Transcription Episode 40

Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Alex from Syscoin. Syscoin is basically developing an L1 and as well as an L2 solution.

He is working in the BD space for Syscoin. Alex has been in the crypto Web3 space for a long time now, and he comes from a rich experience of having seen these bear and bull cycles several times over. This was a very interesting conversation talking about the future plans of Syscoin, Web3 space in general, and how to build in a bear market.

Can’t wait for you guys to hear this. Let’s deep dive right in. Hi Alex.

Thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me on.

Oh, I’m really glad that we could make the time. So just for our listeners, can you start with a bit of a background about yourself and how you got into Web3? Everybody has an interesting story there. Absolutely.

My name is Alex Guerra. I live here in Houston, Texas, United States. And I got into Web3 probably about 2017, 2018.

And I’ll be quite frank with you. The reason why I got into it was I was just trying to make a quick buck. I had a friend of mine, I was like, Hey, have you heard of this Bitcoin thing? And he’s like, yeah, there’s other coins too.

I’m like, oh really? He’s like, yeah, buy this. It’s like, well, how do you do that? And then, you know, that the rest was history. I bought some coins, I think like my first coins were like Stellar, Tron, you know, the Degen, well, the supposive ETH killers, we’ll call them supposive ETH killers at that time.

I just kind of was very interested in the technology, but more from the fact is like, how am I going to make money on this and it was very confusing. So I started getting Telegram and getting involved in the communities. And then one thing led to another and yeah, I was trying to make money, but then it started turning more into like, man, this tech is awesome.

Like, what can we do with this? And I got involved with projects, eventually leading me to where I am now with Ciscoin, which is probably the most passionate I’ve been about blockchain since getting into the space. So I’ll definitely say it’s more about the technology now and a lot less about the money. Right.

Okay. Yeah. But I think that’s a story for a lot of people, right? They start off because people perceive crypto and web 3 as a space where they can make a big buck and exit, but then, you know, they stay for the technology.

Right. Especially when you don’t get rich quick. All the more incentive to stay put, but you know, just jokes aside, you guys are doing like a fabulous job at Ciscoin.

So tell me a little about that. What are you guys building? And what, you know, how is the output was the product now that, you know, we’ve hit a bit of a bear market? Yeah, it’s, it’s really exciting to see how far along Ciscoin has come. I joined the community back in like 2018.

And then I actually became part of the team early, early this year, but Ciscoin has actually been around since 2014. And why I like it so much, it’s quite a unique product in the sense that, you know, during 2017, 2018, even to this day, you see all these new layer ones being built and what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to reinvent the wheel. They’re trying to make a better consensus mechanism.

And I feel like it’s been very commercialized and it’s all about, oh, which one can go fast and which one can provide the cheapest fees, which is. Right. That that’s what you want.

You want speed and cheap fees, but what we need to think about is more along the lines of economies of scale. Like how is this going to half scaled? You know, if everyone in India, for example, started using Solana or any of these chains, like the, the chain will break, right? Yeah. So the way that we look at things is let’s take the best of what’s already out there and just create a very elegant design that can scale.

And that’s exactly what Ciscoin is. So to give a little information on, on the project or I’ll start it this way. And it sounds kind of corny, but we like to use the tagline, we’re the best of Bitcoin and Ethereum in one place.

And I’ll tell you the reason why I say that is because we adopt a concept called merged mining. Not many people actually know about it. Doge is actually merged mined with Litecoin.

Basically what that means is you take the proof of work hash from one blockchain and apply it to another. That way you can actually inherit their security. So what we do with Ciscoin is we take Bitcoin’s proof of work hash, apply it to the Ciscoin blockchain, award the Bitcoin miners part of the block reward, the Ciscoin block reward, and that’s how we inherit Bitcoin security.

So right now we’ve got about 30 to 40% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. What that means is that 30 to 40% of the Bitcoin miners are actually mining Ciscoin as well. Wow.

That’s wonderful. So, you know, this is like your big USP then that, you know, you guys have been working on this for a while and now you have a considerable amount of infrastructure already ready because I know that, you know, I’ve been around and I’ve heard about Ciscoin since, as you said, it’s been around since 2014. So what is the next big thing or next big release for you guys? Okay.

