Check out the recap from the latest discussion between Adeniyi Abiodun and Cryptonews about Sui, the time working at Meta, and more in this article!
The podcast was posted on Cryptonews YouTube channel on Oct 17, 2023, where they discussed Facebook’s blockchain/cryptocurrency Diem (aka. Libra) Network, Move programming language, Working at Facebook, Blockchain-based authentication, Web3 identity via Zk tech, Crypto as a solution for the unbanked in the world, The importance of gaming and the digital economy, The role blockchain can play for corporate brands, Supporting the Sui community with Ecosystem and Community Development funds.
This article is a summary of the conversation above for those readers who don't have time to watch the whole video.
- Question: Tell us about your childhood, university, and passion
I spent my early years in Nigeria before moving to the UK, where I pursued my education in London. Initially studying astrophysics, I later shifted my focus to electronic engineering and computer science due to the field's better financial prospects. This led me to work in software engineering, primarily in the banking sector, where I gained experience in building risk management and trading systems for major financial institutions. It was during this time that I first encountered Bitcoin, which eventually inspired me to establish my own Bitcoin mining company.
- Question: What was the year when you built your Bitcoin mining company?
I founded my Bitcoin mining company in 2012, initially delving into Bitcoin mining in 2011. Although I achieved significant success, I regret selling off the majority of my holdings. My interest in cryptocurrencies was primarily sparked by the decentralized nature of the technology, as outlined in the Satoshi Whitepaper. Starting with personal mining ventures, I eventually expanded into running data centers and offering mining services to others, marking the beginning of my involvement in the crypto world.
- Question: Who introduced you to Bitcoin?
It was actually a colleague of mine at JP Morgan who initially introduced me to Bitcoin. Initially, I was somewhat dismissive of the concept, as the idea of solving the issue of trust seemed far-fetched and almost surreal. However, my interest was piqued enough to delve into the details, prompting me to read the Satoshi Whitepaper on my own. My curiosity continued to grow during my time at HSBC, where I delved even deeper into the concept of Bitcoin. It was at this point that I became convinced of its potential, prompting me to initiate my first steps into Bitcoin mining. This experience soon became akin to an addiction, capturing my attention and driving my deep involvement in the world of cryptocurrencies.
- Question: What was your experience like when you were recruited by Meta, formerly Facebook, for their blockchain and crypto initiatives, and how did your work on the Diem Libra project unfold?
I was working at VMware when I got the opportunity to join Meta's R&D team for their blockchain and crypto initiatives. I was initially recruited to work on decentralized identity but quickly shifted to the Libra project. At Meta, we developed Move, a new programming language for safe smart contracts. I led the product side of the project, focusing on making complex technical innovations user-friendly. My colleagues, including Dalia Mostafa, Evan Cheng, Sam Blackshear, and George Danezis, brought their expertise in cryptography, PR languages, and consensus algorithms to the project. Together, our diverse skill set made our team at Meta's R&D truly unique and effective in the world of cryptocurrency.
- Question: Can you describe your experience working at Meta (formerly Facebook) on the Libra project, and were there any notable interactions or unique stories within the company culture during your time there?
Working at Meta (formerly Facebook) was a remarkable experience, offering an exceptional engineering and product culture that fostered a drive for growth and innovation. The company's scale was truly impressive, and the workplace atmosphere felt akin to a vibrant and dynamic Disneyland, complete with free food and an array of enticing benefits.
However, the Libra project, though highly regarded within the company, operated somewhat independently from the rest of Facebook. We had our own private building, accessible only through a special key card, as the nature of our work demanded a level of secrecy and distance from the primary Facebook business. Many within the company were eager to contribute to the ambitious Libra project, which undoubtedly contributed to its aura of exclusivity and innovation.
Throughout my tenure, I had the privilege of collaborating with some of the brightest minds in the industry, including esteemed individuals such as Kevin Wheel, the VP of Product for Libra, and the brilliant minds of David Marcus and Maron Colbecki. These exceptional individuals were not only colleagues but also became lifelong friends, contributing to a culture of passionate dedication and a shared mission.
Although the Libra project, unfortunately, never saw the light of day, encountering obstacles primarily attributed to regulatory concerns and perhaps the overarching shadow of Facebook's history on privacy issues, the experience was nevertheless one of profound dedication and unwavering commitment. Despite the project's ultimate discontinuation, the perseverance and expertise demonstrated by the team members have led many to significant success in subsequent endeavors.
- Question: Could Meta (formerly Facebook) launch a global virtual bank and payment rail system leveraging their existing technology without relying on a blockchain?
