Customer Interview with William R Richter, Head of Ecosystem at SORA

OnFinality, a leading blockchain infrastructure service, supports SORA network with dedicated node services to increase the availability of their blockchain to users.

Customer Interview with William R Richter, Head of Ecosystem at SORA

Find out from William R Richter, Head of Ecosystem at SORA network, how OnFinality’s Dedicated Node Services are helping to increase the availability of their blockchains, and powering mission-critical decisions with blockchain insights.

On a higher level, William shares how SORA aims to redefine perspectives on cryptocurrencies as actual currencies as opposed to gambling chips.

With the FTX Fiasco, he emphasises on the importance of self-custody, and introduces the SORA (Debit) Card that would reinvent self-custody altogether.

🎙️ Watch the full video here ⬇️ or scroll down to read the full transcript!

(Disclaimer: The below transcript has been automatically transcribed hence there may be minor discrepancies with what was mentioned in the actual interview.)

[00:00] Rob:

welcome to OnFinality’s customer interview series where we learn more from leaders in the blockchain space and how OnFinality’s infrastructure helps them build the decentralised future faster my name is Rob, Head of Growth at OnFinality and today it’s our distinct pleasure to have William from SORA Network to join us for a chat on how those and onfinality’s expertise empowering their mission critical blockchain infrastructure hey William how’s it going

[00:25] William:

hi Rob nice to be here thank you for the invitation

[00:28] Rob:

great and can you tell us tell the viewers a little bit about Sora Network and what it’s trying to achieve

What Is SORA

[00:34] William:

sure yeah so um Sora is an on-chained governance system based around the XOR token which allows producers to make proposals for funding and all token holders make decisions on how to allocate XOR so that the best goods and services are created so the goal of Sora is to create a new economic order with a supernatural governance system so through Democratic governance and capital allocation Sora seeks to unite people across many worlds um Sora development is currently following the Sora of integrated plan and it is a decentralised community governance governed project so anyone can propose Milestones to be added

[01:15] Rob:

yeah interesting I I uh to unpack it a little bit for the average person it seems like from the um from the outside that essentially it’s it’s effectively almost like a DeFi protocol where you then have the ability to create all sorts of interesting um services and things around that because of your philosophy towards uh like general economics and so on and maybe taking the lessons from some projects and things or maybe in the general world that’s failed in the past is that correct

[01:49] William:

yeah correct it would um well we have a DeFi platform which is a Polkaswap on the network but let’s say it’s more um working towards being an economic system so yeah uh I guess a way to simplify it is to make um cryptocurrencies be more like money and less spec-ky

About The SORA Economic Forum

[02:10] Rob:

yeah so you have uh the Sora Economic Forum and some really interesting uh things there a whole series of talks and things about the philosophy behind behind it how then do you like how you go from like where you are today to that Future Vision which is you know quite ambitious around kind of that economic model being more pervasive and and Sora or XOR being kind of at the heart of that

[02:08] William:

yeah um the economic forum is actually really really interesting if um people like to watch it I guess we can share a link later um but yeah I think the the main way that we can go through that I guess is beginning with um a lot of education to the to the users of um the cryptocurrency and the members in the crypto ecosystem for them to um learn of the advantages that this has over the more traditional systems I guess it is difficult to implement something new and there’s always going to be this um adversity to change but I think um we are working very hard towards yeah leveling up cryptocurrencies as it were

[03:23] Rob:

sure and so do you from a um like a day-to-day perspective in terms of like advancing that goal you trying to convert business to to being you know operating on the platform or a government or both

[03:40] William:

um I would say both um will business definitely there there’s a focus on um getting products and goods and services I mentioned earlier to um to be funded by XOR and for people to accept XOR as uh the currency for these goods and services so yeah kind of um make it more of a circular economy instead of just uh trading

[04:09] Rob:

I saw there was a wine related uh business involved do you have other examples of companies that are already kind of on board or that or maybe a sector that you’re focusing on

