We talk to Alan Dubla, co-founder and CEO of grassroots initiative Waves World, about the Waves ecosystem, the wider crypto sector, and how he is helping build a token-powered marketplace and community.
1. Tell us about your background
I started programming at a young age in the early 1980s and have been involved in most aspects of the computer technology field since then. In my younger years I worked with mainframe and midrange systems at a large data center. In 1999, I started ADI-Computer Solutions, and travelled extensively implementing technology for Fortune 500 companies. After the dotcom bubble I changed approaches to providing corporate-level security and strategy for discerning small businesses and performing specialty work for those in need. I now enjoy working on various unique and interesting projects, as well as advancing blockchain and open source technologies in the process.
2. Why did you decide to launch Waves World?
Waves World came out of the Waves platform ecosystem. We’ve been a part of the Waves community almost since the start, and have run a full node since December 2017. Full nodes are an important part of the Waves network and they tend to become businesses and communities in themselves. Regular holders can lease their WAVES to them and receive rewards, and many of them issue their own reward tokens alongside distributing the transaction fees they receive from mining new blocks.
Waves World has done the same with the Waves World (WW) token. Starting there, we decided to build out a series of services around WW and our node, which has grown to become one of the top 10 producing WAVES nodes. The idea is to create a set of tools and services that complement and strengthen each other. WW fuels the rewards ecosystem and is distributed to those who provide value. WW is used as a reward for leases, as a tipping token, it can be used for transaction fees on Waves Platform, and also to purchase products and marketing services from the Waves World marketplace.
3. What problems does it solve?
We want to show people the benefits of blockchain and grow the overall crypto economy, but rather than talk about solving problems I’d probably put it a different way. We’re looking to build value around a community and a set of services. There are a lot of WAVES holders; we offer them a way to generate some rewards as they hold their coins by leasing them to our node. We also offer our community other ways to earn WW, though our reward bot (which rewards WW tokens to people who help provide social media publicity to different projects) and our Millionaires Club, which provides daily WW token rewards to our top 100 WW holders. We also give people ways to spend their WW, including at the Waves World Marketplace, which has loads of great crypto merchandise. WW is accepted alongside several other cryptos. Last but not least, we make all of this fun, with a great Telegram community and lots of giveaways and promotions. We’re still in a pretty tough bear market, and as part of our mission to bring new people into crypto, fun counts for a lot!
4. What plans does the company have for 2019?
We’ve got a lot of plans! Despite the bear market, we were very successful in 2018, growing our node from 10,000 WAVES to 1.4 million WAVES and our Telegram community from zero to almost 3,000. We want to consolidate that and keep rewarding those who started following us early on.
One of the big things we already do is run an airdrop and referral bot that rewards WW and other tokens in return for social media likes, retweets, shares, etc. This is very effective compared to conventional online advertising, and we’ll be building it out to offer more publicity services for blockchain startups. We’ll also be providing assistance with content and marketing in areas where we can add value.
We’re implementing a Voting Protocol for our WW node and community governance, so that WW holders can have a direct say in how we run the project – we’ve always been a community project and we want our key decisions to reflect that. And we’ll be adding new products to the Waves World marketplace, and gearing up our affiliates program – right now we’re looking to form strategic partnerships with other projects, and products. In the coming days we will be publishing an updated Roadmap to detail our plans for the coming year.
5. What do you recommend to attract more non-tech people to crypto?
Realistically there are going to be a few reasons new people come to crypto – some within our control, some not. One is the overall global economy. It looks like the stock markets are heading into bear territory and there are various factors that point to a bleaker 2019 than 2018. Crypto, meanwhile, is already a year into its bear market and looking undervalued by many metrics. As people look for ways to diversify their investments as the wider markets are losing value, it’s quite possible that crypto will once again feel more attractive – hopefully more sustainably this time. Add to that gradually growing institutional and possibly even national demand for various reasons, and we’d expect an overall picture of stabilizing value and returning confidence. But that will take time: public confidence in crypto has taken a real hit.
Pro-actively, we need to build usable and useful software. Waves is great at this – the wallet and built-in services like DEX and token launcher are excellent, and the mobile apps are simply outstanding. Waves provides us with a solid foundation, fast transaction processing, and unparalleled technology to build our ecosystem upon. Until crypto is at least as easy to use as regular mainstream apps, people will be hesitant to switch, so that’s really important.
For our part, Waves World is adding utility with its airdrop bot and marketplace, as well as the node. The whole point is to create velocity around the token, distributing something that has value and can be traded as well as used for real-world goods and services. Both are important, and we’ve spent a lot of time fine-tuning how our ecosystem and token economics should work. The result should be something that becomes engaging because it’s dramatically superior to what the fiat system has to offer, as well as being just as easy to access. If you can sustainably build value in a token while major crypto coins are losing it, your project has a great foundation for the future.
Lastly, I think of it like this: In the 1990s early adopters knew the communications and flexibility that the Internet provided had the means to transform how we operate our lives. Over time it has become clear the technology has made its way into every possible facet of our existences. As that process continues to evolve we’re now squarely into the next stage, whereby we venture forward with public ledgers and transferable stores of value; the next iteration of the Internet, in a nutshell. Now and into the future the Waves World team is excited to work in this great experiment, and together with our community we’ll do our part in shaping this technology into captivating experiences for everyday consumers.