The fat lady has sung. The FIFA World Cup 2014 is over; the next such event is not for another four long years. What is a topical-until-three-days-ago cryptocurrency to do in the meantime?
If you’re Goalcoin, you double down on your novelty-value self with big BIG plans, a robust collection of mutually supportive businesses, a solid team, a celebrity backer, and then you try like mad to make sure that sports-obsessed demographic doesn’t wander into the seductive clutches of another novelty cryptocurrency like, say, Puckcoin. Which does not exist yet. Excuse me while I register that before hockey season.
GoalCoin was born in May of 2014, after only a few months of development, and currently trades at one ten-thousandths of a Bitcoin. The team behind it is multicultural, with a strong Venezuelan contingent, a Singaporean contributor, and some Americans thrown in for good measure.
There’s a fantasy football league (of course there is) where you can win real GoalCoin, or could until the Cup was over, and another pool where you could bet on which GoalCoin miner would finish his allotment first.
There’s an e-store, GoalMarket, featuring sporty merchandise with the goal of hosting 10,000 items for sale (currently there are just 116). It’s heavy on the athletic wear, team jerseys, shoes, and video gaming hardware, naturally. “They are added automatically from amazon using a gateway,” the Goalcoin Twitter account told us. They’re still in the process of adding them, and are confident to get to big numbers soon. “Our goal with this is provide more than 100k products in the next 2 months.”
There’s an e-commerce platform and WordPress plugin that lets you turn your own WP site into a Goalcoin Marketplace, using their exchange platform to accept Goalcoin, Bitcoin, and more.
There’s a built-in culture of do-goodery, taking a lesson from the tipping culture that has proven so successful for Dogecoin. The Twitter stream has been relentlessly promoting this youth soccer charity
There’s an element of risk and reward, and a direct appeal to the lucrative sports betting demographic, by definition known to gamble their money on anything other than a sure thing. Now they can gamble with something that’s not a sure thing, too! Cryptocurrency and gamblers are a serious case of love at first sight. “So you like gambling and sports? Make your predictions and earn money on the right place with GoalCoin,” coos the website, in exotically-accented English.
These people are serious about building for the future; the thoughtfully-designed website boast numerous social add-ons including a fully featured forum (as yet a tumbleweed farm) and buttons to share the site to your own social networks. And their vision includes you being able to pay for your purchases in Goalcoin in any sports shop in the world.
We got in touch with the people behind Goalcoin for what we thought would be a quick interview; what we got back was essentially full technical specs for every aspect of the project, which turned out to be even more ambitious than you’d imagine from the site. Plus two articles, full bios for all team members, and a white paper if I can hang on a couple more days.
It’s clear that despite its intense topicality, this is very, very different from a fly-by-night fadcoin.
The Cryptosphere: How did you get the idea for Goalcoin?
Fernando Torres (@fernand0x) founder and primary developer for Goalcoin: I started immersing in crypto in April 2013 just for curiosity and finished totally captivated. I started with cpu mining [ie running the program on his computer to create the coins; miners are paid in fractions of the currency they mine], trading in cryptsy, coinex, btc38 and some others. In January 2014 I started having interest about Bitcoin/Altcoins development. Then I started performing tests of the source code of some famous altcoins [cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, often based on the same software, but different: Litecoin, Dogecoin, Coinye and Goalcoin are all altcoins. Even cryptocurrency has a mainstream and a counterculture!] and so I learned how to develop my own coin.
Once he realized the scope of the sports economy, with an estimated annual revenue of $14 billion in the US alone, and the fact that there was no meaningful attempt by any cryptocurrency to enter that market, and how great the potential was (for instance, buying tickets), he and Carlos Salazar (@carlos_ve) now the Goalcoin designer, began to lay their plans.
How many users are there? How much actual Goalcoin is out there, expressed in dollars?
Around 70k goal in circulation, the remaining GoalCoin is from premining [ie mining the coin before it’s released to the public and becomes a true currency] but it’s going to be destroyed.
There’s a reverse split coming for GoalCoin: if you had two before, you will now have only one, but it will be worth twice as much. This is to prevent GoalCoin from flooding the market as mining continues, and to shore up the value of each one. Bitcoin looks more impressive than Litecoin because it’s worth 300 times as much, even though you can buy 1/300th of a Bitcoin as easily as one Litecoin.
How many people are on the team?
We started this project in mid April with only 3 people and now we are 7. Our team is consists of:
Fernando Torres: I’m the figure in charge of wallet development [wallets are the encrypted accounts where customers keep their actual cryptocurrency] and planning of the services that will work around it. I also do some PR.
Gustavo Reyes (@Kauh) Services Developer: He configures the official mining pools, block explorer, server security and manages the world cup tournament. He’s helping in GoalMarket and GoalKick development too.
Daniel Fabriani (@OtZiDF) Systems Developer: He’s the developer of GoalPay and he helps with other developments like the mining pool competition and GoalMarket.
