Starname is offering the easiest way to get paid in crypto through a decentralized crypto profile and wallet. CEO Antoine Herzog shares more details with us in an exclusive interview with TechBullion.
Please tell us your name and about yourself.
My Name is Antoine Herzog, I am CEO at Starname.
Before working in the blockchain, I was working in the technology industry. When I discovered Ethereum before their launch, I thought it would change the world. So I began to travel across the world to attend different conferences. I didn’t have any plans, I was just passionate about this industry.
Later on, I discovered Tendermint and Cosmos and I began to be as well passionate about this project. When they organized their first hackathon, I decided to participate and called all the people that I met before. We won the first prize of the hackathon. We got invited by the Cosmos Team in Cancun for Devcon3.
Starting from Devcon, we decided to build a project in this industry. We started the project named as IOV (which stands for Internet of Values) with a white paper in December 2017. The goal was to bring blockchain to the people. Considering that, we identified 4 main pillars for mass-adoption: https://medium.com/iov-internet-of-values/from-the-crypto-geek-era-to-the-internet-of-value-era-e3aca7ee7605 and we started to focus on the name service aspect as a key element to enable mass-adoption. We raised around 5 millions euros in an ICO starting in May 2018 and we launched our first blockchain in October 2019 based on Tendermint.
We recently renamed our project Starname because it is the name of our product. We did a technical upgrade in August 2020 and we are now in the phase of the adoption.
What is Starname and how does it work?
Starname is human readable address like: *antoine which can be used to receive crypto-payments instead of sharing long and complex crypto-addresses.
With Starname, anyone can find your addresses where you want to receive any crypto assets, make sure it is yours, and send you crypto assets in 1 click. No need to copy/paste, include it into your address book or to know your crypto address. Sending crypto is as easy as sending an email.
Our mission is to make the world of crypto easier and simple to use. We noticed that copy/pasting long crypto addresses was a pain for the user and a source of error when making many payments to several addresses. We want to relieve crypto users from that pain and make sending crypto to someone an easy experience.
We believe in a multichain world, and we have opened a bridge between the Cosmos ecosystem to Ethereum with our Uniswap listing yesterday and Metamask payment in our profile. This Uniswap listing is the opening of a new chapter for mass adoption and we are really excited about all the new opportunities it will bring.
What does a crypto profile require and what are the advantages of creating a crypto profile?
When you register a starname, it has a public page that you can personalize – this is the Starname profile. So when you share your starname, you share also the Starname profile page which looks like this: https://starname.me/antoine*cosmos
To set up your Starname profile you can do it using our app – the Starname Manager – and you will need a few tokens to make the updates because adding your metadata is a blockchain transaction.
The advantages of having a crypto profile is sharing your crypto information easily via a verified profile which not only allows the user to get your info, but also allows you the user to make you a payment using the profile interface.
Could you guide us through the Starname wallet & dapps ecosystem and how to use it?
The Starname Manager is our desktop app (its mobile version is on the way!) to manage your starnames and your tokens. You can use it to buy starnames, edit them, set up Starname profiles, buy $IOV and make transactions. Everything related to your starnames and $IOV you can do it in one place. To login you can authenticate with either Ledger or Keplr Chrome extension, but very soon you will be able to do that using Gmail.
The authentication with Gmail will make the process simpler and more accessible to everyone since downloads and setups to access the Starname Manager will no longer be necessary. We are working carefully in every feature of the Starname Manager and in its flow thinking about mass adoption.
We have partnered with Cosmostation wallet, a mobile app, where you can also delegate your tokens, register and manage starnames. We continue to develop ways to make our service more available and visible on the Cosmos ecosystem.
How will blockchain technology influence the social media industry in 2021 and beyond?
Social media is about connection and so is blockchain. Blockchain is a resource available for people to exchange. It’s secure, fast and reliable. When we see influencers and performers already using blockchain to receive payments you can see blockchain potentialize their interactions in social media. This is adoption. Blockchain will not only influence the social media industry, but will be an ally to it. Instant messaging and interactions and almost instant exchanges. It’s a mutualistic relationship.
Could you tell us about your team and customer support?
The core team is Dave Puchyr (CTO), Benjamin Simatos (CFO), Karim Ganem (Partnerships) and myself. We count with a number of advisors as well. We are available for customer support on all our channels, but people contact us more often on TG (t.me/internetofvalues) and via email (email@example.com). Considering this is a tech service, bugs can happen and doubts may rise, so customer support is an important part of the service we offer. Often people from the community help each other as well and this is nice to see.
Do you have more information for our readers?
2021 is a promising year for blockchain and Starname. We will continue to work on the user experience we offer to make it smoother for mass adoption. Our blockchain will be upgraded to enable IBC and smart contracts. Briefly, we will continue to develop our product and technology, as well as our marketing and the message we want to give with Starname. It has been a great journey so far, but there are so many great things we still want to achieve.