HomeBlockchain‘Untangling Web3’ podcast #2 recap: Blockchain

‘Untangling Web3’ podcast #2 recap: Blockchain

The second episode of Untangling Web3 (UW3) with hosts Alec Burns and Jack Davies targeted on blockchain know-how, its historical past, main use circumstances, and core ideas. In response to Burns and Davies, blockchain and Web3 are intently linked, and the content material all through this episode will assist listeners perceive why.

What’s blockchain?

To kick issues off, Burns shared his definition of blockchain, “a digital record of transactions that are shared and maintained by multiple computers.”

“This, along with some quite detailed mathematics and cryptography make it very secure and very difficult to edit and that’s the core concept of blockchain,” he added.

Davies mentioned, in his opinion, there are two elements that make up blockchain. One side is the info construction itself. The second side—and why “blockchain” has develop into such a buzzword—is the distributed ledger (vs. only a digital ledger), that means the ledger is shared and replicated amongst a community of computer systems.

Historical past of blockchain

Davies defined the appearance of Bitcoin popularized blockchain in January 2009, Bitcoin being essentially the most broadly used utility of this construction.

“Bitcoin is really the thing that kicked everything off and started the conversation about blockchain,” he mentioned.

Burns added that Ethereum is the second largest blockchain by market cap and was created with a “world computer” in thoughts, whereas Bitcoin was created as a peer-to-peer digital money system.

Quick ahead to immediately, and there are actually 1000s of various blockchains.

The notion of why we have now so many blockchains vs. only one or two was put forth by Davies. He defined how new blockchains have been began as much as be application-specific, or corporations have tried to launch their very own as a fund-raising mechanism.

A 3rd avenue is to have one blockchain the place many individuals agree on what must be taking place, and there’s a broad consensus on the way it ought to work.

One other class we have now is personal blockchains, however they don’t seem to be used as a lot anymore, and other people have gone again to public blockchains similar to BSV and Ethereum. The pair identified how, again within the day, we had personal web, however individuals finally went again to the general public web, an identical sample to what we see within the blockchain world.

Burns added that one of many explanation why individuals or companies might lean in the direction of personal blockchains vs. public is as a result of there’s a false impression about what a public blockchain means by way of privateness. He mentioned utilizing a public blockchain doesn’t imply your information is shared to everybody.

“You can just reference things on chain and its really difficult to create an actual link between the raw data and what’s being referenced on the blockchain,” Burns defined.

How does blockchain relate to Web3?

Seeing that this can be a Web3 podcast, the hosts wished to tie again their factors about blockchain to the Web3 world.

“The initial ideas and principals that are inherent to blockchain, this idea of removing unnecessary third parties, having more efficient peer-to-peer direct interactions, all of these are values that are common to blockchain, essentially. They have co-existed and grown up together, this notion of web3,” mentioned Davies of the connection between blockchain and Web3.

“Web3 is a natural evolution of blockchain,” he confirmed.

Phrases to untangle: decentralization

Decentralization is a phrase we so typically hear thrown round on the subject of blockchain, however what does it imply, actually?

“For something like Bitcoin, [decentralization means] the minimum number of parties you need for the network to maintain its properties,” mentioned Davies

We want anyplace from 3 to fifteen miners engaged on a series to keep up immutability, operate correctly, and so on. For these techniques to operate accurately, you don’t want an enormous variety of miners concerned.

Burns mentioned there are loads of damaging connotations related to decentralization.

“Some people related it to a decentralization of power, but more and more a decentralized network is about a robust system which removes any single points of failure,” he defined.


“Peer-to-peer,” a time period used all through the Bitcoin white paper and likewise inside the Web3 world, refers to a direct trade between customers with out pointless third events, much like how money works.

The hosts mentioned how there are inefficiencies the Bitcoin mannequin can enhance, similar to in digital funds the place there are such a lot of charges and intermediaries concerned.

Digital forex

Can we name Bitcoin “digital currency”? In response to Burns and Davies, Bitcoin is extra like digital cash than forex.


Immutability is among the core elements of blockchain, first on the subject of its decentralized nature and second with consensus. It’s troublesome, if not unattainable, to vary the information as soon as they’re within the ledger.

Use circumstances: Social media

Subsequent, the hosts went into use circumstances for blockchain know-how. Davies mentioned how we will enhance social media with blockchain through the use of micropayments.

For instance, now its free to make use of social media and since there isn’t a value related to abusing the system, trolls and bot farms abuse the system at leisure. As a substitute of being free, we will apply a sure (negligible) value, so the system turns into expensive to abuse at scale.

Burns added by infusing micropayment performance with social media, we all of the sudden have new methods to monetize engagement.

Provide chain

Burns went on to focus on the provision chain as one other basic, tangible use case for blockchain know-how. He mentioned customers care if their product comes from truthful commerce, and we’d like belief in information. Through the use of blockchain tech for provide chain information administration, we will perceive the assorted levels of the merchandise we’re shopping for, the place it’s coming from, and so on. We may be positive the info is correct when blockchain is concerned as a result of it can’t be edited or modified.

“There is a lot of work going around digital identity and as soon as we start to combine that with the data that’s being submitted on-chain, we then get a degree of authenticity and probably, even the ability to verify that data as well,” Burns mentioned.

Davies added that non-public blockchains have been focusing on this use case and requested Burns to clarify how a public blockchain may very well be used for the provision chain whereas holding delicate info confidential.

To interrupt it down into easy phrases, Burns defined we might put the delicate information by means of a hashing algorithm so it’s “muddled,” put it on the blockchain, and afterward, if somebody needs to examine the info, they’ll. The uncooked information itself doesn’t go on-chain. Solely off-chain is the place the uncooked information is exchanged.

Considerations with utilizing blockchain: Scalability

In response to Burns, scalability is a serious ache level with many blockchains on the market. Take CryptoKitties, for instance (constructed on Ethereum), when the applying took off, the charges have been astronomical!

“This is a big issue for a lot of blockchains, the scalability aspect,” he confirmed.


As we have now touched on a number of occasions already, the privateness of knowledge saved on a public blockchain is a priority for a lot of. Davies defined what you may see on the blockchain is the general public key, and you may construct advanced privateness options on high.

“You can sacrifice your privacy if you use it incorrectly,” he cautioned.

Safety measures as a person

When utilizing blockchain know-how, it may be troublesome to get better funds if you’re not aware of how the system works. Handle your 12-word phrase for pockets restoration, and don’t throw out your exhausting drive together with your personal keys!! (It has been performed earlier than and is now in a landfill with 1000’s of BTC concerned).

It’s getting simpler to get better funds as time goes on, however you continue to should watch out as a result of there are dangers concerned, the hosts suggested.

Watch The Bitcoin Masterclasses: Workshop: Sensible methods to make use of blockchain & IPv6

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New to blockchain? Take a look at CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Novices part, the final word useful resource information to study extra about blockchain know-how.


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