Quin Weidner joins us to discuss how Shyft is unlocking trust, identity, and credibility networks for humanity.
Quin is president of Node Providers. NP provides infrastructure and sysadmin support to early stage crypto projects as well as renewable power generation for bitcoin mining data centers. Quin has a background in renewable energy development and bitcoin mining.
Shyft Telegram: https://t.me/shyftnetwork
Shyft Discord: https://discord.gg/v74nABMF
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:02:21 – 00:00:30:09
Richard Carthon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon, and today I got a special guest, actually a startup here in Austin, Texas. As y’all know, I moved here and have been loving it so far, getting more and more immersed with the local Crypto scene. A buddy of mine, shoutout to Brian Casselman again, been dropping his name a couple of times, but introduced me to today’s speaker, who is working on an amazing project that I think everyone should be paying attention to. Today, we have Quin with Shyft. How are you doing today?
00:00:31:03 – 00:00:35:06
Quin Weidner: Hey, Richard. I’m good. How are you? How’s moving to Austin done so far?
00:00:35:26 – 00:00:53:03
Richard Carthon: Man, it’s been amazing. I’ve been here for over a year. If there’s a place I was going to be during COVID, might still be here. But really beginning to love this space for sure man. But, you know, I’m excited to learn more about Shyft and some of the other projects that you have going on, but first, want to learn a little bit more about you. Can you give us some background on yourself?
00:00:54:00 – 00:01:24:19
Quin Weidner: Yeah, sure. So, I work in the infrastructure space focused on renewables, battery deployment, Bitcoin mining and Crypto databases. Crypto data centers, sorry. So, we provide early stage support for various Crypto projects, including data centers and sysadmin work in various structural work for the early stage projects. So, I love to get involved in all sorts of new and early projects and help provide the infrastructure, the support that they need to get off the ground.
00:01:25:19 – 00:01:33:27
Richard Carthon: Cool man Well, that’s a great background, especially in the world of Crypto and Blockchain. But, you know, what was that first introduction to the space? Like how did you first learn about this?
00:01:34:23 – 00:01:42:03
Quin Weidner: Yeah. So, when I was maybe 15, instead of buying the Antminer S One, the first asic chip, I bought a Dodge Charger.
00:01:44:03 – 00:01:44:18
Richard Carthon: Nice.
00:01:44:20 – 00:01:51:07
Quin Weidner: Which, you know, you can make an argument for the long term investment of each. I still drive the charger, so, there’s pros and cons there.
00:01:52:09 – 00:01:52:24
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:01:52:26 – 00:02:29:29
Quin Weidner: But from there, I really got into the technology behind mining. Obviously, watching the price shoot out of control when I wasn’t in, you know, really taught me to learn about what I was watching and investing in the projects. I started procuring Crypto miners asic chips, started consulting on mining projects, and building out infrastructure. And from there I ended up in the power markets focused on, you know, energy development, started with flare gas and now I’m doing a lot of renewables. So, I’m very focused on what kinds of hard infrastructure can we provide to the Crypto space, specifically around Bitcoin, but we’re looking at a couple of other projects as well.
00:02:30:01 – 00:02:54:19
Richard Carthon: That’s cool man. And there’s definitely an argument made for both of them, but as you said, like it taught you a good lesson. And the lesson that probably stuck with you to keep growing out and actually looks like it got you pretty immersed in the Crypto space was like, let me find out how I get involved in this. And so, you know, you fast forward and now you’re working on this amazing project called Shyft. So, let’s spend some time there. Could you explain what Shyft is and what you are looking to accomplish?
00:02:55:09 – 00:03:39:01
Quin Weidner: Yeah, absolutely. So, Shyft was designed and built by Joe Weinberg and Chris Forrester. It’s a clone of the Ethereum Network, the EDM, but built on a proof of authority using a federation. So, anything that Ethereum can do, we can handle, but we do it with lower latency, with much smaller fees or magnitude smaller in terms of fees and a lot faster. And we do that because we use a federation and authority mechanism as opposed to proof of work. We’re not wasting any, well waste is the wrong term, but we’re not using any computing time to mine blocks. We’re simply transacting the blocks in a semi trusted, semi decentralized space.
