BitcoinDood – Hello, and thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Could you take a moment and introduce yourself, and tell the readers a little about who you are and your relationship to the BelaCoin project?
Ambia Fund – We are the Ambia Fund, a private cryptocurrency investment group. Our intention is to seek out early-stage cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related projects that have strong potential and could go much further with some professional funding and guidance. BelaCoin has been our inaugural investment, and since we have yet to find a lead developer, we have had to take a strong hands-on approach in leading BelaCoin.
Our focus is to build up BelaCoin well so that it fits into our own cryptocurrency project: BelaCam. While we do not own the BelaCoin blockchain, BelaCam is a privately owned cryptocurrency startup. As with traditional venture capital, we can have a successful exit if BelaCam gets acquired by a large tech player or in the unlikely but possible event of a BelaCam IPO. We own 100% of the equity of BelaCam, so that is where our investment is likely to provide returns.
BelaCam relies heavily on BelaCoin, so for us to have success in BelaCam, we must first bring BelaCoin to the level of a successful cryptocurrency. The more valuable that BelaCoin is, the more valuable BelaCam is as well. This is important because this creates our incentive to act in the best interest of BelaCoin. If BelaCam gets acquired by Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, or some other tech company, then BelaCoin’s success will then be in their best interest and control. This is where we would step aside and let the tech powerhouse continue to lead and advise BelaCoin.
BitcoinDood – If I’m not mistaken, this project has been around for a little while. Originally started back in 2014 as Bellacoin with two L’s, I remember researching it a bit, and then for whatever reason it just dropped below my radar. I always thought it looked like an interesting project though. Could you tell us a little about what’s been happening with this project, and the sequence of events that have happened since 2014, leading to the present day and the current development of BelaCoin?
Ambia Fund – The original Bellacoin was started by Kris Borodiansky as a charity coin. He had difficulty getting traction, but he built an awesome altcoin wallet for Bellacoin that was one of the most advanced of the time. The coin was taken over from him as he fell into the background, and it ended up in the hands of a user named @androidcryptogames, the man behind Bellachess. We saw an active community and strong potential for Bellacoin, so we reached out to both Kris and @Androidcryptogames before we took the lead of BelaCoin.
We have repeatedly tried to get Kris to rejoin the coin that was once his, but he is happy letting it go. He’s currently doing impressive and admirable things with Neoscoin, although we have let him know that he is still welcome back on the BelaCoin project. Bellachess is still a running and independent project as well.
With the approval of both people above, we have revived BelaCoin. First, we changed the name from Bellacoin to BelaCoin and gave it a new logo. Then, we assembled an advisory team that will help guide our lead developer, whenever we find one. The wallets that Kris coded were no longer working on newer computers, so we sourced help to fix that. The BelaCoin community has grown incredibly fast and strong as well. The 210+ members of our slack (join here: http://BelaCoin .herokuapp.com) are active and insightful supporters. With the http://BelaCoin.org/invest initiative launch and our white paper release in late December/early January, we will be almost done with our work on BelaCoin and ready to pivot our focus towards finishing BelaCam.
BitcoinDood – Researching this project I came across your BellaChess app and I have to say I absolutely love it. Ironically, I was looking for a decent chess app . The Dood is an average player at best and I was looking for an app with different skill levels. That’s exactly what BellaChess provided and I even earn a fraction of BelaCoin for each game played. For any chess players out there, I highly recommend this app, its really cool.
Now it looks like the next app to be developed is BelaCam, which will be an Instagram type app offering BelaCoin rewards for users. Could you talk a little about BelaCam, what it is, and what users can expect from the app? Also, please explain a little about the BelaCoin rewards for using the apps and how BelaCoin ties into the app platforms.
Ambia Fund – In BelaCam, users post photos and receive BelaCoin each time that their photo is ‘liked’ by someone else. The amount will be determined by the donor in the form of a micropayment of BelaCoin. BelaCam is an indirect competitor of Steemit; whereas users in Steemit reward writings and blog posts, BelaCam users reward photo posters in a similar manner. As we discuss in a later question, it is perhaps a more direct competitor to less-established Yours Network and Synero.
While blockchain social media platforms like Steemit have shied away from the idea of micropayments with the belief that they simply cannot obtain the participants, The Ambia Fund operates with a much different mentality. We understand that nearly all ideas are deemed impossible before someone shows them that they can and will happen. This is the same situation for micropayments.
Additionally, as noted in the question, the BelaCam platform is inspired by Instagram. We are targeting only visual media such as pictures and brief videos. This focus is part of one of the huge appeals of BelaCam: simplicity. It is also the huge factor that will propel BelaCam above other styles of blockchain social media. Users will be confronted with a familiar interface and a very straightforward method of both rewarding and being rewarded for the content they share. Ideally, it will feel just as passive and natural to scroll through one’s feed rewarding miniscule amounts of BelaCoin to other users as it would clicking “like” on their pictures. The reliance on micropayments eliminates the need for complex crowd-voting systems such as those used on Steemit, sometimes confusing and deterring users from participating.
