In episode 84 of JAMstack Radio, Brian is joined by Harrison Hines of Fleek. They unpack The Open Web, insights from Harrison’s experience in the Ethereum and DeFi space, as well as Web3 technologies and protocols.
Brian Douglas: Welcome to another installment of JAMstack Radio.
On the line we've got Harrison Hines. Harrison, what is up?
Harrison Hines: Hey, how's it going? Thanks for having me.
Brian: Yeah, it's a pleasure. And it's a chance encounter.
I happened to have a conversation with actually, Nader, who was just recently on the podcast.
He just recently took a new role to work on a blockchain protocol company.
And Fleek came up in our conversation together about his change to work in the blockchain.
But do you want to tell us who you are, what you do, and what is Fleek?
Harrison: Sure. No problem.
So yeah, I'm Harrison, currently co-founder at Fleek, originally from New York, now living in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Prior to this, I had started a company called Token Foundry, which was in the early days of the Ethereum space, helping with token sales and some of that stuff.
I started that company out of consensus.
And before that was just jumping around, trying to be an entrepreneur, failed a few times early in my entrepreneurial career and learned enough from those mistakes to eventually now, hopefully be doing some things right with Fleek.
And so, Fleek is really trying to be an open web developer platform.
What that means is we're not necessarily focused on the heavy DeFi and financial aspects of crypto and blockchain, and web3, but really the technologies that can come together to create a new open web stack that's more trustless, permissionless, free from these tech oligarchs and centralized gatekeepers.
And so, what Fleek really tries to do is deliver a super seamless and user friendly, and familiar developer experience with products and services that developers are used to, but under the hood, use these new web3 technologies and protocols.
So, it feels the same, but gives you these web3 benefits and enables you to build these apps on the new open web and the protocols that encompass that.
Brian: Excellent. Yeah. And I appreciate that introduction too, as well.
And it sounds like you've got quite a bit of experience within the Ethereum and the DeFi space.
What year was it when you were hanging out with the Token Foundry stuff and working on that?
Harrison: So, I got involved in the Ethereum space in late 2016, and then officially joined consensus and started Token Foundry in the early 2017, and then did that for about two years, and then started Fleek.
Brian: Okay, excellent.
So, I actually heard about Fleek through Twitter actually.
And then when I asked a friend about it, the way they described it to me was Netlify but on the blockchain.
And I'm not sure if that really does it justice to be quite honest.
So, feel free to correct me in that assumption.
But what I do like about it is that it does take away the pain of getting stuff on the new web in the new internet, which go ahead and rebut my last statement about Netlify in the blockchain.
But also I'm curious if you could explain what the new internet is and what web3 is for the listener.
So, we are very big fans of Netlify and the whole JAMstack movement that they played a huge role in pioneering.
And we definitely don't mind that analogy.
We think it's a compliment if we could do half as good as they do in trying to deliver good user experiences and stuff.
The main difference is instead of building on a proprietary application delivery network, in the case of Netlify or AWS, or these other platforms, what we are trying to do is essentially build an application and content delivery network, but instead of using proprietary networks under the hood, we're using open networks. And so, what the open web is, is essentially a combination of these different web3 protocols that when combined can replace the current internet stack.
And so, that might involve, let's say Ethereum as a replacement for these payment rails or the traditional payment rails that, let's say Stripe has built on top of or something like Plaid.
You could have Filecoin as a persistence layer for files and data.
IPFS as a content addressing and naming system.
You could have things like ENS or Handshake as blockchain based domain naming systems as an alternative to DNS.
And it could also involve something like DFINITY Internet Computer as a decentralized compute layer.
And so, when you combine all those things together, now you can start to essentially create a stack that could handle full web applications and all the different pieces that you would need to build something like a JAMstack app.
And it's a term that's a moving target, especially as new technologies and protocols get released.
But that is how I describe the open web is the benefits of blockchain, but now instead of applied to financial use cases really applied to just the internet in general.
So, but applying those same principles of permissionlessness, so essentially you don't need permission to use something or deploy something, or trustlessness in terms of you don't have to worry about someone de-platforming you or suspending your account.
And it's not transparent as to why or how you get it back or things of that nature.
Borderless in terms of, it's not like the current internet, which is starting to split across geopolitical lines.
You have these AWS, and Azure, and GCP in the US.
You have Alibaba Cloud and some of these other players who were dominant in Asia.
