Aug. 9, 2022

Bringing DeFi to Bitcoin with Chad Barraford and Erik Voorhees

Bringing DeFi to Bitcoin with Chad Barraford and Erik Voorhees

Chad Barraford and Erik Voorhees discuss Thorchain, ShapeShift, open source systems, the permissionless revolution, and much more


Today’s guests are Chad Barraford and Erik Voorhees. Chad Barraford is the technical lead at Thorchain, a decentralized liquidity network. Before this, he served as Chief Technology Officer at the Skyy Network, where he designed and built air traffic management on a blockchain. Barraford was also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cryptocades, an online gaming site that utilizes a device’s spare computing to mine Monero. THORChain is a decentralized liquidity protocol that allows users to easily exchange cryptocurrency assets across a range of networks without losing full custody of their investments in the process. Erik Voorhees is the founder of the startup ShapeShift.io, a Bitcoin and altcoin exchange. He is a dedicated supporter of Bitcoin and frequently is a speaker at related conferences and meetings. Voorhees believes the national monetary system has essential problems, and he, being an opponent of taxation, is actively involved in the creation of cryptocurrency regulation. He is also advocating for the use of smart contracts. We discuss various topics, including Thorchain, ShapeShift, open source systems, the permissionless revolution, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing ShapeShift’s transition to becoming a DAO. Erik discusses where the idea started and what compelled the company to transition to DAO. Erik explains the various reasons that influenced the company's decision to become a DAO. We transitioned to discuss ThorChain. We begin our conversation about ThorChain by discussing THORChain's origins and how it garnered so much interest. We discuss the ambition of the project. Chad explains why Thorchain is against the use of bridges and wrapped assets. We discuss how wrapped assets and bridges are not decentralized and how they limit the full potential of crypto. Erik discusses what attracted him to Thorchain and how his experience running ShapeShift informed him of the need for infrastructure that enabled trustless swapping of assets. Erik goes on to explain how Thorchain is able to allow decentralized swapping. We transition to discuss Thorchain’s commitment to creating a permissionless system. Chad and Erik explain how the system derives its security and how this is enabled by how Thorchain was designed and engineered. We transition to discuss how anyone can get involved with the projects because they are open source and why this leads to more innovation over time. We discuss how tokenomics incentives users and builders by giving them a vested interest in these protocols. Our next conversation topic centered around why value will accrue to the protocols that are open and permissionless. The final topic we discussed was where the yield is derived from on THORChain. Erik explains how the yield on THORChain is directly coming from the fee revenue generated. Erik also touches on the nuances of being an LP on THORChain by describing how all the pools are denominated in RUNE and why that makes the system more stable.

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