Glad you asked, glad you asked. So first I should add kind of more of like our architecture because that’s, that’s the beauty of Ciscoin right there. You’ll understand why it’s a true competitor or true alternative to Ethereum.

You know, as you know, Ethereum has moved over to proof of stake and there’s a lot of criticism of it being over-centralized. So we maintain a proof of work, but inside that blockchain, we also have an EVM equivalent side. So we’re literally like everything that Ethereum can do, we can do it as well.

But we’re backed up with Bitcoin security. Now what we’re really excited about is the layer two that we have coming out right now. We’re working on a fork of Optimism Bedrock and that should be coming out in the beginning or towards the end of Q1 of 2023.

It’s a really big step for us because that’s actually where the ecosystem is going to be developed and used. Because right now on our layer one, the block times are two and a half minutes. We do that on purpose because, and it all goes back to the design, right? So maybe I should go back to talking about the design.

With many of these blockchains, you have what’s called a monolithic design and then you have a modular design. So monolithic would be like legacy Bitcoin, right? It’s not really meant for scale and transactions. We see it more as a digital gold, right? A store of value.

It’s known for its decentralization and security. The problem is you have the trilemma, right? Trilemmas, you need to be decentralized, you need to be secure, you need to be scalable, but usually you’re capitalizing on one of these. So what a monolithic design does is it tries to tackle on that trilemma all in one layer.

So it’s like having a restaurant, but only having the chef there. You know, he could probably handle a few customers when it comes to like payment and cooking and preparing the food and all that stuff, but once you have many, many customers, he’s not going to be able to satisfy all of them. Modular design breaks everything up into layers.

So it’s like having a full restaurant with full staff, restaurant, host, waiters, all that stuff. So the layer one we see as the consensus layer, the security layer, the court system that is just for data, everything that’s done on the layer two goes back to the layer one and it keeps everything running very smoothly so that way you don’t boggle down the network. As you could see during the bull market, everybody was complaining about the Ethereum fees, right? So we’ve kind of eliminated that potential problem with the architectural design.

So with that being said, that’s the reason why we’re having a layer two. That’s where we have a ton of projects already preparing to launch on that. And it’s very exciting because we’ve got this like awesome technology, this awesome ecosystem, but there hasn’t been too many dApps yet.

Now there’s going to be a lot more to use. Wow. That’s awesome.

That’s brilliant. So, you know, the entire modular design kind of, you know, puts you guys ahead of the curve, so to say. So that’s fantastic.

It’s very exciting. And as somebody who works closely with dApps, I think it will be an interesting way to perhaps deploy that application. So is, you know, your, is your layer one solution EVM compatible or? Yeah.

Okay. Absolutely. So then that’s great.

So then there is even less resistance for developers to come on board. Right, right. So it goes back to what I was talking about.

Why are we going to reinvent the wheel? Ethereum is the gold standard when it comes to programmability of currency, right? So everyone, most of the people that are developers in the blockchain space, they know EVM, they know Solidity. I think that’s why you have, I mean, you’ve seen some success with like Solana and Cardano, but they have more robust, complicated languages. We like to keep it simple.

What’s everyone using EVM? So you can deploy, if you can deploy on Ethereum, you could definitely deploy on Syscoin. You probably wouldn’t want to do the layer one, but you can. And then the layer two, also EVM compatible.

Awesome. This is brilliant. So let’s get developers on board.

So right now, as a span, how many apps do you guys have within your ecosystem? On the layer one, it’s very few, you know, notably there’s a DAX and then there’s a NFT marketplace. But I can tell you that on the layer two, we’ve got dozens and dozens and dozens of dApps that are ready to launch. Some are already trying out our test net and everything.

So we’re excited about kind of all the new things that are going to be popping up there. I just had a call yesterday with a company based out of India. They’re an exchange, but a decentralized exchange, and they’re using a zero knowledge technology, you know, that’s one of the big factors that’s going to allow for scaling in the future.

So we’re excited to see kind of like what we can do there with them. And it’s very interesting after all this stuff with FTX happened, you know, there’s so much trust lost in the centralized exchanges, but a decentralized exchange is okay, especially an order book one would be really fun, but how can you do like mass trading? How can you do high frequency trading? You have so many transactions that you need to sign, like if you’re using Metamask or whatever wallet. So those types of challenges are already being addressed.

