1.) Preferred Display Name and Age (If you do not want to enter your age, enter that you are above 21 years of age, which is the minimum)
Name: DigitalSoul.x [Rob]
Social Media Handles
Twitter: @DigitalSoulx - https://twitter.com/DigitalSoulx
Discourse: DigitalSoul.x - https://govern.iota.org/u/digitalsoul.x/summary
Reddit: infrequent user
Linkedin: infrequent user
2.) What motivates you to apply for this position?
It’s funny how life evolves. In thinking about my current career path, I sometimes wonder how I got here. I’ve been at the same company for 17 years now and I have to admit that I’ve lost my passion. It’s comfortable, easy and it pays pretty well, but it’s unsatisfying and I know that I could have much more impact if my career was aligned with my interests.
The activities that I choose to pursue in my free time are the activities that truly spark my interest and ingenuity, and my free time is dominated by IOTA and Web3. When I’m not working my day job, I’m developing the ICCD, writing an article for the Daily Degen (now TangleVerse Times!), or visiting one of the many IOTA-related Discord servers that I belong to. The opportunity to further contribute and promote the IOTA / Shimmer ecosystem is very attractive. If I could increase my Web3 earnings I could quit my day job and really focus on promoting the ecosystem.
3.) What is your educational and professional background?
Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign, graduated January 2004
I have been interested in IOTA since late 2018. Originally, I was just a passive investor. Then, I joined the IOTA Discord in Aug 2019 and lurked around for awhile. I spun up my own IOTA node and later a GoShimmer Node. I still maintain the IOTA node today. I joined the X-Teams at the end of the first year and primarily contributed to the Simply X-Team as a non-developer. I’ve been a Firefly tester over several iterations and tested explorer upgrades as well.
I soaked up all of the education that the IF could provide through the IOTA DAO Pioneers and used that knowledge to help write the Idea-A-Thon applications for the ICCD and WAGMI DAOs, both of which were awarded funding. While the current status of the WAGMI DAO is in a bit of flux, the ICCD is flourishing as the go-to resource for creative talent in the IOTA ecosystem. My position is that of Financial and Legal Coordinator. I initiate all of the multi-sig transactions, onboard and educate new members on how to use MetaMask to accept payments on other chains, and generate all financial reports for the DAO. This requires a great amount of trust, and I do not take that responsibility lightly. On the Legal side, I investigated many different potential legal structures for the ICCD and recommended the Marshall Islands LLC option through MIDAO. I am responsible for updating our legal documents to offer liability protection to new members as well. I also offered my own name as the only person required to KYC to get the LLC up and running. Being located in the US, this decision definitely took courage and confidence, which I will bring with me to the committee.
I co-founded the DailyDegen newsletter and authored many original articles for the IOTA community (links near the end of this application).
I was an active member of the bridge committee – a small group of dedicated IOTA community members attempting to develop a framework that would allow for faster allocation of the IOTA treasury funds. Although that endeavor did not turn out as expected, the groundwork we laid was a great resource to the Shimmer governance committee, which I also frequently attended. Although I only spoke up when I felt I could really add value, I gained a deep understanding of the requirements and goals of the committee.
Professionally, I am a small business owner in Maryland, USA. As mentioned above, I have been at the same company for 17 years and ran it through the challenges of COVID-19. My company has two distinct revenue streams: 1) we manufacture and sell scintillators for scanning electron microscopes and 2) we manufacture a line of instruments used to test tensile adhesion strength.
4.) What experience do you have relevant to this position (grant reviewer, Project manager, etc.)? Please describe
First of all, I have never been employed as a grant reviewer. As previously mentioned, my formal education is in Engineering Physics. This not only shows that I can understand complex topics, but that I am a very proficient problem solver. In many cases, I would have to draw on past experience in other related disciplines to solve a given problem. This experience has served me very well throughout my life, and I look forward to being able to use it to benefit the IOTA / Shimmer ecosystem as well.
Also, as a small business owner, you must wear many different hats. There is so much to juggle to make a company successful – human resources issues, sales, marketing, supply chain issues, time management, customer service, etc. This project management experience will also serve me well as a grant reviewer. I think I will have a unique perspective in assessing a team’s ability to deliver what they are promising. I will be able to draw on personal experience to offer suggestions to teams that may be struggling in some area.
My experience as a founding member of two IOTA ecosystem DAOs will be a boon to the community. I have a proven track record of integrity and I am well-known in the community. I have extensive experience with multi-sig wallets, both in setting up new safes and in initiating transactions for others to review / sign. I have offered monthly reports outlining all of our income and expenditures in easy-to-read format. These are skills that will be needed to keep the community up-to-date on the progress of projects and the treasury itself.
