What got you into blockchain and Ethereum?
I was working at an MIT spinout called ID3, which introduced the concept of a “personal cloud” called Open Mustard Seed (OMS). The OMS design was quite innovative and called for various next-gen components, among them a self-sovereign identity system. As part of our work, we had a chance to interact with cryptocurrency projects such as Bitcoin, and when we learned of Ethereum in January 2014, we were excited about the potential of using Ethereum smart contracts in OMS. ID3 made contact with Joe Lubin, which eventually led to my joining ConsenSys in 2015.
Any mentors along the way?
Early ConsenSys was a fun and incredibly interesting place to work (it remains so today), and like others on the team back then, I considered Joe a mentor. He played this role in his usual gentle, understanding, hands-off way.
What challenges do your spoke address and hope to solve?
The mission of Infura is to provide easy access to Ethereum. When Infura was formed in mid-2016, I came to understand deeply that someday the infrastructure question would come to the fore. Yet at the time, running Geth was fairly simple; syncing was fast and resource usage was low, so most people were focused on other things. Our thesis was proven correct only a few months later, when the network was attacked during Devcon2, and for the first time keeping a client synced became tricky. Since then, running clients has become more and more challenging.
Which project(s) inspired you the most in your journey towards shipping?
Infura is a sort of bridge between the traditional Web2 and Web3 worlds, so we often look to successful Web2 projects for inspiration. I was inspired by GitHub and DigitalOcean. Both projects do a good job of providing infrastructure to developers, as well as enhancing it with great UX/UI and additional value-add features.
What was it like to develop your spoke from concept to product?<...