Nimiq Podcast Episode 1: The Human Pillars of Crypto and how it relates to the Nimiq Ethos

Nimiq makes Crypto for Humans and as such, it is vital for us to look at the Human pillars of cryptocurrencies. Which are those? How does it relate to the Nimiq project and ethos? Learn more about it in this podcast.

Episode 1

  • by Max
  • , Elion
  •  & Richy

35 min

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In this episode we discuss:

  • The Human Pillars of Crypto and how it relates to the Nimiq Ethos.
  • How crypto does not automatically mean self-custody.
  • How we avoid the evil temptation of centralized shortcuts.
  • Fundamental philosophy behind Nimiq's transition to PoS and energy consumption.
  • What is the human aspect of crypto?
  • Why controlling your own money is vital.
  • Why it's important to have charity embedded in a crypto project.

Transcript

Hello, welcome to "Easy Crypto with Nimiq".

Nimiq makes crypto easy to use for everybody and we have this series to explain more about it.

I am your host Richy and this time we are going to be speaking about all the human characteristics that a cryptocurrency needs, that we have identified that it needs to to be successfully accepted by everybody and how it translates into the Nimiq ethos and the Nimiq apps and the things that we are doing as a project.

To speak about that we have Max here, the official ambassador of the project and also Elion, who takes care of operations of the team and also the legal aspect and some portion of the charity component of itself.

Max, who do you think Nimiq is made for?

Is this like a wide audience thing?

It gives you some interesting components because it's for all humanity, right?

For everybody!

Yes, kind of!

So we've built Nimiq in mind with, yeah, everybody, every human being on the planet who has a device that can access the Internet should be able to easily access the crypto space and use cryptocurrency as a means of payment.

This is what we envision, this is what we started with and we are building easy solutions that enable people without a certain technical background or even knowledge about payment systems to interact with true crypto cryptocurrency as easy as with their own online banking or other payment apps that they're used to and we want to show that true crypto is really accessible and easy to use, and it can also be fun and have several good other aspects that people can value.

Yeah, and in terms of like true crypto, we've spoken about what is the true crypto way, the non custodial way and also the importance of not having an intermediary and doing things for the right reasons right?

That is something that we really believe in Nimiq.

So Elion, from the charity aspect, why do you think it's important to have charity embedded into Nimiq as a project?

Well, maybe I'll back it up a little bit, I think. The whole reason when we started Nimiq or came up with the idea of a "lowest barrier to entry crypto", right?

As you just said that we want everybody to be able to participate, that just has a device in their hands, so that also means you don't need an App Store, you don't need to install anything, right?

A browser gives you direct access to Nimiq, its wallet and its currency, and you're a direct participant in this network.

We said basically, if we create that if we're in the position.

To build this new currency that's so easy to access.

Part of building a currency should be that there's a charity component built into it.

So if you build money, why not also build into it, giving back and the idea there...

We found out later that this is actually something quite common now in the business world or starting to become popular, and for good reasons, it's this 1% pledge.

If you guys ever heard of that, you know the ones were in the US.

I think the US is driving that effort where businesses that are socially, ecologically conscious say you know 1% of our sales actually go to a charity cause, that I think in some cases that the user can select upon checking out.

Like the project "Kind Humans" that we actually partnered with.

And we basically, before we even knew this, because obviously this idea is like 5 years old now...

We set aside 2% of the total final amount of NIM supply and said we're setting that aside immutably... in the genesis block, including a vesting schedule so that this NIM amount would not be just accessible right away, but spread out over 10 years.

With the whole idea also that we... you know the project first wants to generate value and have NIM developed and become bigger, so that then the impact of those NIM that the charity holds can be bigger.

So what we set in stone was that the mission of this is, you know, we want to do something of high social and ecological ecological impact.

And so I think that's what's really unique to this currency and Nimiq as a project that we've built this into the currency.

That's super cool and it's interesting how we envisioned this from the very beginning and you can see that in the blockchain itself.

