I am Muneeb Ali. Ask me anything.

11 December 2018, 6:00 pmAsk Question

Muneeb Ali is the Co-founder of Blockstack, a new internet for decentralized apps. Muneeb received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University specializing in distributed systems.

Ask Muneeb Ali about:

  • Developing apps with Blockstack
  • The Future of Bitcoin
  • Cryptocurrencies, in general
  • Blockchain ID
  • and other similar topics
Susan Dinglesen's photo

What's your general opinion about the Blockchain dapps ecosystem today? Where do you think we can improve? Where should developers innovate?

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

I think we're generally in the infrastructure phase (or at best nearing the end of the infrastructure phase). Dapps have a hard time scaling on some of the current platforms and the developer tools are a bit clunky (but getting better).

Dapps needs to give similar/better UX and reliability to as the centralized apps.

At Blockstack, we've done hardcore R&D work on the core infrastructure and have provided easy-to-use developer tools. We're constantly iterating over our developer tools and helping developers to onboard more users. Giving feedback on those developer tools is probably the most useful thing to us right now.

Susan Dinglesen's photo

Hey Muneeb 👋How does Blockstack dev ecosystem look now today? What steps are you taking to attract more developers to build dapps on Blockstack?

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

We have over 50 apps listed on Blockstack now: https://app.co/blockstack

Our main focus these days is the App Mining program: https://blog.blockstack.org/introducing-app-mining/

Akinkunmi Olunloye's photo

Hi Muneeb, thanks for this AMA, I'm a student and at the same time a nodejs developer, I would like if i could get a remote internship position at blockstack either free or paid, so far I'm going to work with experienced developers and brush up my skills. Thanks.

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

Thanks for your interest! Blockstack has an open-source community and anyone can join and contribute. I'd recommend that you (a) join our open Slack (link on blockstack.org) and (b) check out opportunities to contribute/learn on GitHub (there are issues that are marked as "help-wanted").

Hope that helps!

Milica Maksimović's photo

Hi Muneeb, thanks for the AMA!

When do you think we'll be able to use cryptocurrencies the same way we use FIAT today?

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

If by "same" you mean as frequently as fiat, I'd say we're probably years if not decades away. There might be other new ways that cryptocurrencies get used e.g., machine-to-machine payments; it's possible that such new ways gain wider adoption first.

Milan Patel's photo

Thanks for the AMA! What categories of Dapps do you think will drive the greatest growth for Blockstack in the short term (e.g., crowdfunding, social, gaming, productivity...)?

Is Blockstack focusing on supporting certain types of Dapps? If so, how? And any support beyond funding from the Signature Fund?

Cheers, M

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

It's very hard to say.

Our approach is to lower the friction to building/publishing apps and allow as much room for experimentation as possible.

We'd rather let real experiments/apps decide what categories end up getting traction.

The current list of Signature Fund investments are online here: https://signature.vc

Aniketh Saha's photo

Hey , I have two question or can say concerns . Though the question is small But I just wrote big to share much

  1. is Dapps really worth ? . I think it is good to computer science but the real consumer wont use it , cause as a user of any social media platform , I cant really spend money to just like or comment on a single post or photo. Just like that I cant do transaction and click on confirm button on any plugin to complete the transaction then comment on the photo. Cant there be any other solutation to this ? I dont know why its still not becoming huge player in market though its there in the community for several years.
  2. Many production dapps are using the Rinkeby/kovan/ropsten Test Network , And they are giving test ethers instead of forcing the user to buy ether. So My question is will it let them grow ? Cause if I am getting all the functionalities of the dapp even in the test network without spending a single buck why would I go to that expensive ether.! Thank You
Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

Different dapps will have different use cases and need to look at them individually e.g., Graphite built on Blockstack provides a decentralized G-Suite. That provides utility to some users and that utility is very different from an app like Stealthy.

There are many problems, ranging from infrastructure issues to UX problems to user education, that need to be solved before we can expect broader adoption of dapps.

I'm not familiar with Rinkeby etc so can't really comment. Thanks!

Aniketh Saha's photo

I am web developer with a special crush on blockchain technology and having affairs with node.js and react.js.

Thanks for the respond. :)

Ike A.'s photo

What consensys mechanism does the stacks blockchain use? (Ex. Proof of Stake or Work or somewhere in between)

Show +2 replies
Ike A.'s photo

Software Engineer/Web Developer

Thanks for answering my first question btw. I have been following you and Ryan’s work for over 2 years and believe you have got a lot right with blockstack!

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

The Stacks blockchain is a separate blockchain. We use Bitcoin for some functionality (for example, miners will need to interact with Bitcoin for burning tokens to participate in our mining algorithm) but over time this might change, see our roadmap for details: https://blockstack.org/roadmap/

One way to think about this is that we're bootstrapping our blockchain by re-using Bitcoin's hash power and may start relying less on it as more miners participate directly on the Stacks blockchain.

Jimit Shah's photo

Hi Muneeb. Thanks for AMA. Today, There are lots of cryptocurrencies available. How would someone trust on cryptocurrencies? What is the future of cryptocurrencies? What are your thoughts on the same?

Muneeb Ali's photo

CEO, Blockstack PBC

They're a breakthrough in Computer Science and enable different use cases for digital payments e.g., machine-to-machine payments.

You're trusting mathematics and code and not trusting any entity.

Future of cryptocurrencies is a broad topic, hard to answer it here. I'd recommend watching some TED talk on this; Neha Narula has a good one https://www.ted.com/talks/neha_narula_the_future_of_money

Jimit Shah's photo

Thank you Muneeb for the answer :)

Blake Canfield's photo

If the Bitcoin Protocol were to fail in 50 years, what would the top three potential reasons? Social? Technical?

Blake Canfield's photo

What programing models are most similar to Bitcoin? TCP/IP? BitTorrent?

Blake Canfield's photo

Can you explain the game theory of the Bitcoin blockchain? What makes it so Anti-Fragile?

Blake Canfield's photo

If the inflation bug would have happened, what would the most likely scenarios that would have taken place? A fork and the teams fix the inflation bug? Or any other scenarios? How would this play out?

Blake Canfield's photo

What would change your mind about Bitcoin? What things would have to happen to have you lose confidence and sell you Bitcoin? Would a hack do it? Or a removal of the 21 Million supply?

Blake Canfield's photo

Can you go over the Game Theory of the DAO hack/Split and the BCash ABC & SV split? Things like reorgs, dominate chains, “hash wars”. What are the hard lessons and insights that we learned from each?