On Jared taking a sabbatical

Josiah Spackman
7 min readMay 17, 2020


It’s certainly been an interesting day or two…

Here’s a short re-cap for those who have better things than to follow crypto-Twitter “fun” every single day.

Jared Tate, the founder of DigiByte, is going to be taking a bit of a sabbatical. To be fair, he’s long overdue a vacation. He and I were talking about this 18 months ago, with the intention for him to come to New Zealand at some point at the start of 2019.

This is a man who has poured his heart, soul, and body into DigiByte and pushing the blockchain space forward as a whole. He has met with dozens and dozens of Fortune 100 companies about how they can implement blockchain to improve productivity, save costs, increase transparency, improve security and more over the last several years.

So he put together a few tweets that you’re welcome to read:

And I wanted to add a little more to it, for those who are uncertain about “where this leaves DigiByte”.

What is he even on about?

Well, after having been involved in this space for a long time, you start to see:

History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes

Unfortunately all too often we see people who are here for a quick Pump & Dump (Buy into a project, hope to get it listed on an exchange, or something similar, watch the price rise, and then sell… On to the next coin). You’ll find this is why a lot of “old hands” who’ve been around for more than even just a mere 6–12 months are initially very skeptical of most newcomers, unfortunately for good reason: People are usually just here to try and make a quick buck.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be in this space to make money, though I still maintain I strongly disagree with anything that would form a P&D myself. If you’re here to speculate, that’s totally cool, it’s your choice.

Part of the benefit of being a permissionless project, such as DigiByte is, means people can do whatever they want and there’s nobody to stop them. That can be a force for both good and / or for manipulation. Unfortunately this also means that projects such as ChangeAngel and Sequoirx (ex-Vertbase) who give back to help the communities that they survive from are a very rare breed.

The simple fact is most people just want to make money with little care or thought given to the underlying project that inadvertently enabled them.

This is especially true where we consistently have people join the DigiByte Telegram discussion groups asking “to speak with the CEO” and other such things, which only serve to prove the world still doesn’t understand that DigiByte has no CEO and that we are all equal!

Now Jared as the founder will always have a special place in the history of DigiByte, but that’s the same as Bill Gates being the founder of Microsoft. Even if Bill Gates isn’t involved in the day-to-day of Microsoft, he will always be it’s founder, just as Jared is for DigiByte.

So the long story short, is that I strongly believe Jared is long overdue a holiday. He lives and breathes both DigiByte plus blockchain, and has done-so for almost a decade now without ceasing. It seems he’s finally in a position to take that in the form of a sabbatical.

So Jared is leaving DigiByte?

Not exactly.

Just as in the past Jared has created the likes of DiguSign, and I am absolutely positive that he’ll be building something else cool on top of DigiByte over time!

He has stated he’ll be taking a bit of a break (From social media, as well as blockchain and DigiByte as a whole). A bit of a sabbatical as it were, to both rest, rejuvenate, and reinvigorate. After that the goal very much is to build further commercial applications on top of DigiByte, and lead by example giving back to the project that enabled that company.

Through previous discussions with him, this will likely look somewhat similar to what we see with the Linux Foundation employing Linus Torvalds to work full-time on Linux. The idea behind this being an enterprise would be so successful it would be able to sustain several full-time employees whose sole purpose would be to work on DigiByte as a whole, be it mobile applications, core protocol improvements, R&D, whatever the case may be, and all paid for by this commercial entity.

I think that as always, that is a noble goal, and one we can all get behind. The more entities we have that are “giving back” to DigiByte, because they have been successful building on top of it, the better that DigiByte as a whole will become.

Is this just an exit scam?

I had to have a bit of a chuckle when I first heard this, because it unfortunately shows the expectation people have predominantly around ICO’s, 100% pre-mines, huge founder fees or block-rewards etc

So I want to reassure you: This is completely ridiculous, unfounded, and actually impossible!

