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Revolutionizing Finance: Exploring DLCs with Philipp Hoenisch

Mar 4, 2024

Revolutionizing Finance: Exploring DLCs with Philipp Hoenisch

Revolutionizing Finance: Exploring DLCs with Philipp Hoenisch

Key Takeaways

The Stephan Livera podcast episode featuring Philipp Hoenisch from 10101 Finance delved into the innovative realm of Bitcoin self-custodial finance through the application of Discrete Log Contracts (DLCs). This approach enables users to engage in trading or create synthetic stable value without surrendering control of their keys to a third party. Although Stephan himself is an advocate of hodling and the "not your keys, not your coins" philosophy, he acknowledges the potential benefits of DLCs for individuals interested in trading and for businesses seeking stable value applications.

Philipp's journey into Bitcoin started with a fascination for distributed systems and an email from his brother linking to the Bitcoin wiki. Despite an initial setback in 2014, where he lost his Bitcoin holdings and became skeptical, Philipp re-entered the Bitcoin space in 2017 with a resolve to eliminate counterparty risk in trading. His efforts led to the creation of 10101, a platform that leverages DLCs to facilitate non-custodial trading on Bitcoin, thereby retaining the promise of self-custody even while trading.

The podcast episode unraveled various technical aspects of DLCs, including their reliance on multisig wallets, contract execution transactions (CETs), and the role of oracles in verifying outcomes without knowledge of the bets made. Additionally, the episode explored the mechanisms behind 10101's application, such as channel setup, trading positions, fees, and the innovative concept of USDP - a synthetic stablecoin earning interest by leveraging the perpetual futures market's funding rate.

Throughout the conversation, the challenges of creating a seamless, non-custodial trading experience were discussed, highlighting the complexities of user experience design and the necessity for continued education on self-custody's importance in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Best Quotes

  1. "It's our philosophy. It's in our blood." - Philipp explains the significance of the name 10101, which stands for the binary representation of 21, alluding to the 21 million Bitcoin cap.
  2. "The promise of self-custody doesn't hold up if you have to deposit your hard-earned money in someone else's wallet and just hope you get it back." - Philipp reflects on his initial disillusionment with Bitcoin trading and the risks of counterparty trust.
  3. "DLCs are a way to have smart contracts on chain, but without the footprint." - Philipp describes how DLCs enable non-custodial smart contracts on Bitcoin by minimizing on-chain data exposure.
  4. "I don't want to bring people to trading. I want to make it safer for people who are already trading." - Stephan emphasizes that the discussion on 10101's trading application is about understanding the technology and enhancing safety, not promoting trading activities.
  5. "One app, all things Bitcoin." - Philipp shares the vision for 10101 as a unified platform providing an all-encompassing Bitcoin experience, though he acknowledges the challenge of balancing user experience with self-custodial principles.


The conversation with Philipp Hoenisch sheds light on the innovative use of discrete log contracts to create non-custodial financial instruments within the Bitcoin ecosystem. The discussion highlights 10101's approach to mitigating counterparty risk and enabling users to trade or hold stable value without compromising their control over their private keys. The podcast episode provides an insightful look into the technicalities, challenges, and potential of DLCs, suggesting a future where self-custodial finance on Bitcoin becomes more accessible and trusted.

As the Bitcoin community continues to strive for financial sovereignty, projects like 10101 exemplify the ongoing efforts to align Bitcoin's core principles with the diverse needs of its users. Whether it is for trading, business applications, or personal financial management, the evolution of self-custodial solutions like DLCs may play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of decentralized finance on Bitcoin.


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