Technological challenges at ccFOUND — an interview with our CTO
Piotr: Hello! My name is Piotr Michalak. I’m the founder and CEO of ccFOUND.com. Grzegorz Bierzyński, CTO of the project, joined me today to discuss the technological challenges we are encountering while developing our project. Grzegorz, could you tell me more about this, please?
Grzegorz: The first thing is the costs of the site as our goal to create a DAO. The second goal is to ensure the site will earn money by itself as the technology we are using is costly. We also want the site to be helpful for the community.
Q: Just to be clear — DAO is the Decentralized Autonomous Organization that ccFOUND.com aspires to be. And by the site technology costs, we mean the costs of interacting with the blockchain. Am I right?
G: That’s true.
Q: Is there anything else?
G: There are other platforms that we could use, as blockchain as such does not answer all our needs, for example, the translation. We can do some translation features relatively cheaply, but some of them will be expensive.
Q: Let me add that by translation, we mean translating all content into all languages. Our goal is to create the largest knowledge marketplace in the world with automatically translated questions and answers. Unless we can fit in the budget, as Grzegorz says.
G: The first will be the research phase. We are currently searching for various types of solutions, both open-source and non-open-source. That’s why we are looking for employees to join our project who have already dealt with this topic. We also want our community to help translate some of the content among the engines, artificial intelligence, and other solutions. The community will be necessary to review, verify, audit, and suggest any further changes. The translation is a huge challenge, and we spend a lot of time on analytics and MVP. We invite everyone who would like to help us solve these problems.
Q: We talked about the blockchain, translation costs. Can you tell me more about the other technical challenges at ccFOUND.com?
G: Blockchain is just the beginning. Another issue is the structure of contracts related to the token, which carries certain costs and provides financial security to users. Moreover, the NFT is evolving. These are not very well-tested solutions, often challenged by hackers. Imagine that we are now issuing a token. In a moment, it turns out that, for example, some information that should only be visible to its owner, it’s available to everyone. Such challenges should be predicted and any potential threats — eliminated. That’s why we invite everyone who is not afraid of blockchain to join our company.
Q: What has been done so far in terms of cost optimization for blockchain?
G: First of all, we issued a token using Binance Smart Chain, not Ethereum. This allows for lower transaction costs. We intend to transfer the entire token flow on the site to layer two — there are many mechanisms available on the market, but they are costly. We went a step further and made our own layer two, which allows for full auditing. The user making transactions on our site will be able to see them and find them saved in the database. The database will also be partially used to speed up specific processes, but it will not be a direct core for layer two when it comes to accounting. Accounting is important for users, and it will be available on both — blockchain and IPFS networks. It is a decomposed directory structure that is accessible to everyone. To be transparent, it is not encrypted — we do not want to go in this direction. Regardless of whether someone has an account on the portal, they will be able to see the transactions.
Q: What are the other technological challenges?
G: I think that we have already mentioned the most important ones. Just to remind you — blockchain and hybrids are important to us. Of course, they are costly, and there are security challenges. The second issue is the translation and then token management that will be used at ccFOUND.com.
Q: Are you talking about burning and tokens?
G: I think more about how it will be done and how much it will cost. It is not easy- the search engine, translation, syntax … If we were using only one language, that would be great; if we were in an environment that is well tagged, that would be great too; but if we add tagging, multilingualism, and translation consistency — then there are plenty of challenges. We could make our lives easier, assuming that the voting or attentive system will help us, but we don’t want to go that way. We want to provide relevant content for the right question, so there are many challenges.
Q: Is voting technically challenging in a decentralized organization?
G: It is more of a formal challenge. Technically, this is quite difficult, although more challenging is how to calculate them. Is one better than another? Does someone who has just joined the site have a less valuable vote? There are many issues that we need to discuss.
Q: The primary mechanism has already been designed. Vote’s weight depends on the user’s reputation points. How about we move to the work culture in ccFOUND?
G: We haven’t finished building the team. We work on synchronizing our activities. We often test new solutions in parallel, so we cannot determine how the next step will look like when designing and testing two conflicting solutions. First, we have to meet and discuss where we are at what limitations we encounter and then make further decisions. We are a startup, so we often come across a moment when one of the tasks does not fall within the scope of our competencies, and then we have to look for additional resources. We also build competencies within the team. What distinguishes our team, it’s that you are not doing repetitive tasks. A lot is going on at ccFOUND.com; therefore — the pace of work is intense. You need to use your critical thinking towards your own code and the codes that are delivered to you. In a startup, you never know what will happen next and what you will learn.
Q: There are some specific technologies that we use. Maybe it is also worth telling what technical competencies we already have onboard and what we are looking for?
G: We are always looking for new people to join the team. We can always find someone with a great mindset or a person who will define tasks very quickly and lead us to common goals more effectively.
Q: In fact, naming the problem is half the solution.
G. That’s why we are looking for all kinds of people with different competencies. We are looking for people who feel the need to develop something that has not yet been resolved. We are also looking for people on their payroll — people who can provide us with solutions. We have good competencies when it comes to building NFT tokens. At the moment, we have two leading standards that are relatively good, but it is still not what we are looking for, especially from a content access management perspective. Many organizations have failed on this; we are also learning and drawing conclusions from it.
Q: Why is it good to join ccFOUND.com from your perspective?
G: I would say that apart from the fact that there are no limits here when it comes to technology, we have a lot of possibilities to build something that has not been on the market yet. If we are talking about such simple things as searching, these are not simple things with us.
Q: That’s it?
G: I think so. For a person who knows what I am talking about, it will be enough.
Q: So we’re looking for people who are interested in solving technical problems, right?
G: Exactly. If you want to work from Monday to Friday, then a software house or a large client — it might be safer but… boring. However, if you have already gotten tired and you are really looking for something meaningful, you will definitely prove yourself here. Of course, there are a whole lot of people who would gladly jump into such an ocean of problems, but they are kept by this uncertainty — I have a family to feed, and ccFOUND is a startup. I have a simple answer to that. If you can’t take a little risk from your perspective, it also means that you can’t take a risk and solve a technical problem. You’ll always deliver the code and say, ‘If someone had a look at this, it would be great’. Of course, in ccFOUND, it will be reviewed, but you also need to be able to discuss and challenge both the reviewer and yourself. We want to develop sensible solutions for the next 2 years, and it is only up to us whether we do it. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and solve some problems — this is it.
Q: ccFOUND.com is a professionally run startup that has raised and continues to raise funding. We have reached economic stability and take our project seriously. There are Administration, Marketing, IT and Finance departments. There is no need to be afraid and not compare us to small startups — more than 30 people create ccFOUND now.
G: We invite you to work with us — we do not limit ourselves in terms of technological solutions, which is why there are also many problems, and solutions are not always consistent. We have to approach problems from various perspectives. However, we work in the IT world, so the risk of boredom is very low.
Q: Please feel free to send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org