Voyager sat down with Rudy Bouwman, the Vice Chairman of the DigiByte Foundation and Co-Founder DigiByte Awareness Team, to learn more about why he got involved with DigiByte and what's on the horizon for this exciting project.

Voyager: Tell us the story about how you first got involved with DigiByte, and what brought you to support the project?

Rudy: First off, thanks to Voyager for allowing me to talk about DigiByte and share my views. We're proud to be on such a great platform and to be part of Voyager's journey to becoming a big global player.

Back in 2016 / 2017, thanks to a friend of mine, I got involved in crypto. He was trading and making some nice money, so when he told me about BTC, ETH, and XRP, I bought some crypto, just for fun. However, I was not making any money at all, because I bought XRP almost at the top, so I decided to take a deeper look at crypto and also learn more about blockchain technology.

When I came across DigiByte, I was surprised that this project was rather unknown because it has the best tech features compared to any other blockchain. As I learned more about the team, I was continuously impressed by the volunteers and the honest people behind the project. I started to understand the lack of awareness, leading me to organize a private chat about the marketing for DigitByte. That same evening, we founded the DigiByte Awareness Team (DGBAT). Over two years, the DGBAT has played a significant role in the further development of the project.

Today, DGBAT is a great team, with a lot of professionals, all with different skills. Unfortunately, I had to leave the team in November 2019 because I got involved in setting up the DigiByte Foundation with Hans Koning en Rutger Krijnen. In turn, we decided to set up a foundation that would offer a framework for our fast-growing community. Our goal is to foster more involvement, be the voice of the community as a whole, and protect the true principles of decentralization and our core values.

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V: How do you see cryptocurrencies going mainstream and becoming a part of the Global economy?

Cryptocurrency is one of the most prominent use-cases of blockchain technology. Today, it's all about trading, market cap, and value in fiat. In my opinion, cryptocurrency as a form of payment has a long way to go because it still needs to mature. We will need to see less volatility, improved regulation, and auditing. Another important catalyst would be a further loss of confidence in our established monetary system.

V: What critical problems was DGB created to solve? And how are they relevant to our current times?

R: DigiByte blockchain isn't that much different than other blockchains. The principle of any blockchain is just the permanent recording of transactions and making use of the cryptography to do other important things. What makes DigiByte different is that it's the longest UTXO blockchain, the most forward-thinking, and offers near-instant transaction speed. This also enables max security through its five different mining algos and tens of thousands of active nodes. DigiBytes are mined over time with a fixed supply of 21B in 2035.

Most importantly, DigitByte is community-driven and a real grassroots movement that is unstoppable. DigiByte has no single point of failure, no ICO, and no centralized company behind the project. DigiByte is facilitating the technology for others to build on and to build upon.

Today, real-world use-cases are being built using DigiByte technology. For example, V-ID, using DigiByte blockchain for proof of authenticity of documents for Amspec, or AntumID using Digi-ID technology for secure online authentication, and more applications are in the works, like the use of DigiAssets for ticketing services.

V: Similarly, why do you think DigiByte stands out among other cryptocurrencies, and what is its unique value proposition?

R: One of the most important USPs is its large and growing community. Many people are very actively involved, helping the project with marketing or development. DigiByte has proven itself and has successfully run for over six years, and is still seeing growth of active members. Because there is no company behind the project, nobody can take DigiByte down. There is no point of return unless you're able to take the whole community down or shut down the global internet.

V: Can you give us an inside look into the recent development efforts of DigiByte? What has the team been working on behind the scenes?

R: The team never works behind the scenes. It's all transparent and open source, so all developments are visible to the community. As soon as a commercial deal or development is ready to be presented, we'll make the community announcement. One of our more recent announcements is our involvement in the Covid-19 Alert app that has been presented to several governments.

At this moment, we are talking to some of the bigger exchanges, but this is something we have been doing for many years. We are also continuously reaching out to commercial businesses.

V: How do you see DGB interfacing with other crypto projects and technologies?

R: We are always open to collaborating with other projects. For example, our partnership with Safe Haven will include the future integration of their inheritance platform on the Digibyte Blockchain and future SafeKey support on DigiByte support systems. We are also very excited about our partnership with Threefold. They are building a true decentralized  peer-to-peer internet, empowering equality, autonomy and sustainability with game-changing technology built with a collaborative ecosystem. They are already live and distributed in 21 countries and expanding

V: DGB has been one of the best performing crypto assets of 2020 - why do you think the community and the coin's value has been growing so exponentially?

R: We have noticed that the rise in volume, community engagement, and the rise in price have created a snowball effect. Looking at the great fundamentals, this growth should not be a real surprise. DigiByte was expected to outperform the market. It's long overdue.

V: We love the DigiByte community and from our experience, they are one of the most loyal and active in the crypto space. In your opinion, what makes the DGB community stand out?

R: The DigiByte community is very diverse and therefore is a good reflection of the global society. The loyalty and activeness of the community comes from the passionate and trusted volunteers of the core team. Moreover, DigiByte welcomes every community member and their skills to the project. Whether you are a developer, marketer, or designer, everyone is welcome and can start working without a job application.

V: Going into 2020 and into the future, what is on the roadmap for DigiByte?

R: There is not a concrete future roadmap because we are all volunteers and can never commit to timelines. However, an acceleration in further growth can be expected if the DigiByte Foundation is able to provide decent funding for developer bounties and marketing.

V: What do you wish more people knew about crypto? Which crypto myths do you want to bust?

R: I want people to know that blockchain technology is much more than just cryptocurrency trading. The application of blockchain technology will have a great impact on our future, which is overlooked by many. Additionally, Buzz words like SSI and ZKP will become standard in applications where personal data sharing is required. In general, people will use applications without even knowing that it's powered by blockchain technology.

One of the myths I would like to debunk is that crypto is mainly used for illegal activities. As of 2019, only 0.5% of all Bitcoin transactions, $829M, has been spent on the dark web. Comparing this to the traditional financial system, the criminal proceeds laundered annually sits between 2 percent and 5 percent of global GDP, or $1.6T to $4T a year.