While the PoC Consortium is busy making technical prowess, some community members took on the herculean task of increasing worldwide adoption. Nixops is one of them and a well known Burst community figure – he kindly agreed to answer the few questions @tiptopanonymous had prepared concerning his current plans and vision.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Can you tell the readers about your background and how you got into Burst?
Thanks for taking interest in the stuff we are doing. I will gladly provide some insight into the ideas behind our current projects. I am Daniel, a software engineer with a heavy background in DevOps and Unix operations – hence the name nixops. I got into Burst around mid-February of 2018. I have been involved with crypto since I started mining bitcoin in March of 2009. I have seen a lot, but I was more hands-off on adoption-pushing until recently.
Can you tell us about the work you have been doing in the community and any success that you have had so far?
In northern California (San Jose specifically), we are a team of three: Tamara, myself and T, a friend of ours, pushing for business adoption and adoption in general. Peter is in Southern California, and he is also building a group there which is great. We are designing and building what is to become merchant services for businesses looking to accept Burst. This includes inventory tools, local wallet setups, as well as the required training for using these services. We are essentially building to the specific needs of the businesses we are working with.
What specific products have you and your group been working on to increase adoption?
We are working exceptionally hard on UPC (Universal Product Code) -> Wallet -> My store to add items directly to a merchant’s store via UPC scanning mode. This becomes a plug and play solution that can coexist in their existing business. This is important, because the easier it is to adapt Burst to a business’ current model, the more likely it is that the business will make the switch. We have also been working with creating a WooCommerce plugin that is nearing completion, but this in general will just work with WordPress.
We were exploring the idea of using coinpayments.net as a web pay service, but because they charge $150k a year to host with them we have decided to build one and help support more endeavors for much lower fees – even their transaction fees are super high. We are working on being able to provide a release date soon. This plugin will work with Shopify stores. We have also been working on an iOS app as well, which we should complete in the next week. Test flight invites will go up on reddit once it is available. Our Tax AT (Automated Transaction) is about to begin testing right after the fork, so stay tuned for more on that.
I also want to put it out there that all the products we are working on will be made open source for others to review and continue working on.
How do you initiate contact with businesses? Walk in to stores? Phone calls? Emails?
Normally, our approach has been that we go into the stores. We build a rapport with the business before we even attempt discussing cryptocurrencies. We have attempted a cold talk in the past, but normally we like to feel out the situation before we mention Burst. For example, if they use Square, Clover, or Cake, that means they already have devices on which an app can be installed. This eliminates one of the hurdles necessary for adoption. One of the other things is that, people like it when you buy goods from them. We highly suggest you support local businesses, and it will end up paving the way for burst adoption. Also, chain stores (unless small) will be much harder for adoption. We are working out how to tackle this.
How do you start the conversation about burst? What have you found that makes business owners most receptive to a conversation about cryptocurrencies?
The biggest thing to keep in mind once you begin talking to the businesses about cryptocurrencies is that 99% of them that know of cryptocurrencies only know of the BitPay model. Most merchants are not a big fan of this model, because it results in an immediate crypto to fiat conversion at the time of transaction. Most business owners that accepted cryptocurrencies from 2015 until now did not get to keep the assets. This meant they gained nothing from coin acceptance, and they usually had to pay high fees on these transactions. We use this angle to help in explaining a different model that allows them to keep the assets with literal transactions.
What I am about to say may shock you, but given the chance, most business owners want to keep the assets and control when to sell them. This is where the rubber hits the road. Basically, you need to let them know several things. First, they do not pay a transaction fee when a customer pays using Burst. Also, when you can show them a 4-minute settlement, it is usually a done deal. This is how simple it is for you to show and to win over businesses with Burst. Twelve seconds is the average time to see the transaction “post” (show up under transactions on the wallet). It then takes approximately 4 minutes to “settle” or for them to have the funds in their wallet. This is huge as Visa takes around 10-15 seconds to “post” and around 24-72 hours to settle on some merchant accounts. It is also important to remind them there are no bank fees associated with the transaction through burst. This adds several percentage points to their bottom line. You should understand they may have tax questions. If you need specifics on taxes, you will need to do research for the area including city, state, and any other form of taxes per transaction. Our team is working to solve this with the AT for merchant level.
