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Watch > Episode > Tarun Chitra - De-Risking DeFi Through Automated Governance: Why Applying AI Will Change Blockchains Forever

Tarun Chitra - De-Risking DeFi Through Automated Governance: Why Applying AI Will Change Blockchains Forever


Co-Founder & CEO of Gauntlet

I am delighted to finally welcome today’s guest, Tarun Chitra, onto the London Real hotseat, as I truly believe he is one of the most important voices you’ll hear in regards to decentralised finance and the wider cryptosphere. For regular viewers of London Real, and those that have been following our movements over the last six months this is an incredibly significant piece of the jigsaw, and necessary background knowledge that will give you a greater understanding of DeFi.

Tarun Chitra is a man at the very forefront of this transformation, and I don’t say that lightly. I first became aware of Tarun when he spoke at the Token 2049 conference in London, and I was blown away by his insight and energy. He is a truly colourful character, but the work he and his team are conducting, and much of the research he has been involved in over the last decade is hugely significant to the growth of decentralised finance.

Tarun comes from a Math, Physics and Engineering background, he studied at Cornell University, where he played his part in some complex and hugely significant research and development. He has spent time as an intern at AstraZeneca before working as a Scientific Associate and Programmer at the illustrious D. E. Shaw Research. He spent two years at the quantitative trading firm Vatic Labs before founding Gauntlet Networks, where he acts as CEO.

Gauntlet will be a name many of you are aware of. Since 2018, Tarun and his team have made it their mission to provide blockchain developers, such as the pioneering teams at say Aave and Compound with a blockchain simulation and testing ground.

This blockchain simulation enables the client’s protocol or smart contract to gain insight on how design choices might affect behaviour, thereby helping financial institutions by providing transparency.

Gauntlet reduces the costs involved in experimentation allowing teams to quickly design, launch, and scale new decentralised systems. They provide scope for scalability by allowing startups and more established ventures to essentially stress test how their protocol decisions will play out in the real world, enabling them to identify and reduce risk before they take the plunge.

It’s the kind of unheralded, behind-the-scenes work that so often gets taken for granted in our fast moving world, but, make no mistake, it’s people like Tarun Chitra that are the driving force behind so much of the innovation we are currently seeing today.

And why with every passing month the value, legitimacy, structure and service becomes more apparent, for Tarun that means “enabling a safer, more efficient DeFi ecosystem that’s resilient to attacks and rewards honest participants fairly.”

It’s very early days in the space, and yet there is so much happening. Trust me when I say, this is the time to get involved, to take your seat at the table. Twenty years from now, people will look back and wonder how they managed to miss this opportunity, the opportunity to shape a future financial system that is inclusive and prosperous.

As many of you know, at London Real we strive daily to push the boundaries, to create important new content, and endeavour to provide education and entertainment in equal doses.

Our mission is to bring you the most important voices in the world of cryptocurrency and decentralised finance and in recent weeks we have spoken to Professor Emin Gun Sirer, Yat Siu, Lyn Alden, Professor Silvio Micali and many more, all of whom are playing their part in what I call “the greatest dislocation of wealth in human history”.

DeFi is revolutionising the world of finance, and if you haven’t worked that out, you need to pay very close attention to the interviews and information we are providing. Technology is evolving at an exponential rate and with every significant development, ten more shoots of innovation emerge. It is a truly transformative time and understandably, for many, it can seem overwhelming. But, let me assure you within this space, there lies a huge opportunity.

This is why my team and I are going “all in” on this technology and infrastructure and plan on spending the next 10 years teaching, understanding, broadcasting, educating, investing in, profiting from and transforming this exciting new marketplace.

One of the reasons I am really looking forward to sitting down and talking with Tarun however, is his wealth of knowledge in the technological world. His ability to provide some historical context mixed with a neat dose of philosophy makes him an engaging and thought provoking speaker. He is also one the more flamboyant characters I’ve had on London Real for quite some time, tune in to see why and be sure to share this important message with friends and family alike.

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. The early days of crypto mining
  2. High frequency trading 101
  3. All of the data is public on the blockchain
  4. Understanding risks in DeFi
  5. NFTs might introduce more risk to DeFi
  6. The DeFi Summer created the NFT boom
  7. Liquidity on Uniswap works a lot like ETFs
  8. Is there a DeFi 2.0 coming up?
  9. DeFi startups should focus on understanding their user base
  10. Will institutions get into crypto?
  11. The government crypto talent is a joke
  12. The bridges will determine Layer 1 winners
  13. The best products are born in a bear market
  14. Crypto startups vs AI startups


00:00 | Trailer.
02:48 | Brian’s introduction.
04:15 | Tarun Chitra’s journey into crypto and influence from working on Wall Street and at D.E. Shaw.
11:25 | What high frequency trading (HFT) is and its relation to measuring risk in high frequency and blockchain securities.
16:46 | Other ways in which risk is assessed when trading in traditional finance as opposed to trading in the blockchain.
24:14 | How Gauntlet can advise on how to improve the revenue of a protocol without reducing borrowing.
28:30 | How the market has changed in the last three years and what has most surprised Tarun Chitra.
32:44 | Did DeFi lead to the NFT boom?
35:40 | Will Gauntlet be involved in analysis of NFTs?
38:12 | Adverse trading costs and the phenomena of Uniswap. Tarun Chitra looks at the cost of liquidity.
44:30 | What he sees in the incentivisation stakes and will protocols like Aave, Compound or SushiSwap have to evolve to compete?
49:03 | If protocols are to attempt to attract sophisticated capital they will have to think about risk and incentive management, will they have to follow OHM’s example?
54:22 | When will institutions adopt cryptocurrency.
59:10 | What Tarun Chitra thinks of Gary Gensler’s current view on cryptocurrency regulation given his past position.
1:03:04 | Why Tarun Chitra says “every war since the 1700s is a currency war.”. Why he cannot see government currencies becoming successful and how cryptocurrencies are attracting talented people.
1:10:36 | How he foresees the outcome of the Layer 1 wars.
1:18:26 | The considerations that need to be taken to build a good product.
1:20:07 | When will there be a correction in the market and by how much?
1:23:21 | How Tarun Chitra likes to invest, in what, and how does he have the bandwidth?
1:25:10 | Does he think blockchain protocols will move into DAOs and be completely autonomous?
1:27:58 | What are his current challenges as CEO of Gauntlet.
1:30:34 | Final thoughts from Tarun Chitra and advice for people new to the privacy concept.
1:31:23 | How to contact Tarun Chitra.and learn more about Gauntlet.
1:32:24 | Brian‘s summing up.


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