Who is Dan Larimer? A Quick Biography on the Visionary Blockchain Architect
Dan Larimer is a cryptocurrency and blockchain pioneer widely regarded for his integral role in blue-chip cryptocurrency projects such as EOS, Steem, and BitShares.
Larimer (github: Bytemaster) is well-versed in everything blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralized exchanges, and is a firm believer in personal liberty and freedom.
The following article attempts to do Larimer’s long and winding history in cryptocurrency justice from a bird’s eye view.
Quick Dan Larimer Information and Early Life
Projects: EOS, Steem, Bitshares
Skillset: Programmer, visionary
Inventions: DPOS (Delegated Proof of Stake Algorithm), DAC (decentralized autonomous company)
Net Worth: $600 to $700 million Forbes estimate February 2018
Favorite Animal: Cats (probably)
Larimer identifies as a philosopher and dreamer, and draws these definitions from his approach to life, study, and work. Larimer has been attributed with having a libertarian outlook, which makes sense given his overall outlook on life and project philosophies.
Larimer is a Colorado native and spent many of his formative years in Florida and Virginia (graduating from Virginia Tech in 2003).
Larimer was essentially born into a techy lifestyle and learned how to program from his father during elementary school.
Dan Larimer’s Early Professional History
Larimer received a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Virginia Tech in 2003, and he clearly put it to good use as he’s often credited for being a visionary architect and engineer behind some of the cryptocurrency industry’s most successful projects.
Larimer’s immediate post-graduate career path involved founding and carrying software engineering roles at several companies, and spent the bulk of the time at a Blacksburg, Virginia-based automotive-tech company called Torc Robotics (2007-2011). The second longest duration job was being the Founder and CEO of Invictus Innovations (2013-2015), a company with a now-expired website that focused on authoring technical papers and in-house developments (BitShares).
It was about six years after graduating when Larimer found himself attempting to build a digital currency and stumbled into Bitcoin in 2009. He immediately started tinkering with the technology and was communicating with Bitcoin’s anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto in a Bitcoin forum.
Larimer is also the target of a Satoshi Nakamoto forum burn: “If you don’t believe me or don’t get it, I don’t have time to try to convince you, sorry.”
BitShares: Pioneering the DPoS Algorithm
In 2014, Larimer built BitShares, a peer-to-peer distributed ledger and network that also acts as a decentralized exchange. This project was ultimately born out of Larimer’s dissatisfaction with the tendency of centralized exchanges to be shut down at the whim of the hackers or authorities. A core component of BitShares is bitUSD, a stable coin (digital asset pegged to the US dollar) native to the BitShares blockchain.
Larimer is the inventor of the BitShares Delegated Proof of Stake algorithm, which has been used in everything from Steem, EOS, List, Ark, and more.
BitShares serves as everything from a network, bank, ledger, exchange, software, community, currency, company, and according to Larimer, even a country.
During his years putting together BitShares, Larimer developed Graphene, an open-source mostly C++ blockchain implementation that serves as the foundation for the BitShares and Steem blockchains.
It was around this time that Dan Larimer and his father Stan, a veteran of the American aerospace industry, started Cryptonomex Inc., an independent blockchain development and consulting agency. Cryptonomex Inc. touts its engineers who have designed and build “one of the most advanced blockchain architectures on the market” – and rightfully so.
BitShares and Steem are capable of processing over 100,000 transactions per second, with an average time of less than 1 second per transaction.
Steem: Blockchain Meets Early High-User Commercial Success
In 2016, Dan Larimer got together with Ned Scott and founded Stee
Steemit Home Page
mit, Inc. and served as the project’s CTO until March 2017. He is the main architect of the Steem blockchain and Steem cryptocurrency.
Steem powers the entire Steemit network. Steemit, which is something like a decentralized Reddit, is currently the front-running blockchain-based social network with over 50,000 users per month.
EOS and Block.one
Dan Larimer made the shift over to become CTO of Block.one, the parent and holding company of EOS. According to the website, Block.one “designs free market systems to secure life, liberty, and property by publishing open source software that is free for everyone to use.”
June 26th, 2017 kicked off a one-year token sale for EOS, Dan Larimer’s current pet project.
EOS aims to address the many concerns blockchains have had thus far, such as scalability problems, transaction costs, a lack of interoperability, and a high level of difficulty for legacy and enterprise companies to tap into.
According to the EOS whitepaper,
“The EOS.IO software introduces a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. This is achieved by creating an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built. The software provides accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and the scheduling of applications across hundreds of CPU cores or clusters. The resulting technology is a blockchain architecture that scales to millions of transactions per second, eliminates user fees, and allows for quick and easy deployment of decentralized applications.”
An interesting snippet in cryptocurrency history is this 2014 exchange between Dan Larimer and Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin in a video that somehow looks like it was filmed in 1996.
Larimer’s EOS, dubbed the “Ethereum killer” in some circles, is expected to clash with Ethereum on several fronts in the future.
Few entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space can trace their thumbprints across as many projects as Dan Larimer. EOS and Steemit (and to some degree, still Bitshares) are poised to be some of the top projects in the cryptocurrency space in 2018.
There’s a reason Larimer is regarded as a borderline legend in cryptocurrency and blockchain programming circles. His proven record to create functional and highly competitive companies is something that makes him a lethal component of any project.
Follow Larimer on Twitter to keep up with his life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.