Please introduce yourself so our audience can learn more about you and your team
My name is Mike Finch, I’m the Founder of ICO Alert and a Founding Partner at Sutler Ventures, currently the leading US based node in the IOST ecosystem. We have a team of 6 folks who are incredibly excited to help grow the IOST ecosystem, with experience in finance, marketing, blockchain, trading and development.
How did you first hear about IOST and what made you decide to run as a node candidate?
We were fortunate enough to have Jimmy and Ray on the ICO Alert podcast for IOST and Berm. After hearing them talk about their project and goals I very quickly went out and invested in IOST myself. Many months thereafter we looked over the node requirements and decided it would not only be feasible, but also believed we could make a real difference in the US for IOST.
What do you think makes you stand out as a candidate in the IOST Election?
I think our experience and network in the cryptocurrency industry, especially across the US, makes us a great candidate to vote for, especially if you’re also a US-based IOST fan. We’ll be running community events, investing in top IOST ecosystem projects and bringing tons of resources to the ecosystem.
Do you have any previous experience with running a node? (If so what are some of the challenges?)
Yes, I was involved in helping start a node on EOS before moving on because of concerns about the block producer structure under EOS. I’ve also run nodes on smaller projects before as well, such as Rise. The toughest thing we’ve seen is working together with other block producers.
The IOST team is incredibly connected with their block producers, which is one of the reasons we decided to run a node on IOST. Most protocols end up with cartels or node “cliques” that don’t end up moving the ecosystem forward. We’re excited to work with each and every IOST node!
What do you see as the advantages IOST has over other blockchains like EOS, Tron and Ethereum?
I break this down on our blog, so to summarize: decentralization and user-focus. IOST will be significantly more decentralized and has very little barrier to entry for community members to run nodes, unlike EOS, Tron and Ethereum who allow the rich to keep getting richer.
Finally, I believe the user-focus that IOST brings gives it the best chance to bring mainstream adoption to cryptocurrency. Mainnet has not even launched yet and Berminal + Bermi already have more daily active users than the most active Ethereum, EOS and Tron dapps combined!
How does Sutler Ventures plan to invest back into the IOST ecosystem?
Sutler Ventures will utilize a majority of its block rewards to invest back in the IOST ecosystem, with the rest of the block rewards going towards legal, server, marketing and team costs.
Aside from utilizing the block rewards, we will be bringing some of the top resources into the IOST ecosystem and will have an announcement about a new partner closer to mainnet. This partner, and many others in the future, bring connections, funding and legitimacy to IOST and we’re excited to bring more and more of this to IOST.
We’ll start by focusing on the investment funds, VCs and HNWI who are already investing in cryptocurrency before moving on to push IOST towards more mainstream partners.
How are you planning to educate the Crypto community on the benefits of IOST?
Absolutely, we’ll be very active on Telegram, Twitter and our blog. You can see our first video explaining how to vote under the ERC20 vote here. We’re also excited to work with some of the top universities across the country to help explain and introduce IOST to top developers at an undergrad and graduate level. More info on that soon 🙂
Where do you see IOST and Crypto in general in one years time?
I believe we’ll see more infrastructure finally being realized, especially on the institutional front with solutions for custody, traditional investment and more. Many of the largest traditional financial players are finishing solutions that will allow their customers to gain access to cryptocurrency.
From a price standpoint, I think we’ll be relatively similar to where we are now, with 2020 being a more exciting year with more significant price growth. Perhaps the most powerful thing in crypto are the people building behind the scenes – something that has continued to increase since the bear market started in early 2018.
What are you most excited about for IOST?
I’m most excited about the potential for IOST to onboard virtually anyone as a node, be they a Servi node or validator node. Users are more connected to an ecosystem when they can tangibly help versus just holding the token hoping for price appreciation. This combined with the success IOST and Berm have already seen, gives IOST a real chance at breaking through the crypto community and into the mainstream.
It’s going to get very interesting for the IOST community, that is for sure.
Anything else you would like to add to this interview?
Thank you so much for having Sutler Ventures on! If anyone has more questions or wants to collaborate, feel free to message us on Twitter or Telegram @SutlerVentures.
Many Thanks to Mike from Sutler Ventures for taking time out to do this interview.