With the first phase of the airdrop only days away, Dan Goldman from the Isracoin management team found the time to tell us about this emerging cryptocurrency and share exclusive information about the future development of ISR.
1. Thank you for your time! Can we get the names and roles of those participating in the interview?
For this interview, Dan Goldman, Isracoin management.
2. Who else is apart of the team that also has an integral role with Isracoin?
There is a group of people, both in Israel and international, composed of experienced entrepreneurs, software engineers and social activists. Several from this group have been active in the recent social protests in Israel and helped lead the charge.
3. Tell us a little bit about Isracoin. What is its purpose?
Isracoin is dedicated to helping the average Israeli gain more financial freedom and promote equal opportunity in Israel. Decades ago the Israeli government privatized most of the country’s assets but has made a huge error that has put the power in the hands of literally about 20 families, by allowing them to buy those assets, including the banks (and those banks actually financed those purchases, so those families did not need to bring their own money that much to the table). Jump forward a few decades, most industries are controlled by those families, as are the banks and the average Israeli is struggling to make end’s meet.
The goal of Isracoin is to give an alternative that puts more control in the hands of the average citizen. Reduce banking fees which are ridiculously high and even unwarranted in many cases. Break the ties between money and politics that have taken form with the hold of banks over political parties debts.
Isracoin is a Scrypt coin with a 10% premine that will be distributed to tens of thousands of Israeli businesses and millions of Israeli citizens over a course of a year and more, in four distinct phases.
Our entire plan blueprint is available and public on our website www.isracoin.org
4. How can it help break the Israeli people out of their current financial ‘chokeholds’? What other opportunities does this coin provide for the people of Israel?
Reducing banking fees, reducing business transaction fees (credit card fees for example), freeing people to do with their coins as they will without scrutiny of banks (you would not believe the type of questions and invasion of privacy citizens sometimes have to endure when dealing with those banks, not to mention limitations etc.)
Over time an economy will emerge and reduce the influence of those banks and open up new opportunities.
Isracoin itself is also helping bring new financial and business opportunities to the general public in Israel and here is a scoop for you that has not yet been released anywhere: the Isracoin organization is working to help establish a Co-opertive company dedicated to handling integration of sophisticated Isracoin Merchant systems in businesses in Israel and this Co-Op will be owned and run by ANY citizen in Israel who wishes to partake in it.
This will allow them to become affiliates of sorts who can go introduce Isracoin to businesses and help integrate them and by doing that they also collect ongoing transaction fees, instead of the credit card companies (much lower fees than credit cards, mind you).
The Isracoin organization itself will have no ownership or involvement in the management of this Co-OP and no revenues or profits from it.
This is exactly the mandate Isracoin has set for itself, bringing more financial opportunity in a free, open and equal way.
5. Tell us about the 4 phases of the Airdrop.
Phase-I which starts in just a few days, is all about integrating Isracoin as means of payment into as many businesses as possible. We have set aside 500 ISR per business, for up to 50,000 businesses and those coins will be distributed to those businesses to help mitigate costs of integration and in general provide incentive to accept Isracoin as means of payment. The Co-OP mentioned earlier will also be part of this and we hope to establish it very soon.
Phase-II will begin rolling out about a month later and we have set aside 100 ISR per citizen for up to 2.85 million citizens of Israel. This distribution will be over time and with various mechanisms for what we called “Staggered Release” in order to reduce potential flooding of the market with coins. Those mechanisms are not yet public as they are being fine tuned, but they will be made public before the phase begins.
Phase-III calls for establishing a business credit system because any real economy needs that. We have set aside coins for this as well, but this phase is quite a while down the road still.
Phase-IV is a fund that will invest and donate ISR coins to startups, charities and projects that promote financial freedom and equal opportunity. This phase is even further down the line.
All of the phases are designed to help Isracoin grow and go through various stages of growth, kind of like a rocket booster that goes off in stages.
6. How many businesses are confirmed so far to participate in Phase 1 of the Airdrop?
We will release information about that fairly soon. Since Phase-I has not opened yet, we cannot call anything confirmed. There are many businesses who already contacted us to express their interest, but until Phase-I is officially opened, we cannot yet integrate them. Suffice it to say that the number of businesses who contacted us far outnumbers that of businesses who already accept Bitcoin in Israel. This is before we even started our media campaign for Phase-I, so we imagine the numbers will drastically grow once we do.
7. Where did the idea for Isracoin originate?
Generally speaking, after seeing the problems Bitcoin has with being global on one hand, yet having such low market penetration on the other, resulting in it being mostly a speculative tool rather than used more for real commerce, I felt a big change is needed in the form of putting Bitcoins in the hands of a huge number of people.
