IN MINTEA LUI BENIAMIN MINCU | The Stakeborg Talks cu Vlad Mercori | S02 EP1
It's a business. In business there are good decisions, less good decisions. This is not a zero sum game. Everything is so antifragile and so hard to penetrate that, to me, it seems to be the most vulnerable point. It sounds like it means you're afraid of many things in life. We have a model by which we can launch a stablecoin that is fully pegged and fully backed.
When you close your eyes and dream, where do you see Elrond five years from now? Some very good steps follow. We are in 2008 and Beni is Satoshi. What would be an essential thing that you would change so that history would be different? It's skill. I'm not going to behave as I entered for the first time and we enter again, and I'll tell you I don't know what.
The second guest is one that you all have wanted, and the guest who made tickets for tonight explode on the black market. Because the tickets, as you know, sold out in a couple of days, without guests being revealed, after which, the guests were disclosed, and the mega Elrond community went crazy. Everybody wants to get here to see my guest. Most people in the industry have called him in various ways: from Ben to Benjamin and so on. Because I think this is an important moment, I think this will prove to be an important moment for the entire blockchain industry in Romania, but also because we are among friends. Help me properly welcome Beni from Elrond.
I hope we haven’t changed the angle. Just so you know before we started shooting, Florin, when people were already starting to gather, said that to him you are Elon Musk of Romania saying that he really means it, although I said neither yes nor no, he was looking at me as if saying: I am really serious about this. I say: yes, yes, I think so. Are you Elon Musk of Romania?
I'm Beniamin Mincu of Romania and I think it's all right like that. Before we move on to crypto and to all the madness that is happening these days, I'm really curious what you think about it, from what do you get your daily dose of happiness? hmmm Probably more from Elrond, I would say? For real. The greatest part from Elrond and then probably from books, I would say.
The second extremely interesting direction. What’s your routine? Because I'm absolutely convinced. and I know from other people that you work hard. When do you find time to read, run,
because that’s what I was asking before we started to shoot: How the hell do you manage to always be in shape? What's your daily routine? I can’t, I can’t really say that I have a routine, not in the way people understand the concept of a routine. The schedule changes. Many things come up. I would say that probably somewhere around 14-16 hours a day I focus on Elrond. And after that, sometimes I read maybe after midnight, and I spend some time in other directions.
Traveling a lot when necessary. But I think that routine, if seen in terms of how it is carried out, would look like the opposite of what people think a daily routine is, with all those precise hours when specific things happen. I think that the idea is rather to really get a really high amount of things done. And as long as this part happens, things work. When did you discover blockchain, and what was that moment, that spark in which you said, well, I think this thing could change the world in one way or another? Sometime in 2012, I was studying a lot of technologies like that, with extremely interesting potential, and I was particularly studying the fact that, at first, these technologies look like a kind of joke. They can’t really be taken seriously because people don’t necessarily see their implications.
They see the reason the technologies could not work, they use analogical reasoning more than reasoning from 1st principles. And I think in 2012, after I discovered these things, I started to dig. Sometime in 2013, for half a year, I would do only this part, day and night, besides the things I was doing. Basically in 2014, I was part of a team that founded another blockchain, and so on ever since.
I would stress that things weren’t, first of all, as we see them now. It was extremely difficult to see these things, to understand them and believe that they can have a trajectory as the one we are seeing now. And that was the reason I started to invest more and more time in the blockchain ecosystem and try to solve a few problems. 110 00:07:41,110 --> 00:07:45,430 Before you were one of Elrond's founders,
You worked on NEM - Right? I don't know if there was something else in between those two. Core team. No, the idea was Rather this: Back then, usually people didn't just say to anyone that they work in the field of blockchain technology. There was no actual blockchain tech field, to be precise. And how teams were organized was through different people that worked together under pseudonyms and didn't even know each other in real life and they did the work solely based on skills, talents, which were immediately obvious. What was your pseudonym? I can't avoid asking! It's for the best not to make it public.
Ok, go on, sorry! And basically, from then on, things evolved towards a direction that had, at least in the way there is for any idea, stages when that certain idea was completely ridiculed, stages in which the idea was vehemently disputed and, after this, stages when similarly to what's happening now, the truth is taken as self-evident and somehow people are trying to tell themselves that they've considered it like so even 10 years ago and, in fact, for everyone this had to be obvious. It wasn't easy at all. It was extremely, extremely difficult back then. And I think that only back in 2015-2016, the earliest, I started having this conversation with everyone else.
I mean, talking to people from my entourage, maybe to close friends, about these things, about what was actually happening and the fact that it was happening because such conversations were extremely difficult. But the seeds of Elrond, did they sprout when you were at NEM? The thing with NEM was like this: I understood the technology first. I actually discovered the Bitcoin technology in the first phase, and after, I understood the blockchain principle by which Bitcoin is working. The basic question was which are the few technologies that can have such a disproportionate impact when they are put on the scale of evolution.
In essence, there is such a big set of technologies, that if you started to discuss about all of them really fast, the conversation would be lost. Instead, when applying this type of filter, all the background noise evaporates quickly. Through this lens I discovered Bitcoin. I saw its trajectory, the one that it was going to follow for so long and how many issues were to be resolved by this. The main issues were part scalability, part UX, and a few other things that mattered for the ecosystem's development.
