Name: Jim Farley
Timezone: Eastern Time (ET)
English Language proficiency: Native English speaker confirmed, meets proficiency.
Committee Position: Ecosystem expert
Qualifications: I’ve divided this section into two sub-sections – General Relevant Career Experience and Blockchain Specific Experience
- General Relevant Career Experience
LinedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thinkchange/
My career spans 23 years, all of which have been in IT. Starting in 2000 I installed DSL into MTUs and worked as a junior network engineer on small routing and switching projects. Throughout the years, my focus has shifted from networking, to security, to cloud and compute infrastructure, to blockchain technologies.
Prior to starting CertHum in 2021, I spent the 12 years focused on pre-sales solutions and technology architecture at numerous service providers. That led me to meeting with companies of all sizes, all over the world. Those meetings took many forms, including:
- Listening sessions to understand business challenges
- Workshops to identify how technology solutions could lead to positive business outcomes
- Deep dive technical workshops and planning sessions
- Presentations on technology at every level of the corporate hierarchy – from C-level to IT support staff.
Some of the offices that I visited over the years, and companies I’ve helped (as part of an external service provider team) include:
Prudential, Cheapflights / Momondo (when they were just a young start-up), OCS, Rio Tinto, Sulzer, Lloyds, NAB, WPP and Hogarth, IGP, Centrica, MasterCard, Banque de France, Komatsu, PepsiCo (Turkey), Diageo, Pearson, Nationwide, Legal & General, Catalent, Revlon, Apollo Group, and many, many more.
My experience includes working with various cultures and backgrounds, including travelling and meeting with businesses in many Western and Central European countries (mainly Benelux, DACH, France, and UK, the last of which I lived for 13 years). I was also entrusted by a previous employer to help grow the APAC business with one the largest privately held companies in the UK, working on customer site in Bangkok for six months, which also included project work on-site in Singapore and New Zealand.
While all of this gives you an idea of my qualifications and experience, more important is the relevance of this to the position on the grant committee. When meeting with grant applicants, there’s typically one hour where enough information needs to be gathered to make an assessment on the suitability for a grant. The applicants may be more business focused, more technical focused or a mix of both, and they might come from anywhere in the world. To me, it’s critical that a committee member knows what questions to ask, how to ask the questions, and the different ways that can be used to uncover the information needed to make a fair and impartial assessment. I believe that the experience I have described has given me the broad toolset to be efficient and effective at this.
Lastly, I’ve found over the last year as a committee member, one of the things that is most important is the ability to work as a team. Everyone needs to be open to each other’s views, and ideas need to be freely exchanged and shared. This not only helps lead to the best grantee decisions, but it’s also essential to the smooth operation of the committee and helps decisions to be made quickly and efficiently. In all of the provided experience, I wasn’t an island unto myself, but effectively worked towards common purpose as part of different teams from all over the world. This didn’t mean always agreeing but knowing that there was a shared respect and commitment to getting the work done.
Some certifications I’ve achieved through my career are CCNP and CCDP, JNCIS-FWV, CEH, and Azure Solutions Architect - Expert. I also was awarded a B.S. in Information Systems from City University of New York, and studied Computer Science at The University of Texas, Austin (when Edsger Dijkstra of SPF algorithm fame lectured there), and at University of Colorado at Denver.
- Blockchain Specific Experience
While my general experience has given me the broad set of tools to be effective as a grant committee member, as many reading this are aware, I also founded and run CertHum (CERTified HUMan if you didn’t know), providing blockchain infrastructure services to numerous chains including Moonbase Alpha, Moonriver, and Moonbeam (or course!), Mina, Calamari, Gala Music, Kusama, Polkadot, Bware’s Blast!, SSV (testnet), and Forta.
I started CertHum in Jan 2021 when I realized that although there were numerous infrastructure providers to blockchains, many of them simply stated, “Stake with Us!” and never answered the “Why should I?” response that many stakers ask.
With that in mind, I have put transparency and communications at the forefront with CertHum, as evidenced by the public monitoring dashboards of CertHum nodes on our website, the open and transparent communication in the CertHum Telegram, and the free sharing of information in the CertHum Medium.
Even before starting CertHum, I was involved in Blockchain since 2016 (with an initial purchase of Voxels from Voxelus – that was a mistake!) Over time I became more involved in helping chains with their infrastructure needs leading to the creation of CertHum. Working on various chains over the years has helped me identify patterns, pitfalls, and see successes when they happen within different chain ecosystems. By continuing to work on the different chains with CertHum, I am exposed to new and different perspectives, industry trends, and other important areas that would be useful to a Moonbeam committee grant member.
