Co-founder Interview with Alexandru Panait from WebDollar
WebDollar — an easy to use Cryptocurrency and Browser Wallet
Hey, Alex, it’s awesome to catch up with you again! So we’ve heard that you are an entrepreneur and developer in the Fintech and Cryptocurrency space, is that right? Can you tell us about yourself and what you’re working on?
Since I was a young adult, I was passionate about humanity, society, and macroeconomics. I was fascinated with this energy which is animating the whole of society. At that early age, I started to strengthen my belief that I would do something impactful for the whole of humanity. Now as an adult, I am acting on my belief to make a better world for all of us.
Currently, I am focused on a project called WebDollar, a cryptocurrency. It’s my sincere belief that WebDollar is an important step forward towards mass adoption for blockchain technology. WebDollar is allowing people from all over the world to understand and participate in the future of economic technologies. Going forward, the project clearly has the potential to become one of the wideliests used cryptocurrencies in the world, specifically due to its easy-to-use nature.
Who or what motivated you to join the cryptocurrency space?
It was my business partner and good friend, Alexandru Budisteanu. Alexandru introduced me into this amazing world of blockchain and cryptography.
Did you stumble upon it, or were you convinced that this is the future?
I am focused on blockchain and technologies that derive from it. All these technologies are being developed to help enhance the economics of the world in the future.
Bitcoin is the prototype for all cryptocurrency technologies developed afterward. I believe this technical wave happening right now, is an experimental time for the future of economics.
The existing financial system was built for a non-digital age ignoring the needs for the modern individual. Decentralized cryptocurrencies are enabling people to upgrade their financial interaction to something more effective and efficient. Payments that can be processed cheaper, faster and safer around the world are bringing more value to people. It is cutting all the unnecessary intermediaries and will have a long-term impact on society, no matter your sex, religion, race or nationality. Giving people access to the global online economy creates economic opportunity. As a result, I am confident that we will see some of the biggest corporations in the world joining the blockchain technology in the next 2–3 years.
What was the most valuable lesson that you have learned while working with cryptocurrencies?
I expanded my understanding of freedom and decentralization. Before cryptocurrency, I was only able to see a dimly lit future for all of us. I saw how cryptography can bring privacy for users in technological systems and with its use, we can see how everyone will be able to expand their own right of freedom on the internet.
In my opinion, the main problem is the complexity of the current blockchain systems and the difficulty to configure a node and getting started with your wallet in a DECENTRALIZED way. Before releasing WebDollar, for a user to trade or to create a wallet was the same as creating a facebook account. But all those only in a centralized way. Unfortunately, most of the users don’t understand that the control over their funds are in the hands of the app provider and not in their control.
What are Webdollar solutions to address to the blockchain industry?
As we can see in WEBD whitepaper, the problem with Bitcoin is that is not a Web application designed to be accessible to everyone, but a desktop software that you have to download and install on your computer in order to run the BTC node. Bitcoin is very hard to be used in a decentralized way by regular people because it’s not a web application that runs in the Browser and the hardest thing is that it requires to download the entire blockchain history, ~219 GB of raw data. All these disadvantages make BTC hard to integrate into real-life Web applications for P2P electronic payments. The difficulty of developing applications for BTC is preventing it from reaching mass adoption… The Webdollar solution is using two apps. Traditional Desktop blockchain software application — and — a web application with a simple User Interface -this will make blockchain accessible to everybody. The browser on the world wide web will help to boost mass adoption. To simplify, the Web is scalable, the desktop is not… Comparatively, it took 10 years for mIRC to get traction and it became obsolete because it was a desktop software that used the internet, while Facebook Messenger is a mobile and Web application that runs online and it is easy to use anywhere on any device. This is a good comparison between desktop blockchain technologies like BTC or ETH, and WEBD.
Moreover, by having NIPoPoW and light nodes, WebDollar is a highly approachable technology which provides an easy way to develop decentralized applications. After the successful development of the smart contracts, WebDollar will become the only blockchain technology which will favor an easy environment for dapps development.
And what is WebDollar’s mission or goal?
WebDollar’s mission is to act as a currency of the internet by offering a better alternative to BTC, where users don’t have to worry about crypto being too technically complicated. The key factor is the ease of use and enhancement of the user experience. Just like BTC, Webdollar’s main goal is to reach mass adoption, but our advantage is that the blockchain technology that we offer is more accessible for the masses. Shortly after the launch of BTC It was clear that cryptocurrency had enormous potential, but developers had to build a safer and more simple way for end-users to access the world of crypto.
Who is the company’s ideal customer and how does the company currently approach them?
