Robert Wiecko of DASH Core Group – Cointelegraph Journal

Robert Wiecko is getting again into taking part in electrical guitar. Armed together with his model new Fender Stratocaster, the COO of DASH Core Group is reliving his youth as a highschool scholar residing in Poland.

“It’s a tremendous feeling to restart one thing you really liked a lot and forgot for some motive.”

Taking part in guitar offers him a way of freedom and peace, he explains. Studying to play once more isn’t just entertaining, however acts as a kind of meditation. Specializing in the talent, he frees his thoughts from the same old calls for and stresses of the day.

The notion of freedom is what drew him into the blockchain house in 2011. Working in software program improvement within the monetary sector for a lot of his profession, Wiecko acknowledged severe flaws within the system. “I noticed there’s one thing unsuitable with the monetary system generally. Bitcoin appeared to me as a improbable factor. Again in 2011, it was for geeks, and I used to be a complete geek.”

Regardless of this preliminary fascination with blockchain expertise, Wiecko felt he was less than the duty of exploring it initially, attributable to a multi-year bout with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel syndrome. “It’s a really nasty illness, incurable for western drugs. My life was nearly ruined by the illness.”

However Wiecko was open to exploring various approaches to rid himself of the sickness. He realized that western docs solely provided medicines to mitigate signs, however to not treatment the illness. In Poland, various medicines have been frowned upon and perceived as illegitimate. “I mentioned, ‘Nicely I disagree with that, I’m not going to be sick till the top of my life and devour chemical substances to keep up the established order.’” 

He did his personal analysis — an oft-repeated adage within the crypto realm — and found a spread of strategies from Chinese language and Tibetan drugs that, when mixed with a disciplined weight loss plan and meditation, eradicated the illness.

After three years of this variation in mindset and more healthy residing, he returned to his physician who discovered that Wiecko had efficiently cured the sickness. “The docs have been shocked,” he explains. Checks discovered no remaining proof of the illness. 

“Primarily it was the mindset and life-style modifications that helped me to get well. I’m completely happy. I’m considered one of many cured from one of these illness. It’s an unpopular narrative within the mainstream, pushed by pharma corporations” he says.

Different drugs, various finance

Wiecko attracts parallels between delving into various drugs and exploring blockchain expertise. An IT skilled specializing in Java and Oracle improvement, the idea of decentralization was a revolutionary concept to him. In its earliest days, the crypto world was stuffed with idealists: Libertarians, Wiecko explains, have been the dominant pressure within the house. He was excited to hitch a rising motion motivated by optimistic beliefs.

He briefly tinkered with the speculative aspect of the business however discovered that he was, sadly, a horrible dealer. As an alternative, he began to become involved with technical groups. “There was no probability to hitch Bitcoin groups. I used to be not subtle sufficient.” However Wiecko discovered just a few small initiatives the place he may contribute. 

Sadly, most of those smaller initiatives have been actually in it for a fast buck, he realized. The method was changing into acquainted: create a coin, make a bunch of cash, and abandon the mission. “It was not what I used to be searching for.”

Wiecko expressed his frustrations with the pump-and-dump state of affairs within the crypto market on a Polish discussion board, the place a pal really helpful he look into Darkcoin, a fork of Litecoin created by Evan Duffield. The neighborhood and imaginative and prescient of the mission stood out, and he linked with Duffield to supply his providers as a mission supervisor. Despite the fact that the workforce was tiny on the time, Duffield employed him for the mission. The Darkcoin title was modified to DASH that very same yr.

You haven’t any concept… it was pure communism

Born in socialist-era Poland, Wiecko is aware of a factor or two in regards to the different aspect of freedom. “You haven’t any concept what life was like in Poland within the 70’s. It was pure communism.”

“America was at all times introduced as an evil a part of the world. We didn’t consider it, however the media marketing campaign was at all times going into your head. It was propaganda.”

The Orthodox Catholic household lived within the countryside of an particularly poor area. Regardless of their struggles, his dad and mom instilled in Wiecko an ethical compass that he follows to today, regardless that he isn’t non secular like his dad and mom. 

