Episode Notes

In this Episode, I chat with Igor Mandrigin, CTO at gateway.fm, a blockchain infrastructure company.

We discuss how Igor defines blockchain, its practical applications, Layer 1 and Layer 2, the various consensus mechanisms (and I learned there was another one besides proof of work and proof of stake). We also talked about why he doesn't want to live in the metaverse, how he went from blockchain-skeptic to believer, and what he and his team at gateway.fm are building. Past

Links from this Episode

Igor's Recommended Resources

Social Media

Episode Transcript

disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate, comical transcription errors amongst others)

Igor: And people we're hiding in this metaphors because their real life sucks and the planet was destroyed and stuff like this. I don't like this.

Laide: Welcome to the first episode of on chain medley. That was eager. Men Regan Igor is the CTO at gateway.fm, a blockchain infrastructure company that makes it efficient for companies to access and connect to the blockchain without doing all the heavy-lifting themselves. iGrow has deep technical expertise starting his career as a security engineer before making the switch in 2017 to blockchain researcher and engineer. In this episode, we discuss how Igor defines blockchain its practical applications, layer one, and layer two, the various consensus mechanisms, and actually learned there was another one besides proof of work and proof of stake. We also talked about why he doesn't want to live in the metaverse.

How he went from blockchain skeptic to believer. And what he and his team at gateway of building, as you soon learn Igor is very knowledgeable and insightful. And what I love the most is that he doesn't view blockchain through rose colored glasses. And he's actually quite thoughtful about the various changes and developments in this space.

I learned quite a bit. I know show you all too, without further ado. Here's Igor. Hi, how you doing?

Igor: Hey, I'm good.How are you?

Laide: I'm doing well. Thank you.

I thank you for being our first guest on the Onchain Medley podcast. I'm excited to talk to you today about blockchain.

Igor: Yeah, thanks for having me,

Laide: of course.

But before we dive deeper here, I wanted to talk a little bit about your background and how you found your way into.

Igor: Yeah, sure. Some background is in technology like as an engineer it's all stars it's I dunno,15, 16 years ago or something like this and all in all. Yeah. In a lots of different areas, like starting from informational security then into like internet Stephanie before Skype and zoom and things like that.

Then after that a little bit in the games for little kids, like that's supposed to educate them, what's working on mobile, most mobile browsers, like in opera one of the big browser companies and then. Was doing some FinTech products for African market. And after that, just out of basically almost accidentally, I stumbled into, into the blockchain.

And that was just to be completely honest. I, I heard about it.Like, I didn't really. Take it seriously that much. But at some point I was really, really into working remotely. And unfortunately in like traditionalFinTech or traditional companies is 3g and the majority of companies who we're hiring remotely or like blockchain companies.

So. Just because of that. I got into this area and then I got more and more excited as I started very skeptical, like in 2017. I think it was about it. And then I grew more and more excited about the, the tech, the use cases it allows and things like that, and never looked back since. So, I mean, blockchain from.

Like end of 2017 full time, more or less as a, as an engineer then as a Engineering co-leader and now as a startup founder, so was pretty deep into the blockchain sec. A couple of years ago regarding like notes development and the little bit like a core protocol development and blockchain.

I was working on one of the notes there on the high-performance notes called Aragon back then it was called turbo. Yes. And right now we are building our own startup. That's essentially hosting their distributed blockchain infrastructure. Not really decentralized, but like distributed andlike run professionally because that's, that's basically where my background was before about making service.

Laide: Awesome. Thank you for explaining that. That's really good to hear some of your background. I want to dive deeper into some of the things you said but before we do that, I want to understand how do you define blockchain? You know, I've heard some people say that it's the new internet.

I've heard that it's an extension of the internet. I've heard,it's a missing part of the internet. I've heard it's a computing platform. Likehow do you define blockchain and how should we think about.

Igor: Well it's I think the missing part for me out of all the options. This is the one that resonates with me more because initially when the internet was invented, it was all about this kind of a freedom of doing anything for free and stuff like this.

So it was completely on non-financially. How to say there, there was no mention finances everywhere. And so for the hope that everything will just work out by itself. As we see right now, it's open to lots of opportunities, but this kind of commercial part is still missing. So what blockchain does for the internet specifically?

