RevoFi and Far Edge: What Happens When YOU Own the System?

I sat down with Justin Caswell, CEO of RevoFi, to walk through what RevoFi is, what it aims to do, and how it’s dif­fer­ent than any­thing else out there.  Includ­ing, yes, Helium.

In brief, RevoFi sells a phys­i­cal device that offers 4 ways to earn blockchain tokens called Revos:

  • WiFi 6 Mesh Coverage
  • Edge Com­pute
  • Decen­tral­ized App Hosting
  • Decen­tral­ized Storage

What does that mean?  Let’s dig in.

I want­ed to start with the first and most obvi­ous ques­tion com­ing from the world of Heli­um; how is this any different?

While there’s future over­lap in the area of WiFi cov­er­age, I think there’s a rea­son­able chance for excel­lent coex­is­tence.  The two projects have dif­fer­ent missions. 

How?  RevoFi’s prod­ucts offer 4 ways of earn­ing tokens for pro­vid­ing a ser­vice.  The first ser­vice is the one that gets most often con­fused with Helium. 

That first ser­vice is wire­less cov­er­age, though in an are­na that Heli­um isn’t cur­rent­ly in; WiFi 6 Mesh.  WiFi 6 Mesh will prob­a­bly even­tu­al­ly be con­test­ed space, although when I talked to both Justin at RevoFi and Frank Mong over at Heli­um, they were cor­dial and mutu­al­ly sup­port­ive, so I won’t be sur­prised if we see some kind of col­lab­o­ra­tion there in the future.

Ok, so WiFi 6 Mesh is just the first of the ser­vices.  What are the oth­er three, and who the heck is this Justin guy anyway?

I’ll start with Justin.  He’s pret­ty much the nicest damn CEO I’ve met.  Both gra­cious and grate­ful, he’s got an earnest ener­gy about him that makes you want to sup­port his project.  Ener­gy, real­ly?  What are you, Nik, some kind of hip­py?  Yup.  You can read more about that in anoth­er blog, but for now, let’s stay focused on Justin.

Justin’s Mom was in the wire­less indus­try; he grew up in the busi­ness. He climbed his first tow­er at 6 or 7 years old.  In fact, while I was busy splash­ing in the mud at my grand­fa­ther’s char­coal burn­ing busi­ness and try­ing to get past lev­el 3 on Metroid, he was eras­ing EPROMs, sol­der­ing, and writ­ing pro­grams while hang­ing out in Mom’s data room. 

He cut his teeth work­ing for Motoro­la and helped put up some of the orig­i­nal trunk­ing and 2G cel­lu­lar sys­tems which are still oper­at­ing today.  He’s worked with the Depart­ment of Defense and NORAD, so the secu­ri­ty side of code and wire­less is not new to him at all. 

It’s no sur­prise that he’s built tons of indus­tri­al automa­tion sys­tems, com­mu­ni­ca­tions plat­forms sys­tems, and the kinds of things the rest of us rely on with­out even know­ing they exist. 

He start­ed on the RevoFi idea as an asset man­age­ment plat­form in 2000.  It took a long time to come to fruition; and it was­n’t until 2014 that he began pur­su­ing a patent around the idea. Even­tu­al­ly, the idea crys­tal­lized as cre­at­ing a “thing” that allowed you (the user) to pro­vide dif­fer­ent ser­vices, from the first one I cov­ered ear­li­er, WiFi 6 Mesh, to the three oth­er com­modi­ties cur­rent­ly available.

The goal of Revos [the token used on the RevoFi plat­form] is to intel­li­gent­ly tok­enize commodities.

That brings us to the sec­ond thing RevoFi does, which is decen­tral­ized “com­pute” pow­er.  Very sim­ply, each device has a fast brain that you can rent as part of a net­work.  The indi­vid­ual brain is noth­ing com­pared to a giant serv­er room, but giant serv­er rooms aren’t decen­tral­ized.   Up until RevoFi, you rent­ed space on some­thing like AWS (Ama­zon Web Ser­vices) or Google’s Cloud.  They’re use­ful, and easy, but not nec­es­sar­i­ly cheap, and they cer­tain­ly don’t put own­er­ship pow­er in your hands.  If AWS  does­n’t like what you were doing, they could just…turn you off.  With decen­tral­ized com­pute, you can’t be turned off. 

