Nov. 13, 2022

Future Web3 Opportunities For Developers | Fighting Censorship With Web3


Brennan, founder of Kiwi (a decentralized database), shared some really interesting insights into decentralized technology and the future of Web3. Inspired to learn more about Web3 after his friend escaped China (and recently the rest of his friend’s family thankfully), we dove into the use cases for decentralized technology, especially around opportunities for future web3 developers.

Of course, we also dove into Elon Musk’s recent buy of Twitter as well. He believes that the buyout won’t lead to free speech like people think it will. It was an interesting conversation all around! If you’re potentially interested in learning web3 technologies as a developer and what’s in store for the future, this episode is for you.

Brennan Lamey (guest):
Twitter - https://twitter.com/brennan_lamey
Kwil Twitter - https://twitter.com/KwilTeam
Kwil Website - https://www.kwil.com

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another web development podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. In this episode, we're gonna be diving into web three. Um, some of the topics we're gonna be diving into, kind of the culture around web three and how it's like very mission based. And we're also gonna be talking about, um, Brendan's gonna be sharing a really interesting story about how his friend escaped from China. Uh, we're gonna be diving into decentralized databases, and this is all gonna be at a pretty fundamental level. So if you're an aspiring developer, junior developer at this episode is for you. So yeah, let's go ahead and jump into it. Uh, Brennan, who are you and why should people care what you have to.

Brennan Lamey:

Hey Don. Thanks for having me. Um, yeah, so my name's Brennan. I'm the founder of Quill, uh, Quill. It's a decentralized database, so starting with sql, um, but really being able to support any database type. So, you know, graph databases, document databases, um, key value stores, you know, you name it. Um, and so I guess sort of jumping into, uh, Quill and why you'd want, um, you know, Quill to exist, why you'd want to build on Quill? Uh, so in Web three right now, if you look at the Web three text stack, um, you have, you know, basic layer ones, you know, Ethereum, um, or you know, like Layer twos polygon. Um, you also have like Solana, which is, you know, a non EBM layer one. And so you have these smart contract platforms where you can build, um, you know, execute executable pieces of code, um, deploy them. And this is sort of like the core of a lot of Web three applic. We've also seen growth in decentralized storage, particularly with projects like AR WE or Filecoin, where you have storage that is essentially a decentralized file system. And what we are bringing is a decentralized database. Um, so still bringing the same functionality and the same, um, you know, in part like the, the really interesting part is the permissionless functionality of web three, and we're now extending this to databases so you can. Databases that act like a protocol, just how a smart contract does. Um, and so that's sort of what we do. Um, and you know, what we are doing that just has not been done before. I'm happy to really jump in. Um, where you'd love more context. What's

Don Hansen:

your history a bit with web

Brennan Lamey:

three? Yeah, so I mean, I really got into web three. Um, I got into web three sorta accidentally. I think like December, 2020, um, started building in it for fun. Um, and then sort of found a, um, what I thought was like a good use case for web three. I think we'll sort of get into that in a stick you mentioned in the beginning. Um, started building that out and, um, eventually uncovered a core, um, you know, uh, architect or not architectural, I guess, uh, infrastructural issue in web three. Um, you just a massive missing, uh, niche and so ended up pivoting what we were doing to sort of solve those. Um, and that is what led to Quilt and us building a decentralized database.

Don Hansen:

Gotcha. Okay. Well thank you for sharing. I'm really interested in this story. So your friend escaped China, came here. Go ahead and share that story.

Brennan Lamey:

I think it's very interesting. Yeah. So. Yeah, it was a very good friend from college. Um, so he, he's a, you know, born, raised in China, and, uh, when he was, he's another 14 or 15, um, his, so he had a family member that worked in the, you know, as part of the ccp and he never quite got into exactly what was going on, but you know, sort of got tied up with some of the wrong people. And, um, you know, disappeared. And so he had to escape China. And so when he was either 14 or 15, he escaped on his own. The rest of his family was not as fortunate. Um, they were stuck in China and he escaped to the US and he stayed with, um, so a, a mutual friend who I met him through. Um, and he stayed with him, went to boarding school in the US and essentially just lived in the US from there on. Um, and, you know, became a massive advocate. Um, just, you know, sort of for for free speech and for, um, you know, being against oppressive governments. Um, and actually there's sort of a happy ending. Um, only a few months ago, the rest of his family got out of China and is now in the us. Um, I believe they're all in New York now. Um, so kind of a happy ending there. Um, but when I got into web three, Or so when I, when I started playing around with smart contracts, I had spoken with him a lot, um, about free speech and censorship in China. Um, you know, he, he takes a, or I, I think he's eased off a little bit. Um, but he took a very active role in being an advocate, uh, you know, when he was in the us. For, you know, what was going on in China. And so I talked to him a lot about, you know, the situation, a lot about, um, the issues of censorship in China. And I thought that blockchain and the immutability and, you know, decentralized nature of blockchains would be a great use case. A great use case for this would be for creating permissionless and immutable messaging applications. Um, so anything from sort of, you know, more like a WhatsApp messaging to a Twitter. People can post thing to a feed, people can read that, and it's entirely immutable. Nobody's able to take this down or to prevent access. Um, now we did sort of run into some fundamental, fundamental structural and infrastructural issues when building this. Um, and that is why we ended up building Quill the database. But I started by building an immutable messaging application with the intensive of providing a, you know, a level of censorship resistance that is just not achievable. Um, you know, in a, in a web two platform. Um, but then the infrastructure that we built this on is now Quill and is now our product.