But immediately after the first six months, I noticed that an important part of the conversation was turning into this kind of Bitcoin religious dogmatism which no longer allowed technology to evolve. And at that moment, in fact, I asked myself, which would be the natural evolution of things. How to build the architecture that could improve the said limitations that we see in Bitcoin, and how could this bring a new, more interesting iteration.
That's how I went about it and I joined the NEM team. But even there, one problem was that, working only with people using pseudonyms, there was a limit to what the project could do. At the end of the day, people took responsibilities that were actually very simple to take, and when you want to build a project with an impact that goes beyond the purely virtual area, someone has to go public somehow, someone has to do the things which are difficult and so on.
And after I've explored all this, I founded an investment fund, together with my brother, Lucian. I basically invested as much as I could into all of the most important architectures, from the whole ecosystem, because in essence I thought they would solve the problems that I already had seen, for years and years. This was during the ICOs, wasn't it? 2016 - Starting in 2016, somewhere in 2017 until the middle of the year, and this after I had not only investments that worked extraordinarily well, but also after having conversations with the majority of the founders of the best architectures. And I had some very specific debates, which pointed out the fact that solutions were very limited, very short-term oriented, designed to bring something on the market, but not necessarily to find and offer the solution that could scale things and move on, no matter how difficult it may be to build. After several of these discussions, I talked to my brother and then I went through a phase in which I had many more conversations with different people, extremely capable people, specialized on each of the modules that we were going to incorporate and build into this new architecture.
And how I think I've already said it all too well, I assembled a team with which we can literally build rockets and thus we started Elrond. Who said it first? "Let's make a new infrastructure!," was it you or Lucian? I said it, but in fact, the discussion was not so much, "Let's build an infrastructure," as it was "There are a few issues that under no circumstances will be resolved." We invested in all these projects, We made money and it allowed us to stop thinking solely on this matter. And then we thought, the only variant that will solve the issues is if we start working on solving them ourselves actually. And in this way, at one time Lucian was practically living in Germany, and he moved to Romania, and we started. He actually moved back before [starting] Elrond, a few months before, but the fact that he was in Romania, that just allowed us to have these extremely interesting discussions with some people which, once you get to know them, becomes surprising that all of them are based in Sibiu. This whole discussion, it seems extremely unlikely
the moment you say it happens in a city of only 150,000 inhabitants. Speaking of infrastructure, I have a question which is a bit longer because it has a quote, so I'll read it. Raul and the GMI team presented in their last Macro Insider Report a model through which they pointed out that the fair price of digital assets is provided by Network Effects. And they were saying that more users bring more volumes, bring more adoption, bring higher prices and we should consider that everyone benefits from the level of the network. This flywheel will keep turning until the blockchain technology is the entire system of money, value, and contracts.
I noticed that the Elrond ecosystem has been growing and developing a lot in the last year, and it's truly a real competitor for other systems regarding network effects. Is this some kind of Race between Layer 1 protocols? There is a race on the one hand, but I also think that the idea of turning it into a race only makes sense if we are all actually trying the same thing. The difference between Elrond and perhaps other architectures in the blockchain area, besides the technology which is fundamental and which in my opinion can’t be solved by marketing gimmicks as is the case with many other blockchain architectures, is that we understand that this is not a zero sum game. Instead of fighting Bitcoin and Ethereum and waste our entire energy by competing with one another, we should understand that the whole market and industry can change completely when there is an app, for example, that completely abstracts the complexity of the blockchain and allows the first billion people to interact with this technology. We’re talking here about Maiar. This is exactly my first point, and the second is the idea of transitioning from Dial-up to Broadband.
Again, I don’t think the internet would be what it is today if these two elements didn’t coexist, a paradigm shift in the UX area that implicitly creates a new market and this transition from dial-up to broadband that hadn’t taken place yet in the blockchain area. Neither is UX where it should be for that matter. I know there is a lot of iteration but what I’m trying to say is this: The moment we switch our thinking from how to bring new people to the ecosystem rather then how to fight each other, well, there’s going to be a monumental shift. Now our conversation
can become very interesting and constructive. Who from inside the industry are you having this conversation with? This conversation. Well, it’s more important how to do onboarding for the next billion people than the fact that your ecosystem raised 600 million to encourage and finance dApps that are built on top of you. For now, this is a dialogue we’re having with the users. Our focus, in general, isn’t necessarily on trying to find allies, but mainly on the potential users and the existence of a community. Only after that, the next step is to establish bridges between the other ecosystems and allow them, for example, to come and onboard in the Maiar area and so on and so forth.
Regarding your strategy, what is the strategic logic behind your last acquisitions? Talking here about Utrust and TwistPay. It’s something so rare for Layer 1 protocols, they don’t usually acquire anything. The idea behind it is this, most of the projects usually copy and mimic each other. So if one of them starts a new kind of program, you’ll instantly see it replicated by all of the other projects.
We focus on identifying the best and the most efficient method that will put the blockchain technology into use. If we’re going to discover these apps, they’ll have to be discovered in due course and implemented in the payments area as well. There were a lot of debates and discussions, but in practice although blockchain brings new payment rails, it was never really used to do so.
