This is a transcript of the Podcast – STO’s and Ravencoin with Tron Black – You can listen the audio here
Nye : What is going on everybody, what is going on? Welcome to another episode of Evolvement, the financial podcast where we talk about BitCoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. I want to give a big thank you to Nexo for sponsoring our security token series.
Nye : Nexo is a blockchain based overdraft system that allows users to make instant crypto loans. At this moment, there’s no other way in which crypto owners can use their assets other than selling and buying them.
Nye : Nexo comes forth with a very lucrative business model where it allows crypto owners to use their holdings as collateral, then withdraw cash. The user maintains 100% access to their cryptocurrency while they have immediate access to cash as well. Check out Nexo at Nexo.io.
Nye : Thank you to our second sponsor, Unification. Unification is trying to solve the issue that enterprise blockchains face. Enterprises, developers and users require the immutable function of Blockchain without being subjective to market volatility. They do so by applying work chains. Independent blockchains deployed via an expansion log. To learn more, check out Unification.com.
Nye : Today I have a super special guest on the line. I have Tron Black, he is the lead developer of Ravencoin. This is another episode in our security token series, where we’re trying to help educate the audience, the community, and everybody involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain on what is a security token? Why is it relevant? Why does this market matter? Is there a future in this market? And why are so many of the key players in terms of leading experts, leading developers, and even people from outside of the security, or outside of the cryptocurrency market. Why are they all getting involved in security tokens? So Tron, how are you doing my man?
Tron : I’m doing great, hello everybody.
Nye : Thank you so much for coming on the show, man, thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time.
Tron : Oh, happy to be here.
Nye : I’m glad that you’re here as well. Can you just give the audience a little bit of a background about who you are, what you were doing before you got into blockchain and cryptocurrency, and why did you get involved in this industry?
Tron : Sure. So I was an entrepreneur for almost my entire life. Owned my own companies, two of them sold to public companies. Just that was kind of my life, was being an entrepreneur. Then when I found crypto, it was early 2013, and people- you’ve heard this from other people, but I just went down that same rabbit hole that everybody talks about.
Tron : Which is like how does this work? How is this possible? This kind of bypasses everything, it’s going to change the world. It’s like kind of discovering the internet for the first time. And it was just amazing.
Tron : So that’s why I said I want to be in this, so I started a company in that space, specifically Coin CPA, and Verified Wallet. And two companies that started early on. And then I was consulting, and I was in Amsterdam, and I saw Patrick do a keynote in 2014. And say that he wanted to do- during the question and answer period of that keynote, he said he wanted to do a parallel crypto equity.
Tron : And I said, “That sounds awesome!” And he’s 10 minutes from my house. I live in Utah, so the office, the Overstock office is about 10 minutes from my house. He had already allowed Overstock to take crypto, so he kind of has that name, and is very trusted in that area. I wanted to be a part of that. So that’s how I got connected with Overstock, tZERO, and [inaudible 00:03:47].
Nye : That’s awesome, that’s awesome. And right now, you’re connecting with all of these different projects, Overstock has a very big connection with Ravencoin, and everything that’s going on there. Which I want to get into, but can you share with the audience a little bit about what is Ravencoin? What is the initiative? What is the goal with this project? How did it form? And how are you involved?
Tron : Yeah, so it was really the brainchild of Bruce Fenton, who’s the former executive director of the BitCoin foundation. Very involved in the space, very respected figure in the space. And he was talking to Patrick, also very respected figure in the space.
Tron : They were talking, and got together and said, “We’re going to do this.” I think Patrick said, “I can help provide the resources for this idea.” And so that’s how it started. And I’d got wind of it and said, “That’s what I want to be involved in, that’s the type of project. I like that kind of freedom, transparency type thing.” So that’s really how Raven kind of was born.
Tron : And Bruce had talked about, in October, but specifically October 31st the 9th birthday of Bitcoin’s whitepaper and then we kind of built it over the next- we got launched about four months later.
Tron : You asked about the purpose of it, the purpose of it was not just to copy Bitcoin, which it was initially. But to add an asset layer on top, so that would be, you can think of it being similar to like a counter party or Mastercoin which is now OMNI or OpenAssets, only tightly integrated so we can improve the user experience and work across multiple platforms, meaning Windows, Mac, the next iOS, Android web.
Tron : And have that all kind of an integrated experience instead of a kind of a clunky two-layer solution. So that was kind of the initial goal, and then we’ve some things since then.
