I am glad you agreed to this interview and are here to answer some questions that were gathered from the community and raised myself.
Your role in the latest changes regarding leadership made you a name among the BURST community. I think only few members had heard much about you before that, like the video tutorials you made or the RF BURST you mined or your homemade solar miner. The first entry I found about you on reddit is about 10 months old, how did you get to reddit and how did you first came in contact with BURST?
Hi, so we got involved in BURST in 2018, after the 2017 holiday season I started researching some new technology and consensus. Mostly because January 1st, 2018 a number of my non compete’s, media disclosure agreements, and a number of NDA’s expired. So I was able to participate a lot more freely with a project in the financial space. BURST was heavily favoured due to energy consumption, the fact that it was also the first coin with smart contracts, and had a large number of features that would be necessary for the future. We (Tamara and myself), as well as others (community members here in Silicon Valley), see a very bright future for BURST.
Is it right, that your linkedin profile, says you are a salesforce developer? Is this where your business roots are?
I do not have a linkedin, nor have I ever had one. I do not use linkedin because I get enough recruiter spam now, I do not need more. I also do not use facebook or instagram. I use Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Discord. That is as social media as I get.
Sorry, I was stalking the wrong guy then. How did your role in the community develop and where do you see yourself today? Which BURST projects have you accomplished?
My role only developed from the work of working with businesses, getting adoption going, working on a couple of pieces and ideas. I have not contributed to BRS core, during last year most of our time was spent focused on getting the word out about BURST and working on tools for users. There is a number of projects that are nearing code complete I have been working on since November. Some have been discussed some have not, all will be under either MIT or GPL 3.0 license accordingly. I see myself today as a member of a community working together to make better software for a coin that we all use. I find it to be extremely important to understand the businesses and users of the coin. If you put in the time to talk to people, teach them, and to not just walk away but be there when they ask the questions, then. You will see a huge growth in adoption. The problem in this space is that most are quick to talk, not teach, and to run when the hard questions come in. I also want to point out that because BURST is not an ICO, premine, and is not controlled by a company it was also a driving force for us to get involved. A permissionless chain with smart contracts and the ability to scale without the heavier cost of a POW chain also added to the interest.
Good to know, thank you.
Let’s talk about your videos. What were your intentions about the live videos you did, and will you keep doing them? What did you achieve with the videos?
The live videos were being done as they were being requested. Many were reaching out to me to ask to do the live videos, so we did more of them at that time. People were curious what is going on and what we were working on at that time. The live videos were fun, and interesting, the ones with other influencers those were requested by them as we met them over the year at various conferences and meetups.
So, if demand continues, you will bring more content in videos?
As far as the ones where we did on twitch just talking, those were community requested to give updates on adoption work, current conditions of projects, and what was to be seen next. Demand is there, time is something I have less of right now due to focus on Rosetta
Great you talk about it. I want to ask about Rosetta later. Let’s talk about your ideas about open source software. The reddit post about your ideas concerning the Aspera licensing caused a lot of intense discussion. But how can a community coin like BURST survive, if its code is copied by a firm who is able to pay 1 Million US$ in marketing? How shall BURST protect its assets and is it even necessary?
Open source software is critical to growth of a community and of a cryptocurrency. The reason it is critical is what is provided for protections with regards to contributor and the user of the open source software. To the user it guarantees they themselves or others can audit the code fully and improve upon with regards to future needed changes. This is extremely critical for the growth of software, many of the tools and software you rely on daily is either using open source software or is open source itself. Open source runs the world. Contributors who choose to use MIT or GPL do so with intentions for the future both within the realm of their goal and outside of it. Consider that bitcoin was proprietary, there would be nothing of what we see today. Bitcoin uses the MIT license and is far more lenient compared to the GPL and how it works. So while it may be seen as an issue, in 2009 when I got involved with BTC, it was super small community using an MIT licensed code. So when people act in fear as BURST is much smaller, so was BTC in 2009. We should not be afraid but embrace change and embrace improvements. However, we should also not sacrifice our freedom for the idea of improvements and idea of protections. OSI compliant licenses are very important and while Aspera is not in that umbrella, it is also perfectly fine to have competing nodes and wallets. The idea of multiple teams working on wallets, nodes, mining software, and other features is critical for growth. Bitcoin has this and it is extremely important to it’s growth. However, that community is also very much spearheading open source all the things with permissive licenses. Many cryptocurrency projects are open source, many are copies of other projects, including the original codebase of BURST. So while we may feel this sense of pride of what it is, keep in mind it too spawned from another idea. So preventing such innovative experimentation would have prevented BURST from existing. It is a complicated subject because in some respects you do not want to allow for use with some ideas on other chains as to keep some uniqueness, however, in doing so you essentially restrict your own growth potential. We could go on for days and days of the importance of open source. Feel free to prune some of this lol.
