🔥Crypto Fireside #25 — Interviews with crypto people.
🔥Hello! Who are you, and what do you do?
BKD: I’m BKDilse, creator of GNTL Coin, community and mining pools.
Collectively we refer to this as The GNTL Project.
GNTL mining pools have been running for nearly four years, with an active Discord community since April 2018. GNTL Coin is a privacy-focused coin project with a community that really values the input of everyone: we all believe that blockchain and digital privacy can make our community, our technology and cryptocurrency truly work for the people who are passionate about it.
My background and work are in digital infrastructure, virtualization, systems integration, remote access and management and cybersecurity. Launching mining pools and the GNTL coin has been an obvious extension of that expertise. Building a coin alongside that expertise and a passionate and engaged community has really helped to fuel the growth of both the community and coin.
🔥What’s your backstory, and how did GNTL come about?
BKD: GNTL started off as a Mining pool operation. We’ve been attracting both new and long-term crypto miners for nearly four years. We’ve focused more on privacy coins and CPU-mineable coins, although the range of coins on the pools varies by interest and relationships with other creators.
It’s been very community-focused, where miners can learn from each other, share tips, tools and tech.
The focus has always been about bringing enthusiasts together, helping everyone to share expertise and learn from each other. Crypto isn’t a space where there’s a lot of formal education, qualifications or decades of history so the best way to learn is from getting involved, trying out the tech and seeing what you can build on the existing tech, and then how people end up using the tools provided.
GNTL Coin was another stage in that evolution: creating a privacy coin for the community that we could use and help to build the community; and a community around a coin that aligns with the core values and objectives of GNTL.
We tend to attract a lot of different people with interesting backgrounds and skillsets, so there’s an already-existing pool of talent to draw from.
🔥So GNTL Coin is a miners coin?
BKD: Yes, it’s a coin for miners by miners.
🔥I see you have pools mining for 11 projects. How many miners and nodes do you have servicing those?
BKD: 9 active nodes in our latest version, split between UK, EU, US, Asia.
We haven’t tracked the number of miners, so the best estimate I can give you is a wild guess. But based on the current average hashrate, the number of miners on one of the largest pools, and our peak hashrate it could be somewhere around 300–400 miners.
Although another way to describe it more accurately would be: It would take about 333 AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPUs to generate our record nethash rate when it peaked in early January: https://miningpoolstats.stream/gntlcoin.
🔥Describe the process of launching GNTL Coin.
BKD: GNTL already had an active community of miners, so launching the coin was a fairly smooth process; plenty of active users joined in mining GNTL. The website sketched out our initial directions for getting listed on an exchange and coin tracking sites and initial development progress.
We hit all of our targets in the first year and were ahead of schedule on most of the major milestones. Our exchange listing on Exbitron was an important step, especially in demonstrating demand for GNTL and trading has been active ever since the launch.
Discord is our core communication channel and is a hub for everything GNTL. Our Twitter profile is a good supplementary resource since there are large and highly active groups of crypto enthusiasts on Twitter. Building up our community on different platforms has been important since a large cohort of privacy coin users avoid some of the larger social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Giveaways, competitions and information campaigns have been a big part of our early days of launch too. Every few months we run a user-submitted meme competition, which is a great way for the community to participate, to shape the way we talk about GNTL and for users to win GNTL — so everyone has an opportunity to get some GNTL and be part of the community, even if they don’t have the resources to mine or buy large amounts of the coin.
We get a lot of feedback from users, so there’s an ongoing process of taking on suggestions, fixing bugs and making improvements based on how people are actually using the coin.
🔥Take us through your daily process of what it is that you do.
BKD: Most of my day job involves solving technical problems and helping others find solutions and better and more efficient ways to accomplish their goals. That has been a core part of GNTL: making all the information publicly available and accessible to everyone. All of our code is open source, with detailed information on our Wiki that helps people to mine not just GNTL, but every part of using and mining cryptocurrencies along with general information on best practices, technical advice and approaches to privacy and security.
