Addressing East/West disconnect in ETC

How do we address the East/West disconnects within Ethereum Classic?

It is actually really simple when you understand that the root issue is technical hindrances to communication across the Great Firewall of China. I would argue that these technical hindrances are much more significant than language barriers. There are many countries which share language, but differ a lot in culture.

“England and America are two countries separated
by a common language” – George Bernard Shaw

EastWest

The vast majority of communication within English-speaking Western and global communities is happening on the ETC Discord server and on Crypto-Twitter, but both of these applications are blocked by the Great Firewall, so are inaccessible to the majority of people on the Chinese mainland. This is a fairly recent thing, with VPNs being a lot more accessible (though legally “gray”) until this year. Even beyond that “brick wall”, these communication tools are very little known in China.

WeChat, on the other hand, is completely ubiquitous in China, and not just for chat, but also for payments and other functionality. It works just fine in the rest of the world too, so is the natural choice for a global communication platform for Ethereum Classic in which we value the Chinese community’s needs to a degree appropriate to their importance to ETC.

There are a lot of people in China. There are a lot of great companies. Much of this is unknown in the West because of the language barrier and these communication barriers. So let’s fix this, and get active two-way communication paths going. We want the Chinese communities to benefit from the latest information from the the English developers and also to build greater understanding of Chinese development efforts in the West.

So please join us on the brand new ETC Global Comms channel:

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On 3rd October 2019 we reverted EthereumClassic.org from the WordPress site which was active from April 2018, having been one of Anthony Lusardi‘s earlier projects as the previous Director of the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (February 2018 to March 2019).

WordPress

So was that spending a waste of money? Not at all. That website served the community for 18 months and was a significant upgrade both in its aesthetics, but also in its content. We are not going to lose any of that content. We can migrate it back across. This is just a change of underlying technology, motivated by the workflow benefit we gain by enabling anybody to update the website themselves by submitting pull requests against a public Github project, rather than having to ask administrators (first Anthony and then myself) if they can please add an extra entry, or make change XYZ. That is not a scalable approach, and it resulted in the “rot” of some of that information.

Where this infrastructure touches on East/West disconnect is that we have also had an information gap between the communities because ethereumclassic.org has only ever been an English language website to this point.

There are two primary communities and their websites covering China, to this point:

The earlier community was ethereumclassic.cn, maintained by ETCC – Ethereum Classic Consortium (China), with Roy Zou the best known face. Here is Roy presenting at the first ETC Summit, in 2017 in Hong Kong.

roy
The second community was started in 2018, driven by DFG and ETC Labs, but has a broader scope. That is ethereumclassicasia.org, covering China, Japan and Korea, and also having outreach to other Asian countries. Christian Xu is the driving force behind these communities.

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Having multiple community groups for a single country is not intrinsically problematic. Ethereum Classic is permissionless. There is no “official” anything or any right to exclusivity.

Not even the ETC Cooperative itself is an “official voice” and can only use its influence and respect to suggest that things move in any particular direction.

If we add Internationalization support to the Github-based ethereumclassic.org, such that Chinese language documentation on the platform is available without needing a specific website then we will be a lot more aligned in the information we have access to. For countries which only have small communities and perhaps only have users rather than developers / companies building the platform, just providing translations without the overhead of maintaining their own website, and all the overhead of keeping that information up to date will be very appealing.

Indeed, within minutes of me suggesting this approach, we had a volunteer to do German and Russian translations.

So I think that Adding Internationalization Support to the EthereumClassic.org will be the second “move”, as well as the creation of the WeChat channel, will move us in a very, very direction. If you agree, please help! Come to Github and comment on that issue, offering your help in whatever form you can. I don’t think it will take long!

ProgPOW author Kristy-Leigh Minehan uninvited from ETC Summit

This weekend I uninvited ProgPOW author Kristy-Leigh Minehan from ETC Summit, where she had been due to give a talk on ASIC resistance and also to participate in a mining panel.

