Divi — Telegram QUIZ & AMA — April 16
On Thursday, April 16, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
Geoff McCabe, CEO of Divi.
Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.
Divi is a community-focused cryptocurrency that’s easy to use. More than that, there is also a whole blockchain ecosystem to build and use dApps on. Divi will also offer fiat on ramps with a Debit card.
Divi’s long-term goal is to eliminate all the banks and intermediaries.
Read more about Geoff’s innovative and passionate ideas and envision his goal of a crypto-only world. He says: The future is all about branded money and our brand is about making crypto easy. To push new people into crypto, he is exhorting entrepreneurs to build cool restaurants, night clubs and other entertainment businesses for which only crypto will be accepted.
Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Geoff, can you tell us what you did before crypto, how you got into crypto and if you’ve had any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with Divi?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: My involvement in crypto started in 2014 when I first bought Ripple. Someone had told me about Bitcoin and it seemed cool, and I liked tech stuff so I decided to buy some.
I heard about Ripple and Ethereum, which were supposed to be the next big thing after Bitcoin, so I decided to buy some of each.
I started buying Ripple, having no idea what I was doing. I had to buy it using Second Life and PayPal.
I didn’t understand the difference between custodial wallets, exchanges, etc. I ended up losing all my Ripple when the JustCoin hack happened.
And I thought THIS SUCKS and I left crypto until 2017.
In 2017, I met some guys starting a crypto called Nimiq (which is a great crypto btw that you probably haven’t heard of) and I became their first angel investor.
I talked a lot with the Nimiq founder about needing to make all this crypto stuff much less confusing for users. It seemed like nobody was going to use crypto until it was 100x easier.
I thought about joining the Nimiq team but ultimately decided to do my own, with a group of guys including my current partner Nick.
When we first talked about Divi and what it would do, the focus from the first moment was to make crypto easy. But we had to decide what that would mean.
I wrote out a list of everything that was awful about crypto, and we started discussing how to solve every one of them.
Some of those issues still aren’t fully solved, like how to deal with private keys or the onramp<>offramp process between crypto and fiat.
Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: You’ve already given some info about this but can you tell us what your role is at Divi and what the project is about in a few simple sentences?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: I’m the CEO officially but there are two parts to Divi. There’s the decentralized/community/blockchain/foundation part and then there’s our for-profit Divi Labs that’s building stuff that uses the blockchain. We are in the process of clearly separating the two.
My role is primarily thinking about where we’re supposed to be in 3–5 years, talking to important people in crypto and tech about it, and helping make sure our dev team is pointed in the right general direction. My partner Nick is doing the actual development part. I also spend a lot of time doing stuff like filling out forms and just answering a zillion emails and messages. I take a little time every day to talk to anyone and everyone in our community that I can. I’ve probably interacted directly with over 1000 Divi holders.
So we’re developing a platform for people to build cool stuff on that uses Divi and our partner’s cryptos like Bitcoin, in a user-friendly way. The goal is to make it so that it’s fun and easy because we have already pre-solved the user-friendly part for them.
We provide APIs that make it easy for them to do things like exchanging, or getting oracle info, setting up a bank account, etc.
Q — Twitter user @Vishera310: A blockchain with a CEO? Nope, I’m out!
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: This is a fair question and I understand your reluctance on many levels. Divi started out as an ICO, then a blockchain, with several equal partners, and my title as “CEO” was more so that outsiders know who to address particular questions to.
Blockchain projects all start out centralized and become more decentralized over time. Bitcoin and Ethereum have been declared sufficiently decentralized that they’re no longer considered securities, even by the SEC’s strict definition. Divi is on the same path. We have a foundation, currently based in Panama, and plan to move that to the Netherlands because it can be legally more decentralized there. The Divi blockchain will have a blockchain-based voting structure, whereby the DIVI holders themselves will be able to elect the leaders of the Foundation, and at that point there’s no more CEO that exists on the decentralized part.
We also have Divi Labs, which is a company based in Costa Rica, and we’re building apps and other software for the Divi blockchain. Other companies are forming to do the same. We’ve only had our blockchain live since September 2018, so it’s been about a year and a half. Bitcoin and Ethereum have had many years to get to a decentralized state, and we are on the same path, but it takes time.
Q — Telegram user Ibrahim: Regarding the DIVI smart wallet, tell me what functions your wallet supports?
Can I buy cryptocurrency using credit cards and is it necessary to go through the KYC process?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: This is what we call the Onramp, and I mentioned before it’s one of the biggest problems in crypto that need to be solved. It’s a nightmare for newbies to get into Altcoins.
They either pay huge fees, or they have to first buy Bitcoin somewhere like Coinbase and figure out how to get onto an exchange, so they’ve had to go through KYC twice. Not at all acceptable.
