Web3 Innovators

Blockchain Innovators - Conor Svensson and Joseph Lubin

September 29, 2021 Season 1 Episode 12
Web3 Innovators
Blockchain Innovators - Conor Svensson and Joseph Lubin
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Blockchain Innovators, Conor Svensson, founder and CEO of Web3 Labs, talks to Joseph Lubin, founder and CEO of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum.

Joe is one of the leading voices in blockchain technology given his path working alongside Vitalik Buterin and a number of others in launching the Ethereum blockchain. He created ConsenSys in 2014, with the goal of providing a commercial entity to drive the wider adoption of Ethereum and its technology.

This podcast is taken from a recent EEA Virtual Meetup where Conor and Joe cover a number of topics including ConsenSys's recent commercial successes with its MetaMask wallet and its funding round supported by JP Morgan, Mastercard, Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation and others.  Joe also shares his thoughts on where we are headed with technologies like Central Bank Digital Currencies, NFTs and DAOs and of course, talk also turned to Elon Musk and his impact on crypto!

Given Joe's incredible journey with Ethereum so far, the valuable insights he provides in this podcast are  fascinating to listen to.

You can also watch this video on our YouTube channel here.

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Hi, it's Conor Svensson here, founder and CEO of  Web3 Labs. This is a conversation I had with Joe   Lubin, founder and CEO of ConsenSys and co-founder  of Ethereum. Joe is one of the leading voices in   blockchain technology given his part working  alongside Vitalik Buterin and a number of others   in launching the Ethereum blockchain. He created  ConsenSys back in 2014 with the goal of providing   a commercial entity to drive wider adoption of  Ethereum and its technology. I recently hosted Joe   for a fireside conversation at one of our virtual  Enterprise Ethereum Alliance meetups. We covered a   number of topics here including ConsenSys's recent  commercial successes with its MetaMask wallet   and its funding round which was supported  by JP Morgan, Mastercard, Protocol Labs,   the Maker Foundation and others. Also, we got his  thoughts on where we're headed with technologies   like central bank digital currencies, NFTs and  DAOs and of course, touched on Elon Musk and his   impact on crypto. Given Joe's incredible  journey with Ethereum so far it was great to   get his insights on everything that's happening  at the moment and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too!   Joe, thank you first of all for making time  it's always great to chat and catch up and   certainly have a few dialogues over the years.  Yeah and yeah, it's a pleasure to be here and   thanks everyone for coming out and importantly in  this context maybe the most significant founding   that I was associated with was ConsenSys being  a founding member and prime driver of the EEA   so shout out to the EEA and the formational  moments. Definitely, the EEA are so excited   when it was first announced, this is just  what enterprise folk wanted to see happen   with Ethereum. So you started ConsenSys as  I said earlier back in 2014 and this year,   I think as an observer there's been like a  couple of really pivotal things that have   happened with ConsenSys. So back  in February, it was reported that   MetaMask was earning a hundred thousand dollars  a day via its token swaps functionality so a big   revenue driver. Then also in April there was a 65  million dollar funding round that ConsenSys closed   backed by the likes of JP Morgan, Mastercard,  UPS, Protocol Labs and the Maker Foundation. Is   it fair to say that 2021 is the year where you  feel you're starting to really see the fruits   of your labor and these bets that you've had,  this conviction for all this year pay off? Or   do you feel that you were there earlier or  there's still a lot more to happen so to speak   because this is massive news what's already  happened in 2021? Yeah, so payoff can mean monetary and numerical. I feel like we've seen  so many things pay off over the years as we were   a major contributor to standing up the Ethereum  ecosystem for the smart contracts blockchain   ecosystem. The history of ConsenSys is that  the mothership ConsenSys Mesh invested in   a lot of projects, incubated a lot of  projects and spun out a lot of projects   and built some of the most important projects  in the space - developer, tooling, wallet   etc. So some of the biggies are Infura and Truffle  developer tool suite, our customer success group,   our diligence security audit group, Quorum  (which is the name that we use for a wide   variety of Ethereum node or client solutions  both public mainnet and enterprise focus)   and the consumer piece which is also  becoming an institutional piece, MetaMask,   is doing astonishingly well. So those groups  in addition to a group called Codifi which   builds financial primitives that we can  launch into MetaMask for consumers or   pure Truffle for developers and into  Quorum for enterprises, those pieces are   part of a spin out called ConsenSys Software  Inc. which is a a focused integrated software   product company. So ConsenSys Mesh and ConsenSys  Software Inc. proceed in parallel. ConsenSys Mesh   manages portfolio and continues to incubate  .... So success yeah, opening up the ecosystem,   having many millions of monthly active users.  