[04:20] William:

um yeah so at the moment we are working very closely with uh Noir which I think is the first digital product out there but no we’re actually looking for more services and products to integrate to Sora so they can participate in the sort of economic system

What Is The SORA Card

[04:45] Rob:

okay okay cool and also it was quite interesting to see you guys behind or about to launch the Sora credit card or debit card which is like totally uh um like self custodial crypto wallet uh can you share more about that

[05:01] William:

yeah definitely we’re very excited for the launch of the Sora card and um it is a debit card backed by a decentralised exchange so unlike the other options that currently exist which are backed by centralised exchanges this is going to be quite quite the game changer since um it’s going to be a level up in terms of privacy and in terms of like um user ownership and um it’s also going to help uh add more value to I think the different tokens that exist in the ecosystem at the moment

[05:36] Rob:

because you’ll be able to pay with a number of different cryptocurrencies right and and those transactions also won’t be tracked by in the normal manner

[05:46] William:

um you’ll be able to top up your part of these currencies but yeah I think in order for um for the SORA card to provide its um tradefi banking services we have to be compliant with the different regulations that exist but um on the other side of the of the matter and the crypto side yeah that will be fully self-custodial

[06:08] Rob:

awesome and what countries is that going to be available and so it was that worldwide

[06:13] William:

yeah uh it’s going to be available worldwide but we’re going to be adding currencies that are compatible with the cards so it starts with the Euro and then it’s going to go to uh US dollar in Q1 2023 and then we’re going for British pound as well

How The FTX Fiasco Has Impacted SORA

[06:30] Rob:

okay great and outside of that as well you mentioned you have the DEX and given all of the the issues in the last well still ongoing I guess with a lot of FUD about centralised exchanges and some real stuff that’s happened with centralised exchanges uh can you share more about what what the latest is on uh on the DEX side and how maybe these current events are helping you or or maybe hurting you

[06:55] William:

yeah I mean definitely the FTX Fiasco has shaken people’s belief in cryptocurrencies but we think that this is a good opportunity for decentralised finance to shine I mean the roads ahead of us is very long and we need to work very hard to help people um understand the advantages of self-custody and um yeah I mean The Economist was mentioning in November that uh crypto is dead but I think we’re definitely very far away from that

[07:24] Rob:

so several isn’t there a site when how many times crypto died or something

What Are The Advantages Of Self-Custody

[07:29] William:

yeah it’s uh ongoing dying and coming back to life but yeah I think um the the road ahead of us is pretty clear and although it has its disadvantages I mean I think the the main reason why uh centralized exchanges would be so popular is because of the advantage of um not having to to take care of of your keys or not having to remember your passwords um I think it’s a bit of a trade-off for the advantages that self-custody gives you in terms of um yeah just simply owning your assets avoiding such situations

[08:07] Rob:

yeah definitely um it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out uh in the next few years and how governments are also going to react to some of these things right and I guess that maybe puts you guys in a great position because you’re already thinking of a much much larger level about some of these uh things and you know how their things should be based on real um you know economics rather than conjuring up some fake value within some tokens and so on

Defining The Economics Of Cryptocurrencies

[08:38] William:

yeah for sure I mean if the the you can see there are a lot of um projects where it’s more of tokenomics instead of Economics so it’s I mean it makes definitely a lot of sense that economic policies are applied to cryptocurrency because at the end of the day what we’re seeking to do is to change the perspective or the perception of cryptocurrencies

Reinventing Cryptocurrencies As A Currency

[09:03] Rob:

yeah um can you I guess maybe around that can you share some of the challenges that Sora’s had getting to this point and how you’ve overcome them

