Black TechME blockchain crypto investors cryptocurrency cryptocurreny Culture Derek Jones Digital Media EDU Florida Sen. Daryl Jones gap GN Inequality Investing Markets Markets and EconomyME original prejudice reparations ReparationsME Tech UNIT UnitedCoin

‘I Tried To Send My Mom 10 Bitcoin’: Inspiration For Starting UnitedCoin

Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

Written by Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

Might 24, 2019

UnitedCoinDerek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT. Photograph offered

Derek Jones is not any stranger to utilizing the regulation and funds to advance the standard of life for individuals who have been historically excluded from financial participation.

He’s the son of former Florida Sen. Daryl Jones, one of many solely state senators ever to safe reparations for African People. Twenty-five years in the past, Sen. Jones helped get Senate approval for $2.1 million in reparations for survivors of the 1923 Rosewood bloodbath.

Beginning UnitedCoin

Now Derek is the CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, a Securities And Trade-registered firm and cryptocurrency looking for to fill the market hole between the 1 % of very rich crypto buyers and the opposite 99 % of buyers.

And his dad Daryl, the previous senator from Florida, sits on Derek’s board of administrators.

Round 2017, I noticed an inflow of individuals of colour coming into the blockchain area as a result of they have been seeing it as a method to remove the prejudices related to cash.

Derek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT.

Earlier than UnitedCoin, Derek served as chief monetary officer for different corporations in Florida and is taken into account an skilled within the monetary business. For the previous two years, he and his worldwide workforce of UnitedCoin co-founders — Hassan Lahlou, Ghita El Kasri, and Ghali El Kasri — have been making a “bridge” to assist common individuals faucet into the fast-growing cryptocurrency market.

You need to use UnitedCoin to promote and ship cryptocurrencies and make purchases with a MasterCard debit card. Via referral and financial savings rewards, members of UnitedCoin could be rewarded every month with the UNIT cryptocurrency.

With the help of household and pals, the UnitedCoin staff has raised 1 / 4 of one million dollars in capital. Because of partnerships and connections by way of Plug and Play in Mexico, UnitedCoin has partnered with the NBA franchise Cleveland Cavaliers to assist educate Cleveland and all of Ohio about the advantages of digital foreign money.

Moguldom spoke with Derek Jones about his household’s legacy, the development of cryptocurrency and his ideas on what it might seem like to dominate the cryptocurrency market.

For the primary time, you didn’t need to know the individual or their colour who was sending cash and lots of people of shade observed that. They realized there was a chance right here to have the ability to advance with out prejudice.

Derek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT.

Moguldom: Why did you begin UnitedCoin?

Derek Jones: We began UnitedCoin as a result of there was a gap out there. Moving into blockchain and cryptocurrencies is just not extraordinarily straightforward for the typical individual. Once I tried to get began again in 2013, you needed to have a developer-level understanding of computer systems to place a Bitcoin-QT pockets (most cryptocurrency core wallets are developed utilizing QT software program framework) in your Home windows laptop computer and mine from that pc.

In 2014, I attempted to ship my mother 10 bitcoin and she or he stated no. She didn’t need to cope with the general public tackle or personal key. We knew to be able to make blockchain and cryptocurrencies “mom-friendly”, which is important to ensure that mass adoption, we would have liked to make it work the very same means they know methods to use different digital providers now. We made it so you may ship and obtain cryptocurrencies with an e mail tackle or telephone quantity. My mother sends emails and textual content messages day by day. Now she will make funds and ship cash with an e mail tackle or telephone quantity. We additionally related a debit card to the platform. Virtually everybody makes use of a debit card for almost all of the purchases they make regularly. Individuals can spend cryptocurrencies like they do with a debit card.

Moguldom: It looks like the federal government is dragging its ft round cryptocurrency. You ended up utilizing a world financial institution to run your platform and have entry to MasterCard.  Has the federal government’s stance on regulation hindered or helped UnitedCoin?

