Community Spotlight: ProductGuy
Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish
Spend 10 minutes on the Iron Fish Discord, and you'll likely come across a post by ProductGuy. He is an OG community member supporting fellow users, writing the Community Wiki, and regularly contributing PRs. We recently caught up with him to ask about his thoughts on Iron Fish and the future of crypto.
How did you get into crypto?
I noticed enterprise blockchain in 2016 and saw the potential to track things accurately and cut waste. I was into mobile at work and as a hobby then, and I didn’t dig deep at first. By fall 2017, I became fascinated by cryptocurrencies. I was excited about their potential to improve money and as an investment. You have to learn the hard way to master your emotions and learn patience to survive the booms and winters.
After learning about Bitcoin, I remembered thinking back in 2010, “there must be something I could run on this quad-core CPU to make money while I’m not using it.” Ironic! I completely missed the early days of BTC and the chance to mine before GPUs and ASICs!
In my career, I’ve developed products for several technology waves — including telecom, medical devices, VoIP, the internet, and improving mobile app and data experiences. I’m now a Product Manager for cloud tools. That was all great preparation to see new opportunities around crypto and blockchain. I’ve learned that tough times are often the best to build products and win customers.
What do you predict for the future of crypto?
A Cambrian explosion of good uses! Fast and permanent payment settlements on the blockchain are the first big improvements in accounting in 700 years. This will revolutionize finance, cut waste, and expand innovation and prosperity as the internet and mobile did. It’s an exciting time to be involved and apply creativity to solve peoples’ problems and improve lives.
Bitcoin will continue to be an alternative asset class and will rise in value over many years because of the predictable supply (note: this is not financial advice).
Smart contracts will disrupt many kinds of transactions and remove the need for unreliable “trusted” intermediate parties. Linking on-chain and real-world assets will boost efficiency and speed, cut errors and fraud, and create a permanent ownership record. So much paperwork can disappear!
Micropayments on the Lightning network (or Iron Fish) to reward your favorite content creators, instant cheap remittances across borders, “bankless mobile banking” for billions of people, and zero-knowledge proofs for ID – these are just some of the applications that are going to change the world rapidly! The future is unlimited!
When did you learn about Iron Fish, and what sparked your interest?
I discovered Iron Fish in June 2021. I loved the privacy with compliance idea and wanted to help. I liked running it on my Macbook (ease of use). I started running a node, asking questions and giving product feedback to Jason. It’s been a great learning experience about blockchains to work with the system and learn from the team’s writings and decisions. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with node and mining performance on different hardware.
Why is crypto privacy important to you?
I really like the “Privacy is Normal” meme. I believe privacy is a human right, including how we use money. That doesn’t excuse crime, nor should it enable crime, but money should not be watched as a potential crime without “probable cause,” meaning that there needs to be strong prior evidence outside the transactions themselves.
The US Fourth Amendment was written to protect ordinary people and innocent private activity from broad “fishing expeditions” to look for possible crimes. Yet, it is ignored by some recent laws. We now need privacy-shielding technology, such as Iron Fish, with the view keys to prove your innocence if challenged.
People should not be “a financial and data product.” We should be able to buy, pay, or send money without being “watched” by governments or corporations who collect and monetize so much of our private data. Both are almost impossible to avoid now except for using cash, which is being pushed toward extinction. Iron Fish fixes this!
Public blockchains can be a personal safety risk! They make it easy to find high-value wallets and could enable targeting people for “$5 wrench attacks,” home invasions, etc. They are less private and less safe than banks, credit cards, and cash, even with self-custody. If government or private databases connecting wallets and people’s real-life identities are built and ever hacked, it would enable crime against crypto holders! Iron Fish’s protected transactions are essential for a safe crypto future.
How have you interacted with the community? Is there anything you’d like to see more of?
I’ve been answering questions on Discord for many other new adopters of Iron Fish for over a year and a half, discussing mining system performance, plus writing Wiki articles to help new users. It’s satisfying to see so many people join in and help stress-test the system and to share ideas with others! It’s been fun to compete in the testnet, too. I was honored to be selected as one of the Community Captains.
More, please: I think we could attract groups of community members to work together to create specific content that people need to be successful, or for marketing, etc. Some of us Captains, Voyagers, and Ambassadors may be able to lead or organize those kinds of collaborations. We’d need a “place” to propose and discuss ideas and work together.
What do you think draws others to Iron Fish?
I’ve chatted with many people who value its privacy principles and advancements while respecting the rule of law with the view keys for compliance.
Elena’s story and purpose in creating Iron Fish are compelling; I imagine many are also inspired. This is a really capable team, too, with great backgrounds. Experienced crypto and VC investors also bring a lot of credibility and increase the chance of long-term success.
The incentivized testnet phases and rewards seem to motivate many people to join and stress-test the system together. The social aspect of working together on something important makes it fun, too.
Finally, I think people will value wrapping other public-chain assets with Iron Fish to protect them beyond direct $IRON use for private payments and transactions.
What has your experience been like interacting with Iron Fish team members?
It’s been great! Smart and helpful people who are willing to make time to share knowledge and solve peoples’ problems while developing. I’ve enjoyed sharing and discussing how to make the user experience easier and brainstorming about enhancements. I love the Monthly Pulse sessions!
What makes Iron Fish different from other crypto projects you’ve dealt with?
This is my first project with deep involvement. I like the passion and helpfulness of the team and thousands of longtime and new community members. The positive spirit and gratitude encourage engagement and make it satisfying. The number of people who are running nodes, doing the tasks, and engaging with the system and community is amazing.
There’s much more energy in our Discord than in some other projects I’ve looked at. That’s a great sign for future adoption and success of Iron Fish!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
It’s been a privilege and great fun to participate and contribute to the community and share ideas with the team. I look forward to a successful mainnet release and explosive growth! I believe that we can improve the world together!
Join the Iron Fish community 🏃🐟
Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish
Neil is a Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish