Interview with JK - Stake.fish
Updated: Feb 16
This week we are publishing our interview with Jun Soo Kim (JK) from stake.fish, a leading staking service provider for proof of stake (PoS) blockchains such as Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, Cosmos and many more. A diverse group of people behind Stake.fish devotes their time and effort into helping secure blockchains that they believe will be used decades down the road.
We were interested in the story behind Stake Fish itself as well as JK’s opinions on the current state and future of the blockchain industry. Here’s our interview with JK:
1. Tell us a little bit about Stake Fish - why is it interesting? What makes it unique?
Stakefish is an infrastructure provider for blockchain projects. We are keepers of blockchain protocols, making sure that they run seamlessly. We are specifically focused on this key area, but with a more chain-agnostic approach. Therefore, we’ve been in a great position to observe the different blockchain ecosystems and study how they evolve.
2. Why are you personally interested in crypto currencies and/or Blockchain?
I fell down the rabbit hole after becoming interested in smart contracts. I have a background in antitrust and have seen how markets eventually reach a stable state of only one or two suppliers, effectively creating a monopoly or oligopoly. I was keen on learning of potential ways this could be disrupted and then stumbled upon the concept of smart contracts and what blockchain coordination could help enable. Since then, I’ve pretty much soaked up anything and everything I can about cryptocurrencies and blockchains.
3. What was your first experience with crypto-currency or blockchain?
I started off by purchasing some BTC and ETH on a centralized exchange, which, arguably, you can’t count as experiencing blockchain. I think a month after my first purchase was when I really got the first taste. I ordered a Ledger and was trying to move my BTC and ETH off to my wallet. It was scary trying to send the coins especially thinking how one typo in the address could mean a total loss of funds.
4. What do you consider to be the best blockchain project and why?
I don’t tend to comment on blockchain projects in comparison with each other. The only two I highlight are Bitcoin and Ethereum primarily because they’ve both solidified their positions in both the blockchain ecosystem and the traditional finance world.
I don’t believe these two are the only that will survive in the long run. There will be many more blockchain projects that join the ranks of these two. Three main things I try to keep an eye on are:
Innovation: What new technical advances are they making? Simple hard forks or copycats won’t survive.
Community: Are people passionate about building on the blockchain project? Are people passionate about using the protocol?
Decentralization: By nature of being a blockchain project, I expect most projects to have concrete plans to constantly trend towards the decentralization spectrum.
5. If you could change one thing about blockchain and crypto in general, what would it be?
Horrible user experience definitely comes to mind. It’s a very steep learning curve for newcomers to understand what it means to manage their own wallets and private keys and how transactions on blockchains work. Education can only do so much. We’ll need a new approach on how to make the crypto user experience more straightforward and safe.
6. What would you like to see implemented in blockchain? Either in your own project, in your favorite blockchain or in blockchain in general.
I would love to see more CryptoPunks (lol). Well, not literally. What I really mean is that, I’d love to see blockchains and their projects to increasingly embrace on-chain virtual identities.
7. What is a question you most often ask in relation to crypto currencies and blockchain?
Is this project an important contributor to this ecosystem? It’s critical that we support projects that are trying to move the industry forward rather than seek to be a rent seeker. Another way to ask this question is: are the tokens this project’s main focus? Many of the projects we pass on or decline to work with typically treat their own tokens as the ultimate goal. This is extremely short sighted and won’t be a viable project long-term.
8. What is the most common problem you have with blockchains/cryptocurrencies and how did you solve it?
I’d like to see a more widely accepted framework for assessing decentralization. The community has vastly different ideals on what the future of this ecosystem should look like. The most important point being: what is decentralization? I’d love to see someone or a team try to answer this question with a reasonable framework that could be further evolved with time.
9. Where do you think that blockchain could be best utilized?
I am not sure where blockchain could be best utilized. I like to keep an open mind and explore what people build out. However, one area I’d love to see it being applied robustly is in donations to non-profit organizations. The advantage of having a blockchain is that you can choose to transparently showcase flow of funds in real-time. It’d help provide more confidence in these organizations.
10. Where do you see the future of blockchain?
There is 0 doubt that Bitcoin and Ethereum will survive in the long-run and will maintain a critical layer of the future of Web 3.0. There is still plenty of more experimentation and building that needs to occur before we see other killer products and services (outside of DeFi or NFTs) being built out of blockchains. Given how much capital and talent our industry has been able to capture, the timeline has likely been steeply reduced by years. I’m excited to see what’s in store in 2022!
We thank JK for the interview. For those of you who are interested in staking, be sure to check out the stake.fish website.
Do you know of an interesting blockchain project that would be interested in having an interview with us? Feel free to send me an email, we’d love to hear your thoughts and publish them on our blog.