Secret Contract Platform for Privacy 2.0: Interview with Ken Misuma, Chief Marketing Officer of QURAS 


Ken Misuma is the Chief Marketing Officer of QURAS, a ‘Privacy 2.0’ protocol that facilitates private transactions through smart contracts. He has been running global marketing efforts and helping build the QURAS organization for over two years. I had the chance to interview Ken to learn more about QURAS, the importance of blockchain-enabled privacy, and his take on the regulatory environment in the space.

Please tell us about yourself Ken.

Before entering the world of blockchain, I worked in a few different industries, including real estate, HR, and business consulting. My previous work disciplines provided me with diverse perspective on the potential for blockchain technology. 

I started working on the QURAS project in early 2018. For QURAS, I am in charge of global marketing efforts as the Chief Marketing Officer. This year, myself and the greater QURAS team are primarily focused on scaling the project in Southeast Asia.

I also help lead business development efforts overseas, including participation in many conferences around the world. Since a lot of global events been postponed in the first half of 2020 in Asia, I’ve had the opportunity to squarely focus on Blockchain Expo in Tokyo taking place the first week of April. That is when the QURAS’ main net will go live. I am excited to announce the new technology at the the largest blockchain event in Japan. 

What is QURAS and its main features? 

QURAS is a next generation blockchain protocol that is focused on privacy protection. The project was founded in January 2017 and has since grown to become a potential catalyst for wide user and enterprise adoption. QURAS gives users a variety of options to protect personal and transactional information, allowing users to select a privacy level that fits their particular use case and need. QURAS uses two leading privacy-protection technologies, Zero-Knowledge Proof and Ring Signature, to offer the highest level of protection possible to its users. 

In future implementation, WimbleMimble, Tor, and decentralized VPN will be added to take care of privacy-protection needed as an option. We will also develop our own decentralized apps on the QURAS protocol to help with user adoption. Other developments underway later this year include file storage, transaction staking, and cross-chain endeavors.  

What makes QURAS unique in comparison to other blockchain protocols? 

As a ‘Secret Contract Platform’, QURAS is the first blockchain to have complete anonymous features in smart contracts. Using a mix of Zero-Knowledge Proofs and Ring Signature for privacy protection is also unique to our protocol. 

Also, by designing the protocol in a way that seeks project sustainability, the ability to share transaction fees with token issuers was added. This has not been a focus of other privacy-oriented blockchain protocols. For us, it is all about bringing back privacy rights for individuals and sharing incentives. 

There are already a few major privacy coins out there. What makes QURAS unique is not only its take on being a privacy coin, but the opportunities that QURAS brings in providing mainstream services with the benefits of anonymity and expanded privacy protections unlike we have today. Major industries such as the health and medical industry, finance, and B2B services are all vying to keep up with the latest technologies to keep consumer and business information secure. QURAS will provide a wide variety of solutions for that reason. 

Can you tell us about your team and greater QURAS community?

The QURAS team is from over 6 countries and our executive team has a diverse and complimentary expertise. Our CEO, Shigeki Kakutani, has held various leadership roles for 10+ years prior to founding QURAS, and he also previously worked at the House of Representatives in Japan. Our CFO, Andrew Wong, comes from a strong finance background with past experience at JP Morgan.  Today, Japan has the largest QURAS community of evangelists and developers, and we will be expanding thru Southeast Asia this year. 

We recently partnered with the Blockchain Nigeria Users Group (BNUG) which has the largest developer community in Nigeria with over 500 blockchain engineers. BNUG is also active across greater Africa and is constantly working with regulators and innovators to help blockchain tech gain momentum across the continent. We expect to expand throughout Africa too. Since QURAS will be launching the main net soon, we are mainly focused with onboarding more developers to build applications on the protocol. 

What role do you see privacy-focused blockchain platforms playing in terms of consumer and industry adoption?

I feel there is large expectation in the industry on privacy-focused blockchain platform. Not many people talked about it back in 2017, but now a lot of people are feeling its important to have privacy in this space. I think we will still see new privacy technologies steadily coming out, which is a good sign. Having the opportunity to toggle the privacy level for varying transactions while still being compliant with national and global regulations is key for greater adoption. 

As crypto as a form of payment gains greater adoption for consumers and businesses, a lot more people will notice the need for privacy-focused protocols. Why is privacy important? Its just in human nature and an inalienable right.  

What major project developments do you have underway over the first six months of 2020? 

We have quite a few main developments underway in the first half this year. For one, our main net launch is scheduled for early April. We will also have five wallets releases and our initial DApps launch on the QURAS protocol. On the marketing side of things, we are very focused on real use cases. Initially, we will grow our adoption through our online platform services to accept XQC, our native QURAS token, as a form of payment. I will also focus to increase our developer pool to test and use the QURAS chain. We will be attending a number of major events that concentrate on our targeted areas.

How have you seen new regulations affect blockchain projects and the cryptocurrency markets over the last few years?

The speed of regulation seems to have escalated over the last few years. This is usually a good sign where the market is trying to balance out scaling and real adoption, in a complaint way. As for enabling “privacy-protection” as part of cryptocurrencies, governments are wary and do not support privacy or anonymity for the most part since they like to “see” everything when it involved any kind of transaction between two or more parties. 

Other than that, there is regulation is supporting the industry to allow new traders and entities to join. There is still a lot of space in the industry to grow and I am happy to see new regulations. I just hope regulations and new laws are crafted in the right way to not stifle innovation. 

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