Why can't I not charge a fair price for my work? I'm an artist, I sing, why can't I charge a fair price for my music? Well, the answer is the machinery stops me doing that. If I try and charge a fair price, I get no money at all, I starve, I boom, there's the end of my music. So, you know, the world that we're in is embedded so deep in this mess that if you start asking these kinds of questions, the thing literally just comes apart and you just see, you know, you go from feeling like a consumer where everything is great to understanding that you're a consumer in one part of your life and a producer in the other part of your life, and in the part of your life where you produce, you are oppressed. And in the part of your life where you consume your privilege.

[00:16:32]

Vinay Gupta

And the amount of money you have dictates how much time you spend feeling like a producer, and how good or bad your producer experience is, and then how much time you spend as a consumer, and how good or bad your consumption experiences. But all of this stuff, your political rights are mediated by money. One of the things I have up my sleeve is there's an international definition for an internally displaced person. It's somebody that's a refugee inside of their own societies. And I am seriously talking about putting together a plan in a few years to try and file an international court case to reclassify homeless people in first world countries as IDPs that have been basically driven out of their homes by a political system. This stuff is hardcore. And would you like to hear the punchline on this awful story? Right. Both sides of my family were victims of colonialism, right? The Indian side got invaded. The Scottish side got shoved off their land. Right? The Indian side. They were middle class. They did just fine. The English were just another bunch of people charging taxes, and they were actually pretty well organized compared to the previous rulers. The Indian side of my family has no ill will towards English colonialism at all. The Scottish side of my family, on the other hand, still tell stories about the farms that they were driven off at the point of a sword in Ayrshire, leading to 200 years of alcoholism and poverty. And they only really began to pull it back together again after they went into the military in World War One.

[00:18:05]

Vinay Gupta

Right. You know, this stuff is not about I mean, you know, yes, there are aspects of this stuff which are about race, but boy howdy, the Irish look pretty white to me. And man, the stuff that was done to the Irish makes the stuff that was done in India look like a cakewalk. 700 years of horrendous stuff done to people that we now think of as white. Because in those days it was Protestant versus Catholic, and everybody was white, including the victims of colonialism. So that whole structure, um. You know, what I came up with was a strategy for gently improving the situation without requiring revolution. I think that we can improve the situation incrementally and stepwise, taking advantage of the flux created by the adoption of new technology. And if we are smart and strategic at the point where the markets become very, very, very fast changing at the moment where digital transformation is happening, we can get in there with things that reduce or maybe even solve the political problems that we're stuck in, because the producers and the consumers are both trapped, right? We can resolve the problems that we're stuck in at the moment of transformation. So as things transform, you get in there and you solve the problem with good, you know, correct application of political theory so that you wind up with a solution where Spotify triples the number of professional artists. And, you know, it makes it really easy on ramp. Oh, yeah, I'm on Spotify.

[00:19:40]

Vinay Gupta

You know, I mean, if Spotify worked like Patreon, Spotify would be launching artists careers right, left and center. The fact that Patreon is over here in one thing and Spotify is over here on the other. Spotify is leaving money on the table by not creating a launch ramp for artists to build fan bases and monetize their support, and then turn this into like, huge careers. Spotify could have decided that what was important was getting artists paid, and it could have been an enormous machine for getting artists paid, and it would have been three times as profitable as Spotify currently is. Right. It was just they didn't understand what they were doing politically. And then they themselves got trapped in the system. So as we get to the digitization of physical things, the adoption of artificial intelligence, the global adoption of the blockchain as the operating system for global finance, which is officially happening now, you know, that Larry Fink announcement for, you know, two weeks, three weeks ago, that is the end of the question about whether the world is going to use the blockchain for everything it's on. Now, the question is, is that happens? Do we get a liberating technology or do we get an oppressive technology? And I intend to do everything within my power, which is not inconsiderable, to make sure that we get technological liberation rather than a technology of oppression. And this shit really keeps me up at night, right? You know, this is the hardest job in the world if you understand what you're doing.

[00:21:03]

Corey Petty

There's your answer, Jesse. Yeah, yeah.

[00:21:07]

Jessie Broke

Usually I ask a question. Is what you do actually hard or difficult and, you know.

[00:21:14]

Dee

Um.

[00:21:15]

Vinay Gupta

It's hard because it matters, right? I mean, if we screw this up, what you're going to wind up with is a barcode on every single thing on Earth, going into a single centralized database that is owned by the CIA.

[00:21:25]

Corey Petty

Well, you've mentioned like the story you just told is introducing new markets through alternative like parallel technology or parallel infrastructure, if you will, and the reasoning behind the stratification of the globe and the difference between producers and consumers is the infrastructure that exists that kind of keeps them there.

[00:21:46]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah.

[00:21:47]

Corey Petty

How do you is this an attempt to give the people who need options, more options, and then they use those infrastructure more in a manner that, uh, like I also said, in the past, Bitcoin wasn't taken over, uh, because it wasn't taken seriously until it was too, too difficult to take over. Yeah. How do you make sure it's not taken seriously enough for long enough?

[00:22:12]

Vinay Gupta

I have a different strategy. Right? So, you know, I am I mean, you know, increasingly seen as deadly serious people. And that's really appropriate, right? I mean, there was a point in my career where I was arguably the world's best planner for cleaning up the mess after nuclear terrorism or very high fatality, pandemic flus or biological warfare events. You know, like I wrote papers. And what happens if 2 billion people die in two years because of bird flu? And they were good, right? So, yeah, I used to literally. This is no joke. I used to carry a business card that listed all the things I worked on your failed states, civil wars, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, nuclear terrorism. And then at the bottom it said, but I also do children's parties. And everybody was like. And it was actually true. There was a point in my career where I worked in a kind of like traveling science road show, was the guy that did the liquid nitrogen nitrogen demos. Technically, that was a children's party. Um, and then the next business card just said, I don't get out of bed for less than 1% mortality. Mhm. Right. Um, you know, I'm working, I have, you know, a 30 year plan that I'm working on to try and figure out how we fix climate refugees. They're talking about a billion people are going to be displaced by climate change. Where are we going to put them? I've been working on that problem for 20 years.

