cdixon.eth Profile picture
Nov 21, 2021 16 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The myth of "ETH killers" — why demand for blockchains will always outpace supply 🧵
For every important computing resource in history demand has outpaced supply. This includes CPUs, GPUs, memory, storage, and both wired and wireless bandwidth.
The core dynamic of computing movements is a mutually reinforcing feedback loop between applications and infrastructure.
Consider a modern smartphone. The phone itself is much better than a decade ago, and so are the apps. The apps drove the popularity of the phones which gave manufacturers more money to reinvest. Improved phones increased the app design space, and the cycle repeated.
In the 2000s, when broadband penetration reached minimally viable levels, entrepreneurs created video-sharing sites like YouTube, which spurred broadband demand even more, making video steaming work even better, in a reinforcing loop.
As GPUs got better, game developers invested in higher fidelity graphics and experiences, which grew the video games market, giving GPU makers more money to reinvest in chips, and so on.
This pattern happens over and over, and is one of the main reasons computers have become ubiquitous and so important in our lives.
Now let's talk about blockchains. Programmable blockchains are computers: you can write (near) Turing-complete code for them, store information in them, and so on.
It's very likely that similar to other important computing resources of the past, demand for blockchains will consistently outpace supply.

This is already true for Ethereum itself, and will likely also be the case for L2s, side chains, and other L1s.
Today, Ethereum has roughly 10M monthly users, which is roughly 0.2% of all internet users. Over the 2020s, usage will hopefully grow significantly both in terms of number of users and in terms of the number and frequency of transactions per user.
Many of the apps that will drive this growth probably haven’t even been launched yet. It’s possible they haven’t even been imagined yet.
The more blockchain infrastructure projects, the better. For one things, it's important to fully explore the design space, including different approaches to scaling, security, governance, developer and user experience, etc.
Some of the designs will fail. Others will make fundamental trade offs.
For example it’s plausible to imagine a world where frequent-use, low-value transactions happen on blockchains that trade security for performance.

Assets that increase in value can then be moved to other blockchains that prioritize security over performance.
It's also important to have many blockchain infrastructure projects because when exponential growth kicks in, we will likely have a consistent shortage of high-quality infrastructure.
Computing movements are positive-sum games. There can be many winners at both the infrastructure and application layer.

It's important to run a variety of experiments — and stay focused on the bigger goal of bringing blockchains and web3 mainstream.

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More from @cdixon

Jun 11
Big news to share: @a16z is expanding to the UK 🇬🇧

We plan to open our first international office in London later this year, and will host the next Crypto Startup School there in 2024.

Why the UK? 👇…
Crypto/web3 is still in the early innings, and needs clear regulations to provide an open pathway for startups to build constructive solutions, while protecting consumers and stamping out the harmful “casino” culture that has developed around crypto.
The UK is on the right path for crypto regulation:
👉Working with industry on unique attributes of blockchain tech
👉Laying a foundation for future blockchain apps
👉Innovative sandbox approach to regulation
👉Outcomes-based regulation
👉Consumer protection front-and-center
Read 9 tweets
Apr 3
I’m happy to share that @jasonrosenthal has joined @a16zcrypto as an operating partner. He’ll be helping our founders advance beyond the idea maze and become their best professional selves.…
No matter how well a founder maps their idea maze, the road to product-market fit is difficult. Getting there brings new challenges: incumbents put a target on your back, recruiting and hiring needs to accelerate, prioritization becomes more complex, etc.…
Founders often need guidance from someone who’s personally navigated many of the abstract, harder-to-define, but nevertheless critical obstacles that inevitably arise in any startup. @jasonrosenthal is a prime example of that someone.
Read 6 tweets
Mar 21
I’ve long admired @EveOnline, one of the longest-running and most successful MMO games ever. So I’m thrilled to share that @a16z is leading a $40M investment in @CCPGames’ new AAA gaming project set in the EVE Universe. 🎮🪐…
Initially released 20 years ago, EVE Online has had a huge influence on multiple generations of gamers, and its community-driven approach laid the groundwork for many of web3’s core principles, such as open economies, player-driven social systems, and composability.
EVE players have always set their own narrative, self-organizing into guilds with a shared set of incentives. The community created 276 billion items just in the last 5 years, and built a rich ecosystem of 3rd-party tools supported by an API.
Read 7 tweets
Feb 8
It takes a special intellect to stand out among crypto technologists, and we’re fortunate to have one of those people on our team. I’m happy to share that @eddylazzarin has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer for @a16zcrypto.
Eddy will continue to lead the engineering and data science teams that he built from the ground up, and also now manage our world-class research and security teams.
Under his leadership, a16z crypto’s engineers have been continuously adding to our suite of open-source tools that benefit the entire ecosystem – including Helios, Halmos, privacy-protecting airdrops, a starter pack for NFT analysis, and more to come
Read 4 tweets
Oct 22, 2022
I sometimes get asked by people starting out for advice on professional development.

Here are a few things I tell them 👇🧵
Optimize for being around people with strong ethics who teach and challenge you.

For example, if you join a startup with great people, regardless of whether the startup works, you’ll learn a lot and develop relationships with people who go on to do interesting things.
Early in your career, it’s important to explore and experiment to avoid getting stuck in a local maximum trap.

Don’t climb the wrong hill:…
Read 18 tweets
Oct 13, 2022
We proudly contributed to the $165M Series B financing round that @Uniswap Labs announced today. It’s remarkable what @haydenzadams and the team have accomplished since we led the Series A round in 2020 🧵👇…
Uniswap Labs pioneered a new type of crypto exchange, as Coinbase did years before. They created the fully-automated & decentralized Uniswap Protocol, which includes an automated market maker (AMM), to easily trade assets.
The Uniswap Protocol is a model of productive decentralization: fully-programmatic, immutable on-chain trading with instant market creation. Users and automated services can deposit assets and let the protocol handle the rest. It’s now surpassed $1.2T in trading volume.
Read 7 tweets

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