Nick Chong · 2 hours ago · 2 min read
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Shyft Network’s Joseph Weinberg on the meaning of Bitcoin (and DEXs for 8 billion people)
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The DeFi market has boomed in 2020, attracting billions of dollars across use cases like lending, derivatives, decentralized exchanges, and others.
But along with that came outsized risks. Scams and rugpulls became as common as 2017 during a short period in 2020, with even storied projects like Eminence, Harvest Finance, and others suffering from poor smart contract execution and losing millions of dollars in the process.
It’s something Joseph Weinberg has a thing or two to share about. Weinberg, who heads Shyft Network, is a long time crypto veteran known for his previous work with Coinsetter and Paycase.
In case you wondered: Shyft Network is an infrastructure that allows for self-regulation, digital identity, and the secure sharing of personal data. Its live network is an identity, consent, and self-regulation framework that grants users transparency into and control over their engagement with public networks, decreasing individual risk and greatly improving UX.
In this week’s Cryptonites episode — a crypto edutainment platform powered by Swissborg that brings inside stories, serious alpha and insights, and critical considerations of the crypto market — Weinberg sat down with host Alex Fazel to discuss the major topics of the crypto market today, such as DeFi, decentralized exchange risks, and other crypto trends.
Here’s what they said.
Bitcoin, the anonymity and privacy
Fazel kicked off with what Bitcoin really meant to Weinberg. “Bitcoin is not inherently an anonymized system, right? And it gets really lost in translation. And there’s different sects of you know, the community that have different beliefs,” Weinberg said, echoing a popular sentiment of Bitcoin actually having different use cases for various groups and serving each in its own way.
“That’s my perspective, at least. It’s about how do you allow people to have more freedom and give them the ability to have a choice, an option, whether that’s more private, whether it’s just your choice of privacy.”
Weinberg noted that, furthermore, the most fundamental (and realist) thing was that the world is not totally going to be in an anonymized system all the time, as people have different trade offs. “The majority of the world is comfortable with a different type of system,” he remarked.
“And that’s the reality, there’s trade offs in the system, but having a base system and a base layer that ensures privacy first, to then opt out of that privacy is I think, the most important piece of what Bitcoin is, Bitcoin is a lot of things, and many things to different people. And that’s what I love about it so much,” he said.
The rise (and risks) of DEXs
Towards the next part of the interview, the conversation shifted towards how DEXs operated and have gained popularity in recent times. And for Weinberg, the innovation is one to stay.
“I think [DEXs] are going to flourish over the next few years. And I think it has, it’s an amazing place in the world, right? centralization is good in some things, but it’s also bad and other things, right?
“Whether you’re looking at regulation, we’re starting to see a lot of changes and, and like, my view has always been like, you have to have optionality, right?,” he remarked.
“Scalability has always been an issue. There’s a lot of problems and liquidity and slippage is and how you get those things right. And if we can get them right, I am sure this ecosystem can. And I think it just provides a really good option to a certain set of people.”
Weinberg added his current focus is more on allowing the largest majority of the world to start getting access to digital assets and crypto, for which DEXs become a good contender. “How do you onboard the next 8 billion people? And so I think that as these things evolve, you know, we need these options.”
What does Wienberg, who has worked closely with policymakers think of stablecoins, DeFi, and crypto in the broader sense? What happens to Bitcoin then? Check out the entire interview available for streaming right below to find out!