So one of the most impactful apps, on the one hand and, on the other hand, the least disputed, is the idea of having a payment rail that solves a real problem for the merchants, for users and so on. Going one step further into this area, the idea of having a stablecoin that is pegged to the dollar and backed 1 to 1 to the dollar, regulated and that can be used as, the idea of e-money for once, it seems like an idea whose time has come and which till now was difficult to implement because there were pieces missing from this puzzle. I mean, the network is one element, the virtual wallet is another one, and this coin that needs to be stable and regulated should be able to take onboard a few strategic players from the market that could open up a whole new stage. Because anything else, however impactful is very controversial.
They need assimilation of some very interesting concepts but at the same time, completely new for all the people in the area of regulation, finance etc. And identifying such an app, with this great stake, with technology validation can be a turning point that, though apparently trivial, can completely change the way we perceive blockchain and what’s next. 347 00:22:12,819 --> 00:22:16,329 When you were a guest at George Buhnici’s show, you gave an answer that was very controversial at that moment, Respectively, that Elrond’s market cap will be bigger than the GDP of Romania. Knowing you, I’m sure there’s a story behind that Statement and I’m curious if now, after some months, I don’t remember exactly How many But I think 6 to 9 months have passed If you still stand behind that statement or if you would rephrase it at this point? I still think that the main idea is that what we’re building Using these blockchain networks Are actually new economies. These economies can get, based on their efficiency and Capacity of assimilation at different scaling levels Everything to be determined or definted to clarify what Should happen in this way so that Elrond overtakes, Elrond based on market capitalization to exceed, Romania’s GDP It’s just what it is the numbrer of users and which Are the apps. When you said that it would be bigger than Romania’s GDP Were you referring to the capitalization of Elrond or the capitalization of all The projects that exist in the ecosystem Elrond? Both, but here’s a very clear statement about Elrond, Of course the ecosystem will be a lot bigger, with much greater implications But what I say and believe that is not clear to People in general When people say ok we’ll get so big, the question is why Will we get so big? All we have to establish is what is the numbers of users that Exist now and what are the implications, What is the number of users that exist in the blockchain ecosystem In general and what are the Capitalizations and implications, And what should Elrond do What number of users should Elrond exceed so that it can have Such a capitalization.
Things can go a long way beyond that. Most likely they will go a long way beyond that, but that Won’t happen overnight. And it’s not o matter of, I mean the conversation is extremely interesting only from a scalability stand point. Yes, only as a frame of reference.
In the next period of time I consider that we will reach a point where Instead of Nation Stated, we will see network states, networks with So many economic implications that they will overcome 393 00:24:56,336 --> 00:25:00,950 The economic implications of a country, or many countries, and to the extent that Things will work, in fact they will end up allowing More people to live extremely interesting, creative and Well, from several parts of the world and at the same time, We will probably have some structures that, in years, will overcome in In influence the structures that we have now, and will Allow people to get better organized, and to Achieve goals that actually aligns the interests of a Much larger group. And I think that We’re much closer to that point than we were at that moment. When we had that discussion I was convinced that this will happen, It’s simply a matter of time. The time frame is what may change depending of what Happens with the adoption, based on what Happens with the overall market. But I don’t think it is a matter of if it happens, it’ll be Interesting how fast we can make this happen. Now in July I think Balaji’s book will be lauched, I can’t really pronounce the name, It’s fairly complicated.
Which will be exactly about that. About the possibility that the economies developed exactly Based on the recipe mentioned before To overcome what we define, as we speak, structures definted by borders And so on. When you close your eyes and dream, where do you see Elrond In 5 years? First of all, do you actually dream? No, I wouldn’t refer to all these 426 00:26:53,009 --> 00:26:55,609 Stuff as dreams. Well I figured.
That’s why I asked if you dream. These are much more pragmatic, but I think that the The way in which things are advancing at this moment With the whole crypto blockchain area, and all the web3 area, And especially the Metaverse part. There is a form of the blockchain technology, which once assimilated Will probably become invisible and will allow the creation of, how I mentioned before, new structures, new applications, and new assets. And To the extend that this type of architecture works Very well compared to others, It will be able to assimilate much more economic energy somehow From other areas as well. To be more specific I think that a new iteration of the Internet that will capture one’s imagination probably more powerfully than any other iteration so far, will be the Metaverse area, and the Metaverse area cannot exist without blockchain technology.
Why? Because the difference between a game and a Metaverse is given by the persistence of the details that exist within this structure. And the difference between a cartoon and a movie is given precisely by a structure of laws, physics, and so on, that are adopted. In the same way I think games have this element that makes them somewhat arbitrary. The rules are chosen in an arbitrary fashion. They can be reset arbitrarily.
There isn't necessarily that persistence that allows you to store things in such as way as to build an entire life. It's some predefined stuff. Precisely. Instead, this area will really allow the creation of almost everything we now consider valuable, such as education, exploration social interaction and so on.
