Ethereum Contributors Series // Issue #06 Omar Bham
The last issue of our Contributors Series featured Evan Van Ness who runsWeekInEthereum.com, a site that offers weekly updates on Ethereum and DApps on Issue #05. That and all of the previous issues of Ethereum Contributors Series as well as our other seriesEthereum DApp Creators can be found athttps://blog.status.im/
This time we’ll be talking with Omar, aka Crypt0, who runs a news site calledCrypt0snews.com and a Vlog with daily news videos about Ethereum and other blockchains. Omar has amassed over 13,000 subscribers to his YouTube Channel, which serves as a great resource for both those completely new to the crypto-space, or just keeping up to date with the latest projects in the ecosystem.
This interview series is about the people who are actively involved with projects in the Ethereum ecosystem, and also includes some of our very own contributors to Status.
Omar Bham aka Crypt0
Hello Omar, for the readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you start by telling us a little about yourself and the contributions to the community?
My background is pretty diverse. However, as far as technology interest, I’m from New York, and got my first computer when I moved to Miami at 7 years old. I’ve been addicted to technology ever since. Reading about the technological singularity, investing in stocks, and my disappointment in Bitcoin’s scaling (a couple of years ago the argument still raged on) have led me to finding Ethereum.
My main point of participation within the Ethereum community is a YouTube channel and website focused primarily on the daily “happenings” surrounding Ethereum, ICO’s, and the general vibe. It’s rare that people have hours every day to scour dozens of articles and sites to figure out what’s going on, so I try to put out videos crammed with the latest info, to help out. I’m also a big fan of finding newer ways to bring people on board, help them understand why Ethereum is changing the world, and what’s wrong with the world in the first place.
How did you get started with your Vlog?
I’d been watching other channel’s VLOGs in order to learn more about Bitcoin, and eventually Ethereum. With the amount of ideas bouncing around in my head, I felt the need to turn on a camera and let these thoughts out, to see what others thought.
It appears you keep updated with everything changing in the space, where do you source your information and news from for the Vlog?
A variety of sources, but primarilynews.bitcoin.com, coindesk.com,bitcointalk message boards,ethnews.com, steemit.com (great for real-news), Twitter (following as many crypto-centric people as possible), and various subreddits.
What is the process of choosing which topics to cover?
I’ll scour all of the aforementioned sources, my emails, and comments (YouTube, etc.) for things that arouse the most interest in me. If I read through the article, and decide that it’s either been pretty dang informative, exciting, or worthy of someone else’s attention whom might deem it so, then I’ll add it to a notepad file of stuff I’ll cover that day.
And which cryptocurrencies are you covering?
I cover primarily Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dash, Steemit, ZCash, and ZClassic. These are the ones that seem most revolutionary to me.
- Bitcoin — The oldest cryptocurrency, from which we learn an astounding amount of information and insight. Biggest Community of all.
- Ethereum — “programmable money, and unstoppable code”, with development being led by the who’s who of prolific, dedicated, and passionate intellectuals within the “cryptosphere”. Also, countless projects are now being built ON Ethereum, and I love to cover info. On what I will believe subscribers will be most excited, by of the evergrowing list of “dapps”, and similar projects.
- Dash — A user friendly/ mom-dad focused cryptocurrency, that aims to make beautiful designs, enhance cryptographic privacy, and enable near instant transactions. The end-user’s desire, when it comes to ease of use, is what excites me the most. They “get” what the mainstream wants.
- Steemit — I’ve followed the project since near inception, and am amazed at how they’ve cultivated such a POSITIVE community, in a world full of social-media trolls. People who stick to it are those who STICK to it, and are dedicated to making it continually better. It’s got a very fast blockchain, with one of the first real “products” using cryptocurrency. Trippy stuff, if you get into the inner workings of the difference between Steem, Steem-Backed Dollars (APR!), and Steem Power!
- ZCash — The control over the level of privacy that users get is unrivaled anywhere else I can currently see, when it comes to cryptocurrency. Want to make a million transparent addresses, and accept ZCash at multiple ones, while holding the master keys to all? Check! Want to make a one-time use address, that is near unbreakable in cryptography, and hidden to pretty much all but you and whatever party you open that payment channel with? Check!
