Hackernoon logoMeet Professor Ponzo - The Mysterious Developer Behind Several DeFi Projects by@AR

Meet Professor Ponzo - The Mysterious Developer Behind Several DeFi Projects

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@ARCrypto Fireside

🔥Crypto Fireside — Interviews with crypto people.

Welcome to the very first 🔥Crypto Fireside! Grab a warm blanket and get comfy.Professor Ponzo is the lead creator and developer of the ERC-31337 protocol, kETH, Rootkit Finance, Unifund, and upTether.

A: Hello! Who are you and what do you do?

PP: I’m an anonymous crypto dev but I’ve been involved in the industry since well before the word industry was used, there was only Bitcoin back then. I don’t ever comment on anything too personal or identifiable so I’ll leave it at that.

A: Why are you anonymous?

PP: I want my ideas to live or die based on merit, and not be judged on who I am or what I look like. The safety of myself and my loved ones is also a factor due to the value I control or control by proxy. Also because it’s super fucking cool and my life is like a cyberpunk hacker movie.

A: Some people have suggested you’re a woman, we’re not supposed to care about that, but it would be cool if you are, can you confirm or deny that?

PP: See the answer above.

A: What’s your backstory?

PP: I was a true believer in these decentralized systems since the start, and have put countless hours towards education and community over the years.

My heart is truly in this for all the right reasons. But the few other actual “true believers” and I didn’t make it huge like people might think. Some of the absolute best people I know who dedicated their lives to crypto for years are either so disgusted they don’t want to be involved, or have just decided to stack value because they are sick of making others rich with their work. My approach is different because I’m never giving up on this save the world shit. If getting rich alongside a bunch of bank-loving pretenders ever starts to make me happy, I hope I have the courage to jump off the wall of my most extravagant summer vacation citadel.

I choose hard mode, the honesty approach to get that sweet first billion, it can be seen across the branding I choose that most people don’t like (especially the legal department). The truth is simple but we’re not allowed to say it, people just want tokens to go up. It doesn’t matter what they do or pretend to do. It’s all FOMOnomics social hype cycles and clones of clones with slight parameter changes so we have more to hype out on. It’s unit value bias and predisposition to project names or logo colors. It’s not real and we stopped building a better future long ago. So why don’t I just wrap all that into 1 single ecosystem and force replicate the market aspects everyone wants anyways. If the incentives are done right and enough value is brought in during any token raise.

So I wanted to skip all that and just make things that go up in value. With our current plan, there will be an upToken version of everything. That means any action around the greater market will be felt by our market. I might need to drop some of the hard mode stuff for the good of the project, things like pump and ponzo in the branding keep people away. What if I scare them off cuz they just aren’t ready for the truth, then they get rugged and don’t make it. On the other hand, we need to keep the finance bros away so it’s a tough call.

The way I see it if my systems cant keep going up because of a name or a unit amount, then maybe it just wasn’t good enough anyway.

How I come up with ideas?

I have a very abstract way of thinking, I can see the connections between things really clearly, or how abstract and unrelated things affect each other. This translates super well to crypto and I’ve been full-time for years now. So my brains just spitting out ideas and concepts non-stop, 2 good ideas for “uniswap of NTFs” for me it’s about what idea is cool enough to bother pushing forward with. I’m trying to stick to only doing things that have never been done to keep it interesting.

A: Can you take us through the process of creating the projects and protocols that you have created?

PP: Unipump (now Unifund).

Scheduled a meeting with old friends to tell them about “the summer of uniswap”, decided if they wanted to do something we could look for a build.

The day before the meeting I was shitcoining and this was my thought process:

“LOL, everything is naming themselves uni this and uni that. Why has no one done pump yet cuz that’s all anyone cares about anyways? oh yeah, we like to pretend there’s a real use for this crap…what would unipump do?