And there are other things from the blockchain that we identified that are maybe necessary as a payment system.

For example, we believe Bitcoin is amazing.

We are standing on the shoulder of giants here with Bitcoin being the first one adopted in a lot of places around the world.

But we also identified there's other things that are important!

Max, would you care to maybe comment a little bit about that?

Yes, of course!

You know, we are on a mission to bring true decentralized cryptocurrency to every human being on the planet, kind of.

So our slogan.. what we do is, we are creating crypto for humans.

That has two aspects! The crypto aspect and the human aspect.

So when it comes to cryptocurrency and you just mentioned Bitcoin as the original, as the first cryptocurrency, follows a certain philosophy and that can be summarized as the fundamental pillars of crypto.

Which are: crypto is Neutral, Open, borderless, Decentralized and Censorship Resistant.

Those are the true fundamentals of a digital decentralized currency that is as it should be!

You know, that is the true crypto way of doing things and handling payments.

But on the other hand we can't forget, that there is not only this technical side, but there is also this fundamental human side to it and there are intrinsic needs or things that people want to see covered, so that means it needs to be easy to use!

Just just make it easy for people to access, be part of it and use it!

It needs to be fast because no one wants to wait very long.

It needs to be practical so I can actually use it as a means of payment in my everyday life.

So I have this really low barrier of entry, so that people actually are incentivized to use it, for their everyday payments when they go out and buy bread, or go to the super-market.

On top of that, we are fully aware that eco friendliness and sustainability is a very important part and that is why we are developing Nimiq 2.0, our proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.

So that means that we are living up to this eco-friendly aspect of what.. you know... it's in our nature that we want the planet to be sustainable, so it's still here for future generations.

That means remaining on proof-of-work, and spending a lot of energy is just not, the right thing and nothing we should do.

So that is something that we are also achieving with Nimiq 2.0.

Last but not least, we believe that humans also want to do good, so if I have two choices and there is one choice which is focused on making money and profits, and there is like this other project that actually has this DNA of doing something valuable, giving back to the society and doing something good, and while using it you can be part of this movement.

I'm really, extremely happy that this actually became part of the movement,

So people who are following us, our community, is embracing this idea of being charitable, doing something good, and being able in the future to contribute to a positive societal development and supporting projects like “Team Trees” or “Team Seas”, what we recently did. We believe, for us as a project, this is a good thing to do, this is a desirable thing to do, and it's a noble thing to do.

That's why we're all happy, that we pursue this part.

May I chime in also?

Of course, yeah.

So I really like how you put that and I also want to give a very other simple example: if you have two currencies, that are accepted in a store; let's say two cryptocurrencies.

And you know, you don't really care what the technicalities of each are.

Let's say you're open to using either one of them, but you know that by using one of them, you're actually also doing good or enabling charity or enabling value for a charitable cause.

I think with the mindset of the younger and newer generations, that's the right thing to pursue, right? If you have that choice,

I'm gonna go with the currency that actually also has a positive impact beyond that.

I just want to say one more thing:

You said the human thing, there was also cheap transactions;

I think maybe that's also another one that's really important, that has to do with scalability.

So I also don't want to take it away from... we're talking a lot about proof of work being, you know, so electric electricity hogging.

I think the discussion there....we shouldn't judge that overly.

I think there's a discussion to be made also that what Bitcoin for example does is also incurring a lot of innovation around electricity, renewable energy, and so on.

So there's also a positive aspect to that that you could argue about.

But I think what we're basically saying there's Bitcoin, Bitcoin has its place,

Bitcoin won't be replaced for sure, not overnight.

It's extremely secure.

It has this established store of value role and I think what we're doing is just going an alternative route that, is the more modern approach to this, in a complementary fashion.

That's what we're trying to do. And one additional benefit of proof of stake, regardless, is also that people who want to participate in our Network and stake their coins and help to secure the network can still receive a benefit from it and receive some sort of passive income.

