VIAZ is a decentralized application (“DAPP”) running on the Tezos blockchain. It aims to eliminate the gap between the lenders and borrowers of cryptocurrencies and fiat and in doing so, make the cryptocurrency market helpful for both cryptocurrency and fiat enthusiasts.
CryptoNewsZ conducted an exclusive Interview with Tejinder Sandhu, the COO of Viaz. Here are some excerpts :
Question: Can you give us a brief overview regarding the creation of the Viaz platform?
Ans: VIAZ is a decentralized peer-to-peer funding platform. Our aim is to make this market driven platform conducive for crypto and fiat loyalists alike. The VIAZ platform provides them with an opportunity to take advantage of this global network of lenders and borrowers from the convenience of their own desktop computer or smartphone.
Question: Tell us a little bit about your background and professional career.
Ans: My name is Tejinder Sandhu, and I’m currently the COO of VIAZ. My educational background includes university studies with a primary focus in civil engineering. Soon after university, I started my career as a management professional in a construction development company. I worked with the same company for almost 5 years. Along the way, I started a few of my own ventures, one of which was investing in cryptocurrencies. As I’ve crossed over to the crypto space and furthermore, working on the VIAZ project, my past project management experience has been a tremendous asset.
Question: Can you tell us how VIAZ Tezos Peer To Peer Blockchain Funding Platform Works and what are your plans in the future to make it more secure?
Ans: VIAZ is a user-friendly platform. Cryptocurrency holders seeking funding to buy a car, house, etc. won’t have to sell their crypto assets. They can simply post them as collateral to obtain a loan from the other users in the VIAZ community. Users will put their cryptocurrency to work as collateral, while at the same time benefiting from any market appreciation of those same collateralized assets. Borrowers will further benefit if they use VIAZ tokens as collateral. These benefits include a discount on service fees, airdrops, and profit sharing.
Regarding making the platform more secure, that’s a broad question. But I can say that VIAZ is built on Tezos, a self-amending blockchain with on-chain governance and proof of stake consensus algorithm designed to secure smart contracts through the facilitation of formal verification. A lengthier discussion regarding platform security can be found in our whitepaper.
Question: Tell us what do you hope to accomplish within the next year as a COO?
Ans: I would like to see VIAZ fully monetized within a year after the launch of the mainnet, which is currently set for Q4 2019. In order to achieve this goal, we’ll need support from the community by creating awareness and widespread adoption of the VIAZ platform. Our aim is to partner with financial institutions fully engaged in moving into the crypto space. I envision VIAZ users all over the world utilizing the platform to maximize their crypto assets, reduce their tax liability, and earn rewards by cutting out the middlemen that for generations have taken advantage of all of us.
Question: We would like to know about the reasons that make you choose Tezos for your platform?
Ans: Tezos is a new blockchain that explores new ideas and systems to deliver a safer, more robust chain. Built on OCaml, a functional programming language used for other financial based projects, Tezos implements a delegated proof of stake consensus method. This is more power-efficient and provides a stronger consensus mechanism than the proof-of-work (which is currently in use by Ethereum and Bitcoin). Tezos is also looking to implement a self-amending ledger, allowing XTZ holders to vote on improvements and changes to the blockchain source-code, reducing the risks of a fork. Tezos will also look to run at a higher transaction per second allowing it to be faster than both Ethereum and Bitcoin, thereby providing users with enhanced scalability and more expeditious liquidity. Tezos has also designed a new smart contract language – Michelson. This is a strongly typed bytecode language with a very strict set of operations. This forces extremely safe Michelson smart contracts and could have prevented many of the issues that occurred with other smart contracts (e.g., the DAO). On top of this, smart contracts can also be formally verified, allowing developers to provide a mathematical proof of the outputs and changes a smart contract can make.
Question: Can you say a few words about how the Viaz platform is using a crypto wallet and also about your debit cards?
Ans: We are in conversations with several potential fiat partners who will help us secure both the fiat and crypto wallets for the platform. The assistance of these reputed third-party custodians will instill further confidence in our users with regards to the security of the VIAZ platform. Our future network of established fiat partners will also facilitate the issuance of debit cards to users of the platform. The purpose of these debit cards is to empower users with direct access to their money in lieu of cumbersome wire and ACH transfers.
Question: What are the steps you took with your team for the development of Viaz and what’s your position today from the day you started?
Ans: Now when I look back, it seems like yesterday our CEO, Peter Meronek was discussing this idea with me. Although it has been more than two years, I know he first saw the utility for VIAZ in 2014. In the beginning, it was an even smaller team, but we were very determined to deliver nonetheless. Not much has changed, although we have grown as a team in both our vision and numbers. We never wanted VIAZ to be just a funding and borrowing platform. Our CEO had a vision, and we all are working extremely hard to make it a reality. All these years later, we have a working prototype and a bigger audience, and it feels like we’re just getting going.
Question: What was the main important factor that you think helped you to go for Tezos from other cryptocurrencies?
Ans: At the time when we started developing on Tezos, it hadn’t even launched it’s betanet, but we didn’t see any better platform than this. Even at present, it is the most robust platform for financial based projects.
Question: So when did you and your team thought about starting this platform and how much efforts it took to accomplish it?
Ans: Our CEO first thought about the project in 2014, and we started actual development in 2017. Peter had known some of the team members from past business associations and projects, and other talented individuals were brought on as needed. For example, our CTO Stephen Andrews was the first developer on board after our CEO flew to meet him in Stephen’s hometown in New Zealand.
Question: So what are Viaz’s plan in 2019 and how the team will work on that?
Ans: Our plans for 2019 Q1 included the much-anticipated launch of the betanet. We are happy to say, we have accomplished this. The next goal is to get the smart contracts audited and launched the ICO. We have finalized with a third party that has helped with a few other Tezos based projects to undertake this essential task. We also have developed a web portal for the ICO set to launch in April. As far as KYC/AML goes, we are finalizing with an entity to assist with these checks throughout our ICO and after that. Upon completion of the ICO and a final audit, the genesis VIAZ tokens will be distributed. As mentioned previously, our goal is to launch our mainnet by the end of the year.