Josh Neuroth, Vice President of Product at Ankr, in an exclusive, tell-all interview with Team CryptoNewsZ!

Josh Neuroth is the VP of Product at Ankr, an all-in-one Web3 developer hub that provides a full suite of tools to build Web3 apps and power them with high-performance connections to 30+ blockchains. Before joining Web3, Josh led products at technology companies like Cyxtera, Inflect, and Digital Reality, leveraging nearly a decade of experience building solutions for cloud computing, data center operations, networking, and integration tools. With a unique insight into traditional web infrastructure, his passions, and professional experience are inspiring his mission to build a better, more open web.

Welcome to CryptoNewsZ, Josh; it is a pleasure to have you with us today! Do you mind telling us a little bit about what you are working on at Ankr now? 

Thank you, and of course. Ankr has been busy building out our suite of products that are all designed to make the lives of blockchain and dApp developers easy. The first thing Web3 developers need is a fast and reliable connection to the blockchains they are building on. Naturally, that was the first product that we built – RPC/API connections to as many chains as possible with the lowest latency possible. After that, we’ve branched out into products that make it easy to create your own blockchain, liquid-stake crypto, build Web3 games, automate smart contract execution, and much more.

Earlier this year, we heard Ankr partnered with Microsoft and Tencent Cloud. Can you tell us a little about them and why they could be important for the Web3 space?

These two partnerships mark our initial steps towards integrating our products with various cloud services. Essentially, these collaborations extend the functionality of our flagship products, such as Ankr’s RPC Service, which facilitates connections between DeFi protocols, Web3 developers, diverse blockchains, and apps for any purpose. Through platforms like the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, businesses now have a simple and secure avenue to connect with blockchains or even create their own dedicated blockchain networks.

This empowers them to embark on their Web3 ventures much more easily, whether it involves launching branded NFT releases, virtual worlds, or any other innovative use case they can envision. As a result, these partnerships are rapidly expanding our customer base and enabling us to bridge the gap between blockchain technology and everyday digital experiences.

What trends are you seeing in Web3 infrastructure at the moment? Where does it all seem to be heading? 

The industry is seeing a variety of scaling solutions emerge to form a blockchain ecosystem that is truly performant enough not just to handle traditional financial use cases but go beyond in handling the future of finance that includes CBDCs, advanced transaction automation, and widespread innovation.

The ZK Movement: With advances in zero-knowledge proofs and rollups, we are expanding blockchain scalability many times over. What this is doing is pushing forward the capacity of what blockchain can do. Once blockchains have no issues in handling transaction volume beyond what is even possible in traditional financial infrastructure, we will see a whole new migration of enterprises and projects seeking Web3 solutions.

Account Abstraction: The big idea behind “account abstraction” is simply abstracting away much of the complexity that users (both new and existing) encounter during Web3 experiences. For setting up a wallet, paying gas fees, and mobile crypto use cases, account abstraction will help streamline Web3 into a much more refined and easy digital experience to attract millions more users.

EigenLayer: As a Proof-of-Stake network, Ethereum has by far the most capital securing its blockchain – about $45 billion worth in ETH. EigenLayer seeks to redeploy staked Ethereum for further use in securing additional blockchains that need it. This way, new networks can receive security easier while stakers enjoy enhanced yield from securing multiple chains. This will help Web3 become an interconnected network of blockchains with lower barriers to entry on the capital needed to secure new protocols.

Without giving away too many juicy details, Ankr is hard at work providing new tools and infrastructure for these growing movements. 

What sets Ankr apart from other infrastructure companies in the Web3 space?

In a nutshell, Ankr provides the fastest, most reliable blockchain connections along with with a complete suite for building Web3 solutions. Ankr has an unmatched level of experience in engineering, operating, and maintaining blockchains, setting us apart from others in the field. Over the years, we’ve been collaborating with teams such as Binance, Polygon, Optimism, and numerous others, assisting them in enhancing their network architectures and optimizing node operations for improved speed and performance.

Our key distinction lies in the unique infrastructure we have established for these networks, incorporating bare-metal nodes deployed across various data centers worldwide. With an extensive network of nodes, we can offer low-latency connections to blockchains, ensuring seamless access for Web3 users, regardless of their location. Recognizing the significance of robust node infrastructure in our industry, we maintain a clear technical advantage over our competitors by following this approach.

Can you tell us a little about your new Ultra Sound Infrastructure network? 

Yes, of course, the idea behind the program is that Ethereum’s Ultra Sound Money needs Ultra Sound Infrastructure. The initiative will soon launch a Node Partner Program to improve performance and efficiency for blockchain RPC connections to Ethereum and various other blockchains while leveraging Ankr’s existing cloud provider partnerships. This will start with Microsoft and Tencent Cloud joining the network to offer our users the highest-quality and most distributed node network ever created.

Unlike conventional node partner initiatives, Ultra-Sound Infrastructure will achieve optimal performance by exclusively deploying archive nodes. These dedicated nodes are tailored to manage substantial traffic loads and guarantee our customers can access an incredibly swift and dependable infrastructure. Through the application of archive nodes, we can ensure top-tier performance while maintaining security and stability.

As blockchain technology continues to gain traction, data privacy and ownership become paramount. How does Ankr address data privacy concerns for its users?

Where some service providers have adopted a Web2 approach to extracting user data, Ankr has decided to safeguard all our user data. Ankr never stores, exploits, or shares any information regarding Personal Identifiable Information (PII), including wallet addresses. In accordance with our privacy philosophy, we store IP address data only as long as it is useful to fulfill its purpose in ensuring users receive the highest quality service possible.

Smart contracts are a fundamental aspect of many blockchain networks. Does Ankr offer any solutions related to smart contract automation or management?

We just released a new product that makes it easy for developers to automate smart contract execution. Ankr Automate provides a decentralized, error-free solution to automate smart contracts across platforms and protocols. The product opens up a massive number of use cases: DeFi Protocols, NFT Projects, and Web3 Games.

In addition to Ankr’s infrastructure services, you are also quite well-known in the world of staking and DeFi. Can you tell us about those products?

Ankr was the first to create a liquid staking solution (starting with Ethereum) to solve the inefficiency of locking up crypto in staking. Now our Ankr Staking platform allows users to stake assets on many different blockchains easily while receiving liquid staking tokens like ankrETH or ankrMATIC in return. These new tokens deliver staking rewards while presenting the opportunity to earn more layers of rewards in DeFi. On Ankr DeFi, you can see all the DeFi protocols where you can contribute Ankr’s different liquid staking tokens. With the new ideas surrounding EigenLayer, liquid staking is shaping up to be pivotal for the crypto world.

Vishal Parmar

A realist, self-driven and persistent entrepreneur, Vishal Parmar is the CEO of VAP Group and the founder of CryptoNewsZ. At the helm of operations at one of the fastest-growing Blockchain and crypto websites in the world, Vishal found his first technology firm at the age of 19. Born with strong business acumen, he entered the blockchain and crypto space in 2015, when Bitcoin was estimated around $400. Apart from managing his various teams, the multifaceted Vishal likes to travel the world and explore various cuisines. He is available on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. He can also be reached on [email protected] for all matters, published content or feedbacks related to CryptoNewsZ.

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