Picking the Right Blockchain for the Job

Today, I wants to speak to you aboutwhich blockchain is the “best” blockchain. “re ready”? Let’s ask the audience. Altogether, at the tally of three, you shoutout which blockchain you think is the best. Three, two, one …[ Audience screams] Fantastic. That is what subjective know is all about.We all have sentiments, but opinions genuinely don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it is the “best”blockchain in your opinion or not. Maybe it does matter if you are a trader, and you need to guess what everybody else thinks it is. This thing is about sensing. I am not going to tell you which blockchain is “the best.” I think that is a hilarious question to even ask. It is a bit like questioning, “What is the best car? ” “What is the best pair of shoes? ” It depends on what you want toachieve with this car or pair of shoes. If you ask someone what the best pair of shoes is, they may tell you: strong hiking boots.If you ask someone else, they may tell you: Manolo Blahniks. Have you ever tried hiking in Manolo Blahniks? Have you ever moved a style show in hiking boots? They wouldn’t work so well, right? Purpose matters.The purpose you want to build the tool for, matters. The role determineswhat the best blockchain will be. The general question”what is the best blockchain” makes no sense. You need to state the purpose.You can expect, “What is the best blockchain for my purpose? ” “What is the best cryptocurrency for my purpose? “But you can’t just ask, “what is the best? ” That builds no sense. If you start reading the marketing advertisements, I’m sure they will try to contradict what I has been said. They will tell you, “This blockchain can do everything.It is scalable, secure, and fast.” “It times smart contracts and sound money.” “It is quantum resistant, super private, and uses military-grade encryption.” That last part really means 128 -bit encryption … it’s bullshit, which is the purposeof a marketing brochure, of course. People will[ make a lot of predicts] about their favouriteproject, but you should really ask what the purpose is. What are you trying to achieve? In architecture, there is a great phrase fromthe 1980 s, which is: figure follows function.The project is, with any construct, the highway it looksshould communicate what it is used for. The constitute should follow the purpose; the architectureof the building should indicate the specific objectives. The same thing to be applied in blockchains. The architecture of the system should show what it is intended to be used for. But that is a very difficult thing to do, for architects, software engineers, and commodity managers.It is even more difficult in open-source, public blockchains. They are the only ones I care aboutand think are interesting. It is difficult[ to wade through] all of the opinionsabout what a blockchain might do or will do. Pick any one of the open public blockchainsthat exists today, and ask about twenty developers … working on it about what the primary purpose is.”What is this thing supposed to do? ” They will give you twenty different answers.”Sound money.” “Digital cash.” “It will need large-scale blocks.” “It will be required small-scale blocks.””It can manage smart contracts.” “It can do everything[ there is a requirement to ]. ” But what does it do for you? That is a more interesting question. You must decidewhat fits the employment you are trying to build. Unfortunately, that question is not asked a lot.You can tell, because people are still tryingto apply blockchain technology … to a whole bunch of things that don’t need a blockchain. I have considered wearing a t-shirt at all conferenceswhich says, “You don’t need a blockchain for that.”[ Laughter] When I am attending a hackathonand they present applications, someone claims, “We have made digital music on the blockchain.”You don’t need a blockchain for that. Why would you need a blockchain for that? I should just write that question ona sign and pick it up each time. What does a blockchain do? It is not a content database. It is not just somewhere you record digital signatures.You certainly don’t need a blockchain for just that. It is not scalable or efficient. It is decentralized, stick, and( for the ones I care about) extremely robust against censorship. That makes it should keep running even when very powerful beings or organizations … want to stop it from moving. For that use case, you need a blockchain. But what manner? How would you design it? Let’s talk about the engineering challenges whenbuilding these systems.You need to make choices. Some of these selects come up at the very early stage. For example, do I want to build a system thatis very specific, or with a broad generic purpose? Why don’t we are only do both? You can’t do both. Arrangements that are specific needto be optimised for that intent. In doing so, they are no longer flexible enough to handle the general purpose. Organization that are general-purpose don’t have the uniquecharacteristics you need for specific applications. That should be a self-conscious decision at the beginning. Some blockchains are designed for rather specificapplications; some blockchains are designed … to handle generic employments. Both often claim that they can be both. Once you have made a decision on that firstquestion, it is required to build further decisions, all of which involve more intractable trade-offs.”Intractable” necessitates, you can’t get both sides. I must select[ one or the other ]. That choice thendetermines the direction that the blockchain will make. As a developer, decorator, or architect, you don’t[ have the influence] to tell the market … how they will use your concoction. If you try to be too specific, the market maydecide that it is not suitable for what they need.If you try to be too generic, but you onlyhave one type of application in recollection, the market may decide to use it fora completely different type of application. Hopefully, they will. As a developer, decorator, or architect, you rarely havethe exclusive knowledge of what other people need. There is too much variety. You can scarcely imagine what parties might needin other places in the world that you don’t understand, under different circumstances than your own. You certainly can’t do that across a broad-minded timefame. We are building arrangements that might last-place, should last, will last, for decades. What do people need today? What will people need in 30 times? Very different asks. The developers who are forming these very carefultrade-offs, need to consider that they are … procreating those decisions with incomplete information. Even if they try to design someting with very specificapplications in thought, the market may decide … to do something completely different. Back to architecture autobiography. In the 1960 s and 1970 s, in California, theymade swimming pools in organic appearances. No longer square, but with curves.Have you envision those types of swimming pools? Then there was a big drought; for a pair years, it was forbidden to fill your swimming pool…Because there wasn’t enough water.Guess what happened next? Skateboarding exploded in vogue across California. Skateboarders investigated those curves and guessed,’ If I stand on the edge and kick down, we could have some fun with this !’ All of the swimming pools which had been designedwith arcs, became the first skate ballparks. Skateboarding wasn’t a big deal before then and mostly involved[ drive] in straight, flat wires. That boast was changed. Do you think the swimmming kitty designerscould imagine that, ten years later, some snot-nosed nosed kid would gowizzing around them on wheels? No. Constitute follows gathering … sometimes.Sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes the figure follows the function thatthe designer thought it would have, and then the market says, “I have another functionthat fits perfectly with this curve.” You can never know how that will play out.The same thing will happen with blockchains. Ultimately, the users and the market decide. You can have all the ideas you demand, and hitherto now we are, insisting about it.Maybe we will have a panel of six very serious experts.Some of them will say, “It is a store-of-value.” Somebody else will say, “It is a medium-of-exchange.” Another one “re just saying”, “It can’t be a unit-of-account, because the volatility is too high.” And then someone will say, “Maybe we should focus on smart contracts.” But they don’t really know what they’re talking about, because they don’t get to decide[ for everyone ]. These are rulings, but they[ don’trepresent every] consumer. Useds will decide. You can fix something that seems to fit better witha store-of-value use case, or a smart contracts use subject. The makes and decorators of Bitcoin had some meanings about it being digital cash. For some period of time, it dallies as digital cash. For another period of time, it frisks as speculative gamble fund. And in other days, it frisks as a store-of-value, especiallyin countries where their money is distressed. Which of those will it be? We don’t know.It depends on a lot of factors that we don’t know yet. It depends on what happens to national currenciesand inflation in the U.S ., Europe, and Japan. It depends on how the world countries transforms. It depends on whether cash, as it exists today, will still exist in fifteen years. All of these factors have nothing to do with Bitcoin.The designers of Ethereum had sure-fire applicationsin thinker, predominantly engineering lotions. Did they think it would become a platform for launchingten thousand victimizes and pump-and-dumps?[ Laughter] No, but it was very good at that! A generic, flexible platform to build whateversmart contract you can imagine, will attract … the kind of person who wants to builda beautifully engineered pump-and-dump scheme. Does that modification what Ethereum does[ as a whole ]? No. It merely intends, it was a niche thatthe market decided was really hot.Why? Because a entire bunch of naive investors, and even more naive venture capitalists, were propelling as much moneyas possible into this new space. Two years ago, you could attach “blockchain”to any other word, and a venture capitalist … would propel a marry billion dollars at you. Music? Blockchain. Movie? Blockchain! Real-estate? Blockchain. Blockchain real-estate? Asparagus? Blockchain asparagus.”Two billion dollars for ou, sir. That reverberates fascinating.” You could even blend it with the other’ cool’ messages. “We will nurture asparagus with blockchain-based, artificial intelligence targeted autonomous drones.”[ Laughter] That direction, you could check all of the boxes, and they would throw tens of millions of dollars at you. None of it made any sense! The market not only decides[ rationally ], but sometimesthe market is stupid, crazy, and irrational.It is driven by sentiment and emotion.Over the next decade, things will calm down. People will figure out thatyou don’t need a blockchain for that. How will most of them figure that out? They will endow their fund and then lose their money. They will invest more of their moneyand then lose it again. By the third loss, most smart-alecky investors would start picking up on that pattern. For the less smart investors, it may take themten or fifteen rounds of losings. The bottom line is, there is no “best” for every purpose. The individuals involved in doing difficult trade-offs everyday, cannot design for a purpose that is too specific. That can be limiting and miss what the marketmay want to do. They can miss the timing. They likewise cant design something that is toogeneric, because it won’t have enough … powerful capabilities to solvereal questions that we have. They is important to originate difficult trade-offs. You can’t simply be scalable, decentralized, assure, and fast[ at the same time ]. In engineering expressions, there are some fundamental trade-offs. We categorize them as quandaries or trilemmas. A classic trilemma is: protection, decentralization, and scalability. In a trilemma, you can onlypick two of the three[ options ]. If you shape something that is maximally scalableand secure, it probalby won’t be very decentralized. If you stimulate something that is maximally scalableand decentralized, it probably won’t be secure. If you draw something that is maximally decentralizedand secure, it probably won’t be very scalable. Of course, there will be blockchain projectsthat tell you, “We can do all three! ” That means they don’t understand the trade-off, which is even more dangerous.There are two prospects: lying or ignorance.Ignorance of the trilemma is far worse. This is what I used to tell my consultation buyers: “I can deliver the answer fast, cheap, or immense. Pick two.” “I can do it fast and cheap, but it won’t be the best.I can do it cheap and it will be great, but it won’t be fast.” “I can do it fast and it will be great, but rely me, it won’t be cheap! ” That is at the core of a trilemma we face every dayin life. Life involves choices. Think of it as a outing. When you go through the door on the left, you may lose whatever is through the liberty opening. You may never be able to go back and takethat street, and the roads that branch off from it. You have built your alternative. When dealing with building the best blockchainfor a specific purpose, every select you build, whether you know it or not, can closeas countless likelihoods as it opens. The next time someone asks you, “What is the best blockchain, ” instead of shouting out the appoint of your favourite, invite “For what? ” Thank you very much![ Applause]


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Peter Pi

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