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Bitcoin and decentralized social media with Eduardo Fonnegra and Ryan Condron — 08/03

On Tuesday, August 3rd, our CEO Ryan Condron joined Eduardo Fonnegra, Weentar’s co-founder and CEO, on Periscope to discuss Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and decentralized social media. Here are the talk’s highlights.

The future of Bitcoin

The first topic of discussion was Bitcoin and the surge it has seen these last days. ˛Being in this industry for many years, Ryan has learned to take these moves calmly: “We’ve been through these cycles over and over again where we see these crazy peaks, and then it pulls back.” He explained that this is pretty normal for Bitcoin, and “most people that have been in the space are used to and expecting it.”

Nevertheless, having a conservative, calm approach doesn’t take optimism away from our CEO. “The reality is we’re in a deflationary system, so it’s going to continue to go up through the years as it gets better adoption,” he added. “The coins are going to become less and less available. […] We’re only ten, eleven years into this ecosystem. Go another ten years into the future and think about how scarce 21 million coins will be dispersed throughout the globe.” Ryan didn’t take a guess at a number, but based on Bitcoin’s model, he is confident that it’ll be high.

Eduardo agreed and highlighted how fast Bitcoin adoption is growing, something he noted during the Bitcoin 2021 convention in Miami, in which Ryan was a speaker himself: “I walked into that convention, and I was mind-blown by how many people were there. I waited in line for almost three hours.” Eduardo pointed out how great it is that so many people are willing to hear from many incredible speakers who share their insights into where Bitcoin is heading.

How Titan came to be

Eduardo remembered listening to Ryan talking about Bitcoin mining at the stage on Bitcoin 2021, so he jumped right into the topic, asking him about his beginnings in the industry.

“I got into mining in late 2012,” he explained, adding that his motivation was the interest he had in this new transactional, digital, peer-to-peer currency that anyone could take part in the transaction processing. He underlined that the most exciting aspects for him were its decentralized authority and its permissionless nature.

“Originally, we built GPU rigs to do Litecoin mining,” he remembered. “At that time, Butterfly Labs was starting to roll off ASICs, and it was getting a little too difficult to mine with GPUs.” Looking for maximum profitability — like any miner would do — , Ryan saw an opportunity with Litecoin and some of the other altcoins, which had better returns. Hence, the strategy from the beginning was+ calculating profitability on different altcoins and then converting them into Bitcoin on exchanges. A plan that, according to him, went “really, really well.”

Fast forward six years later. It’s 2018, and Ryan is about to found his very own crypto mining company: “The vision of Titan was taking a lot of the things we had learned through the years of mining management, profitability targeting, and hashrate routing, and building it into good software layers.”

Indeed, Titan started as a mining management suite working with at-scale facilities. It wasn’t until 2020 that we built better pool mining software and essentially better architecture for further mining optimization. “Now, we’re working on a decentralized protocol around hashrate management and routing for all the proof-of-work networks,” added our CEO. We believe hashrate as a commodity will be the future driving force for these proof-of-work ecosystems, whatever they focus on. And that’s why we’re determined to make mining as optimized as possible.

Ryan’s experience

In between Ryan’s first steps in the cryptocurrency mining industry and Titan’s consolidation in 2018, there were many projects to work on — all related to cryptocurrency mining.

The first one was CoinWarz, a website initially launched by a friend of his by the name of Kyle in 2013. It was essentially a coin price tracker focused on mining, where miners would know what to mine and when to mine it. “Kyle still runs the site. It’s still a very useful calculation tool around profitability,” he remembered.

“From there, we rolled it into a site called PoolWarz, which ran about 80 different mining pools. We noticed that there were so many new coins coming online, and there wasn’t a good, stable community or infrastructure around them.” That’s when they decided to host mining tools for a lot of these projects.

One year later, Ryan developed a project called RigWarz, this time focusing on mining hardware. It was a comparison site that analyzed all the specs and profitability targets of new equipment as it came out.

Although these are the most relevant, our CEO worked on many other small projects before starting with Titan. There’s no denying that his experience and knowledge of the industry are extensive and that they have helped him achieve success over the years.

How to calculate profitability

After telling him about his projects, Eduardo was interested in how one can acquire accurate mining data and how to use it to calculate profitability.

“When you’re looking at profitability calculations — and this is what’s so cool about peer-to-peer networks — , you go directly to the code repository, you download the node, you compile it, and then you sync it. The hashrate and the difficulty of the network are all built into the protocol,” responded Ryan.

Being public, open ledgers, you don’t have to trust anyone for the information or profitability targets. You only need to have the difficulty of the network and the exchange rate. All the information is available on-chain. “If there is an exchange that’s hosting the coin, that’s how you can back-calculate what to mine.”

Mining difficulty plays a vital role in the matter too. Typically, when there’s a drop in difficulty, that coin becomes way more profitable to mine. That’s what we’ve seen with Bitcoin after all the Chinese miners coming offline to relocate. All the existing miners that have left their hardware online saw a massive spike in profitability. Miners can do that kind of calculation for all the other networks based on difficulty and exchange rate.

The role of governments on cryptocurrency mining

Since China banning Bitcoin mining came up, Eduardo asked how local governments, legal framework, and regulations in each country could affect the cryptocurrency mining landscape.

“Governments have their initiative and, at the end of the day, they are run by elected individuals that are supposed to represent people,” stated Ryan. “We as a society put governments in place. And they’re fallible. They can make bad decisions. A lot of it comes down to education. If we want people to make better decisions, then we need to make sure that they have all the information to do that.”

To Ryan, the lack of education is often to blame for harmful regulations. Instead of confronting them, he believes that the crypto community should cooperate with governments to ensure cryptocurrency development. “It comes down to education, to making sure that we’re not making the government the enemy, that we’re not making regulators the enemy. We’re going to be working alongside them. They need Bitcoin as a stable store of value just as much as we need them to oversee and enforce certain safeguards in a society.”

However, as governments start cooperating with miners and the ecosystem grows, the need for hashrate decentralization and commoditization will become more significant. That is what Titan focuses on and why we believe that it “is going to help with the transmission, distribution, and decentralization of that hashrate as it scales.”

Decentralized social networks

Finally, and being his primary activity in the crypto industry, Eduardo asked Ryan his opinion on decentralized social media.

Our CEO highlighted the importance of freedom of speech and opinion and the right to be heard. He believes that “decentralized social networks are such a crucial part of that.”

“We’ve seen through the years what centralized oversight, regulation, and governments can do when they silence the voice of the people. We also see what society looks like when people feel heard. I feel like decentralized social media is such an important step in keeping people’s voices heard and uncensored,” he added.

Indeed, even when we don’t agree or like the message some people are spreading, we should make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to have their voices heard. For Ryan, freedom of speech is a top priority.

“Sometimes we’re going to say things everybody likes, sometimes we’re going to say things everyone doesn’t like. But at the end of the day, my voice should be just as important as your voice, and it should be just as important as the next person,” he concluded.

Thanks, Weentar!

We would like to thank Eduardo and the whole Weentar team for giving us a space to talk and engage with them and the community. As we always say, we cherish every chance we get to participate in the debate and exchange our ideas with everyone else.

If you don’t know Weentar, make sure to visit their website and follow them on Twitter to learn more about what they’re working on.

See you at our next event!

The Titan Team.



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