Nye : That’s awesome, that’s fantastic. And how does Ravencoin play in with this whole security tokens market? What’s- and what is your opinion on the security tokens market? You know I think we’re very early on with something that is at the very beginning phases of a potential whole new catalyst for the crypto industry and for the blockchain industry.
Nye : And Ravencoin is one of the leaders in this area, so can you share a little bit about how it plays into that whole aspect?
Tron : Sure, so I think of STOs or security token spaces just being ICOs with the legal wrapper. [inaudible 00:06:19] ICOs work perfectly fine from a technical perspective, they’re just, they violate some rules and laws of mostly in the US in the western states, and so new western countries.
Tron : So that’s what I think of STOs right. You can already- and in fact when we created Ravencoin, they were already doing that right? You have your company, you chop it up, you write on whitepaper, you say what you’re gonna do and you sell pieces of that vision or dream, and then you execute and now you’re kind of a part owner of that [inaudible 00:06:56], which is awesome. It’s really just stocks.
Tron : But there’s rules in the US that you can’t do that, you can’t tokenise a promise because you’re in violation of the SCC if you sell it kind of widely or publish it widely, and advertise it widely and take money from a lot of people.
Tron : So from actually- from the time that we [inaudible 00:07:15] it with Ravencoin and until today, it really was- they were already doing that, the ICO was that. We’re perfectly fine, Ravencoin is perfectly capable playing in that space, only we didn’t have assets activated until November 15th of 2018.
Tron : While that happened, during that year there were a bunch of enforcement actions from the SCC saying, “Hey! You guys can’t do this legally, you’re less…” And that kind of changed things a little bit, kind of put the brakes on ICOs that we used for some countries.
Tron : And so because of that, we’re actually making some adjustments, some adjustments to capabilities within Ravencoin so that we can play in that space.
Nye : That’s awesome, and I imagine since you’re making these changes, and I imagine since this is definitely a … I imagine this is an industry that you guys see has massive potential, am I right on that?
Tron : Absolutely, so while it seems new to some people, more of a late 2018 type thing, the efforts and stuff that I was involved in, in tZERO is kind of known this is coming for some time, specifically [inaudible 00:08:33] Patrick has known that they … He has a public [inaudible 00:08:38] but he kind of knows that all this rules exist and such.
Tron : [inaudible 00:08:40] way ahead of her on … So I was actually part of tZERO initially, so I’m king of familiar. We had gone through a fair amount of paperwork with the SCC and tried to go find- have an illegal token, we did, it was called OSTKP. It was a parallel crypto equity to a public company which was a overstock, so I helped with that project.
Tron : So I’m kind of aware, I’m not an attorney but I’m aware of a lot of the rules and things like that around these tokens.
Nye : That’s awesome, and for people that are getting just educated on security tokens, I think this is, I mean I sat down with some people recently and they blue my mind on the couple possibilities that security tokens have and how they’re really going to revolutionize the industry. It’s absolutely amazing.
Nye : But from your perspective, why do you think this is valuable? Or why do you think this is going to be valuable for the crypto industry as a whole and even beyond the crypto industry?
Tron : Sure, I think the real innovation happened January 30, 2009. Or possibly later two years later when Bitcoin came to value. The technology was the ability to move value like email moves. And that kid of started when Bitcoin started and move value.
Tron : Whereas normally with value, if you have a copy of something on a hard drive and you make a copy of that hard drive, you now have two of them. That’s really bad for money, right? That’s just counterfeiting, and yet that would someway yet distinguish which one’s first which one’s the original, so that’s some sor- usually some sort of central server that says this [inaudible 00:10:24] first.
Tron : And we get all the stuff in the 90s, I was watching in the 90s [inaudible 00:10:28] for a long time. And what would happen is that central server would fail or be taken down or [inaudible 00:10:36] say, “Hey! You can’t do this with money.” And shut that down, it made the whole system fail.
Tron : So what really happened first is this idea of de-sensualizing that role, and from there Bitcoin was just kind of the first- call it first instance of moving value around. And now there’s gonna be, I think thousands or millions, it’s kind of like the websites right? It’s how many can you have or how many new sites or blogs, it’s near infinite right?
Tron : Whoever wants to create them, there’ll be large huge ones, like an Amazon. And there’ll be smaller ones, Joan’s Sock Shop, [inaudible 00:11:12] moving money like that. So that’s the first base of this thing, and then after that you say, “Okay, well what can you move as value?”
