12 Questions | by Ali Yahya


What are the most important open questions in crypto? What questions will have the greatest bearing on the eventual shape of the crypto landscape and on the outcomes for the best companies in it? Here's a stab! 12 questions in 12 tweets 👇

1/ The Decentralization Question Like all good things in life and engineering, decentralization does not come for free. Where and when does decentralization matter most? What parts of the newly forming crypto tech stack should be decentralized? What parts don’t need to be?

2/ The Pluralism v. Maximalism Question How big is the tradeoff space in crypto? Will a single network (like Ethereum) someday come to dominate all/most use cases, or will many networks — each differentially superior in its own subdomain of the crypto sphere — emerge as winners?

3/ The Modularity Question Will systems that are built bottom up from modular, unopinionated, and composable building blocks (Unix philosophy) win over vertically integrated, fully featured, and monolithic ones (Apple philosophy), or will it be the other way around?

4/ The Value Capture Question Where in the stack will the major points of value capture be? Will it be at the protocol level (fat protocol thesis), or the app layer (aggregation theory), or at the periphery (exchanges, custodians, etc)? What will the dominant business models be?

5/ The Defensibility Question In a world where nearly everything is open source, what will be the primary driver of defensibility? Will it come down to users’ trust, the stewardship of an active community, assets held on-chain, or a protocol’s integrations to the outside world?

6/ The Scalability Question Will blockchain performance — throughput, latency, and cost — come primarily from horizontal scaling (like sharding and inter-blockchain communication) or will it come from vertical scaling (like better consensus algorithms and layer 2 solutions)?

7/ The Security Question Will the security and sybil resistance of the reigning blockchains come from Proof-of-Work, Proof-of-Stake, semi-permissioned federated consensus, or something new? How robust will they be against centralizing forces?

8/ The Governance Question What will drive the evolution of decentralized networks? Who gets to decide what changes need to be made? Will most decisions be made through formal on chain voting, or through informal community-level governance (in the mold of traditional open source)?

9/ The Funding Question What mechanisms will be most effective at funding innovation at each level of the tech stack and at each stage of development? What roles will venture capital, the long tail of retail investors, and new crypto native entities like DAOs play?

10/ The Regulatory Question How will crypto companies, the protocols that they build, and the crypto assets that enable them interface with the governments of nation states? How will that relationship evolve? How quickly? How tense will it be?

11/ The Timing Question Where in the technology life cycle are we? How fast will the cycle be? Will it be faster than other tech waves in history because this is primarily a software revolution rather than a hardware one? Or might it be slower because of regulation?

12/ The Killer App Question What will be the first breakout application to reach a billion users?

13/ Your question here :)