Let’s start with more general questions. Please introduce yourself, and tell us about your background?
I was born shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and before the default on the outskirts of Moscow in the middle-class family. At 12 I started noticing the weirdness and inconsistency of the distribution of value to various families in different time periods. The purchasing power could change in a moment leading to consequences for all around me.
During my studies at the Moscow State University of International Relations, I moved from Microeconomics, which I already had both theoretical and practical experience of during school days, to Macroeconomics. I still strongly believe this is the least developed science and it has massive socioeconomic aftermath because of the lack of stably working approaches to the monetary system. New ideas to macroeconomic rules are rare while the experiments are influencing billions of people. Nowadays we live in the discretionary monetary policy in a huge wave of world-scale experiments. Since then I was thinking of ways and a path to change that.
What brought you to the blockchain space? How and when did you get involved in crypto? Tell us a little bit about your previous projects.
I started to research the economic potential of the industry and tried to come up with cryptoasset capitalization models back in 2016, most of all I was attracted to the fact that crypto protocols implement macroeconomic models to the problems of trust. However, when we understood the diversity of alternative use of smart contracts, it was evident that quantization of multi-narrative cryptoassets won’t be any better than benchmarking. The market doesn’t look at the cash flow but at the narrative. Projects either produce a new direction in the market or support and improve an already existing direction of development of the new economic and social primitives. To find out who can potentially gain higher places in the industry means to find out who is best at executing 12 fundamental aspects and what is the project’s scope of applicable value. After that - benchmark and compare capitalization taking into account years of development. Following and analysing projects across crypto and other convergent industries leads to many new ideas. Eventually, over the last years, our research and development team was involved in a number of projects in crypto: Tezocracy, Citadel.one, and specific grants from Foundations. Now we are finally dealing with socio-economic structural change creating Humanode, as I always dreamed of.
What is your role at Humanode?
I am a co-founder. My role here is to make it a reality in the most efficient way moving towards the goal hand by hand with brilliant minds.
In your opinion, what is Humanode doing that is special in the industry?
We’re special because the economy we’re building differs from everything else on the market. Why? It is because we’re building a Layer 1 technology that is based on human nature with the help of biometric tech.
Tell us about the upcoming Humanode testnet.
That’s my favorite question because we’re planning to roll out Aura and Grandpa testnet which is based on those two consensus modules of Substrate modified for biometric authentication. The thing is that we won’t require very high specifications for your devices running the computing storage of the network. People will be able to launch the node from 2-year-old home computers.
Basically, we will be onboarding in batches, but eventually, the purpose is to run the public test based on the Substrate technology without strict requirements for your computers, like without making you run the supercomputer. The idea is to see how far in terms of the number of nodes Substrate’s Aura plus Grandpa consensus can go. Starting end of September.
How easy will it be to participate in testing for a regular user?
At first, it will be a bit hard for those who do not know how to write a path to a directory in the command line. But in about a month we will release the UX, I mean, the solution that will let you set up a node without using the command line, user-friendly. That’s the plan.
What can a user do in the testnet?
You will be able to launch a human node with biometric authentication. You will be able to send transactions on the network because it’s a chain. But you will not be able to use it for any other processing of biometric data yet. It will be an isolated environment for launching human nodes and testing the general blockchain framework.
What is Humanode's future plan after the testnet?
Naturally, it will be a step-by-step implementation of all that we have to offer. For example, we’re going to implement EVM compatibility, and will naturally be testing the various functions of the Vortex and the tools being added to Formation.
There are lots of potential use cases of how Humanode can be used on various decentralized platforms and services. Could you discuss the most significant ones?
Our core technology and expertise now that is new to crypto is biometrics. In the cross-chain world which is already a reality, we are able to provide pseudonymous biometric Sybil resistance to any dapp on Substrate or EVM-compatible chains. Fight bots, deepfakes, create credit history or own NFTs without PII, we are coming up with or getting new use cases that bring us partners every week.
But there’s more than that. Actually, when all nodes are equal and their costs are more or less the same it is possible to implement a cost-based fee system making them more stable and transaction price fair for dapp users.
From your perspective, what are the challenges that the crypto industry faces now? How do you feel about the industry?
I am excited to see how old ideas come to fruition by being eventually executed and adopted on the crypto market with the understanding that ground-level improvements need time. That only validated my idea that I had: limitless pop-up of the use cases leads to the rise in network’s total fees as a number of complexity of transactions on the distributed trustless ledger technology. So these use cases emerge as new narratives that become pretty popular and already touch traditional industries and businesses that have been existing for decades. It isn’t as bad to see that the hype around gets so quickly in here that we immediately meet another wave. And we always lack it because building things takes time. However, in the long-term, I think we are taking the right path in development by trying to solve the issues that lead to plutocracy and the distribution of power problem.
There are a lot of LessWrong devotees in IT, and in the crypto space in particular, and we’ve heard you are one of them. How do you feel about LessWrong vision?
Sometimes, yes. Mostly ‘Library’. Gave a lecture on Humanode to one of their branches half a year ago. The Sequences is like a meta school to connect all the knowledge before and during the University if paired with Kanke, a philosopher of science, and his transtheoretical approach.
And now, as a final blitz. I will ask you a few questions and you have to answer as fast as possible with the first thing that comes to your mind.
Describe the project in three words.
Biometric Sybil resistance.
Who inspires you?
What are your current goals in life?
Rebuild the financial system.
Outside of crypto and blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
I think it’s all kinds of water sports.
Polka dots or stripes?
Big dogs or small dogs?
Give advice to the Humanode community.
Please kindly learn how the economy actually works, because everyone is constantly being fed lies about how it truly works at school and at university.