J. R. Willett launched the first ICO… but still has a day job – Cointelegraph Magazine
May 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 30.5%. 3 min read.
J. R. Willett launched the first ICO and dreamed up the concept behind stablecoins. But this 41-year-old unsung hero is also a minimalist who turned down the chance to become a crypto billionaire.
Eventually, he gave in and announced the Mastercoin initial coin offering, which went on to inspire Ethereum and every subsequent ICO. “It felt like I was just putting into words what was obviously going to happen — people were already talking about it, and I thought, ‘Why hasn’t someone formalized this at least a little bit?’ I just got tired of waiting for someone else. ”In the early days, he was worried that cryptocurrency would bring about a dystopia where either the late adopters became penniless or a one-world government would form to regulate everyone’s transactions.
it describes a lot of ideas that would be implemented years later – DEXes, stablecoins, tokenization, onchain govhttps://t. co/noFt1PKzUD— nic carter (@nic__carter) December 8, 2020“We claim that the existing Bitcoin network can be used as a protocol layer, on top of which new currency layers with new rules can be built without changing the foundation,” he wrote.
Ethereum was the result of that. ”Willett even brought up the idea of stablecoins, writing that “If you think Bitcoin has a reputation problem for money laundering now, just wait until you can store ‘USDCoins’ in the block chain!” This was a new idea — he invented the concept. Mastercoin’s launch — and token sale — was announced in July 2013.
These first coins were received from the “Exodus Address,” which served as Mastercoin’s equivalent to the genesis block — while Bitcoin was the beginning, Mastercoin was imagined as the next era. When Willett announced Mastercoin on the Bitcointalk forum, he thought of it as a one-time shortcut to get around the “proper way” of raising money.
“It didn’t feel like an innovation at the time,” he says. “I thought I had found a bit of a shortcut — I just didn’t have time to go flying to California, putting together a pitch deck and talking to venture capitalists, most of whom hadn’t heard of Bitcoin. ”Eventually, Mastercoin evolved into the Mastercoin Foundation, itself evolving into the Omni Foundation, which Willett founded and where he still serves as chief architect.
“You can’t have all of your money tied up in cryptocurrencies,” he said, referring to the responsibilities of parenthood. Concerning cryptoIt was around 2010 while working at Dynon Avionics that Willett “kind of fell in that [cryptocurrency] hole and never got out. ” He watched the Bitcoin price rise up to $0. 25, and remembers setting up a beige computer tower, which successfully mined a block of 50 BTC on its own over a few weeks with only a central processing unit, or CPU. CPU mining soon became impossible, as GPUs (graphic processing units) and later ASIC miners (specialized software chips for mining) connected to mining pools came to dominate the landscape.
I thought, this is the sort of thing you better own just defensively, as an insurance policy. ”Willett admits that the idea of Bitcoin damaging the global financial infrastructure “sounded pretty crazy back in 2010–2011, when very few people had heard of Bitcoin, but I have always taken the opinion that the government-issued monies are much more fragile than they appear. ” He adds that a bank run could happen if people lose confidence in fiat, and now, there is a valid alternative for it. For Willett, money is a “shared hallucination” that works well if everyone plays along, but can fall apart quickly if people choose to “opt out. ” This is not necessarily what Willett desires, as such a situation would leave those without cryptocurrency in a desperate situation.