Being profitable is a nice thing, that round   that you mentioned the 65 million round,  brought a bunch of major financial institutions   into a situation where a bunch of organizations in  our own ecosystem both invested into the formation   round of ConsenSys Software Inc. and it was a  validation of our convergence hypothesis which   is being increasingly validated. That is that  the revolutionaries would get out there and   build out the infrastructure and start using  the infrastructure and the evolutionaries,   organizations like Santander, JP Morgan etc,  some of the pillars of this institution, the EEA,   would make maybe their revolutionaries too  because they were early. But the ones behind them   would take advantage of the technology in  ways that they're comfortable and ConsenSys   has focused on making it comfortable  to use Ethereum Virtual Machine based   technology. Bottom line, it's happening,  we've been projecting this for a long time,   this decentralized future. Now we're living  in the decentralized future. We've seen the   blockchain, we've seen cryptocurrencies,  we've seen other forms of digital assets,   DeFi and especially NFTs crossing the chasm  into mainstream awareness and adoption. We were part of the innovators and the early  adopters but now the early majority is coming   across the chasm and those technologies are what's  doing it so it's all very exciting. We thought we   were living life at exponential acceleration five  years ago and we still are and exponential means   that there's a lot to do each day. Yeah, awesome.  You touch there on cross crossing the chasm. Do   you think that NFTs specifically have kind of been  the thing that's been you one of the big enablers,   well it's been one of the big enablers but  do you think that's the pivotal thing? That   or is it more that it's that plus DeFi  plus the just wider awareness of crypto?   Well, as the technology matures, gets a little  rounded around the edges, fewer sharp edges, it'll   bring in higher and higher hanging fruit -more  and more use cases and it'll be usable by less   deeply technologically savvy people. What's  happening is a paradigm shift to a new way of   building and organizing the world. So the web  basically accomplished the democratization of   access to information, ability to publish, ability  to engage in e-commerce, stand-up e-commerce or   do the same for social networks and what  we're seeing now is the democratization of   the new foundations of the emerging decentralized  digital economy. First foundation is the trust   foundation so that's protocols like Ethereum, the  maximally decentralized protocols, layer ones and   the infrastructure like layer two's built on top  of that. And it's democratized because it's not   constructed by a small group of entities and  controlled top down by centralized institutions,   it is open to technologists, entrepreneurs to  build, to fork, to modify, to fix rapidly and   to utilize. So that's the governance layer for  the planet essentially. This new trust foundation   is enabling the decentralized financial  player for the planet to be constructed   and that's also being done not by  centralized institutions but by entrepreneurs and technologists.  It's open and accessible and usable   to hopefully everybody at some point soon. I lost  my train of thought, can leave it there. Yeah. So   I think you were talking about NFTs being the  prime driver? So yeah, it is a prime driver   in opening up our ecosystem and the technology  to just many more millions of people and NFTs   will be... it is a profound invention. I think  it's going to change the nature of software going   forward. I think it's you know, software's  composed of software objects and now we have   software objects that can have unique identity  and can pay and be paid, and can vote or decide   and be voted on, and these software objects are  going to enable creators or content owners to   directly interact with the consumers or their  fans without the intermediaries capturing a huge   proportion of the value in those relationships.  The ability to wrap content and programmatically   unbundle or bundle different kinds  of rights around that content   so that you could identify far more rights  to certain content than what was previously   recognized - so streaming into certain  kinds of formats or public performance   and that will just make it so much easier for  so many more content creators to make a living. For the first time really we're noticing  huge blockchain based meetups and events,   clubhouse etc. that the crypto savvy people are  not organizing. So, artists are organizing them   because it's just technology that enables  something that they really care about.   