Don Hansen:

Interesting. Do you, is there any way to grab, uh, geological data around people that use Quill?

Brennan Lamey:

Um, so like way they're located, So at like a fundamental protocol level? No. Um, we don't track user geologically, but I do have a pretty good idea of, um, you know, where our, you know, our main users are right now. You know, the main projects we work with are they based out of, and there actually are quite a few out of China now. I would say that. The emphasis that we have on quilt right now is not, you know, an uncensorable immutability, it, it, it is, you know, uncensorable in the same way that a blockchain is. But in sort of our go to market strategy and the use cases we are optimizing for, um, it's for, you know, I, I would say more complex business use cases in web three. Um, you know, it still is, uh, absolutely usable for the original uncensorable use cases. Um, but it does lend itself to, uh, you know, other use cases as well that we are now really driving.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So have you noticed a different, I guess kind of just thinking back to like the web three industry in general and just decentralized technology and jobs and opportunities in IT for developers. Um, do you feel like there are different opportunities to solve different problems in different countries with web three? What do those look like?

Brennan Lamey:

Absolutely. Yeah. Um, so, you know, I, I sort of got into it at the Uncensorable communication level, which that lends itself to countries, you know, like China or you know, Venezuela, Ethiopia, um, uh, Cuba, you know, countries like that. But they're one of the most interesting projects I ever met. Uh, it's a banking solution company. Um, they do business loans for, uh, you know, for small, small businesses. And these businesses, they're all based in Kenya and Ethiopia and in Africa, where they don't have this traditional banking architecture. And so they have people literally on the ground there working with small businesses, but how their business infrastructure operates so that they can actually have the, the financial infrastructure to be giving loans and to have an actual, you know, sustainable business. Is using Defi and using Web three. And so their end users, they are getting the benefits of having access to very robust banking solutions. But they don't need to know what crypto, you know, cryptocurrency is at all. Um, you know, the cryptocurrency is really just powering the back end is what enables their business to exist. And so there are a lot of, you know, very different avenues and, you know, different verticals, um, where web three can be applicable in, you know, non-Western countries. Um, in, in a variety of different scenarios that, you know, opens up a lot of doors for markets that were previously just, you know, there, there was non-consumption, there was no other, uh, alternative there.

Don Hansen:

Okay. A banking solution. Interesting. What are their solutions? Business. Yeah. Business loans. Okay. Okay. For business loans. Got it. What other, uh, solutions ex, Well, actually, let me challenge this a bit. Um, I feel like. Web three in general has gotten a hit towards a reputation for getting support, given how certain people have used, I feel like people have taken advantage of kind of just quick money opportunities and like NFTs is a really good example of that, right? And so when people think decentralized technology, oh, you meet NFTs where a bunch of content creators are just scamming a bunch of people, or, you know, they'll, um, I don't know, they'll create a coin profit and pull it. Um, I, I feel. I feel like decentralized technology has had a hit to the reputation, and I'm very curious about the future of Web three opportunities and the technology in general. Can you share a bit of your opinion about that?

