Adam Simmons is the Chief Strategy Officer of RDX Works, a core development company behind the Radix Public Network. Throughout […]

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Adam Simmons is the Chief Strategy Officer of RDX Works, a core development company behind the Radix Public Network. Throughout his career, Adam has worked in and with multiple successful start-up, scale-up, and platforms businesses in marketing, content, and strategy.

Prior to joining RDX Works, Adam built a video sharing platform to over 35 million Monthly Active Users and the VRA token community to over 250k people.”

 

Episode Highlights Here:

 

Adam

Like if your entire net worth was tied to those seed phrases, what do you do? Well, you can’t just put them on a bit of paper. What if your house burns down? Well, what if it’s just in your house and Someone robbed you like, basically, you get to a point of splitting up into three different places and pulling it like underneath a volcano in three different continents to be safe.

 

Pierce

Let’s talk first a little bit about what’s going on in that whole space for those who don’t really understand it. And then, you know, with the defy platforms, right? How are you solving those problems? And so that that doesn’t happen again, right? Because people are leaving online.

 

Adam

So it’s a really good question. And it’s a really complex situation, in which what happened was only like FTX. So on a simple layer, they were using customer funds to fund other activities in highly leveraged positions. And sometimes very opaque conditions to put that politely. And so as a result, when some of those higher leverage positions didn’t work out, they weren’t backed one to one with asset customer funds. So when customers then realize that there was a problem, you had exactly the same scenario you do with the bankruptcy, as people were starting to try and withdraw their assets, they weren’t that many assets, they’re, suddenly they can’t fulfill withdrawals. Now, I find it really interesting in many ways that people go, or FTX is an example of why crypto doesn’t work. Because as you say, centralized exchanges are kind of the antithesis to what crypto is meant to be. A centralized entity controlling all of your funds is basically what the traditional finance system is, and having some black box doing things, God knows what with your funds and your assets. At any point, getting into stupidly over leveraged positions with no transparency or oversight, has caused financial crises far outside of crypto on many previous occasions. Now, having said that, I think centralized exchanges currently serve a massive benefit to the crypto industry on the whole. And there they’re serving a need in the market, like let’s be really pragmatic about this. Currently, the user experience for utilizing web three crypto and whatever else isn’t good. For most people. It’s highly complex. Self-costoring your own funds, at minimum, is terrifying and is maximum selling, no one really wants to do like securing your crypto assets you need like a hardware wallet, which again, isn’t expensive, but they’re a bit clunky. For security. You’ve got seed phrases, which are 28 random words that you’ve basically are the keys to all of your assets, keep them safe. And like you have to go to the level of like if your entire net worth was tied to those seed phrases. What do you do? Well, you can’t just put them on a bit of paper, what if your house burns down? Well, what if it’s just in your house and Someone robbed you like, basically, you get to a point of splitting up into three different places and pulling it like underneath a volcano in three different continents to be safe. But then that’s completely impractical to go and access your thoughts. So there’s this balance of like user experience. And so centralized expect exchanges fill that need, they’re like, hey, we’ll look at your assets. And you can buy and sell them easily through us. And so it was user convenience, and I don’t fault them for that they’re serving a market need, as an industry. And one of the things we’re doing radix is really looking at all of these pain points. Why? Why is web three and crypto, whatever you want to call it? Why is it not solving the user need that the vision presents, because I think it’s not really a hard sell the vision of crypto like hey, your money, you look after it, you control it, you decide where it goes, no other people should be able to tell you what you do with your money where it belongs and when you can access it and where you can send it. It’s not a hard sell. When you go to the practicality of that, like people watching this, like very intelligent people financially savvy, short, they’re probably up to that challenge. Are our friends, our families, our colleagues, our moms, our grandparents, whatever, are they going to do that? Probably not. I mean, my nan loves, ideally, she thinks the internet is Facebook. And so she’s not going to sit there and be like, Well, I’m gonna go and do this. And then that’s just holding funds. When you then go and look at interacting with the fi and web three today. Still, it’s no great user experience. Because if you’ve ever used something like a meta mask, which is the most common wallet you use with things like Aetherium, if you go into something like uni swap, which is a decentralized exchange. For a start, what most people don’t realize is it says, oh, approve uni swap smart contract. So that’s like the decentralized application to control your USDC as an example. And you say, Okay, what most people don’t realize is that’s usually a blanket authorization for that decentralized application to do anything with your balance of USDC. Because it’s not actually in your wallet. It’s another smart contract, but that’s getting a bit technical. Secondly, when you then say, hey, I want to swap my USDC for Aetherium, or products or whatever, and you click go on the web interface. Currently, the wallet pops up, and it