Get to Know Nate “Machete” Brune, XYO’s Brilliant, Spirited Blockchain Developer!
Make no mistake, XYO is a company packed with over-achievers. But even working among people who live and breathe XYO, Nate “Machete” Brune stands out as a coding genius.
While we can’t tell you why he’s called “Machete” (company secret), we CAN tell you that this young developer has a fascinating background that starts with acting in high school plays and runs all the way up to building blockchain tech for XYO’s bluetooth beacons.
A favorite around the office who digs decentralization to the max, here’s more on Nate “Machete” Brune.
Let’s talk about your time before XYO. What were you doing?
I have always been interested in computer science and what kind of problems it lends itself to solving. Decentralized systems are especially interesting to me because they put the power in the hands of the people who use it. These decentralized systems can be used for foul play but overwhelmingly they are a positive influence on the world. In addition to decentralized systems, I also find cryptographic systems very interesting. Using mathematical frameworks to create systems with no middleman and proof of no tampering is a huge leap for society. Because I am so interested in these systems I studied them rigorously in high school in my free time. Once I understood the core principles of cryptocurrencies I couldn’t let the idea go. Eventually I was brought onto the blockchain team at Steemit where I learned what it meant to engineer a live working blockchain, and many of the never-before-seen issues associated with that.
When / how did you come across XYO as a company?
While at Steemit I met a kind and intelligent coworker named Erik Saberski. We spent our brief time together programming in a shared cubicle. Skipping ahead, both Erik and I had departed from Steemit inc. While I was unemployed I was seeking new ideas and strategies for blockchains. One of the projects I came across was XYO while they were doing the ICO many months ago. The Bound Witness is an interesting idea and I read about the project but there wasn’t a litany of information available at that time. In addition I was trying to build my own project so I wasn’t necessarily interested in joining the team at that time, until one day I got a call.
What made you decide to try and work here — and how did you go about it?
Erik Saberski was already in San Diego studying chaotic systems at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It’s a very new and experimental set of mathematics which lends it to be very interesting for a Data Scientist like Erik. These equations for chaos fit perfectly with the mission of XYO, which is piecing useful information together out of the chaos of the real world. This is why Erik applied to work at XYO. A week or so after Erik was employed he gave me a phone call and explained the whole project. At that point I got very interested in XYO and gave it a good second look. The fine people at XY gave me a nice interview and I really enjoyed my time spent with the team. After hearing the idea and meeting the team I was in.
Tell me about your experiences here so far… what has it been like?
It’s been a learning experience. In my day-to-day work here at XY I work on programming the Bluetooth beacons that we sell. They are somewhat under-powered so it’s been a fun challenge for me to get the beacons to do the XYO protocol. I’ve never been one to balk in the face of a challenge though and I enjoy it. Very similar to solving a puzzle in my experience. When I am feeling frustrated or dismayed I know I always have my fellow coworkers to bounce ideas and make me feel better. My coworkers also have good energy and see the bigger picture of what we are trying to accomplish, so it’s fun to share our accomplishments and predictions for the future.
What’s a typical day (if there is one) for you here?
Typically I come in around 8:30 and my primary goal is to obtain coffee as quickly as possible. After the primary mission is achieved I can begin my work trying to add features and fix bugs on the Sentinel X. For the past few months it’s been very heads down as we try to integrate many moving parts into one cohesive product. I feel like we have made a tremendous amount of progress in the last few months and it’s been a great experience. When the Sentinel X is publically available for download we will have to have a meeting and discuss what features we want to add next and what would be most valuable to everyone. In addition to the Sentinel X, I spend trace amounts of my time working on other group efforts at the company.
What are your ultimate goals here?
At XYO I would like to create a popular developer platform for confirming and inquiring about real world data from a fully decentralized context. We have had a tremendous start and it’s only upwards from here. Ultimately I would like to get many projects utilizing our network to further decentralize the global economy and cut costs and corruption down to a minimum in the process.
We’ve heard that you like to sing. Tell us about that.
Yes I enjoy singing! In high school I had to choose between band and choir and I went with choir. Tenor if you must know. I also enjoyed working with students after school to do two shows and one musical every year at the Springfield Theater Workshop. Three performances is a lot for high school but it amused me and my friends were doing it. There are a few clips around of me singing but largely they’re in the vault.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do outside the office?
I’ve tried out many hobbies. I used to play football for two years in middle school and high school, I also did dance for two years, and as I mentioned the theater took up a lot of time as well. These days I have been working a lot and when I get home I just enjoy talking to my friends on discord from high school. We still play many video games and we enjoy just chit chatting in the meantime. Besides gaming I also like to research new and novel ideas in the area of Distributed Ledger Technology and Decentralized systems in general. I also watch probably too much youtube. One of my favorite things to learn about is modern physics as well. We still have no clue what causes gravity, and that’s amazing to me. Physics is like the programming language of the universe and it captivates me that we are still trying to figure out the rules.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy working on the hardware, I enjoy my team, and I feel that the work is truly meaningful. In addition, I’m learning a lot as I go so it’s an excellent job for me.
What are you obsessing over right now?
I am always obsessing over cryptocurrency news, politics, and my job. The reason is because the answers about what the killer product is and how to bring it to market are out there. Someone somewhere is going to come up with the idea that could change society at a fundamental level for the better. I want to be part of the solution and I am obsessed with making it so.