This is a special episode of the a16z podcast — it's an audio history, told through the voices of the a16z crypto team, about what crypto is, how it really works, and why it matters. This "innovation overview" is meant as a resource, and it features hallway-style conversations with the a16z team as well as outside experts.
In brief segments, we’ll take you from the ground up — from the basics, to the most current developments, and beyond that to a look at what we might see in the future.
Here are the topics and voices you'll hear:
- Introduction — Zoran Basich, a16z crypto editor
- Before bitcoin: previous attempts to create digital money, 1:45 — Dan Boneh, computer science professor at Stanford and a16 advisor
- The core innovations of Satoshi’s white paper, 3:36 — Dan Boneh
- Proof of work, 5:36 — Alex Pruden, chief strategy officer at Aleo Systems and former a16z crypto partner
- Mining and why it’s important, 7:10 — Alex Pruden
- The history of mining, 8:20 — Alex Pruden
- Value in monetary systems, or why bitcoin is worth anything, 9:53 — Arianna Simpson, a16z crypto partner
- Bitcoin as store of value, 11:30 — Arianna Simpson
- Security in crypto, 12:45 — Alex Pruden
- Why is it called a blockchain? 14:00 — Eddy Lazzarin, a16z data scientist
- Why the blockchain matters and what you can do with it, 15:09 — Chris Dixon, a16z general partner
- Beyond bitcoin, 17:01 — Eddy Lazzarin
- Ethereum as logical extension of open source, 17:36 — Eddy Lazzarin
- Tokens: What are they? 19:04 — Eddy Lazzarin
- Tokens and the functions they serve, 19:53 — Scott Kupor, a16z managing partner
- Tokens and the ownership economy, 21:19 — Jesse Walden, Variant Fund founder, former a16z partner, and Mediachain founder
- What tokens enable for creators, 22:18 — Ali Yahya, a16z general partner
- What DeFi means, 23:58 — Eddy Lazzarin
- Yield farming: What is it? 25:16 — Eddy Lazzarin
- NFTs: What they are and why they matter, 27:15 — Linda Xie, Scalar Capital managing director, and Jesse Walden
- Developer ecosystems, crypto, and composability, 30:17 — Jesse Walden
- Decentralized networks, value capture, and what it means for builders, 33:05 — Ali Yahya
- The big picture, web3, and DAOs, 35:38 — Chris Dixon
For more crypto resources, please see our Crypto Startup School page, our documentary about the program, and our NFT Canon.
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