This has been a decision that I don’t take lightly. Having been part of the team that launched the FIO Protocol and as an employee of the now-disbanded Dapix Inc. I was uncertain what message it would send. I have concluded that my participation as a block producer is beneficial to the health of the FIO network and sends a strong signal of support that as a founding member of the protocol it has my ongoing confidence and support.
Dapix and the FIO Foundation
First, I’ll start by explaining Dapix’s relationship with FIO. Dapix was created to build the FIO Protocol and to coordinate the launch of the test and main networks. It was made clear when accepting that job that the company would be transferring all intellectual property to the FIO Foundation once main net was launched, and that we would no longer be employed. All Dapix employees were laid-off in December of 2020, and I’m happy to report the entire team submitted worker-proposals to the foundation, so in a sense the project continued without the loss of any of the intellectual capital that were the Dapix employees.
This transition hasn’t been without its challenges, and I don’t want to go into that, but it required me to reevaluate my career plans. Once I’d decided to continue with the project it required founding a business to facilitate the transition. I’ve been working to diversify the scope of that business with consulting and other ways to generate income. The FIO Foundation isn’t my only client, and current plans are to add block producer or validator nodes on several networks.
Many of those involved in the FIO community are not aware that the Dapix employees have all moved onto their own businesses with FIO as a customer, but understanding this is an important part of my decision.
Why am I a good block producer candidate?
My Qualifications: Having been the person primarily responsible for handling Dapix’s operations I have extensive experience with the intricacies of the FIO’s modifications to the EOSIO chain. I’ve also maintained active test net nodes since the launch of the network: both personally owned nodes and the nodes that Dapix hosted. The Dapix nodes, and producers were all decommissioned in December but I’ve continued to contribute time and hardware since then. I feel my experience is valuable and will be a benefit to the long-term stability of the FIO network.
Infrastructure: I maintain multiple nodes on both main net and test net, these are server-grade hardware, distributed in multiple geographic regions. Specifically I provide API nodes in the USA and Finland, all geographically load balanced and highly available. Network latency for these nodes measures consistently as some of the lowest for public API nodes. The block producer nodes are located in Germany and the USA, these are exclusively Xeon-based with enterprise hardware (ECC memory, data center grade drives, redundant network, UPS backup.) In addition to renting dedicated hardware, the standby producer nodes are 100% owned by Block Pane, LLC., and this month I purchased an additional Dell server specifically for this purpose.
Additional Contributions: As a community member with an active proposal for the foundation I maintain several official FIO projects, such as the fio-go Golang SDK, an ETL package that indexes transactions into elasticsearch and is the backend for the FIO analytics service. There are many more projects that I maintain for FIO.
My involvement doesn’t end there, and there is much that I contribute outside of my work proposals for FIO. The Block Pane github has many packages that I provide including a wallet designed for testing, network monitoring tools, and many many small utilities.
I also maintain publicly available chain snapshots including v1 history archives, and several voting proxies.
Financial Motivations: I don’t expect to recoup the cost of the infrastructure by running main net producer nodes, especially not while I am a standby producer. As part of my involvement with Dapix I did receive a token grant, and I believe that having a strong group of producers, available API nodes, and viable standby nodes will help ensure the value of that token grant is protected well into the future. I view this as an investment into the health and ongoing success of the FIO Protocol, even if it does not provide short-term profit. That said, I’ve been running these nodes all along but have not registered as a producer, and would continue to provide public API endpoints and seed nodes even if not an active producer.
The reader may be wondering if my token grant provides an unfair advantage? I do not believe so. First, the grant I received is less than 3% of the votes required to get into the top 21. Second, I operate a couple of proxy voters on main net. The votes these proxies cast are based entirely on technical criteria and voting is automated (I highly encourage others to use these proxies: proxy@blockpane and vote@blockpane) the exact criteria and current rankings on main net are available to review.
I will not exclude my block producer from the criteria used by these proxies (where my tokens are voted,) and I will hold myself to the same standard as other producers. This may well mean that if my performance falls below that of other producers I won’t even vote for myself.
I have long considered whether it was appropriate to register as a producer, and I strongly believe that the technical expertise I bring is a benefit to the network. I also believe that it sends a strong message that as one of the team that launched the protocol that I have confidence in the long-term viability and I am willing to invest my time, expertise, and contribute financially to the operation of the network.
I’d be ecstatic to get your vote: bp@blockpane. Thanks for your consideration!
— Todd Garrison.
For more information about Block Pane, LLC. please visit blockpane.com.