The Evolution of Eth & Categorizing Crypto Assets

Published on
November 12th, 2020
60 minutes

The Evolution of Eth & Categorizing Crypto Assets

The Interview - Crypto ·
Featuring Ryan Sean Adams

Published on: November 12th, 2020 • Duration: 60 minutes

Ryan Sean Adams, crypto investor and founder of Bankless, joins Sebastian Moonjava, Real Vision associate crypto editor, to discuss several important methods for understanding and valuing crypto assets. Adams goes in-depth on how to approach Eth as a "triple point asset", methods to value and categorize crypto projects, and economic bandwidth. He explains the importance of Eth 2.0 and its implications for Eth as an asset. Adams explains how he sees the future of blockchain and why he thinks most "Eth killers" don't seem to have great future prospects. Filmed on November 4, 2020. Key Learnings: Adams explains how recent and upcoming changes to the Ethereum network will impact Eth as an asset. Understanding the changing narratives behind Bitcoin and Ethereum help viewers to put into the perspective the value propositions presented by various crypto assets, and this video helps viewers begin to categorize these new assets into their own respective categories.



  • GA
    Gabriel A.
    8 December 2020 @ 04:21
    These guys are trying to be good Sellers of a crypto-currency! LMAO!(It's all flufff...)
  • GA
    Gabriel A.
    8 December 2020 @ 04:21
    These guys are trying to be good Sellers of a crypto-currency! LMAO!(It's all flufff...)
  • JD
    Jeremy D.
    13 November 2020 @ 21:51
    Ethereum has no legitimate business case beyond creating services that want to skirt KYC/AML laws: One of the fundamental tenants of crypto is that where a system of laws is disagreeable and/or can not be trusted, then a system of math and code is necessary. A system of laws is fundamentally cheaper, easier, and more scalable than the system of math and code required to protect against byzantine attacks. I posit that once a system of money is created using math and code, then financial services like trading, loans, etc. work perfectly well using our system of laws to protect and govern their operation. Ethereum’s primary business case is as a platform for crypto financial services. Ethereum proponents would have you believe that it is a requirement to provide financial services for crypto. This is clearly false, and there are many fine counter examples. Any serious business trying to bring financial services to crypto: 1) Will want legal access to the US market. 2) Will want the lowest cost of developing and operating their service. 1a) To do this they MUST comply with KYC/AML, and thus must become centralized at some point. 2a) The complication and cost to build and run on the Ethereum platform is so insane when compared to AWS that it almost defies measurement. Every day, Amazon stakes their market cap of $1.5T as proof that it will follow the system of US law.
    • bw
      billy w.
      4 December 2020 @ 07:56
      E&Y a company with $36bn turnover disagrees with you. I think I value their opinion over yours.
  • CH
    Crag H.
    14 November 2020 @ 09:09
    All I see is a bunch of people who know nothing about programming or technology that somehow have gotten convinced that ETH is going to be a success. Anyone with a brain who actually understand technology, care about security and isn't a bagholder can see that ETH is a burning pile of trash. It will NEVER become the world computer they claim to create. The technological decisions and assumptions they have made are flawed. It just won't work. If you really don't agree with me, then please give me a reason as to why I'm wrong without relying to things like "they will figure it out later on". Specifically, answer me this: 1. Who's gonna keep storing the entire state history over time? The size of a full node is rising at a ridiculous speed but without it you cannot validate the chain. Will governments store it? Companies? Individuals? 2. When the ETH price moons the DApps grind to a halt as it becomes too expensive to execute the smart contracts. Why isn't this considered a flaw? 3. If the move to POS from POW actually works: What happens if "big money" moves into the ETH space? A nation state can easily buy their way into positions of power because the size of your position in a POS system is proportional to your voting power. How is this equally secure as POW? Asking questions like these should be done by the RV interviewers but the are not. It's a shame. The ONLY interesting thing in the smart contract space is the stuff built using the Lightning Network.
    • JD
      Jeremy D.
      16 November 2020 @ 19:56
      Software Engineers really understand the development costs, operational costs, reliability of these systems. Ethereum is a nightmare. Any financial service built on ETH is: Expensive to develop. Expensive to run. Unreliable execution. Brittle. and on and on. Further, there isn't a single thing that Ethereum provides, that can't be had for less cost elsewhere. Don't misinterpret: Crypto financial services? Yes! Please make more! But Ethereum isn't needed to do so, and it is a boat anchor for any serious endeavor.
    • CC
      Christopher C.