I think a lot of people would find the way the whole GNTL team works together is interesting too: it’s a highly decentralised and asynchronous team that works together from different locations around the world. We’re a highly independent group that works well outside of traditional organisational structures.
We have monthly core team meetings to set key directions and discuss some of the most critical issues and upcoming targets. As coin development progressed, organising the team has been a core objective: making sure we clarified roles and accountability, setting priorities and directions while giving individual members of the team the independence to focus on their own areas of expertise.
🔥What has worked to attract and retain users?
BKD: There are really two main drivers of the growth of GNTL: community and profitability.
Our source of continuous growth is from the GNTL community. We regularly have new people joining as part of the mining pools and the community that has been built up around that, along with the events, activities and giveaways that we regularly run.
A favourite is the meme competition: users create their own GNTL-related memes and submit them for a head-to-head knockout style tournament. Each day there is a “meme battle” where two user-submitted memes are voted on by the community to choose a winner. Each subsequent tournament has more submissions. We’ve been running these competitions every few months, along with other competitions like cryptographic puzzles, steganography challenges and other ways to win GNTL. Even enthusiasts who don’t mine GNTL still have lots of ways to contribute to the community.
Of course, like every cryptocurrency, rising prices, along with changes in nethash rates and profitability can be a huge driver of growth. We’ve seen huge influxes at various times of profit switching miners or pools which are drawn in by pure profit instead of the community. Having an active community that has a lot of resources for miners and a welcoming attitude is a great way to bring in new people when we get spikes in attention, profitability or nethash!
🔥Why did you choose to focus on CPU based mining for GNTL?
BKD: GNTL is a privacy coin using the RandomARQ PoW algorithm, which is a fork of RandomX used in Monero. The fundamental components for GNTL are obviously the privacy features: payments are completely private and untraceable. No identifying information is transmitted or visible on the blockchain.
RandomARQ allows GNTL to dynamically adjust the block size based on the previous 100 blocks. This solves the problem with Bitcoin’s limited number of Transactions per Second (TPS). This self-adjustment mechanism in the blockchain allows it to adapt and to be both lightweight and scalable.
While GNTL draws on many of the strengths of Monero, the RandomARQ PoW algorithm is more lightweight and mobile-friendly: it requires half the CPU memory which allows much faster verification of the blockchain and has transaction options that balance different requirements for security vs. transaction speed depending on user demand.
CPU mining was a priority for GNTL, to ensure the widest possible access. Everyone can be part of the network and contribute to its decentralisation, privacy and security. GNTL had no ICO and a pre-mine of 0.00000003 GNTL, all of which was burned. All GNTL goes to the miners, and to the community.
🔥How are you doing today, and what does the future look like? Let’s talk numbers!
BKD: We’re a privacy coin, so we don’t store detailed information about the personal information of our community. A good indicator of our success is shown in our nethash and volume of trades in the market!
The coin launched less than a year ago, but our nethash has been steadily increasing. In the first few months, our nethash fluctuated from about 1MH/s to 3MH/s. When GNTL was listed on Exbitron in November of 2021, our nethash absolutely exploded and peaked at over 10MH/s in late 2021 and early 2022.
There’s been over 3 million GNTL traded, which is approximately 20% of the coin’s current circulation. That’s a great start for a coin that is less than one year old and I think we’re going to see a lot more activity through 2022. We’re currently working on a variety of other wallet options to broaden access to GNTL and make it more user-friendly. Creating GUI and mobile wallets is the current priority: making it easier for more GNTL users to come on board, and have quick and easy access to their coins.
The emissions curve for GNTL is far more gradual than halvings that occur for bitcoin, or the very steep emissions curve for Monero. Our current priority is expanding the number of users, continuing to expand the number of GNTL nodes around the world, ensuring a decentralized hashrate and infrastructure. And our emissions curve is perfect for making the coin accessible to new miners over the coming years.
