Justin Tabb is CEO of Substratum which is looking at blockchain technology as a way to improve web hosting as well as new software solutions. His ambitious plans make for interesting reading.
We sat down with Tabb to learn more about his history in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, his past experiences in software development, and his future plans for his current projects.
When asked what got him interested in software development, Justin Tabb said that it was a journey of discovery but what initially piqued his interest was being able to solve problems through code. Mr. Tabb has loved problem-solving and to be able to pick up a keyboard and solve someone’s business or communication problem was something that made him very excited so it was off to the races from there. He has always loved that even though you are performing the same function in coding on a daily basis you are always solving a different problem so you never get bored.
We asked Justin Tabb where he was working and which projects he was working on before he started Substratum and he told us that prior to Substratum he had owned and operated a consulting business named OverridePro where they built software solutions for companies like Disney, Apple, HP, the NBA, OpenStack, Facebook, and even some presidential campaigns.
“Therefore, the problems were different on each project and solving those problems really was an amazing opportunity to learn what is out there and what are the next steps that need to be taken even by these very large companies to forge into the future of technology”, Tabb added.
He learned about blockchain and cryptocurrency by reading the Bitcoin whitepaper and discovered that that was something early on that was awesome and being a developer with exposure to larger companies he knew the idea was sound but he had also seen lots of great ideas come and go so he monitored the progress. He wishes that he could say that he was one of those guys that bought a bunch of Bitcoin at $1 but he held out longer than that. Tabb became involved in the industry when after following the progress of the space as a whole, he began several years ago buying into the projects that he believed in and he has been a long term holder and that has done very well for him so he is incredibly grateful for the space as a whole.
When he became involved in the industry, he was really excited by the promise of an open distributed ledger and what that means for the future. He believes we are only beginning to see the applications of this technology and the next 10 years will write an incredible chapter in the story of technology in our time.
How, when and where did he get the idea for Substratum?
“Working over the years and seeing problems that companies face in web hosting he has always had some interesting theories as to how to improve on that space. Blockchain opened up not only a way to improve the web hosting space but to create an even digital playing field for the world. Today internet censorship has spiraled out of control and through the use of the blockchain we now have the solution to make that happen with an ever-growing network of nodes that provide a decentralized VPN which filtration and cleansing the way a single point VPN can be done today is simply not possible”, Tabb says.
The original vision for Substratum was to be able to level the digital playing field worldwide starting with the three most heavily censored countries that they could find at the time and that was China, Russia, and Iran. Through providing a next-generation censorship resistant solution in SubstratumNode they were able to accomplish those three goals last year when they proved online that even a basic Substratum Network with 4 nodes was able to provide censorship free content into China, Russia, and Iran.
The core vision of Substratum is the same. Equal access to all information for all people regardless of race, color, creed, nationality or geolocation. They have over time developed a more complete version of the product. Originally their plan was to deliver only content hosted on the Substratum network through their nodes and back out to their users. Over time they were able to develop a more complete approach that allowed them to process all internet traffic through the Substratum Network. This takes their usability through the roof on day number 1 since the largest sites in the world like Facebook, YouTube, Google and others will be able to be accessed in a censorship-resistant way.
The Substratum project successfully fulfilled that original vision as their original goal was to be able to demonstrate that they could deliver all content regardless of censorship status to their three main targets: China, Russia and Iran, and Tabb is pleased to say that they have accomplished that. With that being said there is still much to do but they look forward to delivering their first production soon.
Tabb explained that the greatest challenge was communicating that this was something that has never been done before and with untested waters comes some uncertainty. Through the course of the last year and a half they have developed ways to make their solution better but there is a cost to making that happen. They are determined to release the best product possible and they are very close to making that happen with their first production release.
“With cryptocurrency, the entire space moves at a very fast rate so communicating enough with their loyal base the progress of where we were and what we are doing in a way that keeps them updated and patient enough to give us time to complete the task at hand has been a large challenge”.
Past that regulation, or the lack thereof, has posed a challenge. A lot of the world is just waking up to what cryptocurrency is and what it offers and what goes along with that is regulation that each country wants to place on the space. Operating in that area of uncertainty is a challenge but they have employed two of the best law firms in the world to ensure they are following all guidelines that are in place. Justin Tabb believes that projects should come together on this and lend our expertise to governing bodies to help them understand what type of regulation is needed and what is not and hopefully at some time in the near future projects in the space that compete on the exchanges can work together to make the entire space better for all projects.
In future, we can expect Substratum to move forward and to see the production release of their SubstratumNode product that will enable the world to work on a level digital playing field and allow users who want to run nodes to earn Substratum tokens for processing transactions. Beyond that they will be implementing their decentralized exchange with their sister company Amplify Exchange that will utilize the SubstratumNode product to offer the perfect blend of speed and security through this hybrid exchange
Tabb has had many experiences that qualify him to lead Substratum and subsequent projects which have branched out from it. One can look forward to Justin Tabb’s next move as he has tons in store for the Substratum project(s) and its communities in 2019.