Jack Zampolin of Pylon and Tendermint Joins as Advisor to Akash | Akash Network

Jack Zampolin of Pylon and Tendermint Joins as Advisor to Akash

“Since I began working on Blockchain technology in 2017, I’ve been searching for the crossover of existing cloud technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, as those systems and the cloud in general, have been grappling with many of the same distributed systems problems. Akash Network, with its cloud native developer workflow, backed by a decentralized network, […]

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Michael Gushansky
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“Since I began working on Blockchain technology in 2017, I’ve been searching for the crossover of existing cloud technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, as those systems and the cloud in general, have been grappling with many of the same distributed systems problems. Akash Network, with its cloud native developer workflow, backed by a decentralized network, is the most exciting project in this space today. Their platform is a tremendous step towards the realization of the world’s first open, permissionless, and secure public cloud.” 
Jack Zampolin, Head of Product, Tendermint and Akash Advisor.

In building an open, permissionless, and secure cloud marketplace for unused compute cycles, we set out to transform a $200 billion industry with three large incumbents that control 56% of the market. Through Akash, developers can easily and securely access cloud compute at 10x lower cost than the market (AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure). 

In the past year, we’ve rapidly progressed our platform through technical achievements and pilot programs. It’s exciting that we’re now enabling our builder community to deploy real-world applications and experience the capabilities of our product. By the end of Q4, we’ll be transitioning to Validator testnet. Validators play a vital role in ensuring Akash’s sovereignty and security. So much so, that we recently announced a grant of 20% delegation power for the first 10 genesis cohort of validators who commit to Akash Network.

It’s no surprise that we hold Cosmos and Tendermint in high regard. We chose to build our platform on Tendermint for its flexibility, iteration speed, and community momentum. Our economic model is built on the foundation laid down by Cosmos.

Given how essential validators and Tendermint/Cosmos are to building and scaling Akash Network, we’re thrilled today to announce that Jack Zampolin, Director of Product at Tendermint, and Cofounder of Pylon Validation Services has joined Akash Network as Advisor. At Tendermint, Jack develops and drives the product roadmap, leads product development of the Cosmos platform, and advises organizations on how to successfully build applications on Cosmos SDK. As cofounder of Pylon Validation Services, he is renowned as one of the top Cosmos validators. Jack will provide valuable insights and guidance to our team as we grow our platform.

Read on to learn more about Jack’s intriguing journey from cooking to coding, and from Bozeman to blockchain.

Q&A with Jack Zampolin

We found it amazing and intriguing that you went from cooking to coding. How did this progression happen?

I was a Math/Science kid growing up, always in the AP classes. Going to college, I wanted to major in Physics and Math. I didn’t count on college being so much fun and ended up as an Accounting Major (easy math). My internship Junior year (summer 2008) was at a hedge fund and I was planning to move to NYC to be an analyst after school. But soon after my internship ended, the bottom fell out of the market and by the time I graduated in May 2009 (bottom of the market) that company had gone out of business like many other funds. After kicking around a couple of TERRIBLE jobs, I decided to follow my passion for cooking, and went to work for the best restaurant in town: The Jefferson Hotel.

Fast forward 4 years–I was pretty burnt out of cooking and having trouble seeing a future for myself in it. I took a job helping someone with a kickstarter in Montana and because I ended up having a good amount of free time in that job, I started coding. I loved it! After about a year in that role I quit to move to San Francisco to go to Dev Bootcamp. My first role out of there was Sales Engineering at InfluxDB, where I achieved their first $1 million sales as the only sales engineer selling to Cisco, Apple, IBM, Comcast, and other large tech companies.

How did you get into blockchain? Why?

I first found Bitcoin back in 2012-2013 while I was still cooking. I’ve long been more on the Libertarian side of the political spectrum, and Bitcoin has had a strong community there for a while. I ended up buying some and losing money in the Mt. Gox crash. Looking at the job descriptions at crypto companies back then was something that helped spur me to pick up programming.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2017. I had begun investing in crypto again at the end of 2016 and had been working professionally as a software engineer/developer evangelist for almost two years. Seeing the huge wave that was beginning, I was determined not to miss it. My roommate at the time and I spoke about Bitcoin and Bitcoin companies quite frequently. When he went to join Blockstack, I joined him there soon after.

How did you become a validator? Why?

When we were launching the network at Cosmos, I didn’t participate in genesis because I was so busy getting everyone else ready for launch and didn’t have time to work on my own setup! Soon after, when the excitement began to wear off, I started thinking “what kind of Product Manager are you if you’re not using your own product!?!” and then got my validator together and launched it.

Going further back I had experience in monitoring and cloud infrastructure working with the team at InfluxDB that significantly influenced my thinking when approaching different crypto technologies. That also had me running some of my own infrastructure as a hobby, so a validator business was a natural evolution from there.

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