The Divi Project On Crypto Transactions: “If People Can’t Do This While Drunk, Then It’s Not Good Enough”br>
If cryptocurrency is to become a common way for mankind to conduct transactions, there needs to be a profound change in the adoption rates. Making that happen is where the Divi Project comes in.
By simplifying the various processes involved in cryptocurrency – by creating its own token – the Divi Project hopes to solve some of the problems associated with use of bitcoin and ethereum. It plans to have an easy-to-use and jargon-free user interface with customizable IP addresses, quicker transactions, and a first-tiered masternode system, among other feeatures. The IPO for the Divi token is underway and has just a few more days to run.
Geoff McCabe, the co-founder of the project, talked with Block Tribune about the project vision.
BLOCK TRIBUNE:Tell me a little bit about how you got started with this, where the idea came from, and what it’s all about.
GEOFF MCCABE: Well, basically I’ve been interested in cryptocurrencies for three or four years, and invested in them a bit early on, and found it extremely, excruciatingly difficult to get involved. I kind of put it off for a while after that. When I did get involved later on, I always thought, like so many people, we would explain to each other about how difficult the whole space is, even for people like me. I was originally a physicist. I have a virtual reality blog, and every time I get to actually do something with crypto, like just trying to send a transfer or something simple like that, it’s a very scary process.
Even now, and I’ve done it hundreds of times, every time I do it, I sort of start sweating, and check back and forth between screens to make sure all the numbers are correct, because you never know … You leave one number off, and many, many times, you leave a number off when you copy and paste something, you’re never sure whether that money you’re sending is going to disappear forever. You always hear these horror stories.
One of our investors put in $10,000, the exact same amount of money he’s lost on a copy and paste error about a year before. He was just moving money between his accounts, and he did a copy and paste and it didn’t paste in what he thought it did. It had pasted in the one from before, and so he sent, basically, $10,000 with ethereum to his own bitcoin account, or maybe it was bitcoin to ethereum, I don’t remember, but the money was lost forever.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Oh, god.
GEOFF MCCABE: $10,000.00 right? When people have discovered the Divi Project [inaudible 00:02:09], they start telling us these stories. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re doing this.” “You know, this world of crypto is just so awful.” People are really excited that we’re gonna make this a lot easier for regular people and even for the geeks. Nobody really likes the process. It’s just they deal with it because that’s all that’s been offered to them, up until this point
BLOCK TRIBUNE: So, tell me how this is going to work.
GEOFF MCCABE: I don’t know if you’ve seen the demo. I have a demo that I made, with Photoshop. It shows a sample and when you open it up, it’s very familiar. That’s the first thing. You’re not looking at a whole new world of cryptography. The idea of crypto comes out of puzzle-solving and puzzle-making. And so it kind of stands to reason that, as form follows function, the entire way that these things work, as designed by cryptographers early on, is almost like solving a puzzle.
You open a wallet and you have to now figure out what you’re supposed to do. There’s a lot of things we do to make sure that people, as soon as they arrive, it’s a very familiar process. It should look something like PayPal. It should look like their online banking. They should feel immediately at home in the new world, not that they’re having to learning a whole different thing all over again. That’s fine for a video game, because you’re playing. But when you’re sending money to someone, you don’t wanna play.
You have a job to do and you’re nervous about it. To begin with, you’re sending, and when you don’t have a bank as an intermediary, you have no recourse. You can’t call customer service and say, “Hey, I’m in a bank. What should I do?” and then hope that you’re going to get your credit card refunded, or something like that. That’s not gonna happen with crypto, so, you’re fully responsible. If you make a mistake, you just lose everything.
You want people to feel very comfortable the moment they arrive. and we’re getting rid of all the jargon. You’re not going to see words like blockchain or cryptocurrency. The idea is, think of it like digital money.The “send” and “receive” buttons are going to be very familiar and in a familiar place. For example, we don’t talk about public keys, as like the public key address. We just call it an account number. There’s no reason to call it a public key address and start confusing people as to what that means, right? There’s a whole bunch of different areas that we’re trying to improve and it’s a classic business scenario, where you look at something that’s very painful. You analyze all the pain points for customers, and then you find a solution for all of them. And people are really responding very well to it.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are you trying to target individual users, or are you trying to target businesses, or both?
GEOFF MCCABE: We’re doing organically, in that we’re assuming that there’s not going to be any business partners involved, because there’s nothing we can really count on. We’re targeting individual people with the idea of organic growth, once it’s launched. However, as soon as we have a demo, we’re going to be taking it to a lot of big companies. We already have a guy who’s an investor, who works for SAS. We have people in Amazon. We have people in all kinds of industries.
Tim Sanders, the ex-Chief Solutions Officer of Yahoo, is on our board and he’s gonna take it to all his friends in the old tech world. It’s going to get shown to a lot of big companies, but we’re not going to assume that anybody’s going to take it on. But we do also know that these companies. they all know about bitcoin. But they’re all focused on the user experience. At bitcoin, they get asked over and over, why don’t you take bitcoins? But the answer’s always the same. It’s because the user experience is terrible. They know their customers, for the most part, don’t want that. And so, by providing them with another solution that the customers will like, we’re hoping that that will help us with mass adoption on part of the whole program.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What cryptocurrencies are going to be available to be used on the platform?