[00:23:30]

Vinay Gupta

I knew it was going to take 30 years to get to a solution. So I built my life to support a 30 year project that is almost never paid work, because nobody really takes that problem seriously and says, I have to solve that problem. Well, I do, right? Um, so in margin with that mindset, what do I see in the blockchain that makes it worth me spending six years talking to lawyers? Right. And the answer is, if we get this right, you take the artificial intelligence, you take the trustworthy information about the real world that is on the chain. You apply these things to each other, and you get AI optimization of the deployment of our physical resources. And that could be a system that is, I don't know, two orders of magnitude more efficient than capitalism. We could replace markets, setting prices for things with AIS doing deployment of resources, and it could literally multiply the efficiency of the global economy by a factor of 100. Right. And that solves most of our environmental problems. It solves most of our social justice problems. It solves most of our colonial problems. And what does that look like in practice? You get up in the morning and everything that you need for your day is in your house, and then you go bed at night, and then you get up the next morning and some of that stuff is gone and other stuff is there.

[00:24:52]

Vinay Gupta

And all that stuff comes from somewhere and goes to somewhere, and you never have to think about it. But your resource footprint goes down by a factor of ten immediately. And then the manufacturing for all that stuff supervene super efficient. Not a single thing is made which isn't already sold. Carefully managed pools of property. In winter, all the bicycles leave Scandinavia and in summer they come back again. Right. Super efficient markets with artificial intelligence to handle the transaction costs could stretch our existing material resource base so far. Right. And, you know, I mean, let me give you a dumb example, right. I have a desk covered in USB chargers. Right. There are just a bunch of these things lying around, right? And there are a bunch of these things lying around because I need three sets of chargers. I need one set in my house. I need one set in the bag that I take when I'm going somewhere, and I need one set in the bag that I use when we rent an office in London and we set up a bunch of gear there, and we have kind of all hands meetings. Right. Three separate sets of equipment. I wind up having to have a bunch of chargers, because every single device needs to be able to get power when it needs power. And if I have one set of chargers and I have to unplug everything and then replug everything, they're just going to be errors everywhere and it's just a bunch of additional time and labor.

[00:26:12]

Vinay Gupta

If I could reliably have the Chargers that I needed sitting in the office that I rented, you know, like, hey, I need chargers for the following equipment. Will they be there when I arrive? Yes, sir. Great. I turn up there, all was there. All of those physical goods are sitting completely unused in a bag. In between those office days, all that stuff could be continually used by other people. So rather than that stuff being used, you know, two days in 14, that stuff is used, you know, eight days in ten. And that immediately cuts the environmental impact and the cost of that device by 75%. Right. If you go through and start looking at all the slack in the economy, all the things you own that you never use and all the things that are manufactured to be thrown away. If you imagine all of that stuff is being piled up and optimized out, in the same way that compilers will optimize out bad instructions in code. Literally a 50% improvement in the function of the global economy right here, right now. Boom. Just waiting to be done. And 50% is trivial. 80% is very easy to understand, 99% you really have to dig deep for. But, you know, I mean, I'd settle for 80%. That is enough. That would be good. We could do that. So.

[00:27:32]

Dee

I got two questions. The first is like, it's cost me. $1,000 for six minutes with a lawyer. So six years with lawyers. And you said plural lawyers. Like, what's what's going on there? What's the what's what's that, what's that cost?

[00:27:48]

Vinay Gupta

Um, so we have. Yeah. Um hum. I mean, it's not that we well, I mean, you know, like, so we have two lawyers in house. Right. We have. We have full time in-house counsel. Um, and, um, one of our, you know, one of the original founding team was, uh, UK trained lawyer. Um, the first time somebody asked me where I went to law school, I practically cried. But I'm a computer programmer. Don't ask me that question. But, you know, we've learned a lot about law. We've worked very closely with external counsel. We worked very closely with the judges in the UK, the judiciary or friends when it comes to this project. Um, but yeah, I mean, we basically sat down and said, right, how do we make it so that when I buy an NFT of a house, I legally own the house? That was what we started with. That was the goal and that's what we delivered. That actually works.

[00:28:41]

Vinay Gupta

E that you know what.

[00:28:44]

Vinay Gupta

The hell you may say. How does that work? But the answer is it works in a way that lawyers relate to. So we show a lawyer. So here's our statement. If you buy this NFT, it is, for all intents and purposes, the same as owning this house. Here's 40 pages of documentation that explains why. And the lawyers go page by page page page page mm page page page page page mm. Page page page mm. It is not exactly the same as buying the house. No it's not, but it has the same net expected value of buying the house. And in almost every scenario it will result in you owning the house when you want to own the house. Yes, that is fair. So are your clients comfortable buying property this way? Mhm. It saves them 4% on the transaction. Yes. Okay. Right. And that's what it boils down to. You wind up with something which is it's a little bit like eventual consistency in, uh, blockchains. You wind up with something which is almost like eventual consistency for real estate. Yeah. You buy the NFT when you want to turn the NFT into the actual legal ownership of the property. There's a super reliable way of doing it. If something goes wrong, somebody pays. And that is close enough to actual ownership that everybody says good enough for me. If they say not good enough for me, well, they need better lawyers because functionally speaking, it's good enough for anything that anybody actually wants to do, we would say, but of course it's our product. Right. And that same logic applies to gold bars and vaults, fine art, blah, blah, blah. And there's a kind of a range of mechanisms for different classes of assets. We could do it for sneakers and we could do it for cruise ships. It's literally just a methodology at this point.

[00:30:32]

Jessie Broke

Is there a back of napkin calculations? Let's say the whole world moved to using Materiam for trading everything, right? My socks like I wanted, uh, I wanted thicker socks and maybe somebody in a in a winter, a cold country, you know, they their country, the climate shifts and they no longer need the socks. And we're we're down to trading small items that are, you know, not as large as a house. Have you thought about the scale in which, you know, material would have to operate in order to facilitate all this and all the man hours in order to kind of conduct all these, what would be seen as possibly petty transactions?