      17 November 2020 @ 23:31
      Software engineer here. Ethereum's goal is not to become a world computer, whatever that means. It is a Turing Complete virtual machine, which means that it is theoretically possible to build any conceivable program on the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Which is the whole reason why Ethereum has seen infinitely more innovation and progress towards the idea of becoming the settlement layer for decentralized finance including lending, derivatives, tokenized assets, etc. than Bitcoin has. It's not that it won't work. It IS working. You mention Lightning Network, but there are already, today, 25 decentralized financial applications on Ethereum that process more volume and capital than currently exists on the Lightning Network. In fact, 100x more tokenized Bitcoin is traded on the Ethereum blockchain (vis-a-vis WBTC) than on Lightning network ($2.18B vs. $18.2M). You can check out a lot of these stats here: Ethereum has already solved for collateralized lending, which in and of itself is huge. It has solved for decentralized stable coins, which is huge and whether you like it or not, stability is a necessity for longer term contracts. Hell, even centralized stable coins like USDC and USDT exist and are trading in the billions of dollars on ETH blockchain. The scalability problem that ETH has been facing is a good problem to have. It means the network is being used. Most other chains have the problem of getting to product/market fit. ETH already has. Meanwhile, existing solutions to achieve 2K TPS are already out there. Optimistic Rollups and ZkSnarks are already out in the wild being used to process transactions. As more applications move over to these, they will hit the scalability they need. They don't even need to wait for ETH2 to fully roll out. I make the case all the time that Bitcoin is more secure than Ethereum. That goes without saying, but the trade-offs that Ethereum made from Bitcoin (flexibility vs. security) means that it will evolve way beyond what Bitcoin is capable of and most of the interesting applications will be built on ETH. One is digital gold. That's fine, you don't want gold to change and you don't want Bitcoin to change radically either. The other has chosen to be a protocol, like HTTP/IP for money, that allows you to build any type of application and have them exchange value with each other seamlessly. The folks that say this will not go anywhere are the same type of dinosaurs who argued that the internet would be no more influential than the fax machine. They lack the imagination to see the future and therefore they can't possibly create it. But really, at this point, there's already dozens of interesting and rapidly growing applications on Ethereum. From MakerDAO to Uniswap to Aave to Synthetix. Take some time to read up on these and you might start to see the big picture.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      18 November 2020 @ 17:50
      @Christopher: You're promoting all the stuff that's built on top of Eth rather than Ethereum itself. This is a common theme when bulls have their say ("look at all this shiny stuff!"). I'm here to tell you that doesn't matter. A lot of stuff is being built on ETH because it's a lot easier to do so compared to Bitcoin, but it's *not* proving that Ethereum actually works well. Yeah, Bitcoiners are "dinosaurs". I mean, Bitcoin is SO 2009! Let's revisit in a few years. Oh, and you didn't answer any of my questions.
    • WW
      Woody W.
      21 November 2020 @ 08:58
      I'm here to read the comments.
    • WW
      Woody W.
      21 November 2020 @ 09:01
      My portfolio has some ETH. I want to sell it to buy BTC. I don't know too much about the technical side. Thanks for sharing ur thoughts.
    • pp
      pakorn p.
      22 November 2020 @ 04:21
      I believe Christopher has already answered all your points. The part that you mention he is showing the example of app that is built on ETH not ETH itself is very convoluting and showed that you are the BTC maximalist that doesn’t listen. I’m sure that both BTC and ETH will go hand in hand but the characteristic and prospect of ETH is just way different from BTC. There is no innovation out of BTC as it is digital gold and it will remain as it is which is good in its own way.
    • cz
      chris z.
      25 November 2020 @ 07:23
      To answer #2: Execution of smart contracts is not paid for directly by ETH. Transactions require gas, and gas is denominated in ETH. If the ETH price moons, gas prices will go down in ETH terms. Gas is essentially priced in dollars, since cost of mining is in dollars. I suppose in 100% POS world that may change.
    • LH
      Luke H.
      30 November 2020 @ 07:34
      Can anyone explain how ETH remains viable when price goes back to ATH or 2k and more? What happens to gas prices? Will anyone still be able to use it for average every day transactions?
    • bw
      billy w.
      4 December 2020 @ 07:50
      I don;t see any development on the lightening network though.....where are all the people who do know about development that you speak about? and how much bitcoin is active on the lightning network? There doesn't seem to e any confidence in it. Lets look at - Lighning network is 27 in the list with on $20m on it...from a market of $ seems like your rhetoric doesn't stand up to reality.
  • rp
    ravi p.
    23 November 2020 @ 04:41
    the interview and analysis seem more focused on selling ETH. Need a more balanced perspective and hence questions from RV interviewer. What the are downside, the obstacles, etc of ETH? and hence risks of investing in ETH? vs BTC?
  • RP
    Raoul P.
    12 November 2020 @ 11:17
    Great interview! Well done guys.
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      12 November 2020 @ 22:16
      Raoul, really? I'd expect more from someone who runs money. This "interview" was more of a token cheering session than a critical analysis that I thought Real Vision was all about. I don't know where it started to shift, but the quantity versus quality ratio is skewing here. I'd take a long look at the difference between now and seven months ago.