Now, you have a platform that is essentially something that is accessible across the entire globe.
And so, those are some of the, I'd say what the open web aspires to be, if that makes sense. Yeah.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah.
It makes a lot of sense too, as well, because being de-platformed is a thing that comes up in conversation and knowing the political climate, at least in the US has been top of mind for a lot of folks in the last couple of years.
But even having there are companies that can't operate in certain countries because of US sanctions.
So, it's understanding that you want to be able to provide your product, your feature set to anybody who wants to get their stuff on internet.
So, I guess, in that context you provided us, and again, thank you for that, I think like the comparison of AWS, I think everybody knows Netlify functions runs on Lambda functions, a lot of these cloud providers, like these multi-cloud Kubernetes.
But they end up just using GCP, Azure, AWS, maybe DigitalOcean under the hood.
But it sounds like what's under the hood is going to be blockchain.
So, I have a bit of understanding of the blockchain.
So, I understand what the Token Foundry, it has the protocol for ERC20 and these new protocols for Ethereum to do different things.
So, are you saying that if I use Fleek, do I have to hold a token to be able to deploy my stuff to the open, I guess the new internet?
Harrison: So, I would say it depends.
And that's one of the things we try to balance really well is like maximalist, trustlessness, and decentralization, versus convenience and pragmatic developer experience.
And so, we try to offer both ends of the spectrum.
But essentially if you wanted to do everything yourself, then yes, in the future to store files on Filecoin, or to host an app that lives on the Internet Computer and pay for computation, and same with Ethereum, it would require you to hold a balance of tokens and pay for that usage of infrastructure with tokens.
However, what we provide as well is abstracting those elements.
And that's part of what we do to make it super easy to use these technologies.
And progressively over time, we try more and more to put the user in control and remove ourselves from the equation.
So, the end goal would be where we really are just like an interface, not too different from a crypto wallet, where we're just enabling you to manage and facilitate all these different web services through an interface like AWS, but you're in full control and you are paying for everything.
But in the meantime, for the next few years, we let you pay credit, debit card and we just pay for the tokens for the usage of the underlying protocols you're using.
And then you could just pay at the end of the month credit, debit card.
So, it feels very much like a Netlify or an AWS like experience.
Brian: Got you.
I appreciate that too because I think there is a giant leap that has to be made for somebody who comes from the modern web, leveraging AWS technologies to using something like Fleek, which is on the new web, the web3.
And for listeners, the labels that we've been using in the blockchain space is web3 and web3, web3 being the DeFi space and what Fleek is doing.
And Web 2.0, and what we've been accompanied to, which is we call it the modern web.
So, I just wanted to make that correlation, so if anybody is not caught up to speed.
But for me, yeah, I want to sign up for Fleek.
I want to give you a credit card, but I don't want to have to figure out how to use MetaMask.
I personally, I can use it, but I can't convince a room full of people at a conference to say, "Okay. Well, before we can do anything, get assigned for a MetaMask. And then you also have to do this, and you got to do this."
If that abstraction is taken away by signing up for Fleek, I'm all on board.
Because I come from a space where I am pragmatic about developer experience, and I want to make sure that no one's lost or left behind, but I also understand as you're cutting edge, you can't have the beautiful experience as you're still trying to build the ship.
So, I think what we're seeing right now, and this is my personal opinion, but we're seeing all these new highs of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and all this other stuff that for the past couple of years, we've seen a lot of folks as building stuff.
And now we're seeing that influx of adoption.
And that adoption will hopefully cater towards building better experience for the folks that are coming in this current wave of blockchain.
I guess, one thing that I really enjoy is using Redwood.JS.
And I've had Redwood.JS come on for a conversation about this, their project.
But the one thing I like about Redwood.JS and the documentation, they actually have how to set up Ethereum using a Fullstack React framework.
And it's just like one link of the documentation. If you want to do it, you can.
But if you don't, just go ahead and leverage something like Auth0, or whatnot for authentication, or DynamoDB for databases.
So, I guess my next question for you is, what's the correlation between things like IPFS and Fleek, and all the other technologies you mentioned as well?
Is Fleek trying to build on the next AWS on the blockchain, or are all these separate players collaborating together to build a foundation, or whatnot to compete with AWS?
Harrison: That's a very good question. And I get this a lot.
But I'd say if we split AWS into two parts, these underlying networks are the data centers.
