Author Topic: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space  (Read 2149 times)

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Offline luckybit

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 08:26:01 am »
It's really enjoyable to hear you speak so eloquently about your crypto insights.  I just wish you'd stop saying that you built BitShares.  It's seems disingenuous because BitShares of the present is the result of a different direction to the one you wanted.....or so I gather from your discussion.  It also undermines, to some degree, the unbelievably hard work the dev team have put in to get the product to where it is today.  Perhaps, if you believe they deserve recognition from their peers in public, you could make that clear.  It would really help to me to concentrate more on what you are saying. 

I am still a great fan of yours Charles.  All the best.

Charles is a founding father of Bitshares. It counts even if Bitshares evolves into something entirely different in the future.

Honestly without Charles I doubt Bitshares would have had a successful beginning because he brought in a lot of the very early attention with his explanatory videos and media communications. Similar to what he did for Ethereum, so it is obvious he does have a positive impact on the projects he is associated with.

From my memory it was Dan, Stan and Charles in the very beginning. Stan and Charles brought in the community through the media while Dan debated with the community on forums, offered a bounty, and some at that time were doubting it was even possible. It's between them why they split up.

Someone else hasn't been around lately, CWEvans, still don't know what happened to him but my guess is he has moved on.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 08:34:48 am by luckybit »
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Offline Ben Mason

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2015, 08:57:57 am »
It's really enjoyable to hear you speak so eloquently about your crypto insights.  I just wish you'd stop saying that you built BitShares.  It's seems disingenuous because BitShares of the present is the result of a different direction to the one you wanted.....or so I gather from your discussion.  It also undermines, to some degree, the unbelievably hard work the dev team have put in to get the product to where it is today.  Perhaps, if you believe they deserve recognition from their peers in public, you could make that clear.  It would really help to me to concentrate more on what you are saying. 

I am still a great fan of yours Charles.  All the best.

Charles is a founding father of Bitshares. It counts even if Bitshares evolves into something entirely different in the future.

Honestly without Charles I doubt Bitshares would have had a successful beginning because he brought in a lot of the very early attention with his explanatory videos and media communications. Similar to what he did for Ethereum, so it is obvious he does have a positive impact on the projects he is associated with.

From my memory it was Dan, Stan and Charles in the very beginning. Stan and Charles brought in the community through the media while Dan debated with the community on forums, offered a bounty, and some at that time were doubting it was even possible. It's between them why they split up.

Someone else hasn't been around lately, CWEvans, still don't know what happened to him but my guess is he has moved on.
I didn't once refer to their parting of ways, thankfully that is history and they/we have all moved on.  I've said quite clearly how highly i think of Charles and his efforts.  My point was a small one but i thought important at the time.  It's all good.  Onward and upward.  Everyone is awesome and recognition will come to the BitShares devs in one form or another in time.  No need to dwell on my digression any further.  I believe there is an excellent summary of the state of crypto that is far more worthy of comment!

Offline fuzzy

Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2015, 01:18:19 pm »
The terribly tragedy of bitshares has always been it's inability to communicate, manage expectations, how money was spent and the inability to pivot quickly when proven wrong about something.

Considering this space is one where most rules and ways to move forward have not really been established, I tend to give a great deal of leeway to Dan and the team for how things have happened--(though admittedly sometimes I want to pull my hair out watching people like gentso walk away with 30k when I and the beyond bitcoin team never would have asked for such funding but would have ACTUALLY BUILT amazing stuff with it). 

Now as for bitshare's ability to communicate---I obviously have to disagree.  Why?  because if our means of communication was so bad, you would not be interested in using the platform we use to get your voice heard by the community.  The simple act of you being interested means (to me) that our communication channels are valuable.

Now with that said.  I can agree that many people have been paid retainers or given funding that I have seen very little out of.  I can also say that there is definitely an issue with many people who bust their butts for bitshares not being equally compensated...but that could be our fault as much as Dan's for not speaking up and being the squeaky wheel. 

