Cloudflare TV

💻 Fireside Chat with Chris Dixon

Presented by Matthew Prince, Chris Dixon
Originally aired on 

Join Chris Dixon, General Partner at a16z, for a fireside chat with Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince about Web3.

Full Stack Week

Transcript (Beta)

Chris, it's so great to have you on Cloudflare TV. You know, we've known each other for a really long time.

When Michelle and I, when we were first starting, Cloudflare reached out to you for advice, and you were always incredibly generous and kind with your time.

For those people who don't know you, Chris is an entrepreneur, started a company called SideAdvisor, which he sold.

He then sort of switched sides of the table.

He's now an incredible investor at Andreessen Horowitz, has been involved in companies like Coinbase and a number of others over the years, and really has been someone who's been passionate and I think incredibly articulate about the crypto space and Web3 and what's going on there.

Before we get to that, Chris, what's it like being on the other side of the table?

I've always only been an entrepreneur.

Like, what's it like? On the dark side? Oh, not a dark side.

I mean, again, I feel an incredible amount of thankfulness to the investors.

And by the way, first of all, congratulations. It is amazing to think back on that.

I remember you calling me because we were both kind of in the same rough sector, although you obviously, you know, did much more than I did and just an incredible job.

So congratulations. And just also great to see also just your sort of technology thought leadership on the Web3 stuff and just sort of across the board.

So it's a pleasure to be here. So what's it like to be a VC?

It's well, I'd say it's kind of breadth versus depth. So the sort of the fun part of it is you meet fascinating people and they tell you about all sorts of interesting, fascinating things.

But you don't go deep the way you do, right? It's sort of like a college survey course or something.

Not a not a sort of deepens full time, which is fascinating if you're kind of like me, which is your sort of intellectual dilettante or something.

I like to read books on different topics. And I used to joke with my wife.

I'd always say that I try to have coffee house level knowledge of a whole bunch of different things, but actually no real actual knowledge, no real actual expertise.

No. Anyway, so it's sort of like that.

You get to sort of be built on. It's fun. You work with great people, entrepreneurs, brilliant people, and they're passionate.

And, you know, I think having done it as I have, you know, hopefully you can kind of bring some more kind of empathy, I guess, and just sort of understanding of the situation.

I think sometimes, you know, you know, it's far better than I do.

Being an entrepreneur is a very kind of a roller emotional roller coaster.

And I sort of think of my role in some ways is kind of providing air cover, you know, kind of help through the tougher times, maybe having having been through that.

And our lives don't depend on it the way the entrepreneurs do.

So it's nice sort of player coach, I guess. You know, at some point I realized, like, what else am I going to do?

I'm super burnt out of starting companies.

And, you know, and this is the only sort of thing I know how to do.

So it's more like kind of like mentorship coaching role. And that part's fun.

You know, particularly what I do now is it's all kind of web three crypto related, which I've been doing now for full time for four or five years.

Involves, you know, some Coinbase teams back in 2013, but really, really went full time four or five years ago.

And that's been fun because it's just sort of a really feels like a frontier, you know, a lot of it, you know, it's like kind of just like it's kind of a crazy, you know, both good and bad space.

Obviously, I think mostly good, but there's, of course, there's just sort of, you know, there is the sort of as you'd expect in kind of a wild west area.

There's a there's a bunch of crazy stuff, you know, and on Twitter and and scams and all sorts of other bad stuff, which gets a lot of headlines.

I think there's a lot of really good stuff and really innovative stuff.

And you have really, really passionate people from all over the world.

Involved in it, and it really is, it feels like a real almost like a religious movement or something.

And that makes it really fun. So what was your what was your light bulb moment?

What was the if you go back to when you were like, yeah, here's the thing.

I was like, there's something there. And I want to dedicate some of my career.

Yeah, well, you know, like a lot of people in tech, I read the, you know, the Bitcoin white paper, probably back in 2012, or 13, or something, you know, seriously.

And the idea of a blockchain was very interesting. And that and that, you know, that kind of led us to investing in Coinbase.