[00:31:11]

Vinay Gupta

Yes, absolutely. So let's take something a little larger than one sock, because there are some. The problem with socks is they get washed all the time, and it's very hard to put an electronic tag on a sock which will survive like 300 washes. Right? So let's go up a little bit and say a big a big winter coat, a parka. Right. A park has probably about the smallest thing that it makes sense to do. If you've got something that is electronics, putting a digital identity on that, a point of manufacture is trivial. So for electronics you could go right down to really, really small things. But if you're talking about clothing, you want something which is kind of big enough and tough enough and expensive enough that if you put a digital tag on it, the tag isn't going to get wrecked, because the thing is being washed three times a week and, you know, it kind of there's a sort of minimum threshold driven by the electronic tag infrastructure. So, you know, winter coats, right? You can imagine a pool of winter coats that goes north and south to different people's winter. You know, on the southern hemisphere it's now summer. The coats are up north where it's freezing. Now Scandinavia is a nice solid 70 Fahrenheit. It's summer. The coats kind of go to, you know, the other cold parts of the world. They're relocated to wherever it's winter at that time New Zealand, Peru or happens to be. So there's no really decent way of doing that unless the clothing is tagged at point of manufacture. So the manufacturers, when they're making the garments, implant a little electrical chip.

[00:32:41]

Vinay Gupta

Um, there are some amazing chips right now that are about $10 a unit in ten years. I would expect them to be 4 or $0.05. Right. And as those chips come down and down and down in price, you get to a point where it's cheaper to chip the garment than not to chip it, because it helps so much with manufacturing and logistics and sales and moving the thing around. And, you know, your retailers expect every garment to be chipped because if the garments aren't chipped, they can't get them into the stock control system. And you just wind up with a global norm, which is every piece of clothing is chipped at point of manufacture, and the chip refers to a database, the database is public because, for God's sakes, it's just going to be like Wikipedia for products. And it's it's each individual garment has an ID, right. So it's not all of the red jackets have the same ID number, which is like a barcode UPC code. Those things are issued by GS1. Every individual garment has a number. What is it made of? How big is it exactly? What color is it measured by color calibrated camera? Um, how many were made? What information you need on the garment varies time and place. Right. Um, this is also an AI question. So if I say right, get me a red coat that will fit me. An AI turns that into a specification, and then it goes off and searches the big databases and it comes back with options. So it's not that we expect to have a database with a trillion physical things in it, and then people are going to search it like they're searching an SQL database.

[00:34:12]

Vinay Gupta

We assume that you're going to have very targeted, very intelligent systems to do search. And I think that by the time we're talking about a trillion things tagged and a trillion things tagged is not a crazy number, right? I mean, if you think about the sheer number of physical objects that you own, 8 billion people multiplied by every physical asset that they've got a trillion assets tagged is not an unreasonable number. So that searching through a trillion assets, it's not a job for human being. A search query. Right. That's a job for sophisticated systems. I would be a sophisticated system that are plenty of others. So it's warming up where you are. You want rid of the cold? Hey, I'm not going to use the S word because if I say serial, my device is going to beep. I got away with it. Hey, Siri. Then, um. Uh, no. Not you. Shush. So we say hey thing, right? Um, it's warming up. Uh, let me know when I should, you know, send my code. Uh, they say, can somebody pick it up on Thursday? They'll give you $58 for it. Uh, sure. And then the next time somebody comes to your house to deliver a pizza, or the next time somebody comes to your house to drop off, you know, a cable that you need or whoever it is, they also pick up your coat and you never see it again in 58 bucks shows up in your account.

[00:35:35]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah, right. Oh.

[00:35:36]

Vinay Gupta

What if the coat is damaged or torn? Well, you know, you signed a piece of paper that says this is a picture of my coat. Looks pretty good to me. Great. An eye looks at that picture and says, yeah, it looks fine. If it turns out that you took a bad picture, you did concealed something. They just take 20 bucks off your account. If you want to contest it, you're welcome to. It's a customer service problem. The customer service is probably going to be a robot too. Right. When you get into the details of this, um, before I, it was very hard to talk about. I just take off my clothes, throw them into a hamper, and magically they go away, get dry cleaned and get thrown back into the pool and money just shows up in my account. You sort of thought like, oh, people are going to have to, you know, who's going to do all the labor on this, who's going to who's going to do the customer service now? It's just like, you know, any of us can imagine a kind of robot factory that just picks garments up one at a time, scans the tags, flips them around a couple of times and looks at them and makes sure, makes sure there are no holes and then just they get shipped by, you know, logistical magic to the person that wants them next.

[00:36:43]

Vinay Gupta

It's pretty. You know, it's sort of just like I mean, Amazon is now, what, 25 years old, heading for 30 years old. There hasn't really been an upgrade to the Amazon model in about 30 years. So what we're talking about is just Amazon in reverse, the same logistics that put the stuff in your house. You add some artificial intelligence, you add some digital tags, you add some blockchain stuff, and now you can take things back out again. Selling, it becomes as easy as buying it. It's just a natural counterparty to Amazon. Amazon puts them in something else, takes them out again. And it's a series of kind of achievable engineering problems. The core technologies are not quite ready to go yet. I'd give another couple of years, but most of the delay is waiting for better tags.

[00:37:27]

Corey Petty

So you just described a two way Amazon in a way. Yep. And that's a big thing. Amazon started selling books online. What do you start with? I mean you started with some things already selling NFTs or house NFTs houses. So how do you how do you progress from where you are to, to becoming uh, it's being standard to say, I have Material Prime, don't you? Well.

[00:37:51]

Vinay Gupta

So the first thing I'd like to do is I'd like to sell about 10 or $20 billion worth of gold bars. And I say I. What I mean is material customers. I would like material customers to sell about $20 billion of gold bars. Right. And here's why. There's about $140 billion of stablecoins. The US dollar is garbage and Usdc depegged several times. So if you were going to take your Bitcoin winnings and turn them into something that you think will hold value in two years, would you want that to be Usdc or would you want that to be, you know, $800,000 gold bars in a Swiss vault? Don't see Usdc. It's not the right answer.

[00:38:35]

Corey Petty

My answer is always depends, but.

[00:38:37]

Vinay Gupta

It depends, right?

[00:38:38]

Vinay Gupta

So if you want to really start your winnings from crypto somewhere secure, my assertion is you don't longtum storage. You don't want ust you want long time storage, right? And long time storage. You're so much better off with gold bricks if you've got excellent legals than you are with stablecoins where there is no transparency. Right? I mean, what's inside of us, right? Does anybody know? Not even the auditors can find all the money.

