Paul Brody on EY, Ethereum, and Enterprise

I tried to ask everybody’s questions but for the sake of not getting too repetitive, some of them are answered in the conversation even though they weren’t explicitly asked by me. Also, check out their miner, because it’s easier to mine your own ETH for testing purposes.

This is a fast-paced conversation packed with insights, so let’s get started!

I think in many ways we had better questions and more insightful comments from the [Ethereum] community on Reddit than we sometimes get from professional journalists. The community has some technical knowledge that most professional journalists don’t have, and honestly, they seemed to have put the dots together about our vision – the comments I’ve read online have often been much more thoughtful and much closer to [the vision that we have] than sometimes the analyses we read in the press.

Paul Brody

Some questions on Paul..

  • u/reterical asks two introductionairy questions. (timestamp)
    1. “What first resonated with you about Ethereum and / or Blockchain?”
    2. “Have you personally interacted with Ethereum projects?”

Some questions on EY building on Ethereum..

  • u/reterical asks “Why did you and EY land on Ethereum as the project to build on?” (timestamp)
  • u/ethical-trade asks “How did you manage to convince your management to release Nightfall in the public domain?” (timestamp)
  • u/lilpath asks “In convincing your clients to use a public blockchain, what has been the most common and effective ‘aha’ moment that your team has given them?” Also, and I’m paraphrasing, “if blockchain is to revolutionize accounting (among other sectors), does EY see their dedicated jump into blockchain as a way to potentially leapfrog the rest of the Big 4, in terms of revenue at least?” (timestamp)
  • u/KingLeo23 and u/SteveAM1 ask about the EY Dye Pack. From your LinkedIn: “EY Dye Pack uses ZKP software to identify stolen tokens, prevent their usage, and issue replacement tokens to the victims of thefts, analogous to those exploding dye packs we all see in movies about bank robberies.” How does this work? Any technical paper to be pointed to? (timestamp)
  • u/runnlngoutofspaces says “The Github page reads ‘Note that this code has not yet completed a security review and therefore we strongly recommend that you do not use it in production or to transfer items of material value. We take no responsibility for any loss you may incur through the use of this code.”” When could we expect that Nightfall has undergone a 3rd party security audit and is safe to use in a production environment?(timestamp) (I’m sorry to have butchered your question!)
  • u/DboVilakati asks “Given EY’s interest in developing on the public Ethereum network, how does EY hedge against stalled development (like scaling), regulatory risk, and ‘competing’ networks? I’m curious how a large organization such as EY plans for developing business lines in the future on the back of as of yet un-actualized technology.” u/sleepyninja asks a similar question. (timestamp)
  • u/fatfire_throwaway97 asks “How many partnerships/clients does E&Y have that develop on the Ethereum blockchain ? How much growth does this number have?” (timestamp)
  • u/ethical-trade asks “What proportion of EY’s clients is willing to start using blockchain because it’s actually useful to them, as opposed to using for marketing or for purposes for which a standard database would have done the job?” (timestamp)
  • u/mountainminer asks “What are some real world examples of intercompany contracts, accounts payable, inventory and other supply chain problems that ethereum could pay a critical role in solving?*” (timestamp)
  • u/EthFan asks “What type of products and services will E&Y be rolling out using Nightfall in Q1 2020?” (timestamp)
  • u/sebit asks two questions. “Which industry can profit the most by integrating parts of their business model on the ethereum blockchain in terms of increasing their efficiency or enabling new ways to deliver value? And to follow up, where do you think we should make a cut on what should be put on a blockchain and what shouldn’t?” (timestamp)
  • u/rxg says “You’ve said before that you believe that fiat currency tokens will be the way that enterprises will want to do transactions.” He asks “Could you expand on that? By fiat currency tokens do you mean strictly crypto tokens pegged to the dollar and backed by the dollar by a custodian like USDT? Do you think trustless stablecoins pegged to the dollar which are backed by crypto, like DAI, will be viewed by enterprises as something different or unacceptable in some way?” (timestamp)
  • u/labrav asks “What do you think would it take for a onchain-based stablecoin like dai to be integrated in enterprise-level blockchain-transactions as a means of payment? Do you think that will ever happen?” (timestamp)
  • u/MammothGroomer86 asks “Nightfall supports ERC-721 non-fungible tokens, will the Nightfall software adopt interoperability features, as well? What are your thoughts on it in terms of cross-industry adoption of blockchain?” (timestamp) (Paul mentioned the 0xcert fork and this article.)
  • u/ro-_-b asks “What kind of job profiles does he expect to emerge at EY based on EY’s engagement in the field? What roles will EY hire for to support the implementation for their clients?” (timestamp)

Some questions on Ethereum as a network..

  • u/ethical-trade ask “Will the work done on Nightfall become unusable on the new blockchain (Eth 2.0)? If only partially, to what extent?” u/ChazSchmidt asked “How does EY plan to handle the transition of its clients from ETH 1.0 to 2.0?” (timestamp)
  • u/lawfultots asks “What’s your take or your team’s take on Ethereum 2.0 development and deployment? Is it essential for your work long term or could you live on a fork of Ethereum 1.0?” (timestamp)
  • u/dbovilakati asks “Is EY contributing to public Ethereum network protocol development and scaling solutions? If so, how? Does EY do so for any other public blockchain networks?” (timestamp)
  • u/pocketwailord asks “Where do you see EY’s role with Ethereum once things like DeFi, sharding, and other emerging technologies take off? Will they work mostly with business level improvements, or protocol improvements as a whole?” (timestamp)

Some general questions..

  • u/whuttheeperson asks three questions. (timestamp)
    1. How aware are you and the EY team of communities like r/ethtrader and the overlap of interests between the community and EY? What do you think about it?
    2. How cautious are you and the team regarding behaviour that could be construed as ‘pumping’ or ‘shilling’ if you mention Ethereum?” (We had to skip this one so I’ll repost in the comments.)
    3. Is there an internal EY policy on owning Ethereum or other cryptos due to COI concerns? Do you get the sense a lot of the team owns some crypto? Do you?
  • u/bitchstolemykodo says “My question has to do with zero-knowledge proofs. I think maybe you were kidding in one of the videos where you made a comment referencing how difficult it is to understand exactly what is going on behind-the-scenes with these proofs, but I can tell you, I’m going over the material that is out there and I’m really struggling to understand it all.” He asks “How important do you feel it is that users of a technology like this are able to understand how it works? One of the descriptions I hear given for why we like blockchain is because it’s trustless. Is it important that the cryptography behind blockchain be trustless too? Can it be trustless if so few people understand how it works?” (timestamp)

Some closing questions..

  • u/reterical asks “If you could be any Blockchain, which one would you be? Why?” (timestamp)
  • I asked “Did I forget anything? Is there something you wished I would’ve asked you about?” (timestamp)
  • I asked “Where can people find you and learn more about you?” (timestamp)

The talks are hosted on:
The Podcast – RSS https://ethcs.org/feed/podcast/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R15fh8PfiVk
Direct as an MP3 – https://ethcs.org/files/paulbrody.mp3


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