But but I didn't, the full light bulb for me didn't go off until Ethereum.

So Ethereum took the concepts of Bitcoin, and generalized it to a general computing platform.

So Ethereum has a full programming language, almost Turing complete, meaning it's like, it's as Turing complete is a CS term, meaning fully expressive, you can write any kind of arbitrary code.

And so Ethereum took the blockchain idea and said, let's create this world computer and anyone can build on top of it.

And that for me was the kind of the moment because I can like looking back in history, but the way the way I view the history of computing is every 10 to 15 years is a major computing cycle.

So you had sort of the advent of computing World War Two, then you had mainframes, you had PCs in the late 70s, early 80s, you had the Internet in the 90s, mobile computing probably started in earnest 2007 with the iPhone.

And and the question I've been asking for the last decade is sort of what's next, right?

And so but one thing I've been involved with, I let our investment in Oculus and virtual reality.

I think that's very exciting. I think AI people talk about people talk about machine learning.

I think that's also very exciting.

But to me, this once I realized this is a computing movement, that Ethereum was a computer, it the light bulb went off, because the thing that's so powerful about computers, the way I think about it is people think of software engineering, software development, they think of it like it's called engineering, but it's really I believe it's a creative act.

I think it's I think of it more like writing a novel or something like, you know, like, there's so much design, there's so much open ended design space when you write software, that, that a creative person can, with the right platform can invent almost anything.

And so when you build a new, the way I view it, when you build a new computing platform, like Ethereum, to invest in that, and around that is to really just bet on human creativity, right, there's going to be some kid, some young person in India, or Africa, or New York, or wherever it might be, you know, 8 billion people, you know, probably 100 million really good, you know, 100 million software developers, you know, some portion of those get inspired by this new computing platform and go create stuff.

And, and, and that's just a really, it's really just like, it's a, you know, it's Steve Jobs, the bicycle of the mind, somebody called computers, right, it's, and so that's what it is.

It's this thing, he had this famous analogy, right, where, because the bicycle was the, it was like, there was this famous Steve Jobs story where a scientific American listed all of the locomotive efficiency of all the animals.

And it was like the cheetah was on top, and the human was at the bottom.

But a human on a bicycle is the most efficient of all, right.

So the humans are the one people that build these tools that make them more efficient.

And that's why he called the computer the bicycle of the mind. And so that's what was so powerful to me.

And that's what we've been doing for the last five years is we've been investing, I believe in a computing movement.

And so we've done everything from trying to make those computers better, right.

So Ethereum has issues, like it's expensive, and relatively low transaction throughput.

But there's a whole kind of diverse ecosystem, the same way you had the PC and the Apple two, and the iPhone, Android, there's the same things going on with blockchains, there's a whole bunch of different ones.

And we spent a lot of time doing that. And then more recently, have been investing at the application layer.

And so we're very involved with this area called DeFi, decentralized finance for investors, things like compound and Uniswap and MakerDAO.

And then a bunch of things around sort of NFTs and games.

I think you're going to see in the same way with a mobile phone, like remember, when the iPhone first came out, it started off and it was like flashlight apps, and, you know, like little silly stuff, right?

And like little simple games.

And now it's like, oh, my God, like you go on there, and there's a million things and you can, you know, meditate and lose weight and play amazing car delivered to your house.

And it's pretty amazing. And you think about like, why is this like, actually, it's funny, I'm jumping around a little bit.

But I was watching Friends at the dentist the other day, the TV show Friend, but not a big, but the striking about Friends is it took it was, I looked it up, it was, it was broadcast between 1996 and 2004.

And if you watch it, everything looks kind of like today.

It doesn't change that much. The big difference is there was, you know, we now have Internet connected supercomputers in our pockets where I'm communicating, I'm following the most interesting, you know, millions of people on Twitter, and all these other amazing things, right?

And why is that? So why is that the one thing in the world that changed so much?

It's because it's, I believe it's because of what I was just saying about kind of computers being this really special thing, which is it's a canvas, it's a canvas upon which you people can create new things.