So yes, the process we are most interested in, and the way to do it easiest and cheapest is to allow people to buy crypto with their Debit card.
The way it works is that they don’t actually buy crypto with their debit card.
That’s the current process that others are doing now, and which causes huge fees, because of chargebacks.
The chargeback problem means that bad actors buy crypto, then they reverse the charge. So they get free crypto and the credit card companies pay for it. So the fees are huge.
Our process is different. Users get their own fiat account within our wallet.
Then they fund their fiat balance with their card. There are no chargebacks possible on this.
Then our system automatically buys the crypto for them and puts it into their wallet.
They don’t see any of this. They think they bought crypto in one step but it’s actually 2 or 3. And the fees can be lower.
To get to the lowest possible fees, we need to build up enough volume. But eventually I believe we can undercut everyone.
Q — Telegram user Jenny Puppy: One of the biggest problems with Divi is the inactive and useless state. People just create DApps but it has no use cases nor contributes to the blockchain ecosystem. To prevent and resolve this problem which may happen on the Divi platform, what will your team do?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: To get users, we need to empower other people, creative types, to invent use cases that nobody ever thought of before.
But there’s another part to this that we’re pursuing directly.
My belief is that crypto has a big problem in that people are trying to get companies to offer crypto “as a payment option.” But only crypto people use it.
Crypto in general, won’t be adopted until it’s their only option.
This means that someone has to design something so cool that people are willing to learn crypto in order to get it.
Crypto fans need to set a good example by only accepting crypto for their products.
The only way this is going to be possible is if crypto is easy for newbies because otherwise they will just not buy the product. They’ll give up or just buy something else.
Influential crypto people need to start building the new world they dream about, and not waiting for others to do it.
All these bitcoin whales need to open restaurants or nightclubs and only accept crypto. And they have to be the best.
So for example, we are building a digital nomad space called Permatek in Costa Rica.
This is the mockup for it:
It’s made out of recycled containers. It has a stage, a bar, an observatory, a VR playroom. Organic gardens, restaurants, etc. And we won’t take your stinking fiat.
If people want to stay there, and I know they will, they will have to pay us in DIVI, BTC, or our partner cryptos like Litecoin, Nimiq, and DGB.
They can live there indefinitely on crypto.
There needs to be hundreds of these around the world. Businesses that are so cool that people want to spend on no matter what. They will find out that they have to pay in crypto.
But we say, but don’t worry, we’ll make that easy for you. We’ve got a Divi wallet you can use and get you into crypto in a few minutes.
Now they’re also in the cool kids crypto club too. Lots of people want crypto, they just don’t want to deal with it the way it is now. And we build fans for life.
Because when they try anything outside of our Divi Ecosystem, it’s scary and confusing. So they stick with us and our partners.
Q — Telegram user Josefina Korea Love: Why have you decided to add SegWit to your protocol? (or at least on testnet)
Is Divi a deflationary currency?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: Divi’s blockchain is based on a fork of PIVX, which is forked from Dash, which is forked from Bitcoin.
It’s a UTXO based blockchain and it’s relatively slow compared to, say, Zilliqa.
The solution to this is a second layer that’s called Lightning. Segwit is necessary to run Lightning.
With our own Lightning Network, we can be as fast as the fastest blockchains.
And we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We can take what those geniuses at Lighting Labs are building for Bitcoin.
And we can improve it, make it better because it will be more user-friendly and many other things. Lightning used to be more of a priority for us.
Everyone was talking about the need to scale. But the reality is that the need to scale is still a few years away.
So let someone else build this and spend years testing it, and then we’ll use it when it’s ready and needed, rather than focus on an unused feature now.
Q — QUIZ question: When a masternode owner upgrades his or her node to a higher tier, what’s the expected earnings gain?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: Each tier is 5% better than the tier before, so when you upgrade from copper to silver, your rewards would be 5% higher, per coin. For example, a copper masternode needs 100,000 DIVI. A silver needs 300,000 DIVI, so having a Silver is 5% better than having 3 copper nodes.
Q — Twitter user @Ale_Urich: Are you planning to partner with Visa or MasterCard to have a credit card and facilitate the use of the assets that are in the Divi wallet?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: There are many different parts to this. First of all, what we would have is a debit card, not a credit card. Credit cards work whereby banks loan money they don’t actually have (fractional banking) and then charge people huge interest in it. It’s a global scam set up by the banks that we don’t want to do.
We will have a debit card that’s attached to the fiat accounts in our Divi App. Users will be able to exchange their crypto for fiat within our app for a reasonable fee. (Bitcoin and DIVI to start with, then adding more.)
