A New Way of Evaluating Blockchain Projects
How TAUcoin is setting the standard we need to see more often
As a Bitcoin Maximalist, it’s hard to see value in other projects. When you start to deconstruct all of the choices Satoshi made 10 years ago, you can begin to understand how truly visionary this creation is. A decade later, and thousands of the brightest minds have tried to improve upon Proof Of Work, millions have been spent on building competing cryptocurrencies, and yet Bitcoin stands not only as a relevant option, but the superior choice by far.
One of the best choices Satoshi made for Bitcoin was staying anonymous. This might arguably be the one thing that keeps Bitcoin above all the rest; there is no “head of Bitcoin”. It allows the development community to come to decisions as a group and not be overriden or influenced by a single individual. It removes the constant spectre of corruption and intent that exists when one person or group of people yield so much influence over such a high value organization.
The sad truth is most other projects are scams. They focus on how to raise as much money as fast as possible. Fake teams, copied white papers, and little tanglible progress of product. We know for sure that the bulk of whats out there falls under this category, and a result, we have 1000’s of shitcoins fouling up the cryptomarket with their stench. What used to be all about technological innovation has now changed. Our priority is no longer evaluating the concept and it’s technical feasibility. Our focus now is on the integrity of the team and it’s vision.
“You don’t have currency pain”
One team that exemplifies integrity and a motivation to build for the common good is TauCoin. Although the team remains semi-anonymous, the founder David Wu, is extremely visible, writing every week and hosting multiple YouTube interviews. The whitepaper has been iterated on multiple times, and every single word is original, as well as the novel concepts it puts forward. The Github is constantly being updated. Most of the mining is done by external miners. And the cherry on top of it all? There is no intention of doing an ICO or selling the coins on an exchange. If it turns out to be a scam, its the worst one in blockchain history.
Although I have been credited as a founder, I cannot say I had a major contribution beyond helping build the community (which I am very proud of). This is the most engaged group of cryptoenthusiasts I’ve ever seen, contributing more than just their enthusiasm and referrals, but also coding and development, graphics, and even building TAUcoin’s own forum, taucointalk.org. The Proof of Transaction cryptocurrency has quietly amassed an army of supporters over the last 8 months. Despite being launched in the middle of “Crypto Winter”, the project has succesfully scaled to over 120,000 wallet users, launched a mobile wallet and chain explorer (another community coding contribution), and has plans to make one of the biggest innovations in the blockchain space a reality — mobile mining.
The Wonderous David Wu
Founder David Wu, aka iMorpheus, hasn’t failed much before. One of the founders of credit giant Rong360 in China, and head of the wildly successful DWfund, David has proven to be more than just a lucky entrepreneur. He’s just about to see his second IPO on the NYSE and his constant desire for knowledge has led him to become a thought-leader in blockchain and longevity studies.
“We need to punish the rich”
He was working on GPS systems for autonomous driving, another buzzy area, when someone shared the innovation of blockchain wtih him. This was only 12 months ago. Today, he is pioneering TAUcoin, the crypto with over 120,000 wallet users and no plans for an ICO or Exchange listing.
When I first started working with the TAUcoin team, we were originally going to build on David’s previous success in credit with his company Rong360. He had just finished bringing the Chinese credit scoring giant to it’s successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and it made sense to bring that same expertise to the blockchain. It was a great idea, but it wasn’t big enough for David.
“We need to punish the rich” was an expression he was obssessed with when I first met him. Wearing a Uniqlo sweatshirt and pants, he stands in-front of the whiteboard, furiously drawing out different ideas for platform structure and tokenomics. His mind is moving at 120 miles per hour and its a struggle to catch up, as every idea he shares is a quantum leap forward in logic. “To be efficient, the experiment design shall start with only utility in mind. Forget Credit, we are building our own cryptocurrency. That’s the only thing that matters in blockchain”
“If the system is fair and shares the wealth with everyone, it will reach mass adoption. The most important is low infliction. I learned this with my previous companies, it needs to be frictionless.” He says this as he shows how a system with an interconnected bounty distribution and proof of transaction mining process can grow in tandem. He’s smiling as he shares everything with me and the team, as if he’s done this before and he knows it going to work.
What started out as a Credit Scoring system quickly shifted into what is today’s TAUcoin. TAUcoin shares with Bitcoin that same singular focus and vision: sound money. “Not dapp operating system, anonymous transmitter or exchange. The features of a sound currency shall support decentralized payment, permission-less verification, low cost to achieve consensus and fast speed. That’s it.”