And they can create ephemeral text messaging, or, you know, TikTok dance videos, or whatever it might be.

So what Apple really did was they created this canvas.

And of course, the canvas has gotten better, the phone itself has gotten better, but what's really gotten better is all the amazing things built on top.

So that's what gets me excited about technology is that kind of process, when you have these new computing movements.

And I believe that that one of the most important computing movements right now is the blockchain one.

So, so, so let's, so let's unpack that just a little bit.

So I think there's a lot of people who will listen to pretty technically savvy, but a lot of people like my dad thinks of Bitcoin, he's like, it's a, you know, inflation's the new gold, and who knows what you're talking about as much.

What is it that you can do with an Ethereum based or a blockchain based computing platform that we didn't we couldn't do before?

What or what does it empower that didn't exist in the past? Yeah, I, what I like to say is a blockchain is a computer that can make commitments.

Okay. And so let me explain that. So like one commitment, you can make bitcoins one application.

And so Bitcoin makes specific commitments, for example, it commits, it'll only ever be 21 million bitcoins.

So it commits to a scarcity in the bitcoins.

It commits that if you own a Bitcoin, it's yours, and only yours, and you can't double spend it.

So it makes various commitments, which enable Bitcoin to have value.

Okay. And then yes, there's this whole kind of, like, you know, digital gold, maybe there's a political aspect to it.

But that's Bitcoin, that's one application of a blockchain.

Another application you can make on a blockchain, I think it's a very important one, is you can make Internet services that are that that can make commitments about the way they will behave in the future.

So for example, we're a bunch of people now are building entrepreneurs are building social networks on top of blockchains, which have the feature that you know, that if you're a developer, so like there's a famous history of like people building on Twitter and Facebook, like Zynga and other companies, and the API has changed.

Okay. And as a result, those businesses were not valued, like the people building on those felt like the rules change along the way, right?

One of the important things you can do in a blockchain is you can specify in the in the open source code, it's about anyone can view it.

And you can look and you can see what the rules are. And so if you're a developer building on these new social networks, you can build around it, you can build client software, you can build anti spam software, anti whatever you might want to build in the same way, think about how you do that with email, right?

Or think about you with your business you built on the web, like the reason one reason you're able to do to you were able to build your business is there were these open standards that you could trust.

And you knew the rules wouldn't change HTTP, SMTP, the rules don't change, right?

That was web one, we call it so web one was sort of the era, you know, the 90s dominated by HTTPS, web two, because the way I think about it, those protocols didn't keep up, frankly, like we didn't have we had RSS and things, but for a bunch of reasons, they didn't they didn't support the function, the feature set that the users wanted.

The users wanted to go on like something like Twitter, type in their username, follow their friends and be done.

And at the time, if you remember 2007 or eight, to do that with RSS, you had to go set up a website and pay $8 and buy domain, it just didn't, it just didn't kind of get there.

And as a result, with what we call web two, you've got sort of four big companies that kind of control the whole Internet.

Right? And they and they decide what to do, they decide if someone's going to get, you know, if the rules are going to change, the economics are going to change.

You know, Twitter doesn't share revenue with users, Facebook doesn't either YouTube share 50%.

Apple takes a 30% take rate, like it's hard for startups to build on these platforms today.

Once you get to some scale, the first 30% of top even 30%, that's a tough huge, yeah, it's a big tax, right?

And, and if you get to sufficient scale, they can just turn it off, or they can change the numbers or whatever, Twitter's not gonna let you get that big, you know, or like, they did this happened already, we already saw this movie with like tweaked tech and stuff.

So So I believe that the one of the reasons we had so much innovation in the web one year in the 90s, is because of these open protocols, they enabled the innovation, they enabled entrepreneurs to build on top.

And I worry with web two, we've lost a lot of that. Yeah.

And so the idea with web three is we can kind of bring that back. And I believe get the best of both worlds, which is we can have services that are that have the rich functionality that people want and got and web to web to I'm not I don't disparage it.

It was amazing. I mean, the fact that I have an Internet connected supercomputer, I use Google for free, you know, your service, like there's a million great things.

