James McGrath, Rhode Island Notary Public


Hello POA community, my name is James McGrath, and I am an active Notary Public in the state of Rhode Island. Just slightly over a year ago, I finally gave into my curiosity about blockchain technology. Since then, it’s grown from a curiosity into a passion. As of recently, my research and time spent on actively searching for new and promising projects has led to a single question that I repeatedly asked myself: How do I go from the sidelines of this industry, to an active contributor?

During my time in this space, I have read countless whitepapers, participated in numerous groups and chats, and tried to develop as much of an understanding about the technology that my spare time from my daily job would allow. In this space, being able to separate the good information from the bad is a valuable skill that I have worked on developing over time. Despite all this, I look forward to continuing to learn more and absorb as much information as possible.The POA project and community show an enormous amount of potential that I hope that I have the privilege to become more involved with.

For the past 5 years, I have had the privilege of being an active duty United States Navy sailor. For the Navy, I work as an Aerographer’s Mate Petty Officer Second Class, which in laymen’s terms means Meteorology/Oceanography as part of the Information Dominance Corp. My time as a Meteorological Technician, and now as a Naval Forecaster has given me a tremendous amount of focus and discipline that I can channel into other areas.

I have done a lot of researching within the wiki git on the technical and governance roles that validators have.
I believe my technological experience using Linux while working on US Navy weather radars, along with other general troubleshooting and computer knowledge, will allow me to easily maintain a node on the network.
Also, since a cornerstone of what makes POA special is staking identity from respectable and reputable individuals, I feel that given the chance I will be able to represent the POA project as well as I have worked on representing the armed forces.

Name: James Mcgrath
State of Rhode Island Notary Public Commission number: 762435
Commission expiration date: 05/07/2022
Rhode Island secretary of state public notary search: http://ucc.state.ri.us/notarysearch/onlinesearch.asp10255281_10156390374465436_2062142453440143760_n

POA Network. News and updates #34

Hi James,

Welcome to the POA community!


Thank you @MEM! I have been aware of the project for a while, and I’m glad to be getting more involved with it now!


Very nice, I believe the Navy has a strong reputation system which links well with the principle of identity.

It’s great to see someone with your background interested in this project :). Are you stil an active duty sailor?


@MEM Yes, I am! I am actually about to leave in 30 minutes to head off to work. Currently I am in Germany working as a Flight Weather Briefings Regional Supervisor. Essentially I am providing weather briefs to ensure the safety of Air Force, Army, DoD Civilian, and Marine aircrafts and pilots while completing missions in Europe/Africa/Southwest Asia.

How long have you been involved with POA? And for you personally, why did you get involved in the project?


As a potential validator, your geo location seems to be a great asset to the network’s security. We have been making efforts to avoid having all validators geo located in one state or a selected few (i.e. California and New York)

Not only Rhode Island representation would be great, but I am also thinking that most likely you would be operating your node from Germany which would be a great added diversification in terms of location.

I got involved in the project because of the consensus mechanism, Proof of Authority, which I find very interesting. I also believe we are doing great on the tech, we have one of the better tech team out there.

You mentioned being aware of the project for a little while now, how POA caught your attention?


Hey James,

Welcome to the POA Community! Great to see an active military member here with an interest for blockchain.


@MEM Yes, for at least the next couple of years I would be operating the node from Germany. I am glad that my location would be an asset to the security of the network, and I am also happy that Rhode Island may have the opportunity to be able to get representation in the project.

I agree that the technology and team are a notch above many others. In response to your question, I have been following the project since ICO closely, but haven’t gotten involved until now. There’s a certain point when you have to listen to the voice in your head saying “I would love to be a part of this.”

@ajkagy Thank you for the welcome!


James, welcome to the forum.
I’m curious, are you considered as a US resident when you serve in Germany?


Yes! When on active duty status, you have what is called your “home of record” which is where you joined the military and lived beforehand. In the case of military members, your home of record is synonymous with being a resident of that state unless you actively change your status to another US state that you live in/desire to be a resident of. I pay taxes to Rhode Island, am a legal resident, and that doesn’t change while I am in the military unless I desire to change it.

While active duty, you cannot change your residency/citizenship to another country. If interested, I can cite some sources on all of this.

Also, thank you for the welcome. I’m glad to be here!


This has a great rundown of information involved, if interested.


Hi, James! Welcome to POA!
I’m still newbie validator at POA and would strongly agree with you that this community is indeed great and supportive.


