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Epicenter brings you in-depth conversations about the technical, economic and social implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Every week, we interview business leaders, engineers academics and entrepreneurs, and bring you a diverse spectrum of opinions and points of view. Epicenter is hosted by Sebastien Couture, Brian Fabian Crain, Friederike Ernst, Meher Roy and Felix Lutsch. Since 2014, our episodes have been downloaded over 8 million times.
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As more and more L2s launch promising to scale Ethereum, they end up competing for the same market share, userbase and liquidity. Apart from this harsh reality, crosschain interactions should be as seamless as possible in order to bridge different L2 ecosystems. Polygon envisions a scalable future in which various zero knowledge rollups post their …
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In a world where a handful of (centralised) entities hold the majority of staked Ethereum (either directly or via delegation), the network’s decentralisation and security might be in peril. While there are multiple proposals being discussed to address this pressing matter, from reducing issuance after a certain breakpoint (~30% of total ETH being s…
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One could argue that psychedelic research has experienced a similar journey as crypto, in the sense that decentralised communities bound together to fund research where centralised entities refuse to do so. One of the greatest hurdles in modern science is access to research funding, and DeSci aims to provide a solution through decentralised crowdfu…
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The approval of Ethereum spot ETFs sent shockwaves through the industry as policymakers pivoted abruptly from threatening to veto FIT21 bill, to a pro-crypto discourse. One could say their hand was forced by the imminent US elections, but Ethereum is now officially classified as a commodity, nonetheless. As the regulatory hurdle seems, for the time…
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The massive success of the recently approved spot Bitcoin ETF showed tremendous interest from large institutional players. Even despite negative takes in public appearances, behind the curtain, more and more ‘smart money’ accumulate $BTC, either directly or through ETF shares. The same is to be expected for Ethereum, yet uncertainty still looms due…
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5 years, 20 Grants, 3715 projects crowd-funded and over $60M raised towards public goods funding, from 4.2M unique donations. Gitcoin’s headline numbers are indicative of the massive success their quadratic funding (QF) and public goods funding models (PGF) have seen over the years. With Gitcoin 2.0, crowd-funding is further decentralised, Allo Pro…
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The initial scaling roadmap for Ethereum featured execution layer sharding. However, the rapid advancements of layer 2 scaling solutions in general, and zero knowledge proofs in particular, caused a restructuring of the original plan. The reason was that rollups would have required less changes made to Ethereum’s base layer, hence lower risks. On t…
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Long regarded as an impending black swan, Tether has successfully weathered out the contagion and bank runs caused by Luna’s collapse in the depths of the 2022-2023 bearmarket. Since then, a large portion of Tether’s reserves has been shifted to treasury bills, which are the closest dollar proxy, positioning Tether among the top 20 holders of T-bil…
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What started out as a plan to build prediction markets, Gnosis ended up building crucial Ethereum infrastructure and tooling. Safe is one of its many successes, which originated during the 2017 ICO mania, as a solution for managing the raised capital securely, via a multi-sig. Even back then, the multi-sig model was quickly adopted by the entire in…
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One of the most important hurdles to mass adoption is represented by blockchain scalability, which also hinders the real-life utility of its numerous applications. While there are different solutions being experimented with, one should not overlook the importance of security and decentralisation. Saga introduces the concept of chainlets, interopera…
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Classical, monolithic blockchains are inherently limited in their throughput due to their single-thread execution architecture. Modern VMs attempt to solve this issue through parallelisation being implemented from the get-go. Movement Labs employs the Move-VM to build a ZK L2 rollups on Ethereum, thus also deriving its security. Through parallel ex…
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Market makers help create more efficient markets and liquid order books, by positioning themselves on the receiving end of a trade that other market participants are unwilling to fill. Quantitative analysis is crucial in determining their position and size. Wintermute defines itself as a tech-first company that also became one of the largest spot m…
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Credit is a widely used term, which could essentially be summarised as “more capital so you can do whatever you want”. In DeFi, there are numerous ways of getting exposure to an asset in a leveraged manner: from looping to perpetuals and margin trading, the possibilities are endless (especially when you also account for synthetic versions). Gearbox…
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While large language models (LLMs) are rather passive from an economic perspective on their own, AI agents offer a preview of what truly autonomous AI applications can achieve. Fetch.ai aims to create a platform for economic interactions in the AI economy, where participants can provide many different kinds of stake, ranging from purely financial, …
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As technology progresses, infrastructure should be commoditised, especially in Web3, in order to avoid the creation of bottlenecks and gatekeepers. Blockchains are naturally oblivious to off-chain data, so they need oracles to fetch data. However, given their past technical limitations, oracles have failed to provide a decentralised and permissionl…
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Blockchains are, by default, public ledgers containing every transaction recorded by the network. While this ensures transparency, it also violates users’ privacy once an address is linked to an entity. Apart from creating additional risk for self-custody, institutions are also limited by what they can publicly share on a blockchain. As a result, t…
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The monolithic blockchain era appears to be sunsetting. Among the first to contribute to this paradigm shift was Cosmos, which introduced the idea of specialized sovereign blockchains (appchains), made possible by the Cosmos SDK. Nowadays, the modular thesis employs external data availability and even execution solutions, which enables the creation…
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