It allows for like a, basically, like if you look at the internet, right. You see that a lot of these free services they actually, you pay with your data or some kind of a, I don't know, even like predatory, like ad targeting and things like this. But what the blockchain does, it essentially provides a built in payment mechanism for a lot of the things, or if we're talking like cryptocurrency specifically, and then essentially it's more to some extent, real, real life.

Scenario, when, when you get services, you kind of have to pay for them in one way or another, right? Because people wants to, to put food on their table and, and stuff like this. But also if we look at blockchain more broadly, it's just the technology that. Allows for multiple, multiple parties who don't treat it fully trust each other to still work together using math instead of trust kind of, and contracts agreements.

So basically it replaces some of the trust assumptions that you have for instance, with your bank or with your. Like sharp or something with an actual provable mathematical things. And that's where it gets maybe even more use cases than just cryptocurrencies, because cryptocurrency is just one use case of the blockchain.

And a lot of the blockchains have cryptocurrencies anyway, because that's the way you pay for using the blockchain. That's the way youpay for those people who run those, who, who protect the system, who create new blocks would give the separational. But all in all, you don't have to your usecase, doesn't have to be a monetary exchange of this blockchain.

You essentially can do a lot of the things that requires multiple companies that don't really trust each other.

Laide: That makes  sense. So you mentioned something that, that was interesting. You said, you know, a lot of blockchains that is true, they do have their own sort of cryptocurrencies. Do you think that that's sort of always going to be the case?

So if you have a blockchain, you have to have a cryptocurrency for you to take advantage of that blockchain or, or do you think that there's like two separate things or are they one at the same?

Igor: I think right now it's a very. Like with the current market, it's kind of commercially makes sense to have a cryptocurrency, but I definitely can see that for some bigger enterprise use cases or something like this, you don't really need to have a currency connected to the blockchain.

So as a result, since the blockchain is the power of the blockchain is essentially that there is no single party who can control. All right. So then that means that let's say, if you can get in like the enterprise use case where you want to, you don't really trust exactly the supplier of the parts that you're buying, and then you are working with somebody else.

And then, you know, you have like four or five parties together to build some kind of a, let's say, I dunno, a car or something, a physical products, our mobile phone and a. Since you want to make sure that they don't kind of a metal with with numbers and don't report wrong numbers in the warehouse and stuff.

You can validate this forced them to do commitment to the blockchain. And it could be like a private blockchain, which is important that if it's private, that it shouldn't be controlled by a single company, it should be controlled by multiple companies. But in these use cases, if, if there's, let's say a consortium of companies who are on its own blockchain for subsidiaries and whatnot, I don't see why they need cryptocurrency for that.

But if it's a public blockchain, that's, everybody can use then cryptocurrency is necessary because otherwise, how would you incentivize people to like buy servers and run nodes and like validate things, let's say validating the blockchain or keeping it secure. So it's you need money for that. And that's why it's like a lot of the actual blockchains or all of the public blockchains.

They come with a crypto built-in. Okay.

Laide: That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for shedding. Some light on that. I really liked how you define blockchain as allowing multiple parties who not necessarily might trust each other to be able to sort of communicate and maybe do business together or just collaborate together.

And I know cryptocurrencies is sort of one of the main applications of the blockchain, but I'm curious how you see other applications in the future.

Igor: Well I'm not a futurist, so it's very hard for me to invent something that doesn't exist yet. But like some of the cases that I definitely see like a bar from like transferring value here, and there is definitely the things where you need toprove that the data states untampered.

So like your medical records history. So using in bulk training, when the public blockchain. Makeup provably. Basically you can make us a software. That's. Show the prove that your medical data was never tampered with, because what the blockchain is very good at is a tamper proofing. So nobody can go back in time and rewrite some history.

So all the things that are related, where the history is very important, that's, that's a very good use case for the blockchain. The next thing that could be really interesting. And we see right now with like the first use case of an was obviously for. Like music and I don't know, pictures and stuff like this, a content creators, but also the initial use case for anFt, like that was sought about way back when was more of a like property rights.

So that's why you can't. Fungible home or something, you only have like one home to sell and then you like selling so rights for the property or it could be the property in real life or in some kind of a, I don't like this word was like metaverse. Well, but you know what,

Laide: why don't you like the metaverse? Just curious.

