Bitcoin Air — Q&A

2018 have been such a refreshing year when it comes to emerging cryptoprojects and the level of innovation they introduce. Gone are the stupid infographics trying to solidify Coin-X as the highest amount of transactions per second (who cares?).

Instead there seems to be a steady influx of new projects with developers who are innovating for real.

A couple of months back I stumbled across Haven Protocol which caused me to write my first crypto-article ever, fast forward a month-or-so and the first fork of Haven, Bitcoin Air, was quietly announced.

Now many initially dismissed Bitcoin Air as nothing but a Haven Protocol clone, but that is a severe misjudgement. I’ve been lucky enough to follow the development of this project from the inside for a while, and I’ve witnessed first hand that this project has set its sight on introducing a host of new features to the world of cryptocurrencies.

In this Q&A with Bitcoin Air’s Lead Dev, Anthony, I get answers to a lot of questions that should give a good understanding about what Bitcoin Air is aiming to accomplish.


First of all, how would you summarise what Bitcoin Air is all about for someone who reads about it for the first time?

The first thing we want people to think of when they see, hear, or speak “Bitcoin Air” is simplicity and transparency.
The reason for this being, cryptocurrency is this currently ecstatic and mysterious world that a lot of people are afraid to dive into due to these unknowns. When someone approaches Bitcoin Air, we want them to understand that we are a lightweight, secure, and decentralized payment system that also ofers a static crypto-backed reserves system that allows for a user to print their own fiat currency (AirCash).
In layman’s terms, we want to give the power of the Mint, Reserve, and Banking System all to the consumer and merchant!

What sparked the idea for the project we now know as Bitcoin Air?

The idea for Bitcoin Air was sparked from a protocol concept originally designed by the administrative team. The main idea coming from the fact that Bitcoin is subject to high volatility, and Tether is both manipulatable and a separate entity from what should be a joint efort for Bitcoin.
Beyond this, we feel the need to bring cryptocurrency to a form of widespread acceptance through applying modern technology to age old tactics of in person payments. This will of course be accompanied by all of the amazing features that come with cryptocurrency and it’s secure nature.

The Bitcoin Air project is a fork of Haven, how essential has the Haven teams work been for your concept and project development?

Haven Protocol’s work hasn’t been significant in our development. Their initial idea was sparked to allow users to “offshore” their value to a secure storage environment in some different country.
This idea, to our team, seemed unapproachable and limited it’s greatest potential. We followed through with the idea of offshoring, and instead made it far more approachable and adaptable and instead of creating an internal contract system, devised a bilateral blockchain system that will operate as a dual auditing blockchain.

How would you differentiate what Bitcoin Air will be, compared to Haven, what are your most obvious differences between the two?

Haven Protocol is based on an internal smart contract system that will offshore the value of your coins to a safe storage environment, this will allow you to mint and burn between Haven Protocol and XHVD, safely offshoring your value from volatility.
Bitcoin Air is a bilateral blockchain that will allow one end of the chain to operate in volatile value and conduct basic cryptocurrency transactions including sending and receiving through any basic exchange as well as our internal wallet exchange. The second side of the chain will operate in static value and will operate as a crypto-backed reserve chain for Bitcoin Air.
This static chain will have strictly mint and burn protocols that will allow the creation of Bitcoin Air or AirCash. This static side chain will not allow person to person sends and will instead be specifically designed as a reserves and fiat system for day to day use.

How many developers are actively contributing to your project now?

Currently we have over 8 active developers working around the clock on establishing our test net, minimum viable product, and a proof of concept design that can be presented to the public.
The goal is to operate our development much like an ICO without intentions of gathering funding from the public. We are a privately funded, Non-ICO, Non-VC funded development backed by a handful of guys who simply are very in tune with the cryptocurrency community.
We hope to deliver a well-rounded and established development for the people.

Is there any field in which you are looking for contributions from the community, if so, what are these?

We are always open to as much community contribution as possible. We are 110% focused on community input and transparency and that goes down to every vote and choice we have.
Ultimately we feel that a larger consensus brings the greatest discussions to a situation along with calculated execution. This being said, we are opening an Ambassadors and Evangelists Program that will operate much like a permanent bounty hunters program.
Top level representatives from all countries can apply and voice their expertise on why they should be an Ambassador for Bitcoin Air. This will in turn gain them access to the private Ambassador Panel where they can participate in tasks to earn monthly points for payouts based on worth ethic! Additionally, we are always open to community open-source developers who seek some lead into the cryptocurrency world.
We are always thrilled to teach and learn from other professional development teams as we are seeking to develop the most community driven coin of 2019!

Is the launch of the Bitcoin Air and the air protocol in any way dependant on the Haven teams Offshore Storage smart contracts. Will you have to wait until they release this feature or is the work on the Air Protocol completely independent of that effort?

We are in no way tied to the Haven Protocol development and are developing our own dual chain protocol that will not use smart contracts.
What we hope through our fork with Haven Protocol, is to allow a transition/bridge in between USDAP and XHVD that will bridge both the privacy and clear coin chains to allow for a user based choice of chain use.
We feel privacy is important, but not necessary thanks to the secure nature of cryptocurrency, but we still want to give our users a option to go into a privacy coin at some point effciently without worry of value loss.

Correct me if I’m wrong, Bitcoin Air is a Haven & Bitcoin fork, while Haven originated as a pure Monero fork. If I understand that correctly what does this mean for XAP, for instance; will Monero features like RingCT be a part of your project or will Monero-Specific features not be a part of the overall Bitcoin Air project?

