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The Crypto Conversation

Feb 17, 2020

This is part one of a two-part conversation with Bram Cohen. Bram is the inventor of the peer to peer BitTorrent protocol that changed the world in the early 2000s, disrupting the way we understand copyright, how we consume content, and leading to the destruction and rebirth of corporate media companies. Bram is now working on Chia Network, a cryptocurrency with the same properties as Bitcoin, but without the intensive energy footprint. Chia uses a new consensus algorithm called Proof Of Space and Time.

Why you should listen:

The BitTorrent protocol was a catalyst for the golden age of file-sharing in the early 2000s. Bram says it was never about being a crusader against copyright, he was simply interested in moving data from point A to point B. Listen to Bram’s memories of being a childhood programming prodigy, his early start-up failures, and his impressions of Hal Finney and Satoshi Nakamoto during the early years of Bitcoin. 

Key takeaway:

At its peak, BitTorrent had hundreds of millions of users and accounted for 40% of all internet traffic. At the core of this was the idea that information wants to be free - and the tension behind that idea is still at the root of what it means to be extremely online today. 

BitTorrent is the world’s largest decentralized protocol. Bitcoin is the second largest. Bitcoin is a revolutionary idea but miners are too centralized and the energy footprint is growing. Bram’s vision for Chia addresses these two perceived weaknesses.


Bram Cohen’s Wikipedia page


Chia Green Paper

United States of America Mathematical Olympiad

Mojo Nation



Hal Finney

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Bitcoin IRC Channels

Bram on Twitter

Chia Project on Twitter

Andy on Twitter 

Brave New Coin on Twitter

Brave New Coin

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