We had the opportunity to interview a senior Manager who works at Exxon for nearly 30 years.His name is Mr E. Joris and during his distinguished career at Exxon he developed many different
strategies and build up Exxon facilities all over the world. He is also a close family member of the writer of this article and thus has been introduced into the world of crypto.
Mr Joris already bought some Bitcoins as well as some altcoins. Suffice to say he is very interested in the concept and the technology behind digital currency. So let’s see how the “big business” and corporations are looking at Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Serge: Thanks for sitting down with us again. So what is your opinion on Bitcoin and the whole crypto currency community?
Mr. Joris: I see digital currency as a stepstone for more decentralised, honest and transparent way of doing business. Currently there are many small businesses that are struggling to compete with the big businesses. Most of these small businesses have a solid idea or business model but haven’t got the pull or the financial means to really enter the competition arena so to speak.For example here in Belgium you have small family owned and operated groceries. These families own only one or maybe 2 shops. We have seen that big supermarket chains like Carrefour, Delhaize or Colruyt are moving in the areas. This means that if the local businesses that want to survive need to sell their products on a lower price, which is not possible because the big supermarket chains can buy in bulk whereas the small groceries can’t.
I see Bitcoin offering the great diversification to these small groceries in the future. So if , god forbid, happens to the Euro, the small grocers can fall back on the Bitcoins they have from their sales. That way the impact of a problem with the “real currency”, like the Euro, would be far less than if the business is only working with Euro’s.
I always like the comparison of a business with a trampoline. The owner or CEO is jumping up and down on it representing the business side of the company. The trampoline is held together with a structure and springs that are attached to each other. Now if a business is only accepting paper money for their transactions, the springs aren’t excellent since you are only focussing in on 1 kind of payment. As a result these springs are more likely to snap and possibly let the CEO fall to the ground (this is when his company will have serious problems).
Now imagine if you can put in other springs. Like for every payment method you provide you get other springs you can attach to your trampoline. Now let say that you have springs for: paper money, payments with credit card, accepting different currencies ( like Euros, dollars, Yuan, etc) and Bitcoin, all incorporated in the trampoline structure. This will improve the stability and in so doing will give a company a great diversification. The possibility that the trampoline, aka the business, will fail due to a lack of diversification is less likely. The bigger the diversification of resources/income is in a business the healthier the business becomes. As a result it will withstand turbulent financial times better.
Serge: You were talking about Bitcoin a lot in the previous answer? Why not use other “altcoins” in a business model?
Mr Joris: Yes a business can even implement a greater diversification when it comes to the digital currencies like Bitcoin and altcoins. However there is a great risk. I used Bitcoin in the previous question because it can be viewed as the dominant crypto currency out there. It has been in circulation for a time, longer than any other “altcoins”.
Now I did invest in some altcoins that I will not discuss because I know how powerful media can be and could possibly influence a coin to do this or that. But there are great alternatives out there. If I really must give an opinion on altcoins I would choose Blackcoin and UROcoin as coins to look into. I do not say “buy these coins or invest in them” you have to make up your own mind but keep an eye on them.
What I like the most, and most businesses will agree with this standpoint, is that there isn’t too much paperwork or fees involved with implementing digital currencies like Bitcoin. If you have any card terminal there is a lot of rules you have to comply to and fees that you have to pay. In the crypto world you can also have machines that do the same thing only they cost much less. Products like Coinkite and XBT terminals are a couple that I’m thinking off that could be used in businesses.
Serge: Now let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment. What are the biggest problems for digital currency according to your views and experiences?
Mr. Joris: let me first say that the digital currencies have the right ideas and technologies about the whole concept of transparency and openness. The Blockchain is very interesting and is a valuable tool.
However there are a lot “problems” that I, and others that are not in the crypto community, have with certain aspects. I will not begin preaching about the wrongs or the”idiotic ways of certain coins and people”, like a professor did in your previous interviews, but I will give out some constructive criticisms.
• “Dumb information down”.
Most of the general public do not see digital currencies as people that are involved with it. I like to see more real educational tools appear that explains Bitcoin and other crypto. This information on the what’s the how’s and the why’s should be easy accessible and free of charge.
• “Open lines of communication with politicians and businesses alike”.
Why not organise some kind of free meet-up where you invite small business holders and local politicians alike. Give them an incentive to come and listen. Create good, to the point slogans that will reel the businesses in. For example: If you are living in a town, village where there is some tourist attraction you can approach it from a tourist angle. Using Bitcoin will increase tourist volume. You can then refer to Bitcoin boulevards all over the world or something along those lines.
• “Expand the community”.
The main reason is that the digital currency community is pretty small. The fact that the media is more focussed on when things go wrong like the Mt.Gox, we need to be aware and address the
problems ourselves as a community. It is up to us to say” hey what you are saying isn’t correct because this and this and this”.
A great initiative is the College Cryptocurrency Network. These people are bringing college and university students together to organise themselves into chapters. That way they can be effective at educating people in their college and other communities.
• “Power to the ladies”.
Some might find this a bit strange but if there are more ladies involved in crypto and are actually speaking for crypt, this will attract more people to join. The image of the “geeky technical dude living in the parents basement” will be broken ( not that this image is correct by any way but some media sources are insinuating that it is so). For example; look at bars and trendy nightclubs. Some of the high end nightclubs hire models to be at their club just to draw in more people. Another effect this has is that other women are more comfortable to join the crypto community because other ladies are already in the community. There are already some initiatives like Miss Bitcoin that is completely run by ladies for ladies.
• “Eliminate the bad ones”.
Speak out against the free loaders, the pump and dump schemes, criminal elements, etc. These people and organisations are hurting the community and as such the media will pick up on it. Another thing I would like to put under here is that the creation of “altcoins” should be slowed down. I see it like driving. Everybody can drive and everybody can drive really fast but driving without having an accident, that is something entirely different.
The pump and dump frauds are mostly in some of these newly created “altcoins”. Some advice that everyone should consider: Look up the frauds and scammers that created fraudulent coins in the past and compare them to recent “new alt coins”. Look at the developers, creators of coins etc.
I mentioned that most media are looking for sensational news and crappy altcoins are one of them.
What can you do with let’s say boobcoin or lottocoin that you can’t do with Bitcoin? Absolutely nothing and it will put the community in a bad spotlight.
Do I mean to curb creativity? No of course not but you have to remember: the brand/name of a coin or company is as important as the development and creation of said coin or business.
I can end this positive critique by saying something controversial and I know some people will react fiercely on this viewpoint. Why not include politicians into the educational program? Just like businesses, politicians are an integral part of society and should be included.
For example when you invite local businesses to the table under the topic tourism or some such thing, consider inviting the local politician of the village council that is involved with tourism. You can also invite regional and even national politicians that have tourism or cultural activities on their agenda.
Serge: thank you for sitting down with us and giving out some sound advice Mr. Joris. We always love to hear your views and ideas about digital community.
We would like to point out that these are the views of Mr. Joris and do not necessarily coincide with the views of the news site, the journalist or the company Exxon.