Interview with with IUNGO’s Senior Advisor Dylan Sharkey.
1. Hi Dylan, Could you briefly talk about your professional background and the core team at IUNGO?
Sure – I have recently left LinkedIn to join IUNGO as a Senior Advisor and I also have a seat on the Board here. I worked at LinkedIn for over 6 years, joining before the successful IPO in 2011 where we raised over $350 million. Since then, I have been promoted through various roles of increasing seniority and across different geographies. In 2012 I helped launch the first LinkedIn office in Dubai growing it from three to over 100 people and most recently I was the Head of LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions business for the entire Middle East region.
I guess you could say I had done it all at LinkedIn during the hyper growth period. As they transitioned into a large corporation and became part of Microsoft I began exploring getting back into a pre-IPO startup with a dynamic culture where I could have an outsized impact. In parallel, I had gone down the rabbit hole into Bitcoin and then Crypto from around 2013 onwards and was looking to start something in the space.
That’s when I got in contact with Andrius, the CTO of IUNGO and the rest as they say, is history. The rest of the Core Team have a strong track record of profitable startups including an e-Learning language platform and an IoT based physical security system for children and the elderly. Andrius is the Technical genius who is leading the charge on the MVP and our Token Economy while the CEO Ricardas and COO Paulius are the Commercial and Marketing leaders who execute like machines and, as we used say in LinkedIn, get sh*t done
2. What do you think are the main barriers that are holding back people from getting decent internet connectivity, especially in the developing world?
At IUNGO, we believe that universal, affordable internet access is a basic human right and we are actively working to connect the forgotten 4.3 Billion people currently denied this right. The UN agrees with us and this is part of it’s official Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Governments, companies, international organizations, and members of civil society are all working to get more people online but the results have been painfully slow to date. The four main barriers to internet access in the developing world that have been identified by the World Economic Forums in it’s Internet for All report are 1) infrastructure, 2) affordability, 3) skills, awareness and cultural acceptance and 4) local adoption and use.
3. Why in your opinion, an ambitious project such as Internet.org by Facebook for beaming internet connectivity, has not been able to progress much at all?
Excellent question. You are correct, even Facebook’s plans to beam internet via satellite to Africa and Asia with the Internet.org project announced to much fanfare in 2016 have made slow progress against this goal. Facebook’s nonprofit Internet.org now resorts to partnering with local ISPs via Facebook’s Express WiFi subsidiary, revealing the inadequacy of a centralized solution to this problem, no matter how well intentioned.
4. How will IUNGO tackle the problems related to affordable internet access, and what role will decentralization and blockchain technology play in this endeavor?
As I mentioned, we believe that universal, affordable internet access is a basic human right from the advanced economies of North America, Europe and Asia through to all parts of the developing world. IUNGO’s decentralized solution is dissolving the barriers to affordable internet access where centralized solutions by governments, International Organisations like the UN, Telcos and even global technology giants have failed. By leveraging Ethereum ERC20 technology to create the framework for a decentralized, incentive based global WiFi network, IUNGO Network incentivise our community to scale infrastructure to areas of the world where corrupt governments have failed and profit seeking corporate giants did not see enough margin.
5. In this ever increasing digital world, how important is Internet connectivity to the under served regions, for the people there to gain economic freedom and raise standards of living?
The impact that IUNGO will have in the developing world cannot be overstated. All recent major studies have verified the positive impact of greater broadband penetration on the growth of GDP in developing nations. The World Bank, concluded that every 10-percentage point improvement in broadband penetration increases GDP by 1.3%. Multiple studies by The Boston Consulting Group have detailed the internet’s macroeconomic benefits to GDP, the broad economic and job impact of the digital economy’s rapid growth, and the impact of information and communications technology on small-business revenue growth and job creation.
According to the World Economic Forums, research also highlights a positive correlation between the application of digital technologies and the quality of life. The internet helps solve many problems in such areas as health, education, basic financial services and agriculture while government services are increasingly delivered online.
Connectivity is also having a major effect on agriculture, improving productivity in emerging economies. The future impact of the Internet of Things layer that can be built on top of the IUNGO Network offers significant potential in developing countries to solve pressing problems such as those related to traffic, water hygiene and disaster prevention.
6. Are you concerned about the scaling issues with the Ethereum network? Do you think scaling would be sorted out by the time IUNGO services are fully functional?
Yes Ethereum has a problem that’s sometime hard to ignore, it can’t support too many users. But there are a few high-profile projects like sharding, Raiden Network and few more. The most promising one is called Plasma and it’s backed by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon. Poon co-authored the Lightning Network white paper, which set the roadmap for the technology widely touted as bitcoin’s best shot for increasing its number of users. Together, the two are a good bet to solve these hard scaling problems.
7. In the IUNGO model, how will it be beneficial for service providers such as shops, restaurants or any other individual to provide internet connectivity to users?
The supply side participants you mention in the IUNGO Network will be incentivized to provide internet access both in places with high traffic of smartphone users and remote workers (town centers, cafes, airports) but also in places where there was no internet coverage before — imagine, for example, an enterprising citizen of a remote African village sharing his satellite based broadband with his community via IUNGO. The advantages for the consumers are obvious; fast, secure, instantaneous WiFI internet access wherever they are in the world. No forms to fill in, no risk of personal data being stolen, no extortionate hidden roaming charges.