In this area of the Metaverse, they will become much more intense, much more interesting, more effective, and will be open for an incomparably bigger number of people. The moment we, as I was saying earlier, transform the idea from a network where, let’s say, you make a living whether you’re creating something, building something, or providing some services, and you go into a Metaverse area, and you imagine you'll be able to provide any kind of services, let's say education, exploration, engineering design, or construction services, in a way in which the current limitations no longer apply, suddenly, this opens up opportunities tremendously, and the exchanges we can make thanks to the blockchain technology, the idea that we can compress digital assets, we can exchange them, we can take them from one world into another, all these things come together really interestingly and create the premises so that we can create for the first time all we’ve had in writings, various books, and so on, so far. Tell me about a time when a better decision would have completely changed the history of Elrond so far. Obviously, because it's history.
A better decision. It's a business, in business there are good decisions, less good decisions and no matter where we end up on the time scale, There are certain moments when we would have said, yes, there were two paths I took that one, if I went on the other one maybe I would get to where we are now faster or I would reach a destination. that was more attractive.
Or… I have no idea. A moment when, if you turn around, you would change the direction a little. Very interesting. We usually do that. Yes… I think the idea is… There are two versions.
It's counterfactual and counterfactual things are complicated. Answer this question. Many of the lessons I've learned, maybe they could have been learned a little faster. I always think these things can be learned faster, but although I could have decided differently, it does not seem to me that if I were in the same situation again, I would make a different decision. Specifically,
when I built the first Elrond prototype. We built it in an interesting technology, but rather useless at a later time, after which, building the prototype, we realized some limitations. We could have chosen many other technologies, having those limitations, finding some road blocks that we could no longer solve with that technology. We had to completely rethink everything we built. We had to learn a whole new language with the team. We had to do all this stuff while writing a whole new architecture and do it against the clock because everything mattered. It could be done differently from the beginning.
We could have chosen a different architecture, a different technology, but it wasn't necessarily something that was obvious or clear. And the way we proceeded actually clarified certain things that, again, were not at all obvious when we decided the second technology. Beyond the point that it was superior in some ways. There are other decisions made that are related to the circumstances, but no.
I can't say I've seen things like this in which, learning the lesson, I wish I could have done differently. In general, if I notice that something can be done differently, we try to do it as soon as possible. Plus, by making the “mistake” you mentioned, you also contributed to the industry's know-how. Because others later found out that it didn't work, because the guys from Elrond tried it, and guess wha, they dropped it.
So probably, not saying it doesn't work from the beginning, but at least let's keep in mind that there are ABC limitations. Yes, I think the basic lesson here is that it's incomparably easier to come up with a first version of architecture, although this is also more complicated than a lot of things you do in life, than to build this architecture into practice. That is, most teams in the entire ecosystem died in the construction process. The difficulty of building is due to so much pain beyond, OK, it means that things work to the fullest on the side of intelligence, health, determination and so on. No, that's not enough.
The pain of not sleeping for days and nights the struggle of making. To solve these problems. It's something that, it seems that… no, no it can't be. There is no creation that is truly valuable without this part. Honestly, I didn't want to ask you any question about how is the market nowadays. But I think the last 2-3 days were too interesting not to have your opinion about it. Because, I don't know, if
we don't ask you here about it, wether you will be answering this question in some other place. So... what is you opinion? I don't know I don't even know how the hell to phrase it. All the shit storm around Terra, around UST, the depegging, Do Kwon's attitude...
I told someone that the day when the depegg happened, (I think it was yesterday), El gave an interview to Raoul Pal from Real Vision. After the interview, I talked with Raoul, because I will also give an interview at Real Vision. And I asked him "how are you?" "Fine, I just had an interview with Do Kwon". "Awesome,
no? And?" "He is a genius, Terra will be mainstream". Novograts. Just think about this. Mike Novogratz, multi-billionaire, just got a tattoo with Luna on his shoulder. Just think, think about it. If someone in Romania would've got A tattoo with Elrond, just think about what people would have said.
An American multi-billionaire did it, and after that, apparently, although I think he will benefit from a bailout, it looks like it will go straight to the history garbage bin. 98% at least down in three days. 596 00:37:21,000 --> 00:37:22,590 Unique, unique! The preamble is too long.
Now, the question is: what do you think about all this shit? Yeah, I think there are many extremely interesting facts here and together with the technological part .... Stablecoins are extremely difficult, extremely difficult to achieve, for some rather counterintuitive reasons. First of all, when you are trying to build a stablecoin, what you are trying to achieve is to create a mechanism that is so powerful on the resilience and sturdiness side, that it might face any shock and any uncertainties that may show up. This is a problem almost impossible to solve in practice.
This does not mean that is impossible to solve, just that in practice, for the time being, this may seem temporarily unsolvable or it may seem solvable and after that it prove that it wasn't completely solved. There's yet another side of the problem, namely the very moment when you start building a stablecoin, the question is why should it be adopted. Let`s assume that there is a pegged that is working perfectly fine. If you solved this problem and there were some other projects that did a good job in solving this issue, they actually suffered of some issue like "chicken and egg". And the you need to have an economic incentive program
that is strong enough to allow people to embrace the technology. Now, when you are trying to fix both problems, this can bring a lot of other secondary problems. I think that, putting aside what happened this days, Terra showed us that it could build the most robust system till now, that survived all the shocks that it went through, which weren't neither a few, nor small.
