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Changelog Speaker Spotlight - Reuben Yap, COO of Zcoin

by Kristian Kho

CoinGecko will be hosting sixteen exciting crypto projects at the upcoming Changelog stage during Invest Asia 2019 happening on 11-12 September 2019. The Changelog stage offers projects the opportunity to share important updates and development roadmap with conference attendees.


In this edition of Changelog Speaker Spotlight, we interviewed Reuben Yap of Zcoin. Reuben is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Zcoin. Prior to his foray into the cryptocurrency space, Reuben have been operating one of South East Asia's largest VPN provider whilst working in a legal firm he co-founded for than a decade. Reuben is an early adopter of cryptocurrencies being the first merchant in Malaysia to accept bitcoin and other altcoins back in 2012.

Zcoin (XZC) is an open-source, decentralized privacy coin that focuses on achieving privacy and anonymity for its users while transacting on the blockchain. It is the first to develop and implement the Sigma Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy over their transactions via zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs without the need for trusted setup. Zcoin was also the first coin to implement Merkle Tree Proofs on its network for egalitarian mining, as well as the Dandelion protocol which protects user identities by preventing their IP addresses from being tied to a transaction. Prior to Sigma, Zcoin previously pioneered the use of the Zerocoin protocol, one of the most widely used privacy protocols. 

1) What is the main thing you will be highlighting at Zcoin?

I'll be speaking about our recent technical advancements in privacy technology including Sigma and Lelantus and also our recent adoption efforts.

2) What’s the biggest challenge Zcoin faced this year and how was it resolved?

As we are funded from the block reward, price movements do affect our budget funding significantly. Fortunately, we are a very lean team and can continue development but of course we had to streamline our operations and tighten our focus, which isn't a bad thing.

We also have supportive seed investors including Tim Lee & Roger Ver and a supportive community and I'm confident that we will continue to deliver as we have been doing throughout the bear market.

3) How would you describe Zcoin in one line?

A cryptocurrency focused on providing financial privacy by allowing people to destroy their coins and redeem them for new ones with on previous transaction history.

4) Describe your vision for the future of Zcoin.

I see Zcoin as first and foremost the digital form of physical cash, where people can transact freely and privately except now without being constrained by physical limitations.

I also see it serving as a blockchain for various privacy applications be it voting and various tokenized assets that needs privacy.

5) What do you think is the biggest hindrance/roadblock to mainstream adoption of crypto in general?

If we are viewing cryptocurrencies as being a token for payments or store of value, easy ways to buy and sell them are still few and far between.

People have to register for exchanges, submit KYC and then be familiar with handling wallets and taking responsibility for them which is a significant hurdle especially if we want people to accept a cryptocurrency.

This is why Zcoin together with our founder's exchange is trying to solve this problem through a combination of having listings with quality exchanges with fiat pairings and also through innovations like Satang app that help end to end convert cryptocurrencies to fiat for payment to merchants. Some would also argue volatility but its double edged in that it attracts speculators but makes it hard to use for its intended use which is payments or SoV (Store of Value).

As for other tokens which are more geared towards using blockchain as a platform, many have struggled to find relevance either through poor product market fit, for instance in many cases the product doesn't require the token for those that do, the volatility of the token does not necessarily reflect the utility.

6) What mascot would you use for your project? If you already have one, what inspired you to pick said mascot?

We are working on a phoenix mascot that we feel illustrates our technology and the history of our project.

The phoenix's life cycle of death and rebirth is much like the process of our privacy and technology which involves destroying coins and then redeeming them for new ones with no previous transaction history. Our project has also faced many challenges along the way but each time we have emerged stronger and better.


Make sure you do not miss the Changelog event while attending Invest Asia. Don't have a ticket yet? Get $300 discount off prevailing ticket rate if you use our special code SpkrDisc-gAMWo6cX. Sign up here at: https://www.coindesk.com/events/asia-2019/register

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Kristian Kho
Kristian Kho

Market Research Analyst at CoinGecko and cryptocurrency fan since 2014. I like to geek out about things in the crypto space. You can read some of my stuff at kristiankho.com. Follow the author on Twitter @Kristian_Kho

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