Richard Baker, chief executive officer of TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF), is no novice to bitcoin. He first learned about the technology while searching for an alternative to the fixed protocol used in his financial services company. In 2016, Richard came across nChain. Still, in its early stages: “We couldn’t quite make it work back then,” he says.
Richard sees today’s Bitcoin technology as a mature version of its earlier model. He says that financial service companies of today are taking more interest in digital ledger technology. “Not a week that doesn’t go by now without a conversation with a financial services company that is exploring a new future.”
Richard took the helm as TAAL’s CEO in January 2022. Speaking to Kurt Wuckert Jr. on this episode of CoinGeek Weekly Livestream, Richard discussed the company’s roadmap saying he wants to change people’s perspective of it being a mining company and molding the business into becoming a blockchain infrastructure corporation.
Today, TAAL sits with circa 425 per hash of capacity, and Richard said they are looking to grow this number within the next 24 months.
“I want to take the network to be north of 2 exahash by the end of 2023,” he says.
Part of his plan is to take TAAL’s fleet and spread them out geographically, although he notes that geopolitical issues could be a challenge. He says they prioritize sourcing clean energy and appropriately priced power when looking for land.
A few years ago, TAAL entered a manage service agreement with a data center provider in Siberia, also the location of a small percentage of TAAL’s mining fleet. However, when the Ukraine war broke out, tough decisions had to be made, he says.
“I feel a moral responsibility about what we do for the long term, but equally, I have shareholders and stakeholders I need to manage in the short term,” Richard explains.
In effect, TAAL pulled out numerous machines from Siberia and redirected those assets to new hosting facilities in North America.
As for locations for mining operations, Richard is looking toward North America and Canada. For his part, Europe is presently at high risk as the European Parliament debates proof of work mining.
“It got through in February without a ban, but it was a very, very close vote, and so at the moment, I think that bill is coming back again in September and we could see proof of work mining banned in Europe this year,” Richard reveals.
The upcoming EU vote on mining proof of work is a cause of concern for Richard. He believes the majority’s opinion is negatively biased and based on what BTC is doing. As he explains, “there is no accounting for scale and efficiencies that are coming from larger block sizes and ultimately the efficiencies that we get in the node.” For his part, political lobbying can help dispatch such concerns. “We have to have a voice with these parliamentary leaders, with the standards bodies and with the regulators.”
It’s good to note that there are efforts underway to ensure that BSV is well understood and that the method it uses in its implementation is not banded in with other blockchains like BTC.
In his first months as TAAL CEO, Richard spent some time speaking to developers in the ecosystem, including nChain’s node team and nChain chief scientist Dr. Craig Wright. He admits it was “a scary few days,” but in the end, he believes the right decision was made.
“The node needed to be rebuilt, remove the relay fee, remove the dust fee and ultimately deploy a configuration that is on boot up for every miner to select the transaction fee,” he says.
Richard expects the Teranode program to start taking off into 2023. For his part, “Teranode is quite an exciting architecture, it’ll be a microservices based implementation and I think we will start to see the Bitcoin protocol really unlock it from a networking point of view.”
Overall, Richard is pleased with the direction TAAL is going, saying, “there’s a journey board to continue to ensure that the BSV network will support big blocks for the long term and I think we’re seeing transactions coming in that are seeing those bigger blocks and on a more regular basis. I’m really keen to see more transactions coming in from a diversity of customers.”
Check out the previous episodes of CoinGeek Weekly Livestream on YouTube.
Watch: CoinGeek Conversations episode with Richard Baker, Commercializing Business through Monetizing Transactions
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