Igor: No, but it's a, you know, there's this book called snow crash where it's actually came from.And I relatively recently read it. Like, I was very late to this trend because it's kind of a scifi classic and I read it just maybe a year ago or something,and this was quite a dystopian book and that's where this.

Comes from, and people were hiding in this metaphors because their real life sucks and the planet was destroyed and stuff like this. I don't like this. So maybe because I read this book,

no,

Laide: you're right.It is definitely a scary for all going into metaverse to hide from our real lives. I think, I think that's a very scary reality, but unfortunately in may be the reality in the future, but we'll see how we all navigate and manage.

Igor: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Laide: Same here.Same here. But I'm intrigued by what this metaverse thing is and see what, what that entails for sure. All right. You know, there are different types of blockchain, you know, you hear about Bitcoin near body theory. I'm always just curious, like, why are there so many, I know the point, you know, is, was sort of like turing incomplete, you know, it wasn't your incomplete, so you couldn't really do loops and smart contracts.

Although I think there's a new update now that allows for smart contracts to be on Bitcoin. But I'm just curious though, like how do you see those sort of different blockchains that out in the market? What's the value of having so many and will one eventually be the winner or will they all continue to coexist?

Igor: Well, first of all, like just to be like very, very clear, I think building a blockchain, it's a. Kind of a high-risk high-reward game right now, because if you will be a winner in the future, the rewards for your group of people who initially invested in it, it will be like huge. That's why everybody's trying to billable chance, right.

To make it the mainstream. Because again, the rewards are huge and if you have some money to spare on building it, and some people have a lot of money to spare That's that's so for some chains, it was quite, quite lucrative thing financially. But all in all, no, blockchain is perfect. And right now it's a huge, like Cambrian explosion in like experimentation with different blockchain fundamental parts.

So Bitcoin was the first one who's essentially invented a cryptocurrency. And the main thing about Bitcoin was essentially this trusttess. So you have minors who have economics mechanisms about not having to trust any kind of institutions or any kind of companies to run this thing. Andof course it was a sort of response to the.

World financial crisis of 2008. Right. But then it turns out that's the other guy who was like Metallica Sarah, and he felt that's okay. We can add because there was some little scripting language, but I guess he was abit frustrated with the limitations of the scripting language and all in allwith them.

Attitudes, which is like a perfect word. I'm not criticizingBitcoin and people at all, but they are very conservative and brings their own trade trade-offs with strengths and weaknesses. So it takes forever for any change to land in Bitcoin. But on the other end, They will like to not screw it up when they release it.

Right. So, so it's a bit more conservative approach, a bit more kind of a safe. And Vitalik Buterin, I guess, was also frustrated with, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I think he was frustrated about like both not being able to, to do something cooler with scripts. And also not being ableto improve this part because, because of the conservative nature of that platform.

And then he came up with the idea that, okay, everybody should run smart contracts and this kind of a world computer idea. So there is a computer you can execute code there and then we'll call it smart contracts because they were supposed to change. Like the legal system more or less, that's what they were targeting.

And but then we see that. Involved in something into something else into like another kind of types of software that's running on the blockchain. And then we see that at some point, okay. We want to real decentralized file storage. And that's where let's say IPFS came from, which is not really a blockchain, but very tangentially related thing.

And they created some other primitives that works then let's say right now we know that's the biggest issue with the blockchains is that their throughput and that's where like salami. Was developed I think with the throughput in mind they, because one very strong idea of them in blockchain that's the normal user should be able to run a node on their own.

Like on the consumer grade laptop, as, as I mentioned it, but Solana just threw this thing out of the window until, you know, we want to, I don't know, a thousand or 400 transactions per second, a thousand transactions per second or something like this, but we don't care about the hardware limitations. So that means that Solana notes.

Extremely heavy and you need to have a real, really, really powerful computer surround them. But on the other hand, they provide like a much higher throughput. On the other hand, with the Ethereum, they decided togo with this kind of a layered approach when you have a so-called layer two solution and they call the main one is

Laide: What is layer two.

Just so

Igor: Basically the core blockchain it's called layer one essentially in this terminology because that's the, the thing that's getting secure, everything is getting settled there. It's kind of a settlement player. If you, if you know, a little bit of aFinTech terminology, but what layer two does is a little bit similar to like how, when you pay with a credit card, A very small amounts.