Tron : Now you can move things like Bitcoin. So Bitcoin and Ravencoin are very similar, they have their own value or market. Market sets the value, so those just trade, and those are not securities, been deemed so. That’s too strong a word, basically said, those aren’t securities because the value is set by the market. Just [inaudible 00:11:40] as a not a tokenized promise, that they just work without anyone else doing anything.
Tron : And then beyond that there’s gonna be stocks and bonds and tokenized art, and tokenized real estate and all of those types of things. But behind that is this idea that this token moves around … moves like email. And you can buy and sell or trade, et cetera.
Tron : But also behind that is somebody say, “All right, this token represents this chunk of gold.” Somebody has to be responsible for holding that gold and honoring that promise. And that’s really what’s being built now, and that’s really where the SCC steps in and make sure that you’re not just sowing a promise, that as people as soon as they get the money, walk away.
Tron : And so I think that’s where the STOs differ from my [inaudible 00:12:35] who is really the same thing, except now there’s an entity that say, “Yeah, you can’t do that because you could take the money and walk away.”
Nye : Totally … I like that. That’s the first time I’ve heard someone say that, so pretty much just to recap and make sure that I’m clear on what you just said. It’s a difference between an ICO making a bunch of promises with no repercussions versus a security token making promises and having a legal entity such as the SCC or whatever governing body there is, be behind it and saying, “You can or you cannot make that promise.” Am I right about that?
Tron : Yeah, not that you can’t make the promise, but that there’s a [inaudible 00:13:23] we’ll call it a nectar ring, meaning there’s a system in place, and I don’t think that whole system needs to exist, I hope parts of that can fade away.
Tron : I don’t want people to lose their jobs, but at the same time there’s layers and the existing system need to be there. ‘Cause the technology takes that part over, specifically transfer agents and things like that.
Tron : But, there is this … role for somebody for to be in between the token. So I have one of these tokens, it says that it’s worth one ounce of gold. And a white piece of paper, a pdf says that there’s this ounce of gold in the safe.
Tron : And somewhere in between there is somebody that has to be regulating or responsible, or to the point where they get in trouble if they promise that that gold exists, but it doesn’t really. And that’s where the STO is different from the ICO.
Tron : And these were just terms that were made up, I watched them just happen [inaudible 00:14:24] so, “No this is a security token.” I remember having discussions of when they’re saying, “ICO is even a good idea as a main.” ‘Cause you have initial coin offering, it sounds a lot like IPO, that has a very big regulatory framework behind it. So it’s gonna attract the [inaudible 00:14:40] of the regulators, we call it that.
Tron : So these are just made up terms and I think we’re just now defining what they are, so that people can get a sense of that.
Nye : Yeah, I sat down with someone yesterday who was saying something very similar. It’s like working in a gray area and you’re having to build this structure and build this box as you’re moving along. Because not only has no one really done this before, but especially with ICOs and their legal framework and things like that.
Nye : In the beginning nobody had really done it before and you had to figure out how all that was going to properly function and how all that was gonna properly work. So it’s really interesting, we’re building- I don’t think people really comprehend or really grasp the fact that we’re building a whole brand new framework here, we’re building a whole brand new structure to how different systems and models are gonna work in the future.
Tron : Absolutely, I think we are building that, and I think hopefully the regulatory bodies recognize that and meet somewhere in the middle, and say, “All right, yeah, we need this.” But there’s some rules in the US law that just- they were appropriate when people were walking up and pitching their force to thing, and keeping these ledgers with a quill pen.
Tron : But are wholly inappropriate now that you have ledgers that manage themselves or even that you have a spreadsheet that could manage these things. Just limits on number of people, and things like that, just doesn’t seem like a good idea at this point.
Tron : Hopefully the regulators will be in the middle, and recognize that and say, “All right, great. This became easier, we can see and we have transparency on this, so we can monitor it and keep it safe because we have such transparency.” And sort of meet in the middle of all the new framework. It’s more efficient.
Nye : That’s a great point in itself, I think that … part of this whole cryptocurrency cyperpunk movement is all about what you just said. That a lot of these lawmakers were … A lot of these laws were written by ink dabbed in, or feathers dabbed in ink. They were written before, long before it was appropriate to be writing these laws.
Nye : So I appreciate you bringing it up, I think that’s really interesting.
