Journeys in Blockchain: Robert Wiecko of DASH Core Group


Robert Wiecko is getting again into enjoying electrical guitar. Armed along with his model new Fender Stratocaster, the COO of DASH Core Group is reliving his youth as a highschool pupil residing in Poland.
“It’s an incredible feeling to restart one thing you liked a lot and forgot for some motive.”
Enjoying guitar provides him a way of freedom and peace, he explains. Studying to play once more is not only entertaining, however acts as a form of meditation. Specializing in the ability, he frees his thoughts from the same old calls for and stresses of the day.
The notion of freedom is what drew him into the blockchain house in 2011. Working in software program improvement within the monetary sector for a lot of his profession, Wiecko acknowledged critical flaws within the system. “I spotted there’s one thing mistaken with the monetary system normally. Bitcoin appeared to me as a unbelievable factor. Again in 2011, it was for geeks, and I used to be a complete geek.”
Regardless of this preliminary fascination with blockchain expertise, Wiecko felt he was lower than the duty of exploring it initially, resulting from a multi-year bout with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel syndrome. “It’s a really nasty illness, incurable for western medication. My life was nearly ruined by the illness.”
However Wiecko was open to exploring different approaches to rid himself of the sickness. He discovered that western docs solely provided medicines to mitigate signs, however to not remedy the illness. In Poland, different medicines have been frowned upon and perceived as illegitimate. “I mentioned, ‘Nicely I disagree with that, I’m not going to be sick till the tip of my life and devour chemical substances to keep up the established order.’” 
He did his personal analysis — an oft-repeated adage within the crypto realm — and found a variety of strategies from Chinese language and Tibetan medication that, when mixed with a disciplined eating regimen and meditation, eradicated the illness.
After three years of this alteration in mindset and more healthy residing, he returned to his physician who discovered that Wiecko had efficiently cured the sickness. “The docs have been shocked,” he explains. Assessments discovered no remaining proof of the illness. 
“Primarily it was the mindset and life-style modifications that helped me to recuperate. I’m glad. I’m one among many cured from this kind of illness. It’s an unpopular narrative within the mainstream, pushed by pharma corporations” he says.
Various medication, different finance
Wiecko attracts parallels between delving into different medication and exploring blockchain expertise. An IT professional specializing in Java and Oracle improvement, the idea of decentralization was a revolutionary thought to him. In its earliest days, the crypto world was crammed with idealists: Libertarians, Wiecko explains, have been the dominant drive within the house. He was excited to hitch a rising motion motivated by constructive beliefs.
He briefly tinkered with the speculative aspect of the trade however discovered that he was, sadly, a horrible dealer. As an alternative, he began to get entangled with technical groups. “There was no probability to hitch Bitcoin groups. I used to be not refined sufficient.” However Wiecko discovered a couple of small initiatives the place he might contribute. 
Sadly, most of those smaller initiatives have been actually in it for a fast buck, he realized. The formulation was turning into acquainted: create a coin, make a bunch of cash, and abandon the undertaking. “It was not what I used to be searching for.”
Wiecko expressed his frustrations with the pump-and-dump state of affairs within the crypto market on a Polish discussion board, the place a pal really helpful he look into Darkcoin, a fork of Litecoin created by Evan Duffield. The neighborhood and imaginative and prescient of the undertaking stood out, and he related with Duffield to supply his companies as a undertaking supervisor. Although the workforce was tiny on the time, Duffield employed him for the undertaking. The Darkcoin title was modified to DASH that very same 12 months.
You don’t have any thought… it was pure communism
Born in socialist-era Poland, Wiecko is aware of a factor or two in regards to the different aspect of freedom. “You don’t have any thought what life was like in Poland within the 70’s. It was pure communism.”
“America was at all times offered as an evil a part of the world. We didn’t consider it, however the media marketing campaign was at all times going into your head. It was propaganda.”
The Orthodox Catholic household lived within the countryside of an particularly poor area. Regardless of their struggles, his mother and father instilled in Wiecko an ethical compass that he follows to at the present time, regardless that he’s not spiritual like his mother and father. 
Transferring to a close-by metropolis, Wiecko had the uncommon alternative to experiment with computer systems when his faculty purchased three and provided programming lessons. Individuals have been fortunate simply to have a phone of their properties on the time, he explains, so proudly owning a private laptop was an impossibility. Gesturing that his head is exploding, he expresses his enthusiasm when first encountering computer systems, “BOOOOOOOOM! I wish to do that!”
