[Interview by IotaPoet]
IotaPoet: So tell us - how did your IOTA journey start?
Vrom: My journey started in 2017, when a friend explained Bitcoin and Ethereum to me and why we need a global currency that is censorship resistant, programmable and can be sent around the world with almost no costs. After a while, he also mentioned IOTA, so I did my own research and joined the IOTA slack channels. I had never heard about slack, so I was quite impressed by the possibilities to work together worldwide on a 24/7 basis on the same goals. So for me, it felt right, that the IOTA project was managed in that way, and it was also great to be able to directly speak to the founders, who back then had a much more casual conversation style. So, it was always funny and entertaining to hang around in slack and engage with them and the community.
From an investment point of view, I was especially convinced after I listened to the rooftop interview with Dom Schiener (this can still be found on YouTube), where he explained the shortcomings of the blockchain technology and why IOTA could be a solution. He also had a clear vision for the internet of money, especially for a machine-to-machine economy and IOTA seemed to fit perfectly.
So, that was the time when I decided to buy my first MIOTAs, but unfortunately, I had to wait almost 5 days for my bank transfer to finally appear on Coinbase. That was the first time I realized how ancient our actual financial system felt. I was especially frustrated because the price of IOTA was constantly rising at that time.
Later I had to transfer Bitcoin to Bitfinex, so I had to make my first blockchain transaction. It took these BTCs almost half an hour to finally appear on my Bitfinex wallet and during that time I was constantly in panic, because it felt like I might have done something wrong. I was afraid that the funds would be lost forever. This was the time when I realized that waiting 6 blocks to finally see my money on another wallet was not the user experience I was expecting from the “internet of money”. Further, with Bitcoin I would never receive the same amount of money that I sent. It drove me crazy because I was used to normal bank transfers, where it felt like I never lost money while sending money (at least inside the EU and I forgot all the other maintenance costs for a bank account…). Back then the IOTA light wallet was not the best experience, but still I was able to receive my coins in my wallet and I was impressed by the speed of this IOTA transaction. That was the time when my IOTA journey started.
IP: With nearly 12k organic followers, you are one of the biggest IOTA accounts on Twitter, what motivates you to be so active on there?
Vrom: I was never really active on Twitter, but when I joined the crypto space it was clear that all the latest information was shared on Twitter. So, I decided to create a special IOTA-related account. At the beginning I was just a lurker in the dark, but as I already had a private crypto-related whatsapp group, where I always shared the latest IOTA news, it was just a small step to also publish this information on Twitter. I thought that this could be my way to help the community to grow, as the founders constantly wrote that everyone could do something to help the community. Back then I was also impressed by Limo’s weekly Sunday Banter, where he explained all the latest IOTA-related news to the German community and I also wanted to help him a bit to find more content.
With almost no coding background I thought that this was my way to contribute to the community and I got a lot of positive, but sometimes also negative, feedback. Especially for my screenshots from discord and telegram discussions, where I normally just posted the screenshots without any comments. However, some people became angry, normally because of the drama that appeared after certain sentences made by the founders. I had the feeling that everyone should be unbiased and informed about all the important topics that happened around IOTA. I found it unfair that some information was only shared in certain telegram or discord channels, where not everyone had access. So for me, Twitter was always the most accessible way for crypto-related content and I thought it was a good way to inform the community about all things related to IOTA.
Coming back to your question; on the one hand, Twitter is a great platform to reach other people with similar interests, and on the other hand it is also possible to reach people outside of our bubble. For example, if you tag some famous account and get enough likes, even Elon Musk might be interested in your tweets. That’s why I guess Twitter is the fastest way to spread all kind of news and once IOTA can finally announce Coordicide you can be sure that I still want to be there and spread it with my followers!
IP: What’s your most liked tweet in relation to IOTA?
Vrom: At the end of every year I normally make a thread about all of my monthly most-liked tweets, so if you want to find them for 2022 and 2021 you can just use these links:
For 2020 it is a bit more complicated, because I didn’t order them in one thread. So, you have to enter: “(from:vrom14286662) until:2021–01–01 since:2020–12–31” into the “advanced search” of Twitter.
IP: Who are your favourite IOTA and other crypto accounts to follow on Twitter?
Vrom: Right now it is ID.iota (@id_iota), who informs us about the latest GitHub activities and the progress of the Coordicide MVP, but I can certainly also recommend following the IOTA Foundation (@iota), Shimmer (@shimmernet), Hans Moog (@hus_qy) and Dom Schiener (@DomSchiener) to always stay up to date…
In the near future it will be very interesting to follow all the emerging IOTA projects that will start with the ShimmerEVM. So have a look at https://shimmer.network/ecosystem or https://tangleverse.io/ to know what's coming, and always keep an eye open to the newcomers that might not have not been public yet. In web3 it’s always beneficial to be an early adopter. But no financial advice! 😉
Right now I would also highlight the accounts of @soon_labs, @ShimmerSeaDEX, @TangleSwapE, @iotabee, @DeeprFinance, @iotapes and @LendeXeFinance. These are some of the outstanding projects that are already public and did an amazing job during the last year.
