Where are you from and what’s your background and education?
I am originally from New Jersey, in the United States. I attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where I studied Finance and Accounting, with concentrations in Quantitative Finance and Data Analytics.
When did you first get into cryptocurrency and blockchain?
After I graduated from university, I began investing in the stock market on my own accord. As 2017 got under way, all of my investments appreciated dramatically – namely, the usual suspects: Apple, Tesla, Facebook, and the like. It occured to me that for better or worse, the present economic infrastructure represents a zero-sum game: for every winner, there is a loser – or worse yet, many losers. I knew that about one in twenty actively managed domestic investment funds beat indexes, and determined that my own supposed superlative performance was not to do with savvy stock selection, but rather with fortunate coincidence with a broader macroeconomic current. I accepted a sobering truth: in spite of the four years and change I had spent studying at university and the decade-and-a-half I had spent as an economic participant, I knew nothing about money, its characteristics, or its creation.
By part curiosity and part concern, I set off to understand the forces driving markets, economic indicators, and my own haphazard success. Along my research journey, I eventually stumbled on to Money Masters, a three-and-a-half hour ‘90s documentary that permanently changed my course in life. In the film, historian Bill Still unravels the history of money in excruciating detail, demarcating money from currency and explaining the mechanics of money creation, debt issuance, central banking, and the fundamentals of economic cycles in the process. The documentary reshaped my perspective on investment, economic liberty, and monetary sensibility, and triggered a pivotal awakening within me. From there forward, my disenchantment with financial markets, derivatives instruments, and fiat currencies alike led me to an exploration of alternative investment vehicles, forms of wealth, and stores of value. Needless to say, it was not long before I discovered Bitcoin and the wonderful world of cryptocurrency.
Being a passionately curious person, I devoured every available resource on the topic, most notably The Book of Satoshi, from which I cultivated a deeper understanding of Bitcoin’s underlying technology and the more subtle intricacies of blockchain technology. From there, I began investing, trading on exchanges, and making friends in the various Telegram communities that made up the social landscape of the crypto-space in 2017. In February 2018, I attended NEO DevCon in San Francisco, where I networked and exchanged ideas with a host of different characters from across the space, many of whom I had met on Telegram. The in-person experience at the conference stimulated a great deal of excitement in me, and opened up a writing opportunity at a start-up.
How did you find Elastos and Cyber Republic and finally get involved?
In mid-2018, a Telegram friend of mine was enthralled with Elastos’ core technology and vision, and had pointed me in the direction of the project on several occasions. At that time, he was applying to be a premier content producer for Cyber Republic under its newly released Empower35 initiative. As he was familiar with my writing and I was familiar with his perspective on the crypto-space, he asked me to produce his written application for Empower35. Of course, Empower35 did not come to fruition, but the connection he had forged with the project continued to develop. When my friend got word that Elastos was looking for a strong technical and PR writer, he referred me to the project, and I sent in some sample work. After a 6-week trial period, I began working for EF and CR in November 2018. Around the same time, Mike Dave Remedio connected me with WeFilmchain, a project that was also looking for a writer. Mike and I joined one of WeFilmchain’s co-founders in attending the Mars Finance Blockchain Summit in New York City that October, which served as a valuable learning and networking experience for us both. In my time at Elastos Foundation and Cyber Republic, I have learned a ton, met many brilliant and skilled individuals, and truly had a blast in the process. I cannot make enough positive remarks about the people in this organization and its community. I am very excited for what’s to come.
What roles do you play in Cyber Republic, Elastos Foundation?
At Cyber Republic, I provide editorial services for the Biweekly Reports, Elastos-in-a-Nutshell Series, and any other written pieces that are passed my way. At Elastos Foundation, I also provide editorial services across the organization, and almost all written material passes through me before publication. At EF, I also produce a lot of written content myself, including DPoS Consensus announcements, the 2018 End-of-Year Report, the Updated Projected Development Roadmap (Main Net 1.0-3.0), and other pieces that keep the community informed and up-to-date with Elastos’ recent developments.
What is your relationship with Sunny Feng Han and the Manhattan Fund? Can you give us any insight into your upcoming book?
My relationship with Sunny Feng Han has been a great pleasure and profound learning experience thus far. A lot of people are unaware that Sunny spent twenty years pursuing a PhD in Quantum Physics at Tsinghua University, one of Beijing’s elite academic institutions. He is a truly brilliant and morally conscious man, and I respect his intellect and imagination alike. Though his wit, intellect, and candor are often difficult to detect when he speaks English, his knowledge and wisdom shine through when he describes the principles of quantum mechanics. A mind-bending scientific study of the elemental energies and subatomic particles that make up our universe, quantum mechanics is more famous for the brilliants minds it has left wrung out and disheveled than for those still working to master its perplexing dynamics. Sunny is able to distill the concepts of the quantum realm to terms familiar to the layman without compromising the profundity of their impact, which has left a resounding impression on me.