So I'm not disparaging it. But I believe that. And I, you know, and I am friends with many of those entrepreneurs.

And I think they're very well intentioned, you're just running the businesses as they should.

But I believe we now have a new model where we can kind of get the best of both worlds.

And we can get that we can get the credible neutrality and trustworthiness of web one protocols, and the rich, robust functionality of web two services.

And that's what we call web three.

Yeah. And I think oftentimes, like when I had when when, especially early on this that, you know, a lot of people sort of say that the benefit of a lot of the blockchain technology is that it's censorship resistant and things like that.

And it kind of has this weird libertarian streak to it.

But you describe it as being like, hey, you just make sure that when Facebook launches or whatever, Facebook 2.0 launches, whatever their platform is, and they say, these are the rules that they don't change that.

And that's just a slightly different take on censorship resistance.

But then it doesn't feel like it's getting.

Well, yeah. So it's like, when they say censorship resistance, it's often like that's a there's a libertarian element to the original crypto folks there is, and they mean government censorship.

Like, I first of all, I just don't think that's, I guess I would say two things that one is, I think, look, the US government can do whatever they want, like they can shut, they can court block you, they can do they can just the idea that you're gonna, you're gonna have violence, right?

I just think the idea that you're gonna have Internet, your censorship resistance against, say, the US or the Chinese government, like, I just, I don't believe that's a correct statement.

And number two, I don't think, I don't think it's, for me, that's not the most salient property of the blockchain.

It's much more interesting that this that the Internet service can't censor you.

So yeah, I'm saying like, to me, that's it.

And so there are Yeah, so that so I think that's a head fake.

And I think that, like, I think one of the things that happened in the space is Bitcoin got really prominent in like 2013.

And another again in 17. And there were just a ton of articles about it.

And I think a lot of people kind of harden their views on this technology as a result.

And it unfortunately took a political aspect, where you see now and even in like Hillary Clinton today talking about crypto negatively, like the left for whatever reason, it's become this like left right thing, I think, well, not for I think a lot of it's the Bitcoin branding.

But I, you know, I actually liken it for those who are history buffs, I think it's sort of the mirror image of what happened with open source software.

So for those, you know, open source software started with Richard Stallman at MIT in the 80s.

And it was a very extreme left wing, anti copyright thing.

And if you actually go back and like read the books and watch the videos from the 90s, the tech industry ignored Linux, right?

If you go look at like the antitrust trial of Microsoft in like 98, I think it was old son and Java, no Linux Linux was, it's very similar, because it was because it was perceived to be what was this crazy anti copyright thing.

And what they didn't realize is it morphed into a real tech movement. And it wasn't political.

And I think the same thing is happening here with crypto and blockchain.

It's not a political movement. In fact, I think you could argue Ethereum is more of a left wing, like you think of things like DAOs, DAOs, people may have seen this thing where DAO, DAU, centralized autonomous organizations were buying like the US Constitution.

It's really much more of almost like a like a co-op or collective, a lot of the ideas on Ethereum.

It's the idea of a community owning something and coming together and doing various activities on the Internet.

So I don't think that's even I think if anything, it's probably I don't know if it's necessarily political, but I think if it's to the extent it is, it's probably more left than right.

So I believe that I hope that that over time, we can correct that narrative and people can understand that it's a technology, it's neutral, and it's important that people engage in it and don't just dismiss it because they can help shape it, right?

We should shape this together. We shouldn't, right? I mean, we shouldn't be controlled by a certain political faction.

I mean, it is even very, very, very smart people that I know.

You know, you start to have a conversation about this, and it feels like you're dividing into camps on it.

And I feel odd that I'm kind of like the person who says, I don't know, it seems interesting.

I don't know if it's the future.

I don't know if it's not the future, but it seems like we should at least engage in this.

What can we do? Like, where did this go wrong?

Or are there any lessons from open source software on how this kind of gets away from that radical polarization?

Yeah, it's a good question. You know, obviously we're, you know, like we and friends of ours and things are trying to do our part just by communicating and talking.