It also had a very serious economic incentive to be adopted. The problem is that this economic incentive, once torned apart, it destryed essentially the whole security model Terra was counting on. There are a lot of discussions about what will happen, how about things will move on, but I think that the most interesting part is to discuss what should be done if there's a version where an improved solution of this kind might be built. And after that what can be done for them right now. And these are two very different sides of the story.
The issue with what they`ve build is that they got prepared for a script that if everything is going on fine, you look like genius. Yet when that feedback loop stopped working, there was no solution to get out of the hole, the death spiral that took you to Luna, can lead you to hell an the very same time, unrelentingly. And this is the most difficult problem that they are trying to solve now. Yet how could they solve it? There are a lot of discussions going on now about how incisive this kind of solution should be, or how laid-back or libertarian, and so on and so forth. But what's for sure is that so many people developed such a negative outcome, that there's a huge need for some temporary solutions that might be able to shut down the system, be it temporarily, and then to reevaluate it and see what are the modules that have nothing to do with the new reality they are supposed to cope with, and then try to repair them.
The version in which the system is still working and keeps on bleeding money is obviously broken. The system should work only if there`s a positive outcome, a positive feeling about it, and you never go past a limit beyond which the system collapses. The system, the way it is working right now, has no economic reasons to exist anymore. Then what's the solution now? This is very tricky. Should they stop the entire system, and check how they could upgrade it before starting it again? And after that? They should wait for a bailout which could only postpone the conclusion? But how could you stop the system in their case? Honestly, they don't have many validators, The validators can trigger an update that can pause the system right now, these should be discussed, as one cannot make something unilaterally.
But it seems like a situation when you see the train coming and see that people are on the tracks and you don't do nothing regarding this thing. Or if you just wait that these to get back on the track by themselves, there`s no way something good works out of it. There are some tough issues to be dealt with that have to do with regulations, born through a butterfly effect from what is happening right now. Financial issues, lawsuits of all kind between people, things that, I don`t know, have to do with the attack that took place, Because there's a crystal clear story about what triggered this malfunction of the entire system, and it seems that someone understood the system quite well, and the steps to take in order to wreck the system.
And it's quite remarkable in some sense, because we can learn a lot of things from this story.. On one hand it looks like an experiment that is similar to the one Soros did, yet done in the digital era, and so on, and so forth. And yes, it's too early to say that the whole situation will make Terra readjust itself in the end.
What`s clear, is that this thing will not be forgotten as if nothing has ever happened. It's so fascinating how from an Altcoin, they managed to integrate the Bitcoin narrative, which is so difficult to penetrate, and on so on, and so forth. And they succeed to become a proxy for the Bitcoin rise in price. I think that they bought Bitcoin because they saw the train coming And they realised that Luna might not be enough on the other side of the pipeline? I mean that they somehow felt like where the problem is and then all we need is to purchase a stronger collateral, right? The idea seems very rational and extremely strategic.
There's no better way to integrate and to reconcile these dogmatic scissions between Bitcoin, maximalists, etc. and altcoins, which are called altcoins just because there's a difference that cannot be reconciled and the idea is that you take a very helpful application for payments, savings accounts etc, and it`s backed by the apparently most awesome asset. Till now the things are getting well. What I think they didn't take into Account is what is happening when you really cannot remunerate Barrows and Lends etc. And what you should do is to get funding from the reserve that you have in Bitcoin, but everything being transparent, the market simply understands that you are going to do this thing and actually makes your reserve more like 50% woth, and you, before even starting to sell, already lost some 50%, and then you're in a situation extremely interesting and paradoxical at the same time.
And I think that's what happened to them. No, it's not all, no thought was given up to the end. Up to a certain point, the idea worked very well, i.e.,
on an upward momentum, That was an extraordinary booster, a downward spiral? It's like it amplifies the very problem you're having, because things simply don't stop. Did you ever get the feeling from Elrond that if you do one step in one direction you could end into one of those death spirals? And did you ever say "Well, for now, better not stick our noses in here, it's too risky?" I don't think so, because there's an extremely interesting problem here, and we are talking about an architecture that I think solves the problems that they currently have on the stablecoins side, But there's always in a dynamic system things that work temporarily and that after that need some updating. And this has been happening since May several times, on several levels and it will continue to happen, because these systems, as any technology, are very context-related. Taken out of their context, they no longer apply, they can't possibly apply in all contexts. And then, that's the reason we are very careful about things. We are very careful about how situations change and very careful with the feedback.
I mean, there are lot of things that we've been learning consistently based on the data we have seen in the market. Regarding laws and regulations, we are probably getting closer and closer to the great regulation of the crypto market. If tomorrow you could do anything regarding regulations when it comes to the crypto market in Romania, what do you think is that one thing that if we get it right or change could make the industry stronger than it is currently? If it is... Two main points here and I would say this year, naturally the trajectory of things might change but we could see the start of an arms race between countries.
When it comes to the adoption of the technology similarly to what we saw with Bukele, and El Salvador, there are many other countries which will try to do something similar and I believe that when we are going to have five or ten crountries all that traction and adoption will turn into an arms race. And this is very interesting because it creates the context for countries like Romania and others to see the need to move and take action in this direction. In practice, in Romania I think that in a counterintuituve way the biggest problem is defining certain terms in a clear and simple way which is easy to understand for most of us and which we could use. By that you mean a functional/reliable definition. Exactly! Basically from what I have observed the reason why the banking system stays away from this area is that right now when you work with papers that handle the KYC and AML aspects, all the narrative surrounding an asset and so on, there are multiple terms which are non-existent in the current banking vocabulary and, because they are missing, integrating and using them implies risks so big that people can simply not see the benefits.
