February to April: crypto, gamedev, relocation
I finally got my hands on writing. This is just a summary of the recent events and my personal position.
A couple of words about media activity
For the last half of a year I dedicated little time to media exposure and focused on two main areas of my activity: crypto and gamedev.
In our time, publicity and social networking is very important, especially for a person like me, who is the ideological leader of projects and is trying to do something that did not exist in the world before. In addition, most of my competitors have increased their influence in the media in recent years, while I fared very poorly compared to them. I hate the media and never aspired to fame or notoriety, but it turned out to be a necessity.
I know I should dedicate more efforts towards this but I am quite failing at the moment. Media exposure consumes time which is a scarce resource for any developer.
Callisto Network progress overview
The mainnet of Callisto Network was launched on April 15, 2018. I started this project as an attempt to develop a solution to a wide range of industry problems: DAPP security.
DAPPs are getting hacked. Millions of dollars have been pulled from the pockets of “industry pioneers” to the pockets of hackers. Obviously, this is not what we want to see in a “next generation financial system”.
I believe that cryptocurrency can make the world a better place to live by enabling the financial freedom. I wanted to be part of this change. So I’ve started to working on solving problems that no one else was considering.
The main goal of Callisto Network was to develop a new system of security approaches that could be abstracted away from the current Callisto implementation and used across the newly created smart-contract development platforms. This problem is still as far from being solved as it was at the moment of Callisto birth.
We did some contributions to DAPP security improvements and we have audited more than 400 smart-contracts. We learned a lot about security improvement methods that we or our competitors were using. We learned about techniques that don’t properly work. However we are still far from establishing a “global security improvement environment”. Personally I think that the most promising thing that we are working on is DAPP Insurance Program as a successor of Security Auditing Department.
At the other hand I see a lot of improvement in Callisto Network ecosystem which is mostly the achievement of Callisto Enterprise. We are getting exposure and we are attracting new partners. We are developing token standards that can improve the whole NFT space and I consider it a very beneficial activity.
Recently I was forced to leave Russia.
I was born in Russia and lived there because there was no incentive to move. In previous years, I didn’t really care where I live, but (1) Russian electricity is cheap and (2) some of my close relatives live there, so I stayed. Nothing connects me with this country, except for its citizenship. Nobody asked me if I wanted to be born there or somewhere else — so I received a passport from a country in which I was not so lucky enough to be born.
Then Russia-Ukraine war began. I decided to move out. The amount of resistance that I’ve faced during the process was insane. Anti-Russian sanctions are the dumbest thing that I’ve witnessed in the world.
Everyone imbued all the possible restrictions on Russians including stopping travelling visa issuing, airline flight cancellations, monetary restrictions. VISA and Mastercard stopped credit card support so I can’t just take my card and use it somewhere outside of Russia. Honestly this makes me think bad of VISA not of Russia. I’ve placed my trust and funds into this company and then they simply refused to deliver what they promised because someone did something.
Indeed the actions of Russian government are inadequate. What surprised me a lot is that the response to this actions is as inadequate as the actions themselves.
Look, I do not endorse Russian actions and I no longer want to be part of it. However all the restrictions are seemingly intended to make me unable to leave / split off. This would have forced me to stay and keep supporting the economy of the country that they targeted. While I’m staying I keep paying taxes thus supplying the budget and they take my money and build more war machines with it.
If I were a decision maker in such a situation, I would implement special preferential conditions for those wishing to leave the aggressor country as a result of such actions. In my opinion, the voluntary outflow of the economically active population will cause a more serious blow to the country’s economy and, in a global perspective, is a more constructive and effective solution.
Economic freedom is still an issue. In such a situations you clearly realize that you do not have control over your funds while you can’t pay with credit cards, you can’t exchange one currency for another in a local bank and you can’t rent an appartment in a foreign country because they suspended payments. In such a situations crypto proves to be a lifesaver.
In my current country of residence I can only exchange USDT for local currency. The process takes 5 minutes. Acquiring a new credit card may take weeks. Crypto is the future and I’m happy that we are part of it right here right now (Callisto Network audited USDT smart-contract).
Dexaran & Gamedev
Well, this is the first time I’m connecting my pseudonymous identity to the game development activity.
I was a game designer 10 years ago. Lately I was mostly focused on crypto but gamedev was my hobby for long time. I was trying to connect the two (for example I’ve developed a game on EOS platform) but it proves that there is no such smart-contract development platform or project in the whole crypto industry that offers sufficient toolset to create a smart-contract game.
All the current “blockchain games” are simply utilizing the hyped word ‘blockchain’ for their marketing campaign and in fact are running the most important parts of their logic on servers which renders them no different from traditional games that you can purchase on Steam.
I started funding a number of projects related to game development, but was forced to shutdown my activities in this area. I did not find a competent developer at a reasonable price, and I did not have time to manage everything myself, since this was my side project.
I plan to resume my activity in this direction in the near future (and I wish I have enough resources for this).