00:03:39:28 – 00:03:57:08
Richard Carthon: Got it. And explain why that is important and how that is such a unique thing. So I mean, I went on the website. You have a lot of amazing partnerships with all kinds of companies, including, you know, Binance and a lot of other like exchanges as well as other major partners. You know, what is it about what you just explained, why they need this?
00:03:58:00 – 00:04:37:10
Quin Weidner: Sure. So, there’s a couple, for the partnerships that you saw, it was probably related to our first product, which is launching called Veriscope. And so, as a way to really prove why our system works better and why it’s more effective than a number of the other groups out there trying to get into the enterprise transaction space, we’ve launched Veriscope. Veriscope is specifically a product to meet the travel rule as set out by FFATA, which is a compliance issue that deals with any time you send a transaction for more than $3,000 from one exchange to another globally.
00:04:37:23 – 00:05:26:20
Quin Weidner: So, we have come up with a solution for our financial institutions to verify KYC between themselves when they transact. If you’re going to withdraw from Binance and send it to Kraken, we have a product that allows them to attest and realize that they’re sending to another financial institution and then meet the compliance that’s set up by FFATA to do that. There’s no product in the space that does this currently, so, hopefully we’ll be the first one to launch when we launch on Monday with a way for them to meet that compliance. So, the reason we’re important is because we can provide those kinds of very important, but very small transactions at an incredibly high volume with very low latency and with very low transaction costs compared to, say, Ethereum, which is bogging down more and more and becoming more expensive to use.
00:05:26:22 – 00:05:54:12
Richard Carthon: Gotcha. Well and for everyone listening, at the time of this recording, this will be the Monday he’s referring to would be the second Monday of April. So, this is coming out fairly soon, I hope y’all are excited about it. But let’s just go back and break down some of that, so, why that’s important. So the travel rule, like you said, from moving things over $3,000, you’re saying no one’s doing it right now, so, what are they currently doing to, like, I guess handle this or are they handling this or what’s going on currently?
00:05:54:24 – 00:06:24:20
Quin Weidner: Yeah, good question. So, to explain it a little more in depth, typically this is dealt with by SWFT or an HCH transfer. You know, when one bank handles it with another bank, they manage to travel in the non-Crypto space, they handle it because they’re using third party transactions and trusted systems and they don’t have public information. When you’re making a transaction from a Crypto exchange to another Crypto exchange, all those transactions are public and they’re also somewhat anonymous. So, the exchanges don’t necessarily know that they’re withdrawing from Binance to Kraken.
00:06:25:11 – 00:06:52:11
Quin Weidner: And so, if you read your terms of service, they just say, please don’t do this, please don’t withdraw from one exchange to another and that’s a little flimsy when it comes to meeting compliance based on FFATA. So, we expect that they’ll start leveraging fines against that kind of action in the near future and we want to get out ahead of that and make sure that everybody has the tools to meet compliance if they want, before anybody starts leveraging fines.
00:06:53:04 – 00:07:18:00
Richard Carthon: Got it. And so obviously, this is going to be very beneficial in a sense, for these exchanges and other parties to protect themselves in a way. But what would you say for your everyday retail investor or whomever that’s in it? Like, is this also going to be beneficial to them? Or if they have, like, you know, security concerns? Or, you know, how would you address those initial people who might be like having some signals going off right now?
00:07:18:11 – 00:08:06:07
Quin Weidner: Yeah, absolutely. So, Veriscope is really our first big flagship product. And so, when you listed all the partnerships, Binance, OKX, Bitfinex, Tether. We actually have 30 exchanges globally that are lined up to use this and a number of other partnerships that I can’t name that are all planning to use this particular product. It’s not a particular interest to the retail investor, however, because we’re an Ethereum clone EDM with a federation based trust system, we are working on a lot of other projects. So, there’s 18 nodes currently and we are all working on different consumer focused or business or enterprise focused products. We’re working on some swaps with the ERC 20 tokens so that we can build and wrap tokens in the same way that Ethereum does.