Tron : Yeah, not only were they written almost 100 years ago, but they were also written in the wake of one of the greatest financial crisis ever. And we have similarly bad laws that were written right after 9/11.
Tron : And so some of these I think need to be addressed. [inaudible 00:17:18] that’s absent of fear.
Nye : I agree, I 100% agree. I love that topic, I really want to dive into that topic more. But before veer off from security tokens, more into the legal framework and how law works and things like that.
Nye : Can you share with me a little bit about how does Ravencoin actually work? How does someone create an asset via the use of your platform and what you all have created over there?
Tron : Absolutely, so a lot of what we do is modeled after Counterparty and Mastercoin and Openassets. I had done work on that for a while, worked on explorers and things for Openassets.
Tron : It’s more [inaudible 00:18:03] than that, we took the best features of multiple coins, we copied the- first we copied the code base of Bitcoin, so kind of the most secure, solid, basic kind of thing.
Tron : We did expand the block size and sped up the block speed load, it’s a little faster and a little bit more capacity. But specifically 20x at capacity, which is pretty safe and well within the thresholds of … the proof of work-based crypto.
Tron : And then- that was our base. And so that was Ravencoin, it has a stronger issuance, or a more aggressive issuance speed [inaudible 00:18:38] 5000 are Raven per block. We have the same happening schedule as Bitcoin, so every four years that will hap, so 5000 for the first four years-ish. And 25,000 [inaudible 00:18:51] et cetera. So that’s Ravencoin the token.
Tron : And then on top of that, so that- when we launched that on January 3rd of 2018, so exactly the 9th year, birthday or anniversary of Bitcoin’s launch. We kind of paralleled that, it was really just more for fun. And then the- meaning the timing of our launch, not just doing the token.
Tron : And then on top of that, we built something similar to a couple of- similar to Counterparty [inaudible 00:19:22]. But we had the advantage of being able to add our own opcodes, and go into the code and take out some of the restrictions that Counterparty had, as being a layer to a solution.
Tron : And so we also needed a cost to create an asset. Just so everybody knows, if you’re not familiar with Ravencoin, you can go in Ravencoin, download it. Get 500 Raven, you can buy it from Vertbase, or any of these exchanges, Binance, Bittrex, et cetera. If you have 500 Raven plus maybe a little tiny bit more, maybe like a hundredth of a Raven. You can- just for the fees.
Tron : You can create your own token, so it does cost 500 Raven, and that Raven gets burned, by burned, I mean it goes to an address that can never be accessed anymore. So that’s part of it’s tokenomics. ‘Cause that Raven is essentially gone. And then- although you can transparently see it, but it’s gone.
Tron : So then you crea- so with that you create your own token. You get to choose your own name, your name has to be unique and reinforce that. And then you can choose how many you want, from one to 21 billion with a B, how many you want. And whether it’s re-issuable, re-issuable says you can make more later ’cause you are the issuer, you can create more, that’s an option you can lock it, so you can’t create more.
Tron : And then you can decide how devisable it is. So from non-devisable, meaning you can only trade units of whole integer units of them. Or you can have it devisable down to eight decimal places of anywhere in between, let’s make it like two decimal places if it’s … maybe it’s a- it’s supposed to act like currency or something like that.
Tron : So you get to choose all of these parameters, you can go if your name’s unique, you get it. 500 Ravens gone, and then you are a proud owner of a token. You can name it anything you want, you can name it Bobcoin or something like that.
Tron : And now it’s up to you to give it value. This is where you sort of having to be a little bit careful. Because in the US if you say, “It represents a share of my company and I’m gonna sell it to thousands of people.” You fall under the US securities laws.
Tron : So you have to either operate under an exemption, and there are some, like one of the exemptions is [inaudible 00:21:30] you’re gonna deal with Europeans, I mean non-US people, it’s called Reg S exemption. And I’m not gonna sell it to any Europeans that are standing on US soil.
Tron : So the SCC kind of takes jurisdiction over US citizens anywhere in the world or even Europeans standing on US soil. So as long as you kind of prevent that from happening, you can sell to people, then you’re not on your SCC rules, so at least.
Tron : Or you can do Reg A, or sorry Reg D, which means I’m only gonna sell to accredited people, which is kind of also another [inaudible 00:21:59]. But if you’re over a certain level of wealth then you fall under this category, people can sell you securities with the expectation that you’re either wealthy enough to absorb it or smart enough to invest, I’m not sure exactly what the logic is. But, that’s another exemption.
