After a life-long fascination with how computing power can be used to solve problems, Alan Yong, founder of DNotes, wanted to add a human element to cryptocurrency.
“DNotes must be built as a digital currency for everyone, irrespective of financial standing — from the poor to the super rich; from the unborn to the most senior. It must deliberately attempt to include and assist women to help close the gender gap.”
— Alan Yong
After being introduced to cryptocurrencies in 2013, and conducting some serious research, Yong went on to found three cryptocurrency-based organizations:
- The Cryptocurrency Investment Savings Plan (CRISP) — A student-centric, self-directed investment plan that utilizes DNotesVault to release 100 DNotes to willing participants, without requiring them to pay for it. The first 200 accounts to register will be awarded 100 DNotes, plus 10 DNotes each month thereafter, until the account reaches 500
- CryptoMoms — A dedicated mission to increase women's participation in cryptocurrency
- DNotes — An altcoin with a holistic aim
In 1989, Yong founded Dauphin Technology, Inc. and quickly became a well-regarded visionary in the early days of mobile computers. In 1992, his company became the Pentagon's largest supplier of laptop computers after winning a US$395 million contract. The Dauphin DTR, a handheld computer that competed head-on with the Apple Newton, was among their best-known products.
Cointelegraph spoke with Yong to learn more about his most recent projects.
Cointelegraph: What about bitcoin influenced you to create DNotes?
Alan Yong: I feel that the concept of verifiable public ledger for every transaction using ingenious consensus technologies will have world-changing implications, leading to a quantum shift in how we conduct global business, resulting in a large-scale disruption of existing systems, especially in the financial services industry.
“No one has sufficient self-interest to promote and protect Bitcoin, with an over-emphasis that it is a trustless system. [...] How could I hand over my life savings, if no one could be held responsible or would stand by it to give me the confidence that it is in good hands?”
In addition to business, I also have a background in behavioral science and it did not take me long to conclude that the industry has already developed a culture of its own. It is a culture of self-destruction, high stress, and blatant disrespect for other’s properties and human emotion. I had never seen any business that had a chance of survival in that kind of hostile environment. No wonder the male population has dominated it by a ratio of 95 to 5, male to female.
I made one other observation. No one has sufficient self-interest to promote and protect Bitcoin, with an over-emphasis that it is a trustless system. I thought, what is trustless is the transaction between two parties, where it does not require a trusted intermediary.
My goodness, how could I hand over my life savings, if no one could be held responsible or would stand by it to give me the confidence that it is in good hands? To me, it is hard-earned money no matter what you call it; commodity, property, or virtual currency of no intrinsic value. These I believe are the serious problems confronting our industry, keeping it from gaining traction towards mainstream acceptance.
DNotes decided since day one that, to be successful, it must create a new culture. That new culture must be built with trust and integrity, promoting mutual respect and cooperation, collaborating in a highly productive environment, focusing on the accomplishment of long-term mutual benefits.
Starting with a shared-stake concept, DNotes must be built as a digital currency for everyone, irrespective of financial standing — from the poor to the super rich; from the unborn to the most senior. It must deliberately attempt to include and assist women to help close the gender gap.
CT: How is cryptocurrency as a platform helping to solve the student debt crisis? What benefits has it posed over fiat?
AY: Coming from a very poor family, I am passionate about using education as the most effective tool to help others move up the social economic ladder. It bothers me a great deal to take notice of students’ increasing debt burden.
As a society, instead of giving graduating students a head start, we saddled them with a significant student loan payment right off the gate. That is sad. If that was my case, I would not have been able to start my own business after receiving my MBA at Northern Illinois University in 1976, and we would not have DNotes today.
“A small amount invested has the potential to make a big difference. Whereas, using fiat currency as a savings, the true impact is likely to be negative.”
Especially in the case of DNotes, we have positioned our digital currency on a path towards long-term growth for as far as we can project. Since we don’t expect sizable investment by any individual in CRISP For Students, the potential for huge returns is of major significance.
A small amount invested has the potential to make a big difference. Whereas, using fiat currency as a savings, the true impact is likely to be negative, since the potential yield will likely be lower than the loan service. That being the case, it is better to use the extra money to pay down the loan.
One of DNotes future plans is to engage and challenge the top 2% and other wealthy individuals to help solve the increasing student debt crisis. Through our CRISP For Students programs, we are committed to working with students worldwide to develop multiple projects for others to participate in, including scholarship funds. It is important that students take advantage of this and sign up for the savings account, even though it is still in pilot stage.
“CryptoMoms has been very successful by all accounts. In over a year, we have over 7,000 registered members and very active participation.”
CT: What impact has CryptoMoms had on women’s empowerment?
AY: CryptoMoms has been very successful by all accounts. In over a year, we have over 7,000 registered members and very active participation. The content the community has contributed is impressive. It is already a valuable learning center for anyone new to Bitcoin and Bitcoin alternative currencies.
The site is quite definitely well-supported and frequented by women. We basically created a forum with a conducive and supportive environment to empower women to have a space of their own in the cryptocurrency world and let them build it up to their expectation and benefits. No doubt it will pick up momentum over time to be a powerful force and a strong voice for women in the new world of digital currency.
Our industry absolutely needs a drastic increase in women’s participation to gain mass acceptance. They control the purse strings and we respect that. Our CRISP For Kids is actually the contribution of one of our CryptoMoms community members, Chase. It has been well-received and has even attracted some grandparents.
CryptoMoms is also a currency-neutral site where other coins can promote their products and services for free, and a very large number have used that platform. They all have used the service with great respect for everyone and some have been extremely helpful to others. Personally, it is very rewarding for me to see that.
CT: What do you have in mind for the future of DNotes and your other crypto initiatives?
AY: It is estimated that by the year 2020, over five billion smart phones will be in use, and there are 2.5 billion people worldwide today commonly referred to as the unbanked, for not having a bank account or serviced by a bank. I am absolutely convinced that a stable digital currency — with reliable long-term appreciation, in partnership with international charity organizations and the United Nations — will soon have a viable option within our reach.
“DNotes will be known as the currency with a purpose.”
With two simple cell phones, or computers with an Internet connection, one can be set up to send and receive funds and conduct global commerce, thereby solving the problems of the unbanked. This alone has been my inspiration to work long and hard to position DNotes as a large-scale global digital currency that can take full advantage all the superior features of digital currency and blockchain technology.
We envision that within 24 months, we will have a world-class, licensed and regulated exchange trading DNotes, Bitcoin and a couple of other digital currencies. There will be an online global marketplace for students, a second one for small business owners, and a third one for women. They will all be launched on global scale. DNotes will be known as the currency with a purpose, with increasingly broad-based support.
CryptoMoms will be a significant catalyst in attracting women’s participation, with increasing support from professional women. It will become the voice of women around the globe, and a power force hard to ignore.