[Exclusive Interview] Meet Kevin Coutinho, Founder of Layer One X
Welcome to our exclusive interview with Kevin Coutinho, the founder of Layer One X! We are so excited to have him here with us today to discuss what makes Layer One X unique, what he is most excited about in their roadmap, how he came up with the idea, and much more. Let’s dive in!
[SurferInvestor] Could you please summarize briefly what Layer One X is about?
[Kevin Coutinho] Layer One X is a new layer one platform that focuses on decentralization, interoperability, security, and scalability without compromising any of them.
[Kevin Coutinho] There have been a few evolutions of the blockchain. First Bitcoin, then Ethereum introduced the idea of using smart contracts on the blockchain, which opened up new possibilities for businesses and developers. This marked a significant advancement in technology and that was a great start.
[Kevin Coutinho] Multiple blockchains followed that system with their own advantages such as scalability and security. One of the most important things, I believe, is the ability to communicate with other blockchains to leverage or increase the efficiency of what these technologies can bring to the people. Because at this stage, it’s about the technology, it’s not about the people, right?
[Kevin Coutinho] To date each blockchain has been running a race to advocate on their technology only. While this has been a focus of blockchain developers, the ability to communicate with other blockchains has become increasingly important to users of crypto and it is now clear that the ability to use decentralized interoperability to usher in a multichain world is what is required to truly leverage the potential of these technologies.
[Kevin Coutinho] That’s where Layer One X comes in. We are a decentralized, interoperable layer-one platform that allows blockchains to communicate with each other through decentralized consensus, truly taking the tenet of decentralization to the people.
[Kevin Coutinho] Unlike other platforms, we eliminate the need for a centralized party to facilitate communication between blockchains.
[Kevin Coutinho] But we know that simply allowing blockchains to interoperate isn’t enough to solve the problem of mass adoption. That’s why we also allow developers and projects to build on our platform, providing them with the ability to scale their applications and access a multichain world in a safe and secure way.
[Kevin Coutinho] So Layer One X enables decentralized interoperability, while at the same time, making sure that the applications that are built on our platform can be leveraged by other web3 projects out there, actually bringing more efficiency towards web3.
[SurferInvestor] Could you please introduce the founding team, what is their background?
[Kevin Coutinho] I started programming at the age of 8 and have been a constant contributor to the open-source developer community including the likes of GNU/LINUX, Firefox, and Shells to name a few. I have founded three companies that are here to serve a larger vision for how technology, its existence, and its inclusivity will come together through Layer One X. I’ve always been obsessed about how we could take technology, however, complicated it is, and actually make it practical for everyday use. It was this vision that built Layer One X on the foundational principles of Decentralization, Interoperability, Security, and Scalability.
Anand Subramanian joined as a tech advisor, who used to be the head of IBM blockchain for Australia and New Zealand.
Josh Hunt, is the legal head and one of the best digital assets lawyers in Australia.
[Kevin Coutinho] Additionally, we have a core development and operations team, and what makes us the right people to run it is that we are all a team that believes in what we do and we all have the credentials to deliver.
[Kevin Coutinho] Our team is not very heavily influenced by investors, because I believe this is a product for the people, of the people, and by the people. So that’s where I’ve been very careful looking at other blockchains out there as well as how much we give away as a foundation to larger investors. We have seen with other chains larger VCs, cashing out, and using these platforms as a liquidity mechanism and that’s what we highly discourage.
[SurferInvestor] How did the idea of Layer One X come to life?
[Kevin Coutinho] It was about one and a half years ago when Dr. Ponnie Clark, myself, and a few other team members started writing the white paper, actually putting it into a perspective of looking at the technology from deep into the future and building a holistic white paper as to how the technology will look like. We not only developed the whitepaper, but we also developed and started building the tech at the same time. We have looked at projects from a practical usage perspective, such as multi-chain networks, or multi-chain wallets working together, and how they would be a part of the Layer One X foundation or ecosystem.