As for an inability to acknowledge when proven wrong--I have to disagree with that as well (well somewhat).  There have been many times when BM has pivoted based on direct input from our community--in fact such close and frequent direct communication with the project leads is something most communities do not get at all.  Please though.  I think it is best to focus on what you are trying to do and YOUR message as opposed to what is wrong with Dan's.  You both have a right to disagree and I think it's good that you do (in an ironic kind of way :P), but my entire point for other projects sharing a very small portion of their stake with our community is to open their minds to listening to your message and further researching it.  So i'm more focused on that.  Of course you wouldn't have to, but I am strongly suggesting it and saying that it WILL put your project higher on my priority list.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 01:22:50 pm by fuzzy »
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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2015, 07:50:03 am »
Fuzzy, I didn't mention Dan a single time here. His record and actions speak for themselves and the community with hold him accountable one way or the other. It's far beyond my concern. As for focusing on my vision, this whole interview covered it over an hour and a half. And with respect to my criticism of Bitshares, I believe it's completely fair given the incredible value proposition of the underlying technology and the problems it addresses, yet the small community and market participation.

You get a reset switch with Bitshares 2. Focus on what can be done better moving forward and how to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Offline phillyguy

Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2015, 10:32:45 am »
Hi Charles - just wanted to say that I found your interview very insightful and it was a great listen. Thank you very much for taking the time for the interview.
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Offline fuzzy

Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2015, 10:42:29 am »
Fuzzy, I didn't mention Dan a single time here. His record and actions speak for themselves and the community with hold him accountable one way or the other. It's far beyond my concern. As for focusing on my vision, this whole interview covered it over an hour and a half. And with respect to my criticism of Bitshares, I believe it's completely fair given the incredible value proposition of the underlying technology and the problems it addresses, yet the small community and market participation.

You get a reset switch with Bitshares 2. Focus on what can be done better moving forward and how to avoid the mistakes of the past.

In all fairness you didnt really have to say a name because that part is implied since dan is the current "leader" of bitshares. And yes...bitshares has made mistakes.  But as for the community...i think we have one of the most active in crypto.  That is why im trying to get you to realize the value proposition of sharing with those who join a hangout with you.  I mean the simple fact that you want a hangout tells me the community IS very valuable and you recognize how valuable it currently is.  Otherwise you would be talking to and asking for a hangout with another community, and would leave us off your list :P
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Offline DMo09

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2015, 11:59:05 am »
Hi Charles,

Great interview... on your end.  I did not care for the interviewer or the production quality.  I would cringe whenever the interviewer spoke, and would have to turn up the volume and listen closely when you would speak. 

Also,  can you offer any constructive criticism to the Bts project?  Advise?  Help in any way?  Will you participate in the referral program?  Do you own any Bitshares?  If so, wouldn't it be in your interest to grow the value of those shares? 

I would have liked for you to speak highly of Bts in your interview.  I'm not saying it's your job to promote it, nor to bend sideways just to talk about it, but if you are a friend to the project  then you could have used at least one breath to praise how Bts is the most advanced crypto project in the world (or am I wrong on this?).

Thank you for your contributions to this space and I wish you the best on your ventures!

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2015, 12:05:57 pm »
Also,  can you offer any constructive criticism to the Bts project?  Advise?

Yes, I would love to hear it, too.
Actually, your criticism (provided it's constructive) is worth much more for me than potential praise.

Offline DMo09

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2015, 03:03:11 pm »
Also,  can you offer any constructive criticism to the Bts project?  Advise?

Yes, I would love to hear it, too.
Actually, your criticism (provided it's constructive) is worth much more for me than potential praise.

Agreed. Constructive criticism is more valuable internally. But being cast in good light is more important during an interview IMO.

IOHKCharles

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2015, 09:51:20 pm »
Quote
Also,  can you offer any constructive criticism to the Bts project?  Advise?  Help in any way?  Will you participate in the referral program?  Do you own any Bitshares?  If so, wouldn't it be in your interest to grow the value of those shares? 

