Mark Smargon, co-founder and head of product for Colu, is excited about the recent Beta launch of their developer platform on August 12th.
Colu is a blockchain startup based out of Tel Aviv, the idea of which stemmed from the concept of creating an immutable, trusted layer of digital assets and information on top of the Internet. The founders envision a future of interoperability between services and a frictionless experience for users because of the decentralized and open ledger benefits of using blockchain technology.
Cointelegraph spoke with Mark to find out more about Colu’s plans.
Cointelegraph: What value is Colu hoping to build fundamentally for its users involving the blockchain?
Mark Smargon: After raising $US2.5 Million in January of this year and adding several Bitcoin developers and cryptography experts to our team, we are now trying to work on the different layers of the stack. Lots of people, our team included, are eagerly awaiting the future of the Bitcoin blockchain; there is a strong belief that additional value layers beyond bitcoin will emerge. For now, however, we’re focusing on three layers:
- Colored coins. A protocol for attaching information to Bitcoin blockchain transactions.
- Open and closed source APIs for easy access to the blockchain for users with different levels of Bitcoin knowledge.
- A consumer friendly app to start testing ideas on a real user base and easily convert any app to a digital asset wallet using our SDK's.
“Our team has a firm belief in usability, you certainly can’t expect adoption with something secure but unusable. The end user shouldn’t feel any friction and must be welcomed into a mobile friendly environment.”
CT: What type of user is Colu hoping to impact the most?
MS: Colu’s target audience is developers. We’re giving business tools to help them execute their ideas and reach their customers through a central platform. We’re not necessarily building mobile apps for users, but any business, which has a mobile app, can use our digital asset wallet SDK easily.
Our major challenge is the amount of possibilities in terms of tools, ideas and concepts on our platform. We haven’t quite distilled our approach so as to keep things open and interesting for developers.
We don’t want to say this is a platform for financial assets, as that would be detrimental to creativity.
The results of this have shown already, as a day after opening the platform, people from various backgrounds have already begun asking for APIs. There will also be an upcoming ticketing platform and an open source bitcoin wallet, which supports colored coins.
CT: What do you envision as being the main use cases of Colu?
MS: To begin with, we see three general use cases, which in the future will require different tools and perhaps even different blockchains like Ethereum or sidechains, and our platform might support them in the future.
- Financial tools and assets. The most explored concept, which includes stocks, bonds, ETFs, cryptocurrency, etc. Essentially everything that you can create a digital asset from and trade on markets. We’re already talking to companies about gold and shares, amongst other instruments. Today it is cheaper, in some cases, to send a truck full of cash than to move money digitally. In an interconnected future, it’s much easier to integrate into one platform rather than through a fragmented means and that's why we see a lot of banks and financial institutions taking an interest in this technology. It can solve a lot of problems for them.
- Ownership of assets. For instance, if I buy a car I can hold a digital key; if I buy a ticket to an event, I can get a digital representation of the ticket and transfer it to anyone as per my requirement. This use case bestows Bitcoin properties without the virtual asset being bitcoin itself. Also, the virtual asset wouldn’t specifically require a marketplace exchange with bid and ask, it just represents access that can be traded. This wasn’t possible before, and our recently launched initiative with Revelator on music copyrights showcases this use case for the music industry, wonderfully.
- Access to public information. Government registries such as properties and companies, contracts, notary services, voting and basically anything that benefits from being transparent. The ideas are endless, and I’m sure we’ll be able to expand better over the upcoming months.
CT: How would Colu ensure the legitimacy of virtual asset issuers?
MS: To nip issues on the legitimacy of issuance in the bud, we simply provide tools to any person/institution creating an asset so you can verify the issuer with ease. Under no circumstance do we issue the virtual asset ourselves, basically we don’t own the private keys or provide a centralized solution to customers. The trust factor would depend very much on the background of the issuer; hence a large institution would gain more trust than a single developer might. This technology is not about anonymity; it’s about creating a better experience for users using the advancement that blockchain technologies allow.
CT: Being based on the Bitcoin blockchain; Would Colu be worried about any fluctuation of the bitcoin price?
MS: So far this year has been the most stable period of bitcoin. That being said, price fluctuation isn’t a concern for us. All of the companies using our platform are founded by people with bitcoin experience, so they have strong nerves. Even if the value goes up, at the very most our miner fees would be little higher. Our long-term concern, however, is how to make the platform trusted and usable.