Could you introduce yourself and your background, as well as how you came across Elastos? What won you over about the project?
My name is Charles Coombs-Esmail. I’m from Pennsylvania, but I currently live in Los Angeles. I went to the University of California Santa Barbara where I received a degree in Physics. Like many, I came across Elastos during the crypto craze in February. During that time, there were tons of new projects emerging, and I was doing my best to research every one that sounded interesting. I read countless whitepapers and learned all that I could about Blockchain over a 3-month period from December to February. However, when I came across Elastos, it became my only interest.
From my research, I’d become increasingly skeptical that Blockchain could solve all the problems it was purported to solve. I started to see through the hype and marketing, and realized that 90% of projects themselves did not even know the limits of Blockchain technology. Reading about Elastos, I came across the concept of the Network Operating system. Essentially, a Network Operating system could make the internet a safer place, which would reduce the need to run everything through Consensus. Furthermore, through the C++ runtime, this Network Operating system could use the computational power of the underlying device without compromising security. It became clear to me that this is what was needed and not the “band-aid” solution of running code redundantly on thousands of computers for every possible operation. For the first time, the concept of a massively adopted DApp seemed plausible.
My interest peaked when I read the “Thoughts and Conclusions” section in an Elastos weekly update, written by Zach. In his piece he talked about Jeremy Rifkin and the “Third Industrial Revolution” lead by IoT. This vision of IoT creating a “Zero Marginal Cost Society” is truly profound, yet totally unattainable without something akin to a Network Operating system. After this moment, I felt compelled to contribute in any way I could to help the world attain this vision. Elastos was that way.
Could you tell me about your team “Elastos in a Nutshell” and what it is trying to achieve?
The purpose of the “Elastos In A Nutshell” team is to produce a series of articles and videos that comprehensively explain each aspect of the Elastos technology, both from a developer’s and a layman’s perspective. The goal is to have a sort of Elastos “booklet” in one place that anyone can read to become quickly acquainted with all things Elastos. It will help further educate the Elastos community to create informed voters. As a community, we should strive to be shining examples in terms of knowledge and decorum. If we are to have meaningful and productive discussions, we all need to know how the underlying technology works, at least at a basic level. Part of this team’s job is to research and discuss potential issues and challenges that may arise to spark productive discussion amongst the community on these challenges.
Kiran Pachhai (KP) was actually the one who brought this team together. The team is half developers, and half non-developers. Each group produces an article and an accompanying video for each topic. I am the article writer for the non-developer group. Many of you may know my team members: Amos Thomas and Michael Ekpo. They are in charge of creating the videos.
You’ve just released an article, “Merged-Mining and Elastos”. Could you tell us a little about it and what it took to write it? Is there anything “in a nutshell” that you could give us about what makes merged-mining so special?
Yes, and there will also be two accompanying videos (part 1 and 2) created by Amos and Michael. Although we each had our own task, it was definitely a collaborative effort–in research in particular. Also, shout out to Alex Shipp for helping with the writing.
Merged-mining is a very important part of the Elastos ecosystem. Not only does it help secure the main-chain, it also can be used to secure side-chains. In short, merged-mining allows Elastos to use the same work done on the Bitcoin blockchain to simultaneously secure the Elastos main-chain and side-chains.
For two blockchains to be merged-mined, they need to have the same consensus algorithm. This means Elastos uses the same consensus algorithm as Bitcoin, which is the ‘parent’ chain Elastos merge-mines with. So in order to explain merged-mining well, you need to have a good understanding of how the Bitcoin blockchain works. As such, a large portion of the article is dedicated to diving deep into Bitcoin, explaining exactly how it works. So if you’ve been putting off learning how Bitcoin works (something that every crypto enthusiast should do), I highly encourage you to read the article and watch the videos.
How can people support your team? What kind of involvement and changes from the Cyber Republic community and leadership would you like to see?
People can support the team by reading, watching, and sharing the articles and videos. The more people that see this series, the more value they generate. I ask that community members do their best to spread this content to other community members and to those who have yet to learn about Elastos.
Every Cyber Republic community member is an evangelist. We need to collectively make an effort to spread the word. Too much video and content has no engagement. As early members, every CR member is on the ground floor. There is not too much beneath the ground, meaning that if we want to see quick changes, we are the ones that can act.
That being said, the CR is in its early stage. It’s still under construction. It’s not going to spring up into a vibrant and efficient entity overnight. Some are frustrated by this, and I understand. If you see something that needs changing, bring it up. Garner support from other community members. Create a report and share it with an admin/team member. If they don’t listen, try someone else. Stay persistent, but also stay respectful. Even if a core team member does not directly respond to you, in my experience, they are listening to the collective voice.
To the core team members: even if you are busy, at least acknowledge that you heard the suggestions and that you are keeping them in mind. Simply being acknowledged goes a long way.
Are there other Cyber Republic CRcles you’re part of? Are there any other projects that you’re particularly excited about you’d like to share with us?
I am part of the DApp consultant and DApp analyst CRcles. As of now, I have not been very active in these CRcles just yet. The “Elastos In A Nutshell” project has been keeping me busy. However, I definitely plan on getting involved in the future. I gained some good experience working for a DApp project over the past year, and think I could bring some valuable insight to the future DApps being built on Elastos.
Lastly, for our silly question of the week, would you mind taking a shot at writing a short poem about the Cyber Republic?
Roses are red,
Violets are Blue,
Cyber Republic is great,
and so are you
Thanks so much for your time, Charles!