An Interview with CEO Jared Grey from ALQO & Bitfineon on Altcoin Magazine
A Decentralized, All-in-One Financial And Cloud Services Ecosystem
Hello Jared. Thank you for your generosity to allow us to get to know about ALQO and its Ecosystem. Firstly, please introduce yourself and your co-founders of the ALQO project.
Thanks, Emil, I appreciate this opportunity to share information about ALQO and Bitfineon with your readership. My name is Jared Grey, my background is in IT consulting and business development. I was an independent IT consultant for 14 years before becoming the CEO for Bitfineon GmbH, the private company that handles development for the ALQO crypto-currency. Kevin Collmer, our lead developer and CTO, has a background in video game development, specifically as the lead technical artist for CryTek, a German-based video game developer famous for developing the CryTek gaming engine. Our COO, Moritz Heimberg has a background in IT project management and is responsible for handling daily operational activities within Bitfineon GmbH.
Can you give us a detailed rundown of the $ALQO project?
Bitfineon GmbH aims to develop a complete all-in-one financial and cloud services ecosystem with ALQO at the center, powering the financial technology products we develop. ALQO started out as a simple masternode coin project, but the team’s ambitions quickly grew to include the ALQO universe and planetary system under the direction of former CEO, Kaan Hamarat. My plan as active CEO is to continue with the original vision and increase scope where it can add value to the ALQO ecosystem.
Very shortly we will release our cutting-edge crypto and fiat trading platform, Bitfineon. Bitfineon has been developed from scratch and includes a revolutionary matching and trading engine that executes trades in a unique manner which decreases latency to nearly instantaneous execution, regardless of the number of pairs being traded. With its unique software architecture, which utilizes GPU processing instead of the legacy standard CPU method, we’ve been able to achieve benchmarks of 63mm tx/ps, scalable in 2mm tx/ps increments where hardware restrictions are remedied. We anticipate Bitfineon’s engine will become the standard for crypto exchanges, and for traditional financial market exchanges as well.
Your ecosystem consists of the Bitfineon, Liberio, Janus, and CoinFolium. Can you briefly explain to us what they are respectively?
I’d be happy to explain the ALQO ecosystem, you’ve listed the current publicly revealed planets within the ALQO universe of products — I will provide a brief overview for each of them. Bitfineon is our next generation crypto and fiat exchange, regulated and licensed by FINMA in Switzerland (with plans to seek regulatory approval and licensing for operation of fiat services in the USA within Q1 2019). It will provide traders of all kinds a cutting-edge trading experience, it will include several unique industry disruptive products and services as well as fundamentally change the way exchanges operate at a performance level. We believe it will set a new standard in engineering for exchange architecture and challenge competitors who use white-label solutions to “up their game”. Many of the limitations in the current crypto exchange landscape are due to a lack of innovation with existing software solutions, and the custom developed nature of Bitfineon aims to change this when launched.
Liberio is ALQO’s high performance, user-friendly, cross-platform thin client for storing, managing and tracking your ALQO on any device. It utilizes ALQO’s distributed cloud network to provide seamless, one-click access to every service offered across the ALQO ecosystem using your Thumb ID. Thumb ID is a unique identifier for your Liberio wallet that allows users to send and receive XLQ between each other without having to share an alphanumeric wallet string, we think this will help adoption amongst the general public who may be interested in using ALQO but are unfamiliar with traditional crypto address methods — a typical sticking point in the mass adoption discussion. Additionally, Liberio features a first-of-its-kind cold staking feature that is materially different from existing cold staking methods claimed by other projects. The unique encryption method within Liberio allows it to secure the ALQO blockchain while allowing users to stake their coins without a hot-wallet running. Liberio also is a crypto first project that shards and stores private keys across a masternode network, the ALQO masternode network. Several other features, like Libchat, further build the utility-case for Liberio above-and-beyond what typical wallets provide. You can read more about Liberio on our website: https://alqo.app/#liberio
This brings us to JANUS, which is ALQO’s blockchain analysis and intelligence platform. JANUS will replace the existing ALQO explorer, which is limited in functionality. JANUS will provide tools for an in-depth review of the ALQO blockchain, as well as forensic tools for deep intelligence discovery of the chain. We plan to utilize JANUS to increase transparency of the ALQO services suite, as well as give users greater control over chain data analytics. One feature I’m really excited about is the 3D modeling of data presented in a beautiful UI which will be released in the next few weeks.
Lastly, CoinFolium will be our coin metric and price history discovery tool. It will accompany Bitfineon Arena (a Bitfineon exchange service focused on developing a social experience for traders) in providing necessary analytics for assisting with fundamental and technical analysis of a project.
