Hash Power – A Documentary on Blockchains & Cryptocurrencies

Welcome Hash Power, an audio documentary that explores the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies with leaders in the field including Naval Ravikant, Olaf Carlson-Wee, Fred Ehrsam, Ari Paul, Juan Benet, Muneeb Ali, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Jeremiah Lowin, Jameson Lopp, Jordan Cooper, Josh Seims, & Charlie Noyes.


Hash Power is meant to be an introduction, but really, it is an invitation to explore this emerging world on your own. In the coming weeks, we will cover the technology, the power of decentralization, Bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs, cryptography, and hashing. We will spend time with the leading active hedge fund managers in the field, and with outside investors who are both optimistic and skeptical. Episode one covers the big picture, and answers the question: what is blockchain and why might it significantly affect our world?

If you enjoy what follows, you’ll still be very early in understanding this field. Most don’t. So help me spread it like wildfire, because the more people that understand blockchain, the better its impact might become. Welcome to Hash Power.

This experiment has led to many relationships within the field, which is growing fast. If you are a full-stack generalist engineer looking to work for well-funded companies developing decentralized apps, email me at hashpowerdocumentary@gmail.com.  Please write [Developer] in the subject line, and include a link to your Github account, please also include a short summary of your skills.  You do not need previous experience with blockchains, but a couple of pluses are: Experience with React, Redux, Swift and Objective-C,  Commits to a top open source project, or an open source project on GitHub with 25+ stars.  Remote work is fine.


Books Referenced

The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

Nostalgia for the Absolute


Links Referenced

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Reddit User jav_rddt

SHA-256 Calculator

The BitCoin Model for Crowdfunding

Fat Protocols



Show Notes

0:05 – Introduction

CHAPTER 1 – Understanding the Concept of Blockchain (2:42)

3:46 – Jeremiah Lowin explains how blockchain is like a database

4:34 – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

5:01 – Owning a digital asset

6:31 – Naval Ravikant, CEO of Angelist on how blockchains can help to create personal networks and organize humans

10:16 – How blockchains represent a way to coordinate global activity through tokens

12:47 – New coins popping up around data storage and utility needs like solar panels

14:13 – Permission vs permissionless networks

15:53 – Protocols and the introduction of scarcity

17:26 – Keeping track of scarcity and the introduction of tokens

18:05 – Societal structures and how blockchains will change them again

18:08 – The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

21:10 – The role of blockchains in the informational age and the rise of more individual sovereignty

22:46 – Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, on the increasing shift to digital worlds led by incentive structures

CHAPTER 2 – Blockchain Technology (27:05)

28:32 – Reddit User jav_rddt

30:04 – SHA-256 Calculator

31:08 – Charlie Noyes, Pantera Capital, explains how SHA-256 was developed and what make its so special

35:03 – How miners create new blocks and the incentives to do so

39:38 – The nonce field

42:53 – The incentives that exist for miners and the arms race to build more powerful systems to mine

44:50 – The development of mining pools

46:03 – Ethereum, the “spiritual successor” to bitcoin

47:49 – How the Ether network is an ecosystem in which other tokens can sit

50:15 – Naval Ravikant on alternative coins or tokens

50:50 – The BitCoin Model for Crowdfunding

51:10 – How the protocol creators are the ones getting wealthy

52:08 – Fat Protocols

52:43 – Blockchain as an experiment in distributed government

54:10 – How cryptocurrency is more than just technology, it’s a movement

54:23 – Nostalgia for the Absolute

57:01 – #cryptotwitter


1:00:07 – Peter Jubber, of Fidelity, on how huge institutions, like theirs, are getting into the cryptocurrency game

1:03:34 –The notion of cooperation in an open source project or protocol

1:04:39 – Olaf Carlson-Wee, first employee at Coinbase and the founder of Polychain, on the early excitement for cryptocurrency