What have been some of the biggest sticking points and hard spots in getting adoption numbers up?
The biggest hurdle right now is the lack of an iOS client. Many are working on addressing this. We have a beta app, but it is not ready for prime time. Once it is ready, open invites will go out!
Is there anything else that you have learned from your experiences that would be helpful for those that also want to approach businesses to accept Burst?
I will give you the best advice. People will listen and are receptive to positive change. You must understand that for the businesses, the number one issue is ease of use. If they do not have to retrain employees, then they will gladly adopt. Since you are not selling anything, it literally will sell itself. People like to be on the cutting edge. As someone pushing adoption, you must show them how it works and be patient with their issues that come up. It is of the utmost importance to know they will ask questions, and you should be able to answer as many as you can. But if you do not know the answer, be honest, and tell them you will get back to them. People like to see others being human, so it is ok to make a mistake or to not know something. Do not allow that to hold you back on getting out there and talking to people. Also, just be yourself. No one likes a blow hard.
Can you talk about Blockchain Northwest? What are your goals for the conference? What is your plan for spreading the word about burst? Do you need any support? If so, how can people provide that support?
Blockchain NorthWest is the first conference that is accepting Burstcoin as payment. This was really accomplished through my better half (Tamara)’s hard work and persistence. She negotiated the terms and was the one who made this whole thing happen. We were first told about it through BNFT, a partner Burst has, and after a few conversations back and forth, it turned into what it is now. Our goal at the conference is to push exposure of burst, demonstrate mining, plotting, and use cases for Burst. We will also be providing information about Burst and answering questions on panels. I am listed as one of the speakers for the event on the website. We currently have a fundraiser, it is on the /r/burstcoin subreddit (currently pinned at the top). We do need help in securing the booth with costs. We are handling our own airfare and accommodations. It is purely community driven on whether we want the exposure or not at this point. Please refer to the reddit post for specifics.
Donation wallet address for Blockchain Northwest:
BURST-NQAW-GQ84-CA6C-7B3LS the crowdfunding goal has now been met.
What are you most excited for in the upcoming hardfork?
I am excited for multi-out transactions. This will be game changing if leveraged correctly. I am also glad to see the number of transactions per second increase. This is now a challenge to the community to test the Burst chain to its full potential. The PoC Consortium has done some amazing things! Now, it is time to put it to work with expanding business adoption. More transactions will be hitting the chain, which will everything that the PoC Consortium (and others) have done that much more important.
How can people contact you if they have an idea or want to help out?
Do you have any closing comments about burst or anything else you would like to say?
I just want to add that if someone who reads this is on the fence about whether to work on the service side of things or has an idea, just jump in and start doing. Even if you do not know how to code, write up a proposal specification with a well thought out use case, and share it with the community. Someone will take it and work on it. Also, do not be afraid to learn to write some code. Everything is well-documented, and people are willing to help you. Do not go bothering the core developers for such things, but reach out to me directly, and I will do my best to help. I also want to point out one thing that would really help: a general shift from the community armchair generals mindset. As momentum is building, it is important to encourage growth for those creating adoption. I cannot stress enough that we are all on a team. Let’s work together and not against each other. Do not blow someone’s confidence out of the water when they propose an idea but rather compliment them as it may be the nudge they need to do something really big. You never know what resources or influences a community member may have to further burst adoption. One last thing. When you see an opportunity, don’t hesitate. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I myself am a fan of being part of the experience versus being a spectator. Take some risk and get out of your comfort zone. You might find the world is a very interesting place ripe for the global adoption of burst.
I will leave you a quote from one of my favorite bands:
“Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right” – Grateful Dead
I often use that as inspiration to overcome challenges.
Interview by @tiptopanonymous