So that’s com­pute, which is relat­ed the next thing:  Decen­tral­ized apps.

Let’s say you want to run a decen­tral­ized app, like Arweave, or Aave, or File­coin, or even Uniswap; where do you host all the “think­ing” that app does?

Unlike Uber, or Twit­ter, or Google, which run on their own inter­nal dis­trib­uted sys­tem (and are super fast and rel­a­tive­ly sta­ble and…totally con­trolled by Uber, Twit­ter, and Google), decen­tral­iza­tion is an amor­phous blob; it’s next door in India and Tas­ma­nia and Turkey and Tim­buc­tou.  Smash the node in Thes­sa­lo­nia and the copies from Tener­ife to Thi­bodeax pick up the slack.  Ok, ok, ok, you’ve heard all that before; that’s the core promise of decen­tral­iza­tion.  So what’s spe­cial about RevoFi?

The RevoFi own­er (you) gets to own the device pro­vid­ing the ser­vice, and you get to prof­it off of pro­vid­ing that ser­vice.  Not AWS, not Google.  You.

If you’re decen­tral­iz­ing apps, then your apps are every­where.  If you’re an app devel­op­er, being every­where is super use­ful.  You can see where your app is being used and not used, and you can build your app to serve cer­tain, some­times very spe­cif­ic, locations.

Being every­where is also use­ful, because it’s fast.  If you can put your app any­where on the net­work, you can run it right at the “far edge”, which is where it’s actu­al­ly being used.  That makes the in-app expe­ri­ence WAY faster than run­ning it in some data cen­ter in Ice­land and then bounc­ing that feed­back loop through San Fran­cis­co and into Marin.

That brings us to the fourth ser­vice a RevoFi device offers, which is decen­tral­ized storage.

Not only do these things pay you for your device to think (com­pute) and pro­vide con­nec­tiv­i­ty (WiFi 6 Mesh), and host some­one elses’ app, they also let you rent out your stor­age space.  Whether Aunt Martha wants to store pic­tures of her 900 cats or you want to keep all those old GoPro videos of your very first SCUBA div­ing trip, you can do that on the decen­tral­ized net­work of RevoFi devices.

RevoFi is the phys­i­cal infra­struc­ture that’s going to sup­port the future of dapps.

Ok, so that’s what RevoFi does. What are the obstacles?

The first, and most glar­ing, is that you have to be part of the sys­tem to use the sys­tem.  You can’t just put a RevoFi device into your local cof­fee shop and earn from all the WiFi traf­fic pass­ing through your device.  Users have to pay with Revos tokens, and in order to do that, they have to have the RevoFi app.  Maybe the cof­fee shop own­er buys tokens and pays for their use, but the indi­vid­ual user still has to have the RevoFi app on their phone.

The sec­ond is the usu­al obsta­cle in the cur­rent state of com­put­er-land; there’s a chip short­age, and there’s no real get­ting around that.  Justin seems con­fi­dent they’ll make and keep tight ship­ping promis­es, but it may be out of their control. 

Third, it’s pos­si­ble this is too soon.  I don’t think that’s like­ly, as the world is rapid­ly chang­ing and start­ing to desparate­ly need this kind of edge pow­er in the compute/storage/host realm.  I think there’s a good chance RevoFi will nail it.  That is NOT, by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion, invest­ment advice. 

Why RevoFi Might Succeed Mightily

RevoFi is a fun­da­men­tal shift in how a reg­u­lar per­son can be com­pen­sat­ed for stor­ing, trans­fer­ring, and using data.  Through this par­tic­u­lar aspect of  “blockchain meets meat­space”, you, as a user and provider, can start to dip into the finan­cial rewards that come from the ubiq­ui­tous dataflow around us.

Just by par­tic­i­pat­ing, we are start­ing to claim our share of the data we cre­ate, the data we process, and the data we store.  That is pret­ty cool.

As for me and mine, I bought 2 of the Link Pro devices, a RevoFi NFT in one of their auc­tions and I bought more than a cof­fee cup’s worth of Revos tokens in their ini­tial sale.  I’ll keep ya post­ed as to how it goes.

Rock on! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I just buy the token? Yep, use this link to get a lit­tle extra.  Yes, if you use that link, I’ll get some extra too.  Win­ning togeth­er, yo.