Well, this is not so clear for everybody, some fear of losing their money or don’t want BURST to lose the race among the best. But your point is understandable. This is important. The stepdown of the PoCC came for a lot very sudden. How did you take note about the allegations about BHD mining against the PoCC and have you had any share of the stepdown in the aftermath?
In regards to BHD, we stayed out of that for as long as possible. I do not want to really hash any of those issues out again. I only wish the POCC well in their endeavours in and outside BURST. One day we can all work together and make a stronger community, this does not mean everyone has to get along. Note that just because people do not get along does not mean that there is issues with the community. It is actually very healthy for disagreements as it encourages innovation in ways to accomplish tasks. In no way would I want to be a part of a community where everyone got along, that is complacency and very dangerous. Please note, I am not trying to really discuss the BHD and POCC debacle, I feel we as a community need not to stay focused on the past but more on the future.
What are the damages to BURST from the actions and stepdown of the PoCC? You’d like to talk about that?
I do not want to talk about those things, literally some is on reddit and at this point most of the businesses and others that were concerned are now very interested in the future of BURST and that is the utmost importance. POCC step down was a surprise, again, I have no problems with the POCC and I wish them well on their projects in and outside of BURST.
The Dymaxion roadmap is a relic of the PoCC, where a lot of members have put their trust in. Those people expected BURST to be the technological edge of the universe within first half of 2019. How is this going to be achieved now?
This is very much the roadmap of the POCC. Some great additions came from the movement towards the roadmap. However, some pieces of the Dymaxion will require work from new people as the POCC stepped down. What is meant by this, is that someone will have to take the reigns for those pieces and push to implement those features. There is a lot of work ahead in and outside of Dymaxion and any other project. Features of the Dymaxion will get implemented if time is spent to implement them. Sorry I am vague on that, literally only been focused on Rosetta. The rest of BATs team can confirm I have been extremely quiet. So as far as Dymaxion goes I am probably not the best for information on that but Blankey and Harry can provide that information. Harry should be your next interview, he is doing a lot of work on BRS.
What about tangle and payment channel development? Any news?
Harry or Blankey for that one, I have been neck deep in Rosetta on that. I apologize but I have not been following too much on those talks as my priority is on the future of smart contracts
What exactly is this Rosetta thing?
So Rosetta started off as this way of making contracts for BURST, the goal around October 2018 was to build this CLI tool to write contracts. BURST currently uses the AT spec for Autonomous Transactions, it can be found here ciyam.org/at
So it’s an interface for smart contracts?
Now, this project became much more than that. I spent a significant amount of time reviewing ETH contracts, etc., DECRED, NEO, NEM, and EOS contracts. From my research and writing of some of their contracts and reviewing contracts I learned a very valuable lesson. 98% of the 32,000 contracts from multiple chains were copy and pasted from other contracts except for in some cases up to 8 values. This told me more than I needed to know. Rosetta must provide a simple to use interface to create, build, and deploy contracts.
We knew it.
That there is a lot of copy and paste out there
Yeah, so why not build a template system for those types of contracts and then allow for the heavy lifting to work within a scripting language most can understand. For example, if you need a contract that just works like another DApp, why not just deploy same contract with new values? So that is the goal on the ease of use part, now for the developers and other hackers you will get a fully functioning scripting style language to use to make your own contracts.
Fe: walletA sendsTo walletB, when condition; build; deploy;
This is currently some of the syntax you would be able to use to write a contract for walletA to send to WalletB when a condition is met. A condition you define or use the templating rules.
Sounds really easy and promising.
Yes, building the guard rails and stop points in case of malformed data or a nefarious intentional launch is where I am right now. So over the next few weeks some of my tooling for how I build, deploy, and test Rosetta will be coming out. Soon I will be drafting all of the documentation for Rosetta into something formal and make it public. Right now, if you wanted to, you could break some stuff and that is something I have to resolve.
About cryptos in general. There are opinions that say cryptos need more regulation to become less volatile and make payments more reliable and easy to use. What’s your position about governmental regulation on cryptos?