GEOFF MCCABE: We have our own. It’s Divi and a lot of people keep asking us. I wanna use your wallet and your user experience to send bitcoin, and send ethereums, and send their favorite ones. That’s probably our number one request. The problem is that we can make some of that user-friendly, but it’s our particular blockchain that allows us to do the really cool stuff that nobody else can do.
For example, with our system, when you go to send a transfer, you can look up people by name, by email, and you can see them. You don’t have to have their number on file. You can find them. You can see a photo of them, or their business logo, or as much information as they want to provide. If people want to be anonymous, they can. That way you can find somebody on a list. You can just click them and when you send a transfer to them, you can personalize it with a message.
Also, you can send it with a PIN code. Even if a hacker were to intercept it on the way, they wouldn’t be able to open it because you can then call that person, or send a WhatsApp message, or Skype message and give them the PIN code. They’ve got many different steps that make the whole process much more secure. It’s a lot more difficult for people to make a mistake. My idea is that if the people can’t do this while they’re drunk and feel comfortable, then it’s not good enough yet. I want people to be able to feel like they’re opening up a wallet and handing people money and don’t worry so much about anything.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How are you going to make money?
GEOFF MCCABE: When you create a new cryptocurrency, you own some of the coins. About 8.3% of the coins go to the five founders and our advisers. Every time somebody purchases the initial coins, a small percentage is generated for us. Now, ours vest over two years, so we don’t get paid right away. We don’t get paid by the coins right away. But, eventually, we’ll have them and if the price goes up, they’ll be worth a lot more. If they don’t go up, we can still put them in our master node system.
That’s one thing that’s cool about this. Even if the price doesn’t go up, it’s constantly generating a small amount of new coins for the people that are holding them in master nodes. And it’s kind of like mining, but it’s proof of stake, as opposed to proof of work, so it’s not hard on the environment. You can put your coins in there and earn a large rate of interest. In fact, one of our investors just calculated the interest rate to start. It’s going to be 100%, so it’s very, very high. Now, as more and more people come into the system, then that amount will go down. But it’s going to start out very high.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you have a development team together?
GEOFF MCCABE: If you look at our website we have, I think, five people on there and there’s three more that aren’t on the website that are doing various things. But we just haven’t had time to put them up. Our Technical Project Manager, he works for one of the biggest companies. I’m not allowed to say, but it’s either Facebook, or Amazon, Microsoft, Google. It’s one of those. But he’s still working there. He’s not allowed to put his face on it. We have him and we have another guy. We actually have two guys that are anonymous. Another guy is the lead dev of another coin and he’s helping with the most technical parts. But he has a job working for somebody, who also that doesn’t let him put his face on anything. So we have those two guys, and then we have three others that are not listed.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What do you see as the timeline for there really being some traction?
GEOFF MCCABE: That’s a good question. Everybody knows about bitcoin by this point. Most people don’t see what good it can do them. A lot of people are starting to think that, okay, I understand Bitcoin is a store value, where you buy it and it keeps going up. And it’s a bubble that pops and it goes back down, and it always goes back up. So right now, that’s where the world is focused. It’s how can I make money on that. But not many people are really using it for buying stuff because the transfers take too long, they’re too expensive, and it’s too much trouble.
Even for me, I have a couple of hotels in Costa Rica and there’s very few people. And that’s a perfect briefcase for something like this. People could send overseas very easily and get it and avoid having to pay all the visa fees, the money exchange fees. And even in the travel industry, which it’s perfect for cryptocurrencies, there’s very little use right now. And it’s because the whole process is very painful. And it’s hard to get into cryptos in the first place. So it’s going to take a few years.
Every year there’s going to be more and more adoption. But at some point, it’s going to be kind of like the Internet, where, sort of a curiosity at first, and then more people start using it. Then, suddenly, you find out all your friends are using it and you’re not. And then, after a while, it’s everybody’s using it. And then, after a while, it’s like if you’re not using it, you don’t know what’s going on. And that’s kind of the way Facebook is now. It’s all the parties and everything. Nobody sends out invitations anymore, or calls people. They organize gatherings on the internet, right? If you’re not part of that, you don’t know what’s going on anymore with social groups. And that’ll be like that with cryptocurrencies. It’s just a matter of it taking between three and five years to really hit mass adoption.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What about the problem of transaction times? How will that affect your growth?
GEOFF MCCABE: With transaction costs, in our case, like with bitcoin, a major way the miners make money is they charge these very high transaction costs. With Divi, there’s other ways for people to make money, because of the masternode system. And we have this thing called Lottery Blocks, where, on average, once a week, a block is mined that pays a very high amount to a random person, or group of people. That tends to keep people in the system.
We’re getting rid of these long strains of random characters for wallet addresses. And instead people can register their own name, or their business name and people will be able to send to that. But there’s a fee for that and there’s a renewal fee every year, like a domain name system. That generates fees as well. Those fees go to a governance system that’s owned by the blockchain itself. The blockchain owners, who are the masternode holders of the coins, get to vote in the governance system of how that money is spent, and who manages that money. It’s self-funding. That allows us to keep the transaction costs very, very low. It’ll be less than a penny. Transaction costs go nearly to zero. That’s the one great thing about Divi.