OKCash is a cryptocurrency born in 2014 with the intention of becoming the most accessible for any user. Being a Proof of Stake coin, it can be mined with any PC. It does not require specialized equipment or consume scarce resources or energy. In addition, the developers created an operating system (ROKOS) for Raspberry Pi and other miniPCs, making it possible to use and mine OKCash on those devices. This facilitates that practically anyone in the world can be a node of the OKCash network. It is also important to note that it is a currency limited to 105 million units, transactions are instantaneous and transaction fees are especially low.
After a dramatic increase in its number of users and nodes during 2016 and 2017, OKCash is coming to trade, and we already have business examples in several countries around the world that accept OKCash. The most recent is the Óptica Vélez in Murcia (Spain), whose manager Ernesto López interviewed exclusively:
Good afternoon, Ernesto. First of all, congratulate you for being a pioneer in accepting payment methods such as Bitcoin and now OKCash. Óptica Vélez has become the first store in Spain to accept OKCash. For starters we would like to know how you came to the world of cryptocurrencies.
Very good Manuel. Well, it was by chance. A friend of mine told me he was making money with business online. It was a website that paid you in dollars and then you could convert to Bitcoin. From there I started to get in touch with Bitcoin. We talk about the year 2013 approximately. I had already read about him in some magazine but I had never given him much importance. I thought it was very weird and a freak thing.
What a pity, no? I wish you had paid attention, right? [Laughs][Laughs] The truth is that yes. But well from there I was getting in touch with him, reading about how it worked, etc … The first time I bought Bitcoin had a price of 400-450 $, and well, my friend and I were buying and getting into some online business that they used it, that turned out to be pyramid schemes (although some of them do get performance). Later, through the radio, listening to programs of a liberal nature, I met Fernando Díaz Villanueva, and what I did not know was that the liberals supported Bitcoin.
So, were the cryptocurrencies that led you to libertarian thinking?
No, no, it was parallel. I started the liberal theme from December 2015, and at the same time, I was already using Bitcoin, only that for me they were separate worlds. It was from the summer of 2016 when I met the P-Lib, I discovered that they supported the Bitcoin, and I began to attend their meetings, to meet the people of that party, to know you … [Laughs]. Each time I got more into both worlds, especially in the cryptocurrency, and, a few months ago, before the summer of 2017, I started accepting Bitcoin, becoming the second optician in Spain to do so (the first on the peninsula and the second in Spain, the first in Spain is in the Canary Islands). OKCash I decided to accept it when I saw the rise in both price and users that it had in September, I thought about it, and talking to you I was encouraged and I put the logo of both Bitcoin and OKCash in the window and we made it public on Twitter. That was a bombshell. I had never had so many retweets, or so many followers, or so many impressions, … I was amazed at OKCash. And I am encouraging myself more and more to include other cryptocurrencies as a method of payment: Ethereum, Dash, etc … It seems good to me that my clients want to pay me in the way that is most comfortable for them. I started with Bitcoin because it is the top cryptocurrency, the number 1, and I continued with OKCash because I love its functionality and speed. Obviously, I can not put all the logos of all the cryptocurrencies in the storefront because … I would lack showcase [Laughs].
What attracted you to the world of cryptocurrencies?
In the case of Bitcoin, it was its revaluation, which was limited to 21 million, its upward progression, and above all, the financial freedom that it gives to the user, being able to escape to the control of the governments. It is also an inflation-free currency, with time it has a higher value, unlike the fiat currencies, that when the ECB gives the chance they give it to the machine and they print billions that inject into the economy, and then I was also attracted by the fact that I could be your own bank. I was never a friend of the banks, although I recognize that we have to use them on a day-to-day basis. Banks and insurers are the ones that make me nervous. When I have to deal with them, I lose my temper.
In that, we resemble each other. In Bitcoin you control your funds.
That’s. In Bitcoin I have control over my money. I decide when I put them, when I take them out, how I use them and also they are beyond the control of the institutions and entities that can leave me without them at any time.
Agree. The last thing you mention is very important, the fact that you decide when to change it for fiat money. In my previous experience talking to merchants about accepting Bitcoin, they told me that it was dangerous for them to accept a currency that one day had a value and the next day had another. Normally they complained if it came down. If he went up, obviously they did not complain [Laughs]. If we look back to this day, I think that nobody who had kept their cryptocurrencies could complain. Have you never had that fear? Have you ever thought that the amount in BTC that you were paid for glasses of € 90, tomorrow could have a value of € 45?
