Digital asset developer MintCombine has launched its sponsored expert access service for cryptocurrency – starting today, access to some of the leading lights in the field is available for anyone.

The service, Beyond Bitcoin Expert Calling Network (BBECN), connects callers to selected experts from many facets of the cryptocurrency industry. Experts currently on board include Ethereum COO Joseph Lubin and Let’s Talk Bitcoin founder Adam Levine.

BBECN is designed to deliver knowledge in a way which is uniquely accessible, both in terms of availability and cost. In a press release issued today, MintCombine CEO Rik Willard stated that unlocking of knowledge for the benefit of the wider community is an essential part of digital currency’s mandate.

“There are many of questions about Bitcoin and the new applications it makes possible,” he commented.

“Professional digital currency consulting can be prohibitively expensive for ‘real people’ who run small- to medium-sized businesses, and budgets don't necessarily allow for companies to attend the growing number of cult-like Bitcoin conferences, so the BBECN provides an affordable entry to high-level understanding.”

The project is being supported by MintCombine, while the structures themselves are provided by US-based Fanaticall, which specializes in expert calling systems.


“We are pleased to provide the technology that powers the Bitcoin ECN as it showcases how an Expect Calling Network can help make knowledge sharing more accessible to everyone,” CEO Brian Christie said in support of the venture.

The scope of coverage is set to broadly widen, covering as many areas of cryptocurrency as possible, including the music industry (courtesy of Tatiana Moroz), mining and altcoins.

Direct expert involvement in cryptocurrency education is an increasingly popular concept. Schemes such as Coin Brainery, which provides materials based on interviews with high-profile figures in the industry, have already attracted considerable attention.

Now, a service for those already involved in Bitcoin or altcoins will create the sort of level playing field previously envisaged by the more altruistic supporters of decentralization. 

Q&A with Rik Willard

Cointelegraph had the chance to speak to Rik Willard, CEO of MintCombine Inc., the BBECN’s Network Sponsor, and ask a few questions about the new service.

Cointelegraph: How do users use the service in practice?

Rik Willard: Users go here, sign in, and set up their profile, which in includes a credit or debit card information (Braintree does all the processing). They can then choose which Expert fits their query needs best. For example; if I have a question about compliance then I'll click on Juan Llanos' profile for that thread...if I need to know how coins can be used in a marketing situation, I would click myself (Rik) or if I'm an artist I might want to know how to set up something like Tatiana Moroz has done.

CT: What incentive is there for experts themselves to participate?

Rik Willard: As for the Expert's - there are three main incentives to participate:

(1) There is an overwhelming need to educate the public about digital currencies, so anything we do on this front helps the industry as a whole.

(2) While all of the Experts are known in our industry, they are not necessarily known in the mainstream, so this also helps them establish their personal or company brand to people who are just hearing or asking about the various possibilities of Bitcoin. Since the Experts are hand-picked there is a continuity of professionalism that can be counted on - a Good Housekeeping seal, so to speak. 

(3) The Experts get to set their own fees. We encourage them to value their time, but to make it as accessible as possible for small businesses to participate and get the information they need to take their understanding to the next level.

CT: Do you need a credit card?

Rik Willard: Users do need a credit or debit card to pay the fee. We're not accepting BTC right now, primarily because our audience consists of the uninitiated -- they don't have Bitcoin. Since the processing is done by Braintree, which is a PayPal company, we expect that once PayPal makes Bitcoin payments available, which should be pretty soon, we'll accept digital currency as well. But our reason for existing is to get people to the point where they 'can' pay in BTC or other currencies, and participate in the ecosystem on a larger scale, outside of the BBECN.

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