Yeah, so the NFTs are kind of pulling  people in because on the surface   they can relate to it but then they start  scratching beneath the surface quite quickly   and they start to realize how it can be  tied with all these other great things. Yeah. So continuing just discussing on the  NFT side because there's the Palm Network   that's spun out of ConsenSys or certainly it's  a ConsenSys venture. You've certainly had very   significant success with the first project that  was put on that with Damien Hirst's pieces. ConsenSys is obviously very excited about  the possibilities with NFTs, where do you   see Palm going in terms of this first stage? Is  it just doing these drops and giving people the   opportunity to get involved with the collectibles?  But, there's got to be some bigger picture things   about how it can start to tie into some  other parts of the ecosystem potentially.   Is there a road map or ideas floating around  your head about that side at this point in time?   Sure, yeah. So ConsenSys and other companies and  people in our ecosystem have been doing NFTs for   a pretty long time. They weren't always called  NFTs, our Ujo project issued (that's a music   platform project), issued NFTs a long time ago.  Treum was tracking fish and consumer products with   NFTs. Treum has also launched EulerBeats, a really  successful generative art NFT set of projects.   Palm is indeed a network that the ConsenSys stood  up, there's a company called Palm NFT Studios,   which is related and it's essentially a digital  design interactive studio that helps companies   build platforms or do launches. ConsenSys stood  up this network because there was a need to create   a low cost, extremely low carbon footprint or  energy footprint side chain using exactly the   same Ethereum technologies - MetaMask and Infura -  that had a bridge. So it was intimately connected   to Ethereum mainnet and you can move different  kinds of tokens across the bridge and was also   very interested in enabling the creator so a  creator DAO is in formation and it will be funded   by a large number of Palm tokens. I shouldn't  perhaps use the term funded because these Palm   tokens have no value, as we all know, they're  just nice tokens that we're putting into the DAO.   People can petition the DAO for some of those  tokens in exchange for getting some work done.   Perhaps most importantly, there hasn't  been a really great platform on which DeFi   could be built specifically for NFTs. So in the  traditional economy, we have these fungible tokens   like money and shares and companies, and a lot  of financial infrastructure built up around that.   But there's an enormous amount of value in  non-fungible assets - title, mortgages, invoices   etc. and a lot of infrastructure around that  in the traditional world. We're going to see   a lot of DeFi infrastructure - automated  market makers, lending borrowing systems,   insurance etc. - all build up that is very similar  to the fungible token infrastructure but a little   bit different in some cases. So the AMMs will  have to be a bit different and I anticipate that   NFTs will play a huge role in providing  collateral to different situations. So   Palm is indeed an exciting project and the  Damien Hirst launch was spectacular. There's   more experimentation, I think, going to be built  on that project and there's a huge backlog or   pipeline of different launches that are lined up  that are extremely exciting. There's another one.   Yeah, it's going to be awesome to see these  drops happening. Then, to your point there about   the DeFi type support of NFTs, so the recent  news for instance was the marketplace OpenSea   actually launching their own tokens so that they  can start to move toward DAO type governance and   it got me thinking, is that almost like there's  the first step towards that world which is a   bit more analogous to what's happening within the  DeFi space with AMMs and so on. That you start to   have that DAO based structure behind the scenes  and then you have a token there that can reward   the people selling on top of the platforms. Yeah,  so I do think we're in the early days of DAOs but   they're getting very significant. It's going  to become absolutely necessary, in my opinion,   to have decentralized governance for many projects  if you want to be successful. The approach to regulatory issues, structures, complications is  a really interesting one. The SEC, a while ago,   came out with the doctrine of sufficient  decentralization and so if you can   demonstrate that your project is really genuinely  decentralized then I think that's going to go a   long way to defining a new kind of structure,  a new kind of collective structure, that needs to be seen differently and treated  differently by regulators. And there are some   incredibly cool, innovative things happening.  There's a lot of tooling sprouting up around DAOs.   We have a project called Sobol that  essentially enables you to view your organization, your flat organization or your  organization that might be composed of circles,   overlapping circles, circles within circles,  each representing initiatives, projects, teams   etc. That tool, which is a really remarkable tool,  we've used it for quite a while at ConsenSys, is   starting to get really intimate with  different DAO projects and providing   some of that infrastructure and other  voting systems, treasury management systems,   have been sprouting up that are really exciting.  