0x Community Spotlight: Craig Bovis, Creator of 0x Tracker

An interview with a phenomenal 0x ecosystem builder.
0x Labs
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While most in the 0x community are probably familiar with 0x Tracker, not many know the person behind what has become the most valuable public tool for exploring trade activity on the 0x protocol. Craig is a long-standing member of our developer community. In addition to building 0x Tracker, he is a superstar on our Discord server, where he is always willing to assist fellow developers with their questions. We sincerely thank Craig for everything that he’s done to grow 0x and advance our mission, and we hope you enjoy the interview below!

If you’re a fan of 0x Tracker, please consider treating Craig to a cup of coffee! ☕

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background.

Hi 👋 I’m the founder and developer of 0x Tracker, which I’ve been working on since 2017. My professional background is in software development, primarily web apps, and I’ve been fortunate to transition from a hobby into what will most likely be a lifelong career. I’m an avid self-learner, and my obsession with building things provides an outlet for practicing what I learn.

What inspired you to build 0x Tracker?

Like a lot of people, I initially got involved with cryptocurrency through the investment hype of 2017. With a long history in coding, though, I naturally gravitated towards the technology. The 0x project & team stood out of the crowd as one of the ones with substance, and I started to pay more attention to the project.

Being subscribed to the 0x subreddit, I read a thread posted by a member, expressing their desire for an easy way to track 0x activity and adoption. The challenge seemed simple enough, and it felt like a great way to explore the technology. One week later, I announced the first version of 0x Tracker (which was just a list of recent trades).

You’ve recently made several improvements to 0x Tracker. What’s new and what’s next?

I recently migrated a lot of the underlying architecture to Elasticsearch, which had the benefit of increasing development velocity massively when it came to building aggregations. That’s set things up nicely for the next phase of 0x Tracker improvements.

I built an improved token tracker, which now provides asset price trends and market caps based on 0x trade data. The tracker is similar to what you see on sites like CoinMarketCap but uses verifiable on-chain data rather than private APIs, improving trust in the reported asset prices. I also built a feature for tracking asset bridges (introduced in 0x v3), revamped trader analytics, introduced a free-to-use public API, created a convenient ecosystem news & updates page, started a monthly ecosystem newsletter, and made general UX improvements to the site.

Work in the pipeline includes labeling of trader addresses to better understand activity drivers, improved search functionality, chart customization, and more granular control over reporting periods. I’m also starting to place a greater focus on audience growth channels such as content marketing, SEO, and Twitter.

0x is working to create a tokenized world where all value can flow freely. What does a tokenized future look like to you?

The 0x core team hit the nail on the head with “[a] world where all value can flow freely,” in my opinion. A tokenized world to me is a world in which access to financial instruments & systems has been blown wide open, and vastly more people have the opportunity to plot their economic course. I think it’s a world in which we’ll see much more experimentation, and a wave of new entrepreneurs, especially in demographics that have traditionally had limited access to capital and digital markets.

What do you see as the most significant challenges to reaching that future?

I see regulation and working within existing legal and tax systems as being a big hurdle to widespread adoption. We typically see new technology navigate these challenges through the use of large amounts of capital for lobbying, etc. In a future where economic ownership is more distributed, however, this will likely be less feasible. Built-in governance can help navigate this somewhat when all stakeholders have a voice. I think it’s yet to be seen how negative externalities will be regulated, though.

How can people contribute to 0x Tracker?

Every piece of the 0x Tracker architecture is open source, including the 0x event extractor, background workers, API, and React-based UI. Developers can easily contribute code by exploring the repos on GitHub and opening pull requests. GitHub is also the best place to report bugs through the use of issues. Most of the code is Javascript.

It can be a little daunting when trying to contribute to a large established open source project, so I’d suggest starting with the documentation and then working on small bug fixes or incremental improvements to existing features.

To provide an overview of current development ideas and priorities, I put together a product roadmap on Trello, which is open to the public. To help shape the roadmap, users can vote and comment on ideas they like. If a user wants to see a feature added to the roadmap, they can suggest it by emailing me at hello@0xtracker.com.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m lucky to be in a profession which is also my hobby. That being said, when I do prise myself away from the keyboard, I like to hit the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m very fond of hiking and exploring new places (I spent the last few years traveling on and off in the Asia Pacific).

If I’m traveling to a new place, I’ll make a point of seeking out adventure in nature — some of my highlights would have to be the Flinders Ranges (Australia), Tongariro Crossing (NZ), Mount Huashan (China), Mount Batur (Bali), and Mount Kinabalu (Borneo). Surfing also captured my heart whilst living in Australia, and I love to get in the ocean whenever possible.

Thanks for sharing Craig — we genuinely appreciate your work on 0x Tracker and all that you’ve done to support the community! 🙌

Follow Craig and 0x Tracker:

» Website: 0x Tracker
» Twitter: @0xTracker
» Discord: @cbovis#6259
» GitHub: github.com/0xtracker
» LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cbovis

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