AMA Recap: TOP Ambassador BlockchainBrad Shares Insights

Today, we’re pleased to have one of our ambassadors, Brad Laurie (also known as Blockchain Brad), to do an AMA in our community. There was some interesting ideas and intense discussion. Here’s the recap:

Question 1: Why did you become a TOP Network ambassador? What do you see in the project that is potential?

A: To be honest, my reason was the prospect of utility and economy (cost savings) that a decentralized open communication network like TOP offered or proposed.

The team and advisors really impressed me too and their past experience in the mainstream communication industry was what really drew me to TOP Network, they were not simply a team that saw the potential blockchain, but they really saw it in as something viable and valuable in their business vertical.

The combination of Steve’s experience, top-in-class advisors and their estsablished communication applications (that had millions of real users) and the potential to seamlessly transition into Dapps, such as BitVPN, on TOP’s blockchain technology and network, that really got my attention.
It’s honestly hard to articulate any one specific reason but I really wanted to be part of DLT startup that was driven by utility and with a combination of tech and team that I thought had the goods to deliver this effectively and expediently. TOP just made sense to me.

Question 2: As an ambassador, how would you help build up TOP’s community and get more people involved?

A: It’s not easy for any startup to build a strong crypto community, especially when the team is so tech-driven.

I think the best way is to look at what is working both with TOP and with other successful communities today. As much as tech underpins great success, no crypto survives without a strong community initially.
Few startups have even come close to mass adoption; and while I do think that TOP will succeed long term, in the interim, perhaps more efforts at educating and engaging the crypto community, (and non-crypto youth), needs to happen?

I see TOP as VERY team focused on letting the tech & their Apps/DAPPs talk for the success as they develop and release them, especially in terms of the LIVE capacity (as you suggest DVNC). Of course, there has to be a growing community to experiment with the technology, so hosting more social events or even sponsoring youth to lead out educational content, just as we have seen with other successful ambassadors/angel/support groups.

Question 3: Bitcoin price has been going up and down a lot lately, where do you think it’ll go in the future?

At present, Bitcoin (BTC’s) price is volatile and its value, I think, is hinged on those who assign its value to its current primary function, which is to invest for ‘growth in value’ or, more simply, its ‘prospective value’, not simply a store of value (SoV). For this reason, price is often ‘hodler’-specific.

Of course, many BTC buyers are also crypto traders who play for quick BTC gains by buying and selling in this highly volatile marketplace. There is also the controversial question of whether major stakeholders of BTC are thwarting the original theoretical intent of BTC, which was to be a fairly distributed and decentralized digital commodity/currency system.

Certainly, many would agree that market patterns, especially of late, raise many questions. For this reason, predicting price movement may well be futile because it does not operate in a wholly regulated environment, despite the beauty of its immutability and built-in transparency features.
Crypto is not for the faint hearted when we consider the speculative aspect of it. I do agree there. But I really try to keep a rational and pragmatic approach.

It is my belief that regulatory support is a fundamental criterion for crypto (in a general sense) to achieve mass adoption. The spotlight that Facebook (via LibraCoin) gave to blockchain and crypto was invaluable because it got the globe talking about cryptocurrencies and tokenized DLT startups.

BTC, in this context, is the most familiar and best branded token of all to date. So I think it is here to stay, I am just not sure about the price, given so many unpredictable & unknown variables.

The TOP token, on the other hand, is intended to be decoupled from the effect of crypto commodities like BTC, instead operating as native utility token to demark the utility value of the whole Topnetwork ecosystem.
the hardest thing for so many in crypto (because it moves SO FAST) is the imperative of time. i.e giving the TOP team the time they need to develop the applications thst show us just what this open cloud communication platform can do. Patience is a virtue they say.

Question 4: How’s TOP’s presence in Australia? In which areas/countries or in what communities do you think TOP should expand their influence in? And why?

A: Given that I am an Aussie, that is a good question too! TOP is not well known yet in Australia, but we certainly are, per capita, big fans of crypto.

I sincerely think that the areas that TOP should focus on first and foremost are: Asia and Europe, and even Australasia.

The reason is simply one of regulatory and top-down support. These regions are very progressive when it comes to pro-blockchain, pro-tokenised business and pro-crypto technological innovation.

Singapore is regarded as a hub for DLT and the way their government is leading initiatives is outstanding globally.

TOP is very fortunate to have the best of both worlds. They have connections East and West.

I think that working with regulation is the key, because with TOP, we aren’t talking about a commodity designed to challenge the status quo, but rearchitecting communication platforms so they are more distributed, they better incentivise users and they become more available globally in a borderless fashion. Regulations that support this transition can really aid TOP’s growth.

Question 5: If TOP Network is going to hold an offline event in Australia, which do you think will be better, a community event or a tech-oriented event?

A: For developers, I think that interactive events such as hackathons are really great, but they are a niche group and thus, these events tend not expand the crypto startup’s reach. Perhaps another event could be holding broader, more introductory series of tech-events at universities and maybe they could be spearheaded by people like the CTO, Taylor Wei?
The reason I mention universities is for two reasons. 1) Youth are great at adopting revolutionary technologies, and in a fast and effective way. 2) the skills, thinking and innovation of tomorrow are often born in these environments.

In terms of the non-developer side. I really believe that the best events should engage users of applications, and this where TOPs early entry in the space and their depth of APP offerings could really give them an edge in showcasing what TopNetwork can do rather than show what it is, if that makes sense?

I really think that expanding user experience and letting people experience first hand the benefits of say, bitVPN, for example, is far more powerful when its on their phone (personalised), as opposed to me or someone teaching how it all works.

I mean, the three apps are great, but imagine when people the world over get to start engaging with TOP services and products like their first dAPP, bitVPN.

There are so many aspects/services built into TOP and for adoption to really be achieved, I believed experience-based events are going to be exciting in the future.

It’s a bit like computer games, when you go to gaming conference, do you want to learn the mechanics of the game, or play it?

TOP is the same and I am so excited for the future of this robust technological suite.

Of course, one challeng is that the tech is complex, with several layers of distributed ledgers. Top’s design includes two layer sharding, two layer lattice DAG, two layer VM and PBFT-DPoS, and this is quite complex for most to understand right?

So when events can let us experience what TOP technologies can do (and surely there is more to come in the roadmap), I think we will see some really engaging events.

I really think that all the TOP services like their messaging, VOIP, video, CDN, IoT, data sharing, livestreaming and VPN really provide for great contexts for future engagement.

In term of the future, the TPS is not my main concern for TOP (not at all), as they are scalable by design. Rather, I would like to see more clarity on how all the tech/distribution layers all work together. Continued code contributions and ongoing transparency is another point I think the TOP community really appreciate, so may it continue.

Community Question 1: Many people (including me sometimes) expect this stuff to all be working.. tomorrow! But we’ve seen lots of projects take longer than expected (eg. ETH 2.0, OMG). Top Network are not immune either and recently extended testing, causing a delay to mainnet.. What are your thoughts on how projects should announce and manage timelines and people’s expectations?

A: It is a bit like building a city from scratch. You have to first write and draft the blueprints.

From the drafts you then have to graduate to construction and make it all work so that it becomes a functional city.

This is a good analogy because sometimes things don’t go according to plan, But…. the key, to answer the question, is TRANSPARENCY.

It is so important that with every change, with every roadmap adjustment, that the community are informed of every change.

This is why, as a teacher (my background) communication and trust is everything.

I always believed I didn’t teach stuff, but I learned from and taught students.

It is the same here, you as a community, you matter. Your voice matters and you deserve updated info.

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