I think, you know, like I think some of this is self-inflicted by the community.

There's a lot of focus. A lot of the louder voices on places like Twitter are, you know, what we call maxis.

They're the maximalists.

They're like the extremists. And there's, you know, the focus, some of the focus on like prices, for example, makes people, you know, I think people think it's like within the crypto community, we call that the number go up people.

And like, it's like a meme. And like most people in my community don't like the number go up people.

We don't like the emphasis on that. Like, if you look at, I've been tweeting about this stuff for years.

I never talk about the prices like most people I know don't.

So there is, I think one thing people should know is that as you dig into it, there's very different kind of factions within the, within the crypto world.

Yeah. You know, I don't know. I mean, I hope that we can, you know, like, I think one thing that's going to be really important is use cases.

Right. So I think as people start to have direct experience, like this is, this is how I think, think about kind of the political battles have happened over things like Uber and Airbnb.

I think what really is important ultimately is people use these services.

Right. So I think if someone used Airbnb and was able to pay their mortgage because of the service, like they have a very different view of it than if they just hear about it.

Right. And so what I hope is that, you know, we can, you know, as an example, like with DeFi, decentralized finance, like, you know, the lowest yields you can get right now, or it's between like four and 8%, as opposed to, you know, 0.01% or whatever Citibank's offering.

And there's a reason why that is, is that you, you remove, you know, the 10,000 bank branches and all the kind of old technology.

It's like a very, it's, you're basically removing all these layers of intermediation and putting the kind of lender and borrower in kind of direct, direct contact via blockchain.

And that's just a much better value for people.

I think with NFTs, for example, what we're seeing, for example, is, is like, we've made a number of music related NFT investments recently.

And what, what does that mean?

That means, so for example, a musician, instead of simply getting, so Spotify has 8 million musicians and only 14,000, maybe 50,000 a year or more.

Okay. So very, very small percentage make kind of the average American salary.

Most people don't. And so, and what musicians have been experimenting with some of the cutting edge ones is selling, for example, digital merchandise, NFTs to their fans, and it's working very, very well.

And you're getting kind of the same effect you see in like video games.

So people who are familiar with video game, video games is about a $150 billion industry.

It's about, it's about eight times bigger than the music industry.

Why? Because they experiment with new business models.

About 40 billion of the 150 billion is virtual goods.

So like you play a game like Fortnite, it's free and they sell skins and virtual goods, which are basically NFTs.

And now musicians can do that too. Right now, writers can do that.

Right now, you know, video podcasters can do that. And, and I think what you're seeing, it's a little bit like Substack, which is not a crypto company, but so Substack was this very interesting thing happening, which is you have writers who we were told shouldn't make a lot of money on the Internet, it's bad for them.

Writing is not supposedly a good business. And you have a whole bunch of writers making like literally a million dollars a year or more on Substack, because it turns out with 8 billion people, if you get, you know, a couple thousand to pay 10 bucks a month or whatever the number is, like, and you remove all these layers of intermediation, it can be really good.

And I think we're about to see that with Web3, using NFTs and other kinds of new kind of digital goods as a way to really improve the lives of creative people.

And I think, for example, when that happens, and people start to see that, that impressions can change.

And so that's what I'm laser focused on. That's what we want to push as fast as we can to that world.

Right. Does all of Web2 have to lose in order for Web3 to win?

Oh, no. Because it seems like it seems like this is actually something that they can just hopefully maybe because if anything, we've, you know, since 2016, it certainly feels like that a lot of the web has lost trust.

If this is the this is one of the mechanisms to bring trust back that that seems like it's a actually a good thing for even those people who are succeeding today.

I think it's a great thing.

And look, it's I mean, I think this is why I mean, like, and the founder led sort of smarter companies like are being really great.

Facebook, for example, is going to be doing it has done and will do a lot more here.

I think Twitter is doing that, too.

You know, Cloudflare is doing that, like the forward thinking founder. I mean, it's also it's striking how it's almost a one to one correlation between the companies being founder led and taking this Web3 seriously, I'd also say, because I think it's like it's a non consensus thing.