Brennan Lamey:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, I, I totally agree with you that, you know, web three, it definitely is plagued by sort of, um, you know, by bad actors and by people that are in it for the wrong reasons. Um, you know, it is, it is really the wild, the wild West right now, and it's really hard to tamp down on because of the permissionless nature of blockchains. That's also the benefit, you know, that's the reason why you can have immutable communication. That's the reason why you can provide very robust banking infrastructure to, you know, rural Africa, um, because it is permission. You know, there aren't, you know, countries that are blocking access to it. They literally cannot block access to it. Um, now that does lead to a lot of scams, You know, creators, they will launch an NFT or they'll launch a token and they will rug pull. Um, you know, there's block away with a lot of money and that is a big issue. Um, and you know, there really is two ways to, uh, well, there's probably more than two ways, but I think two primary ways that this is being addressed right now. One of them is at a local government level. Um, or I say local government, but I really mean, um, you know, like the US government is handling this. Um, so you know, the on ramp to crypto, you know, what is allowing people to access these assets. Um, and then similarly, if somebody does this to somebody, you know, partakes in a rug poll, um, what is the consequence? You know, Kim Kardashian, she got fined, uh, I think it was a couple million. For taking part, um, for promoting a crypto project. Um, and so there already is enforcement, you know, occurring at a, you know, at a, uh, you know, national or just I, I would say governmental level. Um, and then the, the second, um, you know, the second way that we really need to address this is just by better education. You know, a lot of people get into crypto and they don't know that, you know, this random coin or this random NFT that got. They don't know how to check or, you know, really even get into the weeds. You know, is this, is this legit? Is this a rug hole? Um, you know, is this something I should be putting my money into or not? And so a lot of it's just better education and that's something that comes with every industry and just, you know, when you have, when you have new businesses, um, just fundamentally new ways of doing things and people don't know what to expect, there is a lot of risk when you get into that. And so part of that is that at a government level, the government needs to help. Um, Educate and enforce, uh, laws regarding this. Um, but then similarly we do need to have better communal education for people that are first getting into web three to help protect them.

Don Hansen:

Do you feel like with some of your potential customers that you have to provide that education or do you feel like the customers that even come across your company, they already know what decentralized technology. Yeah.

Brennan Lamey:

I would say by and large people that come to us, they know what decentralized technology is. You know, there have been a couple that have found their way to us, um, and they, you know, they really got involved because we're a SQL solution. And so that is like, that's very native to them coming from web two. And so for, you know, in, in a very few cases, we have sort of in the first point of them hitting web three, but by and large, a lot of the companies that find us, they, they know what they're doing and they are, you know, fairly experienced in the sector. Um, but. Even for companies that don't, um, you know, we definitely are here to help provide education. Um, but a lot of the, you. You know, we are not financial infrastructure, we are data storage infrastructure. And so a lot of the people that are coming in finding their way to us, they are looking to build on decentralized data storage infrastructure. And this, um, like the data storage infrastructure in web three has a lot less of these scammy. Um, or, you know, scamming might not be a great word for it, but, uh, you know, scammy components that exist in sort of the defi area because the incentive for scammer in decentralized. Is much, much less than in, you know, decentralized finance where finance is core to what is going on and that is how they make their money. And so I would say we sort of exist in a less scammy part of web three. I do think Defi will get less scammy, um, but it is just, it's not an issue that we have on a day to day basis.

Don Hansen:

So essentially you're to, let's see, to kind of curb a lot of the gaminess. One option was to get a little bit more government support and regulation. What is, what is too much regulation from a government body look like if they get into this

Brennan Lamey:

too far? Yeah, so I think too much government regulation is at the point where it's impacting, um, data that can be served or, uh, a defi protocol itself. And there's actually, it's funny that we're talking about this right now because there is a huge debate between spf. He's the, um, founder and CTO of ftx, which is one of the largest exchanges in the. Um, and then Eric Vorge, who's also a founder and CEO of another crypto exchange, and they were on the Bankless podcast, um, because Sam has some rather unpopular takes about what he thinks, um, should occur in the, you know, us, uh, regulatory environment regarding crypto. Um, and so. You know, this is somewhere where just admittedly I am not an absolute expert, but I think where we have to draw the line is when the government starts trying to set laws that are, uh, enforced either against front ends. So, you know, if you're using Unop or Abe or, um, any sort of, uh, you know, front end for a decentralized application. Or, uh, the government trying to, um, enact regulation on an actual defi protocol. So then trying to impact what transactions can get mined on Ethereum or what wallets are allowed to interact with a defi protocol or a decentralized storage protocol. I think that is where we have to draw the line, because if the government can, um, if the government. Uh, fundamentally change and regulate what is allowed to occur there, then what's the whole point? Like the whole point of this is that it's permissionless and that, you know, there is no God, there is no, uh, you know, leader, uh, above what the protocol says, and that is the real value of decentralized technologies. Um, and so if we do allow the government to regulate at that level, um, it's not going to actually stop web three. It will just stop web three in the us. And so I think that's where we have to draw the line because it will just fill the.