We have some really cool like technology coming out, you know, not to nerd out too much, but if the audience wants to look up EIP 4337, which is account abstraction, that’s a cool feature that essentially makes your wallet a smart wallet and gives you extra capabilities, which can actually in the future make stuff like a decentralized exchange, a lot more easier to use and a lot more popular. So I’m excited to see where things go from there in this new era with, you know, the loss of faith in centralized exchanges. And I feel like the narrative for the actual decentralization is coming back, which, you know, Yeah, absolutely.

Which is, which is actually good, right? We are all looking forward to that. Like, at least for me, when I started my journey in Web3, it was around 2012 and, you know, Ethereum was not even a thing then. It happened a little later, but you know, the idea behind me being so attracted to the technology and the concept was mostly decentralization, but somehow with the earth and all these bull and bear cycles, you know, it, the narrative changed and there were all of these centralized entities that obviously have fallen in this particular bear cycle, but it’s good that, you know, in a way, because obviously it’s had, you know, a lot of people have lost a lot of money and, you know, I know of people and I have been also indirectly affected by all this in one way or the other, but on the macro level for the industry, I think it’s good because, you know, we are driving out the bad money, the bad business, you know, models and focus is coming back on decentralization.

Right. The way that I see it is that nothing can ever be like 100% decentralized. You’re going to need some sort of centralization.

So I do appreciate the Binance of the world who have done things responsibly. At least we hope we have, they have, as far as we know, but when it comes to that layer one, that core layer, you know, it’s all goes back to modular design. That’s where you need to be completely decentralized because that’s your settlement layer.

I feel like in the layer two and layer three in the future, because it will get to that point, that’s where you can take a little more liberty, you can be a little more centralized just to make the adoption a little bit easier. At the end of the day, you know, you can use your crypto and, you know, it’s, it’s safe, it’s transparent, it’s private, but then, you know, when it comes to like maybe using a game or a certain application, you know, you’re okay with being a little more centralized there. So I’m not going to sit here and say like everything needs to be 100% decentralized.

That’s very idealistic, I think, right? It’s, it’s like having an idealistic idea in your head or something that, you know, you perhaps aspire to, because nothing is decentralized from day one. That just does not happen. Agreed.

100%. Right. It’s a process.

It’s the idea and the concept that, okay, you know, you perhaps need to, this is like a, perhaps a better way of doing things because systems evolve. And I think for Web3 to evolve into completely trustless or, you know, as a network, that is where we need to go. And it’s a process.

It’s a work, you know, it’s a, it’s a work in progress. Right. I’d agree a hundred percent.

This process is one that we’re seeing in real time with all these new technologies being adopted, it’s just going to make things a lot easier for the common person who’s used to using the internet, we’ll call them Web2 people, get into Web3 without even realizing they’re getting into Web3, that’s when you know that you’re doing a good job. Right. Yeah, absolutely.

I think adoption is massive. Yeah. It’s a massive issue for everybody building in Web3 and, you know, we are going to get users from Web2 mostly.

You’ve spoken a little about, you know, that there are already developers working and playing around with your testnet for the L2 solution. When is the time for you guys? When are you thinking that you’ll be pushing out the L2 for our mainnet? I believe we’re looking at the end of Q1. It took us a while.

What we’re doing first is we were doing a fork of optimism. That’s probably one of the better roll-ups out there right now. And they just did an upgrade to Bedrock.

So we’re working with that. Another aspect that a lot of people are kind of ignoring, well, common, you know, the common investor, the common enthusiast, they don’t realize that, how do I put it? We’re always looking at things from a future perspective, right? And a lot of people do that. You know, we want to make sure that we can scale, that we don’t run into the problems that happen, you know, when the bull market comes or when mass adoption comes, and one of those things is data availability.

What that means is that you’ve got, the way these roll-ups work, not to get too nerdy again, but I’ll try to keep it simple with a nice little illustration here. They’re big blockchains. They’re like huge shipping containers and they’re shipping all those transactions onto the layer one.

That’s how I like to illustrate it. But what eventually happens is they store all the information in something called call data. What’ll eventually happen is that’ll load up the layer one.

And in this case, Ethereum is the best example we could use. And Ethereum will get boggled down again, eventually, then they’ll get higher. And then in turn, that’ll also bring the fees higher for the layer two.

