Lisa Cuesta and I are proud to announce our investment in Goldfinch’s seed round alongside a16z and existing investors including Variant, Slow Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures.

While the benefits of using a decentralized lending network are available today, friction in the user experience and a steep learning curve limit usage to early adopters. These protocols also require overcollateralization with crypto, preventing the vast majority of potential borrowers from participating. There is an opportunity to build a product that addresses these obstacles in order to bring more users into the crypto economy. This drove our investment in Goldfinch.

Founded by a…


Proof of Stake’s security model is being dramatically misunderstood.

The biggest obstacle to understanding its security model is applying existing security frameworks to it. More specifically, the only security model we’ve come close to understanding is Proof of Work (PoW) so we take its security characteristics and transfer them over to Proof of Stake (PoS) to try and compare. This article will go into how these security models are different, why PoW attacks are ineffective in PoS systems, and what some of the real risks to PoS look like.

PoW and PoS have drastically different attack costs

In Proof of…


https://bisontrails.co/algorand

After working with the Algorand team for close to a year, we are proud to announce that Bison Trails will be supporting the Algorand mainnet launch! We will democratize access to the Algorand network by making it easy for anyone to run enterprise-grade Algorand nodes using the Bison Trails platform.

What is Algorand?

The Algorand protocol was created by Silvio Micali, recipient of the Turing Prize for his contributions to the field of cryptography. It uses a pure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism with high throughput, fast transaction finality, and partition resilience. It has two types of nodes: Relay and Participation nodes…


Running a node is almost like magic — anyone can be part of a special cohort securing the chain, participating in consensus, and having an unstoppable entryway to a global economy. But if running a node is the most important thing you can do on a blockchain, why is it so hard?

Proof of Work chains are secured by professional miners with significant capex and opex costs, making participation inaccessible to the average enthusiast or organization. But with this new cohort of Proof of Stake chains (e.g., Cosmos, Tezos, Decred, ETH 2.0, etc.), …


Token generation & distribution has always been a top concern for anyone seeking to establish truly decentralized networks. We’ve seen many methods attempted, but it remains quite challenging to distribute tokens fairly to real users (not speculators) while avoiding concentration of wealth.

So as a token designer, I was very excited when Kyle Samani of Multicoin published A New Model for Token Distribution, praising the innovative work by Livepeer in developing merkle mining, a supposedly significantly superior model. It claimed to get tokens into the hands of real users while producing a significantly lower Gini coefficient. Analysis revealed these claims…


Cartoon by Tom Toles, Washington Post

Co-written with Collin Myers, research lead for staking as a service at Token Foundry. Edited by Chris Battenfield, Luke Loreti, and Nathan Chen.

The cryptosphere has been talking about staking as a service for the better part of a year, with protocols like Tezos and EOS hitting mainnet using various configurations like PoS, DPoS, or hybrid PoW/PoS. The market demand for such a service is obvious: hedge funds, VC’s, and whales are holding tons of illiquid tokens that could be supporting networks and generating additional revenue, but spinning up and managing nodes is not something they can or want to handle themselves. …


Building blocks

At first glance, tokens can appear complicated. The oldest and perhaps simplest example of a digital token is Bitcoin. It’s often referred to as digital cash or digital gold — but which is it? And what gives it value? And how does it work? Going down this rabbit hole is fun, but time consuming, and ultimately not required to obtain a high-level understanding of the different types of tokens.

Tokens have many nuanced differentiators such as use case, structure, governance rights, fungibility, and others, and therefore fall into different classifications similar to how you might think of taxonomies in biology…


Bird scooters went with sleekness over visibility.

Today’s multimodal fleet companies (e-Scooters, e-Bikes and pedal bikes) are expanding at an astonishing rate. Hundreds of millions of venture dollars have flowed into the market, driven by some investors hoping for a repeat of their ride-sharing wins, while others fear missing out on the next multi-billion dollar companies. These fleets can already be found in many cities across the world as we’re seeing the second wave of transportation competition to change the way humanity moves.

However, despite their parallels, it would be a mistake to think of this as a repeat/rematch of the ride sharing wars because the business…


Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms are a highly controversial topic in the crypto ecosystem as Ethereum is implementing Casper and many consumer tokens rely on staking economic incentive structures. However, while staking may be a new and relatively untested blockchain consensus mechanism, it has been widely used as an economic mechanism for centuries. This article will examine such cases and explain what staking is, how it works, and why it’s a crucial tool in token design and incentive structures.

What is crypto staking?

When it comes to blockchains, staking is the action of putting up a balance of tokens as a security deposit for the…


VinChain, an ERC20 token whose ICO ended on April 15th, 2018, promises to deliver a “100% trustworthy vehicle history on the blockchain” along with a spate of other non-blockchain features such as an app, vehicle performance analysis, more relevant advertisements, and, of course, a concoction of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It raised more than 12.5K ETH, equivalent to ~$9m at today’s ETH valuation.

One of blockchain’s use cases is to serve as an immutable golden source of truth, which is especially useful when there are strong incentives to obscure, delete, or alter history for financial gain. …

Viktor Bunin

Protocol Specialist at Bison Trails. ex-ETHDenver, ConsenSys, EY.

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