March 8, 2022

All Roads Lead to Bitcoin with Dr. Muneeb Ali

All Roads Lead to Bitcoin with Dr. Muneeb Ali

Dr. Muneeb Ali, co-Founder of Stacks, discusses Bitcoin, the early days of Bitcoin, Stacks and building on Bitcoin, and much more


My guest today is Dr. Muneeb Ali, co-Founder of Stacks. Stacks is a layer-1 blockchain solution that is designed to bring smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) to Bitcoin (BTC). These smart contracts are brought to Bitcoin without changing any of the features that make it so powerful — including its security and stability. Stacks looks to take what makes Bitcoin so powerful, and extends it with additional functionality, without needing to fork or change the original Bitcoin blockchain. Dr. Muneeb Ali is the co-founder of Stacks, bringing apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin. He serves as the CEO of Hiro PBC, a Public Benefit Corp that builds developer tools for Stacks and Bitcoin. He has raised $75 million USD in funding from investors like Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, and others. Hiro PBC was recently featured in CNBC's list of 100 promising startups to watch. Muneeb received his Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from Princeton University, where his Ph.D. thesis was nominated for the ACM SIGCOMM dissertation award. Muneeb gives guest lectures on cloud computing at Princeton and his research publications have over 1,600 citations. He is one of the main characters in the book Life After Google and was a technical advisor to the HBO show Silicon Valley. IN our conversation we discuss a variety of topics including Bitcoin, the early days of Bitcoin, Stacks and building on Bitcoin, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing the differences between Web 2 and Web3. Muneeb does an excellent job at explaining the platform risks that exist throughout the Web2 ecosystem. Our conversation transitions to Bitcoin. We discuss how Bitcoin is freedom money and how it is helping both Ukrainian and Russian citizens navigate this incredibly difficult time. We also discuss the early days of Bitcoin and what attracted us to the space. Muneeb shares stories from the early days of Bitcoin showing how small the community was and how much the movement has grown. Our conversation transitions to a discussion centered around building on top of Bitcoin. Muneeb explains the various different protocols being built on top of Bitcoin like Stacks, Liquid, and RSK. We discuss how these work and their various trade offs. Muneeb breaks down Proof-of-Transfer, merge mining, and federated systems. We also touch on the growth of the developer base within the Stacks ecosystem and some exciting new projects being built on Stacks. Our final topic of conversation centered around why build on Bitcoin and why Bitcoin is the future. Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Muneeb Ali

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