Ark Community Digest Ep. 9— CJ ‘Azek’

Colby Mort
Oct 15, 2018 · 5 min read

Hey everyone! Welcome back to episode 9 of the Ark Community Digest. If you hadn’t noticed, last week we took a hiatus to focus on expanding the ideas behind the ACD articles and we’re now back again this week with CJ (Azek) from the community who has been present for a while within the community and is someone that always chips in with helpful discussion so it’s only fair we brought him on to get to know him a bit better!

CJ is a DevOps Engineer in Kansas City who has been involved in blockchain development and research for a little over a year. In his free time, he is a core organiser for DevOpsDays KC tech conference and enjoys to travel with his wife and two dogs.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

What Made You Join The Ark Community?

In late 2016 when I started getting into mining Ethereum and trading altcoins. When looking for a coin to buy, I would focus on buying coins that I felt would be here for the long run instead of short-term profit. I either use my cryptocurrency to buy things or hold them for the future. My friend messaged me and told me to check out this new coin called ARK. He said he thought I would like what ARK was doing and how it was different than other coins. I checked out ARK’s website, I dove into the ARK Deployer, gave a small talk on it, and have been interested in ARK every since.

What Got You Into Cryptocurrencies In The First Place?

I found out about Bitcoin in 2011, and I thought it was super interesting that I could create value by running a process on my computer. I also thought the idea of cryptocurrencies having value without a central regulatory to be pretty interesting.

What’s Your Background & What Are Your Hobbies?

I am a DevOps Engineer, and my hobbies are travelling, playing with my dogs and attempting to grow plants.

What’s your Ambition For The Future?

To travel to as many countries as my age (within each decade of my life). Currently I am 28 and I have been to 20 countries, so I have some work to do.

If You Could Think Of One Thing You’d Like To See For Ark, What Would It Be?

Become a tool that universities use to teach blockchain. I think ARK has a huge advantage for those who want to become educated on blockchain development. ARK is extremely hackable (in the good way!), easy to spin up instances (shoutout to ARK Deployer) and supports over 15 languages.

If I were to teach a blockchain/cryptocurrency workshop, I would definitely consider using ARK that is for sure!

Who Is The Person You Look Up To The Most?

My dad. I wish I had half of his work ethic.

Who Is Your Favourite Ark Community Member & Why?

Well, I have to first say my delegate, right? Which would be ARKMoon! He has always helped me if with any ARK or blockchain questions I have.
The other person would be Catt. He is a very talented university student, who is doing a great job in introducing his peers to the blockchain.

Where Do You See The Price Of Ark This Time Next Year?

Honestly, no idea. I don’t follow ARK for the price.
I think they are going to get value from being an amazing resource to developers (Getting paid for support for example)

You Can Have Your Dream Company Implement Ark’s Tech, Who Would It Be?

Using blockchain to create a cheap and accessible platform for content creators to share and distribute their work to potential publishers. I think blockchain is going to lower the barrier to entry for producers. I imagine publishers/promoters/consumers/etc could scan the blockchain for content. If they find something they like, they can track down the owner and negotiate a price for the good. If the consumer and producer agree upon a price (this could even happen automatically in a smart contract), the ownership of the item(s) gets sent to the buyer, and the producer gets paid in crypto. This would be tracked and verified on a blockchain, which would facilitate the transfer and proof of ownership of the good to the consumer.

What is your favourite quote?

“If someone puts a gun to my head & tells me to write a hardfork patch, I will definitely write it. If I publish a patch to delete a bunch of accounts, how many people here would download & install the update & switch to that chain? I see few raised hands. This is called decentralization.” –Vitalik Buterin

Segment: Getting To Know CJ

This is a new segment we’re trialling where we’re asking three extra questions based around some of the above responses! Let us know what you think of this segment and if you have any other expansions of this segment in the comments on Twitter/Reddit or Slack!

Can you tell us more about what the DevOpsDays KC Tech Conference is about?

DevOpsDays is a worldwide series of technical conferences covering topics of software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them. DevOpsDays KC is organised by a group of 11 or so working professionals, all of which live in Kansas City. More information can be found at If this conference looks like something you would be in to, check out the list of cities that have DevOpsDays to see if you city is listed.

You say you’d like to travel more, what countries are next on your list?

In early 2019 I am going to Ireland and Scotland!

You mention you gave a talk about Ark Deployer, how did this come about?

I enjoy giving small talks to the blockchain meetup group that I currently attend. While it is a small group, the members are very eager to learn about blockchain technologies, and we even have a few members who are currently implementing their very own technical solution which use blockchain. There is a member who is creating a water application being built by a civil engineer who is using a blockchain to track usage which I find very interesting.


Thanks ever so much to CJ for letting all of us get to know him better! If you see CJ around the Slack make sure to ask him any questions you may have and check out the DevOpsDays events if this would interest you!

As always make sure to lock onto our Twitter for more information on all crypto related TGH! Stay tuned next week for Episode 10!

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