David always has a happy disposition and an uplifting charisma around him. It’s what I imagine Steve Jobs’ “Reality Distrotion Field” was like. The team is sharing their concerns with meeting his equally Jobsian impossible deadlines, he wants everything built in 1 week and the specs he shares keep on changing, but they arent fighting against the deadlines. They all have a confidence that they can deliver too. David likes playing poker, and he knows how to raise without making anyone fold.
David and I didnt always see eye-to-eye. There were multiple areas where we weren’t aligned, and he credited a large portion to that being my American background. “You don’t have currency pain” he would say. “Top mission is to create a perfect crypto currency. Everyone can use it without censorship, inflation or high cost.” We didn’t agree, but I always knew his motivations were pure. He has already made wealth for himself, and now he wants to build a legacy of contribution.
“If the system is fair and shares the wealth with everyone, it will reach mass adoption. The most important is low infliction. I learned this with my previous companies, it needs to be frictionless.”
Many choices have seemed odd, but they come from a background of the break-everything and fix-later culture that was required in the fast paced world of the internet boom. The decisions to change plans rapidly, and even abandon ones, like the oddly conceived TAUnopoly game, have seemed misguided, because they are. This isn’t a straight mission to list on an exchange or ICO as fast as possible, but an exploration of what can happen when you build with community first in mind. “We will always think with a loose coupling mentality” he would instruct us. This was his way of saying we always need to keep an open mind and be ready to shift direction at any moment. TAUcoin has shifted directions before, and most certainly will again, but it’s always because of a new idea.
You can also see that special brand of thinking in the TAUcoin sponsored weekly debate bounties, where community members are encouraged to challenge the ideas that David and team have introduced in an effort to bring more focus and refine ideation. I can’t even count how many TAUcoins have been given out like this (and even a $1000 BTC reward). It’s a brilliant move that encapsulates what TAUcoin is about.
The Lone Wolf
This would be a great time to go and read about TAUcoin if you already haven’t. I cannot stress how important it is that you understand how much has been built and how this actually remains as an uncontested contender with literally no outstanding criticism. It’s ridiculous that a blockchain project of this magnitude has gone under the radar for this long.
Despite the strong community and outspoken leadership, TAUcoin lives alone in its own galaxy. David and his team are quite isolated from the rest of the crypto world, with a team that remains hidden and locked off from the crypto community. With no attendance at crypto events and little interaction with the outside crypto community, it’s definetely stunted the growth of the ideation and testing of the PoT concept. And its not out of lack of trying. The debate bounties were meant to be a remedy for the lack of intercom interaction, but the interest never was picked up. Other coins focus on the projects that help them get more visibility and ulttimately closer to reaching their ICO hardcap. The incentives are completely misaligned.
With no liquidity, the project also suffers from a lack of hype that projects that focus on market cap naturally cultivate. TRON for example, has a rich developer community and over 1 million accounts because of it’s focus on marketing and raising capital. Partnerships,conferences and events show how fanfare can easily outrank passion and integrity.
The biggest problem rests in Proof of Transaction’s untested theory. Being outside of the limelight keeps the project insulated from critical thought; no one of prominent standing in blockchain has given any opinion on the project, good or bad. And the fact that the coin has no value makes it a worthless target for attack.
The Step Forward
Decentralization and low cost of consensus are the singular goals of the TAUcoin team today. The innovation of Proof Of Transcation (PoT), a consensus alogrithm based on the actual spending of the coin, is at the heart of these goals. “POT possesses the genes to address “decentralization” in two ways: full mobile device mining and permission-less transparent mining.” says David. What is unique about this approach is that it doesnt require the same high cost hardware that Bitcoin mining needs. “We are experimenting daily, 2 Mb data consumption for a full miner on a low cost android phone under 1G memory.” This is unheard of in any other blockchain project. I don’t know if it will work, but I know it sounds like something that is moving us in the right direction.
There are many projects and many coins vying for our attention, and it seems like most of them don’t even have the basic decency of honest representation. There are promises of trillion dollar market caps and the life-changing effects of blockchain with no GitHub or proper website in place. Projects are asking for millions in investment and don’t even put in the basic work we have expected from startups asking for a fraction of that. Our focus needs to be on projects that clearly have good intentions and aren’t being lazy in presenting their brilliant ideas. We need to hold everyone to the higher standard that TAUcoin has set.
If TAUcoin is going to do more than be an interesting experiment it needs to get outside of it’s shell. The strategy to hunker down and focus on product has worked wonders, and might even be considered prescient on David’s behalf. Now it’s time to take this to the next level. TAUcoin might be a contender, but we will never find out if it never walks into the ring.