It doesn't really do a transaction towards MasterCard or visa immediately. What it does is collect a couple of, he just basically trusts you that you have enough money on the cards or something. And it makes us some kind of a light, a light

checks, but without bothering MasterCard or visa servers, and then.

After some time, it just takes multiple of this light transactions and then reconciles them on the core visa or MasterCard service to layer two. That's the same for Ethereum. When a, you essentially do a transaction on layers. And it's happens with some kind of a protection mechanism. Like either it could be like this fraud proofs from optimistic roll-ups, or let's say zero knowledge proofs for zero labs or something else.

And then every now and then they just take all those transactions and sort of settle. As one, one big transaction on two layer, one on, I assume that means you can have like up to maybe a 60 or 600 or maybe a thousand transactions that essentially will be a single transaction on layerone. That's where you are mostly having the same security as layer one because you anyways, settle those transactions from layer one.

But you can have either way cheaper or faster transactions and there are different layer, two solutions, some peak. Cheap, some big, fast options. Some it's usage, a little bit of a trade-off because to preserve security you, you want to. If you want to go with the fast settlements, you probably still will pay a lot, but if you want to reduce like transaction fees and you're ready to wait for like up to an hour for your transaction to settle, which is not an outrageous time to be honest then again, layer to help helps a lot.

So they, what they take could just take a lot of transactions and kind of squish them into one. And and then by the day there's only one.

That

Laide: makes sense.So, I mean, you mentioned, you know, like obviously the transactions still need to be better. better for blockchain. And you mentioned, you know, 6,000transactions per second. That's great. But it's still kind of, so when you think about visa, what do you think needs to change for blockchain to

Igor: scale?

I mean, there's a lot of research happening because what blockchain doesn't once we give up is it doesn't want to give up the decentralization and it doesn't want to do it. You have the security that it brings. So. I kind of trust more in the layer, the approach. So there are some specific solutions at scale, and there are some specific solutions that are made slower, but more secure.

And it's similar again to what visa does all in all. ButBecause so far I see with the current research, because there is also a lot ofresearch around, like, let's say the zero knowledge proofs and yada yada, yada, which are also can be used for scaling like of the blockchains, just yeah. For,for some deep technical reasons that I don't want to get into right now, but all in all.

To not to give up the trade-offs and to be able to run nodes across the globe and to have like resilient system. I think the layeredapproach right now is the most convincing to me, maybe for a small. So it's similar to like Bitcoin enlightened networks on the Bitcoin. And then of courseI see. And all the layer, two solutions or, or side chains or.

That's all right.

Laide: So then are you saying then, like, we'll always have to have a trade off between like security and scalability in the, in the near term, is that. I should sort of think about that.

Igor: If we're talking about like decentralized security then yes. Because so far, because again, there, there could be some breakthrough in, in some algorithms or in some methods X, because also people are working on this and but all in all, you still need to, if you've taken the transaction, that needs to be like edit.

This transaction first from your computer need to somehow get to a validator or a minor or something like this. This validate or minor needs to be like included in the block to all the things that are needed to secure this block and then send it for, for the other nodes to check. And then this other nodes needs to like go separate to the other.

So as long as. So it's also, it's many steps. If you compare it to just a normal bank transaction, when you just connect to the database directly, like, and that's it. So that's, that's way more time spent, especially if the parties are not fully trusting each other in the blockchain setup. And that's the whole point.

There is a lot of additional checks everywhere. So there is just way more work to propagate your transaction in the blockchain. That in a traditional financial thing. So I think that there is a trade off. I think even with Solano, there was an issue with, with distributing nodes around the globe, because just a speed of flight, wasn't fast enough to transition or actually the speed of the internet.

Wasn't fast enough to transition, like like the, this amount of data across the nodes. Maybe there's also this thing about sharding and like beacon chain approach one day. Blockchain is split into, into different subchains. And then there is one main chain, but it's also like layered approach.So you have a main chain.

That's a that's maybe it's slow. It's very decentralized. It's very safe. And then you have different. Like Charlotte's on top of it that are,could be faster, could be cheaper, could be even something else, like, but then they all in all day consult this main chain or reconcile things on this mainchain.

So yeah, that, that's where you can probably reach quite a lot of like transactions per second.