I authored an article to help the community DYOR on NFT projects, and, in conjunction with the WAGMI DAO, developed a system for evaluating new IOTA projects for potential investment. While there is a different set of criteria for evaluating Shimmer grant requests, the critical thinking needed to develop the WAGMI DAO framework will provide a different frame of reference for considering these requests.
5.) Are you a software developer? If yes, please provide info on your skills and proof of the projects you already have built/worked on (Github, languages, certificates, etc.)
No, I am not a software developer. In my professional career I did develop an extensive piece of software single-handedly, but it was using LABView – a graphical, object-oriented software suite. I only mention this because although I may not be familiar with the syntax of a particular language, I do understand the basics of data sets, recursion, logic, etc. I do have a GitHub account, but I only use it to offer feature requests for the Soonaverse at the moment.
6.) Do you have affiliations that may cause a conflict of interest when reviewing applications? The community would like to know particularly if reviewers are involved with projects as a creator, on the board, or employed. Please list any projects or applications you have affiliations to.
*Note: This will in no way prevent you from being elected to the position. It is the opposite. We seek experienced reviewers that are specialists in different industries. The reviewers with affiliations will not be able to review grants within their category; however, they will be great resources and act as subject matter experts.
I currently have 3 IOTA ecosystem affiliations worth mentioning: 1) Paid Financial and Legal Coordinator for the IOTA Content Creator DAO (ICCD), 2) volunteer (unpaid) Ape Committee member of IOTApes, and 3) occasionally paid core team member of WAGMI DAO (under reorganization).
7.) Are you willing to sign a legally binding service provider contract and reveal and verify your identity through a KYC process with the legal entity of the Treasury Committee?
Note: KYC is required for this position. If you are unwilling to KYC and sign a service provider contract, you will not be accepted to the Shimmer Community Treasury.
Yes - I am willing to KYC and sign a service provider contract with the Shimmer Community Treasury.
8.) Can you commit 10 hours weekly on average to work as a grant reviewer for the Shimmer community over the next 12 months?
Yes - I am willing and able to commit 10 hrs a week to the Shimmer Community Treasury.
9.) If you are voted in the top 2 reviewers, you may have the option to join the Growth Committee and work with the TEA representatives. In this case, you may be required to work hours over the required 10 hrs per week. Are you able to commit to this if required?
Yes - I am willing and able to commit to the Growth Committee and the Shimmer Community Treasury if required.
10.) Are you willing to sign a service provider contract, including an NDA with the Tangle Ecosystem Association, and respect the Non-Disclosure Agreement if selected as a member of the Growth Committee? Breaking the Non-Disclosure Agreement may bring consequences financially and or legally.
Yes - I am willing to sign a service provider contract and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). I absolutely will respect all binding effects within such agreement contracts.
11.) Provide any web links or supporting documentation you would like the community to see when assessing you for the Shimmer Community Treasury Grant Reviewer position.
Enter text and web link below.
DYOR on NFTs article: https://medium.com/@iotacontentcreators/disclaimer-this-is-financial-advice-1198a70c869d
ZK Rollups for Smooth Brains article: https://medium.com/@iotacontentcreators/zk-rollups-for-smooth-brains-d9dd235da552
Shimmer Intro: https://medium.com/@iotacontentcreators/behold-these-are-the-reasons-im-shimmering-707dde27e1c6
Multi-Chain article: https://medium.com/@iotacontentcreators/crypto-tribalism-is-dead-long-live-multi-chain-eebbcbabbd08
12.) What is your long-term vision of the Shimmer Community Treasury? How do you see the Community Treasury affecting the Shimmer & IOTA ecosystem, and what does the Shimmer & IOTA Ecosystem look to you in three years?
Ideally, the Shimmer Community Treasury will be a resource for the community for many years. There is a delicate balance to be stuck here: while we want to get funding into the hands of capable teams with projects that will have a great impact on the ecosystem, we don’t want to burn through the entire treasury in a few years. I would love to see the treasury position itself so that we can earn yield on the coins. If done properly, the treasury could sustain itself for many, many years while still supporting ecosystem projects.
I expect the treasury to have a massive impact on the ecosystem! It will be up to us to decide which projects have the potential to promote adoption, and to support them as best we can. I’d like to see some hack-a-thons supported, to bring in new devs. More exchange listings would definitely help as well – there are so few exchanges that support IOTA / Shimmer in the US, and the liquidity is poor. These are just a few ways that the treasury could be used to push the ecosystem to the next level by bringing in new use cases and awareness.
A few years down the road, the ShimmerEVM will have been proven and ported to the IOTA mainnet. This will virtually eliminate the need for bridges, and the multi-chain capabilities will bring in users of other chains. The flexibility offered by the IOTA Smart Contract Framework will make it easy for devs to port their projects or develop new ones in their language of choice. I envision an ecosystem similar to Binance Smart Chain, with funding available for new ventures / partners, cheap transaction fees on the smart contract chains, and a valuation to match!