Summary of the aelf
live AMA with Sebastiaan Lichter (Founder Blockport) and Zowie Langdon (CTO Blockport).
-=aelf x Blockport AMA Stage 1 official questions=-
Q: How did the blockchain journey begin for you guys? Sebastiaan:
Since I was younger, I was actually always very interested in new technology. During my studies I stumbled upon Bitcoin when I was involved in online gaming and then a bit later I started trading cryptocurrencies. I experienced first hand how difficult it was as a beginner to start getting involved in cryptocurrencies. I think everyone can relate to the obstacles encountered when you want to buy your first cryptocurrency.
We then concluded that it needed to be made easy and understandable so that non-technical people (mass market) will also be able to embrace this new digital economy and adopt the industry.
From then on we started building on our own project, wrote a whitepaper where we described how we were going to solve multiple problems that exchanges face, built a community around our proposition and funded our platform with a token sale. Our platform is now live for a few months and already makes it easy for people to start trading. Zowie:
I have always been pretty interested in distributed systems and architectures, and while developing/designing a large voting advice platform in the Netherlands I got more involved with concepts around governance and overall politics. Besides this, my natural interest in philosophy and my studies around it have gotten me fascinated by ethical aspects and other concepts related to trust and society as a whole.
Then, after stumbling on Ethereum by accident in its earlier days (through Reddit, I believe), I got quite interested in the technology behind blockchains and was already fascinated by some cryptographical things I just read about. At that time, I was working with Sebastiaan already, who inspired me to start investing a bit of my own money to understand this side from it as well.
The rest is history :)
Q: What is Blockport? What is the purpose of creating it? Sebastiaan:
Blockport is a plug-and-play crypto exchange that addresses the mass-market. In the back-end, Blockport is connected to multiple external exchanges to aggregate liquidity and provide our customers with the best prices.
Blockport’s unique ‘social trading’ features enable users to follow- or automatically copy each others portfolio or trading activities. Experienced traders can earn Blockport’s native token BPT by sharing knowledge with beginner traders.
Eventually, Blockport will be built on a hybrid-decentralised architecture, allowing users to trade in a high-frequency and centralised way, but can store their funds in a safe and decentralised way.
The purpose of Blockport is to take away all obstacles to cryptocurrency trading and make it accessible and safe for everyone.
Q: Any unique feature this exchange is having rather than other exchange? Sebastiaan:
Indeed, I already explained our cornerstones in my previous answer, which are: Exchange aggregator, Social Trading and Hybrid-decentralization.
The main distinctive feature of Blockport is Social Trading. With Social Trading beginner traders will be able to follow or automatically copy experienced traders’ portfolios. With these features we’re aiming to close the knowledge gap between beginners and expert traders who have been in the space for a while already and make it easier for people to participate and start trading.
Q: When did you first hear about aelf? What was your impression of aelf? Zowie:
I’ve heard about Aelf not too long ago. The idea generally reminds me of what we’re trying to achieve with serverless architectures, but then in a truly decentralized way. When I look at the team, I get the feeling it consists of very capable people as well.
So all in all, I’m quite enthusiastic about Aelf! They’re trying to solve a complex problem that if solved, can change the way we run software globally.
Q: What would Blockport focus on in the future? And how could Blockport possibly work with aelf in the future? Zowie:
We are aiming to focus on further expanding our platform to both US and Asia, while presently maintaining our focus on the EU. As this expansion does not only involve marketing or compliance, but also improvement of our product, projects like Aelf are potentially interesting because of our distributed nature. We run on microservices, and are inherently interested in serverless infrastructure. Running part of our infrastructure on-chain, albeit not everything would be possible right away, is an interesting way to further decentralize our platform besides only the decentralization of core trading components to indirectly protect users’ funds.
One of the main reasons we chose for a distributed system is because we see that not only Blockchain but the overall way we run infrastructure nowadays is changing rapidly and becomes more and more ‘serverless’, which is something Aelf can potentially support us with in the future as well.