Crypto in general needs less regulations, though I only speak from a non ICO/STO view point as I have 0 to do with that stuff. In regards to governments they already have a specification for legalities with transactions in their jurisdiction, I think this is where cryptocurrency space misunderstands how things work. Instead of asking for governments to provide clear regulations, in a lot of cases they already have. Obviously not in every region, however, in a lot there are clear definitions for how to process transactions on the financial level. Instead of asking for their insight, we should meet them at the door so to speak. I have talked about this numerous times with a lot of people in the space. In a lot of countries there is no reason not to accept as payment, the issue is people do not look at crypto as a payment channel, they view it as an investment channel. HODL is not an use case and anyone thinking it is, is actually part of the problem.
How often do you visit the barber/hairdresser? Do you dope your hair/beard?
I go once every couple of months to get a beard trip. I do not dope my hair/beard, not even sure what that means.
Oh, do you use any hair treatments?
Oh no I don’t use anything.
How should BURST attract and help businesses’ to use BURST? Could the BMF play a role there? How do you see the BMF in general, what’s your position on BURST marketing?
The biggest thing about getting businesses and people to use BURST, is getting people to tell others about it. Very few people even discuss BURST or even get in their community about BURST. Here in California we have and continue to talk about BURST and spread the word to people and businesses. BMF is a great idea and I think that there could be a bright future. On the other hand always consider that BMF can only do so much, just like anyone else or other group. It takes individuals getting out there as well. At this time I have not been following too closely on the marketing as my focus has been on Rosetta.
What do you think does BURST need the most? What is really missing?
I think that BURST is missing more people on the ground talking to businesses and spreading the word through organic means. Again, the offer still stands for anyone who needs guidance to feel free to contact us in order to get pointers and help with setup. Keep in mind getting a business to accept BURST is more than they use the coin, you need to help nurture the relationship and walk them through the processes involved with accepting a coin. Such as how to convert to fiat if needed, how auditing works, and also you know they too know other business owners. So it is a multi-faceted part of the push for adoption, there is a lot of great technology already there and new stuff in the works with BATS team. Harry, Blankey, Zoh, Curbshifter, and the rest of the team having been doing a lot of great work. Ideally, just as before we need more individuals out there in the field so to speak. Understand the problems and hurdles and work with us on addressing those problems.
And the last question: Why does BURST need you?
BURST does not and will not ever need me or anyone over anyone else. This is a community driven developed project, people will come and go. Just as they do in other projects. Having been involved with bitcoin early on, I still remember when Satoshi started to step away and the guards were changing. Every project has cycles, BURST will continue long after I am gone due to the mortal coil we are all vulnerable to.
In addition nixops answered questions that were raised in the reddit post concerning this interview:
** Bonus for shefas: Rosetta’s scope grew out of the research initially spent determining the best process to make AT development easier on BURST. As a research task I spent a significant amount of time analysing the pitfalls of other chains and the development process entailed to write contracts. Most contracts are copy pasted, as will become clear once the research materials are put out as it gets closer to launch. I also took the time to talk to people and individuals in and out of the cryptocurrency space to get some understanding of how they viewed contracts. From this research and information a better vision for Rosetta was derived. This will also include as part of a 2.0 for Rosetta some CIP’s that will be submitted as well. There is and has been quite a bit of work spent on this what I thought was going to be a weekend hack of just making a DSL (domain specific language), but instead has become a better way for users to write and deploy contracts.
*** Bonus for Cyberskulls: I do not know at this time but it is something to consider in the future.
****bonus for oprah_2024: I have been involved with BURST since sometime around March 2018. I try to stay out of politics as much as possible. Environmentalism is a great movement, however, let’s not be naive about conservation of the planet. The planet goes through cycles with or without us, and will always be that way till it stops spinning. To this planet we are just a cold it has not shaken off yet. Economics systems are very interesting and obviously most know where my stance is. I did not get into cryptocurrency in 2009 for the lambos, BTC was worthless when I got involved. I do not view at is investment, I view cryptocurrency for payments just like cash. Alas, it requires that circulation though, HODL is no use case and that mentality is only going to further hurt in moving for payment channels. I feel old as fuck because I remember when that HODL post happened on bitcointalk.
Hopefully this covers most if not all the questions you had. If anything is amiss let me know, but thanks for asking some questions and maybe this shed some light on some of the things going on.
Dear nixops, it was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for the uncomplicated handling and the person you are.
This interview was conducted by Samus Aran. You may contact me on telegram @Metroid_prim3