Laide: Yeah.

So it sounds to me like to a certain degree, we are limited by physics at a certain point

Igor: or by like some mass that we don't know yet. Okay.

Laide: That's fair.That's fair. What are the terms I heard you mentioned and phrases, you'd mentioned a couple of times with zero knowledge proof.

Can you just explain for the audience, what is zero knowledge proof, and why is that powerful? In the blockchain technology space.

Igor: Yeah. So in a very, very like layman's terms, what zero knowledge proof does is it allows, it allows you to prove some data or prove that something happened without disclosing unnecessary details about, about that something happens has happened.

So, so basically what. Blockchain specific use cases. It could be, for instance, it's approved that the smart contract was executed and that,that was the result of smart contracts execution. Without asking everybody to execute the smart contract to, to validate the result, because what right nowhappens is essentially a smart contract is, gets executed on every note.

Every time that transaction happens and. Compared to the results of what came from the net network. And what's what's the local results are so zero-knowledge proof essentially allows to skip this process. And instead of that, adding some, some bit of like a signature, but some specific digital, yeah.

You can call it like a digital signature or a digital proof to that transaction. That's kind of a pre. What, what we're sensing is the result of this transaction. And that's basically mathematically, mathematically provable. So yeah, that's a rough need. If you go into the details. It's I don't think it's easy to explain in just audio, but all in

Laide: all.

Yeah, I know. Yeah. I've read a little bit about it. It sounds interesting, but also very complicated at the same time. It

Igor: is. That's why it's a little bit scary, like zero knowledge scanner solutions for. That's our in any way in every way, except. That they bring this unknown risks because you,

Laide: yeah. And so then just to thing has a little bit more just thinking through like consensus mechanisms you know, there's proof of stake in this proof of work.

Bitcoin is proof of work, any serum and all the other blockchains are going by proof of stake. I'm just curious how you, how you think about that.

Igor: There is at least one more major one that's is there is called proof of authority, which is also very useful pen. Some chains are using that, but yeah, let's go with like just a short explanation about each one.

Okay. So the proof of work is essentially. If you add some data to the book that is, you know, that's like hard to compute, but very easy to check that it was computers correctly. And in the case of a proof of work algorithm, it's like adding like a hash to, to a book or in a special also adding a special data to a blog that makes it happen.

Follow certain rules. And the only way you can add it is by guessing it randomly. So, you know, we need to have a lot of tries to like to get this thing correctly. That's the proof of work, and that means that's a to create a block minors or something. They need to spend a considerable amount of electricity and it will be very easy for everybody to figure out if they are.

Because there's, this thing has checked where it isn't it. So they, they essentially are risking. Basically their electricity costs for nothing because that's all every consensus algorithm in there. It's basically it provides some kind of a penalty and incentivization towards the one who produces blocks because without incentivization or would produce books and without a penalty, people will try to cheat.

So the proof of work does it by that's this penalty by your electricity bills. Essentially, if you, if you're talking about proof of stake,Well, maybe a proof of authority is a little bit simpler. If you're talking about proof of authority, there is no this fantasy mass about no, not offensive, but like hashes or something like in proof of work.

So you don't need to calculate that much. But what you're risking is your reputation. So profile stories and networks are usually wheneverybody who validates network is publicly. And they have some kind of reputation.So let's say for the test networks on Ethereum, those are usually they, theykind of a popular, or like well-known community members.

And basically since they're validating this thinking to open and everybody knows who exactly, but it is it. So this thing basically theirreputation is what's what's, it costs there if they start cheating or something. And then the last one is a proof of stake and that's what. Youbasically take proof of authority, but make it anonymous.

And of course there is no reputation in anonymous network, so you need to replace it with something else and you replace it with actual monetary like punishment. So to, to participate, let's say in a few on proof of stake network in these two proof of tech network you need to take 32. Which is at $4,000 per Eth.

It's not an inconsiderate amount, right? And then if you start cheating, you will lose this money eventually dependent on how badly you cheat.You will either lose this money little by little, or you lose like a lot. So, and that's where the proof of stake is kind of a good, because it's way more energy efficient.

But of course, what proof of stake requires is that. The minor that you stay cause actually, or the tokens that you stake is actually force something. So your, a risk, a risk is like somehow it's not insignificant.Right. So, so that's why, that's how you trying to behave like nicely. That's that's basically the story.