Like you can't it's very hard for a committee or, you know, hired CEO to to make a big investment here.

Right. You have to you have to be I think have kind of a technologist founder mentality.

So I think they will.

And also, by the way, I mean, I also think like, look, people still use Microsoft Office and Excel.

Microsoft's doing fine. If you look at the last 40 years of technology, it just kind of layers upon layer.

So I don't think it's at all zero sum.

I think it's positive sum. And I think they'll just be a whole bunch of new services that that are kind of layered on top.

I mean, Web1 is still going strong.

We still use it all day, every day. Right. I mean, going to websites and using email and everything else.

So I think it all just layers on top.

And as the world becomes more and more, I think people look, I mean, for better or worse, people are going to spend more and more time on the Internet.

And it's just the way of the future.

And that life is going to become more and more important.

And, you know, and I think it's important that we ask ourselves, what do we want that?

You know, do we want I think it's I don't think it's a good outcome to have four companies, you know, control so much of it.

I think that we want it to stay kind of diverse.

And and, you know, this is this you'll hear this term a lot in Web2 decentralization.

What that really means is sort of shifting money and power out to the edges and not having it centrally controlled, which is how the web started.

And I think that informed a lot of the idealism of the early web. And I think we've lost some of that.

And maybe we can bring it back. Some of it does seem it seems like it goes in a sine wave.

It's sort of it's like old Jim Barksdale quote, there are only two ways to make money in tech.

I mean, that's that's that's that's you know, I want to I want to talk about what what we should be thinking about at Cloudflare in terms of in terms of Web3.

But I do think that a lot of people when I when I hear objections to all this point to, you know, the the the fraud and the criminality and a lot of the kind of ickiness that's underneath it.

What and you actually built a company, you know, that was an advisor that was a little bit about how do we make order out of the chaos of what was, you know, sort of Web1.

What what's what are people doing?

Is that and I think you hear some of the ones that are sort of the just pure libertarians on this.

But what are you doing in terms of thinking about some of the challenges that because any new technology will always Yeah.

You mean the technical challenges or the? Yeah, I mean, well, the technology side.

So for example, one of the big limits. So let's take a theory. And by the way, if you're if you have folks that want to dig in, I would recommend starting with a theorem.

It's I don't think you'll find that community is all is I think you'll find a very kind of, you know, open source like kind of Linux like community of like positive people working together, helping idealistic.

And so like a theorem is wonderful.

And it's probably my favorite invention of the last, you know, 10 years, but but it has problems.

So for example, it's very, it's a it's a very slow and it and that results in hot water called gas fees.

So you have to pay a lot to use it. There's a lot of interesting work going on.

There's a bunch of things launching that just recently launched actually called L2s, which are kind of like networks upon networks, computers upon computers, like kind of a caching layer or compute layer on top.

And that's a very interesting area. And I think just there's a ton of interesting computer science in here, by the way, because there's these sort of core trade offs you make between different properties like trust and scalability and security.

And you can reason about these very rigorously. So we have like Dan Bonet from Stanford, professor at Stanford.

He's closely involved with our fund.

And Tim Roughgarden at Columbia is another kind of computer scientist.

And like the work they're doing, I think is very cutting edge and interesting computer science on how do you make these systems have the right set of sort of both security properties and also performance characteristics.

And there's just sort of core trade offs, but there is also kind of a efficient frontier.

And like a lot of the kind of newer stuff is pushing that. You know, there's a whole bunch of, by the way, a lot of ways to improve that or think that the networking layer, for example, a lot of the slow performance comes from the fact that by design, blockchain has what's called a consensus mechanism, which is a game theoretical mechanism where a whole bunch of computers come together every block, every cycle and decide on the state of the state machine.


And they come together and vote. And a lot of that, a lot of the slowness comes from actually network latency.

So there's a bunch of actually companies that we literally call like cloud flair for blockchain internally.

I mean, it's not, I'm not just saying that because you're here, but they're trying to sort of improve that networking layer.

As an example, there's a whole bunch of interesting companies doing kind of like this one where investors are called alchemy to do kind of caching layers.

