NEM’s Latin America Head: “In the Next Bullish Wave We will Surely See NEM in First Positions”

  • Cyril Gilson
    🎤 Interviews

    “We have the full confidence that the Blockchain of NEM has the best performance in the market”: Pedro Gutierrez

NEM’s Latin America Head: “In the Next Bullish Wave We will Surely See NEM in First Positions”
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Head of NEM Latin America Pedro Gutierrez on the strengths of the NEM platform, its competition with Ethereum and specifics of doing business in one of the most promising regions on Earth.

Systems Engineer by education, Pedro Gutierrez has a long career in business entrepreneurship in the hi-technology area, he participated in the boom of dot com as a category manager in, the first online auction site in Latin America- 2001 to 2003.

He participated in a pioneer online auction project in Latin America, then created the first online-based dental franchise in Venezuela that has become highly successful also in the neighboring Colombia. In 2016 he founded SynergyCriptoAdviser, a company that offers cryptocurrency consulting and training services.

In 2018 he was named the Latam leader of NEM.IO foundation and sees his major task in s publicizing Blockchain technology and NEM in industry, commerce, education institutions and government in Latin America and Spain.

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Cyril Gilson: How big is the NEM Latin America community, what are their main centers, who are the main players?

Pedro Gutierrez: Latin America has a population of almost 700 mln people, which makes it one of the most important regions in the world for the adoption of new technologies. We have opened 12 countries in only five months of operation, among which we must highlight the actively growing communities in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Our main competitors in the region are Ethereum and Hyperledger.

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CG: How the decisions are being made in your community?

PG: The decisions within the NEM foundation are made by the members of the council and the founding members evaluating all the positive or negative repercussions that such actions may generate for the community in general. Members of the NEM council are elected by the community every two years, and the destination of community funds is defined by public votes made by the global NEM community.

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CG: What is a regulatory climate in Latam like, as it comes to the cryptocurrency regulation, and what countries are moving ahead of others? When the regulatory clarity can be achieved?

PG: I believe that the regulatory climate in Latin America is very imprecise, if not null and this is very much tied to the ignorance on the part of the governments of these technologies operate. This does not mean that all countries are equal in this regard.

There are countries like Mexico that have already taken a big step with the approval of fintech law for the legal use of certain cryptocurrencies within the country, and cases like those of Colombia where the president-elect for the next 4 years mentioned that he would implement technologies such as the Blockchain to avoid the evasion of national taxes.

I believe that these steps, although small considering the size of the ecosystem, are just the beginning of a great technological revolution in Latin American countries that strive for more transparency.

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Latam perspectives

CG: What industries in Latam have specific interest in NEM, who are you working with? What explains their interest?

PG: Currently the greatest interest has come from governments and universities in different countries, with which we are currently in a process of conceptualization of the use cases in various areas. They serve as references for problems that need to be resolved locally and that way we later arrive to their implementation. We continue with the efforts to extend the range of interest to other sectors.

We have the full confidence that at present the blockchain of NEM has the best performance in the market, guaranteeing over time its greater participation in the Latin American market.

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CG: Are Latin American investors different from investors elsewhere?

PG: More than being different I think that Blockchain technology companies have an arduous task of showing investors the great advantages that the use of these technologies would mean without leaving aside the cryptocurrencies for their industries, the benefits in terms of automation of trust, of performance in the processes, of autonomous collection system, of machine-to-machine communication among many other things.

Naturally, it is important to reach agreements with industries and respectable investors that will show others the way thus achieving the implementation of these new technologies. We still do not have those relevant cases of use but we have seen a growing interest that is aroused by the fact that Latin American football stars like Messi in Argentina support crypto projects and stars like James Rodríguez of the Colombian team have launched their own cryptocurrency.

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NEM and Ethereum

CG: Some people say NEM can dethrone Ethereum as the premiere smart contracts platform. What maybe the obstacle to that happening?

PG: I think it's important to bear in mind that the only competition that Ethereum brings to NEM is up to the Ether’s bigger popularity for this moment.  If you compare NEM in terms of technology as a third generation Blockchain you can not only make smart contracts, but you can do them out of the chain allowing updates of the same without having to start from scratch.

Due to its adaptability to the most popular programming languages practically any developer can start implementing NEM without delays. NEM also has a number of features that are designed so that, among many other things, the developer does not have to build everything from scratch if something doesn’t work. We know that in marketing we must work hard but we must note that we work hard to deliver the best blockchain to the community. Now we work with it to make it better known.

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CG: What is the strength of NEM that is absent in other altcoins?

PG: NEM is not technology in test (Beta), it is a fully developed project in search of continuous improvement offering new and more advanced functionalities.

We have a community throughout the planet, and a defined leadership structure that allows everyone in our different regions to pursue the same ideals.

Bullish wave ahead

CG: Recently NEM dropped from the top 15 cryptocurrencies and Binance Coin has taken its place. When do you think NEM will jump again?

PG: In the next bullish wave we will surely see it in the first positions, we must bear in mind that the market in general is down and all the token have decreased their capital.

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Cooperation, not competition

CG: What do you think of main competitor for NEM now? Maybe Ripple?

PG: We are focused on making our technology known, making important alliances and at the same time increasing the usability of our Blockchain and therefore our token. I believe that all these crypto and Blockchain projects have different bets and approaches rather than competing, we focus on doing well what we know how to provide cutting edge technology to more and more people.

CG: When the launch of Catapult is expected and how can it influence the crypto industry and the coins market?