[00:39:05]

Vinay Gupta

Right?

[00:39:05]

Vinay Gupta

No, no. So, you know, here we've got $140 billion of really fairly rickety looking stablecoin things, right? That's all in the crash path for central bank digital currencies. So, I mean, let me just put on my kind of scary witch hat here for a second. So what's the margin that the US says. Right. We're going to issue a digital dollar. It's going to be issued by the Federal Reserve of the internet. And anybody that's using stablecoins in two years in America, we're going to walk with a stick. Great. So what that starts is a gradual selling out of all of the Usdc, as people want their dollars out of the Usdc system. How far do you have to get before the remaining assets inside of the stablecoin or stablecoin ecosystem are insufficient to cover the remaining claims on those assets? Right. It's easy to be solvent when it's kind of plus or minus half a percent day on day. But when you get down to the last ten, 20, 30%, as these things gradually come down in scale, how sure are we? The assets are there to cover the absolute rump end of that process? Tricky. Very hard to be sure of. Right. Because it could be that the dollar denominated stablecoins are already trading while insolvent. And you wouldn't know because there hasn't been a run on the bank yet. So we don't know whether they have all the money.

[00:40:26]

Corey Petty

No, the irony is, is that we tried to build this technology in such a way where, uh, those things were always quite transparent, provable. Right. And yet here we are.

[00:40:35]

Vinay Gupta

Pirate bastards invaded our space with shonky business practices. And too cool for because lying is often more profitable than telling the truth.

[00:40:43]

Vinay Gupta

Well, this is.

[00:40:44]

Dee

This is what happens, though, when you say mass adoption. You say everyone.

[00:40:49]

Corey Petty

Or permissionless mass adoption.

[00:40:51]

Dee

Right? People. People get involved that they're just going to say like, oh, here's another opportunity to copy paste my wealth. Well, I like being one times wealthy. Now I'm going to be two times wealthy, right? Like that's going to happen. There's no there's no avoiding that. So it's like how do you.

[00:41:11]

Vinay Gupta

It's going to happen. But that doesn't mean there's no way of avoiding it. Right? I mean, all of this work that we did with the legal system and with lawyers and systemic design and risk management and all the rest of this kind of stuff, like, you know, the material thing is intended to be a situation, a ship in which fraud is less profitable than honesty. Right. The hope is that you come into the material system and you run a scam and you go bankrupt fast. Because we've got a set of incentives which are ferociously, ferociously anti-fraud. They are vicious. You screw somebody on a blockchain transaction, people come round, throw you out of your house and auction it to pay off the person that you ripped off. And we can do that in probably 172 countries.

[00:41:56]

Vinay Gupta

Hmm. Is it because of that?

[00:41:59]

Vinay Gupta

We haven't had to do it yet. We've had to threaten it one time. Hey, you should do this thing. Because the counterparty said they were going to start an arbitration tribunal if you don't do the thing, nothing got done real quick.

[00:42:12]

Vinay Gupta

Because it does happen. The.

[00:42:15]

Corey Petty

When it happens. You should definitely, uh, control that narrative in such a way where this is what the system was designed to do, and that's you. And then you'll end up like you won't end up like an FTX scenario where people think blockchain sucks because Ftfs went down.

[00:42:29]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah, yeah. I mean, the the system is rigged.

[00:42:33]

Vinay Gupta

You know, like.

[00:42:35]

Vinay Gupta

You know, think of, like, um, climbing harnesses, right? You know, the folks that go up on, you know, towers to go and wash windows or, you know, they go up to signal mast to fix antennas, this kind of stuff. Right? The material system is rigged like that. You know, you clip onto something, you clip onto something, then you move, then you unclip, then you click onto the next thing. And it's all very laborious. But at the point where somebody slips and falls, there are two points of attachment. They don't hit the deck. Right. And that sort of safety critical construction, almost nothing in the blockchain is built that way other than the core protocols. You know, Bitcoin is built that way. It's really reliable. Ethereum is built that way. It's really reliable. Solana may be not so much the l2's a little more fragile. Right. And then you get to the applications and the applications are like I mean, it's like a bunch of people like ice skating drunk and weaving in and out of people that are falling over. The applications are just horrible. And every time somebody runs into somebody with an ice skate blade and there's blood on the ice, everybody's like, oh, they got robbed. It's like, no, no. Something criminally negligent or outright criminal happened. This is totally unacceptable. Who are these people? I don't know, cartoon Panda did it, right. Well, who's cartoon panda? Right. Let's go take the money back from Cartoon Panda. We know how to do a cartoon. Panda was. Oh, you mean you did business with anonymous people? And the thing is, here's what really bugs me about this. You can use smart contracts. Make doing business with anonymous people arbitrarily safe.

[00:44:08]

Vinay Gupta

Right.

[00:44:08]

Vinay Gupta

You know, you have all the money sitting over here in a bucket and you know, the money comes out of the bucket, you know, $250 an hour. And that is the pace it comes out of the bucket. And if 70% of the people with money in the bucket say, this is a con, we're taking our money back, the transactional full stops and everybody gets their money back, you almost anything on the blockchain if you just write a smart contract to protect the people who put the money in, you can write a smart contract that will make it more or less impossible for somebody to steal. And the people who are putting money into these things, they don't insist on the smart contract engineering being designed to protect their interests, because they themselves don't really care, as long as on average, they're on the right side of the scam more often than the wrong side of the scam. They don't care. But there's almost no story in the blockchain about people getting rubbed, or these kind of rip offs that couldn't have been prevented using the blockchain. It's not that the blockchain has to be this lawless, dangerous environment. It's that we aren't even using the provisions of the blockchain has in it naturally to protect people, which is super weird. I don't understand why, after all the bad stuff that's been done, everybody, you know, putting money into these systems isn't insisting that they're engineered properly from the get go to be safe. I just don't understand why that doesn't happen. Maybe I'm naive.

[00:45:27]

Corey Petty

I think I like a appropriate analogy for me is like when Prometheus gave the humans fire, they burned themselves a few times and they figured out how to use it.

[00:45:35]

Vinay Gupta

Mhm, mhm.

