Coinranking gives all the information you need on thousands of cryptocurrencies. But what are they all about and who is behind them?
We asked several cryptocurrency projects for 5 minutes of their time to get the answers. All within a 5-minute read! Today, we speak with Lloyd Woods, also known as Swizzlesticks, the Advisor & Senior Content Manager at Verge.
Lloyds is on the Verge core team for about 1.5 years. Besides his job at Verge, he is CEO of a midsized, multi-state Managed Services Provider in the US. He is married, has three kids and lives in Kentucky. And his nickname Swizzlesticks? That one he already has since college.
In case someone has never heard about Verge, how would you describe it?
“Verge, created in 2014, is a cryptocurrency that works just like Bitcoin, but way faster. Its aim is to provide a fast, efficient and decentralized way of making direct transactions. The transaction fees are low and the maximum supply is higher than Bitcoin. This means that you aren’t paying 0.00023 Bitcoin for a cup of coffee, for example. Verge has also privacy features that can be turned on and off, for maintaining our users’ privacy.”
Who is the target group and how do they use the Verge platform?
“Verge is designed for everyone and for every day. We hope to reach anyone who uses cryptocurrencies and eventually those people who don’t use it (yet). We don’t really strive to be the type of ‘digital gold’ or a hedging instrument. Eventually, we want to be used in daily life to pay for anything that you might want/need.”
“It made you think of a coin that can be used on the dark web.”
What challenges do you encounter while building out Verge? How do you overcome them?
“Justin Sunerock started the Verge project in 2014 under the name DogeCoin Dark. Later on, he decided that this name sounded ominous; it made you think of a coin that can be used on the dark web. It was not really taken serious. We didn’t want people to link our brand to the dark web. That’s why DogeCoin Dark was rebranded in 2016. After a community vote, the new name was chosen: Verge.
Another big challenge to operate and promote Verge is the lack of funds. Not everybody knows this, but there was no ICO (Initial Coin Offering) held and no pre-mining took place, nor we reserved an allotment of coins at the beginning, to pay for our project as other projects usually do. We are truly open-sourced and an un-funded project ran by unpaid volunteers. Except for a very small amount of donations that trickle in. This brought and still brings a whole set of complications and hurdles.”
What exciting platform updates or product features have you launched, in recent times?
“The iOS wallet, written by our Dutch friend Swen, is the most exciting and visually appealing thing we’ve produced as a coin. The most recent is the codebase update that colleagues Marvin and Justin pumped out. We took our old and aging codebase, which was a fork of Peercoin, and revamped it. The entire workings re-release is based on the current Bitcoin core codebase. Not as exciting for everybody as for us, but it took a lot of work to get us up to the current operating code. And this code gets neglected by a lot of other projects.”
What does the near future of Verge hold?
“We are working on partnerships and collaborations, and we do have some very exciting stuff in the pipeline as we always do. But unfortunately, I can’t speak more about that until the time is right. These things can sometimes take months to prepare and plan out properly. I’m personally looking forward to our upcoming Android wallet that Manuel has been working on, and further ease of use improvements to all of our wallet platforms which is really something we’ve been focusing on.”
What are you currently working on personally at Verge?
“I always have too many things to do. I usually take care of the business parts of Verge and I work on the outreach team, doing interviews and speaking to new vendors, exchanges or platforms that are integrating Verge. Another thing I started to do, is making videos. These videos are used to demonstrate things like how to backup your wallet or explain an upcoming fork etc.”
What excites you most about working on the Verge project?
“Above all, I love the team I work with. These people come from all around the world and together we are an open-sourced community. I’m constantly amazed by how far we’ve got without funds. I don’t expect us to go to the bear market, because of us being broke (like some other projects). We never had money in the first place, so we know how to handle things.”
“I often tend to use interesting slang, because I grew up in the Appalachian mountains.”
Could you describe a typical day at work?
“All contributors of Verge, including the Core Team, are unpaid volunteers, so there isn’t really a work day for any of us. We simply do what we can for the project, in our spare time. When working for Verge, I do projects and coordinate others. I work together with other specialists like our proofing and edits team, or I ask colleagues working on design or website for help when I need it. But in general, we don’t have a typical day at work.”
What unusual work tradition do you have as a team? (At Coinranking we play frisbee together after lunch, for our daily exercise).
“Well, I often tend to use interesting slang, because I grew up in the Appalachian mountains. My slang seems to confuse a lot of our European team members, and then, of course, I always have to explain what I was trying to say. Other than that, since we mostly communicate via chat with people from all around the world, we constantly got into melees of inside jokes.”
Where do you think the crypto space will be in five years?
“I think we will live in a world where crypto is part of daily life or can be for those who are interested in crypto. I think we’ll also see a much more stable and not-volatile market that seems less risky to the non-believers. And also, in general, more acceptance from the mainstream financial world and the media.”
Thank you, Swizzlesticks!