    • AL
      Albert L.
      22 November 2020 @ 21:17
      I agree. One of the better crypto conversations. Ryan Adams reminds me of Lyn Alden, super intelligent and to the point. As I read the aggressive comments against, I can only say good to hear both sides. All in all, ETH is a line of trains connected and building up speed. Let's see in the next 3 months (equal to 1 year in regular time) how this all plays out. So far from an investment perspective, it is doing very well.
  • NL
    Nikola L.
    18 November 2020 @ 22:19
    Dear me.. Filecoin being compared to Ethereum as being Eth killer. Ryan should have compared Polkadot, Solana etc.. when they discussed Eth killer. And Ryan saying that all other chains are taking revenue Eth doesn’t want is just laughable as in most if not all cases it is revenue that Eth can’t capture due to its limitations. This is why Polkadot and the likes were created. I am not saying Polkadot is the Eth killer but Polkadot and likes will play role in the future and some will be big revenue generators. Some have real potential to grow bigger than Eth. The kid is too biased even though he did make an effort to sound unbiased. Yes, very knowledgeable but not informative. I really got disappointed when they discussed Eth killers – it was a joke and it turned me off. There was no proper comparison, and this is what I was hoping to learn. Eth killer is even advertised in the intro and is hardly covered.
  • DF
    Daniel F.
    12 November 2020 @ 11:31
    I think the guest is being disingenuous in his assessment of ETH2.0. This is a separate network from the existing Ethereum, which will be launched in stages and as a result, the final release is still years away. Even at that point in the future, it will take a few more years for the complete system to exist in production in order to establish confidence and prove the security model. The security model of ETH2.0 is based on entirely different assumptions than PoW. In addition, the so-called "yield" is only accessible by participating in the staking mechanism, which has associated risks. Participants would likely have to consider buying insurance to offset some of the risks. The holders of ETH2.0 tokens which do not participate in staking, do not behefit from this "yield", which is more akin to inflation and therefore a tax to holders who want to maintain liquidity and not lock they tokens, unlike with Bitcoin. The host should question the claims made and offset them again the disadvantages and the risks. Otherwise it all sounds too much like a free lunch.
    • NC
      Nicolas C.
      14 November 2020 @ 11:02
      Agree with you, any idea what that insurance will cost? Has it been priced yet?
    • DF
      Daniel F.
      18 November 2020 @ 14:10
      I don't know what the cost would be, since there isn't yet a comparable market. The point I was trying to make is that staking is not as simple as receiving 5% a year similar to holding a bond. There are different risks that you have to consider such as the fact that most staking networks have a slashing mechanism, whereby if your node does not comply with the consensus rules (or goes offline for some time), a portion of your stake can be confiscated by the network and it is a non-zero risk. This even happened accidentaly in a few cases such as in the ETH2.0 testnet. Therefore, many people staking would likely delegate their stake to a third party which would take on the risk and charge a fee. Similarly, the 5% staking reward (or whatever it ends up being) is not denominated in USD or a stable unit of value, but rather in ETH which is a volatily asset. If the value of ETH drops, stakers could potentially vote on increasing the inflation of the network to offset some of their losses.
  • DW
    Dean W.
    13 November 2020 @ 12:14
    This did sound like someone "talking their book" or even an info-mercial for ETH. Not knocking ETH but the complete dismissal for any other 3rd generation alt-coins (Cardano, DOT, etc) to ever be successful, the claim that ETH is a store of value (still undemonstrated IMO), etc just seemed deliberately intended as a 'BUY ETH" message. The only thing missing was "..but wait, there's more!"
    • RB
      Ryan B.
      13 November 2020 @ 15:11
      Eth has the network effect. It's the clear leader when looking at it's competition.
    • DM
      Diego M.
      15 November 2020 @ 19:27
      I agree. Ryan reminds me of the people who in the early days of the internet believed Yahoo had won the search market or Netscape the browsing market just because they were apparent leaders in a very young industry,
  • TP
    Timothy P.
    12 November 2020 @ 18:00
    Nice informercial. When you guys want to apply critical thinking to cyrptoassets and not just lob a bunch of softball questions, please let me know. Also ironic that I see "Bitcoin Maximalist" references in the comments - nice slur that Vitalik invented, isn't it? I think it shows his maturity and governance style. The pivot to "ETH 2.0" is going to be hilarious. The one-way staking function is just the icing on the failure cake. We now return you to the fawning droves who nod along to every crypto interview.
    • DF
      Daniel F.
      12 November 2020 @ 18:05
      It's dissapointing to see Real Vision go full coin-shilling, they should really come down to earth when it comes to the crypto industry and take a more sober and balanced view. None of the claims made in this video are anywhere close to certainty or established fact.