“I beloved computer systems from the very first expertise. There was a magic behind programming. It was the time I knew my life could be related to computer systems.”
The world will get greater
As communism started its decline in Poland, the west beckoned. Whereas his father went overseas to earn cash to help the household, Wiecko attended a technical highschool the place he discovered about robotics and automation. He picked up his guitar behavior, jamming on Slayer and Metallica with pals, however dropped the instrument when he devoted himself absolutely to his IT research with a serious in software program engineering.
His first job as a Java developer in Warsaw was short-lived. He labored with a pal in a startup that failed in its first 12 months, collapsing through the imploding bubble. Wiecko was in dire straits — he had cash for nothing.
“I used to be actually standing on the road with one bag in my hand. All of my garments and possessions have been on this bag. And I had in my pocket round ten {dollars}. It was all my cash. I might purchase a ticket and return dwelling to my mother and father, or I might begin doing one thing on my own.”
Wiecko known as up a couple of pals who gave him a spot to remain till he discovered a brand new job with a consulting firm. “I’m actually grateful to them,” he says, “When you construct good relationships, your folks will assist you to.”
Quickly, he was working “from the within” as a technical guide in finance for entities such because the Nationwide Financial institution of Poland. As a developer, he was obliged to be taught in regards to the interior workings of the monetary system in an effort to develop for the wants of his shoppers. He started to see that the system was damaged. “Being an insider, I began to appreciate — uh-uh — it’s not so excellent.”
After becoming a member of Hewlett-Packard, Wiecko shifted the main target of his work towards much less technical components, working extra carefully with individuals as a undertaking supervisor. He spent extra of his time coping with shoppers and facilitating cooperation between departments. 
Regardless of his profession success, Wiecko was annoyed along with his well being points and determined to maneuver out of Poland to Switzerland, the place different medicines have been perceived extra positively and the usual of residing was a lot better. As his well being improved, he started spending extra of his time within the blockchain house, engaged on a variety of initiatives earlier than touchdown with the DASH Core workforce in 2015 as neighborhood supervisor. 
Working within the conventional finance trade for UBS by day after which combating the system in his crypto work throughout evenings and weekends, Wiecko felt a way of schizophrenia. He determined to go away his conventional financial institution job to dedicate himself absolutely to crypto. “I beloved crypto. I beloved the libertarian concepts. At the moment, everybody was speaking about freedom, about privateness, in regards to the necessity of fixing finance, about giving again monetary freedom to individuals. I actually believed in that and I nonetheless consider in such concepts.”
That’s why Wiecko is concerned with DASH, he explains. He sees a real imaginative and prescient behind the undertaking, one whose targets will not be nearly making quick cash. The creator of DASH, Evan Duffield, had proposed concepts for innovating on Bitcoin, however was not heard, he says. So, he began DASH, forking off Litecoin as Darkcoin. This enabled improved pace, privateness, and governance, making the expertise helpful — not only for buying and selling, Wiecko insists, however for on a regular basis purposes.
“After I heard this for the primary time, I spotted okay, that is the undertaking and place for me. They’ve clear enterprise targets and a imaginative and prescient on learn how to get there.” In 2015, he says, Bitcoin had a transparent imaginative and prescient, however most different cash have been merely about hypothesis. “I might say, at the moment, 95% of them have been trash.” DASH stood out to him as one of many few exceptions. Even to at the present time, Wiecko admits, “The ratio has improved, however not by a lot.”
Grasp nodes and Bitcoin tickets
A serious innovation of DASH is the idea of grasp nodes, Wiecko explains. On the time of its inception, initiatives have been largely just like Bitcoin, having solely a single layer of nodes. The DASH workforce realized {that a} second layer of grasp nodes might allow enhanced privateness with low-cost, on the spot transactions and a variety of extra refined options. The layer may very well be incentivized to make it self-sufficient and decentralized. Whereas customary nodes would offer hash energy and a layer of safety, the grasp node layer might present a a lot higher vary of software program companies.