Derek Jones: The federal government has recognized about cryptocurrency for over a decade. They’ve been utilizing blockchain know-how for drones and different army purposes. In 2011 it was found that many politicians had bitcoin. It’s in all probability the rationale why cryptocurrencies have been by no means made unlawful or by no means made to be a safety for one thing they owned. The dragging of their ft with these legal guidelines isn’t as a result of they’re making an attempt to make it arduous for others. It’s as a result of they’re making an attempt to create an surroundings the place they will thrive with the belongings that they already personal. Should you have been in that place, you’d in all probability do the identical factor. This isn’t new. They did this with drugs, banking, and different alternatives. They do that with every little thing with regards to coverage. I feel in the long term it’s completely wonderful. It solidifies plenty of us. And once I say us, I imply the blockchain and the cryptocurrency group. As an alternative of us being mad scientists, which we have been about three or 4 years in the past, it makes us pioneers and visionaries. For my part, it’s a terrific factor.

My biggest expertise that gave me a whole lot of hope was once I just lately went to Africa the place two of our co-founders are situated. The variety of individuals utilizing cellphone know-how for digital cash regularly is 10 occasions what it’s right here in America.

Derek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT.

Moguldom: Many individuals have a misperception of Blacks being sluggish to vary. The numbers present we’re giant customers of know-how. How do you view the panorama of blockchain at present as in comparison with a decade in the past?

Derek Jones: At first, it was extraordinarily sparse. Typically we as a (Black) tradition have a tendency to take a look at issues we don’t instantly perceive and name it a rip-off. I noticed this occurring rather a lot originally of blockchain being talked about outdoors of the tech world. Then I noticed lots of people earn cash off of it and we stated, “OK that is the best way to generate income.” I then noticed extra Blacks and extra individuals of shade concerned. Round 2017, I noticed an inflow of individuals of shade coming into the blockchain area as a result of they have been seeing it as a strategy to remove the prejudices related to cash. For the primary time, you didn’t need to know the individual or their colour who was sending cash and lots of people of colour observed that. They realized there was a chance right here to have the ability to advance with out having these prejudices introduced in entrance of them whereas they have been making an attempt to boost cash.

Though I’ll say typically these prejudices are nonetheless there. However I’ll inform you my biggest expertise that gave me numerous hope was once I just lately went to Africa the place two of our co-founders are presently situated. In Africa, in Morocco, the variety of individuals utilizing cellular phone know-how for digital cash regularly is perhaps 5 to 10 occasions what it’s right here in America.

We’re truly behind with regards to using digital foreign money. And once I say digital foreign money, it’s extra than simply cryptocurrency. We’re speaking about buying and selling for telephone minutes, and never simply Apple Pay or NFC funds. It gave me an actual understanding of what this could possibly be. Maybe it’s a household factor for me and the keenness I’ve for what we’re doing with UnitedCoin. My father, who can also be a former State Senator for Florida and on our board, is called one of many solely state senators within the U.S. to get reparations for African People. He was additionally on the board for the financial institution that’s recorded as attending to $1 billion in belongings the quickest for a newly shaped monetary establishment. Our household historical past of utilizing regulated regulation and funds to truly profit our individuals is one thing we’re used to doing. It’s one thing that’s in our household’s blood. That’s actually what we’re making an attempt to do with cryptocurrency. We need to use laws, that are for the good thing about everybody, to create an surroundings the place we will actually profit ourselves.

My father (former Florida Sen. Daryl Jones) is on our board. Our household historical past of utilizing regulated regulation and funds to truly profit our individuals is one thing we’re used to doing. That’s what we’re making an attempt to do with cryptocurrency. We need to use laws, that are for the good thing about everybody, to create an setting the place we will profit ourselves.

Derek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT.

Moguldom: Your workforce is unfold the world over What do you search for once you’re making an attempt to construct a superb group?

Derek Jones: I might say two issues are crucial. No. 1 is experience in an space which we’d like some help in, and the place we will let individuals develop and blossom. Individuals, despite the fact that they need course, additionally need to have the ability to give their very own concepts. The second is a few sort of emotional intelligence. Since we’re so unfold out internationally, there’s loads of several types of cultures on our staff. In consequence, you’ve got to have the ability to adapt to this, you’ve to have the ability to be understanding of those totally different cultures. At first, it could possibly appear just a little complicated. However when you begin understanding these totally different cultures, you understand what you’re constructing is a platform and a service that’s out there and understanding of a number of cultures. I might say it’s a profit. By having these worldwide groups, it lets you have these totally different views in order that we will create bridges.