I withdrew her invitation after finding about about connections between herself, Core Scientific and Craig Wright, Calvin Ayre and Coingeek.    Core Scientific’s CEO is an advisor to Squire Mining, along with Craig Wright and Jimmy Nyugen.   Calvin Ayre has a controlling stake (45%) in that company.   Kristy has also spoken at Coingeek events on at least two occasions, implicitly promoting and validating them.

Craig Wright is a fraud, serial liar and perjurer, and Calvin Ayre is not much better.   I cannot have the ETC Cooperative and the ETC Summit associated with such disreputable individuals and companies, so I chose to withdraw my invitation.   It was not an easy decision, and was one which personally pained me.   I have been known as a bridge builder and “judging” in this way is exceedingly rare.   This was important enough for me to do so.

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 3.32.59 PM

Kristy speaking at Coingeek events:

Kristy took to the ETC Discord yesterday, September 16th, where she spoke for several hours and provided further information on ProgPOW which, to my knowledge, has not been discussed publicly to this point, but which I believe to be hugely important for the Ethereum Classic and Ethereum communities to know while considering ProgPOW.

Here are screenshots of the entire conversation.

Some key dialog points for me, beyond not denying the BSV connections (just downplaying their importance).

Bob: … Would you speak at the OneCoin conference if they invited you? …
Kristy: Yes?  If they told me to just speak on topics I knew, or educate them on blockchain, why not?
Bob: Would you speak at a conference held by the Mafia, if they wanted to talk about blockchain?
Kristy: Sure, if the mafia is holding a conference that’s public, and somehow they are not arrested and it’s all above board – why not.   I’d accept a PR from Hitler if it was good.

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And further, she believes that attending conferences in no way validates them, and is “just about teaching”.   So Coingeek Toronto 2019 was about teaching, as per Kristy, and not about promotion of the BSV empire.

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She also revealed that there were maybe as many as 40 people behind the “IfDefElse” facade, many of who would not be willing to reveal their identities, or to sign Contributor Licensing Agreements (CLAs), as I suggested was necessary to protect Ethereum from potential future lawsuits for unrevealed patent claims, trademarks or copyright claims.

Screenshot_20190916-174040Screenshot_20190916-174045Screenshot_20190916-174103

 

Given these connections (from public press releases), Kristy’s seemingly complete lack of discernment about who she associates with, together with the unquantifiable IP risk of accepting code from a group of 40 individuals, only a handful of whom are publicly known, and none of whom (or their employers) have signed CLAs, I have to view ProgPOW as a serious risk to any project which adopts it, and would urge the Ethereum community to strongly reconsider whether it is wise to proceed unless significantly stronger guarantees can be given around the IP.

If the Ethereum community desires ASIC resistance, it would much safer to update Ethash in the open, with known individuals doing the work, and the Ethereum Foundation or other groups funding that, in my opinion.

Also, listen to Martin.  ProgPOW is very divisive.  I think there is a serious risk of an ETH split if this EIP proceeds.  That in itself should be enough to stop it.

Bob Summerwill,
Executive Director, ETC Cooperative and long-time Ethereum community member

Ethereum Classic Atlantis Hard Fork

This morning, Ethereum Classic successfully implemented the Atlantis hard fork at block height # 8,772,000. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the significance of Atlantis. First, ETC is engaged in robust technical development and innovation. The fork is a major upgrade for the network and brings the Byzantium and Spurious Dragon upgrades from Ethereum to Ethereum Classic. It makes the blockchain more stable and secure. This is the first of several upgrades currently being built on ETC with developers and the community.

atlantis.jpeg

Second, Atlantis reflects genuine consensus. It is the result of collaboration with all stakeholders who had an opportunity to debate and analyze the impact of the hard fork, and who undertook the hard work of coming to agreement in a diverse and decentralized network.

Overall, the ETC network is stronger and more secure on both a technical and community level. We look forward to building on this strength in the weeks and months ahead.