And I think for the proof of work and proof of stake specifically, They're difficult for the new chains. I would say they knew they launched blockchains. They could be very much a vulnerable Monday use proof of work, proof of stake just because there is not enough people or running thisthing. Or for instance that the token or the cryptocurrency that you stake in proof of stake, it just doesn't, it's not worth enough for the punishment to belike real punishment in case when you misbehave.

So you can misbehave and basically have nothing. So that's why, again, for the new news, I think a proof of authority then move into proof ofstatus, kind of the smart move, because you first put the reputation at stake.And then you put money at stake. As soon as the chain war is worse.

Laide: Interesting.So are you saying it's going to, like you mentioned before with authority then prefer stakes.

Are you saying it should be a layered approach? No. I think

Igor: just with time you can replace the proof of authority to propose the gotcha. On the other hand there is, of course the, the thought that's, if your blockchain is not towards much, then nobody will try to hack it because it doesn't follow your token.

Like nobody cares about, so there's also, it's taken into consideration, but I think proof of work was the first one. And I suppose like clinking the blockchain to the real world, which is good too, but it's like really bad for environment and whatnot. So I think that no new chains will do proof of work right now.

It's it has a bad rap. And yeah, it's actually like just a lot of electricity wasted a few months.

Laide: Yeah, it's not very efficient. Can you give an example of proof of authority? Like, is there a major blockchain out there right now that uses proof of authority or is it's still all very new? I think

Igor: proof of authority.

I don't think that the major like blockchain blockchain is using, but it's very popular with Elliott layer, two solutions and side chains.So for instance, or a test test networks for instance, like the test network and sometimes there is a mixture of course of proof, authority, and proof of stake.

When you both. Tell your like Creole name or your company name and also stake money. So it kind of can lose both. But I think like for pure proof of authority, there is there are most of the tests nets on. Like and what's it . Yes. And then this mix proof of stake slash proof of authority is very popular.

Like there's eggs die side chain. There is like polygon of course Yeah, there are some others. I'm not sure. You're probably like buying and smart chain is also using some mixture of proof of authority and proof of stake because they were very well mixed together.

Laide: Yeah. Just real quick question on that. Yeah. Just given that, you know, you're saying we have to know who the people are behind the machines behind that, like, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of like the blockchain, allowing, you know, anonymous identities. How do I process

Igor: all that? Yeah,but it's also, I mean, that's only the ones who produce blocks that are not anonymous.

Of course it's like, it's contributes a little bit, but in another, another habit you still can have like just a. Some internet personalities, nobody asks you to upload your passport or something to the snap. It's more or less you prove that you maybe own this domain name. Like if you're a company and then just put a domain name in there and then say things like that.

So it's, it's still like a, it's a little bit KYC, but it's a very light KYC. But on the other hand, this thing that's making everything completely. Like anonymous completely like four on all the parties. It's it hasits own challenges. So that's just a way around. It's a little bit like, again, especially for the chains that are not the core blockchain layer.

Once it's a, it's a good option.

Laide: It makes  sense. No,thank you for sharing all that. That's very interesting and insightful stuff.So just shifting gears a little bit more now to your startup called gateway.fm,can you share a little bit more about what gateway does FM does and your role in all that?

Igor: The CTO and co-founder in there, the technical co-founder and what we try to do right now, it's a very early stage startup.

So just so we just closed our seed round. Yeah. Thank you. So it's I think what's it like eight or nine months old. So what we're trying to do. Yeah. So what we're trying to do is to. Basically provide a reliable and distributed therapy, RPC services for like whoever wants to build on the blockchain because everybody knows that.

Blockchain kind of promises that, okay, you can run your own node and you can, of course, just not ask to not use anybody's services to actually access the blockchain. But the problem is right now, if you're building a blockchain application, you already have like a little. People to hire, or you need to know everything by yourself.

So you need to know like front-end to make a nice website for a nice UX for the people to interact with your blockchain. You need some backend, usually as well, or you need a smart contract on the chain. That's and it needs to be audited and stuff like this because that's one, a huge kind of part of logic utilizing smart contracts.

