Guest post written by Nathan Christian
Hey everyone, today we would like to share an interview done with ONEm CEO Christopher Richardson. Enjoy!
Christopher can you tell us how the idea of mCoin came to be?
The idea of mCoin was an evolution of ONEm’s global mobile platform.
Over the last 5 years we have developed and built a technology platform that provides communication and interactive services for masses with a focus on the emerging markets.
There are more than 3 billion people who are unconnected and have ordinary mobiles but no internet. Most of these people are also unbanked because of their low income levels. Many live in rural areas and rely on cash.
Relying on cash means no transaction history. Without a transaction history creditworthiness does not exist. The result is a high cost of borrowing.
There are all kinds of payment gateways where you need a credit card or bank account. These payment methods will not solve the unbanked’s problems, especially the fact that many of these people do not have legal identities.
We realized that a cryptocurrency has the potential to solve several key problems. When combined with the ONEm ecosystem we could create credit-card style transaction histories on any mobile.
The decision was very simple. Integrate blockchain technology into our existing platform and make it work with applications that we already have. We also partner with global and local companies to provide more services to these people.
We did our research and came up with a sound strategy to create a cryptocurrency that would work without the user needing an internet connection.
We called it mCoin with the “m” like ONEm meaning mobile, with or without the internet.
What do you think makes mCoin truly unique?
mCoin is truly unique for three reasons. Firstly, it is the world’s first cryptocurrency which is accessible with or without the internet. mCoin provides practical solutions to the everyday challenges for the billions of unconnected and unbanked people.
Secondly, people will be able to access mCoins on an offline wallet via SMS on any mobile. We have already developed our offline ONEm Wallet and will be releasing this to the public soon.
Thirdly, we have coined the term “ Pseudo Mining” a kind of proof of work. Anybody can earn mCoins in ONEm ecosystem through sponsored activities which are beneficial to their society. Pseudo Mining is carried out by SMS which makes it accessible to everyone.
I am pleased to announce we will be releasing a very tiny footprint hybrid wallet that will allow a smartphone style APP to cryptographically sign and send mCoin transactions via SMS.
What makes mCoin stand out amongst the competition, if any?
It is said that competition is healthy. But for us there is no direct competition in our space. Everything that is happening today with blockchain technology is exceedingly internet-centric. While there is plenty of focus on enabling blockchain technology for emerging markets, they are all internet based.
One of the main conditions for survival of a cryptocurrency is “purpose”. We already have the ecosystem and platform the creates this purpose. We can also build our existing relationships we have built over the years.
Why do you think mCoin is needed and do you feel the Blockchain is necessary for it?
The main purpose of a bank is to provide credit as a mediator between those who have excess capital and those who need to borrow. Additionally banks create transaction histories that are used to determine creditworthiness. Banks are significant third parties who benefit significantly from providing this service. Because of significant costs and profit motives, banks cannot entertain customers with limited income levels.
The result is billions of unbanked people and many predominantly cash-based economies.
Economic prosperity is intrinsically linked to an access to low-cost credit and an efficient secure method of executing transactions.
A cryptocurrency that can be accessed on any mobile, can be used for transactions and can provide a credit history has the potential to mitigate the plight of the unbanked.
This is the reasoning behind the grafting of a blockchain technology on ONEm’s platform and the creation of the cryptocurrency mCoin.
mCoin is accessed using a simple yet powerful virtual wallet that creates credit card like transaction histories. Blockchain (mCoin) creates a secure public ledger outside of any third party’s control. ONEm provides the use and additional features for transaction history descriptions tied to the transaction ID’s of the blockchain.
Nathan: Why did you choose a hard-form of Litecoin?
We chose to redevelop the Litecoin hard-fork for technical reasons. We are actually running two modified variants of Litecoin. The first is for the internet access and the second accesses the internet blockchain but is isolated. This node is coupled with our Nautilus platform and provides indexing capabilities to make fast queries about the status of an address (balance, UTXOs etc) for the virtual wallets.
We have added additional capabilities to the closed core that allow for signing mCoins to be used only for certain purposes. This will be working into our applications for NGOs and Governments.
If you could describe the mCoin in one word what would it be?
I really think that mCoin is a project that took to heart including everybody both on and off the internet. It’s true we talk about the unconnected and unbanked, but ordinary people love the idea that they can choose to participate in blockchain even without the internet. This brings additional benefits such as extra security with added layers of authentication.
Christopher, what do you think about the future outlook for mCoin?
The future of mCoin looks very bright as the only cryptocurrency with its own ecosystem.
Because of our approach to a cryptocurrency that works with or without the internet, interest in mCoin is very high. People get it. They understand that there are billions of unconnected people and even people who choose to not be on the internet.
We are already in discussions at the government level in prominent African countries on how to include the grey economy into the mainstream by using blockchain technology and for this we are offering mCoin as a medium.
Companies already established in the health and energy sectors in emerging markets have approached us to incorporate mCoin because of our ecosystem’s capabilities to manage connections to their existing services.
We are developing an exchange for mCoin and other cryptocurrencies that works over SMS. Also on the road map is a number of financial tools that will allow other businesses to take advantage of our platform.
How can someone find out more about mCoin?
Aside from our website at https://mcoin.onem.com/we have many videos on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLqJKf7KIPA and articles available on Medium: https://medium.com/@onemmcoin. We also encourage people to join our Telegram: http://t.me/mCoin_ONEm
Many people are joining mCoin because they see that what we are doing is not only wholesome, but it makes commercial sense.
We look forward to having many likeminded people join us in this very noble venture.
You can read the original article on medium here.