No, it has never bothered me since I have always been clear about the revaluation of Bitcoin. If the day I get an item in BTC it goes down, I wait for it to recover or even go up more than it was worth that day and that’s it. It’s not something that worries me too much.
How many sales have you made in cryptocurrencies? Or maybe better … have you had any sales in cryptocurrencies?
Yes, I have had 2 sales in Bitcoin and 1 in OKCash. The 2 in Bitcoin went to an Italian boy and another Korean, both exchange students since the optics are in an area of student flats. The OKCash was a guy from here in the city that we both know and to which we present OKCash. I was very happy with the 3 sales. Because I always ask “in cash or with a card?” And when they tell you that they want to pay in BTC or OKCash, you are very happy. I told them that of course, I took out my purse that I have here printed on paper, they scanned it, they paid the amount in BTC that the converter of my PC marked that day and that’s it. They were not large quantities, if I remember correctly they were around € 90 the first, € 30 the second and € 55 the third in OKCash. They all left very happily and I was delighted with the experience.
Looking to the future, do you think that your number of sales with cryptocurrencies will increase?
Well, I hope so. There is more and more interest in them. In OKCash we are few users compared to Bitcoin, I hope we are more and more. Although I have to say that the OKCash community surprised me a lot, it responded very positively when we published the tweet. I believe that this is the future. I do not know if it will be Bitcoin, if it will be OKCash, if it will be the “cryptoeuro”, etc. … but of course, the future of the payments is this one. Although the banks want to sell us the payments through mobile and others, the cryptocurrencies I think will end up being imposed.
Voucher. Focusing a little more on OKCash. What advantages did you see in OKCash? What Bitcoin defects did it cover?
I saw a huge advantage, which was the speed of transactions, and the issue of commissions. While in Bitcoin we can have transactions that take between 15 minutes and 4 hours to confirm, with OKCash it is a matter of seconds. I believe no more than 10 seconds. Also, their transaction fees are very low. I think that for the merchant, in the day to day, it is the fundamental thing if he wants to use it as the payment method. Bitcoin right now is almost unviable if the purchase is a low-value product. Also, for example, in the purchases I had in BTC, I had to wait a few minutes for the clients to show at least 1 confirmation of the transaction, and that obviously does not please anyone. That with OKCash does not happen. The only disadvantage that I see OKCash is the lack of a mobile app, although the Coinomi works great.
Now let’s compare OKcash’s algorithm, which is Proof of Stake versus Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that is Proof of Work. Have you had contact with mining of both types? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in one and the other?
Yes, for example, I know that to undermine the Proof of Work as Bitcoin, you need expensive and powerful equipment, with a high energy consumption, and that in Spain I doubt that it is profitable today. I do not see it working for the particular user. However, for example with OKCash and its Proof of Stake, on any PC, Raspberry, etc … it is enough to “undermine” it. It is also as simple as leaving the wallet open. No great configuration or anything is necessary. Simply install the client, put your coins and leave it on. Simpler cannot be. No computer knowledge is necessary. For me in that sense, they are all advantages over Bitcoin. I wish Bitcoin was as simple as OKCash. I also have to say that OKCash is more respectful of the environment than Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and that for me is another point in favor. The truth is that OKCash I liked from the first moment I started using it.
Let’s talk now about the issue of security. You know that from time to time there is news about thefts in wallets, hacks to Ethereum, Tether a few days ago … have you felt safe using cryptocurrencies? Could it be an obstacle to the entry of new users?
For me, the obstacle is how news and sensationalism treat cryptocurrencies since that remains in the memory of viewers. It always sells more negative news, even if it was in a timely manner than a positive one. I have always felt safe, because I usually use the clients of cryptocurrencies, and I try to have the minimum in exchanges. I only use them in a timely manner to make the changes. The only exchange that conveys security to me is Xapo. I would never for example, my mother, use Core or Electrum. However, you do have an account at Xapo and usually use the debit card to make your purchases. Perhaps together with Coinbase, the most serious. Then there are the wallets in hardware formats such as Trezor or Ledger Nano, or the paper wallets, although it is true that I have hardly used them. Outside of that, everything that is having funds in an exchange, even if you have the double factor of authentication, for me it is a risk. You always depend on a third party. Also in their “Terms and Conditions” are usually relentless and basically tell you that they are not responsible for the funds if the website falls from one day to another. Also, I know from experience what it is that webs disappear with your funds. And it’s a bad drink.
Regarding the people who spend each day in front of your shop window, have you noticed that there is some curiosity about the posters of “Bitcoin is accepted” and “OKCash is accepted”? How does your circle of friends and family respond?
Regarding the curiosity with the posters, I have been given two cases. In the first, the person asked me if Bitcoin was a new credit card [Laughter]. In the second I was asked about OKCash, and I explained what it was about. With friends what has happened to me is that the majority keeps the alarmist news (Bitcoin is used for drug trafficking, deep web, illegal activities, etc …) and has cost me some serious discussion with some of them. They always accuse you that this is to evade taxes, etc … But I think the great fault is the traditional media. We will always see on TV the bad part of BTC, never the good part, as it allows people from countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe to protect their wealth from exorbitant inflation or directly from theft by the authorities. Besides, you will never be told that there are already cantons in Switzerland like Zug that allow their citizens to pay taxes in BTC. The problem is never the tool, but the use that is made of it. A knife can be used to cut ham or bread or it can be used as a deadly weapon. The same happens with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
I think it’s a great reflection. With a global vision of all your experience, would you recommend to a merchant that accepts cryptocurrencies as a method of payment? Is it easy for a merchant to accept BTC or any other cryptocurrency in his store?
Let’s see, one must be involved in the subject. It should be a trader who as a little knew how to handle a PC or a mobile well (today there are already few who do not know yet) and explain how to use cryptocurrencies. What I would not do would be to get involved with them in deeper topics of Blockchain, mining, etc … Ease? You must like it. You have to be up to date and read a lot. It is a very disruptive technology and it is normal for people to pay for it. The use of money has been the same for centuries: coins, banknotes, and in the twentieth-century transactions and credit cards, but little else. It has been the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009 when it has begun to see a change in the use of money, and therefore, all this is still in its infancy. The person who does not know needs help, tutorials, explanations, talks from people like you, who are little early adopters of these technologies. Sometimes you must feel like an evangelist.
The truth is that if. Although it is something that if we want it to be imposed on society, it needs our push. Not that it is imposed, but to make it known to the people and that it is she who decides what kind of currency she wants to use. Let him choose it freely. I use Euros because the State forces me to pay taxes with it. If you do not use Bitcoin, gold or any other “money” that you consider more valuable.
I use Bitcoin a bit as a reserve of value for my retirement. People like you who are in their thirties and like me who is 42 years old, we probably never know what it is to collect retirement, so I invest in cryptocurrencies and specifically in cryptocurrencies with a limited and low max supply. For me, the pension system is another pyramid scam.
Regarding the campaign that you initiated in social networks to publish that you accepted OKCash as a method of payment in your optics, did you expect the repercussion that it had?
— OPTICA VELEZ (@OPTICAVELEZ) October 27, 2017
Not at all. For me it was amazing. My tweets usually have an impact on 200-300 impressions, 1 or 2 retweets … but it was to launch the tweet that accepted OKCash, pass it to the community, with the hashtags that it uses … and the madness was unleashed … I arrived in 2 days 100,000 impressions, dozens of likes and retweets, hundreds of new followers both in my account and in the optics … I was totally amazed. There were 2 weeks of people’s comments, answers, congratulations, and congratulations, questions, etc … the OKCash community responded in an impressive way. It was even published on a website in English, etc … Very happy. Very kindness from all the people who are part of OKCash.
I’m glad. One of the best features that OKCash has and that stands out against other cryptocurrencies is its large community, the number of users behind it who help each other. That is why for some of us it is currently one of the most undervalued cryptocurrencies and we are sure that very soon it will be placed in the Top50 of Coinmarketcap which is at least, where it should be by its characteristics and its true decentralization.
Well Ernesto, we reached the end of the interview. Thank you very much for attending and luck with the optics and we hope that you will soon announce that you also use other cryptocurrencies.
Thank you very much. It has been a pleasure and the interview has gone by very quickly. Thank you!