When we are going to sit on some common ground with certain definitions and probably have a clear and solid KYC/AML law I think the banks and probably the system in general will understand the advantage of having more clients come in with big amounts of clean/verified money that can be tracked and have that money injected in the economy, have business that are being built and even taxes that are being paid. What I mean is that there are many opportunities and we even have some extremely interesting and ongoing conversations with multiple institutions from Romania and I believe that some important steps are going to be made. Surprisingly, what I want to emphasize is that the conversations in contrast to what you would expect from working with romanian institutions in general have been extremly good and productive. People have turned out to be very open and very willing to see and understand things, which somehow opens up a lot of opportunities which I dont think will remain just dreams. Regarding where I see or will see Elrond in the future, if we move fast and smart, if we pay attention to these conversations and come up with something punctual which can have an economic impact, I think we will see a potentially big change in Romania in this regard.
If, we are able to do those things because there are no certainties like with anything. But, I see the potential and I am extremely happy to see people pay attention and be open to dialogue. Which crypto entrepreneur would you never bet against? Hmmm In general, I dont think I would bet against entrepreneurs out of principle. If you dont answer the question, I will just rephrase it. Only if I saw something that
is completely wrong either morally or just unfounded. I mean I dont think that... I guess the question is more like: What type of entrepreneur that you see in crypto makes you say: There is a high change this guy will change things for the better. A person that you honestly admire for his capacity to build things in the blockchain industry. Hmm This question sounds much better rephrased. Yes yes yes.
I think there are a lot of people who do a lot of good work in general. Very good and interesting. And by the way, regarding our earlier discussion DO, which suddenly changed in something else, I dont think did a bad job. I think this is what the majority of people fail to understand: I completely agree with that.
The situation we are talking about is very complex and look at how much he managed to advance compared to others in the industry. But there are a lot of people like, for example Vitalik and even DO... No, I dont think I focus as much on this area as on more fundamental things and by that I mean whether the core requirements have been solved. A question I would answer with regard to your first version.
It seems to me that Musk is a guy who does some pretty interesting things I would say. Do you like what he's doing or how he's thinking. Both.
There is no such thing like an interesting world where one only tells things and does not manage to move them forward in the right direction. And I think that what probably distinguishes him from all these people of the kind that do cool things and build good things is precisely the scale at which it succeeds not only to see them, but also to transform them into reality. It's super tricky for that's the way that things move forward. It raises a lot of questions and very many extremely creative and worth thinking about questions.
But I really have the feeling that conversations about why he's building, about the direction it leads the companies to, and the people with whom he builds things are fundamentally different from anything else we've been whitnessing so far. What was the first reaction you had when you saw the story about Twitter. The fact that Elon wants to take the reins at Twitter The point is that I somehow I've studied Elon a lot before he became so popular as he is at this point in time. And he has a few things that once you've seen with some 10-20 I think it's very important to start to take a very close look at what he's doing, and how he's doing things. Just like any other human, he probably has backfires
from time to time. That also happens. But regarding Twitter I think the conversation I had with with the guys was how genius the move is and when there is no one else who could start such a strong counter-cultural movement against, somehow, the cultural cancer that we see in the US. The way everything gets mixed up. Issues of conflicts of interests. It looks like Musk understood not only the root of the problem, but also how he could attack this problem in such a decisive way that would scare them off in the first instance. I mean, viruses.
Because we're already approaching an hour, I have two more questions. After that, we'll soon have a few more questions from people in the community. Name two books that should not be missing from the library of a tech entrepreneur.
Excluding Elon-related one, since that's easy, it's low hanging fruit. I think two extremely interesting books most of the guys at elrond have read and which are fundamental to the world we live in would be the Antifragile of Taleb and Thiel's Zero-to-One. Thiel's Zero-to-One is mentioned for the second time tonight, therefore it's clearly one of the good books and I perfectly agree with that. The last question is again counterfactual.
So get ready. It's 2008. And Beni is Satoshi. But he knows everything that has been learnt during the past 14 years on this industry. Which would be one quitesential thing that you would change to make history different? Probably one of the basic things that might be worth rethinking would be the way the Bitcoin architecture has been built and how this somewhat dogmatic structure did not allowed it to evolve.
There's a whole discussion about whether this is a feature or a bug. That basically maybe if it will evolve it would probably end up with some other bugs and other problems that might not be fixed afterwards. Surely bitcoin would no longer be considered this holy asset for maximalists. But overall I would say that initially things worked out extraordinarily well.
Surprisingly well when you are looking backward at the way they functioned and performed from 2008 onwards. The Bitcoin part is extremely interesting. When the paper was published and was sent to that newsletter with peer scientists and so on. Everyone made fun of him. And they basically dismissed it. After that there was the way the experiment started randomly on a forum on the internet.
Some people who basically discovered the whole thing, spent years on it. Many experiments that failed for many reasons. One can notice there was a cultural transition there. At first the attraction for it was very interesting for cyberpunks either cryptographic or highly technical people, either super smart people or super weird people.
