What is Tezos Ukraine? What are you currently working on?
Tezos Ukraine is a non-profit organisation founded by two Ukrainian Tezos Bakers – myself (Bake’n’Rolls) and Sergii Vasylchuk (Everstake). Our mission is to facilitate and expedite the growth and enhancement of Tezos network in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Since we’ve been active in the ecosystem from the beginning, coming together to form a local Tezos-focused organisation was a natural step for us. The work we do is focused on 3 main areas: training; community informational support; and collaboration with public authorities and businesses. For more details you can refer to our Mission and Strategy.
Let’s talk about the Tezos Giga Node. What is it and why is it important infrastructure?
Giga Node is another result of the collaboration between Bake’n’Rolls and Everstake. It is a highly available, geographically distributed cluster of Tezos archive nodes that support Mainnet, Carthage Testnet, Labnet and the recent Dalphanet Testnets. We named it Giga Node because we had a goal to build it in a way that it is capable to withstand 1 gigabit/sec throughput and today we managed to go even above the initial goal. It is free to use and anyone can connect to our nodes and start working with the Tezos blockchain without needing to spin up their own infrastructure. That’s very important to have in place since developers shouldn’t need to focus on building infrastructure, they should be able to focus on what they love to do the most – developing tools, dApps, and services, understanding that our RPC cluster has them covered.
The first prototype of Giga Node was created on September 1, 2019 during the preparation for Tezos Hackathon in Kyiv, Ukraine. The goal was to create a sustainable public Tezos RPC API to serve the needs of more than 100 hackathon participants. Two dedicated bare metal servers were purchased prior to the Hackathon and that’s why Tezos Ukraine decided to maintain the public infrastructure until the end of the first billing cycle. Two months after we launched the first iteration of the Giga Node, we realized that the Giga Node infrastructure could serve the community in a greater capacity, specifically when the most popular Tezos RPC service went down. When this happened, Tezbox users had no way to access their funds in their wallet unless they used a different RPC node and a majority of those users decided to use our Giga Node. To this day, well-known Tezos projects are using Giga Node as their primary, or at the very least as their backup, RPC endpoint.
Are there any features that you plan to add to Tezos Giga Node in the future?
We plan to upgrade the setup in accordance with the needs of the network. The more the network grows and increases activity, the more we will need to adjust accordingly to maintain the same level of sustainability and quality. A new feature we recently added is Tezos Snapshots, which are available both from IPFS and Web, and we are also exploring doing more interesting stuff with IPFS.
Why did you get started building on Tezos? Why not focus on another blockchain project?
The blockchain space has become very competitive, with many operational blockchains with active developers. But technology is just part of what makes a successful blockchain — passionate individuals and the enthusiasm and spirit of the teams involved are also key ingredients for success. Fortunately, Tezos has both the technology and community engagement to be a leading blockchain for years to come, and that’s why I’ve been involved and active in the ecosystem since the beginning.
What three things are you most excited to see built on Tezos?
I believe that blockchain is well-suited to disrupt finance, and am excited to witness the start of this transition with the CBDC development our ecosystem has in place. Tokenized securities, real estate, stocks, and other assets on the Tezos blockchain are on the way, it’s just a matter of time, which is a major real world use case I am very excited about. I also believe that freedom and privacy are core human rights and I am very much looking forward to the privacy-oriented zk-SNARKs Sapling Tezos protocol amendment. Overall, I am excited to see the Tezos ecosystem picking the right development priorities to set up the protocol for long-term success.