One of our favorite OGs (Original Geeqs), Stephanie So, was recently profiled by Blockleaders, an online publication that features men and women who “inspire, challenge, design and build blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.”
In this wide-ranging profile, Stephanie talks economics, motivation, cooking and the future of blockchain with reporter Fernando Sanchez.
“Tomorrow’s world is one where blockchain technology has enabled a radical shift in the way we do business, where new revenue streams and novel monetization schemes have become a reality,” writes Sanchez. “Stephanie So is helping to craft that future world through her work in the blockchain space, today.”
In the piece, Stephanie explains that Geeq’s basic service is a public good, which is a public infrastructure for Blockchain-as-a-Service. “What we do is bring a secure network to validate transactions very, very cheaply, and that enables broad access for people, which is what I really care about,” she tells Sanchez.
On top of the platform, Geeq invites everyone to be creative about building their own apps, Stephanie adds. “What we give them is the knowledge that their own data and their client’s data is secure, and that it’s really cheap to provide services,” she emphasizes. “I think we’re setting up a really vibrant marketplace where costs are negligible.”
When Sanchez asks about her motivators, Stephanie reveals a common thread that has inspired her throughout her career. “I always wanted to work for the benefit of people who might not necessarily be able to advocate for themselves,” she says.
For instance, she went into disability research when she realized there were some issues with the classical labor economics model. She says it “glossed over” the important details about why it is difficult for some people with disabilities to work in the first place.
“There is nothing sacred about a classic model except it’s great not to have to reinvent the wheel,” she adds. “That doesn’t mean it will be appropriate to use for the next problem you care about. That’s the way I approach blockchain technology as well. Which parts of blockchain are essential that will work for every occasion? Which parts do you have to be able to adapt to solve different problems?”
As technology is advancing at lightning speed these days, Stephanie says it’s easy to get excited about its potential. However, this also poses a threat, she says. “Those in the know always manage to get their voices heard and they frequently are the ones who get to make all the decisions,” she explains. “On the other hand, I’m acutely aware there are a lot of people who don’t know what’s going on, but who are going to be very much affected by the decisions that are made now.”
Stephanie says she doesn’t want technology to become something that’s only understood by the very few. “I’m shooting for the happy mix where experts do the part only experts can do, but transparently, and in the service of providing something that everyone can then figure out how to use for their own benefit.”
She then goes on to reveal how the Geeq consensus protocol is radically different from other platforms. “The Geeq Project is end-user oriented,” she says. “One important idea is that incentives are better aligned when end-users actively are able to police the blockchain. When you think about it, end-users have ‘skin in the game’ when it comes to making sure the blockchain is honest. They’re the ones who have to be willing to memorialize their transactions in the blockchain.”
During the interview, Stephanie poses her own thought-provoking question: If a user knows there is any possibility the nodes generating consensus may be dishonest, and they have no way to make sure a blockchain is generated by only honest nodes, how can they be confident enough to use blockchain?
“Geeq provides a (user) client interface that enables regular people to see whether a node has been completely honest or not,” she adds. “Then they have the ability to choose to interact only with those nodes and rely on only those nodes’ completely honest ledgers. So, it is a completely different approach from any other protocol.”
This is why she believes Geeq has reached a pivotal moment. “I feel that Geeq has an opportunity to put in place the safeguards and the platform to provide exactly the kind of society that I’d like to see survive,” she declares. “I also feel that if society does not work hard enough, we might just lose that opportunity to take control of what’s happening.”
To read Stephanie’s full Blockleaders profile, click here.