Our friends Hypnosis have built some important   pieces to that and people are building  on top of those specifically for DAOs.   The LAO infrastructure is really exciting,  Flamingo, Neptune, Bitcoin DAO is exciting. Party DAO is incredibly exciting. So it  basically enabled a group of people to,   kind of in real time, organize themselves and  establish ownership, purchase collectively and   fractionalize an NFT that they can  then legitimately use on their profile.   Fun stuff in the DAO space and  so much work to do as it becomes   probably the main way that we organize  ourselves in this coming age of community.   Yeah, absolutely. This is such an exciting area  that some seems, you're right, that's really going   to be the next big thing that comes to the  forefront within blockchain after NFTs and DeFi.   So, just touching a bit more on DeFi, how are  you seeing established institutions trying to   get exposure to it? Because MetaMask has got an  institutional offer I believe and also of course,   given who ConsenSys' backers were as well  with the big names in finance behind you,   there's obviously a lot of interest there too so  it'd be great to get your perspective on what,   in your view, what it looks like  the institutionalization of DeFi.   So with respect to regulatory issues, we first  expect that people will continue to be able to   publish software and that when there are custody  issues involved, securities issues involved   and maybe some interfaces for consumers  to this published software there may be   some regulatory implications. We've been paying  attention to regulatory implications in what is   a fork of our MetaMask client. So MetaMask is  really designed for consumers and we're adding   more financial primitives into it, the financial  primitives that we operate are essentially   interfaces to underlying financial primitives  that other projects publish and we're able to   to aggregate some of those things  and provide a really great experience   to them. So swaps is out there, fiat onboarding  is out there in MetaMask already and more to come.   With respect to MetaMask Institutional, it  adds different kinds of risk management,   KYC, KYT which is 'know your transaction' part  of AML capabilities, reporting, tax reporting   at some point. And within an institution, whether  it's a trading institution or just one of the   increasingly large number of companies that  are taking crypto in their business as payment,   they are all gonna need to understand their  workflow, understand the security around who's   able to do what sorts of transactions  and so we're paying a lot of attention to   building workflow and making different roles,  different permissions explicit and enabling   organizations to be internally  secure and implement their processes   institutions themselves. You know, Michael Saylor  has done a great job of activating corporations   to think about what's going on with issued money,  that it's depreciating and not yielding very much   and Justin Drake has done a really great job of  alerting lots of people about what's going on   with ultra sound money. So bitcoin is digitally  sound money, gold is sound money and Ethereum is   fast becoming ultra sound money - a deflationary  asset. We're going to see a lot of organizations   move, people in organizations move from that  sort of weaker monetary system into this   growing monetary system where the assets are  growing in value and yielding significantly.   Hedge funds, the smaller financial institutions  have been aware of this for quite a while. Major   multi-billion dollar funds are now deploying  money in the space and even the more conservative   financial institutions are tooling up, if  not active already, but they have to be slow   movers because they're regulated and it's gonna  take a little more time to get permission from   their internal and external  legal counsel. And so expanding   on that, is it something that you feel that  there's limits there in terms of how far we   can go? You reference the nation of ultra sound  money and this idea that with the fractional   reserve banking system, the monetary system that  kind of underpins our nations you've kind of got   that narrative but then on the other side  you've got these central banks looking at   central bank digital currency approaches.  With that sort of approach it doesn't change   the ... it still states 'managed' a lot of these  are centrally managed these different currency   systems and cdbc's with blockchain, can make it  more efficient but it doesn't change the narrative   and move it towards this idea of ultra sound  money. So do you envisage that at one level you've   got the kind of more maximalist view which is like  everyone's going to go to the ultra sound money,   decentralized, code defined digital assets but  then on the other side you've got regulators   who no doubt that there's going to come a point  where they're not happy with everyone just jumping   to these other monetary systems. So where do you  feel that the right balance is and do you have any   insights into where the regulators feel it needs  to be? Because, they're not going to want everyone   to be as radical say as Michael Saylor with  adopting bitcoin as their primary reserves. So   nation states should have their own token and they  should be using the best technology to implement   their own money system. It should be aligned with  their own philosophical political principles.   