An In Depth Interview with Rassah From Mycelium
Last week, Mycelium introduced the new wallet they have been secretly working on for over six months. Simply called “Mycelium,” the platform will be known as a “Crypto-Swiss Knife“ and will support multiple cryptocurrencies and fiat. Also read: Microsoft Joins Digital Chamber Of Commerce For Blockchain Advocacy Alongside this announcement, the company has decided to partner with the WAVES […]
Last week, Mycelium introduced the new wallet they have been secretly working on for over six months. Simply called “Mycelium,” the platform will be known as a “Crypto-Swiss Knife“ and will support multiple cryptocurrencies and fiat.
Alongside this announcement, the company has decided to partner with the WAVES platform to help the multi-cryptocurrency/asset platform flourish “through compliant gateway operators.”
Bitcoin.com sat down with Dmitry “Rassah” Murashchik of Mycelium and discussed the release of the new wallet, the crowdfunding, and the company’s collaboration with WAVES. Rassah gives us some insight into Mycelium’s roadmap and what the overall goal is with the firm’s objectives. Mycelium wants to be a premier portal for all things crypto, and Rassah explains just how the company plans to accomplish this.
“We want to be the Microsoft, Apple, or Google of the crypto-finance industry, keeping in mind that our goals are and always will be financial privacy and giving individuals more freedom over their own lives.”
Mycelium Expands its Goals to be a the Google of the Crypto-Finance Industry
Bitcoin.com: Can you tell me about the new wallet and why it will be a “full management suite”?
Rassah: We don’t think there’s any money, or much future, in just a bitcoin wallet. It’s just a customised banking app, but still has the same restrictions on what you can do with it. We also have a few services available through our current wallet, such as Locks, Cashilla, LocalTrader, Trezor, Ledger, and soon Glidera, and get requests to be added fairly frequently, so it seemed like a natural transition to change to something that would allow us to implement even more third-party services. Plus, every time we agreed to implement someone’s service, that meant our own developers would have to spend their time and resources to do it, which pulled us away from the things we really wanted to focus on. We have built our reputation around providing privacy and anonymity, but due to all the distractions we have no time to actually work on it. We finally added HD wallet and Tor support, but wanted CoinJoin, stealth addresses, and other things for years. When other wallets started to seem to move in that direction, I decided to put a stop to those distractions, and switch to the current plan, where others can work on adding their own plugins, and we can just focus on providing the most secure and private cryptocurrency experience. Another minor motivation for this was that our current app was quickly moving into a bloat problem, where you have everything all together intertwined in a big lump of code, and getting more difficult to manage. It took years for Bitcoin-qt, which was a server, wallet, and miner all in one, to be broken up into pieces. I didn’t want us to end up with that problem, and decided we should set it up to be modular from the very foundation. This will also make auditing all the components much easier.
Of course, the benefit of all this is that anyone will be able to create plugins for our wallet, so you would be able to do things like trade, manage money, track personal or business finances, process merchant payments, and maybe even sell products directly from it. Any service or tool that someone needs will be possible to add to it. It’s a good business model too, one that many other companies use already (Apple, Google, and Amazon app store, or Firefox plugins, for example). I am also a business finance guy, so I use money management and accounting applications to track my own money, businesses, and investments, and such a tool is sorely lacking in crypto space. Even better, tracking money would be even easier and more direct with cryptocurrencies, since while in something like Mint or QuickBooks you are just recording transactions and invoices that happened elsewhere (in a bank or sent through the mail). With cryptocurrencies, all your transactions and invoices actually go right through your phone or computer, so you can have an instant record of everything, and prices everything, directly. This would finally make accounting be possible in real time, instead of it following your various bank reports, with delays as you collect and reconcile data. Want to figure out bills and interest due and pay that bill? Press a button, all the data is calculated, an amount shown to verify, and you click send. Want to figure out how much tax is due on sales, currency exchange, and business deductions? Press a button and all that information is calculated, and a payment created, ready to verify and send. Unifying all these services, accounts, and currencies will make tracking and managing everything so much easier for everyone. For personal information, of course. We still intend to make tracking things for outside third parties as close to impossible as possible.
“It’s really exciting to be at the center of it, building something that will bring all of this together and, with luck, put us at the top.”
