Exclusive interview with Robert Wilkins ZiftrCOIN CEO
What is your background Bob?
I’m an executive entrepreneur with more than 29 years of experience creating, marketing, and selling products to consumer and business customers. Before Ziftr, I spent 11 years as President and EVP with PC Connection, a Fortune 1000 reseller of high tech equipment. I’ve done 6 startups to date, 2 IPOs and I hold multiple patents.
I created Ziftr in 2008 and have assembled a team of about 35 talented software engineers, marketers and product managers. Ziftr’s first set of tools, a browser add-on and mobile app that connect shoppers with the best deals at their favorite online retailers, have more than 2.5 million downloads.
When it comes down to it, I love staying busy and being on the forefront of innovative technology.
How did you get started with cryptocurrency?
I started as a miner. I got into mining dogecoin and litecoin in early January of this year and slowly began gathering graphics cards at my house. As I got further into mining, I quickly needed more space and actually started bringing the mining rigs into the Ziftr office in Milford, NH. I just recently got a server room that I’m now putting ASICs and everything else into (which makes my staff very happy as they are able to regain half of our office).
I definitely came into cryptocurrency from a mining perspective, but quickly began reading more of the academic papers, articles, and news around the technology. By that point I had gotten my staff into it as well. We really liked what we were reading and we absolutely believe that the technology is here to stay.
Tell me a little bit about ziftr and more specifically what you guys are trying to accomplish with ziftrCOIN
Our Ziftr team has been revolutionizing the shopping experience since 2008, when we released a browser add-on and mobile app designed to help shoppers find the best deals at their favorite online retailers. Since then, we have grown to 35+ employees, including software engineers, designers, copywriters, marketers, product managers and more. Through the development of the browser add-on and mobile app, we created a retailer network of tens of thousands of retailers through which consumers can find the best deal on hundreds of millions of products. We’ve had more 2.5 million downloads to date.
Our goal for Ziftr has always been to improve the shopping experience for both consumers and retailers, and when we began to understand the many benefits of cryptocurrency, we saw all of the opportunities this technology offered to people on both sides of the shopping experience. That said, we came to understand a couple of key problems standing in the way of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption: people don’t know how to get coins and they don’t have many places to use them. We set out to create a solution to these problems with ziftrCOIN and the tools that support it.
The main goal of ziftrCOIN is to onboard the next 10 million cryptocurrency users. We have determined that the best way to introduce people to cryptocurrency and to get them to actually use it is to not only tell them about the benefits, but also incentivize them to try using it, so we’re giving away 300 million ziftrCOINs for free in 2015 and ensuring that each coin has a minimum redemption value of $1 when spent in our Ziftr retailer network. We are confident that $100 worth of free money is an effective incentive to persuade people into trying something new. So that solves the first key problem by helping consumers get coins.
In addition to this, we’ve developed an API called ziftrPAY that will enable retailers to easily begin accepting Bitcoin, ziftrCOIN and other altcoins as well as traditional credit card payments. We’re currently working with the retailers in our existing Ziftr retailer network to onboard them into the ziftrPAY system. This solves the second problem by giving consumers an easy way to spend cryptocurrency when shopping at their favorite retailers.
How is ziftrCOIN so different?
One of ziftrCOIN’s key differentiators is that it’s not trying to compete with Bitcoin or other altcoins. On the contrary, we’re actually trying to help raise the value all coins and increase cryptocurrency adoption rates. By using ziftrCOINs as the gateway coin into cryptocurrency for the next 10 million users, we are hoping to effectively introduce people to the benefits of this great technology and create one seamless experience where people can play around and use all the different types of coins they want to. (As mentioned before, our ziftrPAY API works with multiple different coins. Plus, we’ve also developed ziftrWALLET Beta, a multicoin wallet that works with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and ziftrCOIN – with other coins being added soon.)
ziftrCOIN also introduces some new ideas and technology into existing cryptocurrency. It’s all laid out in our white paper if you want the detailed technical information. The short version is that we have some features designed to prevent large mining pools and to keep our coins decentralized. We’re also guaranteeing that ziftrCOINs can be redeemed for a minimum of $1 in Ziftr’s retailer network.
Do you have any key partnerships lined up for the exchange portion of ziftrPAY?
We really don’t want to give anything away too soon, but we will say that we have a major exchange partner signed with us right now, as well as a large credit card processing partner. We’ll make a more formal announcement about this in the very near future, so stay tuned! We recommend adding ziftrCOIN and Ziftr to your Google Alerts so you can keep up with all of our latest press releases.
I heard there may be a giveaway some time next year? Walk us through the how and why there.
Our goal with ziftrCOIN is to introduce the next 10 million users to cryptocurrency. To accomplish this, we aim to get coins into as many hands as possible. By giving away 300 million coins to 8 million people (100 each to the first 1 million users), we will take a very large step toward accomplishing this goal.
Anyone interested in free ziftrCOINs should signup for the ziftrCOIN newsletter on ziftrCOIN.com for all the latest news on our giveaway (including sign-up dates) and other exciting ziftrCOIN news.
How many merchants does ziftr have onboard right now?
We have existing relationships with over 10,000 retailers right now. We’re currently working with these retailers to onboard them onto the ziftrPAY system as we speak. Additionally, we have several very large retailers that we are currently working with including a large New England company. We plan to announce some of these names during our ziftrCOIN Presale, which takes place on the ziftrCOIN.com website from December 9th through January 23rd (or sooner depending on when the coins run out).
How many customers use the ziftr shopping engine before ziftrCOIN? Your goal after launch?
Before ziftrCOIN, we had over 2.5 million downloads of our browser add-on and mobile app, which crunch through 800 million product offers every 24 hours. Our hope is that with ziftrCOIN, ziftrPAY, ziftrWALLET and our other new tools and applications, we can create one unified shopping experience that supports the use of cryptocurrency and traditional payments. We want to allow everyone to easily shop where they want, how they want, and in a safer way than through the current legacy payment systems if they so choose. Providing that experience for as many people as possible is what matters to us, and what we will continue to work towards.
The ZiftrCOIN TEAM:
For more information on Ziftr coin please visit: http://www.ziftr.com