When I left the project, I wasn't given any incentive for further participation. Over time I did provide some advice such as the need for smart contracts to fully realize DACs and also some comments on consensus issues, but my biggest concern has always been academic in nature. The concept of building a value stable currency is incredibly compelling and deserves proper modeling and research. Despite raising millions of dollars, the Bitshares project never retained any talent capable of formal modeling of BitUSD and other mechanics and discussing it in a game theoretical or systems theory perspective.

There certainly are critics on the lack of development methodology or test driven development, the physical location of Bitshares development in Blacksburg, VA (chosen for convenience to the founders rather than location of talent), the idiocy seeking to spend all the Angelshares funds rather than conserve them to avoid end of year taxes (why didn't you found a holding company in a jurisdiction with no taxes?). But there really isn't anything that can be done for prior mistakes. You just have to move forward.

If I had to offer any advice, then I'd strongly recommend examining the project from three perspectives. One is technological. One is from an adoption viewpoint. One is from a project management perspective. In terms of technology, bold claims need to be documented and properly communicated. Bitshares is notorious for saying things and having nothing to back them up outside of trust the developers to build it. Demos, source code and whitepapers really go a long way and it requires a lot of foresight. These systems are in the category of mission critical software, not lean agile systems. You're not shipping a cell phone app. You're shipping the Mars Rover. Once you launch it, super hard to change it. So plan ahead and have lots of conversations about how things ought to be done.

In respect to community building, Fuzzy and others have done a good job working hard, but you need to think about the core mission, values and goals of the project (MVG) and distill them to a single 1-2 page handout. Then ask ok, who will be most receptive to our MVG? Meetup groups are wonderful relays and pay enormous dividends for the investment it takes to bootstrap them. Conferences have the absolute lowest RoI. Also you're really not going to win the Bitcoin community. Ignore them and move on to different cliques that have a lot more bang for your buck. Make Bitshares the entry point for someone in cryptocurrency.

In respect to that point, it's really about ease of use and overall experiences. In what ways do you imagine people are going to use Bitshares? Who are natural platform partners? Bitshares 2 is taking a very big pivot it seems to the enterprise market and there is definitely money to be made there, but let's be clear that it comes at a terrible price. Enterprises have AML/KYC requirements and also have to play nice with governments. Ripple Labs learned this the hard way. Thus there will be a likely strong demand for increasing the level of attribution on Bitshares transactions as has happened with Ripple. You simply cannot avoid this pressure because your consensus system uses a federated topology via delegates. They will not be distributed enough in practice to avoid pressure. Second, exchanges using the tech HAVE NO CHOICE but to comply or go to jail.

So the takeaway along these thoughts are that different groups have different needs and it's impossible to satisfy them all. Bitshares has to decide if it's a consumer product or an enterprise product. Understand your community accordingly.

As for project management, best practices include using Scrum with test or behavior driven development, rapid 2-4 week releases with a QA testing phase, some sort of CI process and a dedicated infosec expert involved in the releases. The common CC model is having a testnet and a mainnet. I would strongly collaborate with Blockstream to build a sidechain between the testchain and the mainchain. They are entering your space, a partnership serves a proactive nullifying role as much as it does a technological benefit of having a robust test chain ecosystem. The choice of C++ as the primary language is really bad. From my experience with Ethereum, Go turned out to be a wonderful ecosystem to work in and it was easier to find open minded talent. Elixir is also promising as the hyperledger guys found out.

In all honestly about languages however, frankly Bitshares would work a lot better being built in something like Java or on the .Net platform. Its really about can I find great talent, are there wonderful tools to work with, is this code going to be easy to manage and update, can I avoid technical debt better in this ecosystem? If I'm doing rapid prototyping, I love python. If I'm building mission critical systems, then I need to significantly reduce the things I have control over to as small as a set as possible and leave the rest to predictable and well vetted behavior. It means you need strong typing, great testing tools, automated memory management, certainly compiled alongside access to certain DSLs that can facilitate specialized testing methodologies. For example Coq proofs are great for modelling consensus and can be written in the JVM ecosystem via Coq->Scala->JVM. .Net has a great family of cryptography verification toolkits written by Dr. Blanchet. While a lot of good crypto code was written by Wei Dai in crypto++ as C++ code, it's important to understand he's a world famous cryptographer, the Bitshares developers are not. If you have to customize things, then do it in a sandbox that holds your hand.

