NeuCoin (NEU), a cryptocurrency specifically designed to aid the implementation of online microtransactions and tipping within online products and services, finally launched September 23.
The event was followed by co-founders Daniel Kaufman and Johan Sandstrom holding an open Q&A with the Bitcoin community via Skype. Kaufman and Sandstrom believe that Bitcoin will remain the major cryptocurrency in mainstream use, but that there is nonetheless room for altcoins that successfully target specific practical niches.
Taking part in the Q&A session was Bitcoin expert Tone Vays, Head of Research at BraveNewCoin. In response to his question as to whether NeuCoin’s founders want to see Bitcoin become irrelevant and for everyone to use NeuCoin instead, Kaufman said:
“We believe that NEU will have more consumers using it than BTC within one year.”
While the reception to the launch was generally positive, Kaufman and Sandstrom went on to address skeptics, explaining the reasoning behind issues such as the presale of the coin, how its price was going to be supported, who the first investors were and how ordinary users could get involved.
“[A] small amount of NEU [will be released] as “freemium” to get consumers outside of crypto to try it out,” Sandstrom explained.
“Imagine...a random guy who knows nothing about crypto happens to win some NeuCoins by playing a Facebook game,” he continued. “One click later and he's on MyNeuCoin ... one more click and his coins are ‘growing.’ Then he uses a few coins in another game to buy a power-up. A lot better than paying US$5 with iTunes! Next he challenges his friend to the game, and they both get coins.”
Foundations to support
NeuCoin’s development and projects to increase the coin’s utility is handled by three independent non-profit foundations (the so-called Code, Growth and Utility foundations) based on the Isle of Man. The foundations were created with the objective of making support for the cryptocurrency decentralized.
According to official NeuCoin summary: “The foundations are overseen by independent Council Members and Advisors, but are ultimately controlled by coin holders (1 coin = 1 vote). This structure makes NeuCoin more decentralized and accountable than Bitcoin, Ripple or Stellar."
In light of the launch, various services will continue to be developped and new developers brought on board. Kaufman continued:
“We are going after third party game developers. Anyone who develops a service that makes NeuCoin more useful can get rewarded by NeuCoin utility foundation.”
NeuCoin already sold 200 million coins to angel investors in 2014. In April 2015, coins were also exchanged for bitcoin to future users at the rate of 25,000 NeuCoin for 1 bitcoin. In total, team, angel investors and users who exchanged bitcoins for NeuCoins have given the NeuCoin Project a capital of US$2.25 million and 4,012 bitcoin.
To make NeuCoin a stable and secured currency, team and angel investors have committed themselves to respect strict conditions for resale of coins. Terms of re-sales are strictly limited to a period of 5 years (for example, NeuCoin owners will be able to sell only 2% of its coins a month during the first year, and 6% on the sixth year).
These limitations also mean that team and angel investors are tied to the currency for a long time and are interested in the growth of the market value of the coins over the years.
According to Sandstrom:
“Foundation coin holdings are projected to peak around year five, then decline slowly and ultimately stabilize at under 5 percent of the total supply. By year three they will no longer own a majority if the coins, and by year 10 they will own less than 5 percent of the coin supply.”
The fact that team and angel investors can not sell their coins easily in the first 5 years period should help to avoid many problems that many other altcoins have faced – sometimes large investors simply liquidated their coins resulting in the so-called pump-n-dump and the ultimate demise of the cryptocurrency.
However, Kaufman explained that “nobody has any control over the price of NeuCoin after it starts trading.”
During the exchange with NeuCoin’s founders Bitcoin expert and Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov reiterated that almost every other cryptocurrency whose owners promised a guaranteed starting price and attempted to support it through public trading ultimately failed to uphold the stated price.
Kaufman rebutted that while other coins had promised a guaranteed starting price and failed to uphold it, NeuCoin was not promising to set a price or support a floor. Like any coin traded freely on exchanges, he said, the market will determine the ultimate value.
Unfortunately, NeuCoin’s technical developer didn’t take part in the conversation. The question about the technical aspects of NeuCoin from Bytecoin core developer Joseph Lin went unanswered. For example, it’s still not clear how does NeuCoins' protocol deal with all questionable features that PoS has or how NeuCoins' model neglects the fact that an attacker, who owns several % of stake now, can inhibit growth of valid blockchain.
Have you tried Neucoin? Do you think it has a future in the crypto space? Please share your thoughts below.