At the end of 2018, our Blockchain developer, Qusai Jouda, left us to pursue independent projects. He work has been indispensable to the project, and his laughter and general good humor will be missed. Carolyn interviewed him in his last week of work about how he got into Blockchain, the FuturICT 2.0 dream, and Bitcoin ATM's.
How do you like to introduce yourself?
I'm Qusai! I’m 29. I studied computer science. I love to dance. And I love to live in new places and explore cultures.
How did you come to be a Blockchain developer?
I’ll tell you a story. I met a friend in Brooklyn, at Union Pool in Williamsburg, in a bar over a beer. Then he was consulting banks on Blockchain technology. And then he mentioned Bitcoin and finance. After that, I bought a book—Master in Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopolis. I was already a software developer and had been working as a software developer for six years. When I started studying the architecture of Bitcoin Blockchain, I got more and more involved. Then I got my first job as a Blockchain lead at UNICEF innovation.
Describe Blockchain in three words.
Open, resilient, and inclusive.
Is Blockchain necessary?
Yes. Because Blockchain networks are decentralized—that means, 1) they are more resilient, and 2) they allow for new ways to exchange values on a global scale. Which is what we need to be able to do to solve major problems.
Is Blockchain something radically new, or is it a further development of older technologies?
Technically, Blockchain is a data structure that describes how transactions are being stored in the form of blocks that are chained to each other. When a Blockchain is combined with an incentive model, then it becomes a techno-social network that can be used to represent money or reputation or rights. Blockchain systems did not bring anything new, the technologies on which Blockchains are based on are actually old, from the 1970s. In computer science, they’ve more or less always been there. What Blockchain did—if the ingredients of the Blockchain were already there—was provide a new recipe for combining these ingredients. And it brought not only technological stuff, but also economic incentive models to the software architecture.
This is random, but it's something I've always wanted to know: what comes out of a bitcoin ATM?
Bitcoins! What you do, is you put cash into the machine, and in return it gives you back bitcoins, which are then put in your digital wallet. So you don’t actually get anything out of the machine, but the machine directs the transaction to your bitcoin account, your wallet.
What have been your main accomplishments since you started working here?
I mostly worked on Finance 4.0 project, like I said. You can look at the code for the project on GitHub, it’s all open source. What I did was introduce a Fin4 token, a native token, to the Fin4 system. I also implemented a demonstrator to showcase the system itself.
What is one thing about the project that you particularly like?
The focus on sustainability—our current financial system is not sustainable. Such effort might bring us closer towards sustainable communities, projects, and ultimately, sustainable digital societies. That’s the FuturICT 2.0 dream!