Anyone can use our product, but our focus is on those which are not yet into this market and are only starting to approach crypto. At the moment, 60% of the world population is using the online market and only 8% of online American citizens own BTC according to a survey conducted by Finder. In my opinion, only 3–4% of people are using cryptocurrencies around the world at the moment, therefore, there is a huge market opportunity for WebDollar to grow and for the early adopters who can get WEBDs through browser mining or purchase on the exchanges. In order to make that vision a reality, we’re aiming to address all types of users, not just the tech-savvy, as most of the other cryptos do. For that, we’ve created the simplest possible user experience for a cryptocurrency with no downloads, installation or registration required.
What kind of consensus mechanism do you use at WebDollar? PoW, PoS or something extra special?
We started WebDollar with PoW only using Argon2 algorithm. After 6–7 months we decided to move to a hybrid mining algorithm. We kept 33,(3)% PoW and we added 66,(6)% PoS mining in order reduce the monopoly of PoW farms and to allow the casual user to earn more from mining. Proof of Stake (POS) platforms are clearly on their way to becoming the new benchmark in the crypto space, as their Proof of Work ancestors continue to grow out of date. POS is also actively engaged with the community through incentivization program, promoting the idea of inclusion and decentralization. A newcomer can start mining PoW from scratch using his own laptop or pc or they can purchase coins from exchanges for staking them. In terms of technology, WebDollar is using NIPoPoW (Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof of Work) which allows the light nodes to download only the proofs of the blockchain instead of the whole blockchain. Therefore, in WebDollar’s blockchain, there are two main kinds of nodes. Full nodes which are downloading the whole blockchain and light nodes which are downloading only the proofs of the right chain.
So, this means that one won’t need to download hundreds of gigs of data to start mining, right? What are the benefits of this?
That is right! We believe the main benefit of NIPoPoW is to add blockchain technology in the browser. Making blockchain technology accessible to the browser, we’re moving leaps and bounds towards mass adoption and also a favorable and easy environment for dapps development.
Tell us more about all the technology behind the WebDollar?
WebDollar is not using blockchain shared database for addresses like BTC but mini-blockchain like ETH because we found this more suitable for our technology. Regarding security we’re using more layers of security, not only the one provided by cryptography, we’re using some extra layers of security for nodes and browser, for example we did an update a month ago for switching the website server into a bundle file in order to upload all files in S3 on AWS and driving all our traffic to CloudFlare CDN (Content Delivery Network).
What is the total and current supply of the token and what is the market price?
From an economic point of view, WebDollar is in a good position having currently a total supply of 9B coins and a max supply of 42B. The reward halving algorithm is like the BTC, taking place every four years.
With easy browser integrated blockchain for peer-to-peer transactions, Webdollar allowing cross-border blockchain payments. Can you explain it to us? How does it work?
To integrate WebDollar protocol into your website you have to add only one line of code for adding the protocol bundle, and all your visitors on your website will become WebDollar nodes in the network, in seconds. If you’re also integrating the functions of the transaction, they can earn or spend WEBD directly on your platform.
How big is your team and what makes it special?
Our team was initially formed by our founder, Alexandru Ionut Budisteanu where I joined too. All members of our team earned their position by starting as a simple community member with the desire to help the community and the project without any expectation. Everything they did for our open source community made possible for them to be in their current positions today. Without funds to pay salaries, I believe this is the best way to build a strong team. We chose only people with a passion for this project in order to be here with us today and to become the key people in our project in the near future.
What about partners. Who are your partners and who would you like to partner with in the future?
The current milestone on our roadmap is searching for partnerships. We would like to become a pilot project of a big company, allowing our team to move forward with the development faster.
Tell us about the company’s roadmap. Which milestones did you achieve and what can we expect in the near future?
Considering that we developed our protocol and applications without any funds, I am sure we had the fastest blockchain development. We started writing the white paper in Q4 2017, and in Q1 2018 we successfully released the first testnet. In the next quarter, we’ve launched our blockchain technology and we have been constantly developing improvements and new functionalities such as mining pools, offline transactions and bounty program in Q3 2018.
Recently, in Q1 2019, we released our hybrid mining and started the exchange listing. Now we’re at the milestone where we’re looking for strategic partnerships to make our position stronger in the market. After this milestone, we will release our community voting center where our users can vote using their stake of coins to help decide what to be developed next. With this, we will be ready to develop a real-time roadmap where everyone will be able to see in the real-time the progress, who are the developers and what is on the “to do” list. We’re also planning to release our own exchange called WEX and to add smart contracts to our protocol. With the addition of smart contracts, we unlock the possibility to develop WIP (WebDollar Investment Platform), which will be a new way to invest in startups and to get funds. The cryptography will allow us to lock funds from investors into a special account designed for each startup and to unlock them once a milestone is achieved by the start-up team. This will eliminate any possibility for the investors to get scammed and they will be able to get back their funds if the team is not delivering properly.
Alex, thank you for your time. It was a pleasure chatting with you. Finally yet importantly — what advice do you have for people just starting out with a business or trying to make their fortunes?
Follow your passion, don’t hesitate, be focused, and don’t listen to your haters. To fail is normal, with each failure you’re a step closer to become successful.