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Talk of the Town: Ledger Labs Hosts Online Q&A With Vitalik Buterin

Reading Time: 3 minutes by on March 18, 2016 Interviews, News, Tech
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Ethereum is the talk of the town right now, and no-one talks Ethereum quite like Vitalik Buterin. On the evening of March 16th, Ledger Labs held an online event, Blockchain Live with Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum and part of the Ledger Labs team. Once a few technical glitches with the feed were resolved, Buterin’s presentation and Q&A session provided enthusiasts and key stakeholders with an key insights on Ethereum’s continued evolution in the blockchain space.

Says Jeff Coleman, Head of Technology at Ledger Labs: “The key purpose of Blockchain Live was to give people a chance for direct interaction with the most knowledgeable people in the space, regardless of geographic location or social access.  It’s still very much experimental, but we received lots of good feedback on the first one so we’re going to keep doing a few more to see how the idea plays out.  I think people enjoyed the chance to ask Vitalik their questions and hear his unique perspective on where things are headed.”

This is the second Blockchain Live event held by Ledger Labs, with more planned for the future. 

Here some of the highlights from the live chat discussion:

On his biggest worries right now:  “Number one would be proof-of-stake issues. Efficiency is one concern so we’re really trying to see if we can increase the number of validators and see if we can increase efficiencies in worst case scenarios, not just in normal cases. I also think that anytime you create a consensus algorithm you have to be worried about centralization risks. In terms of scalability, I am less worried about that. I feel that we have scalability actually mapped out well.”

On Stablecoin and its importance to the Ethereum ecosystem: “The reason why I like Stablecoins in general is because of its stability. Price volatility is one of the major reasons people have been staying away from crypto so far. For as much as people want to tout bitcoin as being better than other payment options, that’s really not true because of this volatility factor.”  

On his decision to drop out of the University of Waterloo:  “My advice for people who are deciding whether or not to drop out of university is to do it if — and only if — you have something better to do.”

On reading: “I’m on Reddit quite a bit. Some books — although of late I have been doing fewer books in order to focus more on online blogs, particularly those related to economics and crypto. There is a lot of content on the Internet that’s very interesting and [it] goes into topics quite deeply. I do believe that hypertext does accomplish this idea of giving people a deep understanding of particular topics, even better than most books. So depending on the topic I want to learn more about, sometimes I go into it specifically and then keep checking sites to gather general wisdom.”

On one thing that has surprised him lately: “ Not necessarily related to Ethereum — the fact that Trump is doing so well has surprised everyone, not always in a good way. (Laughter).”

On Ethereum’s top communities: “I think there are actually a lot of Ethereum communities that are quite strong. New York is strong. London is strong. Australia. Toronto is doing very well. Berlin is definitely up there. Increasingly in China, Shanghai has been growing rapidly. I would say that those cities are probably the major ones.”

On Reddit: “Reddit is a community that shouldn’t be underestimated. The thing I actually like about it is the comments section. Reddit provides immediate access to what could be deemed a court of public opinion. If it’s BS, people will kind of call them out on it pretty quickly.”

On Ethereum’s  future in ten years: “I personally definitely hope that Ethereum 1.0 is going to be completely replaced in three years. But I hope we are going to be the ones that do it.”  

If Ethereum is a baseball game, what inning is it in?:  “The 4th!”

On Ether’s price rise:  “Ethereum is a technology first and the currency is only there as a facilitator.”

Ledger Labs: What lies ahead  

Ledger Labs is a Toronto-based consulting firm focused on blockchain development. On March 15, the company expanded its operations in a merger with Bitcoinsultants, a Bitcoin consulting company first established in 2012.

According to Michael Perklin, founder and president of Bitcoinsultants, the blockchain industry’s biggest challenge is a lack of knowledgeable blockchain experts. Ledger Labs, he says, has met this challenge by attracting a variety of talent with different focuses onto one stellar team, including Peter Todd and Vlad Zamfir, to ensure that clients receive the best possible advice in the industry.

“With this merger, Ledger Labs gains 3 new areas of practice: Information security consultancy, Cyber Audit/ Incident Response, and Expert Witness/Legal Support,” Perklin told BTCMANAGER. “This opens up their existing consultancy services to reach new clients while keeping focused on their core mission: Enterprise Blockchain Consultancy. All of Bitcoinsultants’ clients have moved over with me to be served by Ledger Labs including Factom, Ethereum, Case, and many more.”

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