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Podcast: Diving into Ethereum Restaking and DeFi, with Calvin Liu Chief Strategy Officer of EigenLayer

Podcast: Diving into Ethereum Restaking and DeFi, with Calvin Liu Chief Strategy Officer of EigenLayer

Hi Fintech Futurists,

Welcome back to our podcast series! Before we jump into this week's podcast, we would like to share with you our publication plan for next week.

Klarna is a definitional company for Fintech, and we’ve often discussed it in passing. We’ve always wanted to do a deep dive into it, and the industry it created.

Klarna is one of the pioneers of the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) model. Over the last 15 years,  it rode the wave of rapid e-commerce growth and ultra-low interest rates and today serves 150+ million customers across a network of 500K+ merchants in 40+ markets. But a changing macro environment and increasing competition from incumbents is starting to expose holes in its economics.

On Wednesday, the 22nd of March, we will dig deeper into Klarna's business model. 

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Let’s get into today’s podcast. 👇

In this conversation, we chat with Calvin Liu, Chief Strategy Officer at EigenLayer, who are building infrastructure to extend Ethereum’s trust network to any distributed system. Simply, EigenLayer enables users to restake their ETH and extend cryptoeconomic security to additional applications on the network.

Calvin also serves as an investor at Divergence Ventures, who are focused on pre/-seed crypto companies, and prior to EigenLayer, he was the ex-Strategy Lead at Compound Labs, in which he helped build and deploy the Compound interest rate protocol.

EigenLayer (@eigenlayer) / Twitter

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  • 1’29”: Calvin’s foundational experiences, how he got pulled into investment banking, and how he integrates philosophy into economics

  • 7’21”: The journey of moving from investment banking to consulting and finally entrepreneurship

  • 14’30”: Becoming a crypto enthusiast - joining DeFi lender Compound and how the company has evolved from its genesis value proposition

  • 21’25”: Some of the “forks in the road” for Compound over these periods of evolution and how they were addressed

  • 28’14”: EigenLayer - what it is, how does it work, what makes it unique, and what it means to stake and restake crypto

  • 34’10”: What it is about Ethereum that makes staking so powerful in this network in particular

  • 36’17”: The future evolution of EigenLayer and the influences of network upgrades like Ethereum’s Shanghai, as well as any other influential variables

  • 38’53”: The tension between building the best and most secure protocol security vs creating speculative assets that generate quick returns

  • 42’57”: Understanding the systemic risk in crypto networks and the possibility of cascading effects from network attacks

  • 44'50”: Channels to use to connect with Calvin & learn more about EigenLayer

Sneak Peek:

Calvin Liu:
…as I've learned more and more about this market during my time at EigenLayer, I have come to understand it's a very complex market with a lot of players who are optimizing for different things. You've got a push-pull between decentralization maximalists who want validation to be as decentralized as possible and as accessible as possible. The dream is that anybody... you, me, anybody... can solo stake from home and help validate the Ethereum network and participate in EigenLayer. That is a vision that we're really aligned with. We think that it's critical that validation networks are as decentralized and accessible as possible. I think that's the driving philosophy of our founder and also of the company.

And there's a push-pull there because there's a natural incentive to centralize in some of these systems, especially in systems that are about generating yield, whether it's through ETH staking or eventually EigenLayer restaking. There will always be a push to be the best, just a natural outcome of capitalism. There's going to be an aggregation of power where someone is going to be the best at staking or retaking, and they're naturally going to attract a lot of capital, so that's one of the most interesting dynamics that continues to play out, and you can see it pretty clearly in the RocketPool ethos or... Yeah. There's lots of different platforms that are focused on decentralization, I think that's something we're paying a lot of attention to. And it's something that we have to navigate because we want to build a protocol that gets a lot of adoption, but we want it to get a lot of adoption in a decentralized way, not just in... We can't just optimize for…

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Fintech Blueprint 🤖🏦🧭
Fintech Blueprint 🤖🏦🧭
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