So, DFINITY is a decentralized version of AWS's data center layer.
They have a network of data centers all over the world that are managed algorithmically through blockchain consensus to make sure they're running the trustless hardware, they're getting rewarded for running the trustless hardware, so on and so forth.
However, like AWS, it's not like users are directly interacting with AWS data centers.
They're doing it all through an interface to make it a super user-friendly experience.
So, if you want to store files, you could do that. If you want compute, you can do that.
If you want hosting, you could do that.
And so, what we really see is there's a lot of cool technologies being built in this open web space, just the ones we've mentioned already today. We've DFINITY.
You have Ethereum. You have IPFS. You have Filecoin. You have ENS. You have Handshake.
You have all these different technologies and all these cool communities and groups building different pieces of the stack.
But it would be a very frustrating user experience for a developer, if you had to go to seven different places to get all the different infrastructure you needed to put it together and build your app.
You want that Netlify experience where it's one click link, your GitHub, deploy it, and everything you need is in the same place, abstracted away.
And it follows this low code no-code movement.
And so, that's really where we see Fleek coming in to be that AWS interface layer, where we're connecting to these underlying new data center and compute hardware layers that are made up by these different networks, instead of corporations running them in proprietary data centers.
Now, it's networks running them with decentralized hardware providers and people providing storage or computation to the network.
But for the end user developer, you're still going to want that interface where you could just see all the different products and services you want to use related to web development, and easily access them, have an interface to start using them, to manage them, to surface your artifacts, things of that nature.
And so, that's really where something like Fleek comes in.
And if you look at the Ethereum space, it's like you have the Ethereum network, but everyone needs to access it through a wallet like MetaMask or something like that, or Etherscan.
Or you have all these different interfaces that people actually use to access the network.
And so, we feel that that's what Fleek is doing, but instead of doing it for one single network, we're just sitting on top of the various networks and protocols that we feel are going to be needed or utilized by developers, and providing an all-in-one experience.
So, we feel like we're a magnet for the open web where we can combine these different protocols that are fighting this battle on their own.
But now you can cross pollinate them and really create a better experience for developers, and also start to get people interested in Handshake and decentralized domains.
Well, odds are, they're really going to be interested in decentralized compute or decentralized storage, and vice versa.
So, that's how we view ourselves as that aggregator of new open web technologies and abstracting away the complexities of using them to create that familiar developer experience, and putting it all in one interface to access it all and make it a manageable experience and a fun experience.
Brian: That's very familiar to things like the JAMstack.
Folks who are in the JAMstack, we operate as taking of, "Hey, there's this tool, I'm going to leverage this. I'm going to use the CMS."
And you can pick and choose the flavor of what you want to build.
But to you being, I guess the curator or the connector of all these different technologies, these protocols, it sounds like betting on Fleek as your web3 project, you might not be going wrong because at least you could be, it sounds like there's a bit of, I guess, nimbility.
Nimbility, I'm not sure if that's actually a word, but the ability to be nimble when you make these decisions.
Because the other thing is like, there's a lot of protocols.
I don't think you can go wrong with Ethereum today.
But if you made a decision to build on something like the Stellar Network, nothing gets to Stellar Network, but they've been around for a bit. I just don't hear as much hype around that.
So, I don't know if that's because there's not a large community.
I'm just coming in as naive as I can be.
So, that would be my concern, if I made a bet on the wrong protocol, and then decided or found out the hard way a year later, it's like, "Oh, well, the community has never adopted the stake. Now, we have to move off to stuff."
Harrison: Yeah, you're exactly right.
And that's why we don't add a protocol until we hear enough customers requesting it.
So, A, we could look at data on the blockchain since it's all transparent, but B, we could also just track vanity metrics, like token price, but also just mentions on Twitter, but also how many people in customer support are asking for a feature like that.
And so, we could wait to see what the market is telling us, what people are gravitating towards, and then just add it.
So, yeah, that's it, that's exactly part of the approach, is the only thing for certain is things are constantly changing in the web3 space.
And so, it's very hard to keep up. There's so much going on.
But yeah, I do think, especially at this stage of the ecosystem, it's a very dangerous strategy to have hold too strong of opinions on any one technology that you think is going to win.
And also, just from a personal interest perspective, there's so much exciting things going on that it's hard to only focus on one thing for--
So, it's by design to keep ourselves intellectually curious, to be able to continue to explore what's new, what's out there, what did developers want?
