🟪 Permissionless II Newsletter Awards & Quotable Quotes
The much-anticipated presentation of the Permissionless II Newsletter Awards!
This issue is brought to you by
“This is important, what you’re doing here today.”
— Representative Tom Emmer at Permissionless
Permissionless II Newsletter Awards & Quotable Quotes
Permissionless II is officially in the books.
You’ve packed up your merch, endured the now-standard delays getting home, found everything is surprisingly just like you left it, and, already feeling at loose ends, bought your ticket for Salt Lake City.
There is, however, one more piece of business to attend to: The much-anticipated presentation of the Permissionless II Newsletter Awards!
Fortunately, the Awards have been tokenized, so the votes are already in and verified with an immutable, zero-knowledge proof, quadratic voting, validium rollup on a Cosmos app chain and secured by Ethereum.
So, without further ado, let’s get to this year’s winners.
And the winner is…
Most made me wish I could type faster: Eric Vorhees and Ethan Buchman for speaking in nothing but hot takes.
Best conference innovation: Bean bag chairs in the hallways.
Best use of bean bags: Doubling them up for a full lie-down between sessions.
Best new word I learned: “Concurrency,” from Anatoly Yakovenko in reference to Solana’s goal to allow multiple applications to use the same chain without getting in each other’s way.
Best new word I sort of learned: “Holarchy,” from Kevin Owocki describing a series of connecting holons, which are things that are both a part and a whole and appear to have something to do with crypto and/or public goods funding, I’m not sure.
The Zola Budd Award: Kevin Owocki for going shoeless while explaining the future of public goods funding on stage.
Person who most looked like they were at the wrong conference: Representative Tom Emmer for wearing a jacket and tie on stage — before outing himself as the second-most radical person in Austin (behind only Erik Voorhees).
Clearest sign you were at a crypto conference: The line to take selfies with an SEC commissioner. (The dissenting one, of course.)
Most made me feel at home: The ‘90s vibe at the Permies Lounge.
Best reason to get your kids a digital wallet: Pol Maire for describing the future convergence of value and messaging as “You are sending USDC to your mom and dad without even knowing you’re doing it.”
Boldest call: Matt Galligan for his prediction that attaching value to messaging will be what “brings a billion people into the space.”
(Note to management: We may need a bigger venue for Permissionless XV.)
Best elevator pitch: Andy Bromberg for pitching Beam as an “on-chain Venmo.”
Best, but least informative elevator pitch: Ben Jones for “Superchain is a chain that’s super, baby.”
Best suggestion for Permissionless III: All beanbags, no chairs.
Biggest fail: Using earbuds to listen to the livestream of one panel while listening to another panel in person. (Turns out, it’s not like listening to a podcast at 2x speed.)
Most crypto-specific slip of the tongue: [Redacted] for saying “...aligns with your validators…” when it was crypto values that were aligned.
Nerdiest analogy: Cosmos super bull Sam Hart for “Ethereum is to ETH as Cosmos is to IBC.”
Best reason to stay to the very, very end: You get to take a bean bag! (Note: The flight attendant will be annoyed when you try to stuff it into the overhead bin.)
Best new jargon: Alex Cutler for “ecosystem-maxi approach.”
Most inside joke: Kyle Samani for “You’re going to have to pay funding for it, but, yeah, you can do it,” in reference to shorting San Francisco.
Best new phrase: Vitalik Buterin for “Galaxy Brain logic.”
(Meaning remains unclear, but it’s evidently something bad, in case you want to try it in conversation.)
Best conference realization: The world doesn’t end if you ignore email, Twitter, and Telegram for three days.
But the conference eventually does.
Congratulations to this year’s winners of the prestigious Newsletter Awards!
Be sure to check the mail for a gold-plated statue of Vitalik and some coveted Blockworks Newsletter swag.
As for everyone else, I know you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to Austin.
So, by way of an encore, I will empty the notebook and leave you with some of the week’s hottest takes and wisest wisdom.