Yes, they could launch such a system, though not necessarily dependent on blockchain technology. However, the scalability issues of previous endeavors like Libra highlight the need for a system capable of accommodating vast user demand without compromising integrity. Sui's unique horizontal scalability, differing from the traditional focus on Transactions Per Second (TPS) metrics, offers the capability to meet the dynamic demands of massive enterprises like Google and Facebook. Its multi-tenant system design ensures unlimited scalability, facilitating the processing of multiple smart contracts simultaneously without mutual interference, setting it apart from conventional blockchain solutions.
- Question: How challenging was it to secure a three-letter domain for your business, and what prompted the decision to go with "Sui" despite the abundance of other potential names in the market?
Snagging a three-letter domain was undoubtedly difficult, but the process was aided by our diverse team. While we explored numerous options, none seemed to resonate until "Sui" emerged, receiving unanimous approval. Despite the scarcity of three-letter names, "Sui" stood out as the perfect choice, a stroke of luck amidst a sea of challenging options.
- Question: How does Sui differentiate itself in the crypto market, and what unique attributes set it apart from other blockchain solutions aiming to address similar challenges?
Sui's distinguishing factors stem from the expertise of its team members, many of whom hail from significant tech backgrounds. Their collective experience in building systems that cater to billions of users daily has equipped them with a unique lens for developing the next phase of the crypto industry. Unlike many other teams in the web3 space, Sui's approach is centered on solving the limitations of current blockchain systems by prioritizing growth and user experience.
One of Sui's key differentiators lies in its innovative approach to scalability. The team's perspective on gas pricing sets them apart, with a firm belief that gas costs should remain consistent, regardless of fluctuations in user demand. This approach is not only aimed at providing a seamless user experience but also fosters an environment where businesses can confidently build applications without concerns about variable transaction fees.
Moreover, Sui's utilization of object-based programming, a familiar paradigm for developers, offers a shorter learning curve compared to the majority of blockchain platforms, which primarily rely on less intuitive bits and bytes. By leveraging this approach, Sui ensures that developers can swiftly adapt their existing skill sets, thereby expediting the development of novel applications and services within the Sui ecosystem.
Sui has introduced two groundbreaking features—sponsored transactions and zkLogin—to streamline user interactions and remove unnecessary complexities associated with blockchain transactions. Sponsored transactions enable accounts to transact on the Sui blockchain without the need for users to understand the intricacies of gas payments, as another account covers the transaction costs. This innovation promotes user-friendly interactions and reduces the barriers to entry for individuals new to the crypto space.
Additionally, zkLogin facilitates the use of existing web2 accounts, such as Google or Facebook, to authenticate user identities on the Sui blockchain without the need for third-party services or custody agreements. By enabling users to seamlessly access the blockchain using their existing web2 credentials, Sui aims to bridge the gap between the traditional web and the decentralized web, making it more accessible and inviting for a broader audience.
- Question: How are you guys planning on onboarding the millions and eventually hundreds of millions of these Gen-Zers and the new economy folks to the gaming sector on Sui?
Gaming serves as the primary avenue through which Sui aims to onboard millions, and eventually hundreds of millions, of Gen-Zers and new economy participants into the web3 landscape. The team recognizes the innate capacity of the gaming industry to drive innovation and adopt cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the context of monetization. With a strategic focus on gaming, Sui has already partnered with 60 studios, ranging from billion-dollar companies to experienced studios, to launch a diverse portfolio of high-quality web2 games. By leveraging the concept of ownership within games, Sui enables users to explore new possibilities that were previously unattainable, fostering extended shelf lives for games, enhanced user engagement, and innovative marketing and targeting capabilities. This approach aims to create a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience, encouraging increased user participation and retention. Moreover, Sui has secured partnerships with major gaming companies in Korea and notable gaming studios globally, further underscoring the platform's commitment to revolutionizing the gaming industry and integrating blockchain technology seamlessly into the gaming ecosystem.
- Question: You discussed big corporate brands and how they are currently partnering with Sui. We've heard numerous claims about Fortune 500 companies being compelled to embrace blockchain and web3, but few have produced legitimate use cases with tangible traction and genuine crypto utility. How are you genuinely impacting the space, and what sets your partnerships apart from the common hype and mere press releases?
Sui focuses on forging meaningful partnerships with major brands that prioritize solutions to their core business challenges. Rather than engaging in superficial collaborations, the team prioritizes utility-driven applications that can revolutionize various industries. By leveraging the blockchain to address key business problems, Sui aims to enhance fan engagement and patronage for notable brands such as Oracle Red Bull, among others. The platform's emphasis on utility extends to facilitating seamless onboarding processes for daily active users, eliminating common web3 barriers like complex wallets, private keys, and gas fees, thereby streamlining the user experience and fostering increased participation within the Sui ecosystem.
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