[Kevin Coutinho] So, at the beginning of the white paper, putting that into the development perspective helped us gain confidence in the technology and we knew that this worked before we even approached anyone. We did the development and now we are revealing the tech. This is what brings Layer One X to life – it’s already alive, it’s working and people can now participate.
[SurferInvestor] What item on the roadmap gets you most excited?
[Kevin Coutinho] I think one of the most exciting things about Layer One X and how we are approaching this is that we are not here to compete with other layer ones. We are not on a feeding frenzy that says “come and build with us and stay with us”. Projects are looking at building with us from the perspective of gaining the ability to leverage the multichain blockchain space and the exponentially larger market they get to access. It’s not about Layer One X, it’s about decentralization.
[Kevin Coutinho] In the roadmap there are projects already being built, people do see that they can use this on a daily basis. That’s what keeps me awake at night.
[SurferInvestor] How would you pitch Layer One X to an Ethereum maxi?
[Kevin Coutinho] I’m not tied to the idea that people need to show loyalty towards Layer One X. I advocate for as long as you show loyalty towards projects that are here to benefit a multi-chain world – it’s not about the layer one, it’s about a decentralized world, right? That’s why the concept of Bitcoin started in the first place. So as long as someone believes in that ideology, they automatically believe in Layer One X.
[Kevin Coutinho] Those who believe in the decentralized world will automatically be a part of Layer One X and Ethereum. We allow interoperability with EVM projects, so they fall under the technology anyway. So Layer One X is not a competitor, it’s here to maximize the blockchain space.
[SurferInvestor] There are several projects within the interoperability field like Layer Zero, Teleport, and Cosmos, what does Layer One X do differently?
[Kevin Coutinho] This is a good question. And I think, to understand this, you probably need to look at the stages of interoperability in the blockchain space. Interoperability can be like a buzzword, it’s a very wide word.
[Kevin Coutinho] So to understand it further:
In the first stage of interoperability, layer ones were not scalable, because they were trying to decentralize, and that’s a good thing. So, we saw side chains coming up, and that was the start of the interoperable discussion. The first stage was side chains where they were trying to add information from the side chain onto the blockchain right onto layer one. e.g. Polygon
Stage Two was where bridges started off, which gave scalability, but that is where we see centralized bridges or bridges that call themselves decentralized but are not very open where they are validators come from where information is moving from one consensus to the other.
Stage three is where you have hybrid connectors, like Cosmos in the blockchain communication protocols that say we are not forming a blockchain on or a bridge, but we will make your life easier by transmitting information from one place to the other – more decentralized than bridges,
[Kevin Coutinho] At Layer One X we fall under stage four and beyond, where you don’t have to have multiple smart contracts actioning, one element of a use case, you can have one smart contract, integrating all the elements that you want to execute and a single decentralized consensus takes care of it for you.
[Kevin Coutinho] So stage four is where we enable everyone to leverage the other blockchains for what they are, so people no longer need to be “single blockchain maxi” because they can now access and leverage many of them. That is why we are EVM-compatible. We have our own virtual machine. We’ve got a unique consensus mechanism that leverages your source or the destination blockchain, adds an element of uniqueness to it, and allows you to build interoperable apps with Layer One X.
[Kevin Coutinho] That’s what separates us. We are not bridges. We are a layer one protocol, there is an engineering layer to it that allows decentralized interoperability within itself.
[SurferInvestor] Can you talk a bit about the Layer One X consensus mechanism, that Proof of Participation and Proof of Stake combination?
[Kevin Coutinho] When you look at consensus, the whole tenet of having a consensus is to come to a decision, right? Should I add it to the blockchain or not? Now, proof of work as Bitcoin has it, of course, with its own limitations, but along with that, it has its own advantages as well.
[Kevin Coutinho] Proof of Stake is a challenge because it can lead to centralization if a small group of people controls a large portion of the staked assets and decision-making power. Although the tenant of it was not the centralization, it was scalability, right? And allowing the network to be secured.