Don Hansen:

Good to know. That's interesting. So I've, I've. It's, it's interesting hearing where people draw the line with certain regulation, and it feels like a lot of people in web three do want more government regulation. Um, they think it'll help the industry. Uh, so it's, it's interesting where people actually draw the line with that. Uh, I, I hear that your focus is like really on, you know, data storage and that's the area of decentralized technology you're focused on. And that can be used across like a variety of industries and, you know, providing, uh, solutions for a variety of problems. So you probably have a lot of knowledge of decentralized databases as well as, you know, centralized databases. What are the advantages and disadvantages of.

Brennan Lamey:

Yeah, so, um, you know, centralized database, you can get, you know, better privacy guarantees, You can have better control over it. Um, you're gonna have lower cost. Um, it's gonna be more efficient. Uh, decentralized databases, they open themselves to fundamentally new use cases. And so I think for me to be able to explain this, I probably have to explain the breakthrough that is smart contracts. Um, you know, this really the breakthrough that Ethereum. Um, are, are you familiar with Ethereum and Smart contracts? I can sort of give a high level primer, um,

Don Hansen:

um, yes. But, but still go

Brennan Lamey:

ahead and share it. Okay, cool. So, um, smart contracts, you can write, you know, business logic, custom business logic, uh, and you deploy it and it dictates a permissionless application. So, you know, the, the original idea for it is programmable money. You can set the rules for this money and how this money. You deploy it and now anybody can interact with this. So, um, your audience as developers, how they interact with it is there are functions, you know, this function might be, uh, transfer this token to this address, transfer this amount, um, you know, from this token to this address. Some of 'em might be burn this token, so, you know, it no longer exists. Um, but uh, I think transfers probably a good example. There's a function that anybody is allowed to call. And that function then has business logic checking, Okay, does this person actually have a token? Um, does the person that they are sending it to, you know, are they are, are they willing to accept this? Um, you can build that in as well. And so you can build on all this special business logic that defines how this application should work. But people, like anyone is allowed to call this function and to use it, and they have to pay some amount of gas, um, which is, you know, some amount of cryptocurrency. It's like a native currency, like, like e um, they have to pay that. And that is what incentivizes nodes to come to consensus on that function's execution. And so the real breakthrough tech, uh, the real breakthrough that Ethereum had was that it allowed you to create permissionless applications where you deploy it and your application now runs as a protocol. You're not perpetually paying for servers, You're not paying for, you know, maintenance or upkeep. You deploy it and it, it, it runs like how you wrote it and it'll run like that in 10. Anybody can use it. We are bringing that same concept to databases. So with Quill, you could define your table or you know, a series of tables, um, and then you can define different insert update and delete statements for them. You know, any way that you could change the state of the database. Um, so very basic example, and you'd probably want to do this in like a graph database, which we're gonna be adding support for. But just for the sake of the example, let's say you have a table for follower, relat. You have, you know, a, the follow the follower and then the person there following. And then you could have an insert statement for following someone. You could have unfollowing someone, and one of the rules for unfollowing might be that you are only allowed to unfollow someone if you are the follower, right? That's like a very basic rule that you'd want to build into this application. And then you could build a blocking feature where if someone is following you, you can force them to unfollow you and make. You know, make it stay that way. And so you can build in all of these, um, you know, essentially rules for who is able to interact with these databases, who is able to write data to it and in what ways, and then deploy it. And now your database X is a permissionless protocol. And so, you know, if I do that, I am now no longer paying for perpetual upkeep. You know, I'm not paying for, you know, databases that are running on cloud services. I don't have to be managing, you know, ingress points and um, you know, managing API keys and things like, I deploy my data, I define how I want my database to work. I deploy it, and now it will permissionlessly work like that and people are just able to permission plug into it. And so for a lot of existing business use cases, that doesn't really open a ton of new doors, um, but it does open new doors for, uh, business use cases that were previously not possible, um, both in web two and in web three. Uh, happy to sort of jump into those if you'd like. Yeah, it's probably a little longer conversation. Um, how. Uh, I mean, I can kinda make it as long as you want. Um, I, we've got a whole list of, uh, pretty cool use cases.

Don Hansen:

Um, I would like to hear about a few. We can dive into this for like five, 10 minutes.

