The India-based Trestor Foundation — maintainer of the Trestor digital currency — has offered all “credit-worthy” greekss a loan for 2,000 euros’ worth of trests. Greeks can sign a promissory note at one of three partner locations in Greece, and the Trestor loan becomes repayable “when capital controls are lifted.”
Holders of trests can exchange the tokens for euros at the partner locations, but some merchants have begun to accept trests directly, removing the need for users to convert to euros.
“One of our investors convinced his pharmacist to accept trests because the pharmacy declined to accept his credit card. Another person was able to get his gas filled with trests in a cash-only gas station. This third one is pretty unusual: a guy was able to negotiate '12 eggs and a loaf of bread' for 440 trests.”
— Kunal Dixit, founder of Trestor
We asked Trestor founder Kunal Dixit for more information:
Cointelegraph: Trests are not listed on CoinMarketCap.com. Is Trestor a decentralized cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or is it something else?
Kunal Dixit: We are not on Coinmarketcap because we haven't yet made an effort to get listed on an exchange. Our APIs, whitepaper, Tech-Draft and most of our source code is open, however.
We believe that decentralization is a process, not a final state. Trestor is on track to make Trestor network (T-Net) fully decentralized. As of right now, the entry barrier to run a full Trestor node is high. We are accepting applications from academic institutions interested in running a Trestor full node, and upon successful due diligence process, we will let them run Trestor full nodes.
Trestor's control over T-Net will go down month to month. By October 1, 2015, T-Net will be fully decentralized and anyone with minimal resources would be able to run a full node. At that point, we will be far more decentralized than Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
CT: With some cryptos boasting nearly 3,000 full nodes across the globe, why are you confident that Trestor will become ‘far more decentralized’ than they within the next four months?
KD: We may or may not beat the statistic of 3,000 full nodes. That's not really our benchmark. The US$3.5 billion market cap Bitcoin project — and millions of dollars of venture capital and angel investment — reside on just a two-word premise, and that is “competitive mining.”
"Competitive mining" is the soul of every mining-powered blockchain. Unfortunately, mining has become far more collaborative, and the incentives are aligned for it to remain that way.
By October 1, Trestor Network will primarily be powered by academic institutions, running full Trestor nodes across the globe. Our consensus is not PoW [proof of work] or PoS [proof of stake], or Ripple/Stellar. Our process takes the best of proof of stake and the Ripple/Stellar-type voting-based mathematical guarantees, and merges the two ideas to create a new network consensus system. We call this “asymmetric proof of stake” (aPoS). There is a huge economic disincentive for the attacker to plan any viable attack.
CT: What has the response been among greeks so far to the Trestor loan offer?
KD: The response has been amazing. Within the first 24 hours, we closed deals with seven investors, all of them working professionals. They cleared mandatory identity and credit checks and signed the “promissory note.” Trests worth 2,000 euros were sent out to each of them within two hours of successful paperwork.
For tomorrow, we expect a lot more calls, as more and more Greeks realize that Trestor Network is the only non-cash network which works in Greece. Even Bitcoin purchases cannot escape capital controls.
CT: What do you mean ‘even Bitcoin purchases cannot escape capital controls?’
KD: Greeks cannot purchase bitcoins because:
- They cannot purchase it with cash (€60 daily withdrawal limit).
- They cannot purchase it with bank transfers (outbound SEPA transactions frozen).
They can only purchase if there are enough sellers within Greece who are willing to sell their bitcoins via bank transfers. So, net movement of bitcoins into Greece is negligible, therefore, for all practical purposes. Bitcoin as a system is no better than fiat post-capital control for people who didn't invest in bitcoins pre-capital control.
On the other hand, trests are flowing into Greece from outside in return for signed "promissory notes" from credit worthy Greeks.
“The situation is very fluid right now. Over 400 new Trestor Android wallets were created in Greece last night. We see a lot of transactions happening there, but we have no idea about the nature and location of such transactions.”
CT: Where in Greece, or where online, can greeks spend their new trests?
KD: People can certainly spend their trests at any of our retail partner locations. There are many other locations within Greece accepting trests, but it's difficult for us to get that data as the situation is very fluid right now. Over 400 new Trestor Android wallets were created in Greece last night. We see a lot of transactions happening there, but we have no idea about the nature and location of such transactions.
Some of what we know are as follows: one of our investors convinced his pharmacist to accept trests because the pharmacy declined to accept his credit card. Another person was able to get his gas filled with trests in a cash-only gas station. This third one is pretty unusual: a guy was able to negotiate '12 eggs and a loaf of bread' for 440 trests.
CT: How many merchants accept trests directly for goods or services in Greece today?
KD: We are following the money to understand and capture who all are accepting trests. We will have a very good idea within the next day or two and will update these new locations on our website as soon as we get them. It is definitely more than the three that are listed on our website.
“Our job is to make payments work where all fiat and even commodity-based monies fail.”
CT: If this campaign is successful, will Trestor consider making the same proposition to people in other regions in cases of fiat failure?
KD: Yes, we certainly will. At Trestor, our job is to make payments work where all fiat and even commodity-based monies fail. We start by deciding our level of risk exposure, and then we try to reach out to the population that may need our help.
CT: The value of one trest is reportedly ‘set to’ US$0.01. How can you fix the value of a trest over a fluctuating market price?
KD: As of right now, market price for trests does not fluctuate much because, as the Trestor Foundation, we are actively engaged in market-making activities around that price. Over time, as more and more trests are out of Trestor accounts, our ability to make the market would go down.
CT: Does the Trestor Foundation pay out fiat to merchants who accept trests?
KD: Our retail partners are different from what one would think of a typical bitcoin merchant. In addition to selling their goods and services for trests they are also broker-dealers for Trestor. You can think of our 600+ retail partners as 600+ micro-exchanges. Most of them buy back trests from sellers at a 2 to 3% discount so that they can sell them to a buyer at 1 cent, thereby making a healthy spread.
Greeks can fill out the application to receive 2000 euros' worth of trests at Trestor Foundation's homepage.