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Witnet is an open-source project created by the founders of Stampery, a blockchain data certification service. Adán Sánchez de Pedro is the CTO of Stampery and self-described “skepticism maximalist.” The Madrid-based entrepreneur and programmer developed his first company at sixteen; he’s been creating projects ever since.

He is the Tech Lead at the Witnet Foundation, whose goal is to create a decentralized protocol connecting smart contracts to any data source available online. Overall, they are aiming to become invisible in the process, launching a truly self-sustaining decentralized smart contracts system. 

This interview was recorded last June by Blind Acre, who was working with Reflective Ventures portfolio companies before I came on board. I’ve been recording RCasts thus far as interviews, but since I have a folder of previously recorded talks with company leaders, I want to make sure they see the light of day. I’m personally fascinated by a project that is launched and maintained until it can self-subsist.

To better understand the goal, let’s turn to religious literature. While working on an article the other day, I was reminded that the reason there are no authors of biblical and Hindu mythologies, for example, is because at the time it would have been too egotistical to claim credit for the story. Stories are shared experiences meant to drive right to the heart of the human condition, so the individual is truly unnecessary; knowing who wrote something is not nearly as important as the story being told. 

Of course, we live in a much different time. One reason I love the possibilities of decentralization is this emphasis on shared experiences. Just this morning I saw on LinkedIn that the combined wealth of the 26 richest people on the planet is now $1.4 trillion dollars, which is equivalent to the wealth of the world’s bottom 3.8 billion people.

This is not only unsustainable, but ludicrous. No one needs that much money, and any system that allows for so much centralization of power is doomed to fail. The problem is what will suffer as these systems start to collapse. We’re seeing it across the planet right now. We can sit back and watch it collapse while feeling victimized, or we can take power back into our hands. It’ll happen piece by piece, but this conversation with Adán is one example of a collective trying to do just that.