That’s why they’re working on something called sharding and protodank sharding, which is a pretty complex mechanism to be able to split up the data and not have it, you know, boggle down the system. We’ve actually already got that solution in place. So we’re about a year ahead.

It’s on the testnet as well. Our version of it is called proof of data availability. So what we do is all that data that’s, you know, coming into the layer one, we have it there decentralized.

And the way that I like to describe it is like a, like a court system in the sense that you have all these copies of the data, let’s say we have a jury, right? And then every juror has a copy of the evidence, we’ll call the evidence, the data or the data, the evidence. So once everyone agrees, like, okay, I’ll have the same piece of evidence here. We, you don’t need to keep all those pieces of data.

You don’t need to keep all that evidence. So you just keep one and then you get rid of the rest. So that way you don’t have too much information into the system.

Then what that does is you can now hash that agreement because all the jurors agreed, Hey, yeah, this evidence is all the same. You hash it into the blockchain, takes up a whole lot less space, and then you get rid of all the extra copies. And that’s essentially how we’ve managed to solve it in a nice, simple, elegant way that’s decentralized on the layer one.

So that’s a pretty big deal for us. I don’t think a lot of people will appreciate that just yet, but in the years to come, when they see how our blockchain has like the lowest fees and why we have the lowest fees, it’s, it’s because of that, because we’re not, you know, essentially boggling down the system. Right.

No, I think that’s so important right now that we don’t, with all of these gases and emissions coming around, they are there to solve a problem and you have actually solved it on a foundational level, right? So you’re using ZK. So I had read somewhere that you guys have deployed something known as Rolex. Is that correct? Like it’s a suite, right? Thanks for bringing that up.

Okay. So Rolex is like a roll-up suite because at the end of the day, Cisco is layer one is a blockchain that’s built for roll-up. So if we believe that the future of blockchain is modular, all the other blockchains, they might become obsolete because, you know, Ethereum is going to be that data layer for everyone.

And the layer twos are what’s going to be popular. So I can see some of these other L1s just becoming L2s, you know, if they’re going to survive. So I think that is what, what is going to happen? Like not everything, you know, that has been the ecosystem that is being built is going to remain an L1 because ultimately Ethereum’s foundation is really strong and you know, so many apps are being built.

So that can become like the main ledger. So as to say, and people can build on top of it. And most of these chains that are being built currently, they would move up to being L2 solution.

100% agree there. You know, I don’t think they’re going to be able to make it. They’re going to have to adapt.

And that’s the only way, the way we see it. It’s like, okay, deploy on Cisco or deploy on Ethereum. That’s honestly how I personally see it.

But going back to the whole Rolex suite, since this coin is a blockchain built for Rolex, we called it Rolex because you can essentially deploy your own blockchain on top of Cisco and your own L2. And we’re, we’re big more, we’re more big on ZK. We think that’s the end game, but we also do realize that zero knowledge tech is still about maybe a year or two out.

So we didn’t want to delay the building of our ecosystem. And the reason why I personally think, and many think that ZK is kind of like the end game is because you don’t have to make any assumptions, like the cryptographic math and all that stuff takes care of everything on the backend. So you can trust those transactions.

You don’t have to make an, uh, an assumption like you do on optimistic. It’s less work than that. However, I think absolutely this is like the future, right? I think ZK rollups are the future.

There’s no way otherwise that the technology is going to scale. Like, you know, the way you kind of gave the analogy that you’re just going to burden the system further. Yeah.

So it is going to take some time though. A lot of people are like, Oh, like, why would you bother with optimistic if a ZK is right around the corner? It’s like, well, yeah, ZK is around the corner, but you know, the tech has been around for a long, long time. It’s it’s, it’s, it’s getting, yeah, it’s getting better.

And it needs to see adoption. Like, you know, it’s been there, but if there’s nobody working on it actively, then it’s just there. And it has been there, as you said, for a while.

Yeah. And ZK scales through hardware. A lot of people don’t know that.

So you’ve got all these math algorithms, like stuff that I don’t even know. It’s way beyond my understanding, but it’s a bunch of cryptographic math, right? You gotta be able to compress all that data in an efficient way. So you do that through hardware.

And right now there’s, you don’t have a market for that. So ZK is not going to be fast right now. It’s going to be efficient, but it’s not going to be fast.