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      12 November 2020 @ 22:18
      @Daniel - My main problem with the "Crypto" channel and the forums is that they're making the same mistake any newbie effort does -- they invite everyone, have no critical analysis, so any garbage project makes it on -- and then when someone brings up these things, oh no, they're shouted down by the followers of those projects. Its no different than the forums that pump penny stocks, and about as useful -- and this pisses me off, because RV was a lot more useful months ago.
    • CH
      Crag H.
      14 November 2020 @ 08:38
      I've given up trying to convince RV to do proper analysis on this space. They just won't do it. Probably due to a lack of competence. They hired a former "crypto community lead" as the expert to help them understand this space. That decision alone should tells you they really don't know the first thing about what's important when looking at cryptocurrency projects. Anyone who understand technology can see that ETH is a trainwreck. Final suggestion to RV on crypto: Ditch the get-rich-quick projects and start focusing on the Lightning Network. With the introduction of stuff like RGB ( and Lightning Pools ( things are getting really interesting in the "LiFi space".
  • JT
    John T.
    12 November 2020 @ 23:20
    Interesting discussion. I still think of bitcoin vs etherium like gold vs silver. Gold is primarily a store of value, and a much larger market cap. Silver is partly a store of value with a lower market cap, but it has demand for other uses as well, and these uses are important to its valuation.
    • RB
      Ryan B.
      13 November 2020 @ 15:10
      Two completely different use cases . Bitcoin is a finished product and is mainly a store of value / digital gold . Eth is not a finished product and is basically a world computer for Dapps.
  • SP
    Stephane P.
    13 November 2020 @ 15:09
    Good interview...Sebastian's sound is very bad !
  • GT
    Gary T.
    13 November 2020 @ 12:25
    I'd pay for better crypto content. Like a 201 level and up.
  • GB
    Graeme B.
    12 November 2020 @ 19:01
    Great talk! Sebastian really needs some acoustic treatment in his space though!
    • MB
      Miles B.
      12 November 2020 @ 23:14
      And a proper microphone
  • CW
    Chuck W.
    12 November 2020 @ 20:02
    Fantastic interview. Well done!
  • JK
    Joseph K.
    12 November 2020 @ 18:34
    Thank you! I've been waiting for a video focused on ETH.
  • EM
    Emerick M.
    12 November 2020 @ 18:29
    Terrific interview! Love it! My top 4 : BTC, ETH, DOT and LINK.
  • SV
    Santiago V.
    12 November 2020 @ 17:00
    I loved this interview but I do take exception to solely using fee structures as a measure of network value / performance. In fact, the speaker talks about the Ripple network (which is actually incorrect) being the next largest network with almost no fees, and by conclusion, little value. This is incorrect. Firstly, the network he is talking about is the XRP Ledger which uses the Ripple Consensus Protocol (a Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus network). The whole point of RCP is a low fee structure for efficient transaction processing because it's not Proof of Work consensus, this lends itself to 1,500 TPS vs. 15 TPS for Ethereum. This is a fundamentally different architecture that does not lend itself to apples to apples comparisons. I can use XRPL to perform transactions without Ripple the corporation. All of that being said, I entirely agree with the speaker that the monetary policy of Ethereum is compelling in terms of building an economy with growth built into the cake, rather than the Austrian economic school of thought that chases Bitcoin stock-to-flow monetary policy. If you want an economy built on top of decentralized digital assets you want an incentive system to go with it that allows for credit creation and growth without the excesses of the Federal Reserve loose monetary policy. A large caveat, all of these ecosystems can arrive at majority consensus and can change the tokenomics with a code change but the probability of doing so varies with the community, entrenched interests, etc. Well done Ryan!
    • SV
      Santiago V.
      12 November 2020 @ 17:06
      This is going to shock many fee proponents but the CTO of Ripple argues that the best incentives are no incentives, listen to why and get some perspective:
  • JY
    Jim Y.
    12 November 2020 @ 14:47
    Very smart, articulate, insightful take by Ryan Sean Adams.
  • CS
    Christopher S.
    12 November 2020 @ 14:33
    Great interview! Can you try to interview Ivan on Tech. He’s very knowledgeable and has a great educational program.
  • MR
    Marco R.
    12 November 2020 @ 09:15
    Best Crypto video so far. Outstanding. Now I got ETH and I am start buying. The story is as big as BTC
    • CS
      Christopher S.
      12 November 2020 @ 14:30
      ETH and BTC go together like peanut butter and jelly. Love both of them.
  • DX
    Dominus X.
    12 November 2020 @ 12:37
    Crushing it with the honest truth. BTC maxis will vomit and remain ignorant. Thanks Real Vision for presenting the truth. Great interview. ETH is the center of the new crypto-economy.
  • RM
    Ron M.
    12 November 2020 @ 11:05
    Tesla market cap: $400bn ETH market cap: $50bn Huh.