[Kevin Coutinho] What we have done is we have our innovative consensus that is a hybrid of two different consensus mechanisms, one being the Proof of Stake, a unique proof of stake mechanism that allows it to safeguard the uptime of the network, the stability of the network through the full nodes. But I am a proponent of an era where I see the growth in hardware. Capabilities are being harnessed by the DLT space and that is where it brings me to mobile-enabled devices which can be a Raspberry Pi, it can be your smart refrigerator, or even as simple as a mobile device.
[Kevin Coutinho] These are democratic validators we access. So what happens is we don’t push the stability of the network onto these devices because they’re not ready yet. But at the same time, we hold the full nodes accountable for what decisions they are making. When a full node adds a transaction to the blockchain, it calculates a unique code called a “transaction hash.” This code is then shared with other full nodes on the network, who also calculate the same hash. Mobile devices on the network then check to make sure that the hash that the full nodes calculated is correct and matches what the network is expecting. The hash is re-verified by the mobile devices on the network
[Kevin Coutinho] So it’s not a feeding frenzy where the top five full nodes come together and creates this hash, there is randomness in terms of how the full nodes are selected. And that is where that randomness is created by the mobile devices and its verification is done by them, the devices themselves.
[SurferInvestor] I see you are planning to release a token, could you say a few words on the use case(s) of the token?
[Kevin Coutinho] Great question! The L1X token has multiple use cases which will give it its value:
>> Staking L1X tokens on the full nodes will earn a yield from transaction fees (50% of transaction fees are delegated to reward users staking on full nodes) >> 25% of transaction fees go to the foundation where they will be burnt or used for additional development and growth. Adding a deflationary mechanism to the token. >> ALPHA: Users will use L1X tokens to transact across multiple chains through the L1X wallet, making it a universal gas fee token. Holders will have to always keep a portion of L1X tokens in their wallet if they want to make transactions. It means that all those tokens being held for future transactions are in a “temporarily locked” state.
[SurferInvestor] How many people are on the team?
[Kevin Coutinho] We have core operations and development teams. Our devs have grown to around 10 rust developers & network engineers. But along with that, a marketing team is growing strong. From where we were 12 months ago to where we are today, there has been a 100% jump in the team size. So I think that’s what counts and no plans to slow down because there’s so much to do.
[Kevin Coutinho] We are taking baby steps right now and in the next few months is where people start understanding the fundamentals and the ideology of the protocols in inaction, that’s where the magic happens.
[SurferInvestor] In an ideal world, how will Layer One X look in five years’ time?
[Kevin Coutinho] It’s really interesting when you ask this question. I may be the founder of the technology, but at the end of the day, my vision is how do we take the mechanism of what the people want for themselves?
[Kevin Coutinho] Maybe there are situations you know, where not everyone is tech-savvy, and they don’t have to be – that’s the beauty of this world. How do we make access to web3 simple and make it so people don’t have to kneel down to the centralized technologies out there?
[Kevin Coutinho] So where Layer One X stands in the next five years? As long as each and every person connected to Layer One X has the right to make a decision on it we are heading in the right direction and I think that’s when a protocol establishes itself in the everyday lives of people so it is actually being used and relevant to everyone. So those who are using it then do not necessarily have to think about how to access it, or how they benefit from @Layer One X. It is integrated into the fabric of everyday life.
[SurferInvestor] For people who want to jump in, how to get started?
[Kevin Coutinho] First, the foundation highly discourages the moon people and flipping. Layer One X is not about that, and we highly discourage them. If that’s somebody’s intention, I highly recommend not getting involved.
[Kevin Coutinho] In today’s world that may not be the ideal way to go forward. But we are building for the practical world. So, for those who want to get involved in the project long term, I think the website is a good source to start with – l1x.foundation
[Kevin Coutinho] There is also our Discord server and Twitter where you can start off with but if you want to learn more about the technology, start off with the litepaper on our website. If you want to understand something further, there’s the white paper. We are