Cryptocurrency’s Quiet Contributor – Daniel Larimer

by George Naylor
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Early Professional History

Daniel Larimer received a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Virginia Tech in 2003, almost immediately embarking on a post-graduate career as a software engineer. This included several companies, spending the majority of his time at a Blacksburg, a Virginia-based automotive-tech company called Torc Robotics (2007-2011). His second-longest position was as the Founder and CEO of Invictus Innovations (2013-2015), a company focused on authoring technical papers and in-house developments for what is now known as BitShares.

Just six years after graduating, Larimer began attempting to build a digital currency, fortuitously stumbling across Bitcoin in 2009. This led to experimentations and tinkering with the cryptocurrency technology, even communicating with Bitcoin’s anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto on BitcoinTalk – a now-famous blockchain forum.

 

Bitshares

In 2014, Larimer created BitShares, a progressive peer-to-peer distributed ledger and network which also functions as a decentralized exchange. The main motivation for the projected resided in his irritation with the tendency for centralized exchanges to be shut down or compromised by the local authorities or malicious attacks. He created a novel core component for BitShares with bitUSD – a stable coin, known as a digital asset pegged to the US dollar, which is native to the BitShares blockchain.

Larimer’s inventions didn’t stop there, as he went on to create the now famous Delegated Proof of Stake algorithm, a truly revolutionary form of blockchain consensus. DPdoS has been so successful that it is now widely used by Steem, EOS, List, Ark, and others.

According to Larimer, BitShares serves as everything from a network, currency, bank, ledger, exchange, software, community, company, and even a country.

When developing BitShares, Larimer found the time to code Graphene, an open-source C++ blockchain implementation that serves as the foundation for the BitShares and Steem blockchains.

Steem

Larimer went on to found Steemit, Inc, a decentralized social network which rewards users for posting and engagement through Steem tokens and Steem dollars. Founded in 2016, the blockchain-based social network boasts over 50,000 active users a month and is underpinned by the same ground-breaking DPdoS technology featured in Bitshares.

EOS and Block.one

Image result for block one logo

Not content with creating two successful blockchains and distributed exchanges, Larimer left his CTO position at Steem in March 2017 to become CTO of Block.one, the parent and holding company of EOS. EOS aims to address scalability issues, transaction costs, and a lack of interoperability besetting so many cryptocurrencies today. Funded by a record-breaking ICO, Block.one and the EOS platform raise over $4 billion dollars over the course of a year, completing on June 1st, 2018.

The subsequent mainnet release, on June 29th, was not without problems, and featured some controversial ‘emergency powers’ being deployed by the Interim Emergency Arbitrator and applied to Block Producers. Despite this, EOS remains at number 5, with a market cap valuation of over $5 billion dollars. How the platform develops, and whether it fulfills its prophecy of becoming an ‘Ethereum killer’ remains to be seen.

There is little doubt that Larimer’s key contribution to blockchain consensus, as well as his prolific founding achievements of three cryptocurrency platforms, makes him one of cryptocurrencies most quiet but important contributors.

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