So you scale that through hardware, which means, and is another reason why I’m bullish on just crypto in general, it’s going to open up a new market. You know, you see all these miners kind of struggling to make profit. Well, ZK is going to create a new industry for them.

Like there’s going to be ZK mining. I’ve talked to some pools and some hardware companies and they’re very aware of that. So they’re doing their R&D, their research into kind of the most efficient way.

Cause we know that that’s, that’s going to be the future. Yeah. No, I think you guys are working in the right direction.

And I think what you said is absolutely correct. You know, why bother with optimism? I wouldn’t have even asked that because it’s just the right of passage, right? You know, you need to, you’re getting, as I said, like decentralization is what you aspire to be, right? That is perhaps where you want to go, but you can’t be there from day one. So, you know, it’s good to be working on ZK, but it’s not going to be ready right now, so might as well start work, lay the foundation right and move the ecosystem in the right direction.

Yeah. It’s not easy in this industry because there’s so much competition. So we can’t just be like, Oh, we’re going to like, we’ve already had too much time to just build, build, build.

Now it’s like, we have to, we’ve got a good community. We do have a very like robust, but we need something for them to use. So it’s definitely, there’s a lot of marketing.

There’s, it is a race, you know, I think Polygon’s done a very good job on that end with being able to market very extremely efficiently and now catch up with their tech, but at least they’ve got the right idea as well. So it’s a very competitive industry. I do see us with a lot of advantages, but that doesn’t mean that there’s also a lot of challenges too, but we’re up for it and I’m excited to really just kind of dive deep, especially this next coming year and seeing where things go, if it’s going to be another like crazy bear market or things are just going to stable off here.

Yeah. And personally, I feel that, you know, there’s going to be some coming here and if we get better, it’ll just be in the latter half. But then again, you know, never predict the market.

Yes. I’ve learned that lesson. Yeah.

I’ve learned that lesson too, after falling many times. So I don’t like predicting where the market is. After you learn the lesson two or three times, like this fourth time, I’m going to get it.

I promise myself. Yeah. But you know, our tour is human.

So we keep making the same mistake, but having said that, I’m still very optimistic because I think that, you know, the entire space right now, even though the market is in the red, I think this is the best time for people who are seriously building on, you know, good business models to be building right now, because there is so much reduction of noise as such. Yeah, I agree. A hundred percent.

Now is the time where you see the real, I don’t even want to call them enthusiasts, the real builders, right? Yeah. Yeah. So the people who stick around, who are not there just for, you know, I don’t know, like perhaps to make a quick buck.

Yeah. It’s the thing is a lot of people, they love to build, but what problem happens is in the bull market, you get too much of the same stuff building. Right.

So there’s not a new innovation. It’s just like, you know, we saw in the last bull market, how many DEXs are there now? Right. Oh God.

Yeah. And so many people are building on Metaverse. Everybody’s building on Metaverse.

Thank you. You know, I get that. I understand that.

It’s, it’s crazy. It’s just that, you know, you have, you add some bells and whistles to an existing solution and they’re like, voila, it’s another thing that, you know, we’ve made and yeah, it’s the same thing. It’s like, you know, you go out to some pitches and it’s like the same pitch, one after the other, no real USP, no real business models.

So yeah, it’s good. And I think it’ll be refreshing in the coming year to see what, you know, people have been slogging on about and working on. Having said that, what, what about developers? So, you know, you mentioned that, you know, you have like, you guys have a great community and I have been a part of that community for a while.

So how do you, you know, incentivize developers? Do you have, do you guys have a grant program? How do you keep the community waiting? Great question. So currently, you know, because of the bear market, we’ve had, we’ve done grants in the past, but we’ve got to be responsible with the treasury, so we’re not too much on grants. I don’t like to say absolutely not, but we kind of shy away from that.

It’s more of just like the educational aspect and getting people to see the value in, but with that being said, yeah, definitely. We’re always looking for, for developers to, you know, bring their cool stuff that they’re building onto Cisco and there’s good reason for it. We have an ambassador program.

So a lot of those folks are in different parts in different countries and, you know, we’re trying to educate them and also reach the developer communities, you know, all over the world. You know, I’ve identified Latin America to be one of the prime spots, India as well. There’s, you know, huge growth there.