Well, it would pump things on uniswap obviously…holy shit! An actual real-life use case! Paid pump group on the blockchain”

We met the next day, the sale started about 10 days later.

Rootkit

Exe had been bugging me to look at Core for a while, said I would like the mechanics. It had been forked a ton of times so I eventually looked and I liked the overall value flow concept. But I kept thinking that the ETH below the floor was just kinda stuck there doing nothing, less than a week later after lots of whiteboarding I was like “…. Ohh … duh … just wrap it again”. A few days later the build started, less than a week later the sale started.

Fast forward to like 2 months later I realized it makes sense to just make a pair against everything because it wasn’t really about ETH, it was about whatever token was used in the raise. So why not use them all and do some real never been done before shit and launch hundreds of successful self forks with the same codebase. Then it’s like why not every chain… then it’s like why not let people lock up any of them the mint stablecoins, everyone else is doing it. So we’re naming it FIAT because lol, and the website will likely be fiatcash.finance, because if we use upFiat then we can’t actually do an upFiat token later on. This would be an up version of a stablecoin that’s created by locking up other upTokens.

A: Unifund seems simple to understand, Rootkit is a little more complex. Can you explain it to a five-year-old?

PP: We trap lots of money in a weird way that lets us spend it over and over again to pump our bags, just blockchain things.

A: Describe the process of launching these things.

PP: Launch day is always hype. Rootkit was insane, we brought in 4200 ETH on the last day. And OMG when the root sale ended the site crashed and everyone thought we rugged, I felt so bad but it’s funny now LOL.

A: Did you require finance, investors, or employees?

PP: Lol no! This is degen ape shit! I guess I have a few employees now and that’s weird, I’m just trying to build crazy systems that have never existed before, finance is all made up and money isn’t real.

A: Was there an apollo style launch hub and what did that look like?

PP: OMG, I wish I could talk about this. If it ever comes out who I am, I’m going to have some crazy cyberpunk tales to tell.

A: How did you create a web presence and building a following?

PP: It’s not an easy task, gotta get people who know what they’re doing, I tried to do way too much myself in the beginning.

A: How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

PP: Nonstop releases are coming, I’m not messing around when I say I want to launch 1000 tokens.

A: What are you working on right now?

PP: Fiat stable coin was just ninja launched, no front end yet but I created the upTether pool and people can lock upTether to create FIAT if they know what they are doing. Our BNB clone is coming right away, just as the tether vesting period ends, Root will get a direct cut of that sale. Then more BNB forks and ETH forks and a big release on Uniswap v3 day if all goes well.

A: Is it profitable? And is it being used?

PP: I would never sell or want to create something if I don’t believe it’s profitable but there’s no way to tell until it’s used.

Just like profitability, I want to make everything to be used but there are so many factors. For example, with Unifund, it ended up finding users even after my focus went more to Rootkit. The community just took it over and ran with it. The community made it what it is today.

A: What does the roadmap look like currently, releases on the radar?

PP: We will be releasing tokens at a rate never before seen with releases in sales overlapping each other across every compatible blockchain. As I write this, our BSC site has been released and the official announcement will come immediately.

We are also releasing stable coins that will be pegged to the value of 1Tether. Keeping in line with our overly honest name tradition, our stable coin will be named FIAT. Advanced users can already lock their UPtether into a minter contract to print themselves some FIAT.

A: What are your plans to expand?

PP: We are extremely excited about the release of Uniswap Version 3 on May 5th, 2021. In the midst of launching multiple tokens before then, I also designed the holy grail of tokens, “It only goes up, and never goes down.” The largest possible loss of anyone can have no matter how large the investment is 2.8%.

A: Screenshots would work well right about now. Can we have some?

PP: I ain’t got no time for that!

A: What are the short-term and long-term goals for both the projects and you personally?