And also, yeah, mitigate that.
We bet the house on iOS or something, and it turned out not to be all it was chalked up to be.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Or Tron.
Brian: But that's good insight too, as well, because I think there's just a lot of curiosity in general.
And I think on the surface level, it seems like people can pitch each protocol and blockchain against each other, and then have it's like NFL teams.
I might be a fan of this sports team and this sports team is never going to be good in my eyes, despite of whoever plays there.
My analogy is I'm from Tampa, Florida. So, Tom Brady won a Super Bowl in Tampa.
To be quite honest, I could care less because I don't watch football anymore, but it's my hometown.
It's a team that I watched growing up. It's great. It's good for them.
But there are people who are just like, "Oh, I can't watch this team anymore because Tom Brady plays for there."
And I think it's the same thing with blockchain, depending on who the player is, what's happening, I think folks can get distracted of like, the rising tide is raising all boats.
So, everybody is focused on blockchain now because now everything is going up, up into the right.
That's exciting. But when it's not going up into the right, then folks are now pitching each other against each other.
And I think that's the wrong focus. So, I appreciate your approach to it.
But I wanted to actually, based on the current market, I wanted to get your opinion on NFTs, because I know Fleek is involved in a certain way.
Could you explain to how Fleek is involved in this new rush, folks leveraging NFTs?
Brian: Also, could explain what NFTs are too as well for the listeners?
Harrison: Sure, no problem. So, an NFT is just, it stands for non-fungible token.
But essentially, if you think of the US dollar, I can trade a dollar bill with your dollar bill, and they're both the same thing.
They're fungible. Non-fungible is more related to things that are unique.
So, a baseball card would be considered non-fungible, or art is non-fungible, or even a song or a video.
All these things are considered non-fungible assets that could be non-fungible tokens.
And so, that's why you've seen the NFT is to date being mostly art, or game items, or songs, or audio files, or things of that nature.
But it could really be anything. It could be a loan.
It could be an asset in the real world, like a house, almost anything I would say is non-fungible.
But yeah, things like currencies that are more interchangeable would be in the fungible bucket. So, yeah.
Brian: Okay. Excellent. Add just so the connection of the NFT current market and how it's connected to Fleek.
And actually just one quick thing before I jump into that, to something you said earlier, was it around like how developers want to come in and pay with credit card, and it'd be a seamless experience.
And so, funny enough, I was thinking about this recently, but in 2017 when crypto kitties broke Ethereum because it was getting, and there was this whole argument of how much usage they lost because of how hard the onboarding process was for people.
They had to go to Coinbase. They had to get MetaMask.
They needed Ether to pay gas, blah, blah, blah.
So, everyone thought the solution at that time was to pay with credit, debit card, let people buy NFTs with credit, debit card.
Fast forward, two years later, maybe three years later, I'd say 95%, if not more of NFTs are bought with Ether.
So, that's why we try to support both ends of the spectrum because it's funny how once people get their feet wet in web3, how quickly they become advanced users.
And so, it might seem far fetched that developers would hold tokens and pay for them themselves.
But two, three years ago, people probably would have said, there's no way in two to three years, there's going to be millions of people buying billions of dollars of these NFTs every day.
And all of them are going to be paying with Ether.
So, it is wild with technology and especially what the user experience is getting better and stuff, how quickly people are coming up to speed.
So, I do think that's an interesting trend.
And maybe, once they get familiar with that experience with NFTs, could that carry over to other parts of paying with tokens and it feeling natural.
So, where does Fleek play a role in NFTs?
When we first started with Fleek, the idea was, basically how it started is, there all these depths, Ethereum depths.
Brian: Decentralized applications.
Harrison: Yes, decentralized applications.
But the funny thing about decentralized applications is that nothing about them was actually decentralized besides the fact that they use the centralized API to communicate with the Ethereum network and the contracts and data whip down Ethereum.
But besides that, the front end, the serverless functions, if they were using a database, if they're querying data from the network, all of those pieces were centralized, the domain name, everything else.
And so, we realized that those elements were probably going or should be decentralized over time.
If you really wanted to create decentralized, unstoppable applications, those parts were going to have to come to not just the contracts on Ethereum.
And so, we looked at where were the early use cases where this was starting to happen, and let's start there and try to make that a really good experience.
And then we could always go from there.