Shifting to a close-by metropolis, Wiecko had the uncommon alternative to experiment with computer systems when his college purchased three and provided programming lessons. Folks have been fortunate simply to have a phone of their houses on the time, he explains, so proudly owning a private laptop was an impossibility. Gesturing that his head is exploding, he expresses his enthusiasm when first encountering computer systems, “BOOOOOOOOM! I need to do that!”

“I liked computer systems from the very first expertise. There was a magic behind programming. It was the time I knew my life can be linked to computer systems.”

The world will get larger

As communism started its decline in Poland, the west beckoned. Whereas his father went overseas to earn cash to assist the household, Wiecko attended a technical highschool the place he realized about robotics and automation. He picked up his guitar behavior, jamming on Slayer and Metallica with pals, however dropped the instrument when he devoted himself absolutely to his IT research with a significant in software program engineering.

His first job as a Java developer in Warsaw was short-lived. He labored with a pal in a startup that failed in its first yr, collapsing through the imploding bubble. Wiecko was in dire straits — he had cash for nothing.

“I used to be actually standing on the road with one bag in my hand. All of my garments and possessions have been on this bag. And I had in my pocket round ten {dollars}. It was all my cash. I may purchase a ticket and return residence to my dad and mom, or I may begin doing one thing on my own.”

Wiecko referred to as up just a few pals who gave him a spot to remain till he discovered a brand new job with a consulting firm. “I’m actually grateful to them,” he says, “Should you construct good relationships, your pals will enable you to.”

Quickly, he was working “from the within” as a technical advisor in finance for entities such because the Nationwide Financial institution of Poland. As a developer, he was obliged to be taught in regards to the internal workings of the monetary system with a view to develop for the wants of his shoppers. He started to see that the system was damaged. “Being an insider, I began to appreciate — uh-uh — it’s not so good.”

After becoming a member of Hewlett-Packard, Wiecko shifted the main focus of his work towards much less technical components, working extra intently with individuals as a mission supervisor. He spent extra of his time coping with shoppers and facilitating cooperation between departments. 

Regardless of his profession success, Wiecko was annoyed together with his well being points and determined to maneuver out of Poland to Switzerland, the place various medicines have been perceived extra positively and the usual of residing was significantly better. As his well being improved, he started spending extra of his time within the blockchain house, engaged on a spread of initiatives earlier than touchdown with the DASH Core workforce in 2015 as mission supervisor. 

Working within the conventional finance business for UBS by day after which combating the system in his crypto work throughout evenings and weekends, Wiecko felt a way of schizophrenia. He determined to go away his conventional financial institution job to dedicate himself absolutely to crypto. “I liked crypto. I liked the libertarian concepts. At the moment, everybody was speaking about freedom, about privateness, in regards to the necessity of adjusting finance, about giving again monetary freedom to individuals. I actually believed in that and I nonetheless consider in such concepts.”

That’s why Wiecko is concerned with DASH, he explains. He sees a real imaginative and prescient behind the mission, one whose targets are usually not nearly making quick cash. The creator of DASH, Evan Duffield, had proposed concepts for innovating on Bitcoin, however was not heard, he says. So, he began DASH, forking off Litecoin as Darkcoin. This enabled improved velocity, privateness, and governance, making the expertise helpful — not only for trading, Wiecko insists, however for on a regular basis purposes.

“After I heard this for the primary time, I noticed okay, that is the mission and place for me. They’ve clear enterprise targets and a imaginative and prescient on how you can get there.” In 2015, he says, Bitcoin had a transparent imaginative and prescient, however most different cash have been merely about hypothesis. “I may say, at the moment, 95% of them have been trash.” DASH stood out to him as one of many few exceptions. Even to today, Wiecko admits, “The ratio has improved, however not by a lot.”

Grasp nodes and Bitcoin tickets

A serious innovation of DASH is the idea of grasp nodes, Wiecko explains. On the time of its inception, initiatives have been principally much like Bitcoin, having solely a single layer of nodes. The DASH workforce realized {that a} second layer of grasp nodes may allow enhanced privateness with low-cost, prompt transactions and a spread of extra subtle options. The layer could possibly be incentivized to make it self-sufficient and decentralized. Whereas customary nodes would offer hash energy and a layer of safety, the grasp node layer may present a a lot larger vary of software program providers.