With this being said, BelaCam is designed to be the simplest style of all the blockchain social media platforms to-date. By utilizing a proven and attractive model, we doubt we will encounter much trouble reaching success.
BitcoinDood – According to your website it looks like BelaCoin is currently being ran by an advisory board of some well known names in the cryptocurrency and altcoin trading space. Tell us a little about the advisory board and what each member brings to the table?
Ambia Fund – The Board of Advisors was sourced to guide whomever the lead developer will be. The current members of the Board of Advisors are @Notsofast, @Dum, and Trevon James. They all possess unique talents and experiences so that the lead developer will be able to draw from a diverse field of advice.
@Notsofast has great trading and investing insight that he has gained over years of experience. @Dum created a cryptocurrency radio show, so he has had in-depth looks into other altcoins. With all this, he has learned a lot about what makes a great cryptocurrency. Trevon James is quite experienced with social media, possessing over 20,000 followers on Twitter and receiving over 100,000 YouTube impressions each month. He knows a lot about gaining exposure and getting social media traction, so his guidance in those areas will be helpful to the incoming developer.
BitcoinDood – According to the website the project is being backed by the AMBIA Fund. What exactly is the AMBIA Fund and how does it tie into the BelaCoin project?
Ambia Fund – The Ambia Fund is a private investment group that funds early-stage cryptocurrency projects with real potential. Our activities are similar to those of venture capitalists, except we take a more involved approach. When there is a hole in the BelaCoin project, we fill it. If we do not have the skills to solve something, we source the best people who can. That’s how we redesigned BelaCoin’s logo, gave BelaCoin a top-tier website, and fixed the Windows and Mac wallets.
For our BelaCam startup, we needed a cryptocurrency that we could mold to fit our project perfectly. The past 6 weeks have been spent making BelaCoin strong and well-rounded so that it serves BelaCam. The side effect of this is that now BelaCoin is now a great, newly-updated cryptocurrency, ready for further development and expansion.
BitcoinDood – The BelaCoin website currently states that you’re looking for a lead dev for the project. For anyone that might be interested in this position, what is your team looking for, what will be expected of the dev, and how can eligible parties contact you to apply?
Ambia Fund – We need someone who can take on a strong leadership role to maintain BelaCoin while we focus our resources on finishing BelaCam. The lead dev must be able to assume a non-anonymous role and should have relevant experience working with other coins. The developer will be tasked with leading BelaCoin forward, updating the BelaCoin code, and maintaining the wallets. We need someone who will be as passionate about BelaCoin as we have been.
We do not necessarily want a developer who will work for us; rather, we need someone who will work with us. The developer will be the face and leader of BelaCoin with the responsibility of making executive decisions. To put it frankly, it needs its very own Vitalik Buterin.
If you think you can fit the role, please email us at mail@ambiafund .com. If you pass our vetting, we will nominate you as the lead developer. Then, the BelaCoin community (over 210 in our Slack channel) will collectively decide whether to confirm or deny the appointment.
BitcoinDood – BelaCam looks like it’s going to be the crowning jewel of this project. Do you guys currently have a road map in place? What can altcoin investors considering this coin expect as far as development and a BETA release of the app?
Ambia Fund – Our users can expect a roadmap for the BelaCam project to be released in the first few weeks of 2017. Early testing of the platform will commence around that time, with beta versions being released shortly after. We have the site pretty much made; all that’s left is to do design work and add the BelaCoin user transfer functionality.
BitcoinDood – I was pretty impressed with this project as I researched it. Both the apps and coin look like some really interesting tech. Do you have anything you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in the previous questions? Any special features or exciting news you want to share?
Ambia Fund – The Ambia Fund, specifically through the BelaCoin project, is asserting itself as a constructive and positive force in the cryptocurrency world that will better the knowledge and power of widespread groups of users. We are introducing several initiatives that will help to kickstart this facet of our campaign.
The first of these projects is the BelaCoin Invest Initiative, launched on December 21st. We are giving $500 to three separate entrepreneurs with business ideas that integrate BelaCoin. This should draw some of the best minds in the cryptocurrency community to the BelaCoin blockchain and create an additional 3 businesses or services that use BelaCoin.
Additionally, we will be discussing further scholarship programs for students and grants for other deserving individuals. The BelaCoin Invest Initiative is the main campaign to close out 2016, but we plan to announce further grants in early-mid 2017, coinciding with BelaCam news releases.
BitcoinDood – It looks like 2017 is already gearing up to be a very “disruptive” year for social networking and social media platforms. We’ve seen the well received introduction of the Steemit project in 2016. Synereo seems to be off to a rocky start, but looks like it could be an interesting project in 2017. I believe Yours Network is planning some type of release in 2017 as well. With the release of BelaCam we will also have an instagram equivalent for the cryptocurrency space. Do you have any thoughts on how these cryptocurrency incentive platforms are going to shape the future of social networking and social media? Do you think this will be extremely disruptive tech to platforms like Instagram and Facebook when users realize they will be able to get paid for their content?
