Interview with Christoph Hering, Co-founder of ECHO

What is most unique about the Echo technology?

ECHO is controversial in the case that we leverage Blockchain Technologies in a new form and shape. We merge the best features of social messaging apps with a global payment platform enabling anybody to exchange encrypted text, audio, video, image messages plus transforming digital payments into taking a simple picture. The users will be able to send digital fiat currencies like USD, EUR, GBP plus the leading crypto currencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc. via E-Mail, Phone Number or ECHO ID with a few simple clicks. Say goodbye to IBAN, BIC, SWIFT or any other cryptic hash code address.

ECHO is for anybody who would like to enjoy 100% private chats with their friends, send money and store some of their wealth in crypto currencies without bothering with complicated technical terms, hash codes and expensive crypto exchanges. Our users benefit from instant, cheap and secure chat and money transfer services based on the BitShares Blockchain. ECHO is the remote control for your personal Blockchain cloud wallet. All funds have +100% collateral, and are 24/7 insured with a compensation scheme, so ECHO users funds are 100% protected and safe from any theft or hacking.

(Side note, even if ECHO goes bankrupt, no user funds are at risk, since all users funds are stored on their own private wallet. ECHO does not hold or control private user keys.)

 

What was the inspiration for Echo?

The founding team of ECHO is fascinated by the potential greater good that Blockchain technologies will bring to the world. We are convinced that anybody has the birthright of free speech and ownership over their own money. It is our goal to provide a universal private chat and digital payment platform where people can store their wealth in the personal blockchain cloud, exchange texts, images and voice messages freely without any interfering 3rd parties. The people should decide freely if they want to store their hard earned wealth in e.g. USD, EUR, Bitcoin or Gold.

ECHO, a distributed peer-to-peer encrypted messaging & digital payment platform, enables one to exchange encrypted text, audio, video, image messages. It also allows users to send money and even pay at places like Starbucks..simply by taking a picture of the coffee.

The firm believes the social messaging space is wrought with insecurity and lack of free speech.

Social media platforms are one of the best tools to connect with like minded people. It is very easy to catch up with your friends, share own stories, and have fun together online. Most people feel the social pressure and use the social messaging platforms everybody else uses.

But, if you don’t have a Facebook or WhatsApp account, you are out of luck.

This social pressure trumps most security and privacy concerns. Either you join the insecure platforms and give up your privacy or you stay forever alone at home. We think this problem is worth solving.

Therefore, ECHO strives offers a free peer-to-peer encrypted chat application, keeping 100% of the data secure and private so that you can talk with your friends about anything. The project takes a political slant to promote its model.

In some nations, people experience daily censorship in their social messaging platforms, where governments, et cetera, delete critical text, images and blog post. Free speech and personal opinions are suppressed. It is surprising to us that only a few platforms target these issues and try to help. It uses the decentralized Blockchain technology to protect any text, video or image from censorship.

Social messaging applications often grow in unpredictable ways. While WhatsApp reached global popularity in most western countries, it failed to take hold in Asian markets. Line and WeChat are strong in Asia, but struggle to grow in Central Europe and in North America.

We are convinced that most social messaging apps are limited in their UI/X customization features and hence, do not meet the consumer’s cultural demands for emoji, sticker, and UI/X experience. It is our goal to provide a wide range of customization features matching all cultural demands in stickers, gifs, and emoji.

ECHO promises to be a new way to chat with friends, family and to easily manage your own money on the Blockchain.

The consumers are shifting from social networks to the more interactive and fun social messaging space. Mobile messaging apps are on the fast-track to a billion users, growing so fast that they’re overshadowing most social networking sites as a favorite smartphone activity amongst young people. Most young people are chatting via Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook Messenger.

ECHO’s goal is for consumers to interact with chat bots via text or audio commands, and to make money transfer as easy as possible for our users.

That will not mean that large social networks will disappear.

The startup is convinced that social messaging apps with a broad set of extra features, like encrypted chat, banking and smart assistants will play an increasing role in the coming years.

The ECHO digital payment platform is based on the BitShares 2.0 Blockchain Technology: Think about BitShares as a decentralized conglomerate universal financial platform, a financial platform where multiple corporations share the same financial blockchain for trading and value transfers.

There are different markets for various assets or currencies, such as EUR/USD, USD/CNY, USD/BTC and anybody can enter the global network, similar to Ethereum.

One of the core benefits of this decentralized financial platforms are their industrial performance and scalability of three seconds block time and up to 100.000 transfers per second. The volume is larger than Mastercard and Visa combined. Also very unique are the price-stable crypto currencies on the BitShares’ Blockchain. ECHO is selling these price-stable crypto currencies – SmartCoins – via regulated third partners to their users and therefore ECHO has no control over users funds.

ECHO claims a “compensation scheme” will protect user funds, as well as BitShares DPOS security system.

 

How does Bitcoin integrate?

Bitcoin plays an important role for ECHO, whose users can choose their preferred currencies and manage them, be they USD, EUR or Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other crypto-currencies.

All ECHO users will be able to transfer, trade and pay at all existing stores that accept crypto payments today. That means you can use ECHO as an alternative Bitcoin wallet with extra secure chat functions.

The world is growing into a more interconnected network where everything is on demand and available within seconds. With billions of estimated mobile messaging users and as the potential for distribution increases, the opportunity to engage consumers directly at scale is very appealing to businesses and organizations of all sizes to look into social messaging apps. Most popular social messaging apps in Asia are experimenting with messaging app based chat bots features for distribution as well as customer engagements already and provide first personal assistant (AI) services.

ECHO’s chat bots will focus on content consumption (informational and entertainment), customer service and productivity (including banking and shopping experiences).

That means that regular messaging apps will evolve to a multi-purpose platform where users chat, talk, bank, research and consume a broad spectrum of products and services in one app / platform.

We think it is time to add crypto currencies too.

 

ECHO Group

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