Over the course of time, DASH grasp nodes have advanced to change into a decentralized protector of the community, with 5,000 grasp nodes distributed around the globe guaranteeing safety. ChainLock expertise prevents any chance of a 51% assault on the DASH community. An upcoming new launch will permit builders to create purposes on the grasp node layer. He expects will probably be launched to testnet by the top of this yr.

Now the COO of DASH Core Group, Wiecko works much less instantly with initiatives, however maintains a considerable checklist of duties together with managing procedures, QA and infrastructure, speaking with groups, complying with regulatory necessities, and even managing a service desk. Uniquely, DASH customers can submit tickets to the service desk and obtain assist for technical issues. With Bitcoin, he says, “when you have a technical drawback, the place do you submit your ticket?”

Wiecko explains the corporate’s targets give attention to the person, eschewing the same old hype and subsequent value hypothesis. “More often than not it’s in regards to the value. We need to change this narrative and current crypto as user-friendly. It’s truly another for an individual. The best instance of that is Venezuela.”

DASH efficiently supplied a quick and low-cost various for customers to transact worth within the hyper-inflated financial system, Wiecko says. “For these poor individuals who earn 5 {dollars} every week, or perhaps a month, this was one thing actually nice. They may not depend on their very own forex. The greenback was not likely out there. Bitcoin transactions have been costly as hell…” 

“For you and me,” he says, “if a Bitcoin transaction prices a greenback, it’s a value we will afford.”

“However for these individuals who stay from one greenback a day for a complete household, that is sooner or later of their life. When the transaction prices 5 {dollars}, that’s a catastrophe.” In such conditions, Bitcoin will not be helpful, he says. It could efficiently retailer worth, nevertheless it cannot be used for fast and reasonably priced transactions. Venezuelans wanted another and, he says, they discovered it with DASH.



DASH Core Group continues its give attention to on a regular basis utility and accessibility, sharing details about improvement progress with quarterly calls. These conferences present transparency to the neighborhood who will be up to date on the mission’s progress and the challenges it faces. The main focus, once more, is on the person, Wiecko reiterates. “It was a aware selection, we’ve chosen to spend our time creating user-friendly options and never specializing in charts, CoinMarketCap, volumes, costs, and many others. however simply to supply stable software program.”

A shift within the narrative

Wiecko observes that the business has modified in recent times, shifting from beliefs centered on freedom to an obsession with hypothesis and extra just lately, regulation. Within the earliest years, everybody was speaking about freedom, various finance, serving to the unbanked, and enabling monetary freedom, he says. “It was the time when individuals in jackets and ties began to look on the meetups and conferences. Two years later in 2018, all the pieces switched to regulation, compliance.”

He explains that he understands the explanation behind the shift, however he isn’t completely happy that the business is so closely targeted on trading, banks and rules. “Folks neglect this primary aim; why Bitcoin has been created. Bitcoin is the daddy of all cryptocurrencies. I’ve numerous respect for Satoshi, to all of the outdated timers and present Bitcoin improvement groups. Nevertheless, generally I really feel that the complete house forgot why we’ve been working so onerous for such a very long time. It wasn’t for trading. It wasn’t to be compliant. Completely not.” 

Wiecko hates the “Lambo” narrative, he says, however acknowledges that it introduced many individuals into the house. He hopes the get-rich-quick sentiment will fade over time and provides technique to true utility as a substitute. 

Crypto generally, he says, stays horribly clunky from a person perspective. It’s too difficult and technical for the typical particular person, with horrible addresses that aren’t comprehensible. DASH Pay Pockets is designed to make this course of a lot simpler and extra intuitive. Wiecko enthuses, “will probably be a game-changer.”

He believes that crypto must innovate to not please banks and regulators, however to please the person. It could serve in its place monetary system within the western world however rather more so within the unbanked world. Cell gadgets open up prospects for customers to realize extra independence and freedom, accessing crypto expertise of their on a regular basis lives.

The idea of freedom changing into extensively out there to individuals all over the place actually will get Wiecko excited, as he remembers his youth residing below an oppressive regime. “I cannot perceive how some individuals these days say overtly that they need socialism. I used to be residing in socialism. You haven’t any concept what you’re speaking about.”

“I bear in mind deaths on the streets. I bear in mind complete management of all the pieces. And that’s why these libertarian concepts are so essential for me. All the pieces I do, I’m targeted on freedom, liberty, and human rights.”


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