Epicenter – Podcast on Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

#084 Tim Swanson: Permissioned Ledgers and the Case for Blockchains Without Bitcoin

Epicenter – Podcast on Blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Distributed Technologies

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One topic that is guaranteed to cause heated discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts is the idea that blockchains can be controlled by known validators and function without an underlying cryptocurrency. Some think this is a non-sensical idea fabricated by those spineless enough to want to appease regulators and but clueless enough to miss the whole point of cryptocurrencies. But others believe that Bitcoin is unsuited for a lof of ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ applications and that permissioned ledgers have wide-reaching potential to increase efficiency and transparency.

Tim Swanson joined us for an important discussion of permissioned ledgers. He’s among their best-known proponents and has recently published a whitepaper discussing how they work and looking at different startups in the space.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Why the ‘blockchains without bitcoin’ idea is so controversial
  • Why it is strange that KYC is done widely on Bitcoin users but not on the validators
  • Why even semi-decentralized blockchains can provide big efficiency gains
  • Why the 51% attack possibility is an obstacle for the use of the Bitcoin as a settlement network
  • Why financial institutions don’t care about censorship resistance but do care about irreversibility

Episode links:

This episode was hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sébastien Couture, and is availble on YouTube, SoundCloud, and our website.

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