Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder Of Ethereum and ConsenSys Talks About His Projects

The founder of Ethereum and ConsenSys, Joseph Lubin, spoke about his projects at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

He started out the interview by explaining what ConsenSys is. ConsenSys is a venture development studio with a few different sides of the company.

“We have the product side of the company, we are a consultancy as well. We do advisory work and we write lots of software for companies, governments, and central banks,” says Lubin.

He added:

“We do a lot of education work as well. ConsenSys Academy has educated about 1,500 working engineers and lots of lawyers and other kinds of learners who’ve gone to places like companies and the World Bank and run a half day or one-day programs.”

Lubin went on to talk about the accelerator program.

“Our accelerator is only taking 5%. We started as a hybrid company. We started as something between a Microsoft-Apple-Google and the VC and we were really much closer to a software company. It was just like people that we hired that were employees and building out their projects that we owned.”

Normally, ConsenSys would own 100% of the project, right? But we wanted to change that model. We wanted to create a situation where the people who were building it stayed ConsenSys employees.

This is a new model which hasn’t been tried out in any accelerator programs yet. Lots of questions arise. Internally, how does that work? Do founders come to you with a project or do they start off as employees at ConsenSys and come up with an idea?

He replies:

“Many projects were created by me or us, in-house. We hired people to build out those projects. Some people were already employees at ConsenSys, they came up with the ideas. We brought in some projects early on. MetaMask was a project that Baron Davis was doing, Boardroom was a project that Nick Dodson was doing but they’ve been with us for three years or something like that. They’re fully ConsenSys projects yet still if those projects span out of ConsenSys those people will have a big chunk of that.”

Lubin has plans to target China through ConsenSys:

“JL: We have concrete plans for Hong Kong. I don’t know if you were aware but in Xiongan, we signed an agreement in this special economic in China near Beijing to sort of take the pressure off Beijing for the next few decades. We had a press conference a little while ago, sign an agreement with them to essentially drive some thought.”

However, until now no Chinese projects have joined the group.

“I’ve spoken to a few and there will probably be a few that do join especially because we’re able to hire people there. Currently, we can’t legally hire there, but we’re getting very close to being able to do that.”

The Ethereum Co-Founder spoke about his relationship with the other Ethereum Co-founder, Vitalik. We have hot debates all the way through. He added:

“So what is our relationship to the Ethereum Foundation? Still very warm… Well, it wasn’t warm for a little while. There was a previous executive director that didn’t enable great interaction between our company and the Ethereum Foundation, whereas the Ethereum Foundation is much more open now and much more collaborative.”

He continued;

“We see them at different places around the world. The Ethereum ecosystem, in my opinion, is pretty warm and friendly. It’s a lot of people who do like each other and who spend time together around the world. I was just at Burning Man last week and spent a lot of the time with people from other projects.”

Vitalik has not gone to the Burning Man so far. It’ll be cool if he did, but it’s still a group of people that are very communicative and collaborative. Ethereum wasn’t formed in the same way that Bitcoin was. Bitcoin was essentially a response by crypto-anarchists to concerns about the monetary infrastructure and centralization through the financial industry and governments, etc.”

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