Last Wednesday (13/5/2015) an interview with the founder of Reddcoin was published in the Reddheads newsletter. Here we reproduce that interview for visitors to Reddheads.com.
Interview with Reddcoin founder Jonathan Patenaude
RH: Hi Jonathan. Before going into some questions on particular aspects of Reddcoin development, the team, etc., how are you doing in general? This year things have been quieter so far for Reddcoin and we haven’t heard so much from you. What are you up to these days?
Jonathan: I’m doing great thanks! Yes, I’ve been spending less time on Reddcoin in 2015 as I did in 2014. Last year was a pretty active year in the history of cryptocurrency. Now, it’s sad to see a lot of dodgy stuff going on. To be honest, I’m actually really busy at work, like everyone working on this project right now.
RH: Related to the above, in previous newsletters I’ve asked other members of the team about their work and experience. What do you do in your “day job”?
Jonathan: I work as a product manager for a company owning multiple high traffic websites. I’m also an entrepreneur and I owned some businesses in the past including some popular websites.
RH: Turning to Reddcoin, I believe readers of the newsletter would find it really interesting to learn about the early history of Reddcoin, how you first came up with the idea, how you launched the currency, etc. Could you give a brief recap of how Reddcoin came to be?
Jonathan: Reddcoin started back in December 2013 during the Bitcoin rush. After looking into Bitcoin I was trying to come up with a new idea and I decided to launch Reddcoin. The concept was pretty simple: a browser extension that would allow anyone to send cryptocurrency through social networks. Although the way the browser wallet is done is different this was actually the original idea. I spent around 6 weeks building the website, the IPO and the concept. I also forked the Litecoin source code and modified everything needed before the launch on Bitcointalk. I was ready on January 20th so that is when I made the initial post.
RH: Regarding the development team, if I have the history correct, lead dev Laudney actually joined the Reddcoin project a bit after launch, didn’t he? How did he and the other members of the team come together?
Jonathan: Right, at first I was alone and Laudney joined Reddcoin around 2 or 3 weeks after the launch. He proposed building the Twitter tip bot and it was a great success. Then we talked a lot and exchanged many ideas. I believe we both gained trust in one another and it was the start of a great collaboration between us. Other members joined after they showed their skills and interest in the project. We always welcome new members of the team with open arms. It’s impossible to achieve success alone with such a big project and I’m really happy with everything we have done to date.
RH: There was so much work completed last year, much of which I listed in a résumé at the end of the year. What parts of the project were you directly involved in? With so much diverse activity, in retrospect which parts of the work really stand out in your mind and for what reason?
Jonathan: I was directly or indirectly involved in pretty much all the projects we did last year. I’m not a developer so I don’t code but I’m more of a management and decisions guy. Like in my day job, I work to steer the Reddcoin project in a direction I believe will give it the best chance to become a success. I managed the IPO fund, and I manage the social network marketing, the websites and our servers. My goal is to stitch every part of the project together so we have a complete product. We still have a lot of work to do but I like where we are now in retrospect. I always try to stay up to date with the latest cryptocurrency news so I’m able to take informed decisions when necessary. The biggest part of the project we did was the release of PoSV. Laudney spent around 400 hours between April and August 2014 working on this aspect.
RH: At the end of last year the dev team created the Reddcoin forum, Reddcointalk. Building a community forum is is a normal stage of development for many cryptocurrencies, but despite this some redditors seemed to think it was not a good idea. What are your thoughts on the forum and how do you see it developing?
Jonathan: Building the forum was a good idea. I think it should have been done earlier. We need a central place where the community can gather and reddit is not the place for that. Redditor’s who believe that without the devs, /r/reddcoin will fail are wrong. Reddit doesn’t need the devs’ involvement to thrive. It should be a place where Reddcoin fans can go and talk about whatever they want, just like Reddcointalk but in a more innocent way. Reddcointalk is our official forum. Reddit is another forum on the internet. Unfortunately, the whole crypto scene is in pain and community members are sometimes spread out between platforms. That doesn’t mean it was a bad choice. It only means we need more community! And I think this is going to happen naturally along with the next bubble of interest in Bitcoin. Our goal is to be ready. We don’t know when it will happen but we are ready with the infrastructure we have in place.
RH: Regarding Reddcoin development, Laudney has made it clear in several update posts over the past few months that Social X is the totality of phase 2 of the project and that this phase is underway and will be delivered before work begins to create a new Reddcoin Broadcast and other services. How does the development plan that Laudney brought to the table fit in with your overall aim for Reddcoin, which you had in mind when you launched the project?
Jonathan: Let’s just say that the Reddcoin project is many times bigger than it was when I first imagined it. I believe the current direction we are taking is the best way we can make it to real mass adoption. If you understand what we are doing, then you understand how it could happen.
RH: I’ve noted during conversations with you that you are bullish on Bitcoin! There has been a lot in the news lately about VC investment in Bitcoin startups. Which of these companies or projects interest you the most and why?
Jonathan: Yes I’m bullish on Bitcoin in the short and medium term. I believe Bitcoin still have 1 or 2 great highs to reach in the next years and those highs will do exactly the same as December 2013. They will bring new people to the cryptocurrency scene and this is what Reddcoin needs right now. Bitcoin long term, I’m not sure. I believe more advanced cryptocurrencies will take Bitcoin’s place. I don’t see any interesting VC-funded Bitcoin startups yet. How can you generate revenue when you work with a currency known for having no fees? Nobody wants to use Bitcoin and spend fees on an intermediary so it’s a fail. It’s not a surprise they all seem to be burning their funding. Besides Bitcoin and Reddcoin, I like Ethereum.
RH: In past newsletters I’ve asked other members of the team about their favourite books, films, hobbies and other things. This is how we found out that tralf is a philosopher dev who likes to roast his own coffee, raid5 is a snowboarder who would time travel to the Triassic given half a chance, bigreddmachine follows baseball and has a soft spot for the film Love Actually, and last but not least Laudney reads on a daily basis and his favourite authors are Carl Sagan and Neil Stephenson. What are your hobbies and favourite pastime activities?
Jonathan: I like snowboarding in the winter, biking in the summer, playing some games on the PC and watching some movies when I have time.
RH: To return to Reddcoin for the tenth and last question, what do you have in mind for the project for the rest of 2015? When Social X is complete how do you see the project developing from that point?
Jonathan: It’s hard to tell how the cryptocurrency world will evolve over the next years but I hope we will see the next Bitcoin hype phase soon. The whole crypto scene definitely needs some help from its big brother to bring new enthusiasts to these great technologies! It’s also hard to tell where Reddcoin will be after Social X but what I know is that Social X has the potential to bring cryptocurrency to mass adoption. Time will tell if it will happen.