And then you also need to know essentially how to run notes and how to monitor them, how to recover them. I think it's like, that's going, unfortunately, that's not very easy. There's a lot of hassle and I know lots of developers, like a lot of developers, they even the relatively big ones, they just don't have enough resources or it just doesn't make financial sense to be honest, to, to run it.

Of course you want, if you want it just out of like the spirit of the blockchain kind of thing you can, but that's, that's a lot of expenses for you at once. First of all, because the machines that needs to run those models.Even in a professional environment, they need to be pretty, pretty beefy. And that's not even talking about something like Solano that's will not run on the consumer hardware at all.

And also they need to be monitored 24 7. And they need to best able. All these things makes a, the RPC services and the kind of infrastructure services on the blockchain in a big way. Very popular. There is we are not the first one who is doing this. There's lots of interesting services already on the market.

Where we are different is that we are trying to avoid using public cloud because what we see it as a little bit of a, one more risk to the blockchain, because like 90 ish percent of the nodes of the, of the Ethereum or another chains are in like AWS and similar providers. What we're trying to dois to actually lease servers around the globe and stuff like this, to be able to run it in a little bit more distributed way.

Laide: Gotcha. So you mentioned two terms there that I want you to just define for us. You said RPC and you mentioned node. What is an RPC and also what is a node?

Igor: So basically, yeah in blockchain Instead of like your normal client server architecture, when you have a single or couple of servers, and then you have a client in, in in the blockchain world everybody who's participating in is running and node in the network and it's called an old because all of them are kind of.

Right. So there is no like server that control client or something like this. They all talk to with a P2P networks. So if you run likeBitcoin core or you're on go with helium or you run whatever near core He's basically you run a special software that sings the blockchain on your computer. First of all, it's helps to also secure the network, like, because the more people seeing that, the better, and also it gives you RPC, which is acode is a thing called a remote procedure call.

But essentially it's a programming API that if you are a developer, you can use to access this blockchain. I mean, reading data from there and also sending transactions. Transactions to the blockchain. So let's say if you are having a wallet of any kind. So the wallet is, let's say, let's say like hardware, wallet, like ledger two, for instance if you have a ledger and a, you use it, that means.

Lecture, the company runs notes somewhere. The, your hardware device and your ledger life application is communicates to, to be able to send transactions to the blockchain and to actually read your transaction history. I don't know my career, some other things from the chain. So that's basically how it works.

And So to, to be able to read data from smart contracts, or like if you create an, a wallet or exchange or anything, you basically need torun those. You, if you don't have back-end, if you only have front-ends on in your application, on the blockchain, then you might not need it. But if youmake an anything, that's remotely complicated, you're stealing.

Okay.

Laide: And then justa one, some final questions here. And you had mentioned talking to my nose, you mentioned distributed nodes, and earlier you'd mentioned distributed blockchain versus decentralized blockchain just really quickly, like what's that distinction, like what is distributed versus decentralized and are there sort of related or are there two different.

Igor: Yeah. That's why I'm trying to pick words very carefully there. So what we are building specifically is is this distributed, but centralized because it's our company who runs those nodes after all. So it's centralized within our entity, but they're distributed across the globe. So there's like the worst case scenario.

For instance, if you are a PC services not distributed decentralized. That means it is basically in one geographical area and is all aroundone company. So what we are doing is kind of doing distributed, but not decentralized. And there are also projects who will offer you the infrastructure in a decentralized way.

Distribute and decentralized, but with them, like as usual, you still need people to run and monitor them them. So it's still kinda, I wouldn't say it. It's decentralized to a certain extent, let's put it like this. So the real decentralized would be for you to run your own nodes. But for that, you need to know how to run them again.

It's it's possible, but it just takes time and processes and people in the team.

Laide: So what you're saying is like everyone talks about blockchain and decentralization. So whatI'm hearing is that there is, unless you want to run your own nodes and do all that heavy lifting yourself, there really is not going to be like a truly dissension.

We have all of us access to the blockchain. Is that, is that what I'm hearing?

Igor: Yeah,but again, it's, it's like the internet when even though you are kind of, because whenever you have options, let's say you can pick this provider versus this provider and you will get access to the same internet. I think like even having like 10.

5 10, 20 different RPC providers, even though each one of these is centralized, but for you as a, as a customer, it's almost like decentralizeit legalization because you can pick up. Whichever and you still get access to the same blockchain. So it's not like a vendor local or anything. You can always jump from one to another.