We will see. So ConsenSys is doing a bunch of work  on central bank digital currency projects with   different central banks around the world. There's  significant interest. It's hard to say adoption at   this point because it's still early for central  banks. Some are further along than others but   the Ethereum technology is in the lead, in my  opinion, in terms of interest from central banks   partly because it's just a rock-solid  technology compared to many other technologies,   even if it's only used for cryptocurrency.  I think there's an understanding that   if you're a central bank you don't just want to  stand up a monetary system, you might want to   think about the future and realize that  your monetary system should probably support   smart contracts because monetary system is going  to be a foundational layer for the whole economy.   Central banks increasingly, they  certainly have dominance, if not monopoly,   on being the money system in the nation state.  They're increasingly competitive with one another   because some of them influence or have regional  influence in regional usage for their money,   some of them have global  usage for their money, EU and   primarily the US and this competition is  really interesting. They're gonna have to   make technological decisions that enable them  to continue to do business and do business well   because it is after all, a nation-state level of  business. But they're also facing challenges from   open systems from ether and Ethereum and Bitcoin  and others and that's going to cause them   to make design decisions that will enable  them to keep up with the capabilities offered   by these other systems and also make decisions  about how they want to interoperate with other   networks. So the BIS is doing some work to  link up different CBDC projects, or at least   facilitate the linking at some point in  the future, and it'll be really interesting   if and when these nation state money  systems connect up to permissionless   smart contract platforms potentially. It may be  the case that let's say, the Federal Reserve token   could be permissionlessly mirrored and  wrapped on Ethereum for instance so   if you for instance, freeze it on the Fed  network or whatever that ends up being, you could   issue a sort of wrapped version on the  other network. So, fascinating times   coming in the future with respect to how  nation-state currencies and other digital   assets inter-operate. Most important to me,  I think, is choice. There should be lots of   optionality so that we can build different kinds  of monetary systems and choose the right ones for   the use case. Yeah, you can almost see it playing  out where like these nation states start to   launch their own projects, all these different  decentralized projects doing 'if you subscribe   our token then you get health care/ you get  education/ you get all these perks', that   come I guess with tax revenue, so yes, it's really  cool to hear your perspective on that. Yeah, the   country of Facebook tried to do that! Yeah, yeah,  true! So let's just move to some of the bigger   industry trends. What do you think of Elon Musk's  impact on crypto and blockchain more generally?   Well, first his impact on the planet is just  amazing. He's an awesomely talented human being   doing great things in  interesting ways for all of us. The first thing to notice is that the memes  signaling is incredibly powerful especially   as the world is configured right now with  social networking making it a very small world   for many people. That's great when he  embraced Bitcoin, he sort of made positive   noises about Ethereum early on and made a  lot of barking, positive barking sounds,   around Doge. So he embraced Bitcoin then he  had to pull back basically because of the   perceived energy issues, carbon issues. That  was not because he just did an analysis and   and suddenly realized 'hey Bitcoin uses a lot  of electricity', it was basically because he   has grants and other sorts of things  that he needed to not endanger.   So I think he's navigated that situation pretty  well, Doge is the same technology so roughly,   Litecoin based technologies, a little bit  different would be subject to the same sorts of   problems if it got really big. So it's great that  he's paying attention and validating our ecosystem   from his perch. He certainly likes attention, he  likes running little mini social experiments by   putting out a word or a phrase and seeing how  all the humans scurry and try to interpret   it. I feel like it'd be nice if he understood how  impactful his utterances are because an utterance   can be taken very seriously and impact  lots of people both positively and perhaps   negatively if they're financially exposed. Most  importantly no doubt, he and his companies have   deep strategies that they'll weave into their  products and services so I'm looking forward to   seeing Tesla, SpaceX, power electricity  infrastructure, robots etc all be natively   adopting the cryptocurrency and  decentralized protocol infrastructure   in interesting ways. Especially the flamethrowers,  really interesting to see how he will reach   cryptocurrencies into his flamethrower product.  