In the crypto-landscape, Gulden is like an outsider. Not only does it have a distinct status in terms of security and user-friendliness, but its applicability with direct IBAN links is also of an exceptional and sophisticated level. Everything is done to make Gulden a modern means of payment, alongside the Euro and Dollar. But then with the ease of use of virtually free global transactions and transparency, safety and speed that the blockchain technology has to offer.
In fact, however, we are already talking about a combination of two elements. Firstly, the Gulden blockchain, also known as the network, and secondly, the Gulden apps, the wallets. Where you can see the blockchain as rails where the apps, the trains, are running on. This to indicate that multiple apps or services can use the same blockchain at the same time, but can also be developed separately as such.
Gulden is a decentralised project that is currently being worked on by a number of teams. The best-known development team is led by founder Rijk Plasman. Its purpose is to develop the Gulden blockchain and the Gulden wallets into a fully-fledged global means of payment. Of course, by doing so, Rijk puts his mark and vision on the project. With the Gulden blockchain however, you can do so much more than just run a coin on it. The mistake many people make is that they see Rijk as the man who determines what happens to Gulden. In a sense this is of course largely the case, but in addition to Team Rijk, other parties are also working on and for Gulden, such as Nocks.
Decentralised means in essence that everyone can determine what happens to it. You can build apps with Gulden or for Gulden, spend it on beer or invest or even deposit through witness and get a free reward for that. You can advertise Gulden, help sponsor projects, or work with the code yourself and/or become a beta tester. In short, Gulden is so much more than a wallet. It has grown into a whole community of enthusiastic people, each working on it their own way. And each with their own reasons. For example, there are people who find it fascinating that you no longer need a bank for (international) transactions. Or people who find the technology promising and start working with it. Others like to share Gulden with family members, or to lock them in deposit for their grandchildren. And so there are a thousand other reasons why one has or uses Gulden. And that is why it could be so attractive to companies. As a company, you can set up your own team and launch your own app or services based on the Gulden blockchain.
The above sounds fantastic but let’s dig deeper and have a look at what Gulden is and how it came about. Below is a diagram of how the organisation works.
Launching a coin
If you set up a crypto coin or token, you can choose to reserve a portion for yourself. This so-called ‘premine’ is actually already minded from the start, and therefore personal possession of the founder. In 2014, when Gulden was founded, the crypto-landscape looked a bit different than it does now. Tokens were still completely unknown (see box) and to launch a coin you needed a developer, especially if you didn’t want to be an exact copy of Bitcoin or Litecoin. Nevertheless, there were already quite a lot of coins launched and those with premines often did not live for long. Mostly because the founder was anonymous and as soon as the premine was worth enough, disappeared. So there is (often rightly) a negative label attached to the term premine. At that time it was often reason enough for experienced crypto investors to stay away from such a project or to be negative about it.
These are mineable, where there may be a premine (this usually varies from 0 to 50%). A coin has its own blockchain and coins come on the market by mining. The starting value of a coin is determined by the market, i.e. supply and demand. What the first buyer gives for it.
These are not mineable, because the full 100% of the tokens are already in possession of the founder. These tokens are then sold at a value determined by the founder. Imagine you start your own token and distribute a million of them. If you sell 1 token for 1000 Euro, then your marketcap is 1000.000.000 Euro. That’s also why new tokens often start high on marketcap sites. Tokens do not have their own blockchain and run on Ethereum or similar platforms.
Gulden proves that things can be done differently though. After all, Gulden also has a (modest) premine, but in recent years it has grown into a sound project with a proven track record.
Despite the negative charge that the word premine had, it was the best way to be completely financially independent of investors or anyone else, or as Rijk describes it: “To be able to do what you really like. To follow your vision.”.
The Gulden premine after incorporation in 2014 amounted to NLG 170 million. Today there are still 60 million of them left and they are privately owned by Rijk, who use them to follow his before mentioned vision. The only risk for investors could be that one day Rijk would decide to stop and take the remaining premine for a long holiday to the Bahamas. Comparable to a CEO of a listed company who would redeem his shares and also book the proverbial one-way ‘sunny island’. However, the risk of a disappearing premine is now almost negligible, as the blockchain is already a fact and will always be able to be developed by other parties.
Spent it wisely
In the first two years of Gulden, however, there was no ‘financial independence or -freedom’, simply because the value of Gulden (which started at 0) was, with around 0.0015 eurocents, to low. The value of Bitcoin was also very different at that time. In order not to put too much pressure on the market with the sales of premined Gulden, shares were issued temporarily at that time. This was a way to convert Gulden to Bitcoin, without the market feeling it right away. Interested parties could buy Gulden shares from Rijk with Bitcoins. These were sold at a higher price than the market price, but were rewarded with a kind of interest. The volumes are now high enough and almost all shares and remunerations have been paid back.
Rijk has ensured that Gulden is a decentralised project. So that it could go on without him. The Gulden blockchain has therefore been placed in the public domain. In other words: the code is open source with a license at the level of: code may be used with permission of the developers. Not to be confused with the Gulden Apps, but more about that later.
Apart from the decentralised Gulden blockchain, there has been a Gulden.com BV since 2017. This is a company – with an income model – in which Rijk invests. This company owns the gulden apps and wallets and has been employing the developers of Team Rijk since 2017. An already working example of the revenue model is the in-app purchases of Guldens in the wallets, where a percentage of the fees goes to Gulden.com BV. In addition, there are paid applications in the planning. Apps that Gulden.com BV will develop for third parties. Think for example of an Albert Heijn (supermarket) loyalty card app, or that NS (railway company) will finally come to its senses and put their public transport card on the Gulden blockchain.
These developments are very welcome, because they guarantee that innovative solutions will continue to be built for and on the blockchain by Rijk and his team.
Besides team Rijk, Nocks BV is a good example of a company that took up the gauntlet and also started to develop for Gulden. We are waiting for more parties and initiatives to further expand the potential of the network. Something that Unfold, a small company that will soon be offering automatic trading, has already seen.
But also apps that already offer in-app payments can start offering gulden payments in a simple way using the Nocks API. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel completely if you want to do something with Gulden.
With the above in mind, it is also immediately clear why the ‘Team Rijk’ does not do marketing. After all, the team is paid to develop from within the company of Rijk. It will not, therefore, take on other tasks on its own. That would leave Rijk. But he has always indicated that he has no talents for this and that he finds it a task of the community, after all he has already done enough as part of the same community by making the blockchain possible.
It sounds almost Utopian, but the beauty of the Gulden project is, as said before, that everyone can participate. It must be said, the community is very creative in the development and crowdfunding of marketing projects. And of course, Nocks, GuldenTrader and all those other brokers and companies also contribute indirectly to brand awareness and increasing adoption. But it could also be that advertising and adoption of Gulden will come from a completely different angle, because imagine that one day Shell decides, that licking those loyalty stamps isn’t very convenient and adopts Gulden for that, worldwide!
The basis is there with the Gulden 2.0 network. But there is so much more possible. There is so much more to build. And with this solid public blockchain one can imagine that entrepreneurs will find a way to use it. This is only the beginning!
With this knowledge you can only conclude that this unique network with all those people, their creativity and passion, the freedom one has to build or use applications, has a golden future. Not only for investors or entrepreneurs, but also for users, services and/or other applications.
If you have questions about this article, you can always ask Rijk in the official chat channel on Slack or via the Chat with Community button on Gulden.com.