Who’re the team behind ALQO and the Bitfineon exchange respectively?
Personally, I’ve been an avid IT participant for over 20 years. I grew up at the beginning of the Internet-era and my academic background is in Computer Engineering. I’ve been a small business owner, focused on IT consulting, for the past 14+ years. My IT career began at Dell Computer Corporation in Nashville, TN while I was attending college. I’ve been aware of Bitcoin and crypto for several years but became seriously active in the market over the past couple of years. My involvement in other projects led me to the opportunity with ALQO and Bitfineon, and I couldn’t be happier. The ALQO team is determined, talented and passionate.
Our CTO and lead developer, Kevin Collmer, has a background in video game development and worked as lead technical artist in developing shader technology for CryTek’s famous CryEngine gaming engine. He has a bachelor’s degree and MSc in IT. He ran his own game development company until focusing his development skills on the ALQO universe and its accompanying planets. A highly capable and talented developer, he is the technological visionary behind ALQO and Bitfineon GmbH.
Our COO, Moritz Heimberg, handles our daily operations and helps organize and focus our own ongoing business operations. He has a background in B2B and B2C IT project management. He is head of our IT support department and oversees ALQO masternode server maintenance.
Raphael Scheidler is a seasoned community manager with 3+ years of social media leadership and customer service experience in the fintech startup sector. In combining a rigorous technical academic experience with professional roles in the public and private sector, he has exemplified his keen ability to organize online communities, assist in brand strategy administration, and utilize blockchain technology at an expert level for ALQO and Bitfineon GmbH.
Samuel Hochauf is the enthusiast within the team as a member solely recruited from the community. With his MSc in EE and 15+ years of experience in the semiconductor industry mainly consisting of database engineering and big data analytics, he brings value to the team from a completely different viewpoint. His main objective is being part of the community management team while playing an advisory role regarding system development and operations.
Igor Melkozerov is studying computer science & system engineering at Ostfalia in Wolfenbütel. Igor has experience in IT Administration as well as in embedded system engineering & development. His main task is the maintenance of ALQO’s website as a front-end developer.
Nastja Deines is an architecture student at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. She is the designer in the ALQO Team and helped us to design the ALQO Logo, Coinfolium and the Masternode APP.
Tell us about ALQO’s cold staking feature, and how does it compare to Stakenet’s Trustless Proof of Stake (TPoS) and Particl’s Cold Staking?
Stakenet’s TPoS differs from Glacier as the former requires that you surrender a third type of key, a staking key that allows a 3rd party to stake, but not spend, your balance. They are called XSN merchants and they do so for a fee as that’s the incentivization mechanism. Glacier, on the other hand, employs the same level of decentralized trustlessness that’s inherent to the ALQO network and leverages ALQO’s existing cloud infrastructure (over 2.5k masternodes) to stake for you. By running an ALQO masternode, you implicitly sign a contract to allow the use of your hardware to stake any member’s balance as it’s hardcoded masternode service functionality.
The two biggest advantages offered by Glacier over Stakenet’s TPoS offering is redundancy (over 2.5k nodes vs. a specific merchant that could go offline), and economy (not having to pay a fee as the staker unlike with TPoS’s required staking fees).
Particl’s PPoS implementation, while is technically a cold staking solution, requires that users set up a fully synced and up-to-date full node (called a “staking node”) and sign a smart contract using their private key. The wallet can then be taken offline, but the staking node must remain online and continuously connected to the network in order to stake. This creates multiple barriers to user entry, namely network and hardware availability, user’s level of expertise, setup time and learning curve, as well as increased downtime time risk in terms of income continuity and an overall narrower attack vector (single staking node vs. ALQO’s 2.5k masternodes).
In comparison, Glacier allows the user to stake any amount, fee-free, immediately, with zero learning curve requirements while informing the user of the ideal staking input size to maximize staking ROI. Simply move your funds to your Liberio address and that’s it, it’s as user-friendly as it sounds, which in our view is a hard requirement for achieving mass adoption.
The truly innovative element with Glacier’s implementation is a non-trivial evolution in ALQO’s consensus mechanism, by effectively shifting standard Proof-of-Stake into a PoS-MN hybrid consensus layer. In many ways, our unique hybrid consensus mechanism is superior even to Delegated Proof-of-Stake as masternodes constitute a scalable array of validators authorized to stake on a public address’ behalf, as opposed to having a narrow list of semi-centralized delegates. This also renders collusion impossible as unlike delegates, masternodes cannot manipulate or interfere with the block validation process in any way. There are currently no known cold PoS implementations that rival ALQO’s Glacier feature stack, robustness and added security layer.
