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We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Anton Bukov, co-founder of 1inch Network, a distributed network of decentralized protocols.
Anton has been writing code for more than 20 years (since he was 12), mostly C++, C#, Objective-C, Swift and SQL. Since 2017, he has been working on blockchain solutions, primarily smart contracts. Anton has contributed to several crypto projects, including MultiToken, Near Protocol — where he was involved in the Ethereum-Near Rainbow Bridge — and the Synthetix derivatives liquidity protocol, working on gas optimization of the smart contracts.
For some time, Anton co-hosted a YouTube show, “CryptoManiacs,” with Sergej Kunz, 1inch Network’s eventual co-founder. Over the course of 36 hours at a May 2019 hackathon in New York City, they developed a prototype crypto exchange aggregator that became the basis of 1inch.
1 — From smart contracts to DApps, NFTs and DeFi, we have seen so many of the next “killer apps” for crypto, but none have really taken off quite yet. What will stick?
I see some projects that are already taking off. This growth is exponential but still limited by blockchain capacity at this point. Everyone is expecting a layer-two solution that will eventually scale DeFi to a great number of users, triggering explosive growth.
2 — What is the single most innovative use case for blockchain you’ve ever seen? It may not be the one likeliest to succeed!
True innovation comes when a project considers blockchain as an actor following strict, programmable rules rather than a passive database. This is happening for the first time in human history — we have an ultimately honest (protected by consensus) instruction executor. Moreover, it is unstoppable in following instructions. Currently, the most exciting applications for me are automated market makers (AMMs) and money markets (aka lending protocols).
3 — Do you subscribe to the idea of Bitcoin as a means of payment, as a store of value, as both… or as neither?
I respect Bitcoin — I mean, the engineers behind it — for being the first blockchain, but from my viewpoint, blockchains with smart contracts make much more sense at this point. Bitcoin can still work as a store of value, but as a means of payment — sorry, I don’t believe in it anymore. The Lightning Network and IOU tech can only work for a small subset of the community/population. Most people prefer to use less volatile currencies for payments, such as stablecoins.
4 — Who makes sense to you, and who makes no sense whatsoever?
Innovators, inventors and smart people make sense, and this category does not usually intersect with popular people. Advice coming from popular people doesn’t necessarily make sense for everyone, but few understand this.
5 — Where do you stand on alien intelligence and the existence of life elsewhere in the universe?
I strongly believe in it — the probability is very high. Overall, I’m curious about non-protein forms of life. And I’m curious about the lack of physics determinism. This could be the only reason for the possibility of life.
6 — Which book has influenced you the most? Why?
I like sci-fi books from the 1980s. Maybe Frost and Fire by Ray Bradbury was one that made me think a lot about life and time.
A wish for the blockchain community:
Participate in hackathons and get engaged in building the decentralized future — it’s a huge space with huge opportunities. All these crypto prices only help attract more attention to this industry. But the true gem is innovations and projects!