Ambia Fund – Social media and other online services change the way we communicate more and more everyday. Before we know it, we will find ourselves in a world absent of things like digital cable and newspapers that used to deliver information from source to sink. The trend that humans exchange more information
regarding news, entertainment, etc. over social media as opposed to TV or press is growing at a burgeoning rate. Coupled with the expansion of hot sectors like subscription based streaming services, old methods of information exchange are beginning to fade.
Each day that humans spend more time scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, and other networks in search of useful information, the power of this new form of information exchange is solidified. Whether they know it or not, humans are engaging more frequently in “peer-to-peer” systems than ever before. Humans care more about the opinions and approval of their coworkers, family, and other random peers than those of news sources in some cases, leading to a new hierarchy of information exchange. This decentralization of information, from news sources and authorities to the users themselves, goes hand-in-hand with the overall principles of the cryptocurrency movement. This changing mentality is a principle that will allow BelaCam to succeed.
The next inevitable facet of this decentralization trend is providing a way for the new leaders of information, such as the influential mass-followed users of social media, to be monetarily rewarded for their services. This has been the mission of most blockchain social media so far because the work that content creators do is a part-time or full-time creative occupation worthy of monetized rewards. Depending on the specificity of their subjects and their popularity, their outreach can span across the world and into the minds and hearts of millions of people. Millions of users, following a wide variety of content creators from all subjects are have the potential to participate in the micropayment system that BelaCam will employ. The BelaCam project will be able to connect these leaders to their followers, empowering both parties to fully engage in interaction and information exchange that will encourage an ever-growing, self-sustaining social economy. The principle notion is that popular and productive content creators deserve to be paid for their content, and we are strong believers that their followers will reward simple, streamlined micropayments to encourage their favorite creators to continue to create.
Regarding our relation to other social blockchain platforms, paradoxically, we are all working together through competition. Cryptocurrencies are a collaborative community above all else, however it is natural that the best systems survive this formative period and carry forward our growth. Active projects such as the Yours Network, Synero, and other lesser known projects like alexandria.io from FlorinCoin all have their benefits and promised features that could form popular platforms. However, one thing is certain that differentiates us from most of their operations: we are not seeking a holistic social media platform (text, music, pictures, etc.). Also, with regards to Steemit specifically, we likely do not envision ourselves directly competing with their already established and commendable project. Although they do feature some photos shared on the site, they are integrated within text-based blog posts. This being said, we are likely to compete more with holistic platforms like Yours or Synero as BelaCam provides a simpler way to be rewarded by sharing creative content.
As far as being disruptive to Facebook or Instagram, this is the full intention. The incentive to get many likes on Instagram is mainly driven by a human’s desire to feel important. At BelaCam, users can get that same desire satisfied while also earning money. It’s simple: BelaCam can reward users more than Instagram and Facebook can. Although we understand that personnel at these giant companies are certainly aware of cryptos, it is intriguing that they have not been more interested in incorporating a system like ours. Regardless, BelaCam will prove show the effectiveness of a monetarily incentivized photo sharing platform.
BitcoinDood – Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I end every interview with the same last question. Could you share any thoughts, predictions, or probabilities of where you see cryptocurrency in general heading in the future?
Ambia Fund – For The Ambia Fund, the idea of cryptocurrency is much larger than BelaCam, social media, or even online payments. It is a true economic revolution that transcends the boundaries of politics and nationality, despite being relatively young. Whether you are a libertarian supporting the movement to combat big government, or an immigrant who needs desperately to send money back home, cryptocurrencies are for you. Their ability to unite is largely what makes them so beautiful.
The development of Bitcoin and its integration into society can be viewed as commendable a collaborative feat as the completion of the Human Genome Project, or the construction of the Internet itself. In less than a decade of existence, Bitcoin and cryptos have undergone extensive tests of trials and tribulations that nearly suppressed the idea permanently. However, thanks to the resilience of the human ingenuity, we have continued to push for a better system and a better world. This undying spirit to enlighten others, to show them that there is a better way to do finance and furthermore, a better way to live life, will allow cryptocurrencies to find their own large niche in the world.
By first entering the small niche of cryptocurrencies for social media, we are simply playing our small role in the overall transition to decentralized payments and information. We have surveyed the emerging market of cryptos and observed a gaping hole for this specific industry. Bigger groups like Decentral and developers of other niche projects like Syscoin are all doing their own parts to help mankind accept cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways. After all, it will take the entire community to further propel cryptocurrencies into mainstream tech and finance.
With this being said, we have designed The Ambia Fund and its subordinate projects to be pioneers in this inevitable transition into the future. We are the most adamant believers in what cryptos can do for all of humanity. Through our projects, we are recruiting others to also believe in us and the movement. Our group is doing all we can to help cryptocurrencies create a modern, united world in which humans are truly free to use their money, talent, and knowledge.
BitcoinDood – Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. The Dood really appreciates your time and wishes you and the entire BelaCoin team the best of luck on this project and all your future endeavors. Thanks for sharing the BelaCoin story with me and my readers.
To find out more about the Ambia Fund and Belacoin, you can follow these links.
http://www.ambiafund.com/Upload/Belacam.pdf <— white paper