EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Whit Jack OpalCoin Lead Dev

By April 12, 2015Bitcoin Business
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Whit Jack OpalCoin Lead Dev

OpalCoin started as a privacy-minded cryptocurrency, utilising stealth addresses to preserve anonymity. OpalCoin soon entered the Bitcoin 2.0 arena with DriveShare, a decentralised file-sharing application. Now the Opal team appears focused mostly on DApps; we sat down with lead developer Whit Jack to get the latest details.

Andrew Wagner: So, tell us about your background. Why did you choose to start Opalcoin?

Whit Jack: Well, I was originally brought onto Opal as an altcoin dev-for-hire. But I ended up falling in love with the Opal community, and I decided to stay, and Opal became my baby.

Andrew: Oh, really? So you’re not the original founder? What’s your role, now?

Whit: Right now, I’ve somewhat taken the lead. We’re forming an Opal Foundation. I’ve recently decided to take a step back and let others take the reigns, however, while I use my time to focus on the technology.

Andrew: What has the community’s reaction been?

Whit: The community has been pretty open to it.  Our community is really helpful.  We’ve got guys who normally make logos for hundreds of dollars volunteering their time; we’ve got guys making radio shows for Opal.  So, it’s not that tough of a transition.

Andrew: Let’s talk features. It seems like Opal is trying to do a lot of things. What is the main goal?

Whit: Lately we’ve been trying to narrow our focus on colored coins and opal drive, allowing the blockchain to be used for practical purposes. The end-goal is to have real-world uses for cryptocurrency; colored coins allows for that, and Opal Drive is just an example application using our infrastructure.

Andrew: How is colored coins coming along? Have any smart properties been placed on the Opal chain and transferred via this protocol already?

Whit: Colored coins were released by us two days ago.  This is the first ever implementation of the open assets (colored coins) protocol that is simultaneously blockchain agnostic (with some minor tweaking), open source, and non-commercial.

We’re keeping this relatively stealth mode, to make sure we have all the tools users need (blockchain explorer, APIs, etc) before doing full marketing on it. So currently, the user base is quite small.

Andrew: I see. How about the Drive? Is it in functional use, yet?

Whit: Yes, Opal Drive is in use, and I’m already aware of a few users using it to back up files to remote servers and such.  Our release is quite barebones right now, but it’s just to show what’s coming in the future. This includes a marketplace for encrypted back-up space where people can compete for the best rates, a tipbot, and more.

Andrew: It sounds like Opal is focusing on decentralized applications, now. What’s next in store?

Whit: We’re working on redefining our focus to decentralized applications, so you’re correct in that. We’re looking to move towards a much more decentralized coin system, where Opal and colored coins serve as the base, and building applications on top of Opal is incentivized with an incubator program of sorts. We plan to offer dev help for those building decentralized apps like Opal Drive.

Andrew: thanks for your time. Keep us in the loop!

For more detailed coverage of OpalCoin, see our previous article on the subject.

Whit Jack: Well, I was originally brought onto Opal as an altcoin […]

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