Is ETH on Its Way to Becoming Ultra-Sound Money? Yes, Says Justin Drake

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Ethereum just went through its most complex upgrade ever. Justin Drake, researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, discusses what the upgrade, aka the London hard fork, means for ether’s future as what he calls “ultra-sound money.” At the end of the episode, he also drops a few Bitcoin hot takes. Show highlights:

  • his background and how he got involved in crypto
  • how EIP 1559 will affect Ethereum now that it is live
  • why burning ether is good for the Ethereum economy
  • what two concepts are crucial to understanding money
  • what three ways ether is used as money
  • why he believes ether will become “ultra sound money,” when gold and silver are just “sound money”
  • what the main drivers of ETH’s value are
  • how the merge from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake will happen for Ethereum 
  • how much more efficient Justin calculates proof-of-stake will be compared to proof-of-work
  • why people are saying Ethereum is going through a “triple halvening”
  • what factors influence how much Ethereum is issued and burned
  • how Ethereum could become deflationary
  • why net sell pressure is about to decrease
  • what projects are burning the most ETH now that EIP 1559 is live
  • why Justin is worried about Bitcoin’s future
  • what Bitcoin could do to survive once it only subsists on transaction fees
  • whether Justin considers himself a bitcoiner
  • how ETH as ultra-sound money is becoming a meme

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Episode Links

Justin Drake


Written content

  • June 23 Ethereum Foundation ETH 2.0 Research AMA (command F for Justin Drake responses)
  • “If capped-supply gold is sound money decreasing-supply ether is ultra sound money”


  • Modeling ETH based on EVM fees
  • Calculating ETH supply

Podcast appearances

  • Bankless “Modeling Ultra Sound Money” (April 28)
  • Bankless “Ultra Sound Money” (Mar 23)
  • Bankless “Bull Case for Cryptography” (Jan 25)

London/EIP 1559/Ethereum 2.0 Resources

Unchained content

  • Episodes
    • Ethereum’s EIP-1559 Will Solve Some Problems But Big Ones Will Remain
    • Ethereum 2.0: What You Need to Know
    • Why Ethereum 2.0 Could Fail and How It Could Be Fixed
  • Previous resources
    • EIP 1559 links (Tim Beiko)
    • Messari Research
    • Staked ETH address
    • DETH of Ethereum

Various research

  • Ethereum: The Triple Halving
  • Bankless
  • Coinmonks — talks about Justin Drake a ton!
  • The Defiant
  • Ultra Sound Money content
    • Longer analysis
    • Briefings
    • Twitter/Website:
  • ETH 2 Vision (
  • The Block’s coverage
  • Decrypt
  • Tim Roughgarden EIP 1559 economic analysis


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