Meet the man who convinced Binance, Bitcoin.com and 26 other companies to support his plan to make using crypto as easy as surfing the net.
Oh, and he’s also accidentally solved the FATF ‘travel rule’ conundrum for exchanges too.
David Gold, the CEO of Dapix, raised millions in the dotcom era and survived the crash to become a venture capitalist.
He sees a lot of parallels between the early internet and the current state of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
“I felt like I did early on with the net – this will be big and disruptive but I’m looking at the tech and saying ‘it really sucks, it’s really bad'” he told Micky on the line from Denver Colorado.
The internet of course used to be a clunky text based beast of Usenet bulletin boards and FTP servers.
Then HTTP and HTML were introduced, ushering in the World Wide Web and tens of millions jumped on board.
“Our goal is to deliver the kind of results for blockchain that HTTP delivered for the internet,” Gold says.
“When you look at it and say ‘well, what caused usage of the internet to explode?’ The answer was usability.”
Gold’s plan for a similar transformation has the backing of Shapeshift, MyCrypto, Coinomi, Mycelium, Trust Wallet, Enjin Wallet, Nexo and Bitcoin.com among others, with Binance leading a $5.7 million funding round for the project last year.
“The actual way to interact with cryptocurrency is scary and complicated and it will not scale to mass adoption. I started thinking about how to solve it.”
The answer he came up with is called the Foundation for Interwallet Operability. It’s currently on testnet, and is due to launch mainnet sometime before March.
FIO is introducing email address style wallet addresses
Instead of an intimidatingly long wallet address full of gibberish letters, users can have something more like an email address: say ‘johnsmith.mickynews.
It works in a similar way to how text based web addresses point to the underlying numerical IP address.
“It’s not just wallet naming,” he said. “It’s a blockchain that sits along all other blockchains creating a homogeneous usability layer across all chains so that users can have capabilities that work identically on every blockchain”
“Part of the beauty of FIO is that it doesn’t interact with other blockchains in any way and that’s what makes it work.
“It integrates with the crypto endpoints – wallets, exchanges, crypto payment processing platforms.
“So it works immediately and identically across every single token or coin that exists today or in the future out of the box.”
Request payments, solve ‘travel rule’ issue
It also enables businesses to send a payment request to a customer, or for an individual to ask their friend to chip in some crypto for an Uber ride.
An unexpected benefit of FIO which may well hasten adoption, is that it can allow exchanges to comply with the FATF travel rule – which they’re required to do before this year.
The rule states that exchanges need to know the identity of both the person sending the funds, and the person receiving the funds.
At present exchanges simply don’t have that capability but FIO will enable them to send the required encrypted information along with the transaction.
“Our primary purpose is not regulatory, the primary objective is usability. It just turns out, honestly by chance, that what we’ve built actually solves that problem out of the box in an extraordinary elegant way,” he says.
FIO has been auctioning off domains, and there will be an ICO at some point for a token that will be used for registering addresses and domains.