I have to say I’m really excited about this interview. Reddcoin was one of the first altcoins I purchased when I started trading altcoins and I’ve traded these coins on and off for the last couple years now. Reddcoin is a well established coin with a large enthusiastic community and a great dev team. Thank you John Nash, lead dev of Reddcoin for taking the time for this interview and answering these questions. The Dood really appreciates it. In the spirit of full disclosure I currently hold a small amount of Reddcoin.
BitcoinDood: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I have to say I was really excited to get the opportunity to put this interview together. Could you please tell the readers a little about who you are and your relationship to the Reddcoin project?
John Nash: Thank you for the opportunity also. My name is John Nash and I am the lead dev for Reddcoin. I first became interested in cryptocurrency in 2010 but it wasn’t until 2013 that I really got involved. Like many, I originally started by mining coins, but I wanted to go much further and understand what was under the hood. I did a fair amount of research and also a lot of analysis of blockchain data before I got into the role of lead developer.
BitcoinDood: Reddcoin is a well established coin with a great enthusiastic community. I believe the Reddcoin community has been around since early 2014.When I first started trading altcoins, Reddcoin was among some of the first coins I purchased outside of bitcoin. For some of the readers that may be newer to cryptocurrency, could you tell them a little about Reddcoin, and how it might differ from some of the other cryptocurrencies or altcoins out there?
John Nash: The Reddcoin vision is to reward positive social interaction. We are taking the standard upvote and converting that into something that is tangible and that has value. Clicking an upvote or like button shows a certain level of appreciation… but what worth does it hold? If you were to also attach an element of value then an upvote would carry with it a whole new level of meaning, even a level of support.
Whether it is a post or status update on Facebook, or a compelling post on Disqus, actually transferring something of value gives new meaning to your like.
BitcoinDood: As we approach the end of 2016 I can’t believe another year has passed us by! Your team just released the roadmap for the remainder of 2016 and what we can expect to see rolled out in 2017. From what I read Reddcoin is really working on some interesting and innovative features. I guess the first thing I’d like to ask you about is Redd-ID. What a cool feature. Could you explain to the readers a little about Redd-ID, how it will work, and most importantly where and when we can begin registering our ID’s ?
John Nash: Redd-ID has been around as an idea for quite some time – it was first written about in September 2014. The principles behind the concept:
Self-managed – 100% control over identification and funds
Decentralized – trust in the network
Social Identity – bringing real people together
Rather than attempting to create yet another social media platform supported by a specific cryptocurrency, we are taking a different direction. We will bridge multiple social networks, providing a identification system that will allow users to easily verify the intended recipient of Reddcoin tips.
Overall, we are progressing quite well with this aspect of the project. In fact we have been reading, writing and updating ID’s on testnet for the best part of this year already. We are now starting to bring together the various elements that we have been working on to provide a clean user experience. I would expect that very early in the New Year we will see the first ID’s being created on mainnet.
BitcoinDood: The idea of a cryptocurrency ID system has been talked about for awhile now in the cryptocurrency community. I don’t know of any other coins that have implemented this feature yet, is Reddcoin the first to roll out this type of feature?
John Nash: From what I understand, there have actually been a number of blockchain technologies that have some simplified in-wallet address mapping to an ID. But those implementations don’t go far enough to be used in a social media context. More recently, Microsoft announced a partnership with Blockstack and Consensys to build an open-source identity platform on both Bitcoin and Ethereum, which from some perspectives goes too far. Reddcoin is taking the approach of targeting a very specific gap and applying a solution.
BitcoinDood: Alright there’s a lot of other stuff to cover but I do have two more quick questions about the redd-ID feature. I don’t think you can really have a conversation about any type of cryptocurrency ID without at least touching on the fact that many people in the “cryptocurrency community” not everyone, but many, are quick to point out the privacy issues, and “Big Brother” type uses for such features. What do you say to those people? Also, has there been any consideration to maybe implementing a “proof of reputation” or “proof of trust” feature? Sort of like an Ebay feedback that could be connected to the Redd-ID system, for charities, vendors, or whoever else might be interested in such features?
John Nash: You are right, many developers are looking to implement systems with high levels of privacy and anonymity, considering that this is something that a lot of people want. I think this is absolutely warranted in some circumstances. For example, I would not like to have my savings balance made public to the rest of the world, or necessarily make it public knowledge who I am transacting with.
However there is a whole other class of online users who value social interaction, and some key elements to this kind of online interaction rely on openness in public, whether that be by making public a user-id, a photo, a conversation, blog contents, etc.
For the Redd-ID project, certain elements (an ID and a Reddcoin address) will be publicly exposed to simplify the lookup, verification and transfer of coins to recipients, while at the same time the maintainer (user) of that ID will control how much or how little additional information is exposed.
Proof of reputation is another interesting area and topic, and although it won’t be in the initial release, it is something we have been discussing. As with all transactions, especially those of a financial nature, a level of trust and reputation is required between sender and receiver. Combine that with accumulated tipping/transactions between multiple users and you have data on which to get started.
BitcoinDood: I’ve used an UberPay Electrum wallet for awhile now and they really are a convenient way for people to hold multiple cryptocurrencies. According to the roadmap, in the first quarter of next year you plan on incorporating the Redd-ID feature into Electrum wallets and servers. Can you maybe touch on how that will work?
John Nash: Electrum wallets are fantastic for the novice and experienced user alike, especially when it comes to wallet startup (no blockchain to download). They are fast, secure and flexible. It is these advantages that we also want to harness to support the operation of Redd-ID. We have extended the Electrum protocol to include network operations required for Redd-ID. This has the added benefit of providing a unified platform across which any of the Reddcoin Electrum clients will be able to communicate.
