Would you mind introducing yourself? Tell us a bit about your educational history and how you came to be involved in blockchain as well.
My name is Kiran, but most people know me by KP. I was born in a small town called Sandhikharka in Nepal. Don’t worry if you don’t know where it is because most people who are from Nepal don’t know of it either. I grew up in a town with almost no electricity and definitely very few computers, so when I reflect back on where I was 15 years ago to where I am now, it’s been an amazing journey and I was fortunate enough to come to the United States with my family when I was only 14 years old.
As far as my educational history, I went to a high school in Colorado and then later went to University of Colorado at Boulder and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science in 2014. Between the years of 2014 and 2016, I worked at a telecommunications company called Avaya as a tools engineer and Java developer. I then moved to the east coast in Maryland and worked as a Devops Engineer in the Cybersecurity department at Lockheed Martin. In December of 2017, when the blockchain was all the hype, I started to learn about the technology and Elastos was one of the first few projects I came across and it instantly caught my eye. I have been involved in the blockchain industry ever since.
What roles do you play in EF and CR? You seem to be everywhere, doing everything, and yet somehow you remain sane. What’s your secret? What accomplishments are you most proud of related to EF and CR?
My role is very broad because I am involved in a lot of things in both EF and CR. On the EF side, I am a one of the leaders of the Devstudio team, am part of Dev Experience team, and I also help out the Communications and PR team. You could call me a jack of all trades, I suppose. I absolutely enjoy doing what I do and being involved in so many things definitely keeps my brain lit every single day. There is not a single moment wasted, and I feel proud of working for Elastos project every single day.
I am the author of Elastos Spotlight series, manage the developer workshops, and more recently have begun my involvement working with the George Mason University on various projects.
On the CR side, I am part of Elastos Orchard and also work as one of the moderators/Noderators. More recently, I have had some time to work on the noderators.org website that displays various Elastos-related statistics, and I am excited for our roadmaps and milestones.
I also work as a technical advisor to CR Press team for the CR (Bi)Weekly. I am proud to be part of each and every team because being able to contribute is great, and I would be bored if I wasn’t doing a lot of stuff anyways. My secret to managing so many things all at once is to learn to be passionate about what you do.
If you had to write some advice for a developer who was interested in learning about blockchain, and programming on Elastos in particular (which you may actually have already written, now that I think about it), what would you suggest both in practical life-lessons and also in best-resources for this curious developer?
I would encourage any developer who is interested in learning about blockchain to first, not be overwhelmed by the technology. Start with something simple like getting familiar with the terminology around blockchain and then start diving in. Learn to do something new everyday.
It doesn’t matter what language you’re good at. Just get into it and see if you can hack your way around because that’s how you learn things.
For Elastos, in particular, the blockchain infrastructure is written in Golang, Carrier is written in C/C++, and Hive is written in Golang. However, that doesn’t mean you need to learn Golang to start working with these technologies. Various SDKs in other languages like Java, Android, iOS are all available and ready so pick what you want to do and start diving in.
There are also REST APIs available which means you can interact with these APIs from pretty much any programming language. As for building apps for Trinity (Elastos Browser), you may want to learn about developing in ionic/cordova framework.
How do you spell “Genius?”
I’m no genius so I am not sure if this is a trick question…
In all seriousness, many in the community look up to you as the most technically knowledgeable CR member we have. We have to rely on those more knowledgeable than us as most CR members aren’t developers, and people like you and Jimmy have won us a lot of faith in Elastos and the architecture behind it. That being said—what are your critiques of the technology itself? Where do we need the most improvement? Then, to balance these criticisms, feel free to tell us why Elastos is awesome, too.
There are a lot of areas we need improvement when it comes to reaching developers on behalf of Elastos. For instance, we need to start targeting other existing blockchain developers (especially Ethereum developers) and at the same time, target traditional developers.
Elastos is an ecosystem so it’s not just about blockchain. Elastos is 3 things – Blockchain, Carrier and Hive. All three of these components are different networks built for 3 different things.
Blockchain is used for payments and smart contracts and decentralized IDs.
Carrier is used for decentralized relay of data.
While Hive is used for decentralized and distributed storage.
So, the areas Elastos covers is vast but maybe that’s also one of the reasons it’s tough to market to developers because no one is going to believe you if you start saying, “We do everything.”
So, maybe the focus should be for a niche audience. Target blockchain developers with blockchain technology, target traditional developers with Carrier and Hive. Elastos Dev Experience team is trying to focus exactly on this in the coming months, and we have some amazing things lined up.
In regards to CR, what are the biggest changes you are looking forward to, and what are the biggest changes that need to happen now? What can the community do to help progress CR?
With it comes to CR, CR is for everyone but in order to make it fully functional, all the infrastructure needs to be ready first. It is, after all, supposed to represent a decentralized organization that is autonomous and running using both blockchain and human consensus.
It’s tricky to get both of these right, so in the meantime, it’s up to each one of us to start taking the initiative. Do not wait for others to tell you what you can do. Instead, if you’re good at something, just start making a difference. It’s much easier to approach the CR community and Council members if you demonstrate that you really are up to the task you want to be funded.
How do you feel about CR leadership? EF leadership? Few Western Community members engage as intimately and regularly as you do with leadership. Could you give us some insights on the leadership in general? No need to name individuals, but the community is always interested in who is leading and how leadership functions.
EF leadership is different compared to a traditional company leadership. First of all, it employs a holocracy model so there is no CEO. Instead, everything is run by consensus among the top members of the foundation.
CR leadership is the exact opposite (or, at least, that’s the eventual goal once the real Council members are in place), because CR also has consensus but instead of taking the top down approach, it’s the bottom-up approach. This means that the suggestions and proposals are coming from the community first, and even if the Council accepts the proposal, the community can voice their concerns in opposition and have authority.
This may not be in place now, but the blockchain itself will play a major role in the decision-making of any and all CR related proposals in the future, so this is more of a long term vision.
The Interim Council members are there today volunteering their time to run CR, so
sometimes, proposals may not get noticed or it may take a long time for proposals to get accepted. It’s normal because there are only three council members and everything is done manually at the moment.
Adoption, promises, partnerships. Successes and failures, ups and downs—we’ve been through it all, and it’s only been about a year and a half. What advice to you have to followers of Elastos? How do you feel about real progress when it comes to adoption of Elastos? Are we on track? Are we ahead or behind?
I very much believe in the vision of Elastos. If I didn’t, you wouldn’t see me getting involved in new things and new projects every single day. There is a real need in the world and that void can only be filled with Elastos, but this will not happen overnight.
It all starts with us.
Each one of us has a role to play, so if you’re good at something and can contribute, just start contributing. If you don’t, no one else will.
My advice to everyone following Elastos is to be patient because the core team has been busy over the last few months and will be busy over the next several months when it comes to development of the Elastos infrastructure. You can start building apps already, although it might be difficult at the moment, but those bridges are being built so we can make it as easy as possible for new developers to join and build on Elastos.
We are definitely on track when it comes to technical milestones, and we will have lots of developer focused workshops and developer portals in the near future. Stay tuned for that.
Not only in relation to Elastos and CR, where do you hope to see yourself in five or ten years from now?
I am looking forward to that 10 year anniversary for Elastos because then we’ll all proudly say, “We made it”.