00:08:06:09 – 00:08:56:10
Quin Weidner: In fact, we can bridge with Ethereum so that we can work hand in hand with Ethereum. But if you want to use Shyft, you can just simply pay fewer fees so long as you trust the federation. So, we’re going to work into a number of different verticals, this is kind of the next big project we’ve launched. We’ve got a couple of exciting projects that we can’t exactly talk about that are going to come out in the NFT space that will hit a lot more of that consumer market and be a lot more interesting. If you think about it, anything Ethereum can do, any of the projects, the NFTs, the ERC 20 tokens, we can run all of that on our systems and we can run it much faster, much cheaper, no latency. We don’t have throughput issues because we’re built on a federation. And in practice, we’re actually more decentralized than Ethereum because we have 18 nodes then they have six funding pools, so.
00:08:56:12 – 00:08:58:01
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:08:58:03 – 00:09:08:15
Quin Weidner: There’s some pros and cons in using a federation versus a decentralized system, but in terms of transaction speed and latency and costs, federation wins out every time.
00:09:08:17 – 00:09:25:05
Richard Carthon: For sure. And thanks for breaking some of those pros across that. And you kept bringing up the word federation. So first, can you explain for people who don’t necessarily know what a federation is, what a federation is, and then like why they are important for what you’re trying to accomplish?
00:09:25:18 – 00:10:04:23
Quin Weidner: Sure. So, a federation is a semi decentralized network. We typically, you know, the Blockchain was exciting when, you know, over the last 10 years because it’s created some of the first decentralized proof of work. We’ve used proof of stake with a number of ways for a decentralized network to prove the validity of a transaction. With a federation, we get around a lot of the necessary proofs and a lot of the computational proofs or the staking proof by having a distributed network of trusted parties.
00:10:04:25 – 00:10:59:16
Quin Weidner: So, instead of having a decentralized anybody can contribute, we have a set group of trusted nodes that all validate. The trusted nodes all validate the transactions, and they must come to a consensus in the same way that Ethereum miners have to come to a consensus. The difference is that we have selected nodes and we have Byzantine incentives set up to determine, you know, how we add members to the node, how we remove members, how we vote on things. But for any transaction, we still need the same consensus proof that a decentralized network would need. But because we’re all trusted parties, we know where everybody’s nodes are, we can transact faster and we don’t have to spend a lot of computing time. We don’t have to run a bunch of miners and spend a lot of energy to prove that we are someone to trust, we established that prior to the transaction.
00:11:00:00 – 00:11:28:14
Richard Carthon: Right. And just like you said, being able to move faster, being able to move at a more efficient and cost effective way is definitely an ideal situation for a lot of investors right now, especially having to deal with the absorbent gas fees that are out there. One of the things that you keep bringing up is nodes and how basically you have, I think you said 16 that are set up. And I believe you also have a company that kind of helps work with some of these nodes. Can you kind of talk about that a bit?
00:11:29:06 – 00:12:12:14
Quin Weidner: Yeah. So, Node Provider’s focus is on spinning up nodes or providing infrastructure in the data center required to run a node for whatever Crypto project you’re working on. So, you know, we help some clients do staking, we do a lot of Bitcoin mining, but we also work in more niche projects such as Shyft, where we host a federated node for them. So, we manage the uptime, we provide the system admin work, we handle any of the technical components that may be complicated. If you’re running a new Crypto node and you need to have, i’ve sorry, if you’re running a new Crypto project and you need to have a number of nodes distributed across space or jurisdictions, that’s the kind of thing that we provide.
00:12:12:16 – 00:12:19:13
Richard Carthon: For sure. And really quickly, for those who don’t necessarily understand what that node is, can you give us a quick, brief definition of that?
00:12:19:27 – 00:13:08:08
Quin Weidner: Yeah, sure. So in Bitcoin, anybody who’s running a full node, okay, that’s not giving a definition, a node is simply a party that is verifying every transaction. So in Bitcoin, it’s anybody who’s running the full Blockchain on their computer is a node because they’re validating each transaction coming in, they’re verifying it’s correct and they provide their vote to the consensus, as well as keeping a backup of the full chain and and transmitting that chain to everybody else. So, it’s a point in the larger network when you have a decentralized network, you have many points of contact and all those different computers are both transmitting and taking in information. So, a node is each point of contact that’s doing the transactions, it’s doing the validations, and that’s sort of listening into the space and contributing.
