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polynya

polynya

This blog is finished. All content on this blog and the previous blog (linked below) are CC0. Previous blog: https://polynya.medium.com/
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Crypto's broken moral compass

Publisher
polynya
March 24
I’ll begin by saying - obviously, there’s good in crypto. Indeed, I have written over 150 blog posts over the last 3 years about them (and plenty more with previous pseudonyms), and making the best of crypto and related tech. But none of that matters right now - things have swung too far away to the bad side. (Addendum: just for more clarity,

Stateless infra - where most decentralized compute will be (not blockchains)

Publisher
polynya
February 10
Yes, yes, you have heard me rant and rave about strict global consensus and how it’s the only unique property of blockchains. But I have not talked much in the way of alternatives, because I consciously avoid talking about infra. Infra obsession and consumed the crypto space, to the point everything else is neglected. However, it occurs to me that it’s only blockchain infra, no one really talks about stateless infra - because there are no stateless infra bags to shill. So, I’m going to feel less guilty talking about stateless infra.

Objectivity & subjectivity

Publisher
polynya
February 08
Farcaster user @berghans asks, “I was wondering if you have any articles which go a bit more in depth into your usage of the terms subjectivity/objectivity? Cheers!”. Well, now, you do!

Does Vitalik's "decentralized stack" need strict global consensus?

Publisher
polynya
February 03
I put “decentralized stack” in quotes because many of Vitalik’s suggestions are in reality significantly more centralized than the “Traditional stack”. The most egregious example is “DAOs”, for example. Almost all DAOs today are dystopian plutocracies where a handful of whales and VCs control everything. Even the ones trying to break free are light years away from traditional organisation structures - particularly cooperatives - which are infinitely more decentralized and democratic than any DAO will ever be. Heck, even the largest public corporations are answerable to democratically elected regulatory bodies, e.g. Apple being forced to adopt USB-C standard, allow sideloading apps, alternative app stores etc. But I digress…

Transaction quality trilemma - blockchain killers

Publisher
polynya
February 02
In October 2021, I wrote a speculative post about the “transaction quality trilemma”. Since then, pretty much all chains have implemented a minimum fee in the $0.01-$0.50 range, but there are still some holdouts like Immutable X, Solana or Arbitrum Nova which gives us data. As you know, I don’t talk about scaling and infra anymore, and the stuff I wrote in 2021 is well understood and proven out, so I don’t need to write about them. I believe writing about applications, governance and diving deep into the fundamentals of blockchains for the benefit of application developers is much more crucial at a time where we have nigh infinite scaling on the horizon with one-click rollups and massive data layers. EigenDA claims 100 MB/s. With stateful compression, this is 5 million “TPS” over validiums/optimiums settling data on EigenDA alone. But that also means with an overabundance of scaling, transaction quality trilemma will once again become an important topic.

The drawbacks of strict global consensus

Publisher
polynya
February 01
Strict global consensus is the only unique property enabled by public blockchains, but it has several drawbacks, so you should only leverage it if it’s essential for your application.

How does strict global consensus work?

Publisher
polynya
January 31
Let’s start with a simple database on your PC - only you can edit it. You want everyone to participate it instead, so you make it peer-to-peer. Of course, it ends up as a total mess, with people deleting what others have written. So, you make it append-only, so you cannot edit what has been before. But it’s still a complete mess. Now, you restrict who can append to it, and their additions need to be verified by everyone else, and now it finally makes some sense. This is consensus, but local consensus. The next question then becomes, how can you retain this pattern, but start making it more accessible once again, like it was before?

Are "chains just servers w/ superpowers"?

Publisher
polynya
January 30
I came across a tweet by Hayden Adams. I was going to say, chains are servers with just one superpower - strict global consensus, but hey, I’ve already written about that. So, instead, let’s examine Hayden’s claims.

Why most crypto assets are grotesquely overvalued

Publisher
polynya
January 21
It’s actually simple and obvious, but I’ll spell it out -