That fiat currency they see in the App is actually deposited in their own IBAN account in the Central Banking system. The debit card can draw upon that and be spent. This works also for clients that don’t have or want crypto. At first, we have to work with an intermediary to get the debit cards for clients. Later when we’re big enough, we can deal directly with Visa/MC.
The second part of this is VC/MC processing. That’s for when someone wants to use a non-Divi debit or credit card they already own and use it to buy DIVI or other cryptos, which would get deposited into the Divi App. Or, they could do a cash withdrawal from their (non-Divi) debit card and deposit that cash into their IBAN account within our app. For this, again, we start with an intermediary partner but grow to have our own relationship VC/MC.
I should also mention that these cards are really a necessary evil that I’m not at all fond of. Crypto doesn’t need them, from a technical side. Divi’s long-term goal, along with the rest of the crypto world, is to eliminate all these banks and intermediaries, when it comes to processing transactions, and the tech has been there for years to do it. It’s only because banks and governments block this with laws, that this hasn’t already happened. We think it will happen but it will take time. Banks make a lot of money off payments but they make more off of fractional lending. I think they’ll have to retreat on this, giving up payments to crypto and focusing more on lending.
Q — Telegram user Tony: How does Divi rate the importance of the user community?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: The community is the #1 most important thing in crypto.
Much more important than the tech, 100x more important probably.
Look at Doge, nothing special there about the tech. It’s the community that matters. The future is all about branded money. Our brand is about making crypto easy. You can do cool stuff with it and don’t have to worry. Bitcoin is the most valuable crypto because it has, by far, the biggest community. And it doesn’t have the best tech at all. I think of our Divi community, meaning the Telegram and Discord, like the lobby of a hotel. Any newcomers should be great warmly, and we answer dumb questions with patience and kindness. But if trolls come in, what do you do? It’s like a drunk guy coming into your hotel and raising hell. We throw them out fast. The trick is to distinguish between trolling and aggressive questioning. We recognize that most cryptos are either doomed or scammed. People are right to be skeptical. Sometimes the loudest people later become big supporters. At first they can seem really obnoxious, so we try to give trolls a chance or two before kicking them out. I also try to greet every new person in our telegram personally. Everyone says I’m the only CEO of any crypto that does this. It’s easy and makes a huge difference. So many people join us because I take that time. People very frequently tell me that they are now tripling their purchase amount to get a higher masternode than they were planning. Because I took 3 minutes of my time. Best investment of my time that there is. I’m amazed really that other CEOs aren’t doing this. But it’s because they don’t have the experience in a customer-service oriented business like I do. That’s also why everything is so un-user friendly.
Q — Telegram user Blanca Sanchez: Can you tell us please if you are interested in the Latin American community, and if so, what efforts have you been able to make so far?
I was reading about lottery blocks, I would like to know what “pseudo-random” is and what incentive does this bring?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: Yes, we’re very interested in Latin America.
One reason is that this is a trillion-dollar market that’s mostly ignored.
Everyone is piled up in Asia, focused there. Because the Asian market is bigger.
But it’s also far more competitive as a result. I’m from the U.S. but I live in Costa Rica. My wife is from Colombia. A bunch of our team is in Costa Rica.
So we think Latin America is a great opportunity.
Fintech in general is like 3 years behind here. But blockchain is worldwide.
But, when it comes to our for-profit entity, Divi Labs, when it comes to where to focus, Latin America is high on our radar.
Q — Twitter user @MRKennethSt: How will you bring mass Adoption compared to other projects?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: The question of adoption is the most important one everyone should be asking before buying that crypto. We have all seen wonderful technology created, but then nobody uses it, and these blockchains get abandoned when they run out of money. I would guess this applies to 99% of cryptos. Hundreds of thousands now are running on fumes, hoping to get users from somewhere, but nobody is coming. Even huge cryptos like EOS have almost no users on their Dapps as you can see here. So what chance does a small one have?
For me it comes down to a basic philosophy of what we’re trying to do. I believe the most important problem stopping adoption is user-friendliness. There are still horrendous problems like how to deal with private keys, that stop most people from wanting to use cryptos. Just getting an altcoin in the first place is so confusing for a newbie that most never attempt it or give up. We’re focused on all these points of user “friction”. But even more importantly, it’s not just about the experience of users. It’s about the experience for developers. A crypto like EOS or Ethereum is notoriously difficult to make a product on. Only hardcore coders can attempt it, and these people aren’t often going to be the type of people that have a great idea that appeals to average users, because their life experience is more dedicated to coding than to product ideation and design.
