Trust in finance system undergoing big shift, says crypto co-founder

Bitcoin made use of that technology to implement a cryptocurrency and ethereum has expanded on that. It implements digital assets like cryptocurrencies, but it also brings the same sort of bottom-up trust to the operation of any sort of application that you can think of.

Eyers: Non-fungible tokens have taken off since the difficult period, the crypto winter of 2019, when everything went quiet for a couple of years. What lessons did you take from the initial interest of 2017-2018?

Lubin: Moving from centralised systems to decentralised systems is one of the most profound paradigm shifts that humanity has experienced or is undergoing. It doesn’t move on straight lines. So it’s certainly going to be volatile because there are a lot of vested interests, and it requires a lot of understanding and a lot of building of fundamental new constructs.

And bitcoin was a fundamental new construct. It was applied to a narrow use case of that technology. Tokenisation was sort of more general. Tokenisation was a new construct that ethereum enabled and people realise that, hey, you could potentially build the decentralised venture capital with that. And so there was an irrationally exuberant rush to fund a lot of projects and, surprisingly, a lot of those projects, a good number, have actually survived and become really important.

Subsequent constructs involved things like decentralised finance. We’ve had DeFi 1.0. We’ve had another wave of DeFi 2.0. We’ve seen non-fungible tokens…

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