You see, right from the get-go, DigiByte was fairly launched with a countdown so that people could get the code and get mining right away. This way it was a fair and equal distribution right from the get-go.

For those who are new to the DigiByte community, DigiByte is not an ICO. When independent miners find a block, they are given a reward, and 100% of that reward goes to them. Nothing goes to Jared as a founder, nothing goes to the newly formed DigiByte Foundation this year, nothing goes towards any central entity.

These miners are not miners that have been “selected”, “chosen”, “elected” or “delegated”, this is a completely permissionless system that anyone can participate in.

Anything that Jared has, he has mined himself, or purchased directly at a fair market rate from an exchange such as Bittrex, ChangeAngel, Sequoir etc

As such there’s really absolutely nothing to be “exit scammed”. There’s no huge fund that is going to be “dumped on the market”. For this, I am personally very grateful for Jareds ongoing integrity throughout the last several years of DigiByte’s existence, turning down the opportunities to implement things like a founders-fee etc.

Where does this leave DigiByte?

Well, blocks still continue to be added to the blockchain. You can see this over at DigiStats:


To be completely frank, Jared has truly lived what he has preached: Decentralization, ownership by the community etc

For example DigiExplorer (for unrelated reasons) has recently been migrated away at the start of this year to be hosted by someone else. Unfortunately that entity stopped providing the DigiExplorer server and so we have just recently migrated this again last week.

The DigiByte.io website has been spearheaded by Murat & Nigel now for several months, along with an absolutely massive translation effort by the community.

DigiByte Go wallet is something that he’s still been managing the DWS application part of, and a DigiAssets community-API server is going to be migrated to be run by the DigiByte Foundation. This is also a fantastic opportunity for the DigiByte Foundation to begin taking a more active role in being a “steward” of the DigiByte blockchain.

DigiByte Core Organization on GitHub

The DigiByte-Core GitHub organization is something that has been used a lot more the last 6–12 months, with us making a concious effort with DigiByte 8.19 for this to occur in the DigiByte-Core/DigiByte repo rather than the legacy DigiByte/DigiByte repo. This is where development of both the Core protocol is taking place, as well as the historical development you can see on everything outside of it, such as Android & iOS mobile applications, DigiByte Go, DigiAssets, Insight blockchain explorers (DigiExplorer) and more! This will continue to be the “hub” where development takes place.

We’ve also recently created the DigiByte Pipeline to give new people more of an opportunity to contribute:

Which brings us to:

What does the future hold?

Well, like I mentioned before, DigiByte will be forever grateful to Jared. You can’t “step down” from the position of Founder, he gets that badge for life.

We may eventually need to tweak this DigiFact, but I think for now it’s still good!

However as mentioned in one of the recent DigiFacts, Jared has still been an active contributor to the blockchain, both in terms of supporting infrastructure and also with coding.

DigiByte has gone through 6 major protocol upgrades already, with DigiShield, MultiAlgo, MultiShield, DigiSpeed, DigiSync and then Odocrypt. Although he himself was not directly involved with the Odocrypt aspect of the upgrade (He was busy working on his book at the time, further historically proving that DigiByte has been able to progress even in his absence), he has greatly contributed to the code improvements, merges from BTC Core, bugfixing, compiling / Gitian builds, testing and more!

As such, we want to continue improving on the blockchain and we want you to help. Here are some areas of focus:

  • Project improvements in the DigiByte Pipeline
  • Building developer SDKs
  • Merging improvements from BTC Core into DigiByte
  • Help with bugfixing
  • …and any other way that you may be able to contribute!

We are eternally grateful to Jared for the strong foundation he has built for DigiByte. We have consistently strived to push for greater decentralization in all aspects, with the last 12–18 months really proving the bright future for DigiByte. It is now truly time for our greatest asset, the community as stewards of the blockchain and the ecosystem based around DigiByte, to take things to the next level ensuring the strong trajectory of DigiByte both now and in to the future.



Josiah Spackman

I write interesting things about cryptocurrency, especially DigiByte