Tron : And then there’s been a few others that have been recently done by congress, that aren’t great but are helpful. [inaudible 00:22:22] that you can raise up to a certain amount, but you still have to do accounting and things like that.
Tron : So that’s the basics of Ravencoin, how you create your token and how you have to be careful about what you promise. If you’re just doing a gift card like, “Hey this is a- this token is good for … a cup of coffee or something like that.” Then it works fine for that, maybe for skymiles or rewards points.
Tron : There’s a lot of things that don’t necessarily fall under the securities law. I’m not a lawyer so I don’t want to tell you which ones those are, but there are a bunch, and so … so those should be okay.
Nye : That’s super interesting. And how do you find- first off, how is that going? Are people utilizing this to build tokens right now? And if so, I don’t know how much details you have on the user base and things like that. But how are these people using it to build tokens right now? What have you seen the uses so far as?
Tron : Yeah, so people created over 18,000 tokens. If I had to guess, I’d guess a lot of those are just name squatting, so when this becomes a bigger project they have a reserve name that they can sell for more than 500 Raven.
Tron : But there’s also some real projects, I get contacted often by some real estate projects. There’s one now called [Gunserv 00:23:48] which is using a token, not a token, but basically ties data to a gun, but without the name. Which is kind of a no-no in the US. But it sort of, we call it [inaudible 00:23:57] for guns.
Tron : There’s other projects that are doing- we also have a couple of other tokens types, we have one that’s a unique token. If it has a hashtag in it, there’s only one of them, it’s guaranteed by the system, in the same way that Bitcoin guarantees there’s only so many Bitcoin. It’s guaranteed by the system, there’s only one token with that name.
Tron : And so it kind of acts as a certificate of authenticity. So you can create these, tie it to let’s say [inaudible 00:24:24] or print or something, and you could say, “You should have the token. If you’re selling this item.” And you sell the token with it, so that way the token is counterfeit proof. And even more counterfeit proof than potentially the item that is unique. So people are using it for that.
Tron : There’s Wiki page, Raven Wiki page which lists a bunch of projects that we found. No one has to talk to us, or to Ravencoin or anybody to create a project or to build of top of Ravencoin. We have a dev-kit, we have a bunch of second tier tools, things you can use. Nobody has to ask permission.
Tron : This isn’t a, “Come to us and we’ll help you with the project.” This is a fully open, just go do it, go build kind of project. So for us it’s really just discovering some of these things, and then putting them into Wiki when we find them.
Nye : That’s really fantastic. I’m interested in learning more about how all that works actually. Is it something that’s complicated? Is this a long process to build out a new coin? Or is this something that someone with little development, little but no development skills would be able to do on their own?
Tron : In fact, right now we’ll have it for Android soon but right now if you have an iPhone, you can download the Ravenwallet on iOS. You have to get some Raven, so maybe in the US go to Vertbase, and you can buy it directly in dollars, connect your bank account.
Tron : So you do need some Raven, and then you just hit create asset, put in that information I said, you know, name, quantity, re-issuable and hit create, that’s it. It’s like picking your name and four clicks. It’s that easy on an iPhone.
Nye : That’s really awesome. And moving more into your connections with all these other companies, I’m really interested to learn more about Ravencoin’s connection with Overstock, how do these two tie into each other?
Nye : I know that Overstock’s always been a very big proponent of cryptocurrency, they’re one of the very first companies to just start accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for the goods on their side and things like that. How is this tied to Overstock, and how is all that inspired?
Tron : Okay, so it’s tied to Overstock only in the sense that I came to Overstock because they were supporting Ravencoin. The retail outlet can accept Overstock, or can accept Raven- that’s separately we’re working on making that happen.
Tron : But it’s really the [inaudible 00:26:58] division of Overstock, which is a [inaudible 00:27:02] subsidiary of Overstock that works in crypto. And is investing in companies that do [inaudible 00:27:08] five or six areas, six pillars.
Tron : And as part of that, it fits within that part. As far as Ravencoin working within those six companies, or not six companies, those … we have about 20 companies that we’ve invested in, in those six areas.
Tron : Ravencoin fits in some of those, and we’re working with the ones where it fits and not the others. But, I don’t want to- this is not, it’s not Medici coin, it’s not Overstock coin, it’s not tZERO coin, this is an independent separate, very transparent open source project.
