Credit: Lee Campbell

Podcast Episodes

The Third Web #12 - The Actor Model

Subodh Sharma is a professor of computer science at IIT Delhi, one of the most prestigious universities in India. While he’s not teaching, Subodh conducts research into the formal verification of distributed systems, and his work on the automated formal verification of smart contacts has drawn international interest.

I called up Subodh because I was looking for someone to explain an approach to writing software called the actor model. The actor model essentially involves sandboxing tasks in such a way that complexity is minimized and all behaviors of a software system can be known under all conditions.

Currently the actor model is applied to the management of telecommunications networks through the Erlang language, and also in secure servers. Understanding the way robust distributed systems are constructed assists in the assessment of platform designs and gives us a view into the future of the ultimate distributed system - the Third Web.

Find the full shownotes here.

The Third Web #11 - Scuttlebutt & Cypherspace

Dominic Tarr is a hacker who resides on a sailboat, usually found in New Zealand's beautiful Hauraki Gulf. In recent years he has risen to fame as the creator of the Secure Scuttlebutt protocol, Scuttlebutt for short. Scuttlebutt is comprised of a standardized message format and a subjective append only log stored locally by users.

The first application has been a multi-client decentralized social media platform that is an absolute joy to use, and I encourage everyone to download my favourite desktop client, Patchwork, or Manyverse for Android. As an autonomous software system, like Bitcoin, Scuttlebutt rewards the provisioning of resources to support the network, only rather than a point system and money myth, Scuttlebutt offers something far more valuable, conversation. This mostly covers the origin of the protocol but I will definitely conduct more interviews with Dom and others close to the project, which is today one of the most impressive, and well used decentralized applications in existence.

Visit for more information,


History of Secure Scuttlebutt
The name is coincidental. It comes from an old amazon paper describing a subsystem of the amazon dynamo database that used a gossip protocol.
Gossip protocols are robust because, like human gossip, messages can be passed through third parties ensuring that if a network is disrupted communication can still take place.
However as the message is passed from party to party there is the opportunity to manipulate its contents.

Find the full shownotes here.

The Third Web #10 - An Emerging India

Recently I visited India representing the DFINITY Foundation. The trip was supported by upstart venture production and consulting group, Dunya Labs, and advocacy group, InCrypt. Those ten days altered my understanding of the way technology manifests products and the driving role the needs of high growth nations will have in defining the digital landscape of tomorrow.

In this episode, I’m joined by co-founder of Dunya Labs, Cathy Guo, and co-founders of InCrypt, Nitin Sharma & Sumukh Shetty. We examine the Indian startup, business and regulatory environments. We also look at the growth of telecommunications infrastructure alongside macro demographic trends and the unique business conditions they create.

Investment, community building, and policy research and advocacy
Has produced study and guidence on regulation

Dunya Labs
Research Arm
Product specific research
Infrastructiure team connecting applications to protocols
Community and incubatioon

Cathy’s Book
Entrepreneurial philosophy
Corporate responsibility
Emerging tech landscape in India
Emerging startup ecosystem
The way that Indian startups create social and economic value

How do you see blockchain technology beign deployed in india?
Low trust, high administrative friction in india
Middlemen are a big problem
Desire for transparency and automation
More data is moved through Indian infrastructure than the US
Beginning with banks and private ledgers
Supplychain, etc.

Find the full shownotes here.

The Third Web #9 - Jack du Rose, Colony & Coase

In 2015 I interviewed Jack du Rose about Colony - his autonomous platform that could track contribution to a common enterprse and reward tokens representing stake in said enterprise. Three years and two private betas on, we hear from Jack about his experience building a system to revolutionize the way we work together.

Part of what makes Colony facinating is to see the enormity of the events that have taken place in the years since it’s conception and how in spite of these events, the process of product design has proceeded in a linear and systematic fashion, uninfluenced by the white hot speculative market.

Colony is preparing to go live this year if you’d like to learn more visit, or visit them on twitter

Find the full shownotes here.

The Third Web #8 - Zilliqa & Singapore

Zilliqa is a Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance based, public, programmable blockchain platform that uses Proof of Work as a syble resistance mechanism. Combining PBFT and PoW is a brilliant trick to bring the state finality required for scaling through network and state sharding.

Amrit Kumar, Head of Research, and Xinshu Dong, CEO, offer an overview of the project.
At the same time, we learn from two of Singapore's innovation magnates of innovation about the advantage provided by both the government and educational institutions of the region. [Especially noteworthy after the success of Project Ubin]

Epicenter episode:


Find the full shownotes here.