Behind the Tech with Maryum Saeed

Here’s an article submitted by Jitendra Rathod, newsletter contributing editor.

Hello dear community,

In this edition of “Behind the Tech” we are featuring Maryum Saeed, Expanse’s Project Manager, who is based out of Islamabad, Pakistan.

Maryum has completed her post-graduation in Project Management from Bahria University, Islamabad, with specialization in Innovation and Technology Management. Prior to that she did her Double Majors (4-Year Bachelors Degree Program) in Software Engineering and IT from Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Pakistan.

Coming from an academically-inclined family, Maryum was always fascinated with technology. Growing up in an age that has gadgets around everyone, she wanted to learn what drove those gadgets. While everyone else her age were content using their gadgets, she was more interested to know what was inside them and how they worked.

After graduating in 2016, Maryum started working at the head office of the prestigious Beaconhouse School. She worked on one of the school’s projects on Simulated and Immersive Environments. “That project was the actual beginning of my tech career. I worked there as an intern for 3 months and learnt as much as I could.” At exactly the same time, she had planned to start her Masters in Management Sciences so she started her job and her studies, both at the same time. “I used to work from Monday to Friday for eight hours and on weekends, I had my classes for the whole day. So for the entire duration of my course, i.e., one and half years, I hardly got any time for myself. But I believe those years were crucial to my fledgling career as I got a taste of what it was like to be working in an organization, pretty early in life. And I was still studying. I believe I got a great, early head start.

Maryum worked with two organizations before joining Expanse and since both of these jobs were of a general managerial kind, she had to stay away from technology for some time. After completing her post graduation, she had planned to switch jobs and that is when Expanse happened. “Initially, I found it pretty challenging, but I sort of slipped into the role easily. It was what I have been trained for – technology and project management. After all, challenges are what motivate you to learn more and make you a better professional. And at Expanse, I am working on projects based on cutting edge technology. Maryum has been with Expanse since eight months now and she is “loving every moment of it.”

Maryum’s role at Expanse is of a Project Manager on the various ongoing projects. Her major responsibility is to plan, assign, monitor and deliver the projects on time. She has daily meetings with the developers to assign and monitor their tasks and goals. “Although I am not directly involved in the project from a strict tech point of view, I am accountable for almost everything pertaining to the project. Project managers are the spearheads of a project and they ensure that the project is completed within the specified deadline and gets delivered to the client without any flaws.” Maryum believes that the most challenging part of project management is keeping the client, developers and all the stakeholders on the same page and maintaining the near-perfect balance of time, cost and scope.

When asked about what excites her at Expanse, Maryum is quick to note the constant buzz of anticipation and the sweet sound of creativity in the air. “Ever since I came here, I find something new happening every day.” She feels that there is always something new to learn and that is what keeps one moving ahead.

For Maryum, being focussed on one’s learning curve is vital to individual progress. “For me, this is an almost perfect job as I am involved in managing projects that are based on current technologies – something I am academically trained in. And I constantly keep myself involved in learning as much as I can about new technologies through a lot of reading and by also learning from the developers as they work on the projects.”

Maryum is quite positive about the future of the blockchain technology. “Personally, I believe that blockchain as a technology and all of its its varied facets will play a huge role in the development of both public and private sectors in the coming decade and no matter what people say, cryptocurrencies are here to stay.” She believes that Expanse is working splendidly on some great projects and it is going to have a brilliant future ahead.

Maryum is thankful to the Expanse Management for giving her this opportunity and providing her a progressive environment that is conducive to so much learning. “Everyone is so cooperative and full of encouragement. I couldn’t have asked for a better workplace.” Maryum plans to pursue her studies after a few years of work experience and she is interested in getting her PMP certification. We, at Expanse, look forward to her expertise during her time with us and wish her a great future ahead when she goes about chasing her dreams.

Call for Writers

As we announced previously,  Expanse is re-introducing a news aggregation concept targeting crypto enthusiasts. To The Moon News (ttm.news) is a site to access for original news submitted by our community or anyone who wants to showcase crypto-related articles, announcements, newsletters, and press releases.

We want to hear from you! This is a great way to share your original thoughts, gain visibility, and enhance your influence in the space. Our goal starting out is to post at least one new article every day. Please contact [email protected] to publish your insights and ideas on ttm.news.

We All Want a Better Place to Live

This article comes to us from Omar Alvarez, Gameboard Founder/CEO and Expanse Creative Director

The Gameboard team has been looking for new solutions that provide gamified experiences and are integrated into the blockchain. About 6 months ago, Andrés García, Gameboard CFO, traveled to Chicago for business and had the opportunity to meet with a very large property management company in the United States.

This company had a great challenge: “We need to give better service to our tenants and prevent the problems of the team in the building.” With the problem clearly outlined, Andres returned to Guatemala to discuss a working solution.

Our team analyzed the problem and came to the conclusion that we should improve the communication between tenants and administrators; but also, seek to motivate the tenants to work better together to improve their work space.