[00:45:36]

Corey Petty

We're in that process.

[00:45:38]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah I mean I would hope right I would hope. And then it's just things like if you don't regulate yourself somebody will regulate you instead. So you know we kind of have to become pretty good at managing our own business. Or the state will come in and manage our business for us. Um, I mean, so one of the things that we're looking at right now is, um, we've gone through the laborious process of issuing a token in a way that we consider to be legal and well-regulated. Right. Um, and here I will insert a standard disclaimer, uh, unavailable to people in the UK, unavailable to people in America, unavailable to a whole bunch of other people as well. Check Swim.com for more details about where this is available and unavailable, because it is there that you would buy this token, right? So the fact that, you know, we have a German regulated financial institution is the only place where the token is available. The fact that we have disclaimers every time we talk about it, the fact that there is a German subsidiary which does all the token stuff, and a British subsidiary that does most of the research, all of that will probably. I mean, you know, we missed issuing a token in the last bull market because the process of getting through all of those steps was so slow and so expensive.

[00:46:49]

Vinay Gupta

But at the end of that process, we now have a mechanism for issuing tokens that would work for basically anybody that wanted to do a thing that would be like a 2018 ICO. Right? All that crazy stuff that people did back in the day with no legals and everybody got ripped off, right? We could do, you know, we could take this material and machinery that we use for our own token and all the warranties and the legal machinery, blah, blah, blah. We could take all of that stuff and bundle it up. Right. You want to do a token issue? You know, imagine, imagine 2018, but with lawyers, oh, 2018 with lawyers. Is that possible? Yes. Right. So we could actually set up a branch of material that just did ICO like stuff. Right? Here's the exchange. They've got some licenses. Here are the law firms that you need to talk to. They're really lovely. You go over here, talk to our lovely friend Mr. Bernie, who will sort you out. And, you know, we could basically show people how it all works. Should we talk to them? We talk to their business people. We tell them what kinds of things they're going to need to ask their lawyers about. You know, you're going to need a privacy policy.

[00:47:52]

Vinay Gupta

Go and get a privacy policy from your lawyers. You're going to need terms and conditions. Here's the ones that we use. Your lawyers should drop something that works like these did for us, but for you. And we could basically coach them through the mechanical steps. And at the end of that process, they could issue like a well regulated, legally reasonable token. I don't know whether we're going to do that. This is a topic of internal debate right now. If you folks have opinions on that, I'd like to hear them. But, you know, it's kind of like, we know how to do gold. We know how to do real estate. We've done our own token the hard way. Maybe we should offer that as a service, because at that point, you could start seeing well regulated tokens with all the advantages of crypto finance, but without the horrendous downsides from these things being issued in a way that was already illegal. You know, because the bottom line is, if people were breaking the law when they issued the token, you shouldn't necessarily expect them to obey the law. When they don't, when they then rug you, you know, it's kind of like if you started it in an illegal way, maybe it's always going to be illegal.

[00:48:48]

Vinay Gupta

When.

[00:48:49]

Corey Petty

Alternative infrastructure you take on risks. Uh, yeah. A lot of those risks are, you know, these weird games that people play, um, lack of regulatory landscape, so on and so forth. And so like, what's the overlap? Right. Is the regulation, the overlap in infrastructure that you have between what you're trying to replace?

[00:49:11]

Vinay Gupta

Um, or I.

[00:49:12]

Corey Petty

Guess.

[00:49:13]

Vinay Gupta

It's oh, so you got let's have some fun with this. So you have, uh, many stages of dispute, right. So you can start with negotiation. Um, then you can have, um, mediation, then you could have arbitration, then you could have expert determination, then you could have litigation, then you could have regulation, then you could have legislation. Right. So there's kind of rock from we talked about it in customer service, sorted out all the way through to the government passed the law. And then above that you've got things like international treaty. And all of those are ways of solving the same problem, which is somebody got involved in something. It didn't go the way they wanted and then they complained, right. It can be resolved by negotiation with the customer service agent, or it can go all the way up to an international treaty. These are all aspects of the same problem, which is ouch, I am hurt, please, somebody do something. And that can be anything from talking to customer service right through to passing an international treaty. Um, the way that I look at this is, to be honest, uh, this sounds horrible. Uh, so an awful lot of the people on the Ethereum team were extraordinarily good at economics and software engineering, and expected the economics and software engineering would largely dictate human behavior. Now they're names for people that expect human beings to act in economically rational ways, and to use software in the way that was intended.

[00:50:47]

Vinay Gupta

Right. The rational.

[00:50:50]

Dee

Name.

[00:50:51]

Vinay Gupta

Well, you can kind of take your pick, right? I mean, the kind of folks, the kind of people that think that human beings obey rules and act in their own self-interest. Let's just say that those people are neither marketers nor lawyers, right? There is a certain kind of naivete that is often associated with being incredibly good at software engineering, and that psychographic of people that are rules based in their thinking and great at software engineering. There's an awful lot of that in the blockchain world, and it's very concentrated in the early Ethereum team. So the early Ethereum team kind of didn't expect the scammers to arrive like the Vikings or, you know, some kind of barbarian horde. And they didn't really have any defenses against it. So you kind of started with a bunch of people that assumed crypto economic reality and sensible risk management would be what people would do. And then what came along were just these just gigantic barbarian hordes that swarmed so completely over that original culture, and they replaced it with something that basically looked like, I don't know, Tony Robbins on meth. Right. And that kind of Tony Robbins on meth demographic just came in and ripped the original Ethereum Foundation vision to pieces.

[00:52:09]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah.

[00:52:10]

Dee

You mean Tony Robbins?

[00:52:12]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah, yeah. You know, like, I mean, these people were not literally Tony Robbins, but they were kind of there was a sort of slick, you know, slick, good looking guy in a suit with a big square jaw. My token bozo coin is going to be the most amazing thing ever. It's going to be like Ethereum on steroids running on top of Ethereum. Our smart contracts were hand made by aliens.

[00:52:33]

Vinay Gupta

You know, he also.

[00:52:34]

Corey Petty

Blocked out one.

[00:52:36]

Vinay Gupta

Right. I'm not I'm not going to name any names here. Right.