Moguldom: What has been a memorable problem for you in beginning or scaling your small business?

Derek Jones: I might say schooling by far. Educating individuals on what blockchain know-how is and what cryptocurrencies are has been a problem. That’s one of many the reason why a big a part of what we do is schooling. That’s one of many pillars our partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers is constructed upon. Educating the group, their followers and your complete state on what blockchain know-how is, what cryptocurrencies are, how they can be utilized and the way they really do enhance our day-to-day lives.

Moguldom: What have been some notable wins?

Derek Jones: I might say undoubtedly the partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers has been unimaginable. Being accepted into Plug and Play in Mexico in March 2018 was big for us as properly. It actually opened us as much as Latin America in addition to the U.S. in regard to giant firms, Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 corporations which might be related with Plug and Play. We have been capable of converse with their government boards, government groups and actually iron out what instruments and providers most of these firms want from blockchain or cryptocurrency corporations.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are virtually like Jurassic Park — these superb animals and this excellent place, however there’s no strategy to get to them. There’s nowhere to see this superb new know-how that’s come into the world. UnitedCoin is the bridge.

Derek Jones, CEO and co-founder of UnitedCoin, an SEC-registered firm with a cryptocurrency, the UNIT.

I might say the opposite one has been bringing on our advisory board. We now have a superb group of advisors from the CEO and president of EOYDC. She is extraordinarily related with the NFL Participant Affiliation, the NBA, the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry. My father, Darryl Jones, for his understanding of coverage, plus, our different advisors who’ve banking expertise in addition to advisors that labored for the Division of Protection that shield bases from being hacked. Having these individuals on our staff provides us the experience and the expertise to have the ability to construct this enterprise proper.

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Moguldom: How a lot have you ever raised in capital?

Derek Jones: We’ve raised roughly $250,000 from a family and friends spherical mixed with a preliminary pre-sell spherical of our cryptocurrency unit. And now we’re going to be having a extra public sale, which we’re going to be launching with a top-20 cryptocurrency change, in addition to with an occasion with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Moguldom: The place do you see UnitedCoin in 5 years?

Derek Jones: Domination is one thing I all the time consider the place you’ve this man — an evil scientist someplace — making an attempt to take over. That’s the precise reverse of what we’re making an attempt to do. We really feel as if blockchain and cryptocurrencies are virtually like Jurassic Park. There’s this island of the dinosaurs. These superb animals and this excellent place, however there’s no solution to get to them. There’s no strategy to see this island. There’s nowhere to see this superb new know-how that’s come into the world. And UnitedCoin is the bridge.

All we’re doing is introducing individuals to the bridge by making the know-how easier for the typical individual. We don’t need to take over Bitcoin. We need to introduce the world to Bitcoin. We don’t need to take over Litecoin or Ethereum. We need to introduce the world to those methods, these applied sciences and these cryptocurrencies.

Now, sooner or later, will UnitedCoin be used greater than all of those different cryptocurrencies? Perhaps. We hope so since that’s the objective. However the entire level is to introduce individuals to the know-how, educate them concerning the know-how, after which permit them to make use of our platform to make it easy to make use of. There’s a saying we had once we ran monitor, “Second place is the primary loser.” It’s not that we need to not be No. 1. We do need to be No. 1. However we don’t need to be No. 1 by sacrificing others.

Moguldom: So, in 5 years?

Derek Jones: In 5 years, we’d wish to be No. 1. We need to be No. 1 by actually elevating everybody’s ship on the similar time.


About Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is an writer and digital advertising and PR professional for shopper manufacturers, retailers, causes and occasions. Based mostly within the Tampa-St. Petersburg space, she owns Above Promotions, a digital advertising, publicity and promotions firm. She wrote the e-book, “As a result of You are Small: Efficient Advertising Methods for Fast Implementation.”


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