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Legendary scientist and cryptography pioneer Ralph Merkle joined us to discuss his recent paper on DAOs. Merkle examined how the voting mechanisms in today’s democracies are flawed and how a decentralized, transparent DAO making decisions using prediction markets could create more efficient democratic systems.
Topics discussed in this episode:
– Merkle proofs, Merkle Roots and his early forays into cryptography
– Blockchains as living organisms
– Why DAOs will be subject to a Darwinian evolutionary process
– Why voting is flawed and we need new governance methods to save democracy
– The concept of a DAO democracy
– How prediction markets and futarchy would help govern a DAO democracy
Links mentioned in this episode:
– Ralph Merkle DAO Democracy Paper [PDF]:
– Ralph Merkle's Homepage:
– Ralph Merkle's Wikipedia page:
– Episode 98 with Robin Hanson on futarchy & prediction markets:
– Tim Urban: Why Cryonics Makes Sense:
– Alcor – Life Extension Foundation:
– DutchX: The open, decentralized trading protocol for ERC20 tokens using the Dutch auction mechanism –
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Epicenter is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sébastien Couture & Meher Roy.