[00:52:39]

Vinay Gupta

But it's fine.

[00:52:40]

Vinay Gupta

You know, we got this massive invasion of these people, and they screwed the entire space. And what you were left with was the kind of early Ethereum people like. That doesn't look like a very wise thing to me. You know, I've taken a look at their cryptoeconomics, and it looks to me like they could potentially walk off with the money. I don't understand why anybody's putting money into this thing. Have they not read the source code? You know, it's like, weirdly enough, no, they haven't read the source code. But why did you ask? Right. And that expectation, you know, go ahead.

[00:53:10]

Vinay Gupta

I'm sorry.

[00:53:11]

Dee

I just think it's so funny because nobody even reads terms and conditions to like apps. Like, nobody does these things. They can say, like, this app is going to seize your car tomorrow. And people are like, check, I want, I want to use it right now. So I don't understand why.

[00:53:27]

Vinay Gupta

Well, the model, the.

[00:53:27]

Vinay Gupta

Model, human nature. Right. Everybody understands the world through introspection, right? You sort of think that other people are way more like you than other people really are. So you think of the the early Ethereum team. They are cryptographers. They are network engineers, they are economists. They are mathematicians. They're all really smart. They're futuristic, they're libertarian. I mean, you know, the word that is hanging on the end of this is autistic. Asperger's. Autism is incredibly common in engineering, incredibly common in special forces that are professions, attract people that have very, very little understanding of the rest of the human race. And we often rely on those people to build our critical systems and do our critical jobs. Right. I've been told by people that ought to know that something like 40% of the Special Forces community would technically be Asperger's or autism. You think these people as being like sociopaths or psychopaths? No, they're just autistic guys with guns. Right. Which is much more frightening if you think about it. Right? You know.

[00:54:31]

Vinay Gupta

My new favorite quote, it's it's.

[00:54:35]

Dee

I know a couple of them. And you're not not telling the truth. They're they're interesting cats. Uh, weaponized.

[00:54:41]

Vinay Gupta

Autism.

[00:54:42]

Vinay Gupta

Right? Yeah.

[00:54:42]

Dee

They're very interesting cats. Very. Don't step over there, man. I don't know, step over there.

[00:54:48]

Vinay Gupta

I don't know, very careful.

[00:54:50]

Vinay Gupta

I know, like, one person that knows those people really well. And they've told me stories so that that is a thing. Right? You get a community of people that are overwhelmingly headed out in that sort of direction, and they assume rational behavior on behalf of the audience. You know, I mean, the question of like, security bottles for Ethereum smart contracts was kind of like, well, you know, if people care, they're going to audit the smart contract, right?

[00:55:18]

Vinay Gupta

That was what.

[00:55:19]

Corey Petty

People thought in the beginning was like, if they if they're going to put their money into it, they're going to read it, they're going to know about it. That's not that's not the reality that happened.

[00:55:26]

Vinay Gupta

Not the reality. Right.

[00:55:28]

Dee

So many questions. Do we have so much time?

[00:55:32]

Vinay Gupta

No, I got time. If you got time.

[00:55:35]

Dee

Um, sorry, Jesse, you haven't asked a question in a while, I would. You want to go for it?

[00:55:40]

Corey Petty

Let's go. Potato. What you got?

[00:55:42]

Jessie Broke

I think that, uh, my my question wasn't really fully answered. Vinny, when I was asking like, what are back of napkin? You know, numbers in terms of like a blockchain that could run, you know, like could sustain and be distributed enough and to still be, you know, just just to still be what we all think of as a blockchain and not, you know, some Excel spreadsheet.

[00:56:02]

Vinay Gupta

That's okay. Got it.

[00:56:03]

Vinay Gupta

Sorry, I misunderstood the question because I thought you were thinking about the difficulties of onboarding the assets. You're talking about the difficulties of transacting them.

[00:56:10]

Vinay Gupta

Yeah, the difficulties.

[00:56:11]

Jessie Broke

Of transacting at scale with with the with, you know, coats, you know, something that, you know, you have trillions and trillions of items that you're trying to facilitate the transfer of.

[00:56:21]

Vinay Gupta

Yes, absolutely. Sorry, I misunderstood the question first. So the answer is it's impossible, but it's not impossible if we are a little smarter than we've been so far. Right? So here is my radical assertion. Um, doing transactions on Bitcoin or Ethereum is exactly like processing credit cards by buying domain names.

[00:56:46]

Vinay Gupta

Right.

[00:56:47]

Vinay Gupta

You buy a domain name, you put a permanent record into a global database, and it's replicated all over the world, and they charge you $25 for registering the domain name. That's almost exactly the same architecture as doing a transaction on a blockchain. And people would think you were just absolutely high. If you propose re-engineering the global financial system by registering domain names every time somebody wanted to do a transaction. It's just. Broken. It's insane. Right? So we have to make the blockchain do the thing that the blockchain is good at, which is namespace management. I have a system over here that does transactions real fast. It's amazing. Great, fantastic. We're going to put the identity of that system on the blockchain. Think like ENS. Right. Here is the address for this system. Here are the attributes of this system. Here's the legal guarantees about the system. Here's the pool of money that underwrites the system. If something breaks, that's basically a description of an L2, right. So if we think of the main chain and we'll just call it Ethereum main chain, because I think it probably will be. So Ethereum main chain becomes the registry for transaction processing systems. You pay $800 worth of gas to make an announcement that this is the IP address and the crypto certificate for the transaction processing engine for France. Click there's the French system. So here's you know, you know, uh, you know magic chain.

[00:58:24]

Vinay Gupta

Magic chain does transaction processing for real world assets in 14 countries. Every time they mount a new country you publish something to Ethereum main chain. It shows you the end points. Great. The buyers and the sellers have a digital identities on main chain. I'm going to be doing transactions on Ethereum. I want an L1 identity because that is trusted. I go and I buy an L1 identity and it's like registering with the GNS. Then all of these entities that are in the big system say, where are the end points that they use for efficient transactions and then those efficient transaction systems, that's where you do the logistics, right? You create a tiny little thing on a tiny little blockchain thing. And that is the packet was picked up from my house. And then all the little updates about where the packet goes kind of bounce around on there, and then the packet is delivered, and then that data is retained for 18 months. And at the end of it it's purged and it's gone forever. Right. You've got that long to raise a dispute. If you didn't raise a dispute in that time, out it goes. There is no reason to put a package was picked up from shipper onto Ethereum. Mainchain. That's insane. Right? It's just nuts. Um, have you guys come across something called a certificate revocation list CRL?