PG: Although the date of the launch of Catapult is not defined, it was established that before the end of 2018 it will be available to the community. Catapult puts the Blockchain of NEM one step ahead of all existing Blockchain. In terms of impact to the industry of this advance we are sure that the best ones like to work with the best.

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Between Green and Red: Coin360 CEO Evan Ropp Talks Competition with CoinMarketCap and Future Altcoin Takeover

  • Alex Morris
    🎤 Interviews

    Coin360 CEO Evan Ropp claims that IEOs, stablecoins and institutional money will define the industry in 2019

Between Green and Red: Coin360 CEO Evan Ropp Talks Competition with CoinMarketCap and Future Altcoin Takeover
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During the periods of extreme volatility, crypto enthusiasts try to keep tabs on every single market move. The market visualization from Coin360 vividly shows where the cryptocurrency market is heading at any given moment.

Coin360 CEO Evan Ropp revealed exclusively to U.Today about how he came up with the idea of the instantly recognizable treemap design. He also weighed in on a slew of tangible issues that pertain to his fledgling startup and the overall state of the cryptocurrency market.

U.Today: Hi, Evan! How did you come up with the idea of market visualization in the form a treemap?

Evan Ropp: Actually, the idea is not quite new. This type of visualization is popular on stocks trading resources and we just applied it to the cryptocurrency market. However, the cryptocurrency market is slightly different than the stock market, so we had to redesign some of the features. For instance, on COIN360 you can find filters which are different from other price trackers. Also, we added a function for creating up to five different watchlists, which our users find really helpful.

The website interface of Coin360
The market is plateauing with Bitcoin and altcoins barely recording any price gains, image by Coin360

U.Today: Do you think you can compete with CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko?

Evan Ropp: The main focus of our team is on providing our users with the best experience. We understand that CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko are market leaders. So we just want to develop our product without altering user behavior, but instead making our product faster, simpler, and smoother to use. For that, we update COIN360 and add new features quite often, for example, recently we updated the coin/token card. Also, we are always improving the mobile version of the site to make it work smoother. We are focused on developing our product because I am convinced that in this respect we can get ahead of market leaders.

U.Today: When do you plan to introduce other fiat currencies?

Evan Ropp: We have always had USD in the Base Currency section and recently we have added EUR, GBP and CNY. Additionally, the COIN360 team is planning to launch more fiats: there will be 29 additional currencies. The Base Currency section update is tentatively scheduled for the second quarter of this year.

U.Today: Was it technically difficult for you to implement the auto-update option? Where do you get your data from?  

Evan Ropp: First of all, yes, it wasn’t easy. We needed to rewrite and optimize our back and front end code. Secondly, we have developed our own API which is connected to exchanges. We are gathering all the data on our side. We will continue developing to consolidate our position on top of the market.

U.Today: Do COIN360 visitors use your new bubble-like map? Do you plan to introduce new similar features?

Evan Ropp: We had to remove our bubble-view map. We launched it in September 2018 and it seemed like a great idea. Moreover, none of our crypto competitors had a bubble view, but in fact, its usability wasn't so good. The feedback we got from our users suggested that the treemap and a common table view are way more convenient to use. However, we do have a die-hard bubble-view map fan, so we worked out something special for him.

U.Today: You occasionally post Infographics on your social media platforms. Do you plan to make more of them in the future?  

Evan Ropp: COIN360 is about bringing data in the most understandable visual form. We see that our users and followers really like these infographics as well as the platform itself. So, we are planning to make infographics more frequently and publish them on our Twitter. We will also conduct more complex research to give our users more unique insights.

Bitcoin’s had a wild ride in 2018 with many rises and falls   
One of the COIN360’s recent Infographics, image by Coin360

U.Today: You’ve previously mentioned that Grin is one of your favorite currencies. Do you think it has the potential to surpass other privacy coins?  

Evan Ropp: I really like Grin, it is a breath of fresh air for the industry. Also, I really appreciate that the overall supply is unlimited because Grin uses a linear supply schedule of inflation, so this has users spending not to just hodl. In my opinion, Grin has been adequately developed for the long term and not just for speculative short-run reasons. Can Grin surpass other privacy coins? I believe so, but it has to become more user-friendly.

U.Today: What crypto trends will define 2019?  

Evan Ropp: I’m not a fortune teller, but there are some things that I think are likely in 2019.

First, I would focus on the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). This may help startups and other companies raise money. There is not enough trust in ICOs, but the names and brands of exchanges can attract new people and money to the industry.

Second, I’d like to mention stablecoins. There are many people who are interested in the cryptocurrency market but they are afraid of high volatility. Stablecoins might be the solution.

Third, you have to look at institutional investors. I hope that we will see more professional services when Bakkt gets launched. If just a small percentage of institutional clients would enter the crypto market I think we’d be looking at a new bull run.

U.Today: Do you get upset when Bitcoin hits a snag and the whole site turns red?

That’s a nice question. I get more upset not when BTC goes down but when the whole site turns red. There is a strong correlation between BTC and altcoins. I hope this will change and altcoins won’t be so dependent on Bitcoin. By the way, when COIN360 turns red I’m just setting custom period of time to turn it to green (laughing).

U.Today: Will Bitcoin remain the biggest currency on your site in the long run? What coin could replace it?

I suppose, that in ten years Bitcoin will still be the number one coin in terms of market capitalization. I really would like to see new technologies and solutions on the market. Hopefully, in ten years, Bitcoin’s dominance will fall to 20% of market capitalization. Regarding particular currencies, I believe in the EOS project. XRP also has nice chances because it has the highest level of confidence from institutional investors.

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