Brennan Lamey:

If you're up for it. Yeah, I know. Totally up for it. Um, alright, so I, I've sort of already given the web free one, you know, like a follower graph. Um, and where that would be implementable is that if you had, you know, if you had decentralized, let's do, uh, Twitter, uh, Instagram and Spotify, You know, Twitter, it's, it's messages. Uh, Instagram, it's mostly images and Spotify to music, but all of them have follower relationships. And so you have this one. And then all of these, uh, you know, all these social networks that are, are doing fundamentally different things, you know, messages, images, and music, they would all be able to plug into the same social graph. And so no matter where you go, you would have the same followers, you'd be following the same friends. Um, and so now when a new application comes online, they don't have to bootstrap your social graph again. They don't have to boots track. Who are your friends? Who do you wanna follow, who are you interested in and who is interested in you? It's already just baked into the application and so it seriously decreases user. Um, so that's one great use case. A second one is for IOT devices or for, um, you know, things like, uh, vehicles and collecting, you know, vehicle data where, you know, this is actually a project that we're beginning to work with. Uh, but let's say you have IOT devices that are spread out, you know, around the globe and people are just running these in their homes. Let's say it's connecting or it's, uh, collecting temperature data for a specific area. And you want each of these IOT devices, they're incentivized to be gathering this data and, you know, Storing on this permissionless network. Um, but you only want them to be able to do this and, you know, update the, update their data once per day. And so you can define that, You can define those rules. You can have these, um, you know, iot devices automatically plug into it. And now you could run an IOT device. I can run an IOT device. We don't have to trust each other. You know, you might be a malicious. But I know that you have to play by the same rules that I'm playing when we're storing data and when we're aggregating this because it's set that way in the database. Um, and so now there doesn't need to be a central company that's managing this database, that's paying for it. Someone can just deploy this database and all these iot devices can be writing to it. And so this is applicable for, you know, geospatial data, weather data, or, you know, you can. Um, vehicles, you know, like, uh, like self-driving vehicles that are gathering data. Um, there are a couple web three companies doing that as well. Um, and so that's another great use case. And then sort of coming to all the way to the web two side, so, Uh, before I worked at Quill, I worked at a, it was a general contractor. Um, I did a lot on the engineering side. It was called sw. Uh, it's storm water pollution protection plan. Um, pretty much very high level. Uh, so construction sites, when they're building, they have sediment runoff and silt runoff, and that runs off into water. You know, waterways, you know, goes to a stream that goes to a river that goes to a lake. Um, and some amount is okay, but you can't have too. And so you need to be coordinating with other job sites that are run by other companies. You know, it might be other construction companies, it might be, uh, landscaping companies, irrigation companies. Um, it could even be like farms. Um, but you have to be coordinating to make sure that communally you're not all, like, you don't have too much. Uh, sediment going into this runoff. Um, and, you know, going into these communal waterways and so you're communicating between a lot of different parties that do not trust each other. And right now it is a super, uh, it's a super inefficient process because every state has their own laws for this, but states don't have their own waterways. They don't sh like, you know, there's no hard line between where the Snake River, you know, leaves Idaho and goes into Oregon. It's just the Snake River. Um, and so, Actually, I said something slightly incorrect there. Oregon, Washington and Alaska have the same laws. No other state has the same laws in this. Um, but you could create a permissionless database where companies they're able to write their runoff information using IOT devices or, you know, right now they measure it automatically. But it'd be very easy to create an iot device that does this. But it's measuring, uh, you know, silt and sediment, um, you know, runoff that's coming from these construction. Into communal waterways, and it's now really, really easy for the government or for companies or for anybody to monitor. You know, how much still is coming off from, you know, these construction sites flowing to this body of water. Is this an environmental hazard? You don't need to have people on their ground and people. You know, like right now they mail all their information around, they mail all the runoff information to the other companies. But you could have this, you know, updating in real time in this permissionless database that, you know, you don't have, there doesn't have to be a company that's responsible for paying for this database infrastructure. Um, there's just a permissionless database. They're able to write to it. It updates in real time, and anybody can go and check this. To check, you know, that companies are doing it properly, that there's not an environmental risk. Um, and so this is like opening new opportunities for construction companies to, uh, be more efficient in, you know, that's like sort of outside of the web three use cases, but, so there are a lot of, you know, different use cases across the board or something like this. Did that make sense between the weeds there?

Don Hansen:

No, no, no. That was good. That was good. I, I appreciate you going into the weeds. Um, it feels like a huge advantage. Um, I mean it's, it's obvious, but I really didn't even think about it. Like a lot of, a lot of businesses, especially that don't wanna just trust one entity and would rather trust the rules set in place that are very clear and transparent like it sounds. You know, companies, new businesses that wanna work with each other and other organizations like you can take advantage of this. But the big advantage is like a super low upkeep cost because a lot of centralized technology is really fucking expensive sometimes, depending on, you know, the type of solution you're trying to implement. So, um, Do you, this is kind of like a very vague and general question, but have you ever looked into like looking at a solution that a company provides, gathering the upkeep costs of what it would take at, you know, kind of a certain scale of users and usage with that app and comparing the price? To creating a business that does the same thing with a decentralized technology. Do you have, like, I'm not asking for like specific number comparisons, but like, do you have any sort of quantitative data like that that's really basic?

