At an IOTA Community Conference, one can’t be miss: Phylo, community manager at the IOTA Foundation. In his role, amongst others, he supports the community setting up DAOs and Creating the IOTA and Shimmer Community Treasuries. In this interview, he talks about what brought him to IOTA and gives insight into his current projects.
Please tell something about your background.
I grew up in Germany and have worked over 15 years in a big chemical company, latest in process engineering. Then, I decided to leave Europe and become a dive instructor. I worked for 2,5 years in the Maldives, moved to Bali, Indonesia, where I worked another 7 years as dive instructor and Dive Resort Manager and where I live until today. Then, COVID-19 hit the world, and tourism was dead, but I got the offer to work for the IOTA Foundation.
How did you get interested in IOTA?
I heard of it from a friend at the beginning of 2018, then I joined the IOTA Discord and got caught up in the community.
I am Community Manager in the ecosystem team together with Antonio Nardella, so I am very active in our discord and other channels to have an open ear and support our community.
What are you currently working on?
I am Community Manager in the ecosystem team together with Antonio Nardella, so I am very active in our discord and other channels to have an open ear and support our community. My main field of work is "all things Governance" in the IOTA ecosystem, so I support the community in setting up DAOs and creating the IOTA and Shimmer Community Treasuries. I also lead the work on decentralizing IOTA and Shimmers Protocol Governance. I steward the weekly meetings of the Governance Community Group and have been a core contributor to all governance frameworks and proposals of the last two years.
Besides that, I support the comms department and have been involved in the IOTA Wiki Initiative from day one. I am also a member of the newly formed Shimmer Growth Committee, where we work on boosting the Shimmer ecosystem with a budget of SMR tokens allocated from the community.
What will you be talking about at TangleCon?
I will talk about how we made it from the idea of having a treasury two years ago to finally having fully decentralized on-chain voting and community governance. Another topic will be the blooming DAO ecosystem in IOTA and Shimmer and the regulatory difficulties, such as new forms of organizations stumble over, in a world that is not yet ready to accept DLT-based solutions.
What is the biggest topic for you in the community right now?
For me, personally, it is the new Shimmer Treasury and the upcoming IOTA Treasury. For the Community, generally, I think it is and always will be Coordicide, and WHEN it will happen. 🙂
What is the biggest challenge in the industry at the moment?
That is a very difficult question. I would say it is the transition from a "Playground of crazy ideas" into something that can seriously interact with the rest of the "non-crypto" world. The industry has to solve a lot of problems:
The usability for “normal people” is horrible. Onboarding outsiders is extremely difficult because of the crypto-specific stuff like handling seeds yourself etc.
Still, far too many Scams and security flaws are accepted and happening daily. As long as we do not work on educating people and making it much easier for users to interact with the system without getting scammed or losing funds, we will not make it.
Regulatory uncertainty! An active fight of the old financial system against crypto.
We see that nations and regulators wake up now and realize the threat crypto opposes to the traditional systems. They have clear monetary and control interests in keeping their old structures in place and are now working on protecting them. Not everyone, of course, does it with the same intent as the US. Still, it is clear that many regulators do not yet understand what crypto has to offer or, if they have understood it, are not very happy with the potentially disruptive consequences for society. We as an industry have to find a way of educating them and showing the many positive impacts we can have for societies worldwide, but we fail at this too often. Because our industry has also been corrupted by the old "greed" system. We have allowed far too many centralized systems and products to take over major fields of our industry. We have invited Wall Street money, and they have happily joined the casino but enforced their own damaged rules into crypto - which has led to all the big failures of the last years (FTX, Luna, etc., etc.). So the way back to the fundamental principles of crypto is very important. Decentralized, transparent, and permissionless systems are of utmost importance. I see DeFi as a big first POC that can serve as a door opener to demonstrate how to improve the old systems massively. Because decentralized applications enforce accountability and prevent all those "black box and backdoor deals" things that continue to fail.
We see that nations and regulators wake up now and realize the threat crypto opposes to the traditional systems. [...] it is clear that many regulators do not yet understand what crypto has to offer or, if they have understood it, are not very happy with the potentially disruptive consequences for society. We as an industry have to find a way of educating them and showing the many positive impacts we can have for societies worldwide.
What are your hopes for IOTA in the future?
I hope that we will be able to demonstrate how we can build a fundamentally different system than what exists today based on the IOTA ledger as a global source of truth that is permissionless available for everyone, excludes no one, and runs as an unstoppable "trust machine" behind the global economy and society. That we will become the backbone of everything that requires a trustful source of truth, and we all can agree that the IOTA Tangle will be the architecture that enables this because we will be the most decentralized and scalable system for such a global requirement.
Thanks Phylo for your time, see you at TangleCon!