Background: Specific to Moonbeam, as mentioned in the previous section, CertHum been running collators for all three Moonbeam chains since the Moonbase Alpha testnet launch. But I’ve also been very active in the ecosystem in many other ways. Some examples of this are:
- Leading the creation of the Moonbeam and Moonriver Collator Delegation Fund, a self-funded coalition of community collators which have adopted guidelines to help each other stay active in the collator using defensive only self-delegation methods.
- Founding member of UnitedBloc, a collective of 13 community collators focused on providing more value to the Moonbeam ecosystem, including non-profit RPC services.
- Assisting in the operation of the Lunar Gaming Festival, a community run festival bringing together delegators, gaming teams, community collators, and other ecosystem partners
- Hosting free to use database snapshots for all three Moonbeam chains on the CertHum website, as well as open-sourcing the methodology and automation scripts so users create their own private snapshots.
- Activly participating in governance with a high percentage of on-chain voting and initial launch-phase Community Delegate in the Moonbeam DAO delegation program. (Note, although my delegate profile currently shows 14% on-chain votes, this is closer to 90%+ when looking at the voting history of the CertHum collator going back through Gov1 and Gov2 before the delegation program launch).
- One of the top contributors of substantive content in the Moonbeam forum:
I’ve also been an existing non-Foundation grants committee member since the creation of the committee, in September of 2022, which has given me the experience to hit the ground running if elected to the next committee. You can read about why this experience is important in the following forum post: Reflections from the Interim Grants Program
Code of Conduct: I am in good standing in the community and commit to upholding the code of conduct.
Experience: Practical examples of being able to remain an impartial arbitrator:
The first example is found in the recent ecosystem grants proposals and vote. I was assigned to perform due diligence on the TFA and Moonwell ecosystem grant proposals, and post questions to the Moonbeam forum where I felt responses would help flesh out the proposals. Specifically, to remain impartial it was important to avoid the use of loaded terms and language, and not let emotion and personal views cloud the requests for additional information. The focus had to be on gaps in the proposals, and to seek out factual information from the proposal teams. In addition, I did not vote with any CertHum or personal accounts to avoid any perception that there was a bias in the diligence process.
The second comes in the form of the efforts I’ve made to maintain a balance between numerous interests when it comes to active collator stability and inclusiveness in the collator set. This can been seen in the efforts I’ve made to maintain diversity in the active collator set, and in seeking agreement on if and when collator set expansion is needed. These posts show that I have always sought advice, input, and feedback from all parts of the community and ecosystem when looking at these important and sometimes controversial topics.
Motivation: My motivation for applying is simple and straightforward.
First, taking everything into consideration written up to this point, I feel I truly can serve the community’s interests as a grant committee member.
Second, I believe the Moonbeam ecosystem already has some of the best teams in the industry, and it would be a privilege to continue helping bring new great teams into the ecosystem. As a grant committee member, I can help do that.
Finally, over the last year of the committee some great work has been accomplished, but as the committee continues to be refined, there’s more work to be done. Seeing this work through to the next growth cycle for DLT, as new teams thrive on Moonbeam, would not only give me a personal sense of accomplishment, but would be incredibly impactful to the community. But to see this happen, the right committee needs to be in place, and I think my background is suited to help complete this work.
Conflicts of interest: I’ve noted that I run CertHum which provides collator services on Moonbeam and other chains, and that CertHum is a member of UnitedBloc which provides RPC services on Moonbeam.
I do not believe that this inherently creates any conflict of interest with the everyday operation and functioning of the committee. However, it is possible that there may be a future grant proposal where this does create a conflict. On such an occasion, I would abstain from the grant process for any such proposal. In fact, during the past year of the committee I have sought feedback from other committee members when I thought there may be a conflict, stating what any conflict might be, and on the rare occasion I have abstained (not where it was clear that there was a conflict), but for the avoidance of any doubt.
Availability: I commit to at least the minimum 10 hours per week as required by the committee.
Supporting information: Any other supporting information
The following links is a list of the ones provided in-line in this post:
I truly hope this has given you enough information to assess my suitability for the position on the grant committee, and I welcome any feedback, clarification questions, or any other questions you might have for me.
(This post is Certified Human – no generative AI tools were used in its creation)