BitcoinDood: The Reddcoin team is really working on some cool features. Now by Q2 of 2017 your team is planning on browser wallet integration starting with Chrome, then Firefox and Safari. Users will be able to ‘tip’ on their favorite social sites directly from their browser, and they will even hold their own private keys! Again, Reddcoin is at the forefront of innovation, and I really can’t wait to see how this feature is implemented. Could you tell us a little more about this?
John Nash: The browser wallet is a very cool feature that also offer users a high level of protection. One of our goals has always been to ensure that the user is always in control of their private keys – no more remote tipbot servers controlled by unknown actors. A browser-based tool gives direct access to the webpage being viewed, and in conjunction with Redd-ID we can do some neat things in the mechanics of issuing tips.
BitcoinDood: You really could say Reddcoin is the grand daddy or OG of social cryptocurrency! As far as I know, I always thought of it as the first cryptocurrency that was focused primarily on micro tipping and social platform use. It seems 2017 is gearing up to be the year social networking gets taken over by cryptocurrency! We’ve seen the Steemit platform accomplish big things, and soon we’ll have “Yours” and “Synereo” rolling out their social networks. Coinsyde is working on a social bitcoin app. There are a lot of really interesting projects geared towards social networking for 2017. Do you think cryptocurrency is on its way to change the way social networking works? How do you think this will effect platforms like facebook and G+ ? How do you see this benefiting the end user of social sites and where do you see Reddcoin in this new sea of social networking platforms and apps?
John Nash: There are really great projects coming along. For any of them to succeed there is going to need to be that lightbulb moment. I can remember the months before Facebook got big. Originally, it was just about who is hot / not and it was a fun concept. Today it has transformed into something unrecognisable from its origins, with growth stimulated by mainstream attention. I am always thinking about the kind of apps you mention and what they are trying to solve, and about how will they attract the masses.
Rather than create another social network, our goal is to become a layer to all social networks. People generally like choices particularly on a global scale, and it is our experience that there is no best fit. It is also the case that once people are established on a social network, and have built up their contacts, then it can be very difficult to convince them to move… as they would also have to move their entire contacts with them! We see that by adding a layer or bridge across each network we can create a seamless environment – a meta-network.
BitcoinDood: For Q3 you plan on rolling out a “Social Broadcast” service. The service will encourage positive social exchange and interaction, link users and content creators, and also generate metrics on popularity. Could you explain a little more on how this will work?
John Nash: Social broadcast is a tool to help promote content and connect users to quality content. It operates similar to a news feed, in that every tip will be broadcast. You subscribe to “channels” within the stream that you have an interest in. Content that is getting a lot of attention through tipping is broadcast more, and is highlighted as it passes thresholds.
The real goal here is to attract users to content, and for content creators to get paid. If users find content rewarding to read, and tip it, then we let everyone know, and encourage others to also come and look (and of course tip). It is a support network for content-creators and also for those looking to promote their causes.
BitcoinDood: I have to say, one of my favorite features is the PoSV or Proof of Stake Velocity. The Dood loves staking coins and watching them grow. I’m embarrassed to say I lost a bunch of Reddcoin to a hard drive crash early this year and just started rebuilding the Reddcoin part of my portfolio over the last 8 weeks or so. I do have to say though, I love the way these coins stake!!! Triple exclamation marks, because they really stake that well. The final quarter of 2017 will be dedicated to improving the PoSV system. What types of improvement would we be likely to see with this feature? Also, the site mentions briefly that users will be able to stake with Electrum wallets? This is another feature I don’t think anyone has done yet. What can you tell us about this?
John Nash: It can’t be said enough that backing up your wallet is crucial to do regularly but something that we often forget.
One of the advantages of Electrum is that you can recover your private keys through a seed password, one that will reconstruct your wallet and history and any new keys created. This makes backing up a once-only requirement, and is just a matter of recording those keys someplace safe.
PoSV has really served us well over the last 2 years, but there is always room for improvement. The strength of a network is in the number of active nodes. When you look at some typical PoW coins, you see a reduction of full nodes over time as the user base changes. With PoSV, full nodes are rewarded for being online and it is these rewards that encourage users to keep their wallets staking.
With PoSV2, we are aiming to:
Encourage more active staking nodes
Update the reward system so that active stakers receive interest based on the total money supply being staked at that point in time. For example if only 50% of the available Reddcoin are being staked, those Reddcoins will generate 2x interest, i.e. 10-12%.
Electrum is also a good candidate for staking: being a light client, there is less blockchain to download which will help on-boarding for new users who are not familiar with blockchain technology. I do believe we will be the first to implement Electrum-based staking. Exciting times.
BitcoinDood: I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. The Dood really appreciates it! I always end each interview with the same question. Where do you see the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general going? Any visions or predictions you care to share with us about where this industry is headed in the future?
John Nash: The crypto climate is really starting to mature and there are some great projects that are advancing. We still have a way to go before there is general mainstream acceptance, but this is getting closer every day. Our reliance on fiat money and the price volatility of most crypto has the general public standing back and waiting, and this will probably continue for a while.
The technology however is advancing at a great rate. It was not long ago blockchain technology was barely taken seriously by anyone; now big companies are looking at it and considering how it may impact their business.
Overall, today is a great day to get involved in crypto – I still feel we are all early adopters.
The Dood can’t thank John Nash enough for taking the time to do this interview. I was really excited when the opportunity for this interview presented itself. Thanks so much to @reddibrek on Twitter for helping to put this all together.
Check out these links to find out more about Reddcoin.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this interview or on this blog is meant as investment advise. Please seek a duly licensed investment professional for investment advice, not some guy on the internet who calls himself The Dood. It should be noted The Dood does hold a small amount of Reddcoin. Remember always do your own due diligence!