Understanding Crypto 11: Quinn DuPont: Understanding Crypto: An Interdisciplinary Approach
In this episode, we speak to Quinn DuPont, a self-described technology historian and researcher of everything crypto. He is fascinated by what humans do and how technology affects what humans do. Quinn focuses his research on the history, meaning, use, and socio-technical development of cryptography. He has published many academic papers on the subject, including the book Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains, and is currently an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Information. He approaches investigating the world of crypto as a scientist making him neither a skeptic nor a proponent of the technology, offering listeners an objective perspective. In this episode, we unpack the basics of crypto and take a deep dive into the theoretical and technological concepts. We learn about the ideological foundations of crypto, how crypto technology will impact governance, what the definition of money is, the potential of the technology to society, and the social components associated with cryptocurrencies. We also find out the real value of crypto and learn about the ethical challenges Quinn faces as a researcher in the space. Key Points From This Episode: [0:05:16] The ideological worldview that resulted in cryptocurrencies. [0:10:51] Quinn explains his standard criticism of the critics. [0:13:43] Why the ideological origins of crypto are irrelevant today. [0:15:50] The nuance surrounding the immutability of crypto technology is discussed. [0:17:04] What the benefits of the cryptosystem are for governance. [0:19:48] How well he thinks crypto fits within a democratic society. [0:25:41] Reasons why political ideology needs to be taken into account. [0:28:19] Quinn tells us his definition of money. [0:31:18] What impact decentralized censorship-resistant monies have on society. [0:38:52] How valuable a cryptocurrency in the real world is. [0:40:48] Why paying your taxes gives money value. [0:44:25] Whether Quinn considers Bitcoin to be money. [0:46:09] He walks us through the benefits of DeFi to societies. [0:49:30] We learn what the downsides of DeFi to societies are. [0:50:22] Learn if blockchain solves any of the problems that exist in traditional finance. [0:57:57] The advantages of bitcoin-based technology for business logistics. [01:03:00] Why some blockchain business technology is marketing hype. [01:04:32] How a DAO is different from a traditional corporation. [01:10:24] Find out what would happen if we turned our podcast into a DAO. [01:15:35] Whether smart contracts replicate the role of traditional contractual relations. [01:19:51] Quinn outlines the ethical challenges to researching cryptocurrencies and blockchain. [01:27:32] Hear what he thinks the greatest disappointments and successes of crypto are. [01:31:32] We end the show by finding out if Quinn considers crypto and blockchain to be a technological revolution.