Bitcoin surged in popularity as the world’s first great cryptocurrency in large part thanks to its privacy offerings, allowing users to be anonymous, traceable only by pseudonym wallet identifiers. Several other cryptocurrencies attempted to expand on Bitcoin’s privacy, such as Darkcoin (before rebranding as Dash and pursuing more broad goals) and Monero. In late summer this year, Monero surged as cryptocurrency entered a new privacy-centric hype cycle. Recently, its price and hype have adjusted as possible competitor Zcash debuted too much hype, and possibly due to discontent over current lack of a functional graphical user interface (GUI) wallet.

BipCoin, a new currency based on the same CryptoNote technology as Monero (and created out of respect for Monero’s mission), recently released a functional GUI wallet for Windows and Linux. The coin is named after the BipCot No-Government License, a license that allows any individual or company to use the product except for governments and government agents, and uses a cat as its logo in homage to Dogecoin’s dog.

Cointelegraph spoke with Michael W. Dean, developer for BipCoin, about making CryptoNote privacy-driven coins fun and usable, taking cryptocurrency ‘to Alpha-Centauri.’

Cointelegraph: Why the name? What does BipCot mean?

Michael W. Dean: BEASTLICK INTERNET POLICY COMMISSION OUTREACH TEAM. It's myself and Derrick Slopey's software company. We created that when we made FeenPhone (HQ VOiP better than Skype for radio hosts and podcasters) and MeowBit (dot-bit domain resolver for Namecoin). This was a few years ago. ‘Beastlick’ is like [middle of nowhere], since Derrick and I live in the sticks, him in Mine, me in Wyoming.

CT: It's based on CryptoNote, just like Monero, correct? What are the key differences and similarities between the two?

MWD: Ours is much closer to original ByteCoin, theirs is ‘off on their own tree’ as FluffyPony from Monero told me. Monero is great, but they haven't worked much on widespread adoption. I think the fact that they don't have a working, solid GUI wallet is the reason their price went down after going up, after the AlphaBay announcement. By the way, BipCoin came out the day BEFORE that announcement.

CT: I understand that BipCoin beat Monero to the GUI wallet game, is this correct?

MWD: Well, there are third-party Monero wallets, but they are so wonky, it would be fair to say Monero does not have a GUI wallet.

CT: BipCoin is a much more recent coin that I'll gather has much less development resources. Why did it win out in the race to the GUI? Different developmental priorities?

MWD: Yes. We just wanted to make it solid and basic and functional. We actually had issues with first release, killed it for a month, then realized it was still being mining and worked. I do not hide this, and this is a plus, not a minus. It was unkillable. We got a new, better team, with Derrick, slb and Makis, made it solid and relaunched. Same Blockchain, new code.

CT: Whereas Monero pursued other avenues such as Darknet markets?

MWD: I don't know that Monero ‘pursued’ the Darknet. I think it's the other way around.

I will say this: BipCoin is VERY easily minable still, and inexpensive. Though we are on an exchange now: Cryptopia approached us and added us as soon as we had a GUI wallet. We're also talking with some other exchanges.

CT: There seems to be a sort of ‘privacy gold rush’ going on in the cryptocurrency community, from XMR's surge to Zcash debuting to massive hype. Why do you think that is?

MWD: I think that isn't even because of the Dark markets that much. I think it's because the more governments worldwide push on people and want to be up in everyone's butt crack in every area of our lives, even non-anarchists are basically saying “ENOUGH!” And for the first time in history, high-level encryption in EVERYTHING is available to everyone, not just some super tech smart geeks.

Bitcoin made more free-market libertarians and anarchists than Ron Paul and Mises combined. In ACTION, not in theory. Even with people behaving in free-market libertarian and anarchist ways, without even using those terms. And CryptoNote takes it one step further than Bitcoin. It really is Bitcoin 7.0 or something like that.

CT: BipCoin seems to go a step further even, prohibiting use by government officials. Has this been generally well-received?

MWD: Yes. People love the BipCot license, and the cats. I'll say it outright: BipCoin wants to do for CryptoNote what Dogecoin did for Bitcoin. (without Dogecoin's silly unlimited coin supply). We want to bring Darkcoins to everyone.