And so, the first technology outside Ethereum, that we classified as like open web was IPFS, the InterPlanetary File System.
And the main two use cases it was being used for was to host Ethereum Dapp, decentralized application front ends.
And that's where the JAMstack comes in because you can only host static files on IPFS.
And so, static front ends, JAMstack, it all made a lot of sense.
And then the other use case that IPFS was being used for was NFTs, because it's really expensive to store the metadata associated with an NFT on Ethereum, because it's just extremely expensive.
People are aware of just the gas costs to use Ethereum.
Storing data or large files is even more expensive.
And so, IPFS was a really great solution for NFTs because the killer use case of IPFS is as a unique content naming or identification system.
So, when you upload a file to IPFS, you get a unique content hash.
And if you ever upload that same file to IPFS, the network auto D duplicates it.
And you would always arrive at that same hash, if it's the same file.
So, you would only ever have one copy of that file on the IPFS network.
And so, if you uploaded an image for an NFT and you said, "This is the image for the NFT."
When you put that on IPFS, that's the unique hash.
You can only have one of that hash of that image on IPFS.
And so, that's why it worked extremely well for NFTs.
Now, the issue is for people who are trying to host front ends on IPFS, or for people who are trying to put NFTs on IPFS, the same thing that played in Ethereum, where in the early days, everyone was trying to do it themselves, spin up your own IPFS node, serve it from your own node, but then you quickly understand it takes a lot of work to run that infrastructure properly.
And then it takes even more work to scale that infrastructure properly and deal with the levels of bandwidth and usage that some of these popular use cases are now experiencing.
And so, what we decided, and also for IPFS front end hosting, which is where we started, for example, basically if you use ENS, for example, which is the Ethereum naming system, which is an alternative to DNS.
So, now you have this domain essentially that lives on a smart contract on Ethereum, that points to a file on IPFS.
So, every time you push a new deployment, that file in IPFS changes because the static front end changed, so the hash changes.
So, now you'd have to update your ENS name on Ethereum to point at the new.
So, it was just, it was not a fun process to do it properly.
So, we decided what if we made that as seamless as hosting is on some of these newer, versatile, Netlify type platforms, but applied that to IPFS hosting.
But one of the challenges with IPFS hosting was using IPFS querying data from the network, given it uses like a distributed hash table to find content because everything is content address.
So, you have to be properly peered. All these factors play into it. So, it was slow.
So, what we decided to do was after we saw how Ethereum played out, everyone realized querying data from Ethereum from a node itself was extremely slow, because if you had to go get a historical data, the nodes got to roll everything back to that block to get the data.
So, what did people do?
They cashed all the data in the database and said, "Okay, everything besides getting the last transaction or last block goes to the database, and just recent transactions go to the node."
So, what they did is they augmented Ethereum nodes with centralized infrastructure to make it super performance.
So, we thought, what if we did that with IPFS?
Because now we could augment IPFS with the CDN and an edge network.
So, this way we could always go to the edge network first.
All people really care about is the unique content hash.
If it's on the edge, it'll get delivered super fast.
The content still lives on IPFS. So, that's all you care about.
And then if it's not on the edge, go to IPFS.
So, we did that really well for the IPFS hosting.
So, then we thought, "Okay. Well, if that worked for IPFS hosting."
We started to get inquiries of, "Can I do this for NFTs because I have a lot of people visiting my NFT platform and the images are loading slow. So, I'd like to put this on a CDN or I need to make sure the files remain pinned."
Or whatever the reason. We decided to then introduce a storage product.
So, same benefits we were offering for IPFS hosting, now just extending it for any files in any use case of IPFS.
And so, that's where we play a role in NFTs is that a lot of these platforms that are marketplaces or enabling users to mine NFTs, they're using Fleek behind the scenes to handle the uploading type PFS, the pinning, the adding it to the edge network and cash, and then delivering it when users are requesting it through the front end or whatever the use case might be.
So, that's how we play a role in NFTs.
Brian: Okay, excellent. Yeah.
That was a seamless transition into your story too, the rest of your story and how you've got to where you are today. Yeah.
I appreciate you going through that. And I hope that was insightful for the listener. Yeah.
There's so much we could cover.
The one thing I did want to ask real quick too as well before we transitioned to closing this out in the conversation is, you mentioned that the way folks can get around, not getting around, but basically make it more approachable, but also not as expensive to buy gas fees of Ethereum and using Fleek and IPFS.