I was talking yesterday to a project and it’s like the average age of a developer in India is 19 years old and they’re very kind of into the tech. So there’s so many like hotspots. So yeah, we do definitely plan to have an incentive program once the layer two comes out to get more building incentivized.

So once that happens, do a lot of marketing around that, do a lot of hackathons and really just try to get more and more people involved. You know, it’s not difficult because it’s all like building on Ethereum. So those, as long as you can code solidity, you’ll be able to just deploy on Cisco and without a problem.

So it’s, that’s a big task at hand, but we’re excited because, you know, through this ambassador program, I’ve met so many nice people, so many genuine folks who really want to learn more about crypto and they see kind of the vision that we see. So they become, they enter as enthusiasts and then their education gets very sophisticated and they become, you know, not just people excited about the potential price of this coin, but of what the ecosystem can do and what, you know, we can do for, you know, crypto in mass scale. No, it’s the one good thing or one of the best things actually about building a Web3 is the community and the kind of people and so many different people that you come across and you can learn from.

It’s, it’s a massive opportunity. Right? So just building in Web3, you, you get in touch with all of these people from all over the world and you learn so many new things. I’ve met so many wonderful people through crypto, you know, throughout the challenges in my life, I had a rocky, you know, when I first started, it was a very rocky road for me personally.

And I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to visit many different countries this year, going to these crypto conferences and networking. And I’ve met people that will probably be acquaintances for, for a long time and friends, even like people that I can call my friends and I’m just very thrilled to see, you know, other like-minded folks. Everybody likes to collaborate and work together.

Definitely gets tiring doing all these conferences. Yeah, it does. A little backstory we should tell the audience is we’ve been trying to do this podcast, what, probably about two months now.

I was in London one time. I was like, yeah, I’ll do it from here. And then I totally missed it.

So I apologize for that. Not a problem. It’s a lot of hard work, like going out here and being in different places, but it’s also very rewarding because you meet really cool people and you see what people are working on and you’re able to filter through a lot of, I don’t want to say it’s all good because a lot of this stuff is I’m like, okay, I’m, you know, I’m not too sure about this, but it’s nice to see all the building and all the innovation that’s going on in the space.

And that, so I think that, you know, even with this bear market, who knows how long it’ll last? Like there’s people building good stuff and those are the ones that are benefit and, you know, see the fruitage of their labor, you know, come the future. Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, this is one of the things that people don’t talk about while working in crypto.

I think, you know, just the kind of toll it takes on your physical body as well as on your mental health. Like, you know, working on Web3, we’ve kind of veered into that direction. So I’m picking this up, but I feel like mental health is not talked a lot about, you know, especially in the Web3 space.

And now when, you know, you’re working in a space, which is constantly on, like it’s 24 seven on, it’s really difficult to just sort of manage and, you know, scale your career and make those connects and keep learning new things. All of these things take a toll. What are your thoughts? Yeah, I’m really happy that you asked that because for me, it’s actually been the quite the opposite this year, believe it or not, because so I’ve actually gone through kind of like a refreshing period in life this year where I’m a lot less stressed and, you know, taking care of my health and seeing a lot of success on that end personally.

And I think it’s because of this, and this is what I would tell the audience, you know, if you’re not working in crypto, then don’t worry about price, you know, just educate yourself and invest in what you feel is something for the future and you will be at peace, you know, don’t try to chase pumps and try to make a quick buck. Like what I’ve what the bad thing that crypto taught me in the beginning was that you can get rich quick, but that’s very, very unlikely. Now, the good thing that crypto taught me is that you can get into something that you love and then you can work hard at it and you will eventually see the fruitage of your labor.

And I think that’s the point that that I’ve gotten to here in 2022. I look at all the all the blessings that crypto has brought, you know, being able to, you know, not have to physically work at an office nine to five gives me time to, you know, throughout the day, even though it’s funny, there’s a funny meme that says, I got into crypto because I didn’t want to work a nine to five office job, but now I work 24 hours a day. Right, that’s so true.

Which is hilarious because it’s so true, like I work literally maybe up till 9 p.m. because, you know, we work a lot with people in other countries, India, UK, China, Japan, whatever. So like sometimes I’m answering messages at midnight and stuff, but it’s OK because now during the day, you know, I’m able to at peacefully, you know, I don’t have to go to a boss and say, hey, can I go to the gym for a couple hours? No, I just go do that. And then I come back and do more work, schedule the calls accordingly.