 The last points are examples of philosophical differences. Reasonable people can disagree with me. But the lack of formalism for concepts like BitUSD and also utter lack of documentation for pretty much every piece of the protocol are not excusable as a philosophical disagreement. It's laziness or incompetence. Your community is making extraordinary claims about things. They have to be backed up with theory and code. You will not get respect until that's done.
   

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2015, 03:08:40 am »
Quote
Also,  can you offer any constructive criticism to the Bts project?  Advise?  Help in any way?  Will you participate in the referral program?  Do you own any Bitshares?  If so, wouldn't it be in your interest to grow the value of those shares? 

When I left the project, I wasn't given any incentive for further participation. Over time I did provide some advice such as the need for smart contracts to fully realize DACs and also some comments on consensus issues, but my biggest concern has always been academic in nature. The concept of building a value stable currency is incredibly compelling and deserves proper modeling and research. Despite raising millions of dollars, the Bitshares project never retained any talent capable of formal modeling of BitUSD and other mechanics and discussing it in a game theoretical or systems theory perspective.

There certainly are critics on the lack of development methodology or test driven development, the physical location of Bitshares development in Blacksburg, VA (chosen for convenience to the founders rather than location of talent), the idiocy seeking to spend all the Angelshares funds rather than conserve them to avoid end of year taxes (why didn't you found a holding company in a jurisdiction with no taxes?). But there really isn't anything that can be done for prior mistakes. You just have to move forward.

If I had to offer any advice, then I'd strongly recommend examining the project from three perspectives. One is technological. One is from an adoption viewpoint. One is from a project management perspective. In terms of technology, bold claims need to be documented and properly communicated. Bitshares is notorious for saying things and having nothing to back them up outside of trust the developers to build it. Demos, source code and whitepapers really go a long way and it requires a lot of foresight. These systems are in the category of mission critical software, not lean agile systems. You're not shipping a cell phone app. You're shipping the Mars Rover. Once you launch it, super hard to change it. So plan ahead and have lots of conversations about how things ought to be done.

In respect to community building, Fuzzy and others have done a good job working hard, but you need to think about the core mission, values and goals of the project (MVG) and distill them to a single 1-2 page handout. Then ask ok, who will be most receptive to our MVG? Meetup groups are wonderful relays and pay enormous dividends for the investment it takes to bootstrap them. Conferences have the absolute lowest RoI. Also you're really not going to win the Bitcoin community. Ignore them and move on to different cliques that have a lot more bang for your buck. Make Bitshares the entry point for someone in cryptocurrency.

In respect to that point, it's really about ease of use and overall experiences. In what ways do you imagine people are going to use Bitshares? Who are natural platform partners? Bitshares 2 is taking a very big pivot it seems to the enterprise market and there is definitely money to be made there, but let's be clear that it comes at a terrible price. Enterprises have AML/KYC requirements and also have to play nice with governments. Ripple Labs learned this the hard way. Thus there will be a likely strong demand for increasing the level of attribution on Bitshares transactions as has happened with Ripple. You simply cannot avoid this pressure because your consensus system uses a federated topology via delegates. They will not be distributed enough in practice to avoid pressure. Second, exchanges using the tech HAVE NO CHOICE but to comply or go to jail.

So the takeaway along these thoughts are that different groups have different needs and it's impossible to satisfy them all. Bitshares has to decide if it's a consumer product or an enterprise product. Understand your community accordingly.

As for project management, best practices include using Scrum with test or behavior driven development, rapid 2-4 week releases with a QA testing phase, some sort of CI process and a dedicated infosec expert involved in the releases. The common CC model is having a testnet and a mainnet. I would strongly collaborate with Blockstream to build a sidechain between the testchain and the mainchain. They are entering your space, a partnership serves a proactive nullifying role as much as it does a technological benefit of having a robust test chain ecosystem. The choice of C++ as the primary language is really bad. From my experience with Ethereum, Go turned out to be a wonderful ecosystem to work in and it was easier to find open minded talent. Elixir is also promising as the hyperledger guys found out.

