Written by: GavertC
The Luna Orbit validator is a community focused validator on the Terra blockchain. Based on the West Coast of the United States, Justin (the man behind the validator) is a short term stock market investor who has been in the game for over a decade. Aside from Terra and managing his validator, he is focused on building automated trading strategies for the stock market.
In addition to running their validator, LunaOrbit also has an active telegram channel where stakers can join, share alpha, and ask questions.
My experience with Justin has been nothing but great! He was one of my first delegations in the Terra Ecosystem, and he has personally taken the time to explain to me what certain proposals and problems in the community meant for the ecosystem. He is a patient teacher, and he knows what he is talking about.
Without further ado, let’s get into the interview!
- What made you decide to run a Validator for the Terra blockchain, and have you run validators on any other chain?
I decided to run a validator because Terra needed better validators. In Feb 2020, there were several validators that had slashing events and it just seemed like there was no one spending money on enterprise grade hosting and management. I knew that I wanted to stake long term with a validator that was well run and I figured others would feel the same.
I did not feel like I could offer the kind of reliability I needed by self hosting, so I researched many different “staking” companies and ultimately ended up working closely with Bison Trails. I don’t think they really took Terra seriously at first and we had some issues in the beginning, but I have worked closely with them to improve their Terra validator service. They now host and manage many different validators for Terra!
I do not run validators for other chains because I just haven’t found another project I believe in enough to justify the effort. I was always interested in the “masternode” phase of blockchain evolution and I ran several nodes for Horizen (ZEN) several years ago, but ultimately growth never came to that chain and I stopped.
My big take away from my time playing with that is that yield is attractive, and that is why proof of stake is interesting for blockchain evolution. Without getting into it too much, I think of bitcoin and proof of work as the ultimate base layer with PoS sitting on top of that and so on – maybe that is wrong, but it is how I have always thought of it.
- Do you have any plans for the community, further than running a validator?
I am constantly coming up with ideas as you know from our efforts to get an NFT going for LunaOrbit stakers! Although I have designed and produced several applications for my life outside in TradeFi, I am not a developer. I have always contracted my ideas out and it is difficult to find people to work with for blockchain.
I don’t know if it will ever get built, but I went through and designed what is essentially a web based NFT gallery for LunaOrbit stakers with a token and an airdrop but I have not put the effort into finding someone to build it out. Maybe someone reading this would be interested (would be a paid gig, prob take 1-2 months, reach out if interested!) Even thinking about it gets me excited.
Fun side projects aside, I want Luna Orbit to be known as a high quality validator for long term Luna stakers. I want to offer long term guidance on commissions. I want to approach governance with an eye for the long term. I want to be radically transparent and fair. I am not sure my offering is what the community wants because I have seen my delegation drop to only 0.15% but I will continue to operate it this way because I think it is important.
Of course, I could participate in the “Terra Delegation Program” but I firmly believe this is bad for the network. The validator would be significantly more profitable if I did but this is about more than money.
- What has been something memorable that you’ve experienced with the $Luna community?
I loved when Do Kwon would come into the main Luna telegram chat. I loved when he said everyone in the chat was a founder. I loved when he told Chris the Electrician he would now schedule everything with him. Those were fun times and it is crazy to see how much things have changed in such a short amount of time.
- What do you do outside of crypto? For work and for fun!
In high school, a friend’s dad gave me this book called “Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders” and it just blew my mind. I almost made the mistake of detouring into investment banking when I graduated from college but luckily I did not go that route. Long story short, I have been a short term trader since I graduated over a decade ago.
Three years ago I stopped banging away at the keys and joined a quantitative group. Now I spend my work time building automated trading strategies for the stock market. It has been really fun learning all kinds of new ways to think about trading.
As far as fun goes, I love to surf and snowboard. I read and exercise a lot. I love messing around with synthesizers and playing piano. I live a simple life and I am happy!
- Are you looking forward to any specific protocol or dApp coming to Terra?
I am excited to see other L1 assets get brought on chain. I am excited to see all the financial products coming like Prism. I am watching closely to see if any NFT/metaverse/game gets traction on Terra. If there was ever a token for NFT / metaverse that was a platform vs a specific project I might get excited.
I am excited to see if other terra based fiat stable coins besides $UST take off. I am excited to see if Terra comes up with their own crypto native stable coin that is not pegged to any fiat currency.
- Final question, you have taught me a lot about crypto and have been a reliable source of information for your telegram members. Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers?
Yes! Find projects you believe in and hold them as long as you can. Buy fear and sell greed when possible. Exponential gains only happen over longer periods of time.
Time is an edge that is available to everyone. The more financial risks you take, the simpler your life should be. A habit of journaling about your investments, trades, and thoughts around these subjects is a valuable habit.
That concludes our interview with Luna Orbit. I hope you will consider staking with them next time you are delegating or redelegating your Luna! I’m GavertC and thank you for reading.