To accomplish this, we started the design of a game that involves the tenant in improving their environment using a collaborative tool that accomplishes the following:

  • The users receive notifications from the administrator to the tenants,
  • Tenants can easily reserve the use of common areas,
  • Generation of maintenance fee account statements, as well as a ticket system allow the tenant to report everything that happens around him and on his property.

BetterCondos

With the desire that tenants work together to improve their place to live, we created BetterCondos, a gamified platform for the management of collaborative condominium organizations. Each action in the collaborative work platform gives points to users that they can exchange for prizes and also reap the rewards of enjoying a better place to live.

“BetterCondos is a gamified application that facilitates communication between residents, administrators and managers, where they earn points and rewards for specific actions, make communication fun and keep everyone informed about their community.”

BetterCondos has random events that allow you to earn extra points for filling out a survey, which also creates the possibility of doing geolocated market studies. The tool also gamifies the process of administrators, so that the management companies measure and reward their best administrators.

BetterCondos is mainly focused on the US market for now. This platform integrates Gamification and Blockchain generation of points and exchanges, registration of users (creating a wallet for each), and signing contracts — all of these actions will be registered on the blockchain thanks to Expanse.

If we focus on the Florida market, which will be our first playground, we have a total of 7.3 million properties of which 2.2 million are apartments and the rest are houses. We hope to capture 2 percent of that market to achieve 200,000 rents fixed monthly. Our alpha version development is scheduled to end in July and we will use our GXP token for the management of points and prizes.

Why should you use BetterCondos?

  • It’s an easy and fun way to manage all your properties in one place, and the best way to put your community experiences online.
  • It’s an accessible application, a simple way to register, share and create tickets.
  • You can select private or public tasks and assign them to an administrator or manager, reserve private spaces, review your monthly payments and inform your community what experiences you share with respect to the places you live and use. Everything happens in an interactive and playful way, and  you can receive points and rewards for different actions on the platform. This allows you to unlock new levels and obtain special features.
  • You will obtain efficiency measurements, with respect to all the different types of users in the application, being able to track all your actions with respect to your services, making sure that all players are satisfied. This allows you to save money, work on preventive maintenance and not forced to take corrective action regarding your properties.
  • You will see tenants and administrative staff happier and more informed about their properties and community.

The Gameboard team is excited about our recent progress and thrilled to be an EXPGrant recipient.

EXPEX Release Plan Solidifies

Expanse to Present Plan June 1

As you may remember, on  August 31, 2018, the Expanse team airdropped a new token, PEX,  to the Expanse and Tokenlab communities. Airdrops are a straightforward way to bootstrap a user base for a new product, in this case, the Expanse Decentralized Exchange, EXPEX.

The airdrop piloted the Tokenlab Airdrop module, one of the applications that comprise the Tokenlab self-service suite of products designed for token creation and management. It went off without a hitch. (If you have not found your PEX, email [email protected])

Expanse secured the services of an external development team to create EXPEX. Our development  team under Asim (@asimashfaq) tweaked it, then readied it for beta-testing. Community volunteers conducted the testing, leaving comments like, “Very intuitive and easy to use,” and “Awesome.”

As with anything newish introduced in the cryptosphere, governing regulations and guidance are not far behind. We know a lot more now than we knew in August about DEXs, and new insights have guided where we now plan to take EXPEX. The FinCEN guidance just released is favorable. You can read it here: https://www.systems.cs.cornell.edu/docs/fincen-cvc-guidance-final.pdf

Taking this updated information into account, here are some highlights about where we are headed:

  • EXPEX will be developed directly within the Luna wallet.
  • Users pay $0 (zero) trade fees. (Gas fees are paid by the user and the network implicitly.)
  • Projects will pay a reasonable annual listing fee — somewhere in the $1000 USD range. The exact amount is yet to be determined.
  • Tokens minted using Tokenlab receive EXPEX listing priority. The cost is 1000 LAB to mint the token and one EXP for gas.
  • Projects interested in listing on EXPEX can apply here

Next Steps
We will make a more formal announcement, including a timeline and other concrete information, on June 1. We plan to have an operating committee in place comprised of community volunteers, specifically EXPEX beta-testers who want to participate. Hang on to your PEX! EXPEX will be here before you know it.

Compelling Quotes

Here are a couple of compelling quotes posted over the last two weeks in our various Discord channels:

Open Source Software – Two Sides of the Coin

Why must work be shown on GitHub??? Y’all might believe that everything should be open source, but if you REALLY feel that way, never ever complain about price again. If the Expanse team puts everything they are working on out to the public before it’s complete, they risk larger/more funded groups running ahead with the work. I watch people in here ask for improvements, and when the team goes to work on it, I see impatient chatter.

And…

Oh, I’m just trying to say, I don’t know why it’s giving that error. When I tried to find out, it seems everyone is keeping stuff like that to themselves. I’ve searched for a whole day just to figure out how to add eth stratum 1.0.0 and its literally nowhere to be found. Some people are doing it but won’t share how. I’ve asked pools that have it how they did it, but they just ignore the request.”

A Peek into the World of Cryptocurrency Miners

Here’s an article submitted by Jitendra Rathod, newsletter contributing editor.