Tron : That you can download the code, you can watch our development process, that you can submit issues, you can even submit code, improvements. We’re just there for those, to make sure that they’re aligned with a good direction. Make sure that they’re safe to do, safe for requests, so that we don’t damage the coin. But it’s very transparent.
Nye : Yeah, I think that that’s something that we really need to high light, is Ravencoin’s a fully open sourced project, and like a truly open sourced project. I think that’s why you guys started to get a lot of attraction in the community, I wanna say … middle, beginning of last year, a little bit after it was launched on January 3rd, 2018.
Nye : A little bit after it was launched, the community really started to pick up on this. And I think they really started to pick up on it, is because of exactly what you said. I think it’s the transparency, I think it’s the full open sourced nature of what you guys are doing.
Nye : And, yeah there’s obviously no ICO, no pre-mine, no developer … coins are held for developers, no founder awards. Nothing shady or in any way, shape or form like that.
Nye : So how does the funding process work for something like this then if we don’t have any ICO, you don’t have any pre-mine, there’s no coins held for developers or founder awards. How does the progress work with this, is this in terms of the community … is it fully community driven like that? And if so, how does the community get involved in something like this?
Tron : So the community is welcome to contribute, there is no funds. We did take some funds that were contributed by Medici and help [inaudible 00:29:46]. There are developers within Medici that get paid, some of them have actually slotted in and out, like the original developers, with the exception of myself.
Tron : The original developers that help make the transition from Bitcoin, over to Ravencoin. The coin itself, all of those developers have moved on to other projects. And then it’s been a different set of developers that have helped with converting this over to being able to do assets.
Tron : And then some of the developers recently were moving on to other projects. So it’s … Medici has a large base of crypo-developers, and they help with the various portfolio projects. And so those developers can kind of move in and out of this project.
Tron : So those are, they are a very small team. And then beyond that though, we’ve had tremendous support in everything. People contributing to the build process, people … submitting, forward requests for the build process. People submitting stuff in the dev-kits. The explorers are all run by the community. We don’t have a specific explorer. We’ve spotted one right now, but based on the efforts and code of others. Excuse me.
Tron : We have asset explorers, there’s three of those those. We have other people doing web-wallets. There’s just a ton and ton of- even the discord and the telegram are all created and moderated by others. We link to them on the website through ravencoin.org and ravencoin.com.
Tron : But it’s- beyond this, just tremendous amount of effort that’s gone into all this, this whole eco-system around Ravencoin. And that- it really is a platform, it’s not like Bitcoin, or like [inaudible 00:31:40] it’s a whole platform.
Nye : I love that. I absolutely love that. I applaud you guys for what you guys have done, and what you guys have set up. I think that … I think it shows. You know the community, especially like the Twitter community is very much focused on price actions and things like that.
Nye : But really what you’ve done is you’ve created something that’s even beyond that. And it’s … it shows. I actually had a whole bunch of- a good friend of mine hit me up, and a couple of people hit me up recently, and they’ve been like, “Hey, check this out, check out Ravencoin. Start creating assets. You gotta do this.”
Nye : And I have a buddy that’s created hundreds of assets using Ravencoin, he’s absolutely obsessed with it. So I’m really excited to see where this goes in the future, and what you guys are building and how the progress expands from here.
Tron : [inaudible 00:32:35] super exciting project. I’m just honored to be a part of it, yeah.
Nye : That’s awesome man, that’s awesome. And I know you’re a little bit involved with Medici Ventures. I’m wondering, I don’t wanna get too deep into anything outside of the STO Ravencoin, ’cause that’s what more of where this interview’s focused. But I am interested.
Nye : What is the overall focus of Medici Ventures? I know you guys have a pretty powerful portfolio. How do you choose projects? What inspires that? And what is the focus on the projects that you do choose?
Tron : Yeah, so a lot of that vision’s driven by Jonathan Johnson and Patrick Byrne, and there’s six pillars, [inaudible 00:33:20] remember all of them, money and banking, [inaudible 00:33:23] markets, boating, land governance and … two others.
Tron : Anyway, these are the pillars that they looking for companies that are using blockchain in those six areas. And based on those six areas, and Patrick’s outlined this vision in recent talks.
Tron : So the land governance, if you go into a country and bring in an entire set of products that are based on blockchain. You can skip the cellphone network for a lot of countries, basically can just- they don’t have to put in all those, the copper lines, they can just drop in the cellphone network.