You can use two at the same time, if you need like a lot of redundancy and whatnot. So it's still better than just some unique service. But so of course, if you want to do like a purely decentralized and yes, you need to run your own.

Laide: I see. Well, thank you, Igor. And then just final question for you. So earlier you had mentioned that, you know, you were sort of skeptical about blockchain and then you eventually sort of became a believer.

Just curious, like, what was it, if you can tell us in a few sentences, like what made you sort of change from skeptic to believer in this technology and.

Igor: I really liked a couple of things there. First of all, it's a, it's a one community that cares for like a privacy and like user data protection and kind of ownership of your,your data and your value that you have on things like this.

Also, the second thing is that there is so many good things related to Cryptography and informational security that have been developed in there which is like three theoretical and also the whole thing about just lowering the barrier of entry for making a financial services. I think it's also a very interesting use case and standardizing the financial services, because I remember when we were building FinTech, how there was some initiative from, I dunno, either European union or something like that.

For banks to provide like common API APIs. So you can basically run, create an aggregator for instance, for, for the bank loans or things likethat. And it was like a disaster essentially. And since blockchain brings a lotof standardization there. So whenever, I don't know if everybody uses more or less, like let's say for.

For transferring things or for interest rates or for things like this, they use the same blockchain. It's, it's opens it up for way more people. And it's opens it up for much faster innovation, which is I think very important, like in. 'cause I, I kind of believe in more progress. So solutions where a lot of things is more progress.

So I think what blockchain allows, if this, in the financial services that tend to be like very slow to. To move to actually make them move really fast. And that's what I've seen in the whole defy market. When I just joined the, this kind of a blockchain as a, as an engineer one of the blockchain projects, because there are so many experimentations and so many like innovation that happening there, just because there is not that much on the closed doors of like five big banks or something like this.

So that's, so of course allows for. Of course, it brings a lot of risks, obviously in scam and then things like this, and that's where blockchain got its reputation in, in some circles. But on the other hand, it's also brings a lot of innovation that's. You can't really have that. You can have this quick of the evolution, I think in the traditional financial.

Laide: Amazing. Wow.Thank you so much. I learned a lot from just talking to you. So for the rest of us who just want to learn some more, you know, do you have any recommended resources for the audience to learn more about, about blockchain technology and just stay updated?

Igor: Let me see if you were an engineer for instance, and you're interested in like at least Ethereum based because that's my more or less specialization.

Then there was a really, really good newsletter called this week in Ethereum. And the second newsletter is from the website called Ethhub. So those two are. To help you to be like on the edge bleeding edge of that, if you kind of base thing, if you want to have the more, like, a bigger picture around the landscape and just treat maybe less from the technical standpoint, but a little bit more from, I don't know, investments, or just a curious person kind of approach.

There is this company called Messari and they do. Reports every now and then some of them cost money. Some of them are free. Usually the quarterly and yearly reports are free. And those things I found like really, really good at like everything that happens in like decentralized finance in the Q3 of like 2000 and like 21 or something.

Those are usually really good. And they all, I found, at least even from the technical standpoint, the, the part that I actually understand they're very well factually based. So, so basically I think there's a very good quality. And if you want to get scared about the blockchain, there's this a website called R E K T and that's basically a sense of your newsletter about another service that either scam their user or users will get hacked or something like this. So this is like investigative journalism. It's a little bit on the technical side, but it's, it's also a very fascinating with everyone.

Laide: Ah, these are definitely great. I'm familiar with some of them and some of them are new, like rekt, for example. So I'll let you check those out. Cause I have a lot of concerns about the scammers in the blockchain space, so good to see that somebody is tackling that. Yeah. And then just, you know, how can folks connect with you and stay updated and know all the things you're working on?

What's the best way to reach you?

Igor: Yes. So the best way is probably Twitter and that's. Monthly again. It's like my surname, twitter.com/right here. I'm not very active to be honest because I'm too busy with the startup, but maybe who knows if I have a little bit more time, I'll keep posting there, but I repost the single to every week.

Yeah.

Laide: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, ego. I learned a lot and this has been a great conversation.Thanks so much for having. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcast. I'm your host Laide until next time.