With IUNGO, any Ethiopian with a connected smartphone, any small shopkeeper in a remote Indian village or any cafe owner at a truck stop in Sudan is incentivised to start earning by providing internet access to his friends, neighbours and customers. Human ingenuity is such that once you have a clear, transparent and robust set of incentives to earn revenue, the infrastructure will follow. As supply meets demand, supply will create more demand creating a virtuous circle, bettering the lives of everyone that touches IUNGO Network’s expanding orbit.
As the oft- repeated proverb states: give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.
8. Who are your competitors, and what advantages will IUNGO have over them?
FON in the developed world and Facebook’s Express WiFi project in the developing world. Both have failed to create a truly global, fast, affordable and ubiquitous WiFi network due to their centralized approach meaning there is no coherent structure of incentives for the participants to scale. To be fair to them, the advances in decentralization technology provided by blockchain protocols were not widespread when they launched their initiatives. Creating a global WiFi network is uniquely suited – by its very nature – to a decentralized approach with a closed system of incentives. Our competitive advantage is that IUNGO was born decentralized, it’s in our DNA making us uniquely positioned to execute on this opportunity and disrupt the incumbents.
9. What stage of development is the project at currently? Could you briefly talk about the company’s road map?
IUNGO will operate initially with a freemium concept. We are used to having free WiFi (in the developed world), but instead of standard security for providers and users, some premium services will come at a cost. For users premium services will include VPN for Total Privacy, Enterprise grade security for travelling professionals and extreme high speed. For businesses the premium services will include Marketing tools like user emailing services and in app advertising. Premium services will be paid for in ING Tokens by both users and providers via the IUNGO wallet.
Additionally, our Open Source software will allow us to integrate third party apps and services for both users and business. These third party services will also leverage IUNGO tokens for payment, therefore creating an ecosystem of applications operating on top of the core IUNGO protocol framework.
10. What is the importance of having a native token on your platform? What utilities will it perform?
To bring our vision into reality we have created a decentralized global network of internet suppliers and consumers with a Token based economy powered by a closed loop of economic and civic incentives. With IUNGO, any individual, business or organisation anywhere in the world can begin earning revenue by providing fast, affordable and secure internet to their community, clients or citizens.
As mentioned previously, our competitors have all failed due to their centralized approach. Any distributed system like the original internet or IUNGO’s Global WiFi network cannot grow organically to their full potential with a top down centralized approach from a company like FON or Facebook or even a large Telecommunications company.
No matter how hard the centralized authority will try to create network effects the incentives are simply not there as the value accrues in one direction only- upstream to the owner.
With IUNGO the value flows in a virtuous spiderweb of horizontal transactions between producers and consumers with every participant on equal footing regardless of size or wealth. The only fair and trustless way is by having a closed IUNGO economy and ecosystem with a discreet, dedicated utility token powering these transactions. The discreet token will keep the IUNGO network decentralized, democratic, competitive and free and stop fiat, crypto or infrastructure rich corporations from creating a monopoly as they currently do today.
ICO related Questions
11. I believe the Pre Sale was completed in November. How did that go?
The presale was a tremendous success. We sold all 1.3 Million IUNGO tokens offered. We did have several large entities participate but we structured the presale in such a way as to get as many tokens into the hands of smaller investors in as many different countries as possible to ensure global scale and early adopter utility usage by the community.
12. When does the Main Sale start and end?
The main Token Generation Event (ICO) starts on the 7th December 2017 and runs through till 31st January 2018. As is now standard practice we will have various tiers of bonuses for earlier participation so I would seriously recommend your readers to visit our site for the details and pre-register. Despite our efforts to be open to as many small investors as possible we expect so larger buyers are waiting on the wings so please be early to avoid disappointment!
13. What are the soft and hard caps of the IUNGO token sale?
The soft cap is 8M IUNGO tokens (5000 ETH) and the hard cap is 64 M tokens (40,000 ETH).
14. What is the IUNGO token called and what is the total supply of tokens? What share of tokens are being distributed to supporters and the founders?
The IUNGO Token is referred to as ING and the total supply is 100 Million. 64 Million tokens are being offered in the ICO. From the reserve, 12% will be distributed to the founders, 12% for Team, Bounties and advisors while 12% will be reserved for the establishment and maintenance of the IUNGO Service Gateways. No ING Tokens will ever be created again after the 31st January 2018 and any unsold tokens will be burned to ensure scarcity of supply. We expect the value of the ING Token to increase as the IUNGO network grows so we have ensured the token is divisible down to eighteen decimal places to remain functional as the value grows.
15. What all exchanges will the ING token be traded on?
We are partnering with one of the major exchanges as well as several smaller ones. We cannot reveal the names right now but your readers can rest assured there will be liquidity and trading very soon post ICO.
16. Is the IUNGO token sale restricted for certain regions? If yes, which ones?
Due to legal restrictions and uncertainty, citizens and residents of the US and US governed territories are restricted from participating in the sale. However, we are actively working with our legal team exploring ways to allow US participants and will be updating the community shortly.
17. What Is the minimum contribution slab for participation in the IUNGO token sale?
The Minimum allowed investment 0.01 ETH. We are intentionally keeping this low to provide the opportunity for a large number of people from all economic backgrounds (rich and poor) all over to the world to hold our Tokens and to be able to participate in the IUNGO decentralized Economy after our ICO. These tokens power our network and will provide liquidity and network effects as we roll out swarm of hotspots globally. We expect pre-sale and early ICO Investors to join us as trail blazers and to hold and utilize the IUNGO Tokens for the premium services and the 3rd party application ecosystem as they are rolled our on the platform.
To learn more about the IUNGO vision and mission and to participate in the premier Token Sale of the year fueling the decentralized internet revolution visit:
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