Jack Levin is the creator of XEN – the Crypto for the masses. In his Twitter Space with Xgrosz, he talked about how he came up with the idea of XEN. It’s always interesting to know what drives the founders and what kind of values they have. Levin is committed to the first principles of the blockchain, and believes firmly in the power of the community.
The birth of the XEN idea
Jack Levin said that the “idea is not at all original. And I always like to say that we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. So the original idea was Bitcoin. Bitcoin did not cost anything in the beginning. It was free to mine because you could mine on your laptop.
It would come to you as an algorithmic protocol that just drops into your wallet. And since then, since Bitcoin, there have been a few projects similar to Bitcoin, like Litecoin and Doge Coin. They all started the same way.”
Things changed when Ethereum launched, and “it gave people an idea that they can launch business entities similar to corporations that would issue shares. And for that, they would require to pre-mine or pre-mint. Ethereum tokens and then sell those tokens to investors”. He thinks that most of those projects are securities violating US laws. Even the concept of an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is nothing else but the founders wanting to raise the money, get the cash, and often dump it on the community.
“It’s too easy to go and mint a bunch of tokens, but nobody really “wanted to use a theorem to do a fair launch where the founder or the company behind the foundation does not have any crypto tokens”. With XEN instead, things are different because Ethereum is used as a secure blockchain layer and XEN is launched as a system that mimics Bitcoin’s launch as closely as possible without any sort of pre-mining or pre-minting, so it’s the community itself launching the token instead of the founders.
Jack Levin is a true believer in people’s power and in the collective value of the community. He wants to give everyone an equal start without pre-mints and token allocations: “In this particular case, I felt that the true value of crypto belongs to the engagement of the community. People and the size of the community and so on and so forth. So I felt it was necessary to have the community itself. Launch the valuable crypto so that everybody feels like they’re participating on an equal footing and everything is balanced in a way that everyone is given an opportunity to launch something that they themselves mint and they own, and then they can sell it on the open market or do whatever they want with it.”
Jack Levin was an early Bitcoin miner. He was mining Bitcoin from 2010 to 2014 and was using it to buy pizza and give it out to his friends. Bitcoin wasn’t a new idea. It was based on ideas of other people from decades back, but it was everything that was needed to spark a global change. The ex-Google engineer wanted XEN to embody the elements of the first principles of crypto, which are self-custody, transparency, and censorship resistance. He believes in true ownership. He figured that to launch XEN Crypto, he needed to do what Satoshi did and everyone would then understand what crypto is: “So it would act as a social crypto, but also a crypto that follows the first principles of crypto and it’s fair to everyone,” said Jack Levin.
The power of open source
When XGrosz asked him if he had just spent his own money to launch the XEN protocol without securing anything for himself, Jack Levin admitted that he had zero tokens and he was starting on the same footing as everyone else. XEN is an open source project, and like every such project, it requires lots of time and effort. The Google’s #21 employee recalls how Linus Torvalds, the creator of the open source operating system, contributed to Google’s success. Levin himself has 32 years of experience with Linux: “Linus Torvalds did not have to create Linux kernel and yet he did. He started the foundation and he developed one of the more successful servers in the world that actually helped Google to compete against the rest of the companies out there that would end up paying a lot of money to Sun Microsystems or to Microsoft or to HP and all of those companies that were closed source.”
The power of open source comes from the people who volunteer their effort and their own resources to create something amazing. “So this is a very similar type of engagement that I’m trying to do with open source crypto,” he said. It may sound unusual to work for something that doesn’t give you any more advantages over all the other people who didn’t work for it, but it’s something common in the open source movement. “
“I felt that if our foundation does not own any tokens to begin with, then we will just have better engagement with the rest of the world, better integration, and actually betterhelp,p and it’s amazing that my White Paper has been translated into multiple languages in just a couple of weeks. This project is only six weeks old, and the White Paper has already been translated into Polish and Vietnamese, and I believe it’s going to be translated into Italian and Ukrainian very, very soon. So I’m very happy with the community engagement and people coming together. And that’s where I feel the true strength of any successful project really is.”