In all honestly about languages however, frankly Bitshares would work a lot better being built in something like Java or on the .Net platform. Its really about can I find great talent, are there wonderful tools to work with, is this code going to be easy to manage and update, can I avoid technical debt better in this ecosystem? If I'm doing rapid prototyping, I love python. If I'm building mission critical systems, then I need to significantly reduce the things I have control over to as small as a set as possible and leave the rest to predictable and well vetted behavior. It means you need strong typing, great testing tools, automated memory management, certainly compiled alongside access to certain DSLs that can facilitate specialized testing methodologies. For example Coq proofs are great for modelling consensus and can be written in the JVM ecosystem via Coq->Scala->JVM. .Net has a great family of cryptography verification toolkits written by Dr. Blanchet. While a lot of good crypto code was written by Wei Dai in crypto++ as C++ code, it's important to understand he's a world famous cryptographer, the Bitshares developers are not. If you have to customize things, then do it in a sandbox that holds your hand.

 The last points are examples of philosophical differences. Reasonable people can disagree with me. But the lack of formalism for concepts like BitUSD and also utter lack of documentation for pretty much every piece of the protocol are not excusable as a philosophical disagreement. It's laziness or incompetence. Your community is making extraordinary claims about things. They have to be backed up with theory and code. You will not get respect until that's done.
   
Ghis, this, this and this .. though I can't tell about the choice for C++. I dont think the amount of experienced devs in C++ is smaller than for Go.

Also, the documentation of code improved massively.
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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2015, 03:38:23 am »
Quote
Ghis, this, this and this .. though I can't tell about the choice for C++. I dont think the amount of experienced devs in C++ is smaller than for Go.

Also, the documentation of code improved massively.

Glad to hear it. I haven't honestly invested much time in bitshares 2 nor much about the development side of the project since Toast left. Things could be much better.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 03:50:34 am by IOHKCharles »

Offline Method-X

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2015, 04:16:08 am »
@IOHKCharles Maybe you should campaign as a proxy voter. I mean, assuming you still have any BTS. It would be a powerful statement.

IOHKCharles

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2015, 04:22:47 am »
Method if I wanted to get involved in BTS, I'd rebuild protoshares and do a sharedrop to a competing chain for a new bitshares. I have no desire to get involved in the current structure.

jakub

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Re: My interview on XCP Weekly About the Entire Cryptocurrency Space
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2015, 08:51:02 am »
The choice of C++ as the primary language is really bad. From my experience with Ethereum, Go turned out to be a wonderful ecosystem to work in and it was easier to find open minded talent. Elixir is also promising as the hyperledger guys found out.

In all honestly about languages however, frankly Bitshares would work a lot better being built in something like Java or on the .Net platform. Its really about can I find great talent, are there wonderful tools to work with, is this code going to be easy to manage and update, can I avoid technical debt better in this ecosystem? If I'm doing rapid prototyping, I love python. If I'm building mission critical systems, then I need to significantly reduce the things I have control over to as small as a set as possible and leave the rest to predictable and well vetted behavior. It means you need strong typing, great testing tools, automated memory management, certainly compiled alongside access to certain DSLs that can facilitate specialized testing methodologies. For example Coq proofs are great for modelling consensus and can be written in the JVM ecosystem via Coq->Scala->JVM. .Net has a great family of cryptography verification toolkits written by Dr. Blanchet. While a lot of good crypto code was written by Wei Dai in crypto++ as C++ code, it's important to understand he's a world famous cryptographer, the Bitshares developers are not. If you have to customize things, then do it in a sandbox that holds your hand.
The rest of your points are pretty solid but I wouldn't agree with the one regarding the choice of programming platform.
We are not lacking talent and innovation on the back-end. Quite the opposite, we are struggling to utilize what we already have.

But what we've always been desperately lacking is proper UI implementation to make practical use of the back-end stuff.
And this fortunately has been solved in Graphene by using a solid react.js platform, which is now very open to being expanded by third-party developers.