[00:59:39]

Corey Petty

No, but I can understand the concept of it.

[00:59:42]

Vinay Gupta

Certificate revocation lists. So Ethereum is a perfect place to put a certificate revocation list, right when something is broken. You know, this this little magic blockchain thing over here, it's hit a problem. It's been hacked. Somebody has an off chain certificate sitting in a safe. They take it out of the safe, they push it onto the Ethereum main chain. Everybody knows this is compromised. They stop touching it. So it's the.

[01:00:05]

Vinay Gupta

Main proof of.

[01:00:06]

Corey Petty

Registration. It's a provable registered registry system. That's I mean, you're using it with arbitrary logic on top on how things get changed on it. Right, exactly.

[01:00:14]

Vinay Gupta

Namespace management.

[01:00:16]

Corey Petty

Yeah. And access control to that. Namespace management.

[01:00:19]

Vinay Gupta

Absolutely. So if you're going to have a piece of real estate worth $1 million, you pay the gas fees to give that thing an L-1 identity, and you put the major updates about that thing into the L1. If you've got a piece of real estate that's worth $25,000, you're going to use an L2 for that, because you're not going to pay the transaction fees to shove it into the L1. Big stuff. You pay the fees, you put it in the L1 because that's the most trusted. Intermediate stuff sits on what you would now call an L2. Trivial stuff. Sit on these. Ephemeral chains that just keep the data as long as it's required legally. And then they throw it out and it's never seen again. If I could make one change to the Ethereum architecture, it would be this. I would have L2's publish a strict, well understood, uh, statement about when they will purge the data, because a lot of the l2's are sort of pretending that it's permanent. It's going to be there forever, and that's not really feasible. You know, the L1 is the real truth. The L2 is are caches. The L3 are basically like at a processor level caches. The data gets increasingly ephemeral towards the edges. And that architecture still has the mainstream attributes, the kind of systems that we're used to. But it's scalable to the edge because by the time you're doing a package delivery, you know you've got a cell phone with an app and an AWS instance, and you just push the data into AWS. And then the the chain of legal authority that handles a problem is there in the L2. You know, the kind of metadata layer is kind of relatively rigid and the legal stuff is relatively rigid. And where do the packages day to day, all that stuff just bounces around on the phone.

[01:01:57]

Vinay Gupta

Um.

[01:01:58]

Vinay Gupta

I have actually, uh, God, if we had more time, I could get into the real guts of this thing and where snarks fit in and all the rest of it. But the basic story is the blockchain is for managing namespaces, and the transactions live somewhere else, except for the big stuff.

[01:02:11]

Corey Petty

We'll definitely have to have you back on to dig in some some interesting details of the kind of the future technology we're playing with that makes these things actually efficient.

[01:02:19]

Vinay Gupta

I will have to bore.

[01:02:22]

Vinay Gupta

Your socks off with detail because, you know, I.

[01:02:24]

Vinay Gupta

Mean.

[01:02:24]

Corey Petty

The details are the fun part. I like the.

[01:02:26]

Vinay Gupta

Fun part where I do it because, you know.

[01:02:30]

Dee

Is slap part one on this episode.

[01:02:32]

Vinay Gupta

That's all we have to do.

[01:02:33]

Vinay Gupta

I'm up for that. But I mean, you know, once upon a time I was a real cryptographic applications developer. You know, like I wrote the I wrote a thing that looked like a permissioned ledger for issuing stock in companies, right. In 99, 2000.

[01:02:50]

Vinay Gupta

You know, it was it was.

[01:02:52]

Vinay Gupta

A series of literally Perl scripts that drove Pjp to create digital certificates that represented processes like company incorporation or share transfer, and to keep track of.

[01:03:04]

Vinay Gupta

Everything.

[01:03:05]

Corey Petty

Didn't have consensus on the blockchain. I mean, it wasn't trustless Byzantine consensus, right?

[01:03:12]

Vinay Gupta

Well, so what it had was like incorporation agents and registries and a bunch of other things. And you had a round robin where everybody had to sign the transaction, and then it was the next thing that was put into the chain, and it was a series of chained hash transactions. Right? You know, having a series of chained hash transactions was a common thing in the 1990s. Everybody knew what that looked like. Right? But all they did, I mean, today you would call an L2, right? Or a permissioned blockchain. It's a.

[01:03:37]

Corey Petty

Permissioned chain.

[01:03:38]

Vinay Gupta

It's a permissioned chain. Right. And I wrote one of those. That was terrible. I mean, it was an awful, awful hack of a system that that was moving around in 99, 2000.

[01:03:50]

Vinay Gupta

Huh? Like there.

[01:03:51]

Vinay Gupta

Was a time when I actually.

[01:03:52]

Vinay Gupta

Really did this stuff.

[01:03:53]

Vinay Gupta

Technically, for a living. Um, the thing of which I am proudest in my entire Ethereum career was looking over Vitalik's shoulder at something in Switzerland and saying, hey, what are you working on? Vitalik says, oh, blah blah blah. I'm like, hmm, that sounds like a pi calculus problem. Vitalik is like pi calculus. I'm like pi calculus. And then he looks it up in Wikipedia and I see him just look at the, you know, the first 3 or 4 lines of the things like, oh, pi calculus. That's good. Right? I'm like, yeah, it's great. And I kind of head on him and I figured it's like.

[01:04:21]

Vinay Gupta

Ah.

[01:04:22]

Vinay Gupta

That's like, I've taught the guru something, uh, because its grip on the fundamentals, like, was amazing, right? Really, really amazing. But he was very young. And, you know, I was 20 years older than Vitalik at that point. And I'd seen a bunch of stuff. Um, so, yeah, I mean, I think, I think that we have made some I think we've made some poor decisions about how we've told people to use Ethereum.

[01:04:46]

Vinay Gupta

Right.