Tron : Whereas the US still has the wire, you know hard wired, copper wire network and then also a cellphone network. Other countries, they just skip the whole copper wire, and went straight to cellphone. And you can do the same thing with blockchain.
Tron : You can just plug in, we’re a decentralized functioning system. So now our task is to take a lot of these companies and … that we have invested in, and put them together so that we can create what Patrick calls a [inaudible 00:34:41] for civilization.
Tron : Put this stuff in and starts with identity and then I always wanted [inaudible 00:34:47] pillars as identity. So starts with identity, and then on top of that you got land and property rights, and then above that you can borrow against that, so capital markets.
Tron : And you can start to extend, and basically you build a … help a society, and build from identity and property rights and capital markets, and money and banking, and now this country can thrive because we have this very efficient non-captured technical system to build on.
Tron : So that’s really the big dish.
Nye : That’s awesome man, that’s beautiful, that’s awesome. Sounds like you guys are really working on some really interesting stuff, and I can’t thank you enough for coming on the podcast man. I really appreciate you jumping on here with me, talking a little bit about Ravencoin, I think that … in the … just in the asset creation, but I know this is more focused on security tokens, so in the whole aspect in regards of it, you guys are creating something really cool and adding a lot to the community.
Speaker 5: Before we wrap this interview up, are you guys adding any new features into Ravencoin?
Tron : We’re actually adding two more capabilities and features that are really important in the STO space. Okay, so from that time where you started Ravencoin and then you released the tokens, which is just, they act very much like Bitcoin.
Tron : You create them, they’re censorship resistant, et cetera. You can create [inaudible 00:36:13] and send them around, which is great for the ICO thing. Within the STOs, there’s still a question mark of whether or not anyone can hold tokens. So right now, you can probably argue that the [DSFC 00:36:28] would say, “No, you can’t unless you’re accredited. You can’t trade them, et cetera.”
Tron : And so there’s a lot of experiments out there, and you’re probably familiar with the use that people are taking the ERC20 model, which is what most people are issuing tokens on today. And then they’re adding things like white-listing to it.
Tron : So this will be used on stuff like [inaudible 00:36:46] or Polymath and tZERO token, et cetera. They’re adding this white-listing, so only accredited investors or people who have KYC or maybe accredited, get their address white-listed and then they can move it around.
Tron : So, because of that, and because the rules have changed from the time we started to today. We’re adding the concept of tags and restricted assets. And tags are tokens that will be created by the issuer, and you can tag addresses, you can tag them with KYC information.
Tron : But the KYC information wouldn’t be on chain, you just tag it and say, “Hey, we as a qualifier have stored this KYC information. So we added a database.” That way a regulator could come on and say, “Hey you gave it 1000 tags, do you have all the information that this person’s KYC, and not a terrorist, et cetera. You have 1000, that’s great, okay that’s good.”
Tron : But the KYC information would not be on chain, that would be in a private database server [inaudible 00:37:45]. So now you have this idea with this tag, the user who receives the tag can’t send that tag along. She wouldn’t want to KYC Bob and then have Bob send that token to Alice, so it just stays tagged to their address.
Tron : So that’s stage one, that’s the tags. Once you have a set of tagged addresses, you can create a token. So it will be a slightly different type, we call it a restricted asset. It will start with the dollar sign, ’cause normal tokens can’t start with a dollar sign.
Tron : Start with a dollar sign, call it Dollar Sign Uber or something like that, not saying Uber is using the system but they could. Dollar Sign Uber, you create this token, represents shares of Uber, and now it moves to- only to tagged addresses. And when you create the token, you tell it what tags to honor.
Tron : So you can say, “I need a tag for KYC, and I need a tag for accredited.” And as long as those- those tags- and then you can change that tag set, if you need it to layer. Like after a year for example, you may not need the accredited tag, it’s just the way that the rules work. It’s arbitrary [inaudible 00:38:47].
Tron : But that’s what we’re working on now. That’s not built yet, but that’s what’s on our road map. That’s actually what’s being built currently for Ravencoin.
Nye : That’s super interesting, that’s really interesting, and how … how does this affect the whole eco-system of Ravencoin and of the assets? What is the real benefit of these tags?
Tron : Yeah, so the real benefit is four entities, and we’ve talked to a few. There’re entities out there that say, “We can’t use Ravencoin, we would love to use Ravencoin, it’s easier to use, you get a nice easy name, it’s across all six platforms. It’s just a great system. But we can’t use it, because we need restriction.”
