对话 Taylor Gerring, 技术的竞赛是在现实中成长与蜕变

2018年11月6日 10:27
來源:香港奇点财经 Singularity Financial Nov.6 2018-

Editor’s Note:Taylor Gerring, one of the three original founders of Ethereum Foundation when it was initially formed in Switzerland, creator of “Blockchain WTF”, and currently is Executive Director at Blockchain Institute. After working on the Hive digital currency wallet, Taylor served on the Board of Directors for the Ethereum Foundation and departed at the end of 2016. Today, he is an international speaker and educator, focusing on how blockchain can improve governance and society.

Recently, Mr. Gerring attended Devcon4 in Prague, the Ethereum-centric developer conference where Vitalik Buterin showcased a proper roadmap and plan for the Ethereum 2.0 Launch dubbed as “Serenity”. The new blockchain protocol released by Ethereum will move from the older Proof of Work (PoW) protocol to the modern, secure and efficient Proof of Stake (PoS) model.

Singularity Financial Ltd is pleased to have a lengthy discussion with Mr. Gerring during this special period. Now he is on his way to attend Sora Summit hosted by Sora Foundation and Sora Ventures next week in Macau, where he will continue his journey as a blockchain educator and speaker for more needed audiences around the world.

引言:Taylor Gerring是以太坊基金会最初成立于瑞士时的三位创始人之一,也是“Blockchain WTF”的创始人,目前是Blockchain Institute的运行董事。在为Hive数字货币钱包工作之后,Taylor担任以太坊基金会董事会成员,并于2016年底离任。现在,他是一名国际演说家和教育家,专注于区块链如何改善我们的社会。

近日,他刚参加布拉格的DevCon4,在这一以太坊核心开发者大会上,Vitalik Buterin展示了以太坊的路线图, 以及名为 “Serenity”(宁静)的以太坊2.0规划。新的以太坊区块链协议将从PoW转向更安全、更有效率的PoS模型。

香港奇点财经有幸与 Gerring 先生做了一次深入的交流,分享了以太坊成长蜕变中不为人知的心得。 Mr Gerring之后会参加Sora Ventures 和Sora Foundation 在澳门举办的第一场区块链峰会,继续他做为行业布道者的旅行。

1、In 2016, when you did an interview with Cointelegraph, you mentioned that “Because the Ethereum community has generally been handling issues with aplomb, I’m cautiously optimistic that the end result will be a more resilient network both in technology and preparedness.”

Why did you use the word “cautiously”?  2 years has passed by, are you still viewing Ethereum cautiously?


I think it would be foolish to look at new technology without caution. Although I am increasingly optimistic that Ethereum will achieve its goals especially around resilience and fault-tolerance, there is still a possibility for blockchain technology to be used in ways that do not contribute to an overall positive social impact. Although Ethereum has experienced a variety of technical and social challenges, it’s clear the community is carrying the vision forward beyond what the initial team set out to accomplish.

我认为不谨慎地看待新技术是愚蠢的。 虽然我越来越乐观地认为以太坊将实现其目标,特别是在弹性和容错性方面,但区块链技术仍有可能被使用在消极的方面。 尽管以太坊经历了各种各样的技术和社会挑战,但很明显,社区的愿景超越了最初团队所设置的目标。

2、Ethereum has gone through at least 7 hard forks so far, the last one was Byzantium in Oct 2017, before that there were 4 hard forks in 2016, 2 in 2015. What happened to Constantinople, delays after delays, problems after problems, what happened to today’ ethereum? What happens to miner communities’ support?


I haven’t been involved with the core development of Ethereum for some years, but my understanding through listening in to the livestreamed developer calls is simply that things often take more time than we anticipate due to levels of complexity that could not be known in advance. Although feature upgrades are being incorporated into the network through hard forks, the move to a new consensus method should take as much time as is needed to build confidence in the solution. As decisions are opened up to wider groups with diverging needs, finding a practical solution takes longer. However, I anticipate the tradeoff for speed will be quality!

这些年来我一直没有参与以太坊的核心开发工作,但通过参加开发人员的视频会议,我的理解是因为事先无法知道问题的复杂程度,因此往往花费比预期多得多的时间。 虽然新功能被通过硬分叉升级整合到网络中,但新的共识机制的采用显然应该花费尽可能多的时间来建立信心。 随着决策向需求不同的更广泛群体开放,找到实用的解决方案需要更长的时间。 但是,我预计,更长时间换来的是更高的质量!

3、VITALIK twittered in mid Oct saying “I quite regret adopting the term “smart contracts”. I should have called them something more boring and technical, perhaps something like “persistent scripts”.But back in 2016, you mentioned in your interview with Cointelegraph, you already pointed out, I believe a large part of the misunderstanding with so-called smart contracts is that the name is partially a misnomer.Since you had realized the name is not proper for its real technical implementation, why didn’t you propose to fix it sooner?