00:13:08:25 – 00:13:32:28
Richard Carthon: Thank you. That’s going to be very helpful for a lot of people as they kind of maneuver through this and I think that’s a really great way to explain it. And what’s powerful about the nodes, just like you said, the more points of those interactions happening, the faster things can go. So, I know that you said right now y’all are starting with 16. Is there an idea to grow the amount of notes that you have? Is it possible to add more or is it like a finite in the sense of like once you have your nodes, that’s it.
00:13:33:22 – 00:13:41:21
Quin Weidner: So actually, something you said there I think we should back up on, the more nodes you have, it’s not necessarily faster, it’s more decentralized.
00:13:42:11 – 00:13:42:26
Richard Carthon: Okay.
00:13:42:28 – 00:14:33:00
Quin Weidner: So by having distributed nodes that you can’t trust, you spend a good amount of computing power determining who you can trust, who’s real and avoiding dos attacks. So, by having the fewer nodes you have, the faster you can get information to all of the different nodes, verify consensus and move on to the next block. So, it’s a balance of having enough nodes that it’s decentralized enough that you’re not relying on two or three parties to make all the decisions versus having few enough nodes that you have low latency and fast transaction speed. And so, we think that our number 16 to 18 is a good number. We’re going to consider adding some as we go forward in the future as we continue to test and iterate, but we’ll probably gain nodes. We probably won’t come down in terms of number of nodes.
00:14:33:23 – 00:14:49:13
RIchard Carthon: Got it. And thank you for explaining that. And again, since you are getting ready to launch and have all that going, kind of walk us through the roadmap of currently where you are. For everyone that’s listening, like how they can either get involved with Shyft and what’s coming in the pipeline.
00:14:50:08 – 00:15:19:04
Quin Weidner: Yeah, absolutely. So, we just voted to have our launch on Monday. That’s five days from today, which I don’t know when this is coming out, but that’ll be Monday is our plan for launch. Veriscope will launch on that day. And in fact we have a roadmap I can post if you’d like to check it out for your viewers.
00:15:19:28 – 00:15:20:13
Richard Carthon: For sure. We’ll put that in the show notes.
00:15:20:15 – 00:15:45:13
Quin Weidner: Oky great. And then, we’ll launch a federated mainnet, just next week. And then after that, we’ll start working on new projects. Our first focus will be building out Veriscope, making sure we get as many partners on board to use Veriscope. We have a couple of launches scheduled for some swaps, some exciting news in the NFT space. I don’t know if anybody follows Bitclout.
00:15:45:15 – 00:15:46:00
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:15:46:02 – 00:16:19:10
Quin Weidner: But there’s a potential for a secondary market for Bitclout that can’t exactly talk about yet. And then from there, it’ll be continuing to iterate, building more stability, really gaining the network trust. We currently have big names, we’ve got Binance, we have DLA Piper, we have DeFi Holdings. We have a number of strong names in the system and we want to build more and more name recognition going forward so that we can be trusted by larger transactions, larger financial institutions and more of the retail market too.
00:16:19:12 – 00:16:47:10
Richard Carthon: Awesome. Well, a lot of great things in the world of Shyft on the way. Everyone makes sure you go check it out. But to shift gears for a moment, you know, this year has been amazing, there’s a lot of excitement going on in the world of Crypto, it’s becoming more mainstream. I mean, you have SNL creating skits about NFTs, you have institutional money and institutional players starting to diversify into Crypto. What are some things going on in the space right now that have your attention that you think others should be paying attention to?
00:16:49:27 – 00:17:14:03
Quin Weidner: Well, I would say keep you on the lookout for other federations coming up. We see this as a real answer to a lot of the problems out there on the market. There’s a lot of groups that are either Layer One or Layer Two applications that are trying to solve this. How do we handle significant volume? How do we handle building out large networks that aren’t vulnerable to dos tax and that aren’t expensive?
