Shardus is a framework written in Node JS to develop linearly scalable decentralized applications with state sharding. Blockchain development consultancies have partnered with Shardus to architect and develop Dapp’s for decentralized projects requiring scalability. This interview shines a spotlight on the entrepreneurs behind Shardus Development Partner, The Arcadia Group.
Tell us a little bit about The Arcadia Group and what you do.
Arcadia is a Blockchain software development company out of Dallas, our primary offerings are contract work with a specialized focus in privacy-preserving technology, scaling solutions, and P2P network communications. Our current flow of projects is mostly focused on peripheral technology and integrations onto existing decentralized and open-source software.
What were you doing before starting The Arcadia Group?
Rasikh: Prior to Arcadia I was a student, I operated three separate side ventures through various stages prior to 2017, Mad House Domains, Let’s Earn BTC & Stellar Export. MHD was a domain and hosting company that differentiated itself via its onboarding through it’s sponsoring of hackathons in the local DFW area. LBTC (letsearnbtc.com) was a news site that focused on how to earn Bitcoin in 2013 through 2015 and news from 2016 on. It’s main early content was guides focused on simple but at the time undocumented things such as chaining miners or pulling hash rate from sites selling cloud mining, with the most viewed article on-site garnering around 6M lifetime views. Stellar Export was focused on e-commerce products such as robot kits and other small offerings. I was also quite active in local hackathons and UTD-hosted events.
Kamish: Before creating Arcadia I was in several projects across 2017. I started off in the industry as a trader, and during that time operated in the local Dallas metroplex within my family company: K-Link which deals with payment processing and deploying hardware and software internationally for retail and hospitality industry. I continued managing some projects’ efforts and talking with co-founders eventually led to the fruition of creating The Arcadia Group.
How did you get started with blockchain and crypto?
Rasikh: I got introduced to Bitcoin a few different times, but the very first time was when a computer science teacher gave a lesson on bitcoin as a non-curriculum related introduction. This was around early-2013, I jumped in shortly after that lesson, I was quite enamored by the technology but I didn’t have an idea on how I could jump in. I ended up buying some Bitcoin off of Virwox using Eid money, which at the time was the second most respected cryptocurrency exchange, also coincidentally the only one that accepted Paypal. I ended up losing most of my coins through exchange hacks and the like, after which I left crypto for a while until late 2014, when I got active in a few different fork-chain projects, which all died, after which I left crypto again. I count 2014 as my real start year in crypto as even though I was active prior to it, I only really interacted with people in 2014 onwards. I stayed present but not super active in the crypto space buying small amounts with my remaining bitcoin. Eventually, at the time of the founding of Arcadia, I got back into the swing of things spending almost all of my time in crypto.
Kamish: I saw bitcoin at $800 and got started with Poloniex, I didn’t know what blockchain entailed until I realized all these coins are indifferent and have their own way of making transactions possible, after I started trading in 2017 I grew close to several projects and understood how they worked by talking with founders and other trading experts.
In what ways has your life changed since starting to work in blockchain?
Rasikh: Blockchain has led to me spending quite a bit of time outside of my comfort zone (and outside the house haha), I’ve done extensive travelling since Arcadia has started, and additionally I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some extraordinary people, which I will be forever thankful for.
Kamish: Certainly gave me incentive to cater towards startups and find people of value, which made me realize how to measure people’s expectations. A time like 2017 will never come again when we had uncontrollable attention towards blockchain projects. I learned a hard lesson while making some important relationships and starting the company up with Rasikh.
How does The Arcadia Group help its customers?
Arcadia works to build peripheral technology that will actually be used by the end-users, a significant amount of development in the blockchain space is left unused or is vaporware, building technology that is used and stays relevant is what we consider a measure of our success.
What projects are you working with at The Arcadia Group?
Currently, Arcadia has a few active projects, most of our projects follow the confidential until release model, but some of our previous and current public clients include Zcoin, Cryptodrilling, Whats2Doo, and RealFevr. We are partnered with a few companies, such as Pokt Network, Blockdynamics, CoinCentrix Capital, Muan, Fitzner Blockchain Consulting, The Global Hackathon, among a few others. We are also, of course, a development partner with Shardus, where we help projects who are looking to implement Shadrus.
What application of blockchain are you most interested in?
Rasikh: I am personally most interested in DeFi implementations competing with existing banking infrastructure, even if some of the implementations are not as user-friendly, the ingenuity that some projects in the space provide to reach their end goals is phenomenal. Outside of that, Flyclient, and other lightweight infrastructure such as Pokt, are some of my biggest interests in the blockchain space.
Kamish: I am interested to see the industry grow to provide services for not only individuals and their wallets, but also settlements, decentralized finance, and tracking and tracing for small businesses. Blockchain as a service with real use cases attracts me.
What types of applications do you want to see built with Shardus?
Rasikh: I would love to see lightweight loyalty and supply chain projects on Shardus as that seems like the ideal target demographic accounting for the licensing model.
How can other developers like you get started in blockchain?
Rasikh: There are a few schools of thought on this, something I’m quite certain of, is that ZKPs (Zero Knowledge Proofs), will become more and more relevant as time progresses in the blockchain space. I’d say depending on what part of the industry you are looking to work in, (i.e. layer 1 development vs. dApp development), focus on the available resources in that area. For example, ConsenSys has some really good training material on the side of solidity and application development. For getting started on UTXO based chains such as Bitcoin, there are some great programs for building some fundamental knowledge on C++ programming. While you are building out some basic knowledge, Bitcoin Core Reviews (https://bitcoincore.reviews/) is a great way to get familiar with code-style, implementation methodologies and design choices on in the bitcoin community.
Kamish: Just reach out to me on telegram @KamishR. Come with a goal in mind and it should not be hard to take initiative and dive into documentation…
What do you think the world will look like in 2050?
Rasikh: I’m a pessimist, I think that in 30 years, the right for privacy will have become more and more contested by large governments, corporations and perhaps even individuals. Any blockchain projects still around would have had to have not only had to have found ways to scale but also remain secure against whatever major vulnerabilities that would have been introduced or discovered in that timeframe. The idealist in me would want to believe that decentralized projects would become more decentralized as time progresses, but the more likely scenario is that through the sale of products and services that defeat the whole point of decentralization and self-governance such as “managed-blockchain as a service”, “hosted-chains”, and “hosted key services”, will have invalidated the main benefits brought by the technology. This is why my goal while working in the space is to ensure that any project I am contributing never becomes part of the problem, and instead ensures that any development I contribute to on any level accounts for users’ rights in both privacy, and self-sovereignty.
Kamish: Looking at the past 5 years along leading up to 2020 have been composed of a large breakout of decentralized applications alone, I think there has been some standards and limits as we have all seen with the case with Libra and the EU. In 2050 there should be more back-end implementations on centralized applications as well as a market still for the decentralized applications. Hopefully we see countries have a universal approach so that this industry can grow!