And that is also, you know, giving giving back to people who help us support the project, they can also earn rewards by while being part of it.

And that is, of course, something that is much harder.

If you are in a proof of work environment because you basically don't need any technical knowledge to be able to stake your NIM with us, but you do require technical knowledge in order to mine and that excludes people and that is not like the open payment ecosystem and the "borderlessness" and easy access that, yeah, that we would wish for.

I think there's arguments on both sides. What I'm basically saying; let's not judge either of the approaches, to the point where one is valid and the other is not.

No, I didn't want to do that.

There seems to be enough room to say both are valid pursuing and I think in the spirit of what where we set out to do, moving from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, is something that fits with our attempt to go this direction that we feel is the right one.

Yeah, and it's important also because you keep the other fundamentals that we spoke about like, for example, the neutrality I don't know, Elion if you want to share a little bit more on, like, why neutrality and borderless payments is important, like not providing your personal information, for example, has also this level of censorship resistance, and you cannot be censored even we don't know your ID at all, right?

It is pseudonymous in a way, so some thoughts on that?

Okay, but that goes more to the general concept of a proper cryptocurrency right?

The fact that your private key determines the control of your assets on the chain or in this decentralized public ledger, is a concept which is extremely important of course.

It's also a concept around which we can, I think innovate a lot. We have a lot of room there,

to improve on the ease of use of exactly that aspect.

You know, with control comes responsibility.

You know, we all say, okay, we don't want the traditional Financial system to control the money!

Well, somebody has to control it, right?

And if it's your money on your account, then you also need to secure it!

If you don't want anybody else to secure it for you.

And that's the concept of the private key.

It's very interesting that we're at this cross section of wanting to make things extremely easy to use yet, we do not want to compromise on the fundamentals underneath, and not just create, you know, a centralized hosted wallet, which, you know, if you use your lose your password, you just email, right?

So that doesn't work that way.

So far with the wallet we've developed and the approaches we've taken, tried to make it as easy and intuitive as possible, used tricks such as reminding you in a second and third step, to secure this private key instead of throwing at you, right?

At the first moment where you haven't even done anything, right?

Some basically scale security, or safety based on your interaction with the wallet, and maybe also even how much you have in it; it's those kind of things.

But then there's also research into use of multi-signature, multi-sig as well as on social recovery, which we haven't you know, haven't produced any results yet, but things that we know could provide very meaningful solutions.

Keep things very easy without compromising these fundamentals.

Which give you a chance to earn?

Not feel or worry so much when you interact with your wallet knowing:

Oh my God, I'm I'm the only one who and what happens if I lose it,

what happens if somebody, you know, forces me to give up my private key?

How can a mitigate all that?

And I think providing this peace of mind, to the to the beginning user as well as the intermediates to just make it really easy, worry free, is really something that Nimiq is trying to achieve and specifically with members our currency and coin since we, you know, control the technology underneath or we're evolving the technology underneath as we for example, provide upgrades 2.0 and so on and so forth. We can do it such that, the experiences we want to offer the user on on top could be optimized, based on the technology that we have underneath, because we have, we're developing it, right?

So it gives us the tools to really do novel stuff, at least that's our hope, and that's what we're doing.

That's why things. Sometimes just take a lot more time than in the quick.

There are dirty approaches.

The shortcuts that Max knows very well. Centralized... what did we call it?

"The evil temptation of centralized shortcuts"!

"The evil of centralized shortcuts" is a really good representation of what we're trying to avoid and this space kind of does,

and it actually, well a lot happens in the crypto space, right?

So we we have this temptation the evil temptation of the centralized shortcut.

It makes it very easy for the users to interact with crypto.

The problem is that the user at that moment in time when he's offered these centralized shortcuts likely is not even aware, what's happening underneath and what he's giving up underneath. What we notice.. and it's really tough I guess; for us as a project that's trying to, you know, at the same time, not compromise on on these elements:

Is that the user it at least in the current state of the world, except the people that are really educated in the crypto space, they still don't care so much about the details.