Tron : So we need to custom build this ERC20 token with the white-list and we need to make sure that the tokens only move among addresses that we’ve put KYC information in. And if we give them this token, so they can store it on their ledger. But they’re able to send it to someone that we don’t have KYC information for, then that starts violating SCC rules.
Tron : And so they’re custom building these, I don’t know what you call them, a lot of the STO technologies are built on top of- it’s like ERC20 but with a bunch of restrictions. And we looked at those, in fact we looked at a whole bunch of them. Ones from [inaudible 00:40:07], Polymath and we’ve looked at a bunch of them and said, “The problem with this is, there’s a whole bunch of these experiments that are happening.”
Tron : They’re kind of siloed experiments. Meaning there’s gonna be a whole bunch of, “Oh yeah, it’s this token, it’s not compatible with this token.” Which means that the, well, the future exchanges could work with those things.
Tron : Especially around the ERC20 standard, which is good. But at the same time, the white-listing is a non-standard, because everybody is building it in a different way. So what if we built a system that was like that, but a little bit better, because these tags will be consistent across all of this, and you build a consortium of people who do tagging.
Tron : So you can separate people who do tagging from the exchanges or from the issuance. And now you have this potential ecosystem, where you have, “Hey, here’s a whole bunch of addresses that are tagged with KYC by a … regulated broker dealer, Fender, under Fender’s jurisdiction.” I don’t know if that’s the right word. Excuse me.
Tron : Under this regulation, and now we can interact and create tokens that honor these tags. And now you go delete those system, where these tokens are both fully regulated and allowed, and we know who the people are and we know they [inaudible 00:41:39]. You move these things around, I think it’s a better solution. It remains to be seen, but we think it has the ability to have a better adoption, better ecosystem capabilities, than some of the existing projects out there.
Nye : I like that, that’s really interesting, and what is the timeframe on this being built and implemented?
Tron : So I hesitate to give timeframes, so I’m gonna put it for sure in this year, hopefully the first half of this year. Not very long, I just- the only reason I hesitate on timeframes is we’re not a huge team, it depends a little bit on how many resources are allowed to be allocated to the project. And also we have to protect and make sure that the existing system continues to work and function.
Tron : For that reason and all these variable, I hesitate to give [inaudible 00:42:36] dates, but that’s what we’re actively coding currently today.
Nye : Awesome man. Awesome, I’m interested to see how you guys build it out, and interested to see how it’s implemented. Again, thank you so much for coming on man, I really appreciate all the things you just shared here.
Nye : It’s really interesting to dive deeper in to Ravencoin, you guys are getting a lot of attention right now in the digital community, and deservably so. So thank you for coming on, thanks for sharing a little bit about security tokens. Really appreciate it.
Tron : Well thank you, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
Nye : Of course man, of course. And can you just share with the audience one last thing, where can people learn more about Ravencoin, and if they want to get involved, where can they do so?
Tron : Sure, so to learn about Ravencoin, I would try ravencoin.org and ravencoin.com, if you go to both you’ll find that they’re very similar. The intention is to make one a little bit more commercial potentially, and one a little bit more just the facts and have more dev-kit, things like that, would be ravencoin.org. So if you’re trying to build on, build something, go to ravencoin.org. If you want to know a little bit more about it from a commercial aspect, go to ravencoin.com.
Tron : But right now they’re virtually identical. If you want to stay on top of announcements of what’s happening real time. You can go to my Twitter, which is @tronblack, you can do @ravencoin which also has a lot of information that comes up quick. Also my medium page, which is medium.com/attronblack, and that’s linked to also, from the main website.
Tron : Probably that’s the best place for resources as far as just following it’s … you can get- it’s on Binance, it’s on Bittex, if you’re in the US or you need to get some dollars up for base, connect your bank account directly.
Tron : You do need some Ravencoin, the reason I say that is not to have you just go buy a bunch, but if you want to create an asset, go to Vervance and get at least 501 Raven, and then you can create your own asset, so you can just start to play with it.
Tron : That’s pretty inexpensive, you’re creating one for 25 bucks, [inaudible 00:44:57] Raven at the current time. So yeah, that’s probably the best place to start.
Nye : Awesome Tron, thank you so munch man, I really appreciate you coming on, I think the community is really going to be interested in hearing all this stuff, so again thank you so much man.
Tron : All right, thank you. We’ll talk soon .
Nye : Definitely, and everybody thank you for tuning in