Category: Aragon (ANT)

Team Interviews: Tim, Aragon’s Smart Contract Engineer

Tim talks about his future views of Aragon and what he would like to see from Ethereum

Another new team interview! Past one’s were Luis’ Interview | Jorge’s Interview | Tatu’s interview | Harsh’s interview and María’s interview. This time we give the stage to Tim — Aragon’s Smart Contract Engineer — who shares his thoughts on Ethereum and Aragon along with what he wants to see from them in the future.

Hi Tim! Tell us about yourself, where are you from and what do you like to do outside of work?

I was raised by wild shell scripts. When I returned to civilization I vowed to bridge the gaps between humans and code. My pet is a flock of pigeons. Their flocking patterns are Turing complete. And we communicate through bread crumbs and droppings.

I am a Texan (What up H-town!?!) who loves traveling. I’m currently in Berlin and really like going to the Meetups hosted at the Ethereum Dev office here. I also love eating and drinking with friends, preferably BBQ and tequila! Pretty much my favorite activities after programming.

This might sound nerdy, but I really enjoy reading white papers and new PhD’s. There are a lot of smart people out there and there is always something to learn from them.

What got you interested in Ethereum and the the blockchain technology to begin with?

The math actually. Trying to understand how exactly Bitcoin works, then when it clicked, it seemed so obvious. After that I was hooked. The idea that you can have trustless systems letting people work together, it’s really the future.

Bitcoin has proven that there is a massive amount of value created from the emergent consensus of adversarial actors. And Bitcoin is only confirming consensus on a single number — the amount of BTC an address controls. Ethereum takes this a step further. It does this by allowing the same extremely valuable type of consensus to include Turing complete logic.

I got into Ethereum a few years ago. At the time I was more into machine learning, so I wrote a single perceptron for a neural network prototype. It’s far too expensive to run the prototype on-chain as it stands, but it is an interesting Proof of Concept. And who knows, it might turn out to be practical in the future.

What are your thoughts about Aragon? Why will it be important in the future?

What Aragon is building, using Ethereum, is to make organizations work between code and people in a way that was never possible in the past. The lower transactional cost of decentralized organizations combined with their voluntary nature makes their potential value difficult to predict or measure.

I think people are starting to realize that they have a need to organize across borders and jurisdictions. Without wanting, or sometimes not even having the option, to trust a 3rd party.

In 5 years Aragon will be to nation-states what the nation-states were to feudalism. Smaller groups of people (and smart contracts) will be voluntarily coordinating and creating value for each other.

And what do you think of Ethereum now, how can it be improved in the future?

It’s a surprising melting pot of investors/speculators, developers, and lawyers. This is going to make for some great cross-industry pollination. But currently it’s too expensive. A blockchain should be used when it’s less expensive than setting up a trusted a 3rd party. For most things we do on the Web, it’s okay to trust some centralized source.

Formal verification is something that’s desperately needed in Ethereum. Ether is something that has value. And if you’re programming with valuables, it’s always important to make sure that your code does no more, or less, than what you think it does.

Another thing needed is improved tooling. Currently development feels like like all the painful parts of Javascript and C++ were just mushed together.

What’s your favourite Ethereum project right now?

I think TrueBit is doing interesting things. It will definitely make some of the more computationally intensive use cases practical for smart contracts.

Thanks for the interview Tim, glad to have you as a part of the team!

This was Tim, Smart Contract Engineer at Aragon, you can also follow Tim on Twitter.

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Team Interviews: Tim, Aragon’s Smart Contract Engineer was originally published in Aragon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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