ZeroBlock and beyond: An Interview with Dan Held
Dan Held is a pioneering third party Bitcoin innovator. His co-founding of ZeroBlock, a leading app fast becoming a household name in the community, led to the Blockchain.info where he is now Director of Product.
We caught up with Dan to ask about how things are going in the new incarnation of ZeroBlock and get his opinion on the Bitcoin market today, as well as some sneak peeks into the future.
Cointelegraph: Can you tell us what's next for ZeroBlock in its new guise as Blockchain.info's financial data portal?
Dan Held: ZeroBlock's product roadmap has exciting milestones coming up in the next few weeks. On the trading platform, we will be adding a new exchange starting every Monday. In addition, we are about to launch the legendary Clark Moody charts on the free version of ZeroBlock so that our users can see natively on iOS, Android and the web.
CT: ZeroBlock has consistently been the go-to app for Bitcoin - what initially inspired you to produce the benchmark of the market?
DH: My co-founder, Kevin Johnson, and I wanted to build an app that would deliver real time market data and aggregated news feeds to users on mobile. Before we launched ZeroBlock there were no news feed apps on the Apple or Google app store. We wanted an app that had all of the features Bitcoiners wanted, with a user experience that was so intuitive they wouldn't need a tutorial.
CT: How are you tackling the need for absolute security as more and more consumers become involved with Bitcoin and search for the most reliable wallet?
DH: At Blockchain, our team is balanced with security experts, and excellent front end designers. While we are moving our products to simpler and easier to use interfaces, we have security audits of our code during development. Our Chief Security Officer is Andreas Antonopoulos, who is well known for his security practices and has even audited Coinbase.
CT: What do you think is the most effective method of getting more consumers to use, and understand, Bitcoin and its advantages?
DH: Many Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that we need to teach new users how Bitcoin works. I completely disagree. Most consumers have no idea how their existing banking system works, how their credit cards works, how their cell phone works, or how their car works. They trust and use those products because they understand the process. My job at Blockchain is to teach new consumers what buttons to press, and to design interfaces that meet them halfway.
CT: Given the recent volatility in both the price of Bitcoin and some of its major players, what advice would you have for potential Bitcoin investors today?
DH: Bitcoin has followed similar price movements over its short history. I think we are at a low, with the market pricing in potential banking issues in China and potential problems with Bitcoin's core protocol. I feel there may be large upside potential at the current valuation. As a disclaimer, my opinion does not constitute professional investment advice.