(Well, with very interesting policies and so on.) However one notices now that some of the these people, particularly the weird ones, can no longer identify with this area. So if I were to answer the question, I don't think that outside of the technology, of the technology architecture there would be something else that very clearly seems to solve the many problems that Bitcoin has encountered - like 2008. It almost seems that from the moment it was invented and despite countless rejections that this guy got, it went ahead despite all that happened. 1005 01:02:10,019 --> 01:02:14,280 De fapt elementul de bază sau au fost Actually the basic of it were our defining moments. There must have been many and for sure the publication was a moment even if it was not understood at the time.
Or writing the code - I think it was by far more important than its publication because if it was just paper and what others understood. Bitcoin probably wouldn't get to exist. The fact that he released it, and the fact that there was an economic model with a very well-defined game theory behind that's what makes the difference between Bitcoin as a technology that potentially would have failed a million times and Bitcoin as a unitary system that, despite all the iterations, all the obstacles, all the shocks, and attempts to block and kill it... resisted through. Speaking of Antifragility, I think that's the basic thing and that's what I don't think gets lost very much out of sight in when a project is launched here. The question I think about elrond is what it will look like in 10 years. If bitcoin (of course, with the entire equation, the entire
ecosystem and all the applications that we're seeing look like now) what it's going to look like in the Elrond ecosystem or in the internet ecosystem in the context in which this technology is adopted on a large scale. Good, then we'll take two-three questions. There are only 74 raised hands I can see... Anyway, who's lucky. Has Here comes the microphone if you keep your hands out.
I have a question and a curiosity. First of all which do you think is the most important step when trying to develop a web business. .... Hmm The most important step I would say is probably to identify an extremely interesting problem, such that you are willing not to sleep, not to eat, and to devote a lot of time in order to solve this problem. If the problem is sufficiently interesting, probably almost all the other related problems that need to be solved will be solved. Elrond plans to develop, actually is working on a metaverse Elrondverse. N/A Yes, yes.
Plan and work on it. Hello. My name is Bogdan and I have a question.
I just heard some time ago that we can't compare Ethereum with BTC, EGLD with ETH, EGLD with BTC. and whether you agree, I'd like to know from your point of view what Bitcoin is good for, what is Ethereum for, and what is EGLD for. I'm sure there are several ways to look at these things. Well, we tried to put things this way. Hmmm As Bitcoin was for the cypherpunks and Ethereum was for the developers, Elrond should be for the average internet user.
And actually the idea would be that Bitcoin had a category of people for whom it became extremly relevant. Most intriguingly it had not been relevant or understood by the people who you would have expected to understand it. Namely, people with the background in finance. It was not at all understood by these people.
Ethereum was also complete challenged in the initial phase. And yet found a group of people among developers with who managed to go very far. What we are trying to do with respect to that 1 billion people of people that we're talking about is to create applications that allow the interaction with the blockchain technology in such a way that they no longer have to know that they're using blockchain, but see only the benefits of it. When you can see them in several applications that you use and if you will be able to use this technology in almost any application, then it means that Elrond has done a good job. A pretty decent one. Two questions. Hi Beni.
Will there be a stablecoin on Elrond? And if so, maybe a hint about the algorithm that you will use? There will certainly be a few. We have both a model through which we launch a stablecoin that is fully pegged and fully backed and regulated. And at the same time we have a model that I think solves the problems Which UST and Terra have.
At the moment both variants exist and are in the pipeline. So we'll see what setup it is in fit and in what kind of applications fit and the more likely we will have both these stablecoins and others built by partners. And one last question: what do you think? about the Maiar Dex economy? The economy? Maiar Dex.
Maiar The dex was an extremely extremely interesting experiment that set, I think me, some records for both the Elrond ecosystem and for DEXs in general. But this is exactly one example of the upgrade that is necessary. Namely the economic model is completely redesigned at the moment.
Usefulness of the currency exchange is being rethought, and I think in the following, I don't know, like one-two weeks Most likely we will have a conversation with the entire community about a new economic model that should change a lot trajectory of the Exchange and actually align the interests increasing exchange adoption with the interests, let's say, of the token and token holders. Here I think there is yet another discussion that is very serious, in the sense of the users, in general. It is understandable why it is so. I mean I don't blame them by what I say. I am living with the feeling that building a DEX is a process going from A to Z.
Everything is intuitive, There are no other variables that occur along the way. And then if any problem does occur at some point, then how the hell not to think about that. That's what you do all day long, you think about it. Not really. It's an industry, it's not agriculture. It's an industry that grows from
one day to the next. Every ecosystem grows from one day to the next and every ecosystem learns from other ecosystems. And the most important is when it goes away it looks like something is not going precisely in the right direction. Speaking of Terra Luna, you're stopping before it creates the storm, to figure out if you can craft it, so that later on one is able to restart the whole story. Due to user expectations for things to happen quickly, profits to be quick, be as quick as possible, as urgent and fast, that sometimes there is this disconnect between who builds and who is part of the community, all the more so in such periods when everything is red, out of red, into red, only the red and only red.
