The Architecture of Crypto Innovation

Some of the biggest questions in technology today opportunities for crypto center around issues of privacy and security. When you consider the very nature of crypto is decentralized networks and databases, how does information sharing that work when you don’t have a trusted third party in the middle who can verify the information being communicated?

So in this talk, MIT professor (and former senior software engineer at Google) Neha Narula, who researches distributed systems and did her doctoral work on fast, scalable databases — as well as Director of the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative — shares what “consensus” is in the crypto and blockchain context. What is the spectrum of “decentralization” involved? What are remaining challenges in the space, such as security and scalability? And what are the tradeoffs involved, and how are different players addressing them?

This talk was originally delivered at the inaugural a16z Crypto Regulatory Summit 2019, which brings together leading crypto experts and builders, other technologists, academics, industry executives, and government officials — along with forward-thinking regulators — to foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas around this important emerging industry.