Yeah as part of the product he put out there. So one of the things that comes up, I  mean personally, I've always thought of   Ethereum a bit like Linux in that it's more than  a technology, it's a movement because it's art,   it's got some solid technology there but the  bigger thing is you've got all these passionate   people around the world who form this community  who really believe in what they're building. So   that to me, when I first looked at blockchain, was  really what pulled me towards Ethereum. However,   there's a couple of other views that some people  have, some people talk in terms of Ethereum might   be hot right now but it's the Myspace of the  web3. It's like there's lots of people using it   but it's not going to be the thing. Or there's  other projects who are thinking 'oh well let's   make Bitcoin more like Ethereum and add DeFi to  it', 'let's create a new layer one technology to   displace Ethereum'. What's your view on that  and why people feel compelled there? I mean,   if someone came to you with any of those  narratives how would you respond? So first,   I and ConsenSys believe in a world of many kinds  of decentralized protocols, many doing different   things, many doing very similar things and all  linked up in useful ways and interoperating   with one another. So basically, we're seeing the  formation of the increasingly decentralized web   and it feels a little bit silly to equate Ethereum  to an application. The MySpace application used   a bunch of technologies, http, html, tcp etc  and the Ethereum is much closer to that layer   so it's closer to the enabling foundational  infrastructure of the web than it is to just an   application that ran on the web. But your point  is will it go, be replaced by Ethereum killers? First I think it's really great  and necessary for our ecosystem to   broadly explore the solution space and Ethereum  has certainly established itself as the leading   candidate to be a major component in the  foundational layer of the trust layer of the   digital future and the  digital assets element layer. Maybe the decentralized finance hub   of the digital future. There will be many  other projects and many layer twos that are   going on Ethereum as the layer one, or other  layer ones, many layer ones that will connect   laterally to Ethereum so, I don't know. It's  still early in the development of our ecosystem   but Ethereum has established itself as the hub  that everything is connecting to and the reference   that nearly everything is comparing  itself against or riffing off of and so   no concerns about Ethereum going away.  I think it will remain foundational   and a major component of the infrastructure going  forward and there's some great projects out there,   but Ethereum is so far ahead in terms of size  of ecosystem, number of transactions per day,   amount of value flowing and amount of value being  created and amount of a number of new projects   and new technologists entering the ecosystem.  The Ethereum 2 project is about to merge   with the Ethereum 1 execution network and  enable Ethereum to catch up and leapfrog   significantly with respect to scalability.  Layer twos are already doing that   so it's really exciting to see significant  scalability and cost reductions but hopefully lots of those great projects will   via different architectures or different tunings  of different architectures develop to subserve   different kinds of use cases very similar  to how different database technologies -   Graph, SQL etc. do subserve different kinds of  use cases on our current compute infrastructure.   Yeah and you mentioned the upcoming merge  with Ethereum and that's something that   ConsenSys has invested very heavily in their R+D  and Ben Edgington was here last month talking   about the cutting edge there so it must be great  to see it finally getting close because it's   something that no doubt, a lot of time has been  invested into to get to this point. Shout out   to Ben Edgington, he's up there and he's doing  a spectacular job in steering ConsenSys in the   Ethereum 2 direction and helping steer the whole  ecosystem, the whole Ethereum 2 ecosystem. It's   good, this is gonna be awesome when they cut  over happens. Right, so we're gonna just turn   it over to the audience, we've got a couple of  questions in the chat. If people have any other   questions they'd like to ask please put them in.  I can't guarantee we'll get through them all but   it's going to be good if there's some burning  questions people have. This is one from Frances,   between adopting an existing public blockchain  such as Ethereum versus building their own,   where do you see the central banks leaning  towards and why? So the quick answer is   they have a lot of responsibility.  They need to be extremely prudent.   