Oasis Foundation
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Oasis Foundation

Node Operator Spotlight: SimplyVC

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

We are a team of node operators and developers from Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean, excited to support the development of a new decentralized world. We are strongly driven by a belief that privacy should be a key pillar of this decentralized future, which is why we operate our nodes, under the Simply Staking name, out of our privately owned Tier-3 data center allowing us to truly decentralize blockchain networks rather than rely on large infrastructure owned by a handful of large conglomerates who ultimately have full control over everything that runs on their systems.

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?

The inherent environmental impact of PoW is reason enough to look towards working on alternative systems. We first got into the area of PoS running masternodes for DASH, PIVX and their many forks. Subsequently, we decided to focus on dPOS systems since we believe our private high-availability setup is perfectly suited to support these networks. We became one of the genesis validators of the Cosmos Hub more than a year ago, moving on to become Mainnet validators for the Celo, Kusama, Polkadot and Pocket’s live networks as well as validators for various testnets including Elixxir, Akash and Microtick. We also operate an official Chainlink node.

Tell us about your business model and how you think about delegation and commission rates

In pursuit of our vision of decentralised world, we look to support innovative blockchain projects at the early stages of their development. We participate in testnets that help bring the projects to launch and foster community building.

We plan to focus in the coming months on educating token holders on the fundamental importance of privacy, security and decentralisation. We strongly belief that as they become more attuned to these issues, as Oasis holders surely are, they will understand the importance of delegating to smaller validators like Simply Staking, as opposed to the larger institutions.

From our end, we offer fair commission rates while ensuring that we can sustain our growth to further achieve our vision. We supplement this with work in the ecosystem, from helping blockchain projects in launching their system to developing open-source tools for the ecosystem.

In addition to running nodes, does your team focus on other aspects of the blockchain ecosystem? Community efforts, building tooling, token economic research, etc?

As the Simply Staking operations started to grow, we felt the need to develop a way for getting alerted when something goes wrong with our nodes as well as for monitoring the state of these nodes on the fly. The result is PANIC, a tool developed for monitoring Oasis Protocol nodes, and nodes based on the Cosmos, and Substrate SDKs. We also built additional tooling for Oasis and Polkadot developers.

We are also developing augmented bonding curve functionality for the Cosmos SDK, which we believe will allow for the development of new financial mechanisms required across DeFi.

Finally, we are leveraging our expertise to actively support our partners IXO and KiraEx in the launch of their projects.

Tell us about why you joined the Oasis Network. What made you interested to join?

We got introduced to the Oasis Network at the Web3.0 summit in 2019, when we met Dawn Song. She was very excited to explain to us the vision of developing a blockchain focusing on enabling confidential compute as well as preserving data ownership and privacy. The applications of this are abundant and necessary in order to harness the potential offered by blockchain in an ethical and secure way.

This marries very well with our strong belief in the fundamental importance of privacy and it was immediately clear to us that we should support the network in any way we could. In a time where our data is passed around the world and abused by third parties on a whim, it is critically important to build the foundations that will move us away from the current status quo.

Anything that’s made you particularly excited about the Network — technology wise, community wise, etc?

The provision of tools enabling scientific research to be conducted on large shared databases while still preserving the rights of the individuals who provide the data is something that is hard not to be excited about.

Such tools enable inclusive open research collaboration in ways that are simply not possible in todays siloed environment created by a system that values ownership more than anything else.

Any big feedback or things we should work on?

We are extremely impressed with the thoroughness of the Oasis team in the organisation of The Quest. It has been a great experience for ourselves and has given us the opportunity to integrate into the Oasis community.

In the future, we look forward to the implementation of IBC to allow for the Oasis network to be connected with the wider ecosystem of interoperable blockchains.

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?

Once the network is established, it would be great for companies to share information, in a highly curated way, with other organizations who can develop breakthroughs that the data providers would also reap the rewards from. Such research scalability is unfortunately impossible or at least much harder to achieve in the current siloed environment.

Furthermore, it would be extremely exciting if this shift in participation could be extended to include individuals who would be able to not only provide data but also be remunerated for the data they are providing, from any proceeds coming from the use of their data.

The above is, for example, largely applicable to the medical field. If patients are comfortable sharing their data that they know will remain private, then the potential for breakthrough research would improve dramatically.

Finally, it would be great to see other type of Dapps coming forward and taking advantage of the Oasis Protocol allowing for storage of confidential information, such as password management software.

[1] https://github.com/SimplyVC/panic_cosmos

[2] https://github.com/SimplyVC/panic_polkadot

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A better internet is only a matter of time. The Oasis network is trying to fix what’s broken by giving users back control of their data using a combination of secure compute and a proof-of-stake blockchain.

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