Cryptocurrency transactions on the blockchain are similar to an intricately woven web. Since millions of transactions occur regularly around the world, the blockchain becomes a jumbled-up platform of inputted and outputted info. The first question which probably arises in the mind of a newbie to crypto is who manages this haphazard pool of extensive information regarding all the transactions? Who indeed.

Crypto Mining and Miners

Before unmasking the unnamed guardians of this particular task, one should first divulge in the actual process of transactions and their completions. The term coined for this process is ‘Mining.’ The procedure of mining comprises of verification and addition of various cryptocurrency transactions to the blockchain ledger.

It is conducted by professionals known as ‘Miners’ who are responsible for the authentication of information regarding a transaction and then uploading it to the blockchain platform. The process isn’t as easy as it sounds though since it involves solving complex mathematical algorithms and equations in order to get the transaction data. The task is, even more, trying due to the fact that crypto miners compete with each other, and the first one to achieve a solution is the one to collect the data regarding that particular transaction.

Since solving complex mathematical problems while competing with professionals isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, surely there must be some benefits that the miners receive for all this brainstorming. In fact, miners get paid simultaneously with their service. When miners break through a complex equation and then update the transaction data on the blockchain, they receive a set amount of crypto coins for the same. Through this, the miners earn digital currency with every transaction they process.

Equipment and Tactics

Crypto miners are not just all brains; there are some tools and tactics required for mining. There are particular hardware available, such as ASICs (Bitcoin Mining Hardware) which are high-specialization computers for the mining of that particular digital currency. Apart from unique equipment, miners also have the option to join a ‘Mining Pool.’

A mining pool can be considered as a local or native group of miners. By joining a pool, miners can pool in their resources, thereby increasing their chances of receiving blocks for disintegration and thus, can earn more money.

The kind of CPU or GPU utilized by the miners is also a crucial factor in mining. Apart from that, the most basic aspect that mining involves is the amount of electricity the task consumes. Hence most hardware utilized for mining are located at a place with low electricity cost.

This Coin, or That?

The process aside, how do the miners actually decide which coin to mine? There is a high probability of suffering losses while dealing in crypto, and the field of mining isn’t any different. Hence, the miners have to go through a basic checklist to decide whether a coin is advantageous for mining or not:

  • 1. Reliability of the Coin – Whether the coin is authentic or not is the first and foremost thing that a miner should confirm.
  • 2. The Price of the Coin – Does the coin which the miner has selected have a decent price and is it going to pay an amount worth the mining?
  • 3. Transactions Availability – The miner must choose a coin whose transactions are readily available.
  • 4. Competition in Mining – The miner should make sure that the assistance pay received for the transactions of the chosen currency is considerable as compared to the competition for the same.

Mining for Beginners

If one is planning to delve into crypto mining, then the best option is to first let someone else mine the coins. This type of mining is referred to as cloud mining and can be done on a contractual basis. Firms offering mining services for a year or more are in abundance, and the only requirement is to sign up an account on the party’s website. It is also an excellent way to earn a side income in the form of crypto coins.

If one wishes to indulge further, then they would need to set up an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC or mining rig) hardware device which is exclusively developed for the process of mining cryptocurrencies. The next step is to download software for advanced mining and join a mining pool in order to receive not only rewards but support as well from fellow group members.

This brings us to the question of how profitable is it to mine EXP. Mining Expanse (EXP) has a high probability of receiving considerable benefits due to high transaction percentage of this coin. EXP has already seen an ATH of close to $10, and with a great community of developers and enthusiasts as well as many exciting projects in the pipeline, EXP may soon see its glory days. Those interested in mining EXP can join a mining pool.

The Digipool Expanse pool, for example, offers many benefits to members, such as:

  • 1. 0.5% fee
  • 2. PPLNS 3000
  • 3. 30 minutes payouts
  • 4. Nicehash support
  • 5. Support via Discord
  • 6. Dedicated and reliable hardware

Conclusion: Is there a Future in Mining?

Although there are inevitable ups and downs in crypto mining, it is still an evergreen process. All the currencies, be it Bitcoin or other altcoins are required to be mined for the completion of a transaction. There is a burgeoning concept of pre-mined currencies, but even if such options appear in the market, the traditional aspect of mining will remain since it prevents any frauds from occurring. Mining is getting a bit expensive due to hiking electricity rates at mining farms, such as in rural China, but it isn’t a business which would be off the market anytime soon.

Tokenlab

This is where most of the development time was spent last week. Having made the decision to require only LAB as payment to mint coins, we have reworked the entire payment process and design. The next iteration of Tokenlab should be ready before the next newsletter. We are planning a bigger marketing push, given that our product is now very competitive and has more to offer than anything else out there. Watch for it.

Gander v3

The best laid plans. A whole slew of enhancements and new features comprise Gander v3. However, there was some urgency expressed to get it back online, so we did. The portion yet to come includes:

  • An API that (enables us to submit transaction to the node via the website.
  • Web sockets developers can connect to.
  • Ability to submit raw transactions.
  • Ability to track complete blocks and transactions.

This project was one of two primary focuses for the developers last week. Everyone helped, including some design work by Omar and content from me.