Since that was not practical, I did not do anything about it. A few months later I came across the Auroracoin concept and felt it had merit, though I thought its plan was a bit too simplistic. That’s when things hit home with me to start building the Isracoin concept, taking that model several steps forward to try and solve the problems of the Aurora simplistic model and adapting it to the Israeli reality.
8. How did the developers meet and get together?
There were already quite a few people in Israel looking to do something like this and in the course of online discussions the group formed.
9. What has the experience been like in creating your own coin?
Hard. Tough. Had I not been an experienced entrepreneur and business man, I would have already gone home to cry to my mommie.
But all kidding aside, creating a coin is much, much more than just a bit of coding. It is all about thought, concept and execution. Doing instead of talking. There are so many coins out there and
people are very wary and very jaded and they lash out indiscriminately, lumping everyone in and painting them with the same brush.
Dealing with the communities is probably the hardest part because everyone has an opinion and they all (mostly) want to make money, which we have no problem with, but our goal is to improve the lives of millions of Israeli citizens and that goal doesn’t really fit with the usual way things work where people try and hype a coin and a bunch of people make money off it, only to then send it back into the market for another round.
Some of us truly work around the clock 7 days a week for the past 2.5 months or so. there is just so much to do and we set very clear timelines for ourselves, which we intend to keep.
We are running a marathon here and we will see it through.
10. What is required from a team in order to create your own coin?
I suppose I already touched on that a bit earlier, but generally speaking, it all depends on your true goals.
A coin for fun is fairly easy to create. There are even websites that let you do it with a few clicks of a button.
To create a coin to make a quick buck is probably also as easy as that.
But creating a coin with a real purpose and a broad potential market that is not based purely on online-exchanging as the main goal and driver, requires a very well thought out plan that makes sense, a lot of management experience, business experience, dedication and most importantly – TIME.
11. What have you learned from this experience?
That I never, ever want to be in politics. Just seeing the way people lash out at you for no good reason, without being informed or looking up facts, using discourse that is accusatory, inflammatory and downright ugly, makes me realize that if I ever went into politics it would probably be even worse. So, no thank you.
12. Currently, there is a lot of attention on country-themed coins being “pump and dump scams” and people are concerned about their pre-mines. How does Isracoin get around these hurdles?
It is of course very hard and we don’t claim that we have all the answers. But, you will also notice that unlike other coins, we do not go out and hype the coin, or talk about its value, or say “to the moon” and all that other nonsense that the kids out there are doing.
The real value of Isracoin can and will come from one thing only – the adoption of it in the Israeli market, which is dependent on us executing our plan as best we can. If we don’t distribute the coins in Israel, there will be no value, so we would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we did not do the distribution as planned.
The premine coins are waiting for distribution and there isn’t, nor would there be a market to supposedly dump them into, if a real economy did not exist with enough depth. For there to be enough depth, the coins must be distributed, businesses must accept it as means of payment and so on. You see our point…
Moreover, we are encouraging face-2-face exchanging as well in Israel and for that purpose we are about to release a bounty for creating a Local Isracoins HTML5 app (suitable for mobiles of course) that would allow anyone who wants to trade Isracoins to find a counterparty for that trade and do the trade face 2 face. This will also reduce the likelihood of a dump of coins into the online exchanges.
13. How are the people of Israel responding to Isracoin, despite the recent warning about Bitcoin that was issued by the Bank of Israel?
Israeli’s are very quick to adopt new technologies and are fed up with their financial struggles, so in general they are very receptive so far. With that said, we have not yet really begun the media outreach, other than around the launch of the coin.
We’ve kept quiet while working on implementing the plan because, as we said earlier, we do not hype or talk when there is no real information to release.
14. Are there any other coins the dev team is involved with?
Not that I am aware of.
15. How can people get involved outside of Israel?
Good question. I think it is all about community building. If people are interested in Isracoin and want to see this exciting and promising social experiment succeed, they need to voice up and take part in building an international community to support the effort.
This would build a symbiotic relationship between the Israeli community and the international one, which could be of benefit to both (personally and financially).
I think it is important to note that the success of Isracoin could and will prove to the world that things can change and this could usher such change in other countries that need it. We welcome anyone who wants to help and participate and they can reach out to us in email or in our forums, or bitcointalk etc.
Come, write, take part, voice your thoughts, just be friendly about it.
16. What is your vision for Isracoin? Where do you see it going long-term?
The vision for Isracoin is to become a real economy. For people to use it in their day to day lives for commerce. Buying their groceries with it, paying their rent with it, buying a round of beers with it. That is really all it requires for Isracoin to become a huge success in achieving its goals because it will mean it has become an integral part of life. From there on the rest of the goals will happen on their own due to the inherent open and free nature of cryptocurrencies.
Thank you for your time!
Thank you and your readers for taking a real interest in Isracoin.