Paulo Fiorio in PR & Marketing: He was a great addition to the team. He manages the twitter account and helps us a lot with Public Relations, digital campaigns and real life stuff, like our coming campaign for GoalKick.
Carlos Salazar (@carlos_ve) Designer: He’s the co-founder of this project, a very professional person in his area and very popular in his country. He makes almost all the designs that you see for GoalCoin, webpage, logos, banners, etc.
Alvin Lee (@onemanatatime) Trading expert: He help us since the first day taking decisions about the GoalCoin Economy.
Makuss Alfonzo (@Makusz0r) Market Administrator: He’s a recent addition to the team and will be managing the products, promotions, orders and shipping of GoalMarket
Is it built off a Bitcoin framework? [This is normal for altcoins; nobody wants to reinvent the wheel when the wheel works so brilliantly]
It’s built off a Digibyte framework, which is made from a Bitcoin framework. But we are going to change this very soon by introducing our own PoW hash algorithm called XG + PoS and Tor Network support for 100% anon. [TOR is the anonymizing software developed in the US to prevent users being identifiable by location or internet connection]
What differentiates Goalcoin from other cryptocurrencies?
Our Goal is to establish a services-based economy. We already developed a payment gateway called GoalPay and now we are introducing innovative services to allow the community to use their GoalCoins to purchase products (GoalMarket, connected not only to GoalPay, but an amazon and ups gateway too), GoalKick (a fundraising page to finance all the coming GoalCoin projects, from the community, to the community. We are going to finance the best projects coming from the community). We are also building a betting sports site and building an improved, exclusive PoW hash algorithm.
In other words, they are going to be improving on current methods of mining cryptocurrency, to make it more lucrative for miners to mine GoalCoin, miners who might otherwise choose to employ their hardware mining something more high-profile. And GoalKick is clearly inspired by Kickstarter, the definitive online fundraising site.
What are you going to do after the World Cup?
Basically focus in releasing new quality services, changing our target from soccer to all the worldwide important sports and improving technical specs.
He told us that the immediate goal is to launch GoalMarket successfully; it launched on July 12, and the number of items grows steadily over time, as the Amazon software chunks the items into their digital storefront. “We want to be the biggest independent store accepting cryptos in the network.” They’re also thinking of accepting other cryptocurrencies, a move which should make it more viable long-term. If your only currency is the Italian lire, it’s nice to have the option to pay in something a bit more stable, like the American dollar. The marketplace as a whole benefits from this, and becomes much more attractive to customers. If you’re travelling, it’s natural to frequent shops that take the currency you actually have.
They want to turn GoalKick into, “a development scheme where the whole community can benefit through participation, creation and investment in innovative new services.”
They are committed to continuing support for the youth soccer team in Brazil featured in the tweet above. So it wasn’t just a flashy PR stunt for the World Cup. “We are taking conversations with an important Houston Astros MLB Player (He’s from Venezuela) to conduct baseball charity projects to the most needy people (we have a lot in our native country), so GoalKick will have an official worldwide image, we expect that fact will improve the knowledge about cryptos in the sports world.”
Diversity is strength, and they are looking to diversify their sports focus to “all the important worldwide sports, not only one.” Good call. If you can get the liquor store to accept GoalCoin, you’ll make a fortune in hockey season when the Leafs start losing again.
Looking farther out, they want to finish the sports betting site, develop their own original and secure web wallet, “Improved Block Explorer with charts like blockchain.info” making it easy to see the state of the market and the currency at a glance, and continue to feed new items to GoalMarket, reaching that ambitious 100k products. They are going to focus on wallet security and new cryptocoin technology developed in-house.
They’re also going to reinforce and develop the social aspect of the site. “We want to allow the community to stay [in communication] all the time. Services like [venerable techie chat option] IRC are not enough, so we are going to provide a better communication service. We are thinking about a mobile app.” Mobile apps are increasingly mandatory if you want your users to stay in touch with you and each other; it’s estimated that 2015 will be the first year that more people will access the web via mobile devices than via a traditional computer.
Way out on the crypto-horizon, they see themselves developing a global sports ticketing service, integrating GoalCoin so closely into the culture of sport that it becomes an automatic association with anything athletic, and nurting startup projects from GoalKick, which has the potential to act like a startup feeder, bringing the most viable projects to the attention of investors; in this case, GoalCoin users.
Why did you do this?
Because we consider that it’s innovative, a necessary way to improve the sports financial and because is a powerful tool to help the most needed. almost all come from countries like Venezuela or Brasil, with high rate of population poverty. We want to contribute to the way we can to improve the future of the youth of our country
Yes, it’s that time. The fat lady is warming up, the manager is drawing the curtains, the bartender is putting the stools up on the counter. We’ve reached the end of a fascinating interview with an impressive new cryptocurrency team, and it’s time for an atrocious pun.
We hope you got a kick out of the article.