But to bring that mental health, yes, definitely very important. And it takes a toll on your body when you’re mentally not, I don’t want to say you’re unstable, but if you take care of your body. Not like a hundred percent, right? Perhaps you’re not just like at your peak mentally, you know, you’re struggling a little bit.

Right, right. There’s always going to be those challenges, those stresses in life. But if you take care of your health and your fitness first, that’s always what I’m going to advocate for, you know, always make time to go to the gym, workout, eat well.

That’s going to kind of put your mind in a clear spot. So you’ll be able to handle any potential stress that you deal with, whether it be the market, whether it be something not going well with whatever you’re building or working on or, you know, things are taking a while to really manifest themselves. Control what you can control and accept the rest.

Yes, exactly. One hundred percent. I think that is like, it’s very important for people who are like building in any space, not just in Web3 or, you know, tech, but it’s good to perhaps create like a wheel of life and, you know, you can chart out whatever is important to you in life and just figure out what are the parts that you are actively, you can perhaps control because I feel like a lot of people spend a lot of time just being worried about things that they can’t really do anything about.

Yes, exactly. That’s what I tell, you know, my family members and stuff. They’re like, well, aren’t you worried about this in the market? What if you don’t get paid? What if you don’t do this? I’m like, what am I going to worry about? I have no control over that.

Exactly. Yeah, well, over and what each and every one of us have control over is how much effort we put into our days. You know, what can we do to get better today? So hopefully, you know, I don’t think I’m the most inspiring person here, but hopefully it inspires someone to, you know, just take control of the day and make the best out of it.

And then you are inspiring. Just putting it simply is like inspiring. I think there is so much garbage around, you know, all of these things and people complicate things unnecessarily.

I think just keeping it simple is beautiful. Yeah, it’s not rocket science. Just try to get yourself like 0.1% better every day.

Yeah, as long as you’re doing that, I think you’re winning, right? There is no that risk. Like, you know, just get off the hamster wheel already. You’re just competing against yourself.

So get better and just be happy. Life is short. Yeah, exactly.

And don’t get too wrapped into kind of like society kind of makes us chase the things that are easy, but life isn’t easy. So I think crypto, like I said, it was a curse and a blessing at the same time. It’s a curse because you could see how much money you can potentially make.

But it’s also like people see that and they take a lazy way out. That’s why I think that the meme coins have done so well in certain times is because, you know, everyone’s buying that and they’re like, oh, I’m going to get rich quick by buying Doge or buying Shiba because what if it goes to a dollar? You know, I put a hundred dollars in Shiba Inu and if it gets to $1, I’ll be a millionaire. It’s like, come on, like you’re losing your sense of reasoning.

Like don’t try to take the easy way out, work hard in life and you will feel like 10 times more satisfied. Absolutely. I think, you know, that’s always been the case, right? Like we were always taught as children, like you learn to work hard and perhaps be a little smart about it, but don’t try to take the shortcut, the easy way out.

They’re usually a little bit too many obstacles as it is and pitfalls that perhaps you cannot see. Yeah, and that’s the problem nowadays, like I will be honest and admit that, you know, during my 20s, I always thought, oh, I’m going to work smart. I’m not going to work hard, but that’s kind of the wrong approach to take.

Like first you work hard. There’s nothing wrong with being smart, but you work hard and then your output is going to tenfold. Then you focus on, you know, being smart and not necessarily cutting corners, but just becoming more efficient.

So you combine hard work with efficiency, like you’ll be unstoppable. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Nice. So this is good that we touched upon this. Now, you know, as I, as I can see, we’re running kind of short on time.

So I’d ask you my last two questions. The first is where would you recommend that our listeners go to, to get their information about Web3? Because, you know, there is so much information online. It can be really overwhelming.

What are your go-to sources? Who do you think is doing it right in this space? And you know, it’s worth listening to. Man, I wish I had it ready. I’m actually, a side project that I’m working on is an intermediate blockchain course.

I would have gave myself a free plug here, but I’m not, it’s not done yet. Probably something I’ll have done early next year. I think that general Web3, you know, Google’s going to be your best friend.