Sunny believes that the shift away from centralized toward the decentralized system architectures that we are building in the blockchain space is merely an extension of a broader shift from the outdated teachings of Newtonian Physics to the emerging principles of quantum mechanics. His ideas are compelling, thought provoking, and deeply profound; I am always blown away when we sit down to discuss his vision. Together, we are elucidating his perspective in a book titled The Era of Quantum Wealth, in which we develop a Quantum Ontology to examine system architecture, utilize it to evaluate Bitcoin and the greater landscape of digital assets, and ultimately submit Elastos and its Modern Internet as the platform which will lift humanity from the present internet crisis in which it finds itself. More information on the book can be found [HERE].
In working on the book, Sunny and I have spent time in New Jersey and Boston, as well as in Philadelphia, where we jointly attended the Penn Wharton Blockchain Roundtable and UPenn Blockchain Conference earlier this May. When we come together to collaborate on the book, we also discuss ideas with the members of the Manhattan Project Fund, who are often in attendance. I do not personally work for or with the members of the fund, but they are bright individuals who have spent a lot of time with Sunny as well, and who have gathered a great deal of knowledge about Quantum Mechanics and the digital asset space.
What motivated you to run a DPoS Supernode? Can you give information about rewards, setup, members, and the potential of joining any alliances?
When I began writing the book, I realized right away that I was embarking on a profound and challenging inner journey, and that Sunny could only offer so much guidance, as he has many other responsibilities to tend to. In order to express a highly sophisticated and multi-dimensional narrative, I need the assistance of another professional editor who can offer both syntactical support and refined literary perspective on the broader logical structure and nuanced language of the book. In addition, as many of the concepts pertaining to quantum mechanics are particularly advanced, I am hiring a professional illustrator to diagram experiments involving quantum mechanics, various forms of blockchain-based system architecture, and the evolution of internet infrastructure – namely, that of Elastos’ Modern Internet.
In everything I do, I am uncompromising on quality; thus, the involved costs are significant. In registering and setting up Quantum Wealth Supernode, my goals are to raise awareness for the book in the community and to raise funds to support its paramount production. In the future, I also plan to use remaining funds for marketing and promotional purposes, pending the degree of support it receives. I am especially excited at the notion of employing the DID Sidechain and Digital Capsule to release finite copies of the book as non-fungible digital assets. The Era of Quantum Wealth has the potential to produce a series of technical firsts, and I am intent on integrating its production and distribution into the technical framework of the Modern Internet.
As far as technical details go, I have set up an account on ELA Bank in order to be fully transparent. My payout is straight-forward: I pay 60% to voters and retain 40%. My ELA Bank account is always pre-funded, so voter payout occurs in real-time as Quantum Wealth Supernode earns DPoS rewards. Voters receive rewards before expenses, which are deducted from the 40% allocation. I have not joined any alliances, and have no plans to. While I respect the freedom and autonomy of individuals in a decentralized ecosystem, I believe that such agreements are collusive and undermine the meritocratic essence of the democratic process. Alliances are only a short, slippery slope away from a mafia-esque consolidation of wealth and power by the few. My Supernode will remain fully independent – even at the expense of lost votes – and I will ensure that it does so in order to preserve the integrity of the democratic process. I am grateful to the 300+ community members that have supported my project and commitment to integrity, quality, and professionalism by voting for Quantum Wealth Supernode, and I am excited to over-deliver on my promises. More information on my Supernode can be viewed [HERE], and my ELA Bank page can be viewed [HERE].
Is there any relationship with Feng Han’s supernode, Manhattan Project Fund’s Supernode, and Quantum Wealth Supernode?
I am glad you asked. There is absolutely no relationship between my Supernode and any other. I am fully responsible for my Supernode, its development, and its staked ELA, and I am fully committed to transparency and integrity in its operation.
Anything you want to add for our readers and community members to know?
I have started my own professional writing business in order to support other projects within the ecosystem that need professionally written English to interface with and attract English speakers to their communities. On my site, I will also be producing original content in order to provide the community with a deeper look into Elastos. My website is alexandershipp.com, and I intend to release my first piece in late August on the Original Content page. Also, for those who want to keep up-to-date on my Supernode’s operation, the progress of the book, and other developments at Elastos, my twitter handle is @AlexShippELA.
Lastly, thank you very much to everyone at CR Press for giving me a platform upon which to introduce myself to the community and share my work. The community is very fortunate to have a team committed to providing thorough and impartial news for everything Elastos. I am grateful to be included in the content this week.
What are your hobbies and what do you do in your spare time?
I absolutely love tennis, and I play frequently. I also enjoy raw travel – not the kind with hotels and itineraries – the kind with a backpack, no plan, and no smartphone.
“You mean life without blockfolio?!?!”
I know, unfathomable. But here’s the rub: presence and serendipity are the source of the deepest visceral joys of the human experience; micromanagement and distraction are their greatest opposition. Though I am excited by the libertarian promise of Elastos and much of the digital asset space, I am firmly grounded in the understanding that I am not a being of the digital realm, and that the meaning and profundity of the human journey is to be experienced in the real world. Digital infrastructure may support and facilitate such experience, but it is not meant to host or define it.
After graduating from university, I backpacked across Sub-Saharan Africa for 3 months, traveling through Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, visiting the pyramids, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and volcanoes, searching for gorillas in the jungle, and living and learning with the African people in their villages.
I also spent a summer playing advantage Blackjack (counting cards) throughout Eastern Europe when I was 21. Travel, spontaneity, and learning are a wonderful combination.