The launch of Bitfineon is close. Do you have any beta release program or preview of this Swiss-based exchange?
We are very excited to release our upcoming exchange, as we believe the products, services, and technologies that we’ve built, are industry disruptive in a highly positive way. We hope to set a new bar for crypto exchanges to operate by, increased transparency, an intuitive user-experience, unique order types, and a beautiful and intuitive user interface. We’ve released a few sneak-peeks via social media channels, as well as a live-stream of the user-interface design. We’re currently preparing to release the closed beta in the next several days if all remaining items are completed without issue. You can sign-up at https://www.bitfineon.com to join the beta program and once it’s available, you will be notified to create an account.
How does ALQO compare to an exchange coin like BNB as an exchange coin?
ALQO [XLQ] is fundamentally different from BNB, it is (XLQ) a former PoW (PoS now) fairly distributed cryptocurrency coin that will be the lifeblood for the Bitfineon exchange and other financial products, such as PayInX (our crypto payment gateway). It is an independent currency which can be used for payment settlement for anyone, anywhere, independent of its use on Bitfineon. While you will receive some similar benefits, like reduced trading fees (similar to BNB), when trading with XLQ pairs on Bitfineon, it will provide more use-cases than the BNB token. Additionally, all XLQ holders will be able to participate in our unique sharepool which will allow you to lock your XLQ on Bitfineon every 24 hour period and earn a share of the trading fees collected on Bitfineon. You can find out more information about the sharepool in our explainer video here: https://youtu.be/CE5lpo0aoG8
Tell us about the ALQO Cloud Network.
Taken from our website,
“ALQO’s Cloud Services are based on a highly-distributed network of over 2,500, always-on global replication servers called masternodes, making it one of the most resilient decentralized cloud networks in the world, and delivering unparalleled levels of resource redundancy, network capacity of takedown resistance.”
Each product within the ALQO cloud services ecosystem utilizes the masternode network for specific tasks. For example, Liberio utilizes the ALQO masternode network to store fully encrypted and sharded private keys, in a redundant manner, across the network. With this type of innovation, ALQO has proved itself as a leader in masternode development. We will continue to develop our roadmap and build more use-cases for our masternode network, read more about planned roadmap items on our website, https://alqo.app.
What’re the achievements that you are most proud of since the beginning?
I’ve been CEO for 3 months, after assuming the role from Kaan, my beginning starts a bit later than the rest of the team. For me, personally, the greatest achievement has been the launch of Liberio. It’s a technological innovation within the crypto-space. A truly decentralized thin-client wallet which makes use of the ALQO masternode network; it stores encrypted data, sharded, across the masternode network in a fully redundant manner.
What has been the greatest challenge to overcome so far?
As for most start-up projects and businesses, the greatest hurdle is always funding. Bitfineon GmbH operates in a very lean manner, and currently, the main business principles dedicate the developer’s fee to operational expenses and development. As founders, at times, we have contributed significantly from our personal funds to facilitate operational liquidity. Our belief in the ALQO vision is a key motivator for us to “put our money where our mouths are”.
What’s the three most interesting bullet points on your roadmap for the coming 2–3 quarters?
Personally, I’m super excited about the development of our own smart contract language, entitled ‘GAVEL’, and the integration of smart contracts into the ALQO blockchain. I believe this will attract developers to create dApps on ALQO’s blockchain and, subsequently, grow the awareness and use-cases of ALQO. We believe there are some serious shortcomings in currently available smart contract languages and we aim to reduce those shortcomings with the release of GAVEL. With its release, we’ll be able to issue our own tokens on the ALQO blockchain, these will be under the ‘AGCR’ standard. I firmly believe these roadmap milestones will differentiate ALQO from typical masternode projects and demonstrably illustrate our commitment to innovation.
How can we connect with ALQO and how can we support your project?
The best way to connect with the ALQO universe and become involved in our community is to join one of our many social media outlets, Discord, and Telegram, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We have comprehensive information available about ALQO and its planets on our website, https://alqo.app, you will find all social media links there too.
You can download our english whitepaper here, though it is currently being rewritten to include our updated roadmap and other additions to the ALQO universe.
Thanks for taking the time to go through this interview with me — do you have any last words?
I appreciate the time to inform your readers about the exciting and innovative financial technology we’re developing at Bitfineon GmbH. I encourage your readers to come to join us on Discord and find out more information and get to know us personally, we’re available daily to chat with interested newcomers.
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