Bitcoin Air is a bilateral merge fork joining Peercoin with Bitcoin, and forking Haven Protocol into our side chain.
This means that, in the end, there will be 2 chains operating together with one being accessible to exchanges and basic user features like sending and receiving; while the other operates privately in the background of this chain only accessible via wallet interface for means of minting/burning and staking/mining.
The Haven Protocol end of the chain will not feature basic usage like sending and receiving, and will instead carry the latest features for minting, burning, and printing of fiat Air Cash.

If I understand correctly, you have two options for binding your cryptocurrency into a static dollar (or similar) value, the first one is $USDAP — which I imagine works more or less like Haven’s $XHVD, right?

$XHVD will operate much like $USDAP, except for the fact that they are using smart contracts and we are applying a new solid blockchain. This static resource backed currency chain will operate to back the overall reserves and value of $XAP and Air Cash

And the second one, Air Cash, I find especially interesting. You will allow users to print their own QR coded “paper money” for use at retailers, etc. Does this money exist on its own sidechain, or is it more or less a physical version of the $USDAP?

This is correct. Air Cash will be the physical, fiat form of $USDAP. Users will be able to customize their own fiat currency sheets with predesigned templates that they can then add to their basic home printer.
The user would choose the denomination (Sheets would print in size of 8 bills) and they could choose to set the bills equally, or to diferent denominations. The wallet would then generate private key, and print the denomination value of $USDAP on the bill front along with the QR code generated Private Key as the center. The wallet would send the wallet to this address and it would be removed from the wallet entirely. The Air Cash would now maintain the value of the $USDAP and can be used in store or handed over to another person.
The merchant or user could then sweep the Air Cash into their wallet and receive $USDAP. The paper would then become worthless and could be recycled as needed.

Will the creating of Air Cash require any form of miner fee, and if so will that fee be a “static value” bound to it or a fluctuating value? In other words, will it be tied to cents or to “satoshis”?

The creating of Air Cash will require a static fee tied to $USDAP that will only vary based on a the amount you send. These ranges would most likely be $0.01-$10,000, $10,001-$100,000, and $100,001+. These fees will most likely be extremely small ranging from $0.05-$0.15 accordingly.
We are not going to allow miners/stakers to set the price on this as people should not be held back from when they need fiat, but all things take resources to create, and we feel a small fee should be in line to provide back resources to the mining and staking community securing and operating our network.

Also, what happens if a user looses an Air Cash bill before they get the ability to spend it. Will it be lost forever, like “normal currency” or will it only be lost if someone manages to spend it before you have time to move the currency to another address, and print a new bill?

The user will have a maintained track record of all of the bills they print within their private Air Cash Ledger. This ledger will not be available to the public due to the Haven Protocol/Monero Privacy Features. The user will be able to swap an Air Cash bill if it has not been swept into the receiving parties wallet if they set the loss prevention feature on within their wallet.
If the bill has been swept into the receiving parties wallet, they will not be able to cancel the bill. This feature will be available via desktop and mobile to ensure the quickest response to lost funds. This would encourage people to ensure that the receiving party sweeps their funds immediately, as you would want to ensure the value is on the bill!

Also, as a miner, I’m curious about how I can obtain Bitcoin Air through mining. I’ve seen you describe the project as “Hybrid Dynamic Proof of Stake and Proof of Work coin” — does this mean that one can both mine and stake in order to participate in the network?

We are currently developing a new consensus algorithm that we are dubbing “Proof of Risk”. We prefer not to release much information on our new consensus algorithm for now, but we plan to release extensive information once it is perfected. Just know for now, you will be allowed to both mine, and stake. It will also be HIGHLY encouraged, if not required, to do so in some sort of way.

Can you tell us a bit more a bout the planned merchant platform, what are its base features and how will it work?

The future merchant platform will be available to both in-person and online merchants. Small Business that accept Bitcoin Air will be able to use any tablet that allows them to download the Bitcoin Air PoS Application. This will allow their tablet to turn into a mobile PoS system with Sweep features thanks to the cameras on most tablets. Merchant can establish their item list and can have the consumer scan the QR code shown on the screen to automatically set the amount and receiving address.
Consumers will confirm the amount and proceed to process the transaction in $XAP. When the merchant receives confirmation, the system will automatically convert their $XAP to $USDAP so they can avoid market volatility until they choose to re-enter and sell to fiat. For online merchants, it will allow integration with most e-commerce platforms available. This means people can proceed to pay for their items with Bitcoin Air via their Desktop or Mobile wallets wherever accepted.

When you fork, you have — in your latest community update — listed the following existing chains that will be receiving Airdrops of either $XAP or $UDSAP:

  1. Bitcoin ($BTC) holders will receive Bitcoin Air ($XAP)
  2. Peercoin ($PPC) holders will receive Bitcoin Air ($XAP)
  3. Haven Protocol ($XHV) holders will receive USD Air Protocol ($USDAP)

I find it interesting that $BTC and $PPC holders will receive $XAP as a result of the fork, while $XHV holders will receive $USDAP instantly without needing to mint them, will this mean that every $XHV holder is guaranteed a re-mintable (or is it burnable, perhaps:) value of ~1$ USD for each $XHV they are holding while the $PPC and $BTC holders will get a coin of fluctuating value?

This is somewhat correct. $XHV holders will receive a static value $USDAP after the snapshot for the fork. Bitcoin and Peercoin holders will receive $XAP, which is subject to market health and volatility due to access via exchanges. Bitcoin and Peercoin holders who would like to exit the volatility can simply mint into $USDAP whenever they would like to.

Full Disclosure: I’m currently a part of the Bitcoin Air team and will help them with their marketing. This is a great chance for me to get “an insiders view” on the development of a new cryptocurrency, and as such I see this as a great opportunity for me to get to write some more interesting articles on Bitcoin Air and its development process as it moves along. Stay tuned.