Vitalik在10月中多次提及:“我非常后悔采用“智能合约”一词。 我应该把它们命名地更乏味和更技术,例如“持久性脚本”。早在2016年,您在接受Cointelegraph的采访中已然提到,“我认为对智能合约的大部分误解是因为名字的不恰当造成的。”,既然您已经意识到该名称与其技术实现并不符合,您为何不建议尽快修复它?

It’s a well-known problem in programming communities that naming things is hard. Partly this is because we are trying to give something a name which is a new concept and not fully understood. This name serves as a shortcut to refer to the characteristics of such a thing. In the case of “smart contracts”, the term had been introduced long before Bitcoin had existed. Even if the technology that exists today does accurately portray what a “smart contract” should do—is such a thing even “smart” in today’s nomenclature? How does one convince an entire planet to accept a new name due to a technical nuance? I think it’s not a very convincing sell and more impactful problems could be solved.

在编程社区中,一个众所周知的难题就是命名。 一定程度上是因为我们试图命名一个新概念,并且这一概念没有被完全理解。 名称用作表示此类特征的快捷方式,对于“智能合约”,该术语早在比特币存在之前就已经存在。 即使今天存在的技术确实准确地描绘了“智能合约”应该做什幺,这一事物在命名学上看起来真的很“智能”吗?如何说服整个世界因为技术细节接受新名称?我认为这不是一个好的命名,有很多问题可以被解决。

4、You said in the past, “No technology, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, is guaranteed to succeed, though I do think the segments of payments & remittance is Bitcoin’s game to lose.” By looking at today’s landscape, there are lot of voices out there calling for a replacement of Ethereum with something better, something more scalable, more flexible, more energy efficient, what do you want to comment on this? What is your view on Ethereum’s future?

您过去曾说过,“没有任何技术,包括比特币和以太坊,能保证一定成功,我确实认为在支付和汇款方面,比特币可能会被取代。”在今天的加密货币世界中,有很多声音呼吁用更具可扩展性、更灵活、更节能的网络替代以太坊网络,您的想法是? 您对以太坊的未来有何看法?

I do think that Bitcoin (Core) has chosen to lose the remittance game and give it to someone like Dash which is making progress with digital payments in South America and Africa.  On the other hand, Ethereum has succeeded in taking a lot of programmer mindshare from Bitcoin especially with the establishment of community standards around tokens, non-fungible collectibles, identity, and more. Although there is a strong motive to make an “Ethereum killer”, such an immediate solution is unlikely to rise without clear path to overcome mind share. Technology alone could do this, but as we saw with VHS versus Betamax, it is not always sufficient on its own. Ethereum’s community is what makes it successful, not just its underlying technical differences.

我确实认为Bitcoin (Core)已经选择放弃汇款领域并将其交给像Dash这样的加密货币,他们正在南美和非洲的数字支付领域取得进展。 另一方面,以太坊成功地从比特币那里吸引了大量程序员的注意力,特别是围绕代币,非同质化代币,身份等社区标准的建立。 尽管建立“以太坊杀手”的动机很强烈,但如果没有明确的方法来获取足够多程序员的关注,这些解决方案就不可能实现。 仅靠技术可以做到这一点,但正如我们在VHS与Betamax的对抗中所见的那样,它本身并不总是足够的。 以太坊的成功不仅仅在于技术的差异,而在于社区。

5、You left the Ethereum foundation at the end of 2016, and currently focus on Non- profit efforts, Blockchain WTF. You have mentored and coached a lot of young pioneers and entrepreneurs over the course including Sora Venture founder Jason Fang. Could you tell me more about your move and your thought on that?

您于2016年底离开了以太坊基金会,目前专注于非营利性组织 Blockchain WTF。与Sora Venture创始人Jason Fang一起,你为很多年轻的行业先驱和企业家提供指导。 您能否告诉我们更多关于您的行动和您的思考?

Although I would have loved to continue working with Ethereum Foundation and produce education materials about Ethereum, it was not a large priority for them at the time. Therefore, I took the opportunity to teach about not only Ethereum, but many blockchains and decentralization generally. I may not be as knowledgeable about the other technologies, but I have a team helping me produce educational content through Blockchain Institute, a nonprofit located in Chicago with hopes to foster the ongoing conversation about the role blockchains could play in our lives. Unlike many organizations, we will not be hidden away in a skyscraper—instead we will occupy a street-level building across from a newly renovated train station. We want to bring people into technology generally and blockchain specifically. By partnering with education centers, we anticipate hosting hackathons and workshops to engage our local community in a very tangible way.

虽然我本希望继续与以太坊基金会合作并制作关于以太坊的教育资料,但彼时这并不是他们的工作重心。 因此,我选择了一个不仅能教授以太坊,而且还可以教授许多区块链和去中心化科技的机会。 我可能不了解其他技术,但我有一个团队帮助我通过Blockchain Institute(一个位于芝加哥的非营利组织)制作教育内容,希望能够促进区块链走向我们的生活。 与许多组织不同,我们不会被隐藏在摩天大楼中 ,相反,我们就出现在车站对面。 我们希望引领人们走向技术、走向区块链。 通过与教育中心合作,我们举办黑客马拉松和研讨会,以非常切实的方式吸引当地社区。

6、I read your recent tweets, and there are a few interesting quotes I really like, “Facebook has a fiduciary duty to optimize for ads, not users”; “Only customers have recourse. Users and creators are the product.”; “Social media as we know it is f—ed. Becoming moral judges only going to make it worse.”