They need to move slowly and not break entire  economies and so they will stand up their own   solutions on their own networks. They will likely  build bridges in time or other people will build   bridges to public permissionless systems. My view  is that the public permissionless infrastructure   should be at the foundation  of everything going forward   and that we'll see private permissioned networks  in the form of just software-defined network,   applications being built on top of permissionless  infrastructure in just the same way the internet   is. At its foundations, the internet technology  is permissionless it's grown up in layers and   the higher level layers are regulated but you  can stand up to your own internet if you want   to and if you figure out how to connect into  the main internet then you have permissionlessly   become part of the internet. And, what's your view  on the US governments and Fed's attitude towards   cryptocurrencies? Do you expect more hostile  regulations or warm embraces from this point on?   Both! Absolutely, so we expect some people to  attempt to shut things down or really slow things   down so that they can position themselves for this  paradigm shift. We don't expect... first of all,   many things that have been discussed  are impossible to implement and   regulators will realize that. Rule makers  like people in Treasury and the IRS, will make   sensible rules once given mandates from the  politicians. Bottom line, the Curve cafuffle   that we listened to a couple weeks ago around the  infrastructure bill, it was really great for our   ecosystem it put cryptocurrency explicitly  on the tax radar - a healthy thing. It awakened 100 senators to the  fact, in the United States,   to the fact that there's  this massive thing going on worth trillions of dollars and they're  trying to backdoor regulate it.   I think it's Ted Cruz, I think he was  speaking to that body and he basically said   something like 95% of you have no clue about  what this technology is and how it works and   we all need to get some education  before we attempt to make laws that will   sort of implicitly regulate it. So I think it's  all going to go very well. We at ConsenSys are   really comfortable that things that we care  about won't be improperly or poorly regulated.   And if there's some light regulation around  the edges, especially the gateways between the   financial, the traditional financial ecosystem  and the decentralized ecosystem and it's already   significantly regulated, but even a little bit  is probably not going to be... they won't turn   every individual and smart contract into a  virtual asset service provider that needs to   spy on and report on all of its peers. Okay, so  another one from Timothy Coleman as a follow-up,   as ConsenSys has been moving from a spokes model  to separating the tech and investment arms, do you   believe in the blockchains for hashes, databases  for data view of some players in the space and if   so how could this lead to a change in the tech  side at ConsenSys five years down the line?   So there's certainly lots of use cases  with respect to blockchains for hashes,   validation of what went on. There are  technologies like Baseline that enable   organizations to sync up their internal systems  of record processes and data and agreements   with those of counterparties and use  Ethereum mainnet to basically serve as a global again system of record   to log zero knowledge proofs that keep those  disparate systems in sync. Most of the enterprise,   the really successful enterprise projects,  are around provenance or digital assets   and so we do a bunch of work on that  front, we have products on that front.   We are in the middle of launching something called  Quorum Blockchain Service, which is a managed   service on Azure and essentially working  intimately with Microsoft to migrate   many hundreds of projects potentially from Azure  blockchain service to foreign blockchain service   and so we will see a bunch of those traditional  use cases and there's some good ones out there.   There are a lot of companies using blockchain in  a private permission context including Microsoft   itself, so we'll see those persist. We're  focusing on enabling enterprise to access   mainnet to access DeFi, to access especially  NFTs increasingly and we see a convergence   coming and or building up the tools for that.  And my final question, this is from Jack,   do you see low code or even maybe even  no code playing a significant role in   getting more people building on top of Ethereum?  Of course, there's challenges with things like   for new people working with a wallet and so on and  what's your view? Absolutely, we have a no code,   low code specialist who's been thinking about and  building some of that stuff for a long time in   a more traditional context. He's about to be  unleashed in that direction. Cool, look forward   and announcing it soon! Joe, it's been fantastic  to host you here today and thanks again. It's been   really, really great to hear your views on where  we are, it's just wonderful to see where we are   now in 2021 with respect to blockchain and where  ConsenSys has got to in the overall ecosystem.   I'm sure 12 months from now, well it'll  be less than that, six months or less,   we'll be celebrating being off of proof of stake  as well, sorry proof of work and transitioned onto   proof of stake so plenty still to happen but  really excited to just hear everything that   yourself and ConsenSys have been  doing. Thanks Conor, thanks everyone.