PP: Personally, I want to make a billion dollars in 363 days. Because, a little known fact, I was broke when the Rootkit started and it would be hilarious to go from negative money to a Billion within less than a year. My personal long-term goals are to fix all the world’s problems. From a project perspective, I want us to be known as the team that made the entire bull market go twice as high. Our minimum goal is one hundred tokens released but our primary objective goal is one thousand tokens. We will achieve this, by releasing endless copies of our few main innovative tokens and changing the base pair.

A: This is probably a great time to talk numbers and figures.

PP: Numbers are all made up and money is fake and I’m going to prove it.

A: Through starting the project, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

PP: My number 1 learning is the thing that you think matters the most probably doesn’t. My most common and repeated mistake, is over-engineering on the quest for perfection. Most importantly leaders need to listen to their team because no one is an expert on everything and everyone who’s on the team is brought on for a reason. If someone who’s an expert in their domain is sure of something and won’t let it go, they’re probably right about it. So get over yourself and listen to them. “Yes men” are the most dangerous thing for any leader to be around.

A: What platform/tools do you use for your business?

PP: REMIXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A: What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or people?

PP: I wish I could say more but because of anonymity, I will just say nothing has been more influential or a greater resource than my ride-or-die community.

A: Any advice for other creators, developers or, entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

PP: I always knew anything was possible but I never really tried before this bull run to achieve something for the sake of achieving it. Never measure your victories against someone else’s accomplishments. We are all on our own journey and personal growth is the only real progress. Five months ago, I had less than zero dollars, because I hated money all my life. Since then, I transitioned to not even processing money as numbers because I have more than I will ever need. The type of personal growth that comes with breaking the chains of money that entraps all of our minds is impossible to put into words. I hope everyone reading this and everyone alive has a chance to experience how freeing it is.

Crypto was supposed to destroy the financial system not join it. As I watched person after person achieve wealth and lose the values that were once deep in our hearts, it was tough not to be shaken. I will never be shaken. If I was taken advantage of or made a mistake, it was my fault. If I was used it’s because I allowed it to happen. Our revolution wasn’t stolen from us, we delivered it right to the people we were supposed to be revolting against.

If Bitcoin can’t achieve what it was supposed to, something else will come along that can. If it doesn’t, I’ll make it myself. If you know in your heart you’re going to succeed, failure doesn’t exist, nothing is more than just a setback. Everyone’s greatest enemy can be found within. The secret of life is more obvious than people think, “CONQUER YOUR FEAR AND YOU WILL BECOME UNSTOPPABLE!!!”.

A: Where do you see this entire space going in the next 5 to 10 years?

PP: I think the boom and bust cycle will continue and eventually, the current run we’re on will come crashing down by 90%

I don’t think Bitcoin is going anywhere, its solid crypto money.

I really hope ETH2 happens, it’s been 6 to 18 months away for the last 6 years.

Bitcoin going to a million this run is still on the table (yes I mean within the next 8 months).

Innovation will continue to be stomped on by regulators whose true purpose is to keep the entrenched system in power.

Alright here’s the big one.

Once the global financial superpowers have accumulated enough of the current dominant crypto, they will crash the world economy, remove all traces of value from paper money, and usher in unimaginable and endless poverty across the world. These include the destruction of most infrastructure to remove the common people’s access to technology and connectivity. Assholes always want more power, why wouldn’t they be trying to do this? Do you think they’re just gonna let you get rich?

A: Where can we go to learn more?

PP: Telegram: Telegram: Contact @rootkitfinance

Announcements: Telegram: Contact @rootkitfinanceann

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rootkitfinance

Medium: https://medium.com/@rootkitfinance

Discourse: https://rootkit.trydiscourse.com

Github: RootkitFinance · GitHub

A: Thank’s Professor!

And thank you for reading hackers! If you have not already done so, follow me here on HN, or Medium or Twitter for the next 🔥Crypto Fireside.

I currently have no vested interests in any of these tokens or projects and do not plan to have any in the near or foreseeable future :)

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