@miran Thank you for the welcome and nice to meet you! The community here seems amazing so far. Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have any questions or I can help you in any way.


Welcome to POA forum James! Wonderful to have a military member interested in POA’s technology.

Would be insightful to hear what you think this technology can do for the military. Would love to hear your thoughts on this some time! Feel free to direct message me or share here.

Blessings and thanks for your service :relaxed:


Hello @elillian!

First and foremost I need to clarify for any readers of this post that my being a military member does not mean that the military is any way endorsing the POA project.

When it comes to my own individual opinion, I believe that the military would benefit greatly from blockchain technology. The military has a great need for efficiency and accuracy that would be greatly complimented by blockchain. Having an ability to maintain accurate records, and immediate transactional ability could cut down on unnecessary overhead that tends to bog down operations, logistics, supply, manning, and many other areas. When it comes to contracts that the military holds with corporations, these could easily be maintained by smart contracts. The vastness of possibilities for application are absolutely amazing.

Having said all this, anything associated with government tends to be a slow-moving machine when it comes to big change. Integration of any kind may be far off, but it’s absolutely fantastic to see government funding for studies, and actual interest in pursuing use cases.

We are in a period that I believe to be transitioning from speculation into actual adoption, and we are already seeing businesses and governments figuring out how they can integrate the technology to increase efficiency. POA’s ability to bridge has a massive ability to increase liquidity and decrease volatility, and the governance associated with it brings a unique idea to the table that really has a way of bringing accountability into the equation. In the military, accountability is HUGE.

I hope this response did any justice to the questions you presented. If you have any more specific questions, please don’t hesitate to respond here or via direct message.



Hello James, thank you for your introduction and answers. Good stuff!

As someone in the field of meteorology, do you see a fit for primary source storage of weather data on the blockchain? Can this help with independent study and research, or would it be just another source of storing the same data? As someone who must process immediate data, can the blockchain help you and others better do your job? Always interested to hear real world use cases. Thanks in advance, and great job spinning up a Sokol boootnode to help the community!


I absolutely see a fit for the storage of weather data on the blockchain. Climatological data is actively collected by both humans and sensors and then stored for later use by both researchers and computational weather models, which allows us to become more and more effective at our jobs as time goes on. Meteorology is very much a theoretical science, and mother nature doesn’t always like to cooperate with our expectations, even with all the conditions being met for a certain meteorological event to play out.

One of the main problems of the current approach for the storage and use of current and historical data is the sheer number of varying agencies and storage centers for this information. Having a decentralized platform to store all of this data would be the dream, as it would allow every computerized model, researcher, and meteorologist to access this information in ONE readily available location with little to no room for error.

Part of my job is utilizing the weather models, and determining how much they are off in what they are saying, so that I can effectively use them during my job. For me personally, the improvement in the translation of data and the ability to improve predictions of conditions could literally mean the difference between whether or not operations are successful. It could also improve my ability to assist with the safety of personnel that I am supporting, and that’s something I take very seriously.

Thanks for the interesting question! This is something I somehow hadn’t considered prior to your post, and it’s very interesting to think about.


Very interesting perspective James. Maybe this discussion can help prompt someone looking for a blockchain use case to develop a Dapp to achieve what you describe that can be deployed on the POA Network. Let’s encourage the community to pursue this! Thanks again, James.



Hi James,

First, thank you for your service.

Appreciate your interest and ideas. Just have a couple of questions.

Curious what your thoughts are on the whole blockchain decentralized model and what the Validator role means to you?

Also if you are a sports fan what teams do you support? ( just curious … I like lots of sports but during NFL season I am a Jets fan – hard to say sometimes )



Hi @jlegassic I apologize for not getting to you sooner.

Simply put, I believe that the decentralized model has a vast amount of applications that are being worked on right now. On top of that, I think in the next 10 years we’re going to see a very large amount of application that we haven’t even considered yet. We’re in a very early point in all of this, and it’s highly exciting to consider everything that may come out of this.

As for the role of a Validator specifically, I intend on explicity following what is outlined in the “Role of Validator” section on the wiki https://github.com/poanetwork/wiki/wiki/Role-of-Validator I agreed to take on the responsibilities as outlined. On the personal side of things, contributing to the POA project and being more involved in the blockchain world is an absolutely amazing opportunity, and I look forward to it. I also feel very strongly about the timely addressing of issues and responsibilities associated.

Oh boy, sports! I’m sure I’ll hear about this one, but I’m a huge Patriots fan. Boston area sports all the way! Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, etc.