Five Open Problems for the Blockchain Computer

Ali YahyaFrank Chen

Do you sometimes wish you had been born in a different decade so you could have worked on the fundamental building blocks of modern computing? How fun, challenging, and fulfilling would it have been to work on semiconductors in the 1950s or Unix in the 1960s (both at Bell Labs) or personal computers at the Homebrew Computer Club in the 1970s or on the Internet browser at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (and later Mountain View, CA) in the 1990s?Good news: it’s not too late. There’s a new computing platform being built today by a vibrant and rapidly growing cryptocurrency community. You might have noticed some of your coworkers and friends leaving big stable tech companies to join crypto startups.In this episode, a16z crypto partner Ali Yahya talks with Frank Chen about five challenging problems the community is trying to solve right now to enable a new computing platform and a new set of killer apps:

  • Scaling decentralized computing
  • Scaling decentralized storage
  • Scaling decentralized networks
  • Establishing trusted identities and reputation
  • Establishing trusted governance models

If you’re a software engineer, product manager, UX designer, investor, or tech enthusiast who thrives on the particular challenges of building a new computing platform, this is the perfect time to join the crypto community.   

Show notes

Learn more about some of the computer science ideas that the community is discussing to solve the decentralized storage challenge in Ali’s in-depth video conversation with Stanford Ph.D. student Ben Fisch.

In this episode, Ali mentions a few related podcasts on crypto governance, which you can find here:

You might also find these resources useful:


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