Because a blockchain, think of it like a streaming database, but a lot of times you just want to know what the current state is as opposed to seeing the full kind of diffs across time.

And that's what services like that provide.

So there's a bunch of, I think there's a bunch of fascinating technical things.

We have on our website, if you Google A16Z Crypto Cannon, it's a list of all of what we think of the classic technical papers that people might be interested in doing.

I would encourage reading the Ethereum white paper, for example, which is the original design and digging in and just trying some solidity. now. is a cool kind of coding sandbox website. They now support solidity, which is Ethereum's native language.

You can go out and start building, coding stuff up.

And it's an interesting kind of new way to think about computer programming.

So on the less technical and more sort of, I don't know, moral sounds like it's too strong, but one of the ways that society deals with sort of ambiguity, or deals with kind of the impreciseness of being able to express, you know, what situations might come next is, is that you do have some discretion.

And that seems like it's one of the challenges here that, you know, you have to, you have to kind of know what the rules are in advance.

And then if somebody figures out how to manipulate those rules, that it creates problems and that there isn't that discretion that's built in.

Is there, how, how are, how are people thinking about that?

And how do you, how do you, how are we going to fix that? That's a great question.

And there's different, and this is what we call kind of governance in this, in this world.

And there's different philosophies towards it. So there's some things which are called on -chain governance, which means basically people have like token, which is sort of the right to vote and can overrule those rules and they can do code upgrades and things.

So that's one philosophy. Another philosophy, which actually like Ethereum takes is much more of a traditional kind of standards approach, the way that like, how do we upgrade HTTP?

We upgrade it by, you put out a standards thing, but ultimately it's up to the software providers to support it.

Right. And that's kind of how Ethereum approaches it. This theorem, there's a whole bunch of different node providers who make Ethereum nodes and they just have to decide what to upgrade.

And they, Ethereum did that deliberately for the reason you said, that they don't trust hard-coding it too much.


Like let, let there be kind of soft consensus. That's like Vitalik is one of the creators of Ethereum has written a bunch of really articulate blog posts on this topic and how he doesn't sort of trust fully what's called on-chain governance.

So it's a great question. And look, it's not, you know, humans have been trying to figure out governance for a few thousand years, and I'm not saying that there's all the answers, but I do think, like, I think at least approaching it in this way that the community gets to decide is a very interesting, and I would argue perhaps better than having, you know, just an opaque group of product managers or something, right?

Like what's the current, I think it's, I think it's a good conversation to have.

And I think, and I think there's, it's a very promising direction when we think about how do we govern the Internet in the future?

I think systems that let communities govern themselves to me are, is what this is, a lot of this is about.

And I think it's a very kind of a, you know, important discussion to have.

So we have about one minute left. In that one minute, what are some things that we at Cloudflare could be doing to be helping this, this community?

Well, I love the IPFS support.

That's great. I think just, you know, continuing, like a lot of these things are fragile or early.

ENS is Ethereum Name Service, which is a really cool, I think it's really getting traction now.

It's sort of the native, you know, DNS type service and actually has, it actually works with DNS and has some advantages over it.

So you don't have the dependencies on sort of these other organizations that can, you know, .org, the TLD was almost bought by a private equity group last year, who could have then decided which nonprofits to get .org.

Like, I think, I think it's risk also with geopolitical issues of like DNS and other services fragmenting, and it's worth looking at some of these.

So anyways, ENS is great.

IPFS is great. I think that some of the stuff I mentioned around kind of blockchain scalability would be awesome if you guys want to get involved.

You know, there's a lot of these are nascent technologies. And so I think that's on the one hand, you know, we really need, we'd love to have support from companies like yours.

And I also think it's a really exciting kind of cutting edge thing.

If you have engineers who want to kind of dive in. Well, Chris, I really appreciate you.

Thanks for coming on Cloudflare TV. Really, again, I think that this is one of those issues that is super exciting and really appreciate following.

Awesome. I appreciate it. Thank you, Matthew. Thanks. See ya.

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