One cannot be missing at an IOTA Community Conference: co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the IOTA Foundation, Dominik Schiener. Before he will open the TangleCon with a keynote, we asked him some questions about the community.
What importance do you think the community has for IOTA?
In my point of view, the community and the ecosystem at large is the biggest asset. Because what we are building is open-source technology that anybody can copy and simply replicate. But what they cannot copy is our ecosystem. So, for us, it is very important that we are part of the community because we want to create together with them, and IOTA should not be a project that is built by the IOTA Foundation, but IOTA should be a project that is built by its ecosystem. Only once we have really decentralized through the ecosystem, and it is not just the IOTA Foundation building IOTA, building the core client, doing the research, doing the adoption, only then IOTA will be truly decentralized. So, the community is a core part of that.
Honestly for me, because I have been in the community since the start, it is amazing being with them. So, it is also for us personally exciting to work with them, to speak with them. Of course, it can be frustrating at times because some part of the community is price-driven, but I think the majority of our community is really focused on the development, on the progress and also on being part of the progress. That makes it all the more fun to build together with the community.
In my point of view, the community and the ecosystem at large is the biggest asset. Because what we are building is open-source technology that anybody can copy and simply replicate. But what they cannot copy is our ecosystem.
What importance does a community event have for you?
It is very important for them to meet and gather and present what they have been working on. So, the TangleCon is a very exciting platform for them to showcase what they build and to showcase how others can also participate in the projects. Of course, discord is like the main hub for us, but these events where the community can come together, present and also discuss, and obviously answer questions about the road map, around projects and stuff like that. That is important so that we are more aligned, more focused on moving forward.
What's the biggest topic for you in the IOTA community right now?
I think the biggest topic right now is Shimmer and the Shimmer EVM, because with that they will really be empowered to finally build and launch applications and build businesses themselves. For us over the last two years, we have so much transitioned away from that model where the IOTA Foundation builds up the use cases towards a model where we empower the ecosystem to build up the use cases. So, with smart contracts we are launching the most important puzzle piece, so that the community members can actually build up their own dApps, products and launch them to the world without our involvement at the IOTA Foundation. I would say that this is really the most important topic right now. With the test net live right now, the community members can actually launch their dApps and play around with it and hopefully very soon will see go-live and production.
What is the biggest challenge in the industry for you right now?
The biggest challenge and one of the main reasons why IOTA is born is, how do we actually bridge this digital technology into the real world. That is why many of us joined IOTA and why we are very excited to work on it. So even though we are working on NFT projects, working on DeFi projects and all of that right now - and obviously we need to support them - we see it as a means to an end. And the end is to make sure that a technology like ours is embedded in the real world. That is still an open question, that is also where the biggest opportunities are.
This is where our focus will also be over the coming years. How we can do real-world asset tokenization, how we can bring commodities, securities and all of that into IOTA so that we can give this access to the real world. I think that is the biggest challenge. Because that is not just about technology, it is also about the legal framework, about the laws, about the regulations, about the existing systems, companies integrating it. So, it is very difficult and very challenging, but that is always where the great opportunities are.
This is where our focus will also be over the coming years. How we can do real-world asset tokenization, how we can bring commodities, securities and all of that into IOTA so that we can give this access to the real world. I think that is the biggest challenge.
Are there people in the crypto environment who inspire you?
I love all the projects that are just building without asking anything from us, where they are really coming together building stuff. There are several in our community, most of them in our community to be honest. Who just come together, daring and trying out and risking as well, to create a first startup on IOTA. I really love those who are pushing their personal boundaries to achieve greater things. I am a big fan of that.
In the broader crypto space, I have a lot of respect for what is happening with those governments in those countries that are actively supporting crypto now. Because they are crucial for this next phase, like the United Arab Emirates, where we have the new home for crypto. But there is also very exciting stuff happening in Hong Kong and in Singapore. I’m excited about those hubs because they are very important. Europe is also hopefully not losing steam, I hope that clearer regulations will help us to move forward with the adoption.
What are the most promising projects in the IOTA universe for you?
I’m a big fan of the DEX and the lending platforms in our ecosystem. There is a lot of great stuff happening there. I am very excited for some of the stable coins that will launch on Shimmer as well. Because I think those will be very important. I also love the NFT projects, because they are very fun and very exciting for the community to also come together and experiment. I would say all of those.
Dear Dominik, thank you very much for your time. We are really looking forward to your keynote on the future of IOTA.