“Your job as a DeFi person is not to give people 5% returns instead of 3% returns. Your job as a DeFi person is to make sure people don’t get negative 100% returns.” — Vitalik
“These new tech spaces, they create this kind of reset where if you come in as a new person, you're suddenly not, like, ten years behind everyone else anymore.” — Vitalik
“You go four more steps down Galaxy Brain logic and you've basically, you know, like, reentered the sort of existing Web2 dystopia.” — Vitalik
“L2s will rip out the L1 and do something else.” — Kyle Samani
“The ‘real world asset’ is a fake narrative.” — Qiao Wang
“The non-crypto companies are now more bullish on crypto than the crypto natives are.” — Qiao Wang
“I don’t think 2024 is when crypto comes back.” — Qiao Wang
“We’re entering the golden age of competitive monies.” — Andy Bromberg
“Adoption happens slowly, slowly then all at once. We need to make that ‘all at once’ happen.” — Arjun Kalsy
“If you fully decentralize, but the user doesn’t know what to do, we won’t get mass adoption.” — Arjun Kalsy
“Protocols and chains will become the biggest users of DEXes.” — Alex Cutler, Velodrome
“I do think the institutions are coming but maybe not the ones you’re looking for.” — Matt Hougan
“Identity could really make the world better.” — Tiago Sada
“We need to build real things.” — Tiago Sada
“The institutions aren’t coming.” — Robert Leshner
“The institutions aren’t interested in … trading some shitcoin that was invented last night.” — Robert Leshner
“I think we have killer applications right now.” — Robert Leshner
“The user experience in DeFi doesn’t work for mainstream users. In some ways, it’s moving backwards.” — Robert Leshner on things like friend.tech
“I think we’ll look back and say, ‘ha ha, that was crazy.’” — Robert Leshner on self-custody
“Keep the simple and boring stuff simple and boring.” Mary Catherine Lader
“Chains are the new smart contracts. (I want that on a shirt.)” — Ben jones
“The use-case of finance is only the starting point for what blockchains are about.” — Ben Jones
“Scalable blockchains are about taking back the internet.” — Ben Jones
“Thank you for your claps.” — Ben Jones
“What you see is what you get in Cosmos.” — Sam Hart
“The fat-app thesis is kind of trivial.” — Same Hart
“It’s awesome to see someone take my code and use it. It’s the best feeling in the world.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
“The second client is the hardest one to build.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
Hivemapper “is probably the coolest AI-intersection-with-crypto product in the world.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
“I think Solana wouldn’t be here without all the free R&D we get from Ethereum researchers.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
“I had two coffees and a beer and had this eureka movement that there’s a way to track time permissionlessly.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
“If, in ten years, you look at CoinMarketCap and there’s 100 Solana forks above Solana, that’ll be a huge win.” — Anatoly Yakovenko
“Solana is a Cosmos chain.” — Anatoly Yakovenko, jokingly (I think)
“It’s not a real financial crisis until Citibank fails.” — Jim Bianco
“The thing about real world assets is that it’s not assets.” — Lucas Vogelsong
“You probably won’t be getting those this year, but hang on” — Erik Voorhees on Lambos
“Permission is what the kindergarten child requests to go to the bathroom.” — Erik Voorhees
“Farm animals perhaps is the better metaphor.” — Erik Voorhees on people living by permission
“Code polices better than police.” — Erik Voorhees
“The laws of physics, the laws of math, are worthy of respect. The laws of man … are unfit to build on.” — Erik Voorhees
“Compared to what we are building, they are the agents of chaos.” — Erik Voorhees on governments
“They’re used to controlling things that they haven’t built, and now, finally, they can’t.” — Erik Voorhees
“This question is for the nerds out there, which is everyone.” — David Hoffman on Permissionless attendees
“Solana and Optimism are two of my favorite Cosmos chains.” — Ethan Buchman
“Cosmos is about this idea of allowing any community to have sovereignty over their money and still be interoperable with other communities.” — Ethan Buchman
“More true to the bio-physical reality that we find ourselves in.” — Ethan Buchman on Cosmos chains
“The endgame of Cosmos is to find a way for humanity to survive.” — Ethan Buchman
“Start on solana and once you hit the limits of what you can do there, move on to Cosmos.” — Ethan Buchman’s advice to new crypto builders
“Cosmos is vision and values first.” — Ethan Buchman
“The thing that really worries me is that the whole thing gets co-opted by Wall Street.” — Ethan Buchman
“You should be making the decisions that are most important to you.” — Representative Tom Emmer
“Seems like that’s not American values.” — Representative Tom Emmer on proposals to stop people holding assets in digital wallets
“It sucks.” — Representative Tom Emmer on being a politician
“You don’t have to be pro-crypto. Be pro-innovation.” — Representative Tom Emmer
“You guys get it. You will force the change.” — Representative Tom Emmer
“Do not give up the fight. Do not let them win.” — Representative Tom Emmer
“The government develops its own interests and forgets that it represents the people.” — Commissioner Hester Peirce
“We need to be ready to go when the opportunity strikes.” — Commissioner Hester Peirce
“Government should be a government of laws, not of men.” — Commissioner Hester Peirce
“If two people [exchange money], why does there have to be a governmental role in that transaction?” — Commissioner Hester Peirce
“We don’t need crypto-friendly people. We need people committed to the rule of law.” — Commissioner Hester Peirce
“We are rewriting how society allocates capital to the things it needs.” — Kevin Owocki
“We’re building an emergent, bottom-up superstructure for public goods spending.” — Kevin Owocki
“We’re prototyping how to fund public goods.” — Kevin Owocki
“People are going to where they’re welcome.” — Shawn Douglass on the crypto industry leaving the US
“Somebody else’s database? No one wants to trust that.” — Shawn Douglass
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