W. Scott Stornetta is considered to be one of the founding fathers of current blockchain technology. Out of 8 quotations in the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, 3 of them (or maybe 4) were borrowed from the works of Stornetta and his partner and friend Stuart Haber. BitNovosti approached Scott and asked him about his vision of the present and the future of the blockchain industry and philosophy.
*BitNovosti are grateful to the Cryptofriends team for the remarkable assistance in organising the interview.
BN: Hello, Scott, thank you for dedicating your time to answer our questions. First of all, I’d really like to ask if your expectations of the blockchain tech progress match the reality?
Stornetta: Well, it’s very surprising and pleasant to see that much interest and lots of capable people entering this space. It’s really a little bit surreal for me. Of course, when Stuart and I did the early blockchain work we had high hopes for it, but we could not even imagine these huge results. My main concern and hope is that people will focus on the fundamentals and avoid the speculative aspects of this space. The foundation that we’ve built is secure. And if people will build a trusted space and systems on top of it, then they can prosper. But there is no need to become an instant millionaire.
BN: What are your greatest fears today, regarding the future of blockchain?
Stornetta: Well, pretty much the same thing: that people will focus too much on speculating and won’t be able to see the need to create underline value in trust-based system.
BN: Which skills and qualities are relevant and welcome in blockchain community? Where do you suggest to focus those enthusiasts, who just enter the space.
Stornetta: First of all, try to understand the technology well enough, so you can navigate the space. The second and really, in a sense, the most important thing is to find an opportunity where you can create some real value. Imagine how you along with others could create a better system than what currently exists. And the third thing is to find a way to monetize the created value. And don’t get to step 3 in front of step 2, or in front of step 1. Develop your own rational, a step-by-step way.
Blockchain community has been very creative since the very beginning. Regarding the fundamental idea of decentralization and democratization people don’t want to be told what to do by some central authority. I think, people in blockchain quite naturally try to find opportunities allying with their own philosophy.
BN: When does blockchain project becomes a success?
Stornetta: When it builds a community of trust and adds value to the world, makes the world a better place to live in.
BN: How do you see the long-term perspectives of blockchain technology?
Stornetta: If you look at what’s happening now in blockchain industry… now we witness a tremendous opportunity and space for many other decentralised systems and services, along with the projects which already exist. For instance, those that try to put identity and non-financial assets on blockchain, so that we don’t have to surrender our identity to a central trusted governmental authority. It is a big step forward.
BN: Have you heard anything about Russian blockchain community?
Stornetta: Certainly, for sure. Russia has strong technical skills. It’s an incredible resource for programming. Talking about the community in broader sense, in my opinion at this point it’s sort of eclectic and dominated by some centralized authority. So, I think, that you can restructure it and make more efficient by decentralizing it.