Do you think that innovation in the blockchain space has slowed down in 2018? Find out what Stan Larimer, president of Cryptonomex and BitShares co-founder, has to say about the new integration of EOS technology in BitShares’ decentralized exchange and Steemit social media platform, with whom it’s expected to handle up to 80% of all blockchain transactions in the universe!
Hi Stan! Can you start by telling us how a guy with an MSEE degree teaching rocket science at the US Air Force Academy went on to found a blockchain-based company like Cryptonomex?
After I retired, my son called me out of retirement to help him start a blockchain development company in 2013. He needed someone to manage the company while he tended to the technical side of things.
Stan Larimer has forty years of experience in engineering, program management, business development, and even teaching rocket science at the US Air Force Academy. He has contributed to 17 different aerospace R&D programs for air, ground, sea, and space systems. He served with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and SAIC as a consultant, tech lead, program manager, and corporate officer. For the past four years he has been building a new industry to develop unmanned companies that produce smart currencies and other decentralized financial services. He is known as “the Godfather of BitShares”
Do you remember the early days when you first started reading about the blockchain? How did you come to understand it?
Mostly, it was through the in-depth discussions on bitsharestalk.org and sitting in meetings with Dan’s technical team.
Dan Larimer is the son of Stan and co-founder of Bitshares and Steem, with the original Delegated Proof of Stake and Graphene technology. He is currently the CTO of EOS. His involvement with the blockchain dates back to the early days of Bitcoin when he had forum discussions with Satoshi Nakamoto.
After your very first acquaintance with the blockchain, how did you get the idea of founding Bitshares?
Dan wanted to put an entire company on the blockchain and get rid of the counterparty risks of centralized exchanges.
BitShares is a decentralized exchange and fintech platform that was built to be fast, efficient, and scalable. BitShares X was first introduced in a white paper titled “A Peer-to-Peer Polymorphic Digital Asset Exchange” by Daniel Larimer, Charles Hoskinson, and Stan Larimer. The project generated a good amount of buzz after the proposal, though the original scope and timelines have since undergone modification. Sources: 1, 2.
Can you please briefly explain why we should move away from centralized exchanges to decentralized entities?
Centralized exchanges collect everyone’s coins into a big honey pot that is a large incentive to hackers to spend time and energy trying to steal it. Keeping it decentralized means the money is spread out into mostly tiny pots not worth hacking. Also, some unethical exchanges may do things with the coins they have on deposit behind the scenes, including manipulating markets or maintaining a fractional reserve. Decentralizing it provides a fair and level playing field for all players.
There is a famous quote of yours: “I’ve enjoyed 40 years developing unmanned air, sea, ground and space systems. These days, I build unmanned companies.” Based on your experience, do autonomous organizations perform significantly better? And when will we see some groundbreaking unmanned companies of worldwide significance?
Bitcoin, Ethereum, BitShares, Steemit, and EOS are all good examples already. Now it’s about adoption.
What is Cryptonomex and what does it do? What makes Cryptonomex special?
Cryptonomex is a decentralized ecosystem architect. We bring together many independent developers and organizations, and we facilitate how they work together to grow the ecosystem. We sponsor development and evangelize the overall vision of honest money and a level playing field for all mankind.
What is Cryptonomex now working on? What are your plans for 2018?
We will be making a lot of announcements this year, but I have learned not to talk about them in advance. Many seeds need to be planted to achieve a good harvest. As us old farmers say, “One for the worm and one for the crow, one to decay and one to grow.”
You personally provide advising services for many interesting projects. Can you tell us about them; in which fields do they specialize in, and how do they plan to improve them?
We have partners from gaming, agriculture, banking, philanthropy, precious metals, network marketing, and many others.
Right now, which project do you dedicate most of your time to? What kind of future do you see for it?
I believe Quintric.com will be huge, and we are also working on an upgrade of BitShares to take advantage of EOS technology and its ecosystem.
Quintric is a monetary system that combines the legitimacy, accountability, and security of gold and silver legal tender with the transparency, flexibility, and convenience of blockchain technology to create the world’s first authentic and interoperable family of specie legal tender cryptocurrencies. The Quintric system consists of five interoperable, yet independent, specie-based tokens. For example, each Quint token certifies five U.S. gold cents held on deposit by The Quintric Corporation, payable to the bearer on demand in one-ounce U.S. American Eagle or Buffalo gold coinage. Source.
It is often assumed that there exists a tradeoff between decentralization and scalability. However, it seems that Bitshares is one of the most decentralized systems as of now, and it is claimed to validate up to 100,000 tps. How was this achieved?
Dan got rid of the PoW Consensus Algorithm, which is what slows down most cryptocurrencies. After that, he was able to optimize and parallelize everything. This has demonstrated 3,300 tps on BitShares plus 180,000 in the lab. EOS has gone far beyond this. Meanwhile, you can see at blocktivity.info that Dan’s prior chains (BitShares and Steemit) currently process ⅔ of all blockchain transactions in the universe. With the addition of EOS I expect to see that exceed 80% this year.
Do you see any competitors to Graphene in the nearest future?
Graphene – An open source C++ blockchain implementation. It is an industrial strength software platform used for deploying third-generation cryptographically secure blockchains. Graphene-based systems exhibit a far better performance than existing solutions. Graphene is currently used by Bitshares 2.0, Steemit, EOS, and others. Source
You recently addressed the security issue. In your opinion, what should be done in this space to improve the security of both of businesses and ordinary people?
It’s definitely an issue, but I don’t have a lot of unique thoughts on it.
This year Stan entered the advisory council of TopiaCoin, the project that plans to combine its patented security for shredding and encrypting data with the power and transparency of the blockchain. Source
How is Bitshares’ DEX affected by price fluctuations, if at all?
Well, I guess that exchanges in general exist because of price fluctuations, no? So we can’t complain.
What is your most anticipated breakthrough in the blockchain space for 2018?
No doubt, EOS and what it will do for BitShares.
There are many rumors in regards to the fate of Bitshares after Dawn’s 3.0 release. Can you please make it clear whether Bitshares will be separated from EOS or do you plan to move Bitshares DEX to EOS?
EOS is a great enabler and we have a team of people looking at how BitShares can benefit from it. If nothing else, BitShares will gain from the new excitement that EOS is bringing to the industry. Even without EOS, BitShares/Steemit chains process 67% of all blockchain transactions (see blocktivity.info) – with EOS, that could be 80% this year – meaning that a PoW consensus algorithm will be used in less than 20% of all blockchain transactions.
Dawn 3.0 is a blockchain DApp platform developed by EOSIO that can securely and smoothly scale thousands of transactions per second, all while providing an accessible experience to app developers, entrepreneurs, and users. They aim to provide and complete an operating system for decentralized applications that are focused on the web by providing services like user authentication, cloud storage, and server hosting. Source
In your opinion, what business sectors will gain the most from implementing the blockchain?
All sectors can benefit from honest money and a level playing field.
As we talked about the large amount of projects that you are involved in, how do you manage your time?
I wish I could manage my time, but there are still too many alligators in the swamp.
Do you have any courses that software developers could use to start working with Graphene?
Stop by our discussion group and ask what the people like on our telegram chat.