We had a chance to interview Ryan C. of ElaNodes.com and The Starfish Supernode team.

1.  Could you tell us who is behind your project?

I grew up in New Hampshire and currently reside in Colorado, USA. I’ve spent most of my life in academia with a few intermissions to work at national research laboratories. Currently I’m a PhD candidate wrapping up a degree in nuclear engineering with a specialization in the performance of 3-D printed stainless steels. Although what I do in real life has very little to do with the distributed systems space, I stumbled across Elastos in early 2018 and the ambitious vision of the project has resonated with me ever since. The remainder of the Starfish team shares similar technical backgrounds and enthusiasm for the work ongoing at Elastos and the Cyber Republic.

2.  Are supernodes required to submit to you, or will you be listing them independently?

We will track all prospective Elastos supernode candidates that have been featured by the Cyber Republic News Team. We feel it is important that we restrict this list to candidates taking the election process seriously, so we encourage participants to introduce themselves through the Cyber Republic Weekly Updates prior to contacting us. Once introduced through the CR Weekly Updates, Supernode Candidates will be automatically listed and do not need to submit to us independently. However, we may reach out to candidates directly to request additional information.

3.  How can we be sure your information is accurate, and what steps will you take to ensure that they are updated?

We will be regularly checking for updates from the Supernode Candidates to ensure that our information is accurate. We’ve already personally contacted many of the Supernode teams to introduce ourselves and to provide an open channel for supernodes to keep their information current. In addition, our request form and social channels are always available for candidates who wish to make updates or corrections to their status.

4.  What unique tools will you be offering the community, how do you plan on building these tools, and will this be something that continues indefinitely?

We hope this website will provide Elastos enthusiasts with a single location to research and stay informed on supernode candidates. In the immediate future, we will be adding brief summaries for each supernode candidate that outlines their community contributions.

The Starfish team feels it is important to emphasize and encourage community involvement and to avoid the website becoming a place where voters go only to see who will give them the most rewards. We aim to simply provide information and let voters make their own decisions. We will not attempt to rank nodes or bias the information in any way. As the election draws closer, we plan to update the site to be able to track supernode activity, voter statistics, and reward payouts.

5.  What about the Chinese community supernodes?  Do you have a way of reaching out to them as well?

We have every intention to present Chinese community supernodes the same as everyone else. We are currently in contact with a representative from the ELAlliance and are waiting on a public announcement from them before we proceed with listing their participants individually. Unfortunately, none of our team members speak mandarin so communication is somewhat of a challenge. If any bilingual community members would be willing to aid us in compiling information for the Chinese supernodes, please reach out, it would be greatly appreciated!

6.  Is there a benefit to you, or is this a gesture of goodwill?  What is your motive in creating this site?

We decided to create this website both because we saw a need to fill within the community and because we wanted to find a way to contribute to Elastos and the Cyber Republic besides simply operating a supernode and reaping the rewards. The Starfish team has no plans to monetize the site. It was built with the intention of being a readily available resource to the community and we are open to collaborations with any interested parties to improve it.

Some other writings we have done:

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Elastos_SuperNodes/comments/bdnxu3/the_starfish_supernode_and_elanodescom/

Medium: https://medium.com/starfish-supernode/the-starfish-supernode-team-is-proud-to-present-elanodes-com-91af03def527

7. Does Starfish Supernodes have other projects in the works to support the CR?  How do you envision the team contributing long-term to Elastos? What areas do you think need the most support?

Developing ELAnodes.com and preparing all the deliverables for the server setup is all we can handle right now, so no additional projects are ongoing. However, we do have a few ideas for the future:

  • We plan to bolster the DPoS ecosystem by tracking activity of supernode servers, auditing voter payouts, and providing thorough voting analytics.
  • Once the Cyber Republic launches fully, we think a similar service to aggregate proposals and polling could be a valuable contribution to the community.
  • We think it could be exceptionally cool if we could launch a ‘Starfish’ token on top of Elastos that would be automatically distributed to our voters through a compatible wallet. These tokens could then be used to buy tickets to enter the lottery draw. That said, this is low on our list of priorities but if we think we can do this at some point in the future we would love to.

Long term, we envision the Starfish team as becoming a productive member of Cyber Republic by providing our input on proposals and potentially submitting some of our own. It’s hard to say exactly how our role will evolve technically and professionally, but we’ve kicked around a dApp idea or two that could help attract users  to the Elastos ecosystem. We think Elastos’ biggest hurdle will be obtaining a critical mass of developers to kickstart the new internet, so we would like to focus on that area, even if it means learning to build some basic dApps ourselves.

8. Why Elastos?  Why did you decide to run a supernode?  With such a long-term commitment, it’s not an easy decision.  Do you or your teammates have certain personal goals that you hope to obtain through running this supernode?

The Starfish team formed from Elastos community members passionate about the vision of the project as investors but otherwise without any formal involvement in the crypto space. We decided we were tired of sitting on the sidelines watching prices, and we wanted to get involved.

Although we’re not developers, our team has skillsets that lend well to the design, operation, and maintenance of a DPoS supernode. It can be difficult to figure out how to get involved, but once you are, a wealth of opportunities present themselves. We’re experiencing that now.

In a sense, we’re using the supernode as our gateway to delve further into Elastos. Some of us see this as a possible alternative to our current careers should it become a legitimate option. In the meantime, we’re all learning new skills and teaching each other what we learn.

Jaime of the Starfish team, their system admin, adds:

“Personally, the reason I’m such a big proponent of Elastos is because of the mission – giving data ownership back to the people. The internet has provided so many great things to this world and I want to ensure it stays that way by decentralizing the infrastructure and taking power back from the governments and corporations that are now beginning to use our data against us.

I think marketing and user adoption needs more work for Elastos, and I also think they should narrow their focus and become very good at one technology. The scope of Elastos is so large, and ultimately I think that could be a hindrance on keeping pace with the crypto space.  That being said, I have a personal goal to meet Rong Chen.”

9. Your node is part of IDEA.  Why did you decide to join it? How will your node participate further in the Alliance and make it an important part of the CR ecosystem?

We joined the IDEA alliance because we very much support the spirit of decentralization and think that the like-minded individuals involved with IDEA can help to distribute the consensus duties evenly, both geographically and ideologically. A localized voter cartel could be very negative for the progress and image of Elastos.

IDEA hopes to mitigate this possibility by establishing a unified front against such activities. IDEA’s beliefs can make it invaluable to the Cyber Republic through social networking, providing resources in the form of funding and time, and publishing articles and guides for the community.

The Starfish team is providing feedback to the ideas discussed within the Alliance and plans to contribute to the best of our ability when the time comes to execute them.

10. Could you give us any information about your Supernode’s plan for Voter rewards?

In addition to some base voter profit sharing percentage, the Starfish team will be hosting a monthly lottery drawing. The amount of funds allocated to the lottery pool will increase with the percentage of votes we receive. To be automatically included in the monthly lottery drawing, voters must actively vote for our supernode for the entire prior month. This is to reward voter loyalty and ensure people cannot switchj their votes just prior to the drawing.

Additionally, if the Starfish node is elected as one of the 36 active supernodes, the lottery rewards percentage will be doubled and the team’s rewards will decrease accordingly. We believe this structure will provide competitive incentives while also acting as a fun community activity for voters.

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