Living in today’s world, we all become side products of the technology, fully equipped ourselves in a standard package: carrying smartphone or laptop the whole time, online going to social media, offline using Uber, Airbnb; constantly valuing ourselves based the number of fans and followers. Then one day, the data is stolen, and the privacy is invaded.You think blockchain is the only solution for this mess?

我读了您最近的推文,非常喜欢一些有趣的话,“Facebook有义务来优化广告,而不是用户”; “只有客户有追索权。 用户和创造者是产品。”; “我们所知道的社交媒体就是这样。 成为道德法官只会让事情变得更糟。”生活在当今世界,我们都成为技术的副产品,每个人都有一套“标准装备”:一直携带智能手机或笔记本电脑,在线上访问社交媒体,在线下使用uber,Airbn; 根据粉丝数不断评估自己。 突然某一天,数据被盗,隐私被侵犯。您认为区块链是解决这个混乱现实唯一的方案吗?

I think blockchain gives us the tools to have recourse against the current broken system. For example, there is some very interesting work being done in a project called DataFund, where they have developed a model for the user to take back control over their data and be able to extract value through consent. Because the primary means of funding “free” platforms is to sell user data, we have an opportunity to change the social agreement we have with platforms and advertisers by inverting the value flow. I see a need for advertisers to exist, but I also see the private citizen as needing greater control over their digital lives and the data it generates. This can happen by waiting for our leaders to act through legislation or we can elicit a better online experience by demanding to have more say in our own privacy through tools. The latter requires more effort, but is like cooking your food at home instead of eating at McDonalds.

我认为区块链为我们提供了对当前不合理体制进行追索的工具。 例如,一个名为DataFund的项目很有趣,他们为用户开发了一个模型,用于收回对其数据的控制权,并能够通过授权获得收益。 由于目前免费平台的主要盈利方式是销售用户数据,因此我们有机会通过反转价值流来改变我们与平台和广告商的协议。 我认为广告商的存在是必要的,但我也认为个人需要更好地控制他们的数字生活及其产生的数据。 这可以通过等待政府通过立法来实现,也可以通过创建工具来提高我们在对自己隐私的控制权。 后者需要更多的努力,但这就像在家里烹饪食物而不是在麦当劳吃一样。

7、One last question, recently Shapshift CEO and Founder Erik Voorhees stirred a heated discussion in your twitter account, which is about getting audited as a crypto company is extremely hard…sometimes impossible because the things referred as “constitute proof” in crypto are irrelevant to auditors, and the thing traditional auditors often reply on are don’t exist or can’t be relied on when combined with crypto.

So what is your recommendation for this? The gap between the reality and the ideal world is big, for the safety of the mass, compliance is a must, and regulatory framework is needed, how to bridge the gap quickly?

最后一个问题,最近Shapshift首席运行官和创始人Erik Voorhees在你的推特账户中引发了激烈的讨论,关于对一个加密货币公司进行审计是非常困难的…有时甚至是不可能的,因为在加密货币公司中被称为“构成证明”的事情是无关紧要的 ,传统审计员依赖的方法在涉及到加密货币时根本无法使用。您对此有何建议? 现实与理想世界之间的差距很大,为了大众的安全,合规是必须的,我们需要监管框架,如何迅速弥补这一鸿沟?

This is an important and difficult question. Is it sufficient to expect existing auditors to learn the new technology? What about encouraging young leaders to take active role in politics? Furthermore, we still have complaints of automation replacing jobs. In these sorts of scenarios, a healthy conversation is due with lots of learning between opposing sides. While this would normally be a monumental task, it is made especially harder by fear around global political instability. In these cases, building a “better” system may be the only path forward. What is “better”? It must incorporate all the assumptions of the old system and simplify the complexities of the new system into an obvious interface. This is the race of technology.

这是一个重要且困难的问题。 期望现有审计师学习新技术是否足够? 鼓励年轻领导人积极参与政治呢? 此外,我们仍然抱怨自动化取代工作。 在这些场景中,良性的对话取决于对对方的的大量学习。 虽然这通常是一项艰巨的任务,且由于担心全球政治不稳定,这一任务变得更加困难。 在这些情况下,建立“更好”的系统可能是唯一的前进道路。 什幺是更好的”? 它必须包含旧系统的所有假设,并将新系统的复杂性简化为明显的界面。 这是技术的竞争。



Casper’s coming


New ways to govern

Radical markets

Are coming to you

Don’t ICO

When there’s work to do

注:BUIDL 是专门把 Builder 这个词拼错。指区块链世界里真正写软件,贡献价值的人。