Node Operator Spotlight: Figment Networks

This is a new series highlighting the amazing work node operators on the Oasis Network are doing. To learn more and to become a node operator on the Oasis Network, go here.

Tell us about your team — who are you, where are you based?

Co-Founders Matt Harop, Lorien Gabel and Andrew Cronk have 25+ plus years of successfully starting and scaling internet infrastructure companies. Among those ventures, the team operated one of the first commercial ISP’s in Canada, a national data center and hosting service, as well as one of the first global cloud security providers. This deep background in infrastructure and security combined with a passion for decentralized technologies led us to launch Figment Networks in 2018.

Figment Networks physical tier 3 IDC, 24/7 technical operations and software development team are based in Toronto, ON, Canada. The company also has offices in New York City, Montreal, Boston and Wyoming.

What made you interested in Proof-of-Stake networks? What was the first network you ran a validator for? What other networks are you running validators for?

The team at Figment Networks hold strong beliefs in the value of a decentralized future. We saw the challenges inherent with PoW and thought that PoS was a great idea to increase the speed of experimentation with blockchains.

We started running a validator on Tezos and quickly became one of the top validators on the Tezos network.

Now, our infrastructure supports 15 mainnet networks, including Cosmos, Livepeer, and Terra, and we are actively participating in a variety of testnets.

Tell us about your business model and how you think about delegation and commission rates.

At Figment Networks, our mission is to support the wider adoption and long term success of Proof of Stake networks, and we believe that a healthy and decentralized validator ecosystem is necessary to that mission.

We put a lot of effort into educating delegators and other validators to ensure a high-quality and transparent community is built around networks that we support.

We make it easy for token holders to delegate through our resources, software, and partnerships with wallets, custodians, and exchanges.

Our commission rates reflect what we are able to support while also being competitive within networks.

In addition to running nodes, does your team focus on other aspects of the blockchain ecosystem? Community efforts, building tooling, token economic research, etc?

We support the blockchain ecosystem in a multitude of ways.

Hubble, our Proof of Stake software and our new product, Data Hub, is utilized by token holders, developers, data providers, and other companies that support staking.

We actively participate in network governance, and have run governance campaigns for Cosmos and Livepeer.

We supplement these contributions to the blockchain ecosystem by releasing network and economic research as well as by hosting AMAs in our Telegram group, Staking Hub.

Tell us about why you joined the Oasis Network. What made you interested to join?

We are firm believers in the value of privacy preservation and are particularly bullish on it from a business perspective. Privacy does not mean secrecy. Privacy gives people the ability to share information how they want it, and when they want it. We believe people are waking up when it comes to understanding the value of digital privacy, and we see Oasis as a solution.

Anything that’s made you particularly excited about the Network — technology wise, community-wise, etc?

The team at Oasis has done an excellent job building a strong validator community in preparation for their mainnet launch.

Any big feedback or things we should work on?

We would love to see Oasis support on-chain governance in the future. We believe that designing the right governance model is highly important for long-term growth and success of a network.

In 5 years where do you hope to see the Oasis Network? What kinds of problems would you like the community and foundation to be focused on solving collectively?

It would be great to see Oasis’ tech being used in industries that are not your “typical” blockchain user. We see plenty of use cases in healthcare and location data as well as internet privacy.

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