Bit of a Tangent

006 | Libra, crypto, and the future of humanity

July 15, 2019

Gianluca and Jared are joined by crypto expert Thomas Tumiel in a discussion about the details of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency. They give a brief primer on the fundamentals of blockchains and cryptography, examine how Libra is implemented (compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum), discuss Facebook’s strategy for rollout, consider possible failure modes, and contrast the dystopian and utopian outcomes of a truly global cryptocurrency.




Mined For Change:

AI and Crypto Soc:

Libra announcement:

Early rumours about Libra: and

Facebook crypto job postings:

Intro to Blockchain (from 3blue1brown):

“How does the blockchain work” by D’Aliessi on Medium:

Hash functions: and

Merkle Trees:

Transaction times across different blockchains:

Libra technical whitepaper:

Smart contracts (e.g. on Ethereum):

“On the blockchain, nobody knows you’re a fridge” —Richard Gendal Brown:

Gas prices:

Cloud computing on the blockchain vs. with cloud service providers (AWS, Google, etc.):

Facebook (instagram + whatsapp) daily active users:

Superforecasting by Phillip Tetlock:

Prediction markets:

Eliezer Yudkowsky and Civilisational Inadequacy:

Efficient markets:

Shorting the market:

WeChat and its ubiquity in China:

“Critical Vulnerability” pull request:

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