00:17:14:28 – 00:17:55:04
Quin Weidner: We think that federations are the way that large central banks are going to do this, we think federations are the way that governments and large, compliant, focused groups are going to do this and we think that large enterprise groups as well should start taking a look at federations either within their own ecosystem or to participate with other, you know, semi cooperative businesses out there. So, we see federated systems on the rise for any way to verify transactions across an industry while maintaining sort of arm’s length decentralization, but keeping high speeds, low costs, less latency.
00:17:55:20 – 00:17:56:05
Richard Carthon: For sure.
00:17:56:07 – 00:18:08:11
Quin Weidner: So, that’s what I’m looking out for. We’d love to see more drop. The Bermuda, for example, is running their central bank on it. Liquid was obviously the first one to do this and we see it as catching on a lot in future.
00:18:08:28 – 00:18:17:21
Richard Carthon: Yeah. Let’s spend a moment there real quick. So, one of the partners that is on Shyft’s page is Bermuda. Can you kind of just expand on what y’all are currently doing with them?
00:18:19:18 – 00:18:59:05
Quin Weidner: So I can’t expand on what Bermuda is contributing to the system, however, I’m not familiar with what exactly Bermuda has used Shyft to do, but their bank is working with Shyft to provide, I believe, a similar KYC function, similar to Versicope. It’s a method for them to handle KYC without running into privacy concerns, although I can’t confirm it. My understanding is it was the first real use case for what we built Veriscope off of.
00:18:59:24 – 00:19:01:11
Richard Carthon: Right. No worries.
00:19:01:13 – 00:19:03:13
Quin Weidner: But don’t hold that to me.
00:19:03:15 – 00:19:29:04
Richard Csrthon: For sure. No, but that still sounds really cool. I mean, you get one country that’s able to do it and obviously that can scale from there there’s a lot more use cases that can occur from it. But, man, you spent a lot of time with us and dropped a lot of great knowledge. A fun question I always like to ask is with all the knowledge that you have right now, if you could take all of it and give yourself three core lessons back when you first started, what are some things that’d you tell yourself?
00:19:31:09 – 00:19:50:06
Quin Weidner: Keep taking risks. You know, if you don’t try building things, you know, then you won’t have anything to work. I think that’s the biggest one. Lessons I’d tell myself, I mean, don’t buy the car, buy the antminer.
00:19:51:15 – 00:19:52:00
Richard Carthon: That’s a good one.
00:19:52:02 – 00:19:59:08
Quin Weidner: Right? I don’t know, I think sometimes you learn a lot more from your losses than you do from your wins.
00:19:59:10 – 00:19:59:25
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:19:59:27 – 00:20:13:27
Quin Weidner: And so, you know, I am now heavily invested in the Bitcoin ecosystem, and I might not have been if I hadn’t missed out on that opportunity. So you never know, I guess those are my two lessons. That’s all I got for you.
00:20:14:11 – 00:20:24:06
Richard Carthon: Yeah. No. Two solid lessons, especially for everyone listening. But man, again, thank you for all of your time today. Before we leave, what is a final thought that you want to leave with all of our listeners today?
00:20:30:24 – 00:20:45:23
Quin Weidner: Boy. I guess, you know, I’d say the final thought is a federated model could be the future of semi decentralization when we get there.
00:20:47:04 – 00:20:59:14
Richard Carthon: For sure. Well, thank you for that final thought. For everyone that wants to connect with you, and wants to learn more about Shyft, what are some ways that they can do that? So, whether it’s through your website or socials, what are some ways that people can connect?
00:21:00:04 – 00:21:27:18
Quin Weidner: Absolutely. So Shyft, you can find information about Shyft, that’s S-H-Y-F-T.network and you can drop that in the show notes. Node Providers, we’re, you know, we’re a hosting company that focuses on early stage Crypto projects. We’re Nodeproviders.com. And yeah, I think those are probably the two best ways to reach out. I can also drop my, you know, our direct contact in the show notes as well, if that helps.
00:21:28:01 – 00:21:34:28
Richard Carthon: That will. Well, again, Quinn, thank you so much for your time today. Thanks for all the information on Shyft. And for everyone listening Stay Crypto Current.
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