Brennan Lamey:

Yeah. Um, I mean, so just as a general rule, decentralized technologies will probably be more expensive actually. Um, Interesting. You know, that's cause we have a lot of, you know, computers that don't trust each other. They have to coordinate and there's all these different cryptographic proofs that they're going through to ensure that, you know each other, know the network is coordinating properly. So it generally is more expensive. If you are just doing pound for pound technology costs, um, but that is definitely the incorrect way to measure this. Let's go back to this construction example I brought up. Um, if you were to make, if the government was to run a centralized database that is managing this, um, and then all the companies are writing to this database that would pound for pound be less expensive. Except now all of these companies, they still need to have, you know, a ton of employees whose job is working within these regulations and checking to make sure that these regulations aren't changing. And then you have lobbyists that are going and making sure that these regulations are or are not changing in the government. Um, and then, you know, when they change these structure, either the regulations or the database, now all those companies, they need to go and they need to update that. And if you did that on Quill, um, you know, or just in any decentralized environ. You don't have that issue, you know that this is going to work this way. Um, un un until there is social consensus to come to a change as opposed to government mandated consensus to come to a change. And so pound for pound technology-wise is gonna cost you more to use decentralized technologies, but there's also more in the way of, you know, employee overhead, um, where you have to be hiring people to specifically manage these interactions on decentralized te. You have reliability like cryptographically, guaranteed reliability, that this is not gonna change. And so it does change your cost structure in that way.

Don Hansen:

Uh, thanks for clarifying that. Okay, so reliability is the key thing that I was missing. Not necessarily cost efficiency in terms of technology.

Brennan Lamey:

Okay. Over the long time period, I do think we will hit, you know, cost parity, um, especially in, you know, the case of decentralized storage or, you know, so close to cost parity that it's negligible. Um, but yeah, generally right now decentralized technologies are a bit more expensive. Okay.

Don Hansen:

I like learning about this. So you can't predict the future, but I'm gonna ask you too anyways, in five years, we'll just say five years, where do you see decentralized technology being? Can you give me, I guess, can you gimme an example of the type of problem that it would solve that maybe we aren't solving just yet? Decentralized technology, Like kind of just gimme a vibe check of like where it's gonna be in five years.

Brennan Lamey:

Yeah. So I'll sort of do like a, like a high level and then I'll, um, you know, try to dig it bit deeper on some examples. So high level, I think we'll see decentralized technology move beyond just defi into a lot of new verticals. Um, and we're actually sort of already seeing this, Um, it's already sort of coming true. So, you know, if you went before, I'd say like 12, maybe, maybe maybe 18 months ago, and you looked at web three, Web three is almost anonymous with Defi. And so DEFI stands for decentralized finance. It's all of the, you know, decentralized. Finance infrastructure that exists in web three. And that was pretty much all web three was, you know, a year or a year and a half ago. Uh, you know, anytime before that. But now we're starting to see Web three grow into a lot of new sectors. So there's decentralized social, decentralized science, decentralized gaming, decentralized analytics, There's all these new verticals. And so I think the next five years we will really see these verticals take. You know, previously web three, it was really about building the financial infrastructure for us to be able to support these verticals. But now these verticals are going to take off and are going to create a lot of fundamentally new business applications. And so I think I've gone through like already a couple examples. I think one that will really take off in the next five years. And, you know, once again, I can't really see the future, but, uh, is decentralized. So, um, I, I think this is, uh, like, this might have been a hot take maybe six months ago, but it's kinda less of a hot take now. You know, we have Elon taking over Twitter. Um, Twitter, they're making some changes. People are not going to like these changes, and so people are gonna be looking for fundamentally new platforms that accomplish similar use cases to Twitter. Where it's, um, you know, it is almost like a global messaging board. Um, and so I, I think, you know, a global messaging board in the case of Twitter, that is almost more of a public good than it should be a private company. You know, entire governments, they put out official, you know, press releases on Twitter companies are putting out, you know, official company information on Twitter. Twitter is how the world works. That probably should not be a company. That should be a piece of public infrastructure. And what's cool about Web three is that on web three, you can have private. Building public infrastructure, but they don't have more control over that public infrastructure than their clients do. And so, you know, I think. Once again, can't see the future. But if this Twitter acquisition, um, you know, does not go well and, you know, they do, um, you know, turn Twitter into something that the, you know, Twitter's customers don't like, I do think there will be a serious explosion in decentralized technologies, particular in creating things that have similar use cases to Twitter because it gives you the benefit of Twitter, but it also gives you the guarantees that this is not gonna go and change in the future.

