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Discussions from the 2023 Multicoin Summit

John Robert Reed
October 6, 2023 | 7 minute read

On September 27-28, we held our annual summit in Austin, Texas, which, we believe, brings together some of the brightest and most influential minds in crypto to explore the latest trends and issues shaping the industry. This event is primarily for our Limited Partners, so thank you, again, to all of you who came down to see us this year. We appreciate your continued support.

In shaping the agenda this year, we decided to double the number of solo presentations compared to years past. To say the least, a lot has transpired over the past 12 months since we last met; we’re fundamentally in a new world regime, and a new market cycle.

We also decided to focus our analysis on more present-day issues, such as the integrated vs. modular debate, value capture in DeFi, and the immediate opportunities in DePIN. While it’s easy to look to the future, sometimes the most interesting subjects are developing right in front of us. To that end, I’m excited to share that both Spencer Applebaum and Shayon Sengupta presented at the Multicoin Summit for the first time, with a special emphasis on these topics.

In addition to our technical discussions, we also decided to widen the lens this year and dedicate more stage time to the ever-evolving debate around the regulatory environment for crypto assets. The courts have had a busy year, and there’s a lot to unpack. We were pleased to host Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, and Kristin Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain Association, this year to provide valuable analysis and share first-hand reports from the front lines of the crypto industry’s initiatives in D.C.

With that, I invite you to watch some of our favorite conversations from the 2023 Multicoin Summit below.

Shaping the U.S. Regulatory Environment for Crypto Assets

Watch time: 38 minutes

In this fireside chat, Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, is joined by Rebecca Rettig, the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Policy Officer for Polygon Labs to discuss the U.S. regulatory policy landscape for crypto assets. This conversation traverses several recent high profile court decisions, the current regulatory tailwinds for crypto, and Coinbase’s defense to help keep crypto innovation in America.

Modular vs. Integrated: Theory and Practice

Watch time: 26 minutes

In this presentation, Kyle Samani, Managing Partner at Multicoin Capital, examines the modular vs integrated debate both by walking through the constraints in blockchain systems, and in looking at real world data and usage. This talk dovetails with an essay he recently published titled, "The Hidden Costs of Modular Systems," and is a commentary on how to optimize decentralized payment and trading systems to support web-scale applications.

Value Capture and Defensibility in DeFi

Watch time: 19 minutes

In this presentation Spencer Applebaum, an Investment Partner at Multicoin Capital, discusses the firm’s theses around value capture and defensibility in DeFi. This presentation explores new ideas, such as risk-bearing tokens, and talks about why the firm evolved its thinking away from “unforkable state” value capture toward “protocols don’t capture value, DAOs manage risk” instead.

New Frontiers in DePIN

Watch time: 19 minutes

In this presentation Shayon Sengupta, an Investment Partner at Multicoin Capital, explores the new frontiers of decentralized physical infrastructure networks (aka “DePIN”). After chronicling the growth of DePIN networks, he talks viewers through a framework he and Tushar Jain, Managing Partner of Multicoin Capital, published that examines DePIN’s hardware complexity factors, threshold-scale factors, and demand generation factors. He then goes on to use this same framework to map out a hypothetical crypto-native road freight brokerage network, called Trucker Network, to demonstrate the value of designing sustainable DePIN networks in advance. To read the corresponding post to this presentation, please see here.

Exploring the Design Space of Staking

Watch time: 18 minutes

In this presentation Tushar Jain, Managing Partner at Multicoin Capital, explores the design space of staking, starting with a historical lookback on the origins of staking and the forces that brought about proof of stake, liquid staking, and restaking. The presentation then looks forward to staking trends on the horizon, such as liquid re-staking and long-term staking, and argues the practical implications of both. This presentation immediately follows an essay he and Vishal Kankani, a Principal at Multicoin Capital, published titled, “Exploring Long-Term Staking in PoS Networks.”

OPOS: Solana DeFi 2.0

Watch time: 42 minutes

In this panel, Tushar Jain, Managing Partner at Multicoin Capital, is joined by Edgar Pavlovsky, the founder of MarginFi, and Jarry Xiao the founder of Ellipsis Labs, the makers of Phoenix Protocol, to discuss decentralized applications that are “only possible on Solana” (OPOS). The conversation explores technical concepts such as parallelism, NFT compression, local fee markets, and more. These founders building on Solana are working on the bleeding edge of DeFi innovation, and are helping to usher in what the community refers to as “DeFi 2.0.”

Render Network: Scaling Horizontal Compute Marketplaces

Watch time: 19 minutes

In this panel Shayon Sengupta, an Investment Partner at Multicoin Capital, is joined by Trevor Harries-Jones, the Chief Operating Officer at OTOY and Director at The Render Network, and by Ahmad Shadid, the founder and CEO of, to discuss the latest thinking in how best to scale horizontal compute marketplaces. The conversation focuses on Render Network and as the two networks building horizontal compute marketplaces—around graphical rendering jobs and AI compute clusters respectively—and explores why decentralized, infinite-scale networks are the key to scaling overwhelming AR/VR and AI market demand.

On-Chain Confidentiality: Fully Homomorphic Encryption

Watch time: 30 minutes

In this panel Kyle Samani, Managing Partner at Multicoin Capital, is joined by Guy Itzhaki, the CEO of Fhenix, and by Pascal Paillier, a co-founder, Zama, to discuss new applications of fully homomorphic encryption (FHE). FHE has long been considered the “holy grail of cryptography” because it enables computation over encrypted data. Pascal is largely regarded as one of the fathers of practical, modern-day FHE. Through his work with Zama, he is abstracting away the complexity of FHE for companies and developers, making it easier to build fully confidential applications. Guy was the former head of FHE for Intel prior to joining Fhenix full time as CEO. Fhenix is the first-confidential blockchain powered by fully homomorphic encryption. By leveraging the power of the fhEVM, developers can now quickly port and deploy their dApps onto the Fhenix Network, making on-chain confidentiality a practical reality for the first time.

Validated Live: Powered by Pyth

Watch time: 31 minutes

In this panel Michael Cahill, the founder and CEO of Douro Labs, a core contributor to the Pyth Network, is interviewed by Austin Federa, the Head of Strategy at Solana Foundation (and the host of the Validated podcast—subscribe if you haven’t already). Pyth is the leading first-party oracle network. This conversation explores the evolution of oracle design and discusses why oracles are changing their technical architecture to support high-speed DeFi 2.0 applications. This conversation follows another conversation Austin had with Douro Labs co-founder and CTO, Jayant Krishnamurthy. Listen to that here.

The Technical Ambitions of Filecoin

Watch time: 28 minutes

In this fireside chat, Jonathan Victor, Ecosystem Lead at Protocol Labs, core contributors to the Filecoin Network, is joined by Kyle Samani, Managing Partner at Multicoin Capital, to discuss the technical ambitions of Filecoin. This conversation explores the mission of the interplanetary file system (IPFS) and the launch of the Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) in the context of the network's three mission areas: storage, retrieval and compute.

A Special Announcement from the Blockchain Association

Watch time: 9 minutes

In this presentation Kristin Smith, the CEO of Blockchain Association, officially announced that Multicoin Capital Management LLC has joined the Blockchain Association. She then goes on to deliver a full report on current regulatory and political affairs as they relate to crypto assets, and shares why she’s hopeful that crypto innovation will stay in the United States.

Thank you for watching presentations and panels from the 2023 Multicoin Summit. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel to receive updates from the firm on a go-forward basis.

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