But the problem is that those details are the whole reasons of existence of crypto.

But I think that's also education! They don't care because they are not even aware,

that there is a fundamental difference between you actually owning your money, or somebody else.

Look! You open up your bank account and you see there's my money.

But the thing is, you're not owning it.

So if you want to transfer let's say....

You traditional Bank account does kind of. You know, you see the number there, but you can't transfer it as you like. If you want to transfer let's say you buy a car, and you want to transfer a larger amount, you have to call your bank first, and raise your your limits that you can actually send this money.

So people take care care of that, but they are also, yeah, they're kind of censoring your freedom of what you're able to do with with your money. Crypto gives you this financial freedom of handling your finances as you like!

(But not automatically)

No, not automatically. You said crypto gives me that..

Well, if it's done, right!

(Only if it's self custodial) Absolutely.

So in our case Nimiq gives you this opportunity, of really owning your own money.

And most people who are new to the crypto space are not even aware of the fact that

you can actually own it.

Or should own it!

Yeah, this is the right thing to do like: actually own your money.

And of course, as you said with ownership and freedom also comes responsibility, and that is an educational topic. But a lot of people that I talk to, if I really explain them what it's about and that they are not that there is always or mostly another entity that tells you what you're allowed to do with your money or not.

And then they experience this freedom or they understand it; that is in fact that enlightening moment, when people really start to understand the beauty of a truly decentralized, digital currency.

I had it, with my own parents, there was something they wanted to make some kind wire transfer... and there was some kind of problem.

And my mom had to call the bank three times because they just didn't send out the transfer.

And that was like the moment when I said, this cant happen if you would have paid with NIM, because there is no intermediary that causes problems or doesn't let you do anything.

That was kind of the second, I saw it in her face when she understood. "Ah okay, now I get it!"

Now I get what this is all about. I think it needs more of such enlightening moments, for a broader audience in order to really understand why cryptocurrency in it's true fundamental state is an incredibly cool thing.

Yeah, it needs two things:

It needs the education to understand this responsibility shift and at the same time it needs the Innovation; the novel approaches to make that responsibility handled with ease and peace of mind.

And I think that's still one of the big challenges in the space and one of the big opportunities.

In general, you know, 99% of the population has not ever interacted with crypto properly.

So the opportunity is still massive right to it to to educate and do it the right way.

And just one more example to why I feel like the time is now more than ever of people realizing this, because it's in the news right?

In Canada when they had this protest. I think with truckers blocking the city for not, you know,

I think it was covid related or vaccine mandate related, so the government said, we're freezing the accounts of the people that donated to this protest. Now arguably, that's a very good example: people realized "oh, okay, that's how easy I can lose access to my money!"

And interestingly it did not affect only Fiat money, but also crypto that was donated.

Crypto that was donated, either from an exchange, well not either: the crypto that was donated from an exchange, the government said you need to freeze the accounts of the people that donated on the exchange, and the exchange can actually freeze your crypto, because it's not you controlling it.

Yeah, It's a centralized service!

It's the essentially very similar to just a bank holding the money for you.

So you know, crypto doesn't automatically mean self custody.

And I think that's a really important educational thing, that is part of what I think Nimiqs effort also goes towards.

For sure, very interesting! It is definitely something that we are aspiring to do, to bring more light to the space of crypto, for more enlightening moments! Thanks a lot for joining me, Max and Elion!

Thank you.

Let's hope we talk soon again, and that there are even more people going and doing crypto the right way!

So bye thanks a lot!

Disclaimer

None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service. All statements contained in statements made in Nimiq’s web pages, blogs, social media, press releases, or in any place accessible by the public, and oral statements that may be made by Nimiq or project associates that are not statements of historical fact, constitute “forward-looking statements”. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the actual future results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expected, expressed, or implied by such forward-looking statements.