Don Hansen:

Okay. That's an interesting example. So, You tell me if you think I'm wrong. I feel like Twitter has gone down, uh, a rabbit hole over the past few years before the buyout where, um, a lot of the enforcement, it felt inconsistent, whether it was or wasn't, it felt inconsistent. There was a lack of transparency. And so what happens is, a, you don't have the right beliefs. You get pushed onto these off. Forms, but a lot of these kind of alternative social platforms, they never really built up the traction. I, quite frankly, it created a bunch of, uh, echo chambers on kind of extreme sides. And so that was when, that's essentially why I deactivated Twitter. I never, I signed up for these platforms to check 'em out, but I never really tried to build an audience on them. So the idea behind Elon Musk, at least a trust, is that he's gonna bring a little bit more consistency in enforcement, allowing for more free speech. But you had mentioned the idea, and that's my belief personally. Um, and I could be wrong, but you have the idea where a lot of people are not gonna like these changes and it almost sounds like you're, because it's a private company, that there's gonna be potentially more censorship and it's not really gonna be, um, Hopefully, I'm not putting words into your mouth, but like accessible as a public good, like people think it is going to be. Um, I, I guess like what do you, what do you feel about the direction of Twitter that makes you, you feel it that certain

Brennan Lamey:

way? So I, I, I do think there's a little bit of a misunderstanding there. Um, so I, I am, you know, very much pro free speech, and I do think Elon Musk is coming to Twitter with the idea of free speech is good and he wants more free speech, not less. Um, where I think people will be leaving Twitter is when they do not like that they might not want to see, um, you know, some of the, you know, potentially obscene or vulgar or offensive content, um, that would, you know, that, that he might start allowing on. And so I think that is what's gonna drive a lot of the Exodus. And I actually, I know a lot of people that are already planning on leaving Twitter as soon as possible. Um, simply because, because they have a fundamentally different view on free speech than I do. Um, and so what's cool that Web three is that you don't have to compromise here. You don't have to trust Elon Musk to be the one single arbiter of we are going to allow, you know, like the free speech and the amount you allow is a spectrum. He does not have to be the one that is choosing points on that spectrum that Twitter is gonna operate on. Um, in web through, you would have a shared global data pool, and then you would have user interfaces and they'd probably be companies building on top of this data pool and giving you content recommendations. And there's actually a lot of precedence that this will, uh, almost certainly happen. Uh, Jack Dorsey, one of his famous statements, and this is, you know, way before he started getting involved in decentralized technologies, was that the real value in social networks is no longer connecting people, but it's the content curation that they provide. And so there will be a shared global data pool for social data. That's powered by web three. Nobody has, you know, control to ultimately take something down. Um, there's be a shared data pool and then where companies will take place is in building the content recommendation and content curation engines on top of that. And so maybe some of those, you know, they might have no restrictions. They might show everything but others, they might restrict vulgar content or content that has a certain ideology. And so where the real, um, you know, competition between companies. Is what content curation they're offering their customers. And so in web three you can provide that and really everyone can be happy because you're still operating on that same, you know, communal data pool.

Don Hansen:

Do you, do you feel like people will create more of echo chambers by choosing the company that's gonna share their ideology? Um, I like, I guess it feels like less people are actually going to become connected, even though they can preserve their, their mental state in a lot of the feedback and messages that they're getting. Um, but yeah. What, what do you

Brennan Lamey:

