The VeriCoin Party, which took place at the NYC Bitcoin Center had a great turnout and those on hand were interested in learning about the latest altcoin set to play a roll in this technological revolution. The developers themselves were on hand to present the details of VeriCoin, engaging the enthusiastic crowd and even giving away paper wallets loaded with some VeriCoin whose public keys were also used for raffle giveaways at the end of the night.

We sat down with two of the three core developers of VeriCoin during the event to get more details about this up and coming altcoin along with their thoughts on the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem.

Doug Pike – is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering. His background in Computational Biophysics provides the foundation to be the lead developer of a novel protein design software library.  He has also authored several scientific publications.

Patrick Nosker – is a dual PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Patrick is a holder of 3 US patents and a co-inventor of several more, including one with Doug Pike on Influenza Therapeutics.

- Patrick Nosker left, Doug Pike right

Cointelegraph: What are the main differences and similarities of VeriCoin to Bitcoin and what advantages does a VeriCoin user have?

Doug Pike: It’s different in that it is Proof-Of-Stake.  There was an initial period when it was Proof-Of-Work like Bitcoin but now it is exclusively Proof-Of-Stake. This allows it to have faster block times, around minute vs. Bitcoin’s ten and it requires very little energy for each wallet client to earn the stake interest. So by holding VeriCoin you would be earning interest at around 2% per year.  What also separates us from other altcoins is that you can pay with it anywhere Bitcoin is accepted using our VeriBit service in the digital wallet.

CT: Can you please define Proof-Of-Stake for our readers.

DP: Proof-Of-Stake is a mining process where rewards get distributed to those holding VeriCoin and not to those with the highest computational power exerting energy as with the Proof-Of-Work rewards in Bitcoin. Those holding VeriCoins in their digital wallets will receive interest based on the amount of coins and the length of time since their last reward.  This averages out to about 1.5-2.5%.

CT: One more follow up about the interest. Is it indefinite 2% like the current financial systems target inflation? Does that imply there is no Cap on the number of coins unlike Bitcoin’s 21 Million?

DP: Yes, there is no hard cap on the amount of VeriCoins in existence.  We have about 27 Million now and the small built-in inflation would keep the quantity under 30 Million over the next 4 year and probably longer.

Patrick Nosker: It’s also important to remember that while Bitcoin is described as a deflationary currency, for anyone living now it will still feel like an inflationary one because the mining period ends in the year 2140.  At this point VeriCoin is actually less inflationary.  Another aspect to this is that the interest payment goes directly to the holders of VeriCoin and is unaffected by Government manipulation through bonds or bailout.  It’s been designed to be a fair distributed process.

- VeriCoin titanium wallets

CT: Where do you see the future of Cryptocurrencies?

PN: We agree with Charles Lee’s comments that Cryptocurrencies will have a 3-tear system.  There will be a gold standard like Bitcoin with a high value, Silver that he considers Lightcoin with its faster transaction time, larger quantity and also mined and in the end may still be somewhat volatile, and something that would serve as ‘cash.’ 

We think VeriCoin fits the ‘cash’ element perfectly with its quick transaction times of 1 minute and being recognized by the network within a second.  For small transactions like cab fairs it would be perfect.  A friend of mine spent over two hours at a Bitcoin ATM a little while ago waiting for 2 confirmations because there was a block that happened to take way longer than the average 10 minutes it normally takes to find the solution.

CT: VeriCoin is only a few months old and just like most altcoins before it, it rose in value quickly, but in the month of July it’s down about 50%.  Do you have any comments on that or the altcoin trading market in general which can drive valuation?

DP: We try not to read too much into it. Most recall the time when Bitcoin fell from about US$30 a coin to about US$2 and then maintaining the price under US$5 a coin for a while, now look at where it is today. This is a supply and demand market, we expect it and embrace it, so this does not take the wind out of our sails in any way.

PN: This is really the first summer of altcoins. The fact that Lightcoin wasn’t worth much last summer compared to what it is today provides us with a benchmark altcoin. People are cashing out some of their coins and taking summer vacations so the trading volume seems low, just like the Stock Market trading volume over the summer is low.  Seems like that’s negatively affecting the price of bitcoins and altcoin. 

It’s also important to note that VeriCoin is only three months old and the fact that these markets are unregulated allows people to manipulate the price on these exchanges with rumors or large orders. Another thing that’s interesting is that there have been a lot of coins coming out where the developers attempt to scam by either having a giant pre-mine or just disappearing. We think the markets are starting to realize that you really need to trust the developers and the community so there might be some definite winners and losers in the near future.

CT: You mentioned ‘unregulated’ in your previous answer so this is a good transition to what’s been the topic of conversation lately. What is your opinion on the proposed NY regulations and how is this affecting VeriCoin being based right over the river in New Jersey?

DP: I think it’s a big overreach, I don’t see it passing as it is, I certainly hope it doesn’t.  I think privacy is in a different context in virtual currency because the transaction list is public. So having pseudo-anonymity or something even more anonymous like VeriCoin has with its built-in VeriSend option is extremely important. The current banking system can keep the database of transactions private, but in the Cryptocurrency world, if users and transactions become public, people can really get exploited.

PN: I think there are two things to gather from it. First, the fact that regulations were even proposed means that Bitcoin is becoming a real threat to the financial markets. They are also in a way legitimizing this new wave of financial transactions. California had their regulations, which I think were beneficial, but New York having regulations at all is a boon to Cryptocurrencies in general. However, I don’t think they will end up as they are and the Bitcoin community will have a say in cutting them down quite a bit. If they don’t, it’s really going to hurt New York and the growth of Cryptocurrencies in general. Perhaps some will move across the river to New Jersey to work on their companies and there will be a lot less money flowing into New York.

CT: Anything else you gentlemen would like to add?

PN: I’m really happy with the party, it was great being able to meet people. It was great having BitKee there who came and help sponsor by giving away vinyl stickers and showed everyone their new cool titanium wallets. Also would like to thank Zeus Miner for donating some of their Blizzards to give away in raffles - that was really nice of them. We met a lot of people who were completely new to Cryptocurrency and hopefully they will spread the word for not only VeriCoin but Cryptocurrencies in general.

DP: Most of all we really want to thank the Bitcoin Center for being very generous and allowing us to host the party. Their employees and volunteers were extremely helpful throughout the night.  It’s a great place to come learn about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies in general as well as a perfect friendly place to buy your first bitcoins.

Bonus Comment from Patrick:

“If only I can get NJ Transit to take bitcoins or vericoins, I might be up here more often.”

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