Sept. 13, 2022

Protecting Privacy with Dr. Sebastian Burgel

Protecting Privacy with Dr. Sebastian Burgel

Dr. Sebastian Burgel, Founder of HOPR, discusses HOPR, Privacy, Incentivization, Permissionless Innovation, and much more.


Sebastian is the founder of the web3 privacy project HOPR. HOPR is a blockchain-based protocol aiming to solve data and privacy issues on a global scale. HOPR’s goal is to decentralize private data exchanges completely. HOPR is a next-generation privacy solution, allowing private and enterprise users to decide who has access to their online and personal data. The HOPR protocol uses “mixnets,” or routing protocols, to shuffle around data and make it extremely hard to track. While mixing data makes it almost untraceable, the different pieces of information are successfully delivered to the user to decide how to use the whole data set. HOPR is a leading pioneer in the data privacy space, especially because of their focus on blockchain technology. Before starting HOPR, Sebastian co-founded two successful tech ventures, the ATM-as-a-Service startup Sonect and the blockchain education and service company Validity Labs. Sebastian holds a PhD from ETH Zurich for his work on microtechnology for biomedical applications. He contributed to the Swiss DLT law and is actively involved in shaping the web3 and crypto asset economy and changing data privacy for good. We discuss various topics, including HOPR, Privacy, Incentivization, Permissionless Innovation, and much more. We began our conversation by discussing The Science of Blockchain Conference at Stanford University. We discuss how things have changed so much over the last decade. We discuss how the vibe of the conference has shifted from hype to being focused on building. We transition to discuss the previous bull market. We discuss how decentralization and privacy were not prioritized during the bull market. Sebastian stresses that current events like the sanctioning of Tornado Cash and the various high-profile hacks has renewed the communities dedication to decentralization and privacy. Sebastian emphasizes that crypto’s most important value proposition is censorship resistance. We discuss HOPR and the future of privacy in web3. Sebastian explains how HOPR works and how they are building the infrastructure to ensure privacy in web3. Our next conversation topic focused on innovation. We discuss why permissionless innovation is the future and how much faster things will innovate when we transition to an open-source tech stack. We pivot our conversation to discuss the various challenges in a society reliant on web2 infrastructure. Our next conversation topic centered around economic incentivization. We discuss how incentives can make actions more or less likely depending on how they are structured. Our final conversation topic focused on singularity. We discuss society’s growing acceptance of using computers and technology to enhance our bodies and the possible second-order consequences. Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Sebastian Burgel.

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