Welcome all to our new blog series – GenPool Spotlight. There has been a disconnection in communication lines between the community, Block Producers, Proxies and dApps lately, therefore, in this series we will be gathering intel from various teams via monthly exclusive interviews for the purpose of helping to keep the community and voters as best informed as we possibly can.
For the first of our series we will be interviewing Michael of EOSUSA, a self-funded block producer out of Greenville, SC, USA with bare-metal servers running in both their US and Panama locations. Currently providing active BP services for a number of EOSIO chains (Telos, WAX, Lynx/Proton, FIO, ORE, UOS, INSTAR, Remme, DAOBet, Covax, Coffee, YAS, EOS (Standby), BOS (Standby), Jungle Testnet, Kylin Testnet, and some private EOSIO chains), EOSUSA’s mission is to support the EOSIO ecosystem through infrastructure and services supporting dApp and EOSIO projects, as well as helping in the distribution of information in the form of news, training, and community engagement (source).
Without any further delay then, let us dive in with Michael from EOSUSA.
Q: Why EOS and how long have you been active in the EOS space?
We have always loved blockchain technology and fell in love with the idea of smart contracts in a well-known programming language and the idea of token ownership entitling you to the chain’s transaction resources. EOSUSA participated in the EOS genesis launch and has been registered as a block producer since a few days after launch (took a little while to figure it all out :))
Q: If you wouldn’t mind, could you tell us a bit about your background and who is on the team?
Most people know me (EOSUSA Michael) as the primary face of EOSUSA, but there are many others on the team that help keep the wheels turning.
My “Clark Kent” day job is as a Sr. IT Engineer for a managed service firm that David (our CEO) and I have worked together at for almost 20 years. I’ve always had a passion for working with hardware and system/network administration, so running a farm of bare-metal on-premise EOS servers is a perfect fit for my skills and technical background.
EOSUSA was originally founded by David (CEO), Clay (social media), and Brian (operations) but shortly after launch I was added to the team to take over technical operations. Since then, we’ve been working hard to provide any and every service we can for the ecosystem to help developers have whatever tools they might need to build the next killer app. We are currently actively involved as a LiquidApps DSP, a DeWeb operator, a Vigor Custodian, a CronEOS miner, a PredIQt resolution oracle, a DelphiPrice feeder, a Blockbase service provider, a BOSIBC relay, and several other EOS-based projects. Additionally, we are a block producer on more than a dozen public EOSIO-based chains (including even more testnets) and involved with many additional projects on those chains. We run everything, everywhere! 🙂
Fun fact: we do way more than just EOSIO! David first got into crypto in 2015/16 and then brought me in to help him help manage his mining equipment (mostly 100s of ETH GPU mining rigs and then ASICs). We then joined forces with some of the other executive partners (Senter: CFO/Trader and Michael: COO/Plant Operations) and created a private 2MW BTC mining farm in Greenville, SC that first utilized air cooling but now operates on 700ton immersion cooling technology. We recently opened several additional private mining locations along with providing farm management for other BTC mining farms for other mining firms. We are also an authorized reseller for the WhatsMiner BTC mining equipment (https://www,whatsminermicrobt.com) as well as additional BTC mining-related products.
Q: What are your key focus areas and have they changed since you first became a BP?
Originally, EOSUSA was focusing on social media outreach to provide information and news about the ecosystem but slowly evolved into primarily a service provider model to provide chain services to the developers/apps (although we still do interviews and videos on many teams and projects around the ecosystem: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh-UuMD55GGfqN8flGYzGpg.
Q: What is your infrastructure setup now and how has it changed over time?
Originally, EOSUSA launched with a single EOS node sitting in our offices but has now grown over time to more than 100 servers all running on bare-metal, on-premise servers running over a dozen public chains (and their respective testnets). We are in a unique position where we have access to a relatively unlimited number of servers that can be deployed as we are able to reclaim decommissioned servers from our managed IT services firm that were headed for recycling, upgrade/consolidate them, and redeploy them for a new life in the EOSIO ecosystem.
Fun fact #2: On average, there is a block being signed on an EOSIO-based chain by an EOSUSA server every .4 to .5 seconds, 24/7/365 🙂
Q: What was the most exciting project you have worked on in the EOS space?
I’d probably say the most personally exciting project(s) i’ve worked on so far would probably be the interblockchain communication (IBC) projects that are starting to bridge all the different blockchains together. This allows them each to excel at their own strengths but also benefit from another chain’s strengths and it’s my hope that this will help further the user adoption of crypto by allowing more advanced and feature rich dApps to be developed. We helped deploy the BOS-IBC solution that has linked the EOS, BOS, Telos, WAX, and YAS blockchains together for simple IBC transfers as well as worked with LiquidApps to recently deploy a bridge between ETH and EOS based chains.
Q: What projects are you currently working on and what can we look forward to?
We’re probably most excited about our own recent project to begin additional and more advanced monitoring of EOSIO nodes, both internally and more importantly, externally for all nodes on a given chain. We started with monitoring all nodes on the WAX blockchain (https://wax.stats.eosusa.news) and are working to bring the services out to many of the other EOSIO based chains soon (as well as adding more features).
Q: What are some killer dApps that you think could transform the blockchain industry?
It’s hard to say what will and won’t transform the industry, but a few of the great projects were involved with that we think have some great potential are Everipedia (knowledge market), Vigor (DeFi), BlockBase (sharding), LiquidApps (layer-2 services). But we’re also heavily involved with all those projects so might have a little bias 🙂
Q: Where do you see EOS in 5 years?
I’m not sure where EOS (or crypto in general) will be in 5 years; that’s an eternity in crypto years XD. If the last 5 years of advancement is any indication, I’m sure any of my predictions will fall far short of what truly transpires.
Q: If you could pick 3 people in the EOS space to give a shout out to, who would it be and why?
That’s tough because I work with a lot of great people around the space… I’d probably have to say:
EOS Rio – We run Hyperion (which they developed) for all of our chain’s history services and have worked extensively with Igor and the Rio team over the years. He’s been a great mentor to learn from and always willing to help.
EOS Nation – Similarly, we have worked with Matthew (and the rest of the team) from EOSNation on many projects/issues over the years and they are always available and providing assistance.
Block One – Have to give a shout out to the B1 crew as many of them such as Todd and Aarin are always active in the Telegram groups and are always providing design details and troubleshooting assistance to all the teams. It’s great to have the people that wrote the software directly interacting with the people that run the software and being aware of current struggles/requests.
Q: If you could ask yourself one question in this interview, what would it be?
Hmmmm, nothing comes to mind, but do YOU(the community) have any additional questions for us? 🙂
To learn more from EOSUSA or connect with them directly you can do so with the links below:
EOSUSA News: https://www.eosusa.news/
EOSUSA News Twitter: https://twitter.com/ivote4_eos_usa
Thanks for joining us here on GenPool Spotlight and don’t forget to check back soon for our next installment where we will continue peering under the hood of some of the great people and projects that helps keep EOS and EOSIO continuing to tick.
GenerEOS is a social enterprise Block Producer with a mission of promoting and supporting scalable and highly reliable block production whilst giving back to social causes and the wider community. Based out of Sydney, Australia, GenerEOS is founded by a team of like-minded blockchain enthusiasts with diverse backgrounds and a passion to make a difference in the world and fostering the spirit of generosity by giving back.
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Great interview. I hope you do this with all the BPs and publish very publicly the BPs you invite for interview but decline/ignore the invitation.