[09:13] William:

yeah definitely um so I would say that the main challenge in in this particular um aspect is mainly user user understanding of what cryptocurrencies are what blockchain technology is of how it all works and um I think that is definitely something that is a big obstacle even today after a lot of liquidity being put into crypto projects and um you know a lot of time that they’ve still been there there is still this very big lack of understanding of users of how how it works and what the advantages are um on the other hand I think a lot of um a lot of the the perception of people that people have the ones who then would have a better understanding of it but then wants to see it more as a tool for um enrichment or a uh security I don’t know something that they can gamble with and make a profit uh is still very very pervasive and so we need to start seeing cryptocurrencies more like currencies than actual um you know gambling or chips to stack

[10:28] Rob:

yeah absolutely I think obviously given the current market conditions uh definitely going to help um you know weed out a lot of actors in that space and already has I guess maybe still a few skeletons in the closet um but I think yeah there’s definitely that next evolution uh to um you know make it even more credible and and move away from some of the shady stuff that has been in the past and really capture that you know what everyone believes it’s capable of

How OnFinality Supports SORA


in terms of OnFinality we’ve had a long history of providing scalable uh API infrastructure for the polkadot ecosystem and and been behind Sora from early days can you tell us more about how you found out about OnFinality and how these services benefit builders in Sora

[11:15] William:

yeah definitely so um we found about OnFinality when we’re analysing uh blockchain indexing services so that we could provide the functionality to our client applications and we stumbled upon subquery so we immediately understood the variety of use cases that um the overall OnFinality ecosystem can give us specifically um for Sora one of our mainnet nodes is running as a dedicated OnFinality node service so this increases the availability of our blockchains

[11:45] Rob:

and how does how’s that infrastructure help grow the Sora community and achieve you know you help you work on your vision

[11:55] William:

um yeah well I mean it provides a more um well as I mentioned it increases the availability so people are able to use the services um and there are stable nodes that are backing the blockchain in the situation where other user nodes are maybe not we don’t have a full amount of nodes available or you know there’s some issues with um user nodes but it’s is very helpful because we also get a lot of insights about the blockchains and um on the OnFinality side there are constant improvements going on so yeah it’s it gets better to use the service and we can then provide more um availability to users

Tips For Getting Into Web3

[12:42] Rob:

awesome and uh William you’re Head of the Ecosystem at Sora uh you know super interesting role do you have any advice for people who are looking to get into web 3 and make it a career

[12:55] William:

yeah definitely um I would say that you need to stay current with all the news this is a space that changes and improves and evolves and there’s so many developments every day that just keeping on top of everything is pretty much a full-time job so um it sounds a bit of a cliche but I think doing your research will take you a long way and um yeah also find a project that you believe in find a like not just go for a gimmick or for any um any thing that you think will bring some sort of quick uh profit but actually try and look for a weight in which you can improve um you know the lives of many or improve society or improve some aspect of life through the use of this technology

[13:51] Rob:

oh great advice very good advice um well thanks for joining us today William it’s been a pleasure talking to you and learning more about Sora and your economic vision for the future if you’d like to learn more about SORA you can go to their website I’ll also put a link in about the Sora Economic Forum lots of great material there and if you’re a web3 builder and you want to get stuck in with Sora you’re at the right place OnFinality is blockchain infrastructure made smarter you can check out our website at and sign up for a private API key and access 500 000 daily responses for free and once you’re there you can take your dApp to the next level access all sorts of cool monitoring tools that give you all sorts of insights that Williams mentioned and understand the behaviour of your users super easy check out our website for more information or follow us on Twitter thanks again William great to talk thank you very much Rob pleasure to be here okay thank you

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About OnFinality

OnFinality is a blockchain infrastructure platform that saves web3 builders time and makes their lives easier. OnFinality delivers scalable API endpoints for the biggest blockchain networks and empowers developers to automatically test, deploy, scale and monitor their own blockchain nodes in minutes. To date, OnFinality has served over 300 billion RPC requests across 70 networks including Polkadot, Ethereum, Moonbeam, Astar, Avalanche and Cosmos, and is continuously expanding these mission-critical services so developers can build the decentralised future, faster!

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