RevoFi, Revos; what’s the dif­fer­ence? RevoFi is the net­work and the devices, Revos is the token.  I mixed them up a bunch in the video, sorry. 🙂

Can you just deploy these and let them mine? Yes, but I’d expect (just like every oth­er ini­tial run of the blockchain + meat­space projects) a few hiccups. 

Does the RevoFi Link Pro replace my router?  Yes, but…you’ll need to run every­thing in your house through the RevoFi app.

How do I get Revos?  Token sale, min­ing, through the mobile app.

What are the things I can buy?  The Link, the Link Pro, and the Micro.  How are they dif­fer­ent (because yes, it’s confusing)

Did Justin talk about a decen­tral­ized pay­ment plat­form run­ning on RevoFi/Revos?  Yes.  I’ma fol­low up on that one. 😉 

What are RevoFi devices the absolute best for right now?  Gam­ing.  With direct­ly con­nec­tions to NVIDIA, RevoFi is heav­i­ly focused on fun­nel­ing gam­ing data flow through their devices. 

Does this com­pete with Heli­um? Not right now, but Heli­um will even­tu­al­ly move into the WiFi space, and at that point there will be over­lap.  As I’ve said before, my guess is that the two com­pa­nies will fig­ure out how to work togeth­er and either mutu­al­ly sup­port or one will swal­low the oth­er.  That’s just my guess.

Can they ship on time every time? Justin seems to think so and is promis­ing that once inven­to­ry is in stock they’ll be ship­ping with­in 48 hours.

What’s the big deal with decen­tral­iza­tion?  Don’t we already have D‑App projects that are run­ning just fine? It’s real­ly a ques­tion of author­i­ty and inde­pen­dence.  Right now, decen­tral­ized apps are “sort of” run­ning on dis­trib­uted sys­tems, though many are still run­ning in the cloud.  What we’ll see with the whole tok­eniza­tion of com­modi­ties is a rush for con­trol over infor­ma­tion, and decen­tral­iza­tion is a major com­po­nent of keep­ing that con­trol in the right hands; yours.

What about tra­di­tion­al apps vs decen­tral­ized app?  Can you give me exam­ples?  Sure.  Uber is a cen­tral­ized app.  You down­load the app on your phone, and some infor­ma­tion is stored and used on your phone, but all your infor­ma­tion flows through Uber’s servers. 

What is cloud gam­ing?  No con­sole need­ed.  You can get your games, that you pur­chased, accessed on the fly and they’re mobile. 

What is WiFi Offload?  When large tel­cos use WiFi for cel­lu­lar traf­fic, usu­al­ly in a large build­ing like an air­port or hotel.  It’s a win for every­one except you.  Tel­cos get to charge you cel­lu­lar rates while using WiFi (which is way cheap­er, and the build­ing own­er is paid by the tel­cos.  You, of course, just “get” to have your connectivity.

What was the name of that super geeky radio guy with the Por­ta­pack?  Michael Oss­mann.  You’re wel­come, enjoy that rabbithole!

What about that Gum­drop Can­dy Machine thing?  What’s that? It’s an NFT mar­ket­place built on Solana specif­i­cal­ly for RevoFi NFTs.  If you’re buy­ing the Founder’s Edi­tion ver­sions of the RevoFi devices, each one includes an NFT. The Can­dy Machine Gum­drop is anoth­er way to mint one of the Cipher Army (the relat­ed NFT project) NFTs.  The intent is to give every­one a fair oppor­tu­ni­ty to mint an NFT, pay­ing with SOL.


3 responses to “RevoFi and Far Edge: What Happens When YOU Own the System?”

  1. Hi. I am writ­ing from Poland.
    I do yt chan­nel about new types of min­ing — heli­um etc.

    I am sub­scrib­ing Your chan­nel and i found out that You cov­er­ing revofi project.

    My ques­tion to You is: do You think is legit?
    I know You made inter­view with project CEO but i still have some doubts.

    Do You know more about a project or can You send some links or some­thing which will give some more info about project?

    Hope to hear from You soon.

  2. Hi Tomasz,
    I don’t think it’s a rug, but it’s a big project, and will require a lot of work to be suc­cess­ful. I’d look around their Dis­cord to get the most up to date info.

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