Bob Summerwill, Ethereum Classic Cooperative
Terry Culver, Ethereum Classic Labs
Afri Schoedon, Developer and Hard Fork Coordinator

Bob Summerwill for Recruiters (2019)

What am I looking for:

  • Technical leadership, project management or community / developer relations role for a well-funded blockchain company.
  • Market-rate pay commensurate with my experience.
  • Happy and indeed keen to be public-facing.
  • Vancouver-based or remote-working.  This is not negotiable.

What I bring to the table:

  • 22 years of professional software development, the majority of which was on high-profile multi-million or billion-dollar projects customer-facing projects under strict time pressures.  20 AAA videogames shipped, across around 10 platforms.   Mainly technical leadership roles, on product teams, on central technology teams, studio level, EA Sports wide roles, worldwide roles.
  • 4 years of blockchain experience (Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance), including work on an Ethereum client (cpp-ethereum).
  • Experience working within a bank (TD Securities)
  • Enthusiasm and positivity which is very rare for somebody so senior, but married with suitable cynicism and risk awareness.
  • Real enjoyment of mentoring and leadership of more junior engineers
  • Unparalleled goodwill and broad connections across the blockchain ecosystem, both public and enterprise.
  • Community and ecosystem focus, which means that I can be very useful in building positive PR for the company and defusing trolls and haters.
Compensation:

  • Somewhere in the $150K-$200K USD ballpark
  • I expect to have some other advisories or sidelines, which will not be time-consuming.
  • I volunteer into the Ethereum community, EEA, Hyperledger, CryptoChicks, Canadian blockchain ecosystem.

More information on Bob:

 

Women of Hyperledger – How can I help you?

So today is the last day of Hyperledger TSC voting.  The polls close at 5pm Pacific today, with the results announced tomorrow.

There was a little Twitter activity around my observation on the diversity issues which we have in the TSC, and a new mail thread has been kicked off:

How can we improve diversity in the Hyperledger technical community?

I am a Community Ambassador for CryptoChicks and I care deeply about this topic and will do everything which I can to help promote a healthy and welcoming environment for women in the Hyperledger technical community.

Women of Hyperledger – How can I help you?   Please join that thread.

Hyperledger TSC candidates and thoughts on diversity

The candidates for the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) elections were announced today, together with everybody’s one page “pitches”, including my own:

Hyperledger Annual TSC Election Candidates (2018-2019)

There are 29 candidates for the 11 seats on the committee.  All of the incumbents are standing for re-election, together with 18 challengers, including myself.

The existing committee has the following composition:

  • Intel – Dan Middleton, Kelly Olson and Mic Bowman
  • IBM – Arnaud Le Hors and Chris Ferris (Chair)
  • State Street – Greg Haskins and Binh Nguyen (recently ex-IBM)
  • Other – Jonathan Levi (Hacera), Hart Montgomery (Fujitsu), Nathan George (Evernym), Baohua Yang (Oracle)

And here are the challengers:

  • Bitwise IO – Shawn Amundson
  • Blockchain Engineering Council – Claudio Lima
  • CME – Stanislav Liberman
  • Finterra – Mostafa S. Joo
  • Independent – Axe Tang, Clive Boulton, Sjir Njissen
  • Monax – Silas Davis
  • Ontario Provincial Government – Steve Boyd
  • Oracle – Todd Little
  • Quantfury – Bob Summerwill
  • Red Hat – Mark Wagner
  • SANLIAN Technology – Leon Liang
  • SecureKey – Troy Ronda
  • Soramitsu – Mukhutdinov Bualt, Nikolai Iushkevich
  • State Street – Srinivasan “Murali” Muralidharan
  • T-Mobile – Chris Spanton

I really enjoyed what Silas Davis and Mark Wagner had to say.  I worked with Silas on the Technology Working Group for the first few months of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and love what Monax have been doing to bridge the worlds.  This quote from Mark also really resonated with my own motivations for standing for election:

One of the reasons that I have chosen to run for the TSC is to provide more vendor diversity on the Committee as over half of the TSC is from two companies. My time is focused in the working groups and I am currently not associated with any of the projects. Thus I try to span all the projects with equal interest

– Mark Wagner

There most certainly is an overweight representation from IBM and Intel on the TSC at the moment, and I hope that we can come out of these elections with a more diverse balance of representatives.

