Today we are talking to Moshe Malawach who is the Founder and CEO of Aleph.im.
- Aleph.im is a cross-blockchain layer-2 network which is specifically focused on decentralized applications and their related infrastructure, and whose aim is to decentralize and revolutionize the web and the cloud as we know it.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
I’ve always been interested in computers, and I was really interested in Internet technology early on. I loved (and still love) writing too -- about everything and anything.
I enjoyed exploring how things work, how to build, code, design etc. I’ve always been trying to create new things (basic, visual basic, php, photoshop, 3ds max... to name a few softwares from this era that I use a lot).
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
My parents, definitely. I tried to do (and did!) both of their jobs (electronic engineer, and project manager) later in my professional career, while finding my own path.
Open source, and the free software movement, also shaped my career.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
Now that’s a tough question! Interaction with others, especially teenagers can be hurtful, and when I was about 13 to 16 I think I faced the brunt of criticism from my peers. Being the “geek” often doesn’t help social situations!
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
Learn as much as you can. You can lose everything, but not what you’ve learnt. Also, the more you learn, the easier it gets to learn new things!
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
My ability to learn and my resilience are probably my most valuable traits. I don’t take “impossible” things for granted. When everyone says something is impossible, I say try it anyway.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
85% of projects in the crypto space are empty shells with no use. Unfortunately, many projects that are hyped are often either over-engineered solutions by academics or fake empty promises.
I don’t include DeFi projects in that category though. I think there is a huge use for DeFI and related projects.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
Just do it. Set pressure aside and carry on. Dwelling on pressure won’t help. Listen to music or find something that helps you progress.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
Design electronics and other products. I’m a “maker.” 🙂
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
The meme culture. At its peak, the memes circulating crypto were quite funny!
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind that you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
...Wow. Is that your real name?
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
* Massively invest in education and provide means for anyone to get access to computers
* Invest in Fab Labs
* Make sure people get access to all supplies necessary for hands-on technology learning
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) What do you feel makes the Aleph.im community unique compared to others?
The community was built organically from stakers who believed in the project at start (they staked their NULS to get ALEPH tokens), then from “rescued” proponents of pikciochain (we did an airdrop to holders of pikciochain’s token PKX when pikciochain stated they were going out of business, as we were starting a decentralized identity system too).
It resulted in a globally positive community that encourages the project.
13) Personal project aside, what are some ‘communities’ in the space that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
This is a good question. I felt welcomed in the community of Phantasma, as it’s very well managed. Engagement is encouraged by their admins. Another community I really love is DeFI France, a french group about decentralized finance.
14) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
I use Twitter daily, and Telegram too. Reddit I use a bit less, but I still enjoy going on it. I still feel “trapped” by the centralization of all these platforms; they are owned by companies that have all the rights on them, and it’s an issue.
15) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
Definitely. Tribalism has to go though. We need to take cues from the opensource world, where tribalism that existed between KDE (Qt) and Gnome (GTK) or Emacs and Vi (Vi wins anyway!) kind of vanished with the years, and crossover collaboration started appearing (freedesktop started this). Speculation through monetary values has to slowly lower too. This way we can have an economy actually based on use, where price corresponds to use of a particular software (If it has a token obviously; not all projects need one).
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding Aleph.im
16) What do you feel sets Aleph.im apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
We don’t think everything should be there forever. Data can be forgotten, too.We think everything should be decentralized and open source from top to bottom.We value simple and working solutions over theoretical academic research.Last but not least, we raised close to zero in traditional funds so far. And we are competing with projects that raised hundreds of millions. That won’t stop us. We are ok being David in “David vs. Goliath.”
Anyway, crypto projects aren’t “competitors” directly. We shouldn’t forget our end game: mass adoption and decentralizing the world. That is way bigger than petty squabbles in the crypto world.
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
17) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
Digital currencies, as well as distributed, censorship resistant and decentralized systems, are the future. Blockchain has a huge role to play in this, even if I think that we don’t need as many blockchain as we have today, and this is why aleph.im is a network that works on top of several blockchains.
I can clearly see a day where the whole world economy will run on systems like ours, and all the computation power/storage capacity of society will be leveraged across decentralized networks.
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