Over the course of time, DASH grasp nodes have advanced to turn out to be a decentralized protector of the community, with 5,000 grasp nodes distributed world wide making certain safety. ChainLock expertise prevents any chance of a 51% assault on the DASH community. An upcoming new launch will enable builders to create purposes on the grasp node layer. He expects it is going to be launched to testnet by the tip of this 12 months.
Now the COO of DASH Core Group, Wiecko works much less instantly with initiatives, however maintains a considerable checklist of duties together with managing procedures, QA and infrastructure, speaking with groups, complying with regulatory necessities, and even managing a service desk. Uniquely, DASH customers can submit tickets to the service desk and obtain help for technical issues. With Bitcoin, he says, “when you’ve got a technical drawback, the place do you submit your ticket?”
Wiecko explains the corporate’s targets give attention to the person, eschewing the same old hype and subsequent worth hypothesis. “More often than not it’s in regards to the worth. We wish to change this narrative and current crypto as user-friendly. It’s really another for an individual. The best instance of that is Venezuela.”
DASH efficiently supplied a quick and low-cost different for customers to transact worth within the hyper-inflated financial system, Wiecko says. “For these poor individuals who earn 5 {dollars} every week, or perhaps a month, this was one thing actually nice. They may not depend on their very own forex. The greenback was probably not obtainable. Bitcoin transactions have been costly as hell…” 
“For you and me,” he says, “if a Bitcoin transaction prices a greenback, it’s a price we are able to afford.”
“However for these individuals who reside from one greenback a day for a whole household, that is in the future of their life. When the transaction prices 5 {dollars}, that’s a catastrophe.” In such conditions, Bitcoin just isn’t helpful, he says. It could possibly efficiently retailer worth, however it can’t be used for fast and inexpensive transactions. Venezuelans wanted another and, he says, they discovered it with DASH.

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DASH continues its give attention to on a regular basis utility and accessibility with quarterly calls. These conferences present transparency to the neighborhood who might be up to date on the undertaking’s progress and the challenges it faces. The main target, once more, is on the person, Wiecko reiterates. “It was a acutely aware selection, we now have chosen to spend our time growing user-friendly options and never specializing in charts, CoinMarketCap, volumes, costs, and many others. however simply to offer strong software program.”
A shift within the narrative
Wiecko observes that the trade has modified in recent times, shifting from beliefs centered on freedom to an obsession with hypothesis and extra not too long ago, regulation. Within the earliest years, everybody was speaking about freedom, different finance, serving to the unbanked, and enabling monetary freedom, he says. “It was the time when individuals in jackets and ties began to look on the meetups and conferences. Two years later in 2018, all the things switched to regulation, compliance.”
He explains that he understands the rationale behind the shift, however he’s not glad that the trade is so closely targeted on buying and selling, banks and laws. “Individuals overlook this primary aim; why Bitcoin has been created. Bitcoin is the daddy of all cryptocurrencies. I’ve a whole lot of respect for Satoshi, to all of the previous timers and present Bitcoin improvement groups. Nonetheless, generally I really feel that the whole house forgot why we now have been working so laborious for such a very long time. It wasn’t for buying and selling. It wasn’t to be compliant. Completely not.” 
Wiecko hates the “Lambo” narrative, he says, however acknowledges that it introduced many individuals into the house. He hopes the get-rich-quick sentiment will fade over time and provides approach to true utility as an alternative. 
Crypto normally, he says, stays horribly clunky from a person perspective. It’s too sophisticated and technical for the common individual, with horrible addresses that aren’t comprehensible. DASH Pay Pockets is designed to make this course of a lot simpler and extra intuitive. Wiecko enthuses, “it is going to be a game-changer.”
He believes that crypto must innovate to not please banks and regulators, however to please the person. It could possibly serve in its place monetary system within the western world however rather more so within the unbanked world. Cellular gadgets open up potentialities for customers to achieve extra independence and freedom, accessing crypto expertise of their on a regular basis lives.
The idea of freedom turning into broadly obtainable to individuals in all places actually will get Wiecko excited, as he recollects his youth residing beneath an oppressive regime. “I can’t perceive how some individuals these days say overtly that they need socialism. I used to be residing in socialism. You don’t have any thought what you’re speaking about.”
“I keep in mind deaths on the streets. I keep in mind whole management of all the things. And that’s why these libertarian concepts are so vital for me. All the pieces I do, I’m targeted on freedom, liberty, and human rights.”

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