Node Operator Spotlight: RockX
This is a new series highlighting the amazing work node operators on the Oasis Network are doing. To learn more and to become a node operator on the Oasis Network, go here.
Tell us about your team — who are you, where are you based?
RockX is a digital assets service platform that enables anyone to capitalize on the emerging global asset class of digital assets through mining and staking. We operate from two offices — our headquarters is in Singapore and we have a team in Shenzhen, China too. Each of our team members brings strong and unique expertise, with most of them previously working on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency wallets, and exchanges extensively.
What made you interested in Proof-of-Stake networks? What was the first network you ran a validator for? What other networks are you running validators for?
Dr. Alex Lam, the CEO of RockX, founded RockMiner in 2013. After six years of growing the company and expanding to 3 mining farms, Alex began to seek new opportunities for growth in the blockchain industry. Learning from his experience with scams and investment bubbles, he wondered if he could build a platform where newcomers can participate in the digital asset economy safely and smartly. He started researching into the Proof-of-Stake industry, specifically on how staking could help investors compound their portfolio in a low-risk profile.
Dr. Xinshu Dong, the former CEO and co-founder of Zilliqa — the first public blockchain to implement sharding technology — has a keen interest in exploring how different consensus protocols and incentive mechanisms play their roles in growing a vibrant blockchain ecosystem. With an aligned vision, they co-founded RockX, a platform for anyone to start mining and staking. We first ran a validator node for IoTeX, and now, other than Oasis, we run validator nodes for Terra, Kusama, IoTeX, Aion, Solana, and NuCypher.
Tell us about your business model and how you think about delegation and commission rates.
As a digital assets service platform, we charge a competitive fee on the returns made by the user/client. We are seeing more staking-as-a-service platforms emerging, and exchanges and wallets are also starting to enable staking services. We think that it is good for the industry to be more decentralized and diversified, but this also means that commission rates need to be competitive to maintain a loyal customer base of token holders.
In addition to running nodes, does your team focus on other aspects of the blockchain ecosystem? Community efforts, building tooling, token economic research, etc?
Other than running nodes, we are working on three other initiatives in the blockchain ecosystem:
1. Bitcoin mining service: We are building a Bitcoin mining service that is more transparent and trustworthy by leveraging on a legal structure to help professional investors get involved with Bitcoin mining.
2. Content partnerships: We are working with prominent players in the mining industry, such as Poolin, F2Pool, and Antpool among others, to conduct research and produce industry reports and infographics to promote more transparency and visibility into the mining industry. We plan to work on similar content partnerships within the staking ecosystem in the near future.
3. Tooling building: We are also working on development projects to enable better user experience and smoothen the onboarding process for users and developers of new blockchains.
Tell us about why you joined the Oasis Network. What made you interested to join?
Oasis focuses on providing a highly usable blockchain platform with data privacy and security. It solves several key issues in the blockchain space, including data protection and enterprise readiness. Needless to say, the project is spearheaded by a great team with very strong backgrounds in technology and applications. We’ve known the project since its beginning, and are glad to start supporting it since then.
Anything that’s made you particularly excited about the Network — technology-wise, community-wise, etc?
Xinshu worked on data protection with trusted hardware on blockchain in a different setting and is particularly excited about seeing Oasis making that work at a global scale and for real-world use cases. We expect Oasis to be a trailblazer in getting blockchain adoption in use cases where powerful and sophisticated data protection and access policy are required.
Any big feedback or things we should work on?
We would love to be able to see articles that provide a deep dive into the cool technological components the team is building, such as the Oasis Gateway and the core components for data protection.
In 5 years where do you hope to see the Oasis Network? What kinds of problems would you like the community and foundation to be focused on solving collectively?
I’d love to see many products and solutions have “Oasis Inside” just like “Intel Inside”, but only that. Intel has been powering so many devices, solutions, applications, and products, and is so instrumental in our daily lives; yet we do not have to be bothered by its technical details. I hope blockchain technology could one day be the underlying ingredient of everything where it’s fitting.