IP: You are involved in the IOTA Stammtisch, can you give us a brief overview of this and your role?
Vrom: I don’t know if you remember, but in 2017 there was a very active community member called Tobias (RonQ) who started the very first IOTA Stammtisch in Munich. It was a quite a regular sit together with some of the IOTA enthusiasts from Munich and even Hans Moog (not at the IF at that time) joined from time to time. But as these meetups had become less often because Tobi was more and more distracted by his studies and the crypto startup he started, it was Albert and me who took over and decided to do the IOTA Stammtisch Munich more regularly.
Since then it happened once a month, but when Covid-19 hit us, we were not allowed anymore to go to a restaurant for quite some time.
That’s why I had the idea to do an online regular IOTA Stammtisch where everyone can join, no matter where they live. At that time I was quite an active member in the einfachIOTA team, so it was the easiest way to directly start in their discord and we also wanted to be independent of the IOTA Foundation.
The IOTA online Stammtisch was started with only around 10 people, but week after week there were more and more people joining our conversations and after a few months we sometimes had more than 400 people in there. After the initial hype, I would say in the last 1.5 years we always have around 150 to 300 people who participate in our regular meetings.
As the people are most interested in what the MVPs like Hans Moog, Holger Köther, Max Hase (muXxer) or Dom Schiener have to say, we created the golden rule, “Wenn der Kuchen redet, haben die Krümel Pause!”, that you can compare with the sentence “When big daddy talks, kids listen!” But I have to admit that most of the time we don’t really follow these rules, and as we drink alcohol during these meetings the conversations could easily end up in endless discussions about German taxpayers, Tesla advantages/disadvantages or political discussions. Strictly speaking these are not allowed to talk about (one rule is: no religion and no politics!)
Concerning my role at the IOTA Stammtisch: I had no plan to get a special role in these meetings, but after a while it turned out that we need some kind of moderator who keeps the conversations going if we get stuck at some point or if we stay too long at certain discussions. That’s why I started to create a list of all the important IOTA news that happened during the weeks, so that everyone could easily pick up a new topic to talk about. But it turned out that most of the time it was me who used the list. So, you could call me some kind of “Coordinator of the soon-to-be more decentralized IOTA Stammtisch”. 😉
By the way: I guess we already had more than 150 of these IOTA Stammtisch sessions and I made more than 100 weekly summaries (a lot of PoW 😉) that you can find in link below:
IP: Which Shimmer project are you looking forward to the most once the ShimmerEVM drops?
Vrom: First of all, I am not only looking forward to the ShimmerEVM, but also to all the innovative features that the ISCP will enable. There is a lot more cool stuff going on than just the ShimmerEVM in terms of smart contracts. This will add value to the already existing Stardust features, and we will be able to run many smart contract chains (not only EVM chains) in parallel and interact frictionlessly through the Tangle.
From the project point of view, I am very interested in what the ShimmerSea and the team of TangleSwap are going to show us once the beast is released and how the ApeDAO is going to profit from it. I am also curious about all the additional features that we can expect from the Soonaverse once the ShimmerEVM is live and I want to see that the DEX of Iotabee is finally completely decentralized.
On the gaming side of view, I am looking forward to Iotabots, Darkmythos, IotaHeros and Daobee, and I guess we can expect a lot more games from the Asia community where we have seen a lot of attention lately with the promotion of Shimmer.
IP: What’s a point you think a lot of people are overlooking in relation to IOTA/Shimmer?
Vrom: As I already mentioned, one point is the scalability of all the parallel and interoperable smart contract chains, that will be able to directly and bridgelessly communicate through the Tangle. Another point is the native assets and the NFTs that can live on the layer 1 or the layer 2 and can be minted for free by everyone and also transferred for free on the main layer, all with just an initial deposit fee.
Some more interesting features are the digital identities and the feature that NFTs could hold other NFTs or multiple native assets. I think that it will be an eye-opener for many developers once they realize what IOTA/Shimmer has to offer and people will only understand all of it once they can use these features in their dApps.
I guess we will see a lot of adaption in the metaverse and in many other web3 environments.
IP: Which guest would you love to hear on the Moonaco Podcast?
Vrom: Mat Yager, Hans Moog, Max Hase (muXxer), Jonas Theis or Christoph Strnadl.
IP: What are your long term aims for your Twitter account?
Vrom: I’ve never thought about that, but my goal should be to never become a played account, like so many others who became famous.
IP: Do you think Shimmer will be a success?
Vrom: Yes!! Especially because the IOTA Foundation is proceeding very carefully when it comes to updating their IOTA mainnet. That’s why Shimmer will always be many months ahead and as the crypto space has no time to waste, they will most likely always jump on the Shimmer network first. I am not sure if they always want to migrate to IOTA once it is possible. And you should also not forget, that the Coordicide will first appear on Shimmer and the crypto space is irrational and crazy.