In this latest interview with LEOcoin Foundation’s Chairman Dan Andersson, NewsBTC discusses the cryptocurrency’s performance in 2016, Bitcoin’s uptrend, and LEOcoin’s new services in 2017.
How did LEOcoin fare in 2016?
Dan Andersson: LEOcoin did well in 2016. Even if we regard it as a transition year. In terms of price, in February 2016, the price was around $0.04, currently the price is around ten times that. This is phenomenal development in just one year. Additionally, during 2016, LEOcoin was added to more and more exchanges giving solid increases to daily traded volumes. This has included being added to a major Chinese exchange as well as multiple English language exchanges. The most significant change for LEOcoin was the successful move form a mixed POW/POS mechanism to a pure Proof of Stake coin. This required a successful hard fork and has created a Proof of Stake structure that has yet to be replicated by any coin that I’m aware of. We have introduced a tiered system of rewards. For people who hold 1000 LEOcoin they receive 10% extra over a year. People with 5000 coins receive 15% and people with 50000 LEOcoin receive 20%. The impact that this has had on our economy has been massive and it has broken new ground in the sector.
In December, the LEOcoin Foundation worked with the LEOxChange with a massive update that has radically improved that platform and there have been new desktop and mobile wallets developed that are working very well. 2016 felt like the year that LEOcoin sorted out all of the teething issues that it faced at launch and is now in a position to meet it’s full potential.
Do you think Bitcoin’s popularity has anything to do with LEOcoin’s growing adoption?
Sure, there is hardly a digital currency that is not in one way or another indebted to the pioneering work that is being mirrored in Bitcoin’s popularity. In fact, we endorse the use of Bitcoin and other legitimate alt-coins, as the whole field of digital currencies is still rather new to the masses. For that reasons, we are happy to see that also many members of the LEOcoin community understand that it is way too early to be nothing but thrilled about Bitcoin being a leader in the field of disruptive financial alternatives. And of course, we as the Foundation work together with our community to make sure, LEOcoin stays part of this transition process of making digitally encrypted cash payments a global success.
LEOcoin was created to be a mass market coin. The way that we share information about it, the people we’re trying to reach are very different from any other digital currency. It’s not our objective to battle for a slice of the current digital currency community, with more and more coins appearing, the sector cannot sustain itself unless it grows exponentially. That is the point of LEOcoin and what we’re trying to achieve.
So how is LEOcoin better than Bitcoin?
Bitcoin has an increasing number of voices raising concerns with regard to transaction times and the increasingly higher transaction fees as well as high exposure to the actions of the Chinese government. The LEOcoin Foundation, we have argued from the start of LEOcoin, that if we want to present a valid alternative for cash payments in real world and online business transactions, we need to ensure that LEOcoin is fast, secure and has a moderate fee structure that enables merchants to do swift and easy payments that are securely confirmed in a short time-span. Additionally we believe we have the muscle to actively reach a global user base and pursue that as a specific objective. There is nobody in the Bitcoin community who would seriously take on that objective.
More prominent is that Bitcoin has a sort of governing problem which is not due to technical issues, but to conflicting interests and politics within the Bitcoin community itself. LEOcoin is a much younger digital currency and our member base is far more united behind the development of the LEOcoin ecology as envisioned by our Foundation. With strict and clear project management and a united team of both blockchain developers and community representatives, we can speed up new things and implement necessary changes at a much faster pace as Bitcoin or other larger cryptocoin communities can.
One of the paradigm shifts that we’re making a reality is that things can be directed without harm. The LEOcoin Foundation, is a not-for-profit organisation that has been set up to support LEOcoin and other digital currencies. It has employees and funding, it has management and a Board of Directors. This means that the Foundation can get stuff done and ensure that LEOcoin gets to and stays at the cutting edge.
There is a rumor that LEOcoin will introduce plenty of cool stuff to its wallet service? Is it true?
Yes, we shall do precisely that, introduce plenty of cool stuff. LEOcoin will be three years old this summer, and we want to do things with it that have not been successfully rolled out before. It is because we have a Foundation with resources and a growing community that we can invest in the best developers and create the most exciting new developments.
Please tell us about them?
There’s something that doesn’t sit right with me in this world that is sliding away from the right to privacy, and I think digital currencies present an incredible opportunity for people to reclaim their rights. There are many examples. Banks and Governments are acting to undermine people who want to use cash instead of cards. Innocent people are having their emails and text messages read and analysed by people who should have better things to do. If feels like people are no longer presumed innocent, instead we have a world that is increasingly encroaching on people’s rights. This is not okay, and LEOcoin can help give people some of the protections that they should never have lost.
One of our most innovative additions will be allowing communications over the blockchain. This will allow people to communicate privately between newly created wallet addresses. For people who are uncomfortable sending important information via “trusted” third parties, this approach fundamentally changes the way that private information can be sent. You don’t need to trust email providers or mobile app developers to protect your data and it’s incredibly difficult to hack this method of communication. I personally am uncomfortable when emails that I am writing using certain email providers lead to notifications and calendar events that I have not set up myself and I don’t like the idea of someone beyond my knowledge and control having access to my information.
Additionally, we’re upgrading our blockchain and making it far faster and improving it in lots of ways. Additionally, there are exciting things happening in increasing privacy in transactions, and we want to integrate some of these new developments into the new LEOcoin wallets. Also in the outlook are updates on our Qt-Wallets both in design and functionality. With the pending merchant program of LEO as possible back-ground support, we are considering some sort of P2P decentralized market, where a trusted trading system governs itself and most is to gain if you play by the rules.
Soon we will produce parts of our LEOcoin vision in the first part of our updated white paper. After the summit, we will release a more technically detailed road map for 2017. Further ahead, may lie considerations of moving LEOcoin to the Ethereum platform, depending on the extent that the needs of our user community.
The focus of our next phase is to champion people’s right to privacy in the communications as well as their money management. It is connecting to the ‘Zeitgeist’ and is what crypto is essentially all about: creating a fair, transparent and democratic system of trust and consent.
So where do you see LEOcoin in 2017?
We have the development muscle and the resources needed to invest heavily in the future of LEOcoin. We plan to reach the cutting edge with the Upgrade developments in the next few months and we want to stay ahead of the curve as we move forward in 2017. There are things that we can do with the coin and our blockchain that have never been done before and along with a growing user base, there is so much for us to achieve. While it’s always risky to set specific targets, here’s where I see success:
In 2017, LEOcoin users will grow into the millions. We will have a LEOcoin debit card launching that will massively increase trading volumes and interest. LEOcoin will take a strong position in market cap terms among the top 10 digital currencies in the world. The launch of the LEO Smart 3.0 app will bring LEOcoin and digital currencies to audiences that have never heard about the potential of this technology. The improvements we’re making to our blockchain and the features that we’re developing will start to disrupt a number of established industries, fundamentally turning them on their heads.