Researcher Uli Gallersdörfer on Blockchains, Bitcoin, Environmental Impact and Design Choices

Deep Tech Stories

Jul 15 2021 • 59 mins

Not many innovations have the power to shape the world on a massive scale like the internet. However, after the great financial crisis of 2007/08, one exactly such innovation came along. The blockchain. In 2008 a whitepaper named "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" was mailed out to a cryptographic mailing list and only shortly after the bitcoin network went live. Today twelve years after the first block the technology is widely known. Yet, barely anyone actually understands it. Not so Uli Gallersdoerfer. He is a researcher at the Technical University Munich, who finished his Masterthesis in 2016 about Blockchains and continued his research as a PhD student. He now stands as one of the most regarded Blockchain researchers, regularly holding lectures about bitcoin, why it is so safe and answering questions about the energy dilemma revolving around bitcoin itself. However, before we answer those questions we need to know what a Blockchain actually is. Timestamps: 00:52 How does the bitcoin blockchain work 06:18 Main issue in decentralized networks 08:32 What is a miner's job in a blockchain 11:59 What happens if two blocks occur at the same time 14:46 What is proof of stake 18:03 Evaluating the climate impact of proof of work algorithms 25:45 What are smart contracts 30:30 The usability problem 35:37 Pursuing a PhD vs. joining industry 40:07 Finding a use case for blockchain-technology 43:55 Bitcoin's lightning network and design decisions 51:36 How to explore research questions Links mentioned: Ulis LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/uli-gallersdoerfer/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/uli-gallersdoerfer/) Ulis Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=7J1AmygAAAAJ&hl=de (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=7J1AmygAAAAJ&hl=de) Lecture Notes: https://github.com/sebischair/bbse (https://github.com/sebischair/bbse) If you enjoyed this episode, why not recommend it to a friend? Homepage: https://www.deeptechstories.io (https://www.deeptechstories.io) Music by Nathaniel Drew x Tom Fox: https://www.nathanieldrew.com/ (https://www.nathanieldrew.com/) https://tfbeats.com/ (https://tfbeats.com/)