For this week’s podcast, we have the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Kim, Co-Founder and CEO of Xank, a decentralized, self-funding and meritocratic free-floating cryptocurrency with Stable Pay functionality in a single coin architecture. The Xank Treasury will go beyond funding protocol maintenance to fund projects that are urgent, impactful and meaningful to our lives.
This interview is <25 minutes long, feel free to click play and listen to it now, subscribe to our podcast here to listen later, watch it on YouTube, or simply go ahead and read the edit below. Please enjoy and let us know what you think!
SR: What got you into crypto, and what inspired you to create a stablecoin? RK: I got into Bitcoin in 2015 when I realized that blockchain is the next Internet and I got into internet in 1989, when I realized that Internet would revolutionize the world. My Internet company back then started from nothing and became publicly listed in 12 years. I feel the same thing is happening all over again, but this time it won’t be just companies, it will be whole new economies. That’s exciting to me.
SR: Absolutely, we are creating communities and empowering people -not just companies. So how did you come up with the name ‘Xank’? RK: Xank is the next evolution of stablecoins. Just like ‘X’ can be anything in mathematics, Xank means you can put anything into the bank. Not just money, but other values such as time, loyalty and identity. We think it’s a great name.
SR: What was the thought process that led your team to create a non-collateral model to achieve stability? RK: When we realized that price stability is the biggest hindrance for mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and looked at various different [stablecoin] models, most of them seemed to peg their entire coin supply to some fiat value. We thought that was too capital intensive, instead we are trying to guarantee a fiat value for individual transactions. What people want is not a stable currency, but stable transactions.
SR: Your currency will be pegged to the SDR basket at first, so how does that work with Stable Pay? RK: We don’t peg to anything but we need some kind of value measuring mechanism. We are using the basket of world currencies (SDR) because we feel it’s inherently more stable than a single currency, but we could also use CPI later on. Overtime, as Xank becomes a dominant payment method, fiat value will mean less and less.
SR: Your white paper states that Xank will perform as a stablecoin 99.89% of the time, how did you get this result? RK: That was our conclusion, as well as Yonsei University’s researchers, based on our theory and extensive statistical analysis of the algorithm. But these results are based in theory, we have to put it into practice.
SR: When do you expect Xank to be traded in exchanges? RK: After our ICO in the coming months we will list our token in exchanges.
SR: Can you explain Xank’s Extreme Volatility Safeguard, and how your approach of having a floor and peg only during the lifetime of a Stable Pay transaction can mitigate a Soros type of attack? RK: We don’t think we will need the Extreme Volatility Safeguard (EVS) for this type of attack because we don’t peg our entire coin supply to anything, they fluctuate and depend on each transaction. Such an attack in our system, a free-floating currency, would make the price go up significantly, and then the ‘attacker’ would need to do Stable Pay transactions at different times — with different values each. So the way our system is built makes it impossible for that type of attack.
SR: The way I understand Stable Pay is that, regardless of the price, the minute you make a transaction you get a relative amount of Xank which can then be exchanged without variation in value. So how does the Xank treasury generate revenue to incentivize network participants? RK: Similar to how master node networks like Dash distribute block rewards to incentivize its participants. We are a master node network and have an internal reserve in the Xank Treasury to guarantees Stable Pay transactions in a fiat denominated currency.
SR: Can you explain your “Idea and Social Meritocratic model” to solve master node centralization and corruption we’ve seen in other networks? I know this was inspired by Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, is this the philosophy at Xank overall? RK: I think we are the first cryptocurrency using the meritocratic governance model pioneered by Ray Dalio. I myself am a huge fan of how [Ray Dalio] grew his hedge fund company from virtually nothing to the largest in the world in only 40 years. We all believe in meritocracy, but Ray created a practical approach to run human institutions that way. In master node networks, if you are rich, you can buy many master nodes and get control. To mitigate that centralized power we integrated a self-sovereign identity system, so even if you own many master nodes, you only get one vote. We believe that the combination of a self-sovereign identity system with meritocratic weighting in the voting mechanism will lead to good decisions in the Xank network. It will be similar to other master node networks, except the governance model is meritocratic rather than democratic, and each user will only get one vote.
SR: How can I become a full node when we see Xank listed on exchanges? RK: You could buy the amount of coins required to become a single master node, put it up as collateral, and -like other master node networks, get compensated for your services. Likewise, you would get a voting seat to make decisions on how the Treasury is spent in the system.
SR: Will this require intense computing power? RK: Our consensus mechanism is Proof of Stake (Pos), not Proof of Work (PoW), so a normal computer could run a master node.
SR: Bitcoin began as an anarchist or libertarian movement against central-bank issued fiat, do you see a future without it? RK: I believe wholeheartedly that cryptocurrency will take over fiat currencies sometime in the future but I do not know when that will happen. However, for that to happen, all cryptocurrencies will need to possess the following characteristics: 1) Stable value, to be able to transact; 2) Scalability, to be able to clear transactions quickly; 3) Privacy, because you don’t want your salary to be public; 4) Decentralization. We are trying to solve for all these four aspects in Xank.
SR: There are over 100 stablecoin projects at the moment, how do you see this moving forward? Will there be thousands of stablecoins, mergers, project failures? RK: There will be thousands or maybe hundreds of projects, I don’t know. I do know there will be a handful of winners or a single dominant player — we hope that would be Xank. Similar to how the U.S. became the dominant country with a philosophical constitution based on Liberty, Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness based on democracy, I feel Xank is very unique in its philosophical constitution to get rid of world problems (oppression, pollution, discrimination, etc) based on meritocratic governance.
SR: That leads me to my next question: Given fiduciary compliance, what are your plans to reach users in developing countries like Venezuela or Zimbabwe ? RK: I fully sympathize with you León, because Venezuela is near and dear to you. We can talk about that more when we are fully funded. What I can say is that Xank has a single-coin architecture which is very simple to understand and transact with. Compare that to other stablecoins that have two or three coins in their models, such as Basis, which has bond tokens. To me, that is too complex for normal people to use.
SR: Is there something that we did not cover in this brief interview that you would like to mention? RK: Xank is the next evolution of stablecoins. Every other stablecoin thus far tries to peg their entire coin supply to the USD or other fiat value and to me that is an incredibly inefficient use of capital. If the total available market for stablecoins is the entire world’s money supply (~US $90T), isn’t it crazy to have 100%-500% of that seating as collateral in a bank somewhere? I don’t think that is workable! Xank is a free floating cryptocurrency trying to do what no one’s tried before, it is a decentralized, self-funding, self-governing network with an instant and private paying mechanism that is scalable.
If you are interested in learning more about this project, check out their website, xank.io, or follow them on twitter at @xankmoney