What we’re doing differently is meticulously putting together all the pieces of a platform that’s really easy for creatives to build products for. The artists, designers, and dreamers, will be able to more quickly and easily build stuff on the Divi platform because we will pre-solve for them so many of the UX problems that plague other blockchain ecosystems. Creatives want to focus on building their cool new idea, not spend their limited time worrying about the security intricacies of a new language like Solidity or trying to solve the private key storage problem so their users don’t lose all their tokens. Also, our system will reward these developers for bringing in users to the Divi Economy, through a commission-based system, so that they will extend their runway needed to be able to find users for their app. They could even make their app and use case free and still make money if it’s popular.
We will soon release our Divi 2.0 App, which will demonstrate a lot of great new tech and how a super user-friendly wallet works. That will give everyone a taste of more to come with Divi 3.0, where we’ll then have third-party apps and lots of tools for developers to easily build cool stuff. I believe that the next great use case for blockchain isn’t going to come from a blockchain coder, but from someone from outside the crypto community, so we’re building the ecosystem these people want to work in.
Q — Telegram user Granhell: How will you be keeping up with technology and future competitors? Are you prepared for copycat companies that try to steal your success and offer a similar service?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: This has already happened. A company called GIN took our “One-Click Masternode Install” idea and released it. They even named it a one-click installer, but their process was like 20 steps. Their market cap is in the toilet now.
It’s not enough to just do one thing like this. From a marketing perspective, it can get some attention, because it’s easy to understand.
People like simple ideas that seem like they’re solving a simple problem.
But the world of blockchain is really complicated and ultimately, if it’s not user-friendly, it’s unlikely to generate enough users.
As far as new technology goes, yes I talk all the time with other founders, and read several articles every day.
I have a whole set of what I call ‘Vision Papers” that describe all the things we’re going to build in the next 3–5 years.
I’m impatient to get all this stuff into our wallet but luckily I have my partner Nick to keep it real. We have to go step by step.
The next stage, with the release of Divi 2.0 and our mobile wallet, will be exciting for users because then they’ll see new features rolling out into their app.
And we have to constantly reshuffle our priorities, based on competition, laws, new technology, etc.
Companies who are too set in their plans aren’t going to make it. Things are changing too fast.
Q — Telegram user Windy Ity: What are the key attributes that have made DIVI what it is today and where it will be in the future?
A — Geoff McCabe from Divi: This is an easy one to answer simply. The answer is “Dependability”
When you’re operating in a sea of hundreds of scams and bullshit, then you can stand out by just being dependable on all levels.
People come into Divi very skeptical, for good reason. They’re looking for some clue so they can say “Aha! I knew it! It’s a scam!”
So on so many levels, we need to be really dependable.
My partner Nick puts together a post that he releases on time, every Friday, no matter what’s happening in his life.
I think maybe we’ve missed it once or twice in over a year.
it’s that kind of thing that makes people feel like we’re stable.
People are really craving stability in crypto right now.
They’ve all lost their hopes, dreams and savings on this crypto thing.
They need a win, and they’ve been really disappointed.
So they’re looking for something to believe in.
Our message of Crypto Made Easy resonates with people. Everyone knows now that this is important. Everyone has a story about horrible user experience in crypto.
Most whitepapers in crypto, when you read them, make you go “huh?”
It’s hard to see the use case and they rarely explain how they’re going to get users.
Divi is very easy for people to understand. And we’ve got hundreds of people in Divi who only have Divi. We have grandmas running masternodes.
They can do that because it’s easy enough, and we have a phenomenal customer support team that gets to people nearly instantly for personal help 24/7.
And it’s nowhere near as easy as it will be in Divi 2.0
So it’s spreading by word of mouth, organically. We have a lot of people running masternodes because their brother or friend told them about it. And they talk about us and about how dependable we’ve been and how “Divi isn’t like those other cryptos you heard about.”
And if you look from the tech side, we’re dependable because our dev team gets 16% of the block rewards which is like $100,000/month. So we are self-supporting.
Most cryptos are constantly in danger of running out of money and going dead.
Or they have to beg for their fans to pay to get stuff done. So they just slowly fade away, pretending like they’re doing something.
Probably most of the cryptos out there are currently in this state.
Thank you for all these explanations! It was a pleasure to have you in our group Geoff. I’ve rarely seen someone so passionate. You seem to have a clear vision. I like your no-bullshit approach and original ideas. I can only wish you the best with Divi. Looking forward to crypto-only restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and more!
Check out the Divi Telegram group: https://t.me/diviproject
Alexandre R from GAINS
Please, join our Divi telegram and check us out for yourselves. It’s a lot of fun there.
If anyone has any other questions, you can ask in our telegram and our users are happy to answer them. I’ll also try to get to say hello to each and every one of you.
Geoff McCabe from Divi
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