WAX Guild Candidacy Statement: BlockSmith

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The BlockSmith team was founded by a group of web 3.0 technologists and enthusiasts who came together out of shared interests and views regarding ethics, society, charity, and perhaps most importantly, a person’s responsibility to help serve a higher purpose. Since day one, our driving motivation behind launching a block producer has been, “how can we create a block producing group that has no conflicts of interest with anyone else in the ecosystem?” BlockSmith was founded upon that idea, and thus the vision was forged.

Being both EOSIO proponents and avid gamers ourselves, we recognize the tremendous value blockchain ecosystems can bring to the gaming world, and are excited by the value proposition WAX brings to the table. BlockSmith has had the honor of being a founding block producer in the EOS mainnet and a few other promising EOSIO chains, and with our developed expertise we would be honored to carry the torch forward as a WAX guild.

Official WAX Guild Candidate Name

BlockSmith, registered as blocksmithio on the WAX blockchain.

Social Media Outlets

Public Website URL: www.eosblocksmith.io

Telegram: https://t.me/eosBlockSmith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eosBlockSmith

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0UaoraKSMrjBQ7OH-i_XPw

Medium: https://medium.com/@eosBlockSmith

Location of Company Headquarters

We operate dual headquarters in San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Type and Location of Our Infrastructure

We operate self-owned bare metal infrastructure located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Aided by our founding team’s global background and positioning, in the future we expect to deploy bare metal infrastructure in Hong Kong and Central America.

BlockSmith Team Members and Background

Shaheen Counts, MD

Founder & Group President — San Francisco

A surgeon by trade, but a technologist at heart, Shaheen became enraptured by Bitcoin and blockchain technology since early 2014. He’s been an avid supporter in the ecosystem since day one, joining Blockchain@Berkely early on as a business consultant, and later starting his own blockchain education and technology consultancy in 2018. He is a passionate blockchain evangelist and has a fundamental belief in the power that blockchain technology has to change the world for the better. When not on telegram, EOS poker rooms or in the surgery room, you can find him dominating StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, where he is currently ranked Diamond 3.

Rodrigo Quan Miranda

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer — San Francisco and Hong Kong

Upon graduating from Amherst College in 2014, Rodrigo began his professional career a Far Cry from the tech world as an M&A investment banker in New York City and Hong Kong. Driven by his passion for the disruptive power of tech innovation in traditional industries, Rodrigo Irish-exited banking to found a consultancy venture at the intersection of supply chain management and financial technology. It was during this time that Duty Called to join the web 3.0 revolution; inspired by the power of blockchain technology, and its potential to mold the world into a better place, he has not looked back ever since.

Verbus Counts

Co-Founder & Chief Infrastructure Officer — Oklahoma City

As Chief Infrastructure Officer, Verbus leads the technology and infrastructure endeavors at BlockSmith. Verbus is a skilled senior software consultant and IT project manager. Having worked in the realm of programming and technology for over 50 years, he is experienced in software development management, database administration, system analysis, and systems programming. He also specializes in application programming, UNIX/Linux, performance engineering, software training and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Caleb L. Power

Head of Technology & Senior DevOps Engineer — Oklahoma City

A lifelong academic, Caleb is a student at the University of Central Oklahoma where he is completing various major degrees in computer science, software engineering, and digital forensics as well as a minor degree in mathematics. He has served his community as a student Senator and the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Student Advisory Board, and now he currently sits as the Founder and Chair of the Edmond Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery in Oklahoma. His passions include cyber security, higher education, and organizational accountability. Games of Choice: Minecraft, Diablo II, Diablo III, Mass Effect, Skyrim, TIS 100, World of Warcraft, Unreal Tournament, RuneScape, Dungeon Keeper.

Stanley Fung

Business Analyst — Hong Kong

Stanley is an undergraduate student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology majoring in Bioengineering. He has long been a technology practitioner. With extensive experiences in product development, Stanley is capable of compiling interpreted business objectives to develop efficient technology products. He has been backed by one of the Hong Kong Government technology innovation funds and is one of the winners in the EOS global hackathon.

John Tholen

Software Engineer Intern — Oklahoma City

John is fresh from college and is about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor degree in mathematics. He’s been a lead designer for the development of a video game and has worked with neural networks for the extraction of usable research data under a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is passionate about game theory, music theory, and actively learning new cutting-edge technologies to further his career.