On the topic of diversity, as a Community Ambassador for CryptoChicks, I have to say that I am sorely disappointed to note that not a single candidate for these elections is female.  The Hyperledger Governing Board has 21 members, only one of whom, Blythe Masters, the Chair, is female.

crypto

I spoke about CryptoChicks on Coindesk LIVE during Consensus 2018 in New York this year.  CryptoChicks are a non-profit blockchain educational hub with a mission to grow the professional and leadership potential of women in blockchain technology through education and mentorship.  I am delighted to do everything I can help in that noble mission.

coindesk

Voting starts tomorrow and runs until August 22nd, with the results announced a week tomorrow on August 23rd.

Good luck, everyone!

Self-nomination for Hyperledger TSC

[Sent on August 9th 2018 in response to CALL FOR NOMINATIONS / Hyperledger / Annual TSC Election sent to eligible candidates]

My name is Bob Summerwill. I have been a professional software developer since 1996 with the majority of my career in the videogames industry, including 15+ years at Electronic Arts in various technical leadership roles on 20 AAA tiles, including a spell as Label Software Architect for EA Sports. I always found myself gravitating to collaboration projects of all stripes within EA. I later worked as a DevOps Solutions Architect at TD Securities in Toronto. I am currently Blockchain Lead for Quantfury, CTO at Varro Technologies, a community leader for the Ethereum Project and Community Ambassador for CryptoChicks, a Canadian non-profit organization working towards gender balance in blockchain.

I have been involved in blockchain since 2014 and have been an active participant in the Ethereum ecosystem in particular since 2015, working at the Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. I worked as a developer on the C++ Ethereum client at the Ethereum Foundation after several months in the community adding ARM Linux cross-build support to bring Ethereum to mobile Linux devices and smartwatches.

https://doublethink.co/2015/11/30/first-working-ethereum-c-cross-builds/

I spent 5 months in 2016 leading a failed attempt to relicense the C++ Ethereum client as Apache 2.0 so that the codebase could be contributed to Hyperledger. I have always been supportive of Hyperledger, recently speaking at the relaunch of the Hyperledger Vancouver Meetup. I have been participating in the Identity Working Group. I see Hyperledger as critical to the technology, providing an umbrella for open source development with a common IP and licensing policy and with the mature governance and collaboration project expertise of the the Linux Foundation standing behind the projects.

I was instrumental in the creation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. As Co-Lead Architect I presented the Technical Roadmap at the launch event and later served first as Secretary of the Technical Working Group and later as Vice-Chair of the Technical Steering Committee. I have a very intimate understanding of the dynamics within enterprise blockchain, spanning both public blockchain and enterprise companies. I have spoken at dozens of Meetups and conferences on a large variety of topics in the last couple of years and am I very active on social media and in the community:

Here are some blog posts about my blockchain journey:

I have been working to build bridges across the blockchain ecosystem for many years, but I have unfinished business in building what I see is the most important bridge of all to help blockchain reach its full potential: The bridge to mainstream adoption. That is why I spent a year working on the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and why I want to offer my service on the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee.

This is not a zero sum game. Nobody has all the answers, but many of us are on parallel journeys and would be better served by sharing the road. What might have looked like hard lines in 2015/2016 are increasingly blurring and the line between public and private networks is blurring.

I believe I have both the technical background, personal character and blockchain consortium experience to bring people together on Hyperledger, to broaden engagement, and especially to bring together the Ethereum and Hyperledger communities to a degree which has proved elusive to this point.

Here is my conflict of interests statement:

Best wishes, and I thank you for your consideration!

– Bob