I would stay away from, you know, just going for one PR release after another PR release, because a lot of times that’s more hype. I like Blockworks. We just did some sponsored content with them and it was more educational.

I feel like that’s a great place to, you know, seek information, but honestly, it’s just Googling and then comparing and contrast. The information that you get and just try to learn about new topics and you can Google that like these EIPs, right? These Ethereum improvement proposals. You see a lot of innovation coming from there.

I really have no site to general Web3 knowledge. I don’t have a site. Follow the right people on Twitter.

I will tell you that there’s a lot of people on Twitter to follow. Yeah. And yeah, just a bunch of Google searches and cross-referencing.

Right. I think just doing your research is important, but learning to do your research, right, is also very important. It’s a process.

You have to just get your hands dirty and get that information out. But, you know, one piece of good advice, as you said, is like, you know, don’t perhaps follow the PR releases or the FOMO and do really think about it yourself before putting in your money anyway. Yes, 100%.

Okay. So that kind of brings me to my last question. If somebody is peering in from the outside into the Web3 world and, you know, they feel intimidated, because this can be a bit of an intimidating space, what would be your advice to them to start living on blockchain? That’s a great question.

That’s a great last question, because that was me at one point. And that’s the reason why I didn’t get to Bitcoin earlier. And if I would have, it would have been a lot better, right? It’s very intimidating at first because everything is foreign.

It’s like, if I were to pick up, you know, water polo or squash, you know, sports I’ve never played before, obviously, it’s going to be difficult. And I’m not going to understand. And it’s going to be very confusing, but you just learn.

There’s so many people out there teaching blockchain from a very elementary perspective. Like one of my favorite channels, I should have mentioned this one is Whiteboard Crypto on YouTube. This guy, he makes it to like where a five or 10 year old can understand this stuff.

So you stop there, you obviously download Telegram, download Twitter, get into these communities and start learning more. And before you know it, you’ll be using a wallet and interacting with dApps. There’s so many people out there.

I will say, you know, be very, very careful because there’s so many people out there that want to scam, but it’s a great place to learn. And it’s not, not hard. You’ll, you’ll pick it up quite quick, I guarantee it.

Yeah, absolutely. I feel that’s the advice that I can give everybody. I think there is a misconception around that, you know, crypto, web 3D, blockchain.

It’s all too much for the nerds and people who are like technologically sound. And I feel that, you know, there’s nothing further from the truth. Anybody can get in this space.

You know, it’s like a new sector altogether that is being developed and it’s still, you know, a work in progress. And it’s infancy and we need people from all profiles and all skill sets. So everybody is welcome.

It’s just that you need to have an open mind space and just be open to learning new things and new ideas. Yeah. I’ll make one last statement.

When I first got into it, I didn’t know hardly anything about blockchain. But you start aggregating your knowledge from different places and then you start sounding smarter and smarter. I think the nicest compliments that I get, because I’m on the business side, but the coolest compliments I get are when people assume that I’m a developer.

Right. Yeah. Oh, are you a developer? You know a lot about technology.

I’m like, honestly, I really don’t. So yeah, you’ll get there. You just keep learning.

Always keep learning. Yeah, I know. I understand that.

You know, I, so I started my journey as an entrepreneur in deep tech, but I came from a background in humanities, so I’m all self-taught and as you’ve said, I get, I got a great kick when people used to mistake me for a technical founder, because it was just such a compliment that, okay, no, I’ve learned all of it. And you know, I actually was doing humanities. Yeah, exactly.

That’s awesome. So it’s great. Thank you so much, Alex, for taking out the time to speak to us.

Any parting thoughts before we wrap this up? No, just thank you for your patience and finally getting this podcast. It’s been an absolute pleasure, you know, worth waking up early for. And you know, many blessings to you.

I hope that things keep going very well. If anyone wants to learn about Syscoin, is the best site, obviously. And then I’m on Twitter if y’all want to follow me at progera, P-R-O-G-E-R-A.

I tweet a lot of nonsense, but I also tweet a lot of blockchain related content and follow some smart blockchain minds as well. So you can get an idea of who to follow through me. Right.

Yeah. So they, you know, our listeners should follow you and then get a bigger idea on who they should be listening to. Awesome.

Thank you so much for really taking out the time. I’m very grateful that we could talk. This has been a wonderful conversation.

Absolute pleasure.

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