-=aelf x Blockport AMA Stage 2 community member questions=-
Q: Can you describe what your average day is like at Blockport? Zowie:
As I’m a sporadic night owl, it sometimes involves part of the night as well :) Generally, the teams have a small standup (we are divided over multiple smaller teams). Some teammates work remote, so we set up a call or use Slack. We’re basically always in touch with each other and do most of our communications in public channels. As we focus on DevOps, there’s a lot of autonomy involved in developing and releasing services, so generally teams can go about their own way as long as certain actions like deployments get approvals and reviews from others.
We choose to lunch together, play some ping pong to get some exercise and sometimes take a walk :) Besides this, it’s generally pretty quiet in the office besides the focused typing sometimes lasting until late in the evening..
Even though it’s getting colder here in the Netherlands, we also try to stay fit by doing a bootcamp together every week. This isn’t only fun, but also is a great way to motivate each other and get to know each other better as the team grows rapidly.
To consolidate everything we do in a week, we have weekly demos where everyone shows what is fully done and ready for release or a next phase. We also go through a retrospective to discuss things that could have gone better and pick them up immediately. Sebastiaan:
My day has in general a lot of overlap with Zowie’s description. When I wake up I start my day generally early and start working at home with a cup of coffee. My morning routine consists of reading through all slack messages of the team, make a daily planning for myself and set priorities, go through my email, and of course take a look at the market :)
Then I drive to our HQ, which is a 15 min drive from my home. I like the commuting time and use it to think of how I’m going to tackle the things I have to do that day. So when I get to the office I usually start with gathering info on slack and in person to see what everyone is working on and get some feedback to see where I can help.
During the day, it differs a lot on what I’m working on. I have a very multidisciplinary role, ranging from helping out with product features, making decisions for issues that arise, working on financial forecasts or mapping out marketing campaigns with our marketing team.
In general, I don’t have a typical day and my activities vary a lot.
Q: Blockport aims to be a worldwide exchange offering its services to everyone. At present, there are 39 supported countries mainly from Europe with EURO as the main currency. When is Blockport going to support other countries especially those crypto friendly countries in Asia and introduce more currencies? Sebastiaan:
You’re right, Blockport is indeed aiming to be a worldwide exchange, and I can tell you that we’re currently working on it and you can expect us to be opening our platform to countries outside the EEA very soon.
Q: For Mr. Langdon. I see from the Blockport whitepaper that you are interested in scalable and modular architecture to effectively build modern solutions. Will the Aelf multi-layer side chains play in role in building your exchange, or is something else in store? :) Zowie:
Indeed! I think modularity and scalability are pretty cool :) The advantages of abstracting into more isolated components with their own runtime and with higher focus on efficient communication between components is something that we believe already adds a lot of value to our platform. The ability to update, replace and scale parts of your infrastructure individually increases flexibility a lot. Whether it can be the Aelf multi-layer side chains and its branch structure, or the cross chain capabilities is something I’m not certain of as yet.
Depending on the direction Aelf takes, and naturally also Blockport, implementing Proof of Concepts for decentralizing parts of our platform on Aelf is something that I believe is the first step. Getting our team slowly acquainted with running on Aelf and exploring these possibilities is something I’m interested in. I would like to do a little PoC myself if I happen to find the time :)
Q: What are the challenges you anticipate Blockport will face in the short & long term? Zowie:
First and foremost, looking at the market right now, we are planning to focus on traction, differentiate more and take this time to get our quality and security to outstanding levels. We know that blockchain projects and certain cryptocurrencies will change aspects of our economy and the world in fundamental ways in the years to come, and we are preparing for this.
In the long term, we anticipate challenges around scale and regulations. Not unsolvable, but challenges we are preparing for. Naturally, differentiating ourselves from competitors and upholding very high standards on usability and scalability will be constant challenges. But we’re getting better every week :)
Q: Can I ask about the AELF listing process? Will it be through one of the connected exchanges? Sebastiaan:
It's a short answer, but yes the listing of Aelf will be through one of our connected exchanges so that we have liquidity for our user from the get go.
Thank you for hosting us!
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