Tech Specs and Scaling Plan

Verbus setting up BlockSmith’s “Rocky” server in Edmond, Oklahoma

Our biggest value proposition in tech is that we have extensive experience building and running complex systems, including over 15 months of deploying and managing countless EOSIO nodes across both bare metal and cloud infrastructure. Verbus and Caleb have over 60 years combined technical experience and they are supported by a team of quick learners including Stanley and John. In addition, we have existing relationships with numerous datacenters in multiple geographic locations, as well as a large rolodex full of industry specialists that we continuously consult with for reinforcing our security and infrastructure.

Our self-owned bare metal servers consist of enterprise grade DELL PowerEdge R630 machines in Edmond, Oklahoma, equipped with 128 GB of DDR4 RAM, Dual Intel Xeon E5–2630 processors with 8 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz, and 8 Intel S4510 Data Center 960 GB SSD’s. At launch, we will roll out a combination of bare metal and cloud server set-up, leveraging our DELL machines and industry relationships across the cloud computing space. We have 15 months of experience deploying and maintaining countless EOSIO nodes on other blockchains, and expect that our set-up at launch for WAX will be sufficient for the near to medium term. As tech requirements increase, we will leverage cloud-based solutions for short-term scaling, and continue transitioning to dedicated bare metal solutions for the medium and longer-term. Our founding team members have a global outreach, from El Salvador, to the United States to Hong Kong. We expect to leverage our global footprint to run globally distributed infrastructure.

Community Enrichment Plan

At our core, we strive to be the most efficient service provider for Dapps on EOSIO blockchains, and are constantly supporting EOSIO development with our technological expertise. In the past, we have partnered with other block producers to develop a history API scaling solution for EOSIO. Our tech team has played significant roles in the launching and development of several EOSIO-based sister chains, and we will endeavor to maintain this commitment for the WAX blockchain development. There are many synergies associated with operating nodes on multiple EOSIO chains, and we commit to leverage all our work on any other EOSIO chain straight into WAX.

We place special emphasis on running campaigns and building tools that foster network transparency and accountability, developer education, and EOSIO mainstream adoption. We play a key role in organizing and hosting large scale events in San Francisco with the purpose of connecting Dapp builders with talent, users, and investors, and we expect to leverage our existing campaigns and outreach for WAX’s benefit and public adoption. We co-organized and co-hosted the Scaling Blockchain conference following the EOS Hackathon in SF, gathering 200+ attendees, 20+ dApp and BUIDLer teams, and 20+ presenters. We were also the master-minds behind the EOS World Expo in San Francisco, with 400+ attendees, 40+ dApp and BUIDler teams, and key presenters including Brock Pierce and Frank Chester. We will continue rolling out such large scale initiatives both in the United States as well as in Asia, and expect to act as an enabler for adoption of WAX Dapps through these initiatives.

Lastly, BlockSmith consistently organizes smaller scale developer and community educational events in the heart of Silicon Valley and in Hong Kong, educational videos through our youtube and twitter accounts, and we remain engaged throughout China and Korea to bridge the gap between East and West. We have already produced an educational video in our YouTube in order to help onboarding WAX users, which you can check out here, as well as continuing to sponsor the HodlEOS YouTube channel which has also released WAX educational videos. We will leverage both our social media and physical presence through physical events to foster WAX Dapp adoption to the community.

Our Pledge to the Community

We take the privilege conferred to Block Producers (BPs) very seriously and recognize that a BP’s power originates from the token holders who delegate that power. We pledge to use the influence and rewards from block production to strengthen both the WAX dapp ecosystem and end-user community, including efforts to:

  • Increase network performance and blockchain security through continuous reinvestments in WAX infrastructure, hardware innovation and the development of open-source software to optimize the underlying protocol; and

  • Accelerate the adoption and usability of dApps on the WAX Network.

BlockSmith is an open and transparent business, and we will happily share our knowledge and expertise freely with the community, whether that be in person at physical meet-ups and events, via our telegram channel or WAX’s telegram channel, or via other social media outlets such as Twitter and YouTube. We are active members of the community, so please feel free to reach out to us for any reason.

BlockSmith is an independent Block Producer Candidate, 100% owned and financed by our team members and have no third party capital investment or other sources of outside funding or revenue sharing. We firmly believe that our financial independence is critical in ensuring that we remain equitable, impartial, and transparent in fulfilling our duties as a block producer.

We value transparency, accountability, independence, and respect for the rule of law. Our mission is to serve the WAX and EOSIO communities and ecosystems by producing blocks reliably, efficiently, and with the highest standard of integrity. We will fully disclose the names and personal reputations of anyone who has an ownership position in our business, and will make all partners known to the WAX and EOSIO community. Furthermore, we will make the ecosystem aware as soon as possible about any changes in our company’s ownership.