This interview is the long-form version of a conversation about cryptocurrencies and blockchain with Taylor Gerring, Blockchain Consulting Expert and Co-Founder of Ethereum.


Clips from the interview

The next logical step
“The Internet has done a lot of things to make the world smaller. Blockchain is the logical step in that.”

Getting into blockchain
“The way I got involved in blockchain was during a sabbatical from work. I noticed the bitcoin logo online and got interested in 2013. I haven’t left the space yet. I was pleasantly surprised and had no reason to crawl my way back out and find another technology.”

A space rock that crashed on earth
“For me, part of the fascination is that we don’t quite know what this is but a lot of people gather around it. Like some kind of space rock that crashed to earth with a lot of people gathering around it, even though they don’t know exactly what it is yet.”

A transformative bitcoin experience
“One thing that was very transformative for me was buying a plane ticket online with bitcoin. We’re giving up a lot of information buying plane tickets traditionally, and airlines don’t really need all this information. When I used cryptocurrency I noticed I saved a lot of time. There are improvements to make, like holding up the smartphone to the screen to pay. But as we get further and further along with the technology, friction points will disappear.”

A new paradigm for changing the world
“Social impact and governance is the reason for a lot of people getting involved. Think about Paypal, they also wanted digital money, but they are tied to the old system. Now, with blockchain, a Paypal that started today could do things that was not possible ten or twenty years ago. That’s incredibly important.”

Meeting the needs of humans, not machines
“Whether it’s computer technology or a farming tool. It’s all technology that helps us work more efficiently. People are more or less conservative about the impacts of new technologies. With the invention of the car people thought moving too fast is detrimental to human society. Those claims are obviously unfounded, but I view a lot of critiques of new technology through that lens. I want to make sure we avoid a kind of evil ‘Skynet’ that we don’t control. We need to meet the needs of humans, not machines. We need to keep things on a route that’s positive for humanity.”

Avoiding the ‘Skynet’ future
“People don’t want to discuss the ‘Skynet’ future because it has a lot of negative connotations. How do we avoid going down that route? Let’s make technology to make sure we have an even distribution of access to goods and resources. There are some meritocacy components, but it should be egalitarian. Right now, we have a lot more wealth in some parts than in others. Hopefully, we can raise the standards of living for all through wealth creation.”

Fixing the Internet
“I am excited about fixing some of the problems we have with the web and the Internet today. In the beginning, the idea of the Internet was to have a net of equal peers that trade information. Now, big companies control the flow of information on the Internet. Decentralizing technology will allow us to get back to the original version of the Internet. Re-decentralizing it will help improve the logevity of the net. Moving away from the current centralized model we can assuage some problems, such as the ownership of data.”

Protecting a historical monument
“I grew up with computers and they were a huge influence on my live. The Internet changes people’s lives and helps us connect more closely. It’s an important tool that we have to hold on to. It may retain human history at some point if we go down of the route of blockchains to record our transactions. Nobody wants to go back to a pre-Internet age. It might be nice to live out in a forest in a cabin without the Internet, but it would be harder to call your brother. In the end, that connection is what people really want.”