[01:04:46]

Vinay Gupta

If we were much clearer namespace registry ONS is the fundamental story about what Ethereum is for. It's for central bank accounts and it's for ONS. So, you know, like if you've got an account with the Federal Reserve, right? I have an account with the Federal Reserve. That's what makes me a financial institution. Great. So Ethereum is INS and the equivalent of Federal Reserve accounts. And that's where the big institutions do their stuff. And then the Altos and the exchanges and all the rest of these stuff, they operate independent systems. The independent systems are cryptographically checksummed against the main chain. And you can wind up with the thing, which is kind of like a delegated authority with very clear semantics from the L1, which is the registries and the central bank accounts into the L2, which are transaction systems, and that manage state that is useful for a while and is then purged. And then from the L2 goes into the ephemeral systems that are things like, you know, transactions which have length of a hand of poker, the length of a package delivery, the truly ephemeral stuff. And if we were clear that these things were separated in time, permanent, semi-permanent, ephemeral, and maybe 2 or 3 tiers of ephemeral, you know, inside of that, we could really start figuring out how long do I need the data to live? And then I can do that transaction in the place where I need the data to live only that long. And that's how we get the efficiencies back, permanent and ephemeral and systems at different levels with different guarantees and different promises. And then you can automatically decide the transaction is this large, it's going to take this long for the goods to arrive, and you just automatically route the transaction to the rail, which has the right degree of permanence. And if we had been clear about that, I think all of this mess with L1 and L2 and other trains and all the rest of it, I think all of that would become super transparent.

[01:06:46]

Corey Petty

Couldn't agree more with the network topology of this, like how the system is supposed to work, especially, you know, framework does like ephemerality of data availability and kind of speed of transaction and cost. Uh, I think that's a great way to kind of wrap up the episode. We have a few trademark questions. You already answered one of them, uh, which was Jesse's, uh, maybe you want to ask it again just for clarity's sake, but d you want to go ahead?

[01:07:10]

Dee

Yeah, yeah. Um, in ten words or less. Can you describe material?

[01:07:14]

Vinay Gupta

Sure.

[01:07:15]

Vinay Gupta

So, um, material is a mass adoption strategy for Ethereum to convince lawyers to take the assets that they guard and control and allow them to be transacted on the blockchain?

[01:07:26]

Corey Petty

Way more than ten.

[01:07:27]

Dee

That was 22. That was roughly 22 words. But we're going to give you the precise enough.

[01:07:35]

Corey Petty

Jesse, you want to go again? You want to.

[01:07:37]

Jessie Broke

Change. Yeah. Let's let's for for, uh. For clarity's sake, let's have you re-answer. So, is what you do actually difficult?

[01:07:46]

Vinay Gupta

Uh, yes. Um. A very, very smart team drove themselves insane probably three times over the last six, seven years to get from a blank sheet of paper through to securitization of real estate.

[01:08:03]

Vinay Gupta

Um, there's been.

[01:08:03]

Vinay Gupta

A lot of fallout this project has. I don't want to say it's eaten people, but it's definitely broken people, including me, once or twice. It's just really hard.

[01:08:14]

Corey Petty

You know. Thank you for doing the hard work. It seems to be going for a good cause.

[01:08:17]

Vinay Gupta

If I was 25, I would have given up three times already, right? I mean, if I was 35, I would have given up twice the kind of endurance that you get when you get to your late 40s. And your 50s is just like, I can hit this wall more often than this wall can survive me hitting it. And I have a spoon and I am undefeatable. Right? You kind of just like, oh, it's going to take three years to get this done. I got three years, right? I've done three year projects. Three year project. Okay, fine. Oh, now this is getting to be six years. Well, this is starting to be long, but but that thing of just like. You see what I'm saying, right? It's oh my God. So yeah. Middle aged superpowers. It turns out you need those guys for some things. And our team is mostly in its 40s and 50s. And man, you have never seen grinding power like a bunch of, you know, 52 year old dudes chewing on a problem.

[01:09:07]

Vinay Gupta

You know, it's like, wow.

[01:09:09]

Vinay Gupta

This is a lot of power. Um, but it's really hard to market because it's like, wow, middle aged staying power. It's a product. Um, not so much. People like youthful enthusiasm. Think of like, we are so middle aged. There is no problem. We can't face down. Nobody wants to hear that. But it's how it works.

[01:09:27]

Dee

Thanks for the hope.

[01:09:29]

Vinay Gupta

I can't wait till your superpower.

[01:09:31]

Dee

The older you get, the more you like. Have less to look forward to. So I love that. Oh no.

[01:09:36]

Vinay Gupta

Middle aged, middle aged man.

[01:09:39]

Vinay Gupta

Because what it gets to is like, oh yeah, I did something like that when I was 20 and we really screwed it up. I did something like that again when I was 35, and we got better at it when I was 42. We did that and we got it right, and now we can do that just like bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And that thing where you've got a team of people that are all looking back at 30 years of professional experience, the stuff just comes in and you're just like, boom, done, boom, done. Anybody got that one? I know somebody who got one boom done. And it's just like 30 years of practice. People get really good at stuff. Um, and you know, I'm aging into that, right? Like, I've gone over, over the course of my involvement in material, I've gone from being an aging wunderkind to being genuinely middle aged. You know, I was kind of, you know, 40. I was kind of like at the tail end of, like, promising Young Person. You know, I was a very young for, you know, promising young person. I'm now fully middle aged. It's like, wow, okay. Now I have middle aged superpowers. Watch this. Bam!

[01:10:37]

Corey Petty

I look forward to seeing what those superpowers do over the next decade or so. So thanks again for coming on the show.

[01:10:43]

Vinay Gupta

That was great.

[01:10:44]

Vinay Gupta

All your trademark questions. It's a full set.

[01:10:46]

Corey Petty

Oh yeah. That's just those two round.

[01:10:48]

Vinay Gupta

So if we're going to do a part two, uh, it'd be good to talk about scaling architecture and, you know, like what it really means to have Ethereum as part of an ecosystem of transactional.

Episode hosts - Demetrick Fergurson, Corey Petty, Jessie Santiago

Produced by - Christian Noguera

Edited by - Joe Siebert 

Logos Press Engine ©2024
All rights reserved.
DiscordXGithubYoutubeRSS
Built by IFT