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AMA with DigiByte Foundation Ambassador – Josiah Spackman

Welcome to ChangeNOW’s AMA series!

Today’s guest is DigiByte Foundation Ambassador – Josiah Spackman who was very kind to answer questions of the members of our Community Chat.

Today’s guest is DigiByte Foundation Ambassador – Josiah Spackman who was very kind to answer questions of the members of our Community Chat.

Q: As far as I know, DGB has a very decentralized team. Is it difficult to work like that (especially with your time zone)?

A: HA! Yes. So, for example, our lead iOS developer is absolutely *incredibly* talented, he's in Germany though I think? So, unfortunately, his timezone basically means that when I wake up, he's getting ready to go to sleep. Also, in the winter, I'm anywhere from 5 to 8 hours away from the USA which is where half the team seem to be from, so that can make things interesting. Summer's not too bad because it's only 3 hours difference from PST, but to be honest being global means we've got one of our Core developers in Australia, Marketing guru in the Netherlands, key advisor in California, Jared roams around the states, I'm in New Zealand... And we have a truly global community from basically every country around the globe Thankfully, it also means if you jump in the support channel, even if you're awake at 3AM, there's somebody else who's going to be around to give you a hand and welcome you :) With that said, we're all very well aware this is a volunteer effort, there's some people who give _so_ much of their time, and so that always helps knowing that we're all in this together, volunteering :)

Q: You are doing lots of stuff for the community. What's your favorite?

A: That's a good question, to be honest I simply put my hand up around 2 years ago now in 2017 to do an interview on Facebook after some people were asking for a DigiByte "representative" to do the interview

Looking back, it was fucking awful, in so many ways, and I was super nervous, but part of being permissionless is putting your hand up and saying "Sure, I'll just do this because there's nobody to ask permission if I can do XYZ"

So a lot of what I do, and what I really enjoy, is just that, filling people in, education, teaching, and all that sort of juicy goodness.

* Writing guides so that people can participate

* Explaining the many subtle nuances about DigiByte that make it awesome

* Clarifying things for people around what the likes of DigiShield do, how it works, it's benefits

* Doing videos so that people know what's been happening in the world of DigiByte

All that sort of thing.

Q: So what's the feature of the DigiByte that has brought you in? And what's the favorite one right now?

A: So I actually found out about Cryptocurrency back in ~2013, I was told I could print money with my computer.I got in to Bitcoin, mining it, in late 2013, early 2014, but FPGAs and ASICs had set in by then. So I found Litecoin, and I'm thinking:

This makes sense, 4x faster, 4x max supply, I'm a clever guy, that makes things more useful for payments and the likes, I'll check this out.I start mining it, and I'm lurking on BitcoinTalk forums (It was where the cool kids used to hang out) and I found people talking about DOGE, and DigiByte, coz DOGE was going to implement DigiShield. That piqued my interest. Wow, so DigiByte is even faster, and instead of having a 4x max supply vs BTC it's 1000:1... Yeah I'm a clever guy, this makes EVEN MOAR SENSE! So that was around Feb / March 2014. The speed was what brought me in, but the dedication to the decentralization / permissionless nature of blockchain is why I've stuck around... And the community, they're awesome, and passionate, and dedicated, and so hardworking!

Q: If you were to pitch DigiByte to anyone would it be a group of your friends, a bunch of businessman or someone else?

A: So I'm actually going to give you a real shitty answer:

I wouldn't pitch it to any of them. You see one of the main problems that blockchain has right now (and this is something I talk about a lot on my daily videos and other interviews) is that if you want to speculate on blockchain, there's SO many projects. Sure, DigiByte is amazing, but we've got to give you a reason to actually want to hold and use DigiByte outside of just "price appreciation speculation". This is where things like Digi-ID and DigiAssets comes in to play, these are great reasons over and above just a transfer of value (Where most people are fine with their credit card / paypal). So I don't ever actually pitch to any of my friends, and we're not an ICO so there's no company to pitch. However, if somebody wanted to know more about what I do, or the fundamentals behind why I think DigiByte truly stands out head and shoulders over the rest, then I'd definitely fill them in!

Q: Do you still enjoy tech writing or do you prefer community work?

A: Yes, both! In fact I still write a bunch on the Wiki, and would encourage others to do-so as well, dgbwiki.com, go check it out, contribute, help with the guides, the info, keeping it up to date etc :) It's a great hub of information for the community and a wealth of knowledge

Q: Are there any options to pay with DGB in New Zealand?