GNTL’s market cap peaked at about USD$140,000 in November. It has fallen now, alongside the recent decline in valuations across the cryptocurrency market in 2022, so this gives us a nice target to exceed in 2022!
We will also be focused on partnerships with new exchanges, making GNTL more available to more people, the potential to add new trading pairs and opening up access to GNTL for new users.
🔥Through launching GNTL, what is something you have learned that surprised you?
BKD: Crypto markets are highly volatile, so there are always surprises there! It’s not always possible to predict the market, and the overall market conditions can have a strong impact on the popularity of different coins, and especially on where miners choose to spread their hash.
A strong community is much more stable than anything that happens in the market and with exchange rates: it’s important to build a community that is active and involved in more than just the coin’s price fluctuations.
🔥Mistakes were made. What were they and what did you do?
BKD: There haven’t been huge catastrophes, so far it’s mostly been about managing small mistakes, tidying up errors, and tidying up as we go along. That’s why it’s important to be open to feedback and criticism. You’ll get a lot of advice along the way — not all of it is good and well-intentioned — and some people are better at delivering constructive advice than others.
Listening to the wider developments across the cryptocurrency sector and how people are using it is absolutely necessary, and needs to be a continuous process not something that just comes up over an annual review. It’s easier to figure out what could go wrong when you’re making minor course corrections along the way.
Also, it’s really important to watch what mistakes other projects make, how they adapt to them, and how users respond to the fixes. It’s amazing how forgiving people will be towards a project they love, and some platforms and projects seem to bounce back incredibly quickly even after major problems: but the ones that do it best are clear, open and honest about what went wrong, make a genuine effort to fix it, and give their users all the information they need to make informed decisions.
🔥Do you have any advice for other creators, entrepreneurs, or developers who want to get started or are just beginning?
BKD: Try it out, build on what other people are doing, get involved — a lot of people are passionate about their own projects and are happy to share the expertise and advice.
Make sure to know and understand your own limits or blind spots. A big part of building up an effective team is making sure you have a range of experience and skills necessary for different roles and positions in the team. A group of like-minded people who all have exactly the same skills don’t have the same capacity as a team who can do (or learn to do) many different types of work.
Share all information generously and keep things open source. Transparency and information sharing is so important to the growth and development of technology in this space — and maintaining that will help to ensure future projects also build on that ethos.
🔥Where do you see the blockchain, cryptocurrency and decentralisation space going in the next 5 to 10 years?
BKD: Wider adoption of blockchain technology seems inevitable, and major players in financial services, national regulators and tech giants will have a huge impact on future developments in cryptocurrency. It’s important that everyone who believes in decentralisation, open-source projects and keeping crypto accessible to everyone works hard to maintain those values in their projects and continues to promote those values.
Further decentralisation should be a priority, and much larger and faster networks will continue to develop.
Privacy coins will continue to grow — but it is likely that major scandals related to privacy and security issues, or fraud from highly centralised and opaque networks will be triggers in growth for privacy coins. It’s impossible to predict the timing: but it is highly likely that the next 5 to 10 years will have both data leaks and financial fraud from centralised networks at unprecedented levels. We’re already developing the tools to prevent these problems.
The upside is: we’re already seeing better, more efficient and scalable ways for people to control their own money. The response to this is to develop products that are secure, private, designed for users with direct input from the community. GNTL is here to protect your privacy, your currency and your community.
🔥Where can we go to learn more?
BKD: The core information is available on our website at gntl.cash
Our Twitter page (gntlcash) is a good place to go for regular updates, information sharing, memes, giveaways and competitions.
Our Discord server is the most active place for the community to discuss mining, trading and everything related to GNTL and crypto.
We post videos regularly to celebrate new milestones in GNTL mining, here’s the latest one: 14,444,444 GNTL mined
🔥Thank you, BKDilse!
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