17-year-old, Louison Dumont, is a French entrepreneur known for his work with Boost VC’s accelerator and his creation, BitProof. The service is a blockchain-based certification system that protects the rights of artists, writers and anyone else. Dumont started coding when he was eight, and hasn’t stopped since. When Dumont was thirteen, he started mining Bitcoins when GPU miners were still used and spent a whole weekend googling the digital currency.
“The community is growing, more and more people are opening accounts and hundreds of people are actively working on blockchain tech right now, building solutions for a safer tomorrow.”
Dumont is also the creator of Merkle, which some refer to as the “Google for Blockchains.” Simply put, Merkle is a blockchain search engine that will “make the blockchain more accessible and easier to manipulate.” Bitcoin.com had a chat with Louison about his work with Boost VC, his projects, and what it’s like being a young entrepreneur in the crypto-industry. Here’s what he had to say:
Bitcoin.com: You started mining at 13, can you tell our readers about this?
Louison Dumont (LD): I saw the word Bitcoin for the first time in 2011 in a random blog post. I started right away to research the topic. I remember it as if it were yesterday, I spent the whole weekend googling, I convinced my parents to make a wire transfer to Japan (wasn’t super easy), and I bought some on Mt. Gox a few days later.
I’m quite impatient by nature, and I was frustrated to have to wait until it goes up. I wanted to make money, now. I bought a good GPU on Amazon, and I started mining in my room. It was before ASICs; the difficulty was super low, and everybody could mine with a $200 GPU. It was impossible to sleep the first nights, even with earplugs, and the temperature in my room was around 30 degrees Celsius.
“My life changed when we got the internet at home. I was connected to the world; I could ask anything, and I would get the answer. In general, I don’t like to be a consumer only, I wanna create value around me.”
Bitcoin.com: How are things going with Boost VC?
LD: Very well. I would never have thought that I could get so much from Boost VC. Their network is just huge. Boost VC is more than an accelerator; it’s a family. I built relationships there that will last forever.
Bitcoin.com: Can you tell our readers about BitProof?
LD: Bitproof is an online notary based on the Bitcoin blockchain. You drag and drop your file, it goes through multiple stages of cryptographic functions then gives you a blockchain certificate proving the ownership and timestamp of the file. Everything is encrypted client side; you only have to pick a strong password when you sign up and make sure to remember it. We have no way to decrypt your files or to alter your certificates. You can use Bitproof to prove Intellectual Property (just describe your idea or drag and drop your creation) or to prove Integrity (drag and drop your signed contract to “lock” its content forever).
Bitcoin.com: How long have you been writing code for?
LD: 10 years now. I started coding when I was 8. I was super bored at school and was constantly looking for challenge. My life changed when we got the internet at home. I was connected to the world; I could ask anything, and I would get the answer. In general, I don’t like to be a consumer only, I wanna create value around me. I had been coding for a while simple batch scripts without Internet just by opening *.bat files from CDs and learning from them, so I knew the basics of coding, and I fell very quickly into C/PHP. Then I wanted to get more traffic on my websites, I wanted to make money with them, and all of this motivated me to keep learning: having thousands of people accessing the things I was building was an awesome feeling. The people around me thought I was wasting my childhood, the people on the Internet were thanking me for my work.
“Super excited. The price is fine, it’s between 100 and 1,000, that’s the only thing that matters. The community is growing, more and more people are opening accounts and hundreds of people are actively working on blockchain tech right now, building solutions for a safer tomorrow. I like it a lot.”
Bitcoin.com: Can you tell our readers about Merkle?
LD: Merkle is a blockchain search engine. It lets you find things in the blockchain by simply entering a filename, an author, a date or a transaction id. More features are coming soon. The idea is to make the blockchain more accessible and easier to manipulate.
Bitcoin.com: How has the Cryptocurrency community treated you as a young entrepreneur?
LD: Very well, like the whole startup community. People in those communities are usually very open minded.
Bitcoin.com: Do you think age matters in this industry?
LD: Well, age matters in your relationships with others. But what really matters is what you do. That’s what I love about entrepreneurship, you can come from any social class, be poor or rich, be young or old, when you create something people will stop talking about you and start talking about your product. You become your product.
Bitcoin.com: What’s your opinion on the block size debate?
LD: I am a big believer in semi-centralization. I think that we need to find new ideas, increasing the block size is just a temporary solution. I love to compare blockchains to emails. If we both use Gmail, and I send you an email, there’s no SMTP server involved: Google just adds a new entry to its internal database. But I can always decide to still use SMTP to send you this email. There will be big blockchain banks. Coinbase is already one of them. Using multisig and nLockTime, it’s possible to create new ways of managing transactions that scale and only require a temporary trust: who cares if you have to trust your bank for only 10 min once? There’s no incentive for the bank to steal your money in that 10 min because they would lose all of their customers for a very small profit.
Bitcoin.com: How do you feel about the current state of Bitcoin?
LD: Super excited. The price is fine, it’s between 100 and 1,000, that’s the only thing that matters. The community is growing, more and more people are opening accounts and hundreds of people are actively working on blockchain tech right now, building solutions for a safer tomorrow. I like it a lot.
Bitcoin.com: What’s your overall mission with your projects?
LD: It sounds a bit cheesy, but I would say “a better tomorrow.” A more efficient and safer tomorrow. I’m also super excited about spatial exploration, but I think there’s still a lot of potential in improving organization on earth.
At Bitcoin.com, we look forward to seeing what Louison Dumont has to offer the future. We will keep our readers updated with info on BitProof and Merkle as they develop. Louison got excited about the digital currency and ran with the idea. The team here at Bitcoin.com can definitely relate to that!
What do you think of ideas like BitProof? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Louison Dumont, Pixbay, and Redmemes