What is your opinion of the, I think of it as a naive assumption, but also this assumption of energy waste and costs within NFTs and in blockchain?
You explain how we can get around overspending on gas fees and how painful that process is.
Is there a future where the future of Ethereum and all these other protocols become less expensive to the environment, to our wallets, to just in general?
Harrison: A hundred percent.
And I mean, for Ethereum the work they're doing with transitioning to Eth2, and Proof of Stake, and in some of these other large changes to the network that are going to happen over the next 12 months, it'll definitely be a lot more scalable and cost should be a lot better for the end user, whether it's on Ethereum itself or layer twos, or these various scaling solutions like ZK-Rollups are a super promising one.
And there's a ton of innovation going on at layer two.
And it's not too dissimilar from the normal payment rails where you have the fed, and then Visa's like four layers up.
And so, I think you're starting to see things like that play out.
And then on these other networks like for DFINITY, for example, if you want to just compare it to normal cloud platforms and their impact on the environment and costs, 85% of IT costs are correlated or contributed to human costs to manage infrastructure, to sell the infrastructure, to build the infrastructure.
So, now the fact that you could replace that with an algorithm, it should reduce the cost of computation magnitudes to almost close to what is the actual cost of the hardware and running the hardware itself.
And so, I do think that over time, these will become extremely, I'd say cost efficient, but also energy efficient, especially when you consider the human costs.
Because if you've ever tried to call your bank or use a bank software products, you could feel the pain behind the scenes of what went into making that and the amount of wasted resources, and things of that nature that went into it.
So, I feel like people are making an unfair comparison when they're just looking at one metric and not considering the full picture of the alternatives.
But it is improving and it's going to just continue to improve.
Brian: Yeah. And I look forward to seeing more news about this and the improvements as well.
Indeed the comparison of modern stuff versus what is being built for the future of web development, I think you have to take it for a grain of salt and understand that this is in progress for motion stuff that's happening.
So, I appreciate you talking about Fleek.
Folks, if you're at all interested, I'm curious, Harrison, are there places folks can just look to get started if they wanted to check out stuff today?
Harrison: Yeah, for sure. So fleek.co is our main homepage where you could access the platform.
Also, on GitHub we're just FleekHQ.
So, we have a ton of open source SDKs, repos, geimens, tutorials, or docs, will definitely give you a few walkthroughs.
We also have a public slack.
So, if you're trying to build something and you have questions, I'm active in there all the time, developers on the team are active all the time.
So, we're happy to help if any questions or getting you on the right path.
And also, I would say, just try to pulling the site, because you can do it in 30 seconds.
You'll get the experience. You'll get your IPFS hash.
And sometimes it's just doing it that really gives you the wow moment that convinces you to dig a little deeper and check things out. So yeah.
Brian: Cool. Well, awesome. Well, I think it's now time to transition to picks.
These are jam picks, stuff that we're jamming on that's keeping us going, whether it's food, music, movies related.
I know a lot of TV shows. I've been actually finding the time to watch TV, which is, it's very rare.
It's also weird because I'm creating tons of content right now, and building, writing code, pretty often.
But if you don't mind, I'll go first with my picks, which are also pretty counterintuitive to what I just said because my first pick is TikTok.
I've had a TikTok since I think the government threatened to shut it down because of China.
So, I was like, I better just figure out what this thing is before it goes away.
And what I like about it is it reminds me of back when I first had my first son, about seven years ago, Vine was an app that I used to watch vines with my son before going to bed.
And you follow the right people and it's just funny, wholesome content or this comedy.
And we used to have a great time. We watched a lot of animal vines.
Actually, Vine was one of my picks a couple of years ago.
So, we just watched like all these zoos and stuff like that on Vine.
And what I like about TikTok is you can do the same thing.
You can follow like San Diego Zoo on TikTok and you'll see animals, which is something he can't do in the current climate where you can just jump on a plane to San Diego.
Well, I guess you could, but when you have two kids, there's a little more logistics that happens and how to get people around, and not put their hands in their mouth and stuff like that.
So, I've been starting to do some developer focused TikToks that are not as developer focusing to be quite honest but just having fun.
So, folks find me Bdougie on TikTok.
I also wanted to mention one other thing, which is Nader Dabit's Full Stack Ethereum blockchain course.
He wrote a huge dev two post and also created an hour long video series of just getting you up to speed with how to develop on Ethereum.
