Interviews

Interview with: Nimiq

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Briefly tell us why we should all love Nimiq

  • Easy to use cryptocurrency that beautifully conceals the complexity of blockchain and gives you the most direct connection to crypto payments.
  • Identicons protect you from clipboard hijacking and typos in addresses.
  • Staking is planned and will give you the opportunity to earn rewards with what is planned to be the best staking experience of crypto.

 

The blockchain industry is extremely saturated, what competitive advantage and features differentiates Nimiq from other decentralised solutions?

Many projects “simply” fork Bitcoin or create an ERC20 token. But Nimiq built and runs on its own, original blockchain. Why? Because we wanted to create the first blockchain that can run directly in the user’s browser or natively on the phone! Usually, when you use a wallet app to interact with e.g. Bitcoin, that wallet uses an intermediary to connect to the Bitcoin network and doesn’t actually prove the state of the chain itself. But that is not what the crypto revolution is all about, it’s about censorship resistance and decentralization!

Nimiq is special because its unique Blockchain allows you to run a node in your browser. No installation, no downloads, it just works. The Nimiq Wallet actually runs a node *in* your browser that communicates directly to the Blockchain. This is a significant step forward in decentralization because you are removing the middleman between you and the Blockchain. But on top of that, we are one of the first projects that focuses heavily on the usability of crypto. So also here, we design and build things from scratch, optimize and test the user experience to get to a very elegant and easy to use user interface.

 

Can you tell us more about Nimiq’s unique approach to Atomic Swaps?

Nimiq found a way to execute Atomic Swaps with FIAT currencies with a new invention we call Nimiq OASIS. OASIS enables atomic swaps between crypto assets and traditional off-chain assets. The cool thing is that it achieves this *without ever touching any crypto*, in fact, OASIS is completely crypto-agnostic. It works by providing an HTLC for off-chain assets e.g. EUR, USD or stocks, which serves as a bridge between the crypto space and the off-chain world, enabling a whole new level of decentralization when it comes to fiat/crypto conversions.

We are also building FastSpot, a service powered by OASIS, which aims to be the easiest and safest way to buy and sell crypto and fiat. Each time someone uses it, the 1% fee is used to buy Nimiq of the market, creating scarcity.

Nimiq can actively confirm more than 1000 transactions per second, how is this achieved?

This is achieved through another breaktrhough of our Blockchain/Cryptography Team:

nimiq.com/albatross. Albatross is a new technology that will make Nimiq able to achieve a performance close to the theoretical maximum for single-chain Blockchains while reducing the energy consumption drastically. We introduced an optimistic execution mode in which the network works faster compared to classic pBFT Proof-of-Stake chains like Binance’s.

The optimistic case will run whenever there is no “bad guy” attacking the network, making transactions very fast — but as soon as any irregular behaviour is detected, the system will switch back to classic pBFT to resolve the issue and right afterwards turn on optimistic mode again — all automatic.

Albatross will improve Nimiq with instant confirmations and 1,000+ transactions per second and is planned to be implemented in Nimiq 2.0. With Nimiq 2.0 users will be able to stake and the inflation of the coin supply will be significantly reduced.

Sending and receiving funds can be overwhelming due to long addresses, how is Nimiq addressing this issue?

We found this to be a pain point from the beginning of the project because we are all crypto users and we found ourselves constantly verifying addresses while feeling uncomfortably vulnerable to typos and the so-called clipboard hijacking.

A solution we found to this problem is to improve the “avatars” used in Ethereum, making them easy to decribe to the recipient of your transactions.

We call this improvement identicons. We added identicons and the IBAN standard to Nimiq addresses, this makes typos basically impossible and clipboard hijacking attacks very easy to spot because each address has an easy to describe avatar, which changes dramatically if you modify just one single character. No more checking the last chars of your crypto address, just compare if the little guy looks similar and you’re good to go.

Try them out here: https://nimiq.github.io/iqons/

 

Staking became a must feature for blockchain projects, how will Nimiq approach it?

That’s true, crypto has to be easy and accessible for mass adoption! For staking, we aim for nothing less than the easiest and most convenient staking UX to date.

Accessibility and inclusion matters too, users will be able to stake with as little as 1.000 NIM, which was around $3, but with we might need to re-evaluate that amount due to recent price action.

In the end, we wish to empower every fan of Nimiq to profit from the staking rewards, no matter how much money or tech skills they have. Additionally, we’re talking with other staking-enabled wallets to add staking for NIM.

Every company has short, medium and long term goals. What can we expect to see from Nimiq?

Short Term: We are transition to Nimiq 2.0 with proof of stake while testing FastSpot, the product jointly built with ten31.com. OASIS/FastSpot will initially be available in the European SEPA network. That’s 22 countries, +2000 banks, 500M people that will be able to do non-custodial crypto-to-fiat swaps. Check it out, it’s crazy easy and fast:

Medium Term. We plan to continue working alongside ten31 and new potential partners to improve the reach of Nimiq and OASIS. Our partnership doesn’t stop there, together with TEN31’s network (amazing projects like https://www.zilliqa.com/ or https://www.salamantex.com/en/), we are currently exploring quite some projects, but nothing can be disclosed yet.

Long Term: We still find some pain points in the crypto space like management/storage of private keys, micro loans, international remittances, and so on. We are laser focused on Nimiq 2.0 and OASIS at the moment, but we will announce new research and ideas as soon as we have something concrete to share.

Stay tuned!

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