think about that? Yeah. So I mean, that's getting to more of a, you know, like a, a meta question about society and, um, you know, where we are going societally. I do think that is a possible outcome. Um, but I, you know, we're already starting to see this now, or, you know, We were starting to see it before Elon Musk took over Twitter, where, you know, you had companies like Parlor, you had companies like Gab that were going and creating these echo chambers. And I think, you know, the same thing will probably happen. I know a lot of people that are, you know, probably left of center on the political spectrum that really do not like that Elon Musk is taking over Twitter and have plans to leave. I know a lot of people like this. Especially sort of the industry we work in, that's like a, it's actually not an uncommon or unpopular take. Um, and so I don't think Web three technologies will necessarily, um, I don't think it will change the ultimate course of action if you play this out over 100 years. I think what would happen, and you know, once again, I think there's so many examples in history where I, I think this is a pretty safe statement, that there would be, you know, very, very hard censorship. It, it. If Twitter was a predominant social platform, there would be very, very hard censorship in one way or another in 100 years. And so what's cool about Web three is that no matter what happens, that does not have to happen in 100 years. And so, you know, maybe on a shorter timeline, yes, it might create, uh, it might create some echo chambers. Um, and it will make it easier for people to create echo. With the existing data mode. Um, but ultimately I think that this is going to happen anyways. And so with us trying to, um, you know, address this sooner and get to it sooner, it allows for, at the content curation level and at the, at the community level, you know, at, you know, when you log onto a social platform, what messages are you seeing? What data are you seeing? It allows innovation there and that allows pe, you know, companies to come and innovate and try to create something that is not an echo chamber. I, I believe that there are a lot of people that would not want that echo chamber. I think you and I are probably, you know, both fall into that bucket. And so yes, it can allow for echo chambers, but it also allows for better innovation at the content curation level so that companies can come and create non echo chambers. Um, yeah, I, I, I think over a long enough time horizon, you know, all things would be equal censorship. But this allows more opportunity for us to fix that.

Don Hansen:

I appreciate you sharing that. That gives me a little bit more of a perspective on, I I think, I think you're, you're potentially right. I can feel the use case for social platforms being in more important, and I think we're definitely gonna see this in, in countries, um, where, um, well, I, I wonder if like, these kind of applications, these social applications are gonna spread up more in, you know, more authoritarian countries versus, uh, people that focus a little bit more on democracy. I don't know. Uh, but that's, that's an interesting prediction and I didn't really think even think about Twitter in that sense. But like the idea really is like the mission really is to not have that central authority, but also provide, uh, transparency into the rules and making sure that is reliable for every single end user. And it's transparent for every single end user. Like, it's again, Web three feels so mission driven and I love it. I'm very curious about it, but I'm, I'm also kind of curious where it's gonna end up in five years. So, um, you basically, you dove, I, I probably make this my last question, but you dove into decentralized technology. You learned what you needed to learn in order to create your company and create a decentralized database. If people are interested in this, if they have a similar mission, um, How do they go about getting started? What do they learn? Where do they learn

Brennan Lamey:

it from? Yes, I mean, so web three being a permissionless technology and I, I think the key word here is actually composable, where you can have technologies building on top of each other and both technologies are better for it. It has led to it being very communal communities. There's a huge emphasis on communities in Web three, and so if you wanna get into web three, Find a community that aligns with your mission with what you want to build. I found that in ar we, um, so ar we, It's a permanent data storage blockchain, pay once store forever. Um, and it's now one of the technologies that underpins quill the database. Um, and so if you want to get into web three, if you have something you want to build, Find a community. If you don't know where to start, just come find me or just come DM me on Twitter. My handle is Brennan Lemy. You can come DME and either I will know, um, you know, a community that, uh, you know, to get you in contact with and to get you plugged in, or I will help you find one. Um, but I, I can almost assure you that if you just start getting into web three and you look for people in the. That have similar values and similar missions to what, you know, a similar mission to what you do, you will almost certainly find a community that will help you build that. And so you don't have to go about building that alone. It's very, very welcoming. It's, you know, very friendly.

Don Hansen:

Okay. That's good a hear. Um, I feel like that's it. I'm outta questions. Uh, I really appreciate you coming out and sharing all this. Do you have like any final notes that you wanna share before we dive into like, who you are and you know, what you have to.

Brennan Lamey:

Um, I, yeah, I, I don't think so. It's been a great conversation. Thank you. Uh, thank you for having me.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, for sure. All right, So if people wanted to reach out to you and anything else you wanna shout out, where could they reach you?

Brennan Lamey:

Yeah, so you can, um, you can either email me or uh, just DM me on Twitter. So my email is just brennan quill.com, just k i l.com. Um, or you can DM me on Twitter, brennans lame. Um, that's just, uh, that's my Twitter handle. You can also find us, uh, like quill on Twitter. So it's Quill team, uh, just k il team. Um, you can also DM us. We have contact info on our website, google.com. Um, so yeah, if, if you're looking to get into web three, either to build on, you know, decentralized storage or if you're looking to get into some other, you know, sector and you just don't really know where to start, um, I, I'd love to help you out. I'd love to help you get connected. And so just find me at, uh, any of those places and we can go from there. Sounds great.

Don Hansen:

Well, Brennan, seriously, thanks so much

Brennan Lamey:

for coming up. Just see everything. Really appreciate. Thank you. Just see everything. Just see everything.