- ZClassic — An open-source development focused fork of ZCash, with the same tech, more rewards for miners, and with free Zen coin incoming for holders! Zen will be the next evolution, hopefully, of the ZCash technology.
You have some unique backdrops on the Vlog, how do you choose the locations where you shoot your videos?
Haha, it really depends on the kind of video I’m making — if I’m strapped for time, on the way to work, and excited to make a video when I have the most enthusiasm (before the end of the day) I’ve been known to do videos in my car! I’ll memorize stuff while getting ready for work, and shoot it on the way. If I have more flexibility with my time, as has been/will be more near-term, I’ll do it in whatever location I believe will give a bit of variety to the channel. It’s always great to get a change of pace, and I think by being able to shoot in different environments that I help keep everything fresh for both the viewers and myself! I dig change.
What kind of audience are your news targeted to?
EVERY kind of audience. If I can take days to spread the word about blockchain’s potential, through perhaps a neat video about the benefits to someone/group, I’ll reach out to pretty much anyone. I had a conversation once with a dude at a bar, who was an insanely talented graphic designer at a lack for work. I referred him to “ethlance”, and showed him the potential that this ONE platform built on ethereum offered him as a way to find work and keep sovereign control/rights.
Do you work on these news and videos by yourself or are there others involved?
I currently do all the work myself, and it takes an obscene amount of time, but one gets the most creative control that way. I don’t need to worry about someone else getting me something done in time — I’ll just do it myself.
In time, I do hope to invite more people into parts of the process, and that’ll help ease off a lot of the time it takes in merely creating thumbnails, video descriptions, rendering, and editing videos — this should give me more time to personally respond to more people, which is an area that is increasingly becoming more and more difficult, as it’s disappointing to not be able to get to as many comments as humanly possible, and lead people to believe I do not care about their question (in perhaps an email, reddit reply, twitter reponse, instagram P.M., Facebook P.M., or YouTube comment).
Since you’re keeping a close eye on multiple cryptocurrencies, what is, in your opinion, the major difference between Ethereum and all the others?
The development team. Take a look a Vlad Zamfir and Vitalik Buterin, and try to find anything supporting their lack of commitment to making Casper happen, and resolve any coming obstacles. They’ve handled themselves with grace in situations that would have destroyed faith in any other cryptocurrency. The people, as well as developers, involved tend to be the kind who are riveted not only by profit, but by the potential to change the world for the better.
If you could snap your fingers and have whatever kind of DApp you can imagine to be available and fully functional today, what would it be?
A decentralized YouTube app, of course! One that works with the BAT Basic Attention Token, being created for theBrave browser, that would reward content creators for how long viewers watch the content, in a provably fair way.
Also, various copy-right infringing IP MMORPGs, based on Pokemon and Harry Potter would be great. An excellent game, of which the IP owners currently refuse to make, for whatever reason :D
Do you think that the Web 3.0 that Ethereum is building towards will become the next generation of the internet itself?
Yes :) You said it. Ethereum will likely hold the backbone for the Internet of Things revolution that many expect is imminent.
What do you think is the biggest technological hurdle that Ethereum needs to overcome?
The transition (appropriately coded hard-forks) between Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. The testnet release should help assuage minds that are concerned, and allow for the real thing to go without a hitch. Then it should be all stars.
How could the technically savvy people help Ethereum move towards its goals?
They’d find ways to get familiar with Ethereum’s “Solidity” language. I’m sure that as they become comfortable writing some code on it, that personal ideas will flourish, and even more decentralized applications will flow from minds.
Blockchain, Swarm, Whisper — which should get the most attention during 2017 in your opinion and why?
I’d have to say Blockchain. One of the primary attentions given to blockchains is understanding ways to make them work better, faster, in bigger ways, and for more specific purposes (while allowing for the integration of many more). We’re still far from the perfect blockchain, but getting closer everyday. Swarm will still likely take some time, in order to perfect their dream of decentralized storage, without losing any data whatsoever. And most people already have options, even if they may not be better, for encrypted chats — such as Whatsapp. Why switch from what works for them already?
Thank you for participating in the interview Omar, keep those videos coming!