So, if you wanted to learn about ether.js, or if you wanted to learn of how to set up your MetaMask deployed to a development version of Ethereum as well, he covers all of it.
And he does a really good job of it in a way that he comes from the same space I come from, which is the JAMstack space.
So, he's able to correlate that into getting involved in Ethereum today and deploying a website with using React as well.
I really enjoyed it. I really encourage everybody to check it out. Run to that course.
All the tips and tricks, and the stuff that was mentioned today in the conversation will probably come up again in Meta's course.
So, I figured it'd be a good segue from this podcast to go watch his video, and you'll be right up the speed.
So, that is all I have today for picks.
Harrison, did you want to tell us what you're jamming on?
So, I would say since we didn't get a chance to talk about it a lot during the main interview, the main thing I'm jamming on these days is DFINITY.
So, based on when you're listening to this podcast, DFINITY has built what is called the Internet Computer.
It goes live May 8th, is the official genesis state.
And basically, it is a native compute and storage layer for internet protocol.
And so, basically anything you could build on the internet can now be built on DFINITY.
And so, the same benefits and things people like about Ethereum with trustless and permissionlessness, user ownership, all these things, now you could do for DFINITY, but instead of just for decentralized financial services, you'll now be able to do it for decentralized web services.
So, you could build an open decentralized version of YouTube or Reddit, or any application you use on the web today.
Now, I think there's going to be a huge opportunity for normal web developers.
You don't need to learn Solidity. It compiles down to Wazams.
So, you could use any pretty much language you're used to using, especially on the front end and start deploying apps to a trustless, permissionless, no chance of getting de-platformed.
And so, I think that DFINITY has a chance to be as big as Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of one of the main protocols in web3.
So, I think it's super exciting. I encourage people to check it out.
We're building some cool products on top of DFINITY to make it easy.
But even just going into DFINITY directly and start playing around, I think for web developers is the most exciting thing that's happened in web3 that now can invite all web developers in and applies to everyone.
So, that's one thing.
So yeah, just another concept that I think is interesting to pay attention to in the web3 space that I've been jamming on a lot recently is DAOs.
And so, DAOs stands for decentralized autonomous organizations.
And so, basically instead of having a company where you have to incorporate in daoware, and go through all these hoops, just to essentially have for what purpose, besides just you and people you work with to organize yourselves and officially consider yourselves a company.
Well, now you could just do this Ethereum and set up a DAO.
You could use something like Aragon to create one in a few minutes.
And so, now you don't need to live in the US.
You could be an entrepreneur from anywhere in the world.
You could work with anyone from anywhere else in the world. You could set up a DAO.
You could distribute a token that essentially access equity, where you could distribute ownership, voting control, things of that nature.
And they're slowly starting to become a pretty big thing.
And I think if you've seen this week, Wyoming just made it legal to incorporate officially as a DAO.
So, you don't have to set up an LLC or a C corp.
Harrison: You could identify as a DAO and be legally recognized as an organization in the State of Wyoming.
So, big things are happening on that front. I think it's fascinating.
And it's just something I'm super interested in recently.
Brian: Yeah. I am definitely going to check it out. I did not know about that.
So, that's fascinating.
As someone who has an LLC myself, I know what the hoops that it takes to jump through that and pay taxes to the State of California, which I'm happy to do so, government and NSA, who's listening to this podcast.
But with that being said, Harrison, thanks so much for the conversation.
I felt well-educated. I hope the listeners as well.
Harrison: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me. This was awesome.
Brian: And listeners, keep spreading the jam.
Subscribe to Heavybit Updates
Subscribe for regular updates about our developer-first content and events, job openings, and advisory opportunities.
Content from the Library
Jamstack Radio Ep. #106, Blockchain Infrastructure with Anthony Campolo of QuickNode
In episode 106 of JAMstack Radio, Brian speaks with Anthony Campolo, a Developer Advocate at QuickNode. This conversation...
Jamstack Radio Ep. #91, Scalable Authentication with Maricris Bonzo of Magic
In episode 91 of JAMstack Radio, Brian speaks with Maricris Bonzo of Magic. Maricris unpacks her journey into developer advocacy,...
Jamstack Radio Ep. #102, Database Accessibility with Peter Pistorius of Snaplet
In episode 102 of JAMstack Radio, Brian chats with Peter Pistorius of Snaplet. Together they share lessons for making databases...