Nick Szabo (@NickSzabo4) is a polymath. The breadth and depth of his interests and knowledge are truly astounding.
He’s a computer scientist, legal scholar, and cryptographer best known for his pioneering research in digital contracts and cryptocurrency.
The phrase and concept of “smart contracts” were developed by Nick with the goal of bringing what he calls the “highly evolved” practices of contract law and practice for the design of electronic commerce protocols between strangers on the Internet. Nick also designed Bit Gold, which many consider the precursor to Bitcoin.
This wide-ranging conversation is co-hosted by Naval Ravikant, a mutual friend and one of the most successful investors in Silicon Valley, who also happens to be one of Nick’s biggest admirers.
We cover a lot, including:
- What is Bitcoin, what are cryptocurrencies, and what problem do they solve?
- What is "social scalability?"
- What is Ethereum and what makes it unique? Strengths and weaknesses?
- How will smart contracts actually get adopted or go mainstream?
- What are ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings)?
- Blockchain governance — is there any existential risk?
- "Wet" versus "dry" code
- Pascal’s scams
- Quantum thought
- What fields will you be working on in the future?