I can clearly recall Jordan once saying this to me: “It’s good for both of us that we’re friends. See, because being with you makes me seem smart, and being with me makes you seem cool.” It’s quite a thing for anyone to say out loud, let alone a 2nd-grader. Granted, part of him was obviously going for a laugh, but I knew him well enough to know that another part of him was also dead serious.

The word “cool” — and the concept of “coolness” in general — was something that would often come up with him, in ways…

By Steven Goldfeder & Daniel Goldman

One of the biggest challenges in the design space of scalable blockchain systems is the need to guarantee data availability. If some actor can advance the state of the system and publish the resulting state hash but withhold the underlying transaction data, then this essentially locks out other participants who cannot interpret or further update the state. …

When DeFi Meets Rollup (Bankless Newsletter)

Ryan Sean Adams asked us this simple question: “Can we just put all of DeFi in a rollup?”

Answering this involved delving into two questions that have been on our minds as we gear towards the release of a testnet demo: the user experience of using rollup applications (as compared to regular layer 1 dApps), and rollup interoperability with other chains.

We go into it here in this post for the Bankless newsletter:


A technical overview of Ethereum’s emergent Optimistic Rollup ecosystem

Optimistic Rollerball (Daniel Goldman original, 2020, colorized)

The following report was commissioned by MolochDAO. Input/review was provided by John Adler, as well as a number of others; however, all opinions expressed here, subtextual or otherwise, represent my own. Additionally, the assessment of projects should be taken as a snapshot of their status as of the time of this report (February, 2020), and not strong commitments. Things can change, and that’s okay.

A specter haunts the Ethereum scaling community — the specter of Optimistic Rollup.

In the later half of 2019, Optimistic Rollups (hereby ORU or Optiroll) emerged as…

A Handy Guide For Bitcoiners

Tensions between the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities have steadily risen over the years. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but my pet theory is that it has something to with the confluence of bear-market-blues, impatience with technical progress, and unusual weather patterns.

For the dwindling number of us who attempt to maintain some semblance of dual loyalty between these rivalrous tribes, the inter-crypto hostility can grow quite frustrating and tiresome. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with heated argumentation, of course; it’s the concomitance of strongly held opinions and ignorance of one’s opponent’s position…

Scalable Autonomous Systemic Risks


Plasma has proven itself a promising layer 2 blockchain-scaling approach; however, research has struggled with several obstacles, including linear growth of proof data, complications with arbitrary denominated payments, and the highly unnecessary inconvenience of researchers intent on doing actual technical work. Tether is a near-flawless construction, with the only downside being the public Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains’ inability to meet the ensuing high throughput from the demand it introduced (due to its high utility). …

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”


Crypto discourse has gotten really angry.

The good news, however, is that I don’t think this problem is necessarily reflective of personalities in the crypto community. I mean sure, crypto-folk can be hostile, argumentative, closed-minded, and tribalistic, but so can everybody else on the internet. I suspect, rather, that the root of the current state of argumentative gridlock is a limitation not within ourselves, but in the words we have available to us.

Derived from a variety of sources — computer science, economics, social theory, and the…

It was bound to happen eventually: economist and noted crypto FUD spreader Nouriel Roubini, aka “Dr. Doom”, testified to the US Senate Committee yesterday, trashing all things crypto and blockchain related.

All in all, the presence of a ruthless critic like Roubini in front of the Senate is certainly a good thing; all too often, those who have more money and/or political power than technical knowledge can be far too gullible in their willingness to devour the latest hype from the techno-utopian crowd. …

Understanding the next wave of Lightning Network innovations, and the obstacles they seek to overcome on the winding road to a scalable Bitcoin

Lightning, it turns out, travels fast.

It’s quite a thing to marvel that it’s only been a year since Bitcoin’s Great Block Limit Fiasco of 2017, when it became undeniably clear that the cryptocurrency that was once regularly lauded as being “free and instant” had become neither of those things. …

A Sampling of the Best Cryptocurrency Writing On The Web (Thus Far)


If you work in the cryptocurrency space, you’re probably used to getting a question of the form, “hey, I keep hearing about X but don’t really understand it, can you send me a link or two to help me out?”, where X, either implicitly or explicitly, equals “Bitcoin,” “Cryptocurrency,” “Blockchain”, or some combination thereof.

Once unpacked, underneath the question usually lies some other covert question, which is some form of one of the following:

  1. How does cryptocurrency work?
  2. Why should I care about it?
  3. What the hell…

Daniel Goldman

dev, writer, cryptster.

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