One more question. There were too many raised hands to be left with only two questions. Why do you think that, given Bitcoin was meant to be an alternative decentralized financial asset, Satoshi kept in his wallet a million, or, well, thereabouts, a million bitcoin? Why? Why. Why not? I honestly think he died before he made any more moves. I don't think he anticipated this course of events. He was probably anticipating quite a lot, but probably not necessarily this, and anyhow in any kind of economic model it seems it's smart to have a certain alignment with the wallet in the game. The way in which he built things,
the way he went forward about, and the way he chose to become completely anonymous, to abandon, quote and quote, the project (at least publicly speaking) looks like it didn't. Honestly, I think it's also a personal trap. I mean if he's still alive, I think he might be jumping in at the deepest end by keeping that wallet now. would liked to exist in a thousand 0.1 wallet Bitcoin instead of 100 Bitcoin or whatever, because I had read that, mathematically speaking, that wallet is actually, where the storm began.
If that wallet disappeared, something moved, But what did we see? If he wanted to do this thing, on the other hand, he could do it. I mean it doesn't look like there's almost any downside, because whatever argument you might have against it, you could rectify it. Next time, if you would like everything to get redistributed, you could do this thing. Well, okay, but what if tomorrow he sends a Bitcoin to another address, What do you think it may happen? Well, it depends on what is the previous message is.
There is none, just send a Bitcoin. ... Kiss you, it's the message. Yes. It seems to me that this creates a point of vulnerability. How shall I put it... you see, everything is so antifragile and so hard to
penetrate, that it seems to me that the most vulnerable point is to have something moving from there. But the assumption in the context of which the argument applies is that the person who is Satoshi would be extremely stupid. So if he will be extremely stupid, then this would be indeed a point of fragility. Assume for a second that Musk is Satoshi. What could that wallet mean in Musk's hands? I'd be so scared that I'd piss myself. Honestly.
Well, it looks like you're afraid of a lot of things in life. No, I'm afraid of Musk. It is a healthy fear, I mean.
By the way, there's a thing that I don't understand. Speaking of which, maybe you can clarify it for me. I don't understand his slips on Twitter. It seems to me, I don't know, like I would give the keys to the kingdom to someone who finds it fun to do, I don't know, like writing about Cum Coin or whatever its name was.
I mean, it's exactly the joke that would make my son laugh. I mean, it's like that genius who every once in a while transforms himself into a child and says „let's make another joke to laugh of”. This kind of buffoons. Looks like kind of a half-idiot satisfaction.
I mean, people, do people generally enjoy when they see stuff like this? Is it a satisfaction shared by other people when he does these buffoon things? Sounds to me like he's exactly the kind of emperor who wants to keep his subjects entertained with bread and salt, and not what was that... bread and war, or whatever it was. I mean, it looks to me like that dictator to which you give absolute power and he fully uses it. What I think is extremely interesting about this part is the way he manages to convey some messages that would otherwise require a whole book. And everything simply because he can transmit them very condensed through a meme. This may somehow create a revolution.
Indeed, what applies when when you say that a picture is worth a thousand words, also applies to a meme, that is worth a thousand pictures. Than why not doing that? It's a skill. Come on, you have a great team, why aren't you going public with this? It`s not that easy. And the idea with the humour and with truths like that, and, indeed, even with jokes like that, in the context of which you are actually the most serious and you might have the most serious position about anything, this idea tells me about something that doesn't generally exist in other people of of his level. An authenticity that just emphasizes further why would you feel like doing certain things with him, that you would never be able to do with Gates. Speaking of memes, I don't know if you've seen the past few days some about Gates.
Yes, I did. And you surely know the context, for which reason he did that thing. How did it seem to you that thing? Well, it depends on the perspective. I think if it had been done by an antrepreneur that I highly appreciate, the perspective would be cool.
But because I somehow have this thing with Musk, I just don't get it. I like everything you said, I like him too. and I think he's brilliant. I think he's a visionary. Looks to me like he has balls. I think so, I like a lot of the things about him.
You seem to say too easily these big words. Well no, you said them too, and I'm just repeating them myself. But it creates such a, how shall I say, such a chill down my back when I see him acting like this on Twitter. I mean I don't know. And to pick on Gates who won't answer you. There is again no.
It's like writing to Buffet. Buffet is not going to write back to Musk. The problem is ways bigger: the moment you want to get to see me and talk philanthropy, and talk climate change, yet you have a 500 million dollar short on Tesla and we're talking whether you closed it or not... And you want to see me in order to talk about climate change and you actually run the company that makes the most the most for climate change, then we have a problem. We may have a problem on that, and I can take it personally or take it like very funny.
I think we are somehow seeing the same thing, but from different angles and that's it. I mean, I don't know. For example, I like better Peter Thiel.
Look when he came to fight for his rights as gay, he made all guns blazing and came out. And how to say, he did it. If you managed to read Ryan Holliday's book about how Peter Thiel fought with... sorry, I forgot how's called that publication now. There you go. That's how it's done. Quietly catch them, ript them open,
remove their guts, and put them back to bed. That`s one way. The question is whether there is a more elegant or a more efficient way to do it? A meme? not sure, not sure. Good. Okay, we're done here. Ladies and gentlemen, my dear Beniamin Mincu I feel like I'm giving an encore, I think that I have to to give yet another one.
Thank you very much. See you next time. Take care, fellows.