Prior to founding Ubiq, systems engineer Julian Yap worked senior positions in the IT industry, outside of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. In addition to his IT job and working on Ubiq, he also worked part-time for Bittrex.
When Yap announced via Twitter that he would be transitioning to a full-time position with Bittrex starting July 6, 2017, there was some confusion in the Ubiq community.
The reactions are understandable, since a community supporting a new cryptocurrency—Ubiq having only been released in January 2017—might expect developers to devote their time fully to the project. Some do take this approach, but there are many who also balance their crypto projects with other full time jobs.
There was also some confusion around whether or not this announcement meant Julian would no longer be working on Ubiq at all:
There was some confusion as I guess many new people didn’t know my personal work situation and assumed it meant I wasn’t going to be involved with Ubiq anymore which is far from true.
Some of the reasons Yap outlined were:
Crypto is here to stay – working full-time in the crypto-world didn’t seem pragmatic until very recently. He believes that the odd’s of “crypto going away in 5 years is low” and thus has committed himself professionally to the industry.
Avoiding the “cult of celebrity” – in the spirit of open source blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, Yap also wants to avoid creating a dependency between Ubiq and a single person (himself); this would defeat the whole purpose of decentralization.
More engagement with the crypto community — now that Yap’s attention is on cryptocurrency full-time, he has more opportunities to network, learn, and engage with the broader crypto-commmunity, which is certainly good for Ubiq. In particular, he mentions wanting to learn more about smart contracts.
In conclusion, contrary to first impressions, Yap’s transition to working full-time at Bittrex can be seen as his furthering commitment to the community. The opportunities he will have to learn and network will be a great asset for the Ubiq project.