BC: How is the crowdsale going?
Rassah: It’s going well. We released information about our market cap of 7,500 BTC that we will not go over. We don’t expect to reach it, but if our investors get too spendthrift, we want to make sure things don’t get too out of hand. Our main two issues have been people not quite understanding what the actual token share we are selling is (what are SAR rights and what legal rights they provide), and what our business plan is. A few people seem to think we are just selling a stake in a bitcoin wallet, and it has been a long and tedious job answering all questions and explaining the idea I explained above. Not many people understand that what we are building is something that will allow us to capture almost all of the cryptocurrency software market, assuming we get there first. Think of how many versions of app stores, or even PC OS’s there are, and how many actually have a significant user base. What we’re doing is something very similar.
BC: How does the company see the current state of Bitcoin at the present time? Are you guys positive about the environment?
Rassah: Very much so. You can only scrape the bottom for so long, and that’s where we’ve been for a while. As Brock Pierce said, the only people left at this point are those seriously dedicated to Bitcoin, and we’re seeing a lot of those people finally finishing up their projects that took them years to build. We believe bitcoin will start growing strong again this and next year, if not finally becoming mainstream. We are also hoping to be at the center of it by offering an easy to use app that unifies all the various bitcoin and blockchain projects into a single convenient app.
BC: Why has the team been in stealth mode with the new wallet for six months? When do we expect to see the full release?
Rassah: We were worried about someone doing what we are doing and beating us to it. Think about it, how many app stores are there? The only ones that really matter are Google Play and Apple Appstore. There are others, but no one cares about them. How many online shopping sites are there? Only Amazon really matters. How many auction sites are out there besides eBay? How many rideshare apps besides Uber? Home rental besides Airbnb? The idea we are going for, based on connecting businesses to customers, has extremely strong network effects and high switching costs. How difficult is it to leave your iPhone behind, which has all the apps you paid for? There isn’t room on the market for something like this for more than at most two companies, and whoever does this first will absolutely dominate the space. So we wanted to be sure we are far enough along with development that no one else would be able to change and catch up. We are unfortunately still a ways off from the finish, but we hope to get this done by the end of the year. Maybe earlier.
“Our current wallet is open in a sense that the code is completely public, but there are restrictions on how the code can be used by others. We wanted to go open source for years, but unfortunately, that would have been a massive legal headache due to previous investors owning IP rights.”
BC: Can you tell our readers about Mycelium’s partnership with WAVES?
Rassah: Unfortunately, we can’t say much more than what was published in the press release. They approached us and wanted to collaborate on this, which is why we picked them to work with, but any details about what they will do or how their system will work should be addressed to them.
BC: Can you tell us about the ReactNative platform and going fully open source?
Rassah: ReactNative is a fairly new option, which when we look at back in October didn’t even support Android. It was iOS only, with possible support for other things in the future. So when we finally picked a development platform to settle on, ReactNative came just in time, releasing Android support literally a week before. Up until then, we were developing the backend in Java and planning out all the structure for a project like ours. Steve Dakh, the guy responsible for KryptoKit wallet, Unsung, Bounti (which I watched him code during the Miami hackathon), and many other bitcoin-related projects, convinced us to switch to that platform, due to its much easier and quicker development, huge community support, and wide support for various devices.
Regarding open source, our current wallet is open in a sense that the code is completely public, but there are restrictions on how the code can be used by others. We wanted to go open source for years, but unfortunately, that would have been a massive legal headache due to previous investors owning IP rights. So for the new wallet, we decided to make it completely open source from the start. We can still earn money from the wallet despite this. Just like how Google has made the Android OS completely open source, but still makes money on app sales.
BC: What’s Mycelium vision for the future of the company?
Rassah: We want to be the Microsoft, Apple, or Google of the crypto-finance industry, keeping in mind that our goals are and always will be financial privacy and giving individuals more freedom over their own lives.
Thanks, Rassah, for speaking with us and giving us details about the new wallet and the company’s mission. Good luck with the roadmap, and let us know of any upcoming developments in the future. We will be sure to keep our readers informed here at Bitcoin.com.
What do you think about Mycelium’s roadmap for the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Mycelium, WAVES, and Pixabay.