A: We have the likes of EasyCrypto NZ who both take bank payments and also will transfer from DGB -> NZD too! They're super awesome, and have got one of *the* best  websites I've ever used on a crypto exchange

Q: DigiByte has up to 5 types of mining algorithms: SHA256, Scrypt, Myr-Groestl, Skein & Qubit, what is the difference between 5 types mining?

A: I like that question! We actually ditched Myriad-Groestl a couple months back for Odocrypt. So people are probably familiar with X16R , there's 16 different sub-algorithms within X16R, but what happens is each block everybody all "agrees" (using the last blocks hash) on what the next sub-algorithm should be, They're all ASIC-friendly algos that it swaps between too, as we've seen ASICs come and start to dominate the network, DigiByte is slightly different, so we have SHA256, Scrypt, Skein, Qubit & Odocrypt, and they're _all_ running 24/7 competing with each other for EVERY single block. So Odocrypt is FPGA friendly, designed to be anti-ASIC, by morphing itself and changing itself every 10 days. You'd need a re-programmable ASIC to be able to mine with it... Which is an FPGA... So there's basically no point in making an ASIC for it, when you can just use a FPGA. We're looking in to things like ProgPOW and RandomX to replace some of the other algos with too

Q: If people want to join the DGB community, what would be a good place to start?

A: Great question, and it depends on what they're using, how they want to participate, and what they're good at. If you're on Facebook, join the community there.IIf you're on Twitter, follow @DigiByteCoin. If you just want to keep up to date on Blockfolio Signal, follow us there too. Aaaand selfish-plug, you can follow me, youtube.com/c/JosiahSpackmanDigiByte for daily updates on all things DigiByte (Actually genuinely daily, 90 days and counting so far)

Q: DGB is a currency born with the purpose of being a global payment currency, what achievement do DGB have got to reach this big goal?

A: Hmm that's an interesting one. Part of being decentralized and permissionless is it relies on initiatives from people within the community. So things like when I put up a fundraiser last year for us to help out a town in Venezuela, we put on community lunches, we refurbished a hospital, fed children in an orphanage and supplied them for months, bought thousands of water bottles for people crossing the border, helped supply a school... That sort of thing was one of the practical ways we have both helped people in need, as well as helped people to use it as a method of payments. So I would also say that leading by example, and practicing it, is key. Check this short little video for more info on the start of what we did in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMVFx8hW7no

Q: Which market does DGB active mostly right now? Which market will your team plan to expand to ? and why?

A: I actually think we're most active in Turkey, there's a LOT of $TRY coming in to DGB because of what's going on over there in their country, and they see the value in something like DigiByte that can scale, be used for payments, assets, and is a truly decentralized blockchain. You don't ever see the Founder of DigiByte asking "Or is it?" about DigiByte, because we know we're decentralized, and we have stats like this to back that up:


Brief example: Jared, as the Founder, wasn't actually involved with the Odocrypt network upgrade until a few days prior to mainnet activation, when it was already live and on testnet. Most of the code was committed by other developers (I'm not a coder), and a bunch of community members helped to test, and provide feedback on Odocrypt, while Jared was busy working on other blockchain / DigiByte projects :) So we *love* that he's around, 100%, and I have so much respect for him, BUT, at the same time, we're not just lead soley by him, and he would be the first to say the project is all the better for that, not having a single "head" :)

Q: So you don't plan to make DGB a privacy coin?

A: Well, yes and no. There's no immediate plans to implement zkSNARKs etc, but, we've focused on practical things like Dandelion++ implementations, not just in the Core Wallet, but in our mobile applications too

We're 100% default with it, every single Core Wallet has it on by default to protect users, and same for mobile transactions. That said if you want the speed, it's just a swipe of a button to turn it off and you're good to go :)

Q: Oh, that's actually another great topic! How do you combine the two jobs? Don't your non-crypto colleagues think you're weird?

A: Yep, especially when I got a DigiByte tattoo, but that's OK coz I'm kinda a little bit weird anyways. My day-job is actually really good, and they let me spend time on Twitter, and Telegram, even in between my breaks

So I'll be talking on the phone with a vendor here in New Zealand, while helping users to create DigiAssets at the same time from around the world.

Q: Do you want to become a developer one day?

A: Nope, I can't code, my brain just isn't wired that way. I can Google things, and copy/paste things, which is why I submitted the first non-BTC pull request to Litecoin since it's creation: https://github.com/litecoin-project/litecoin/pull/608

But there's far more talented people out there who can code, and I think we still need a lot more genuine education to teach the masses, especially before blockchain becomes mainstream :)

Thanks to Jenny and Pauline, really appreciate you taking the time to put this on :)

So good having support from ChangeNOW, and love what you're doing with the NOWnodes too!

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