says, Hey, you’re doing this swap, that swap or it doesn’t even say that’s what it says you’re doing this transaction, which is presented As a hash, so for most people random string of letters and numbers, then tells you it’s going to cost this much of a fee, approve or deny. And that’s the only info you get. So you basically have to completely trust whatever the web UI says, is what’s going to happen. Because when you hit approve, where it’s what we call in the industry, you’re blind signing, you’re assigning that and hoping for the best, you have no way to verify if it’s true or not. That, again, is just one massive area where there’s security concerns. Because one, you could have a bad actor, too, you could have bugs and exploits, which mean that you’re approving the wrong thing. Or three, you could just go to the wrong website and approve the wrong transaction without knowing that, okay, insane. And that, again, isn’t the fault of the developers, it’s the fault of the entire stack, because your developer experience is also really tough, because Aetherium and solidity is the most common way to build smart contracts at the moment. And it wasn’t designed with the idea of assets in mind. So another thing that blows people’s head quite often is crypto, especially Aetherium crypto assets, and many tokens are what are called ERC. 20 tokens. And so ERC 20 is just the token made with a smart contract itself. So a smart contract creates them and controls them and the ERC. 20 standard is just a self imposed standard, like we need all of these to look roughly the same. So things like wallets and applications can interact with the same kind of standard. The actual Aetherium network and every other network apart from radix, doesn’t actually understand what a native asset is, it’s just defined by a smart contract. That means that a developer has to create their own token, if they need a token, they have to write the smart contracts to do that. And then they’re interacting with potentially 1000s of other smart contracts, which all have their own logic and their own way of rebuilding things. In radix, one of the key differences we make is this concept of Native Assets. So the easiest way I can describe that to people is every layer of the stack from the user interface through to the execution environment, and the programming language down to consensus understands what an asset is. So in the network, conceptually, a digital asset behaves exactly the same as a physical object would. So in that example, if I put a physical coin down on a table, it can’t fall through the table, it can’t disappear. If I hand it to you. While it’s in my hand, it’s mine. As soon as you take it, it’s yours. It doesn’t magically become two, it can’t the rules of the universe, say that can’t duplicate magically. And little things like that make a huge difference to the developer experience. And the way I describe this to people is very similar to game engines. So those of you who don’t know, like if you go back to the 90s, video games were really, really hard to make. Because you have to start by defining what the fundamental laws of the universe were in the game, how physics work gravity, shadows, lighting, and that took about 80% of developers time, and it was hard work. And you still when you went and reinvented the rules of physics, every time ended up with bulky fell through the full floor clip through walls. And in video games, it sucked. It was annoying. And what people realized was actually every game needs these fundamental laws of physics. And so they built game engines. And when they built a game engine, suddenly developers freed up so much of their time to work on novel gameplay. Because physics were there and say your game was in space. That doesn’t mean that you can’t go into the game engine and say set gravity to zero, you could, that’s the power the engine gave. And that revolutionized the industry in games. video games became an industry that was bigger than music and TV and cinema combined, very, very quickly because of the power of an engine. And that is exactly the same as what radix gives web three developers. We give them basically a defy engine, called the radix engine, to be able to build things. And then you get right to the bottom layer of the stack, which is consensus. Now this is where people hear about high fees on a theory and more congestion or slow transactions, mostly that comes from scalability. So scalability is like the number of transactions that a decentralized platform can perform per second. And so if you look at something like Aetherium, that does about 15 transactions per second is where it caps out. Even what’s considered the best in the world at the moment. In a live environment like Solana, Solana theoretically does 65,000 transactions per second, which is obviously orders of magnitude higher than Aetherium. But still a fraction of what you’d need if you actually moved even a fraction of the $400 trillion global economy running like Solana and 65,000 transactions per second, couldn’t even cope with say like NASDAQ running on it. 24/7. So what radix didn’t radix started back in 2013. We were looking at how we could solve scalability forever. And the way we did that is with a pretty novel approach to scaling where we have a massively sharded environment which puts a number to about two to the power of 256 shots.

 

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About Adam Simmons

Crypto As The Financial System of the internet with Adam Simmons

Adam Simmons is the Chief Strategy Officer of RDX Works, a core development company behind the Radix Public Network. Throughout his career, Adam has worked in and with multiple successful start-up, scale-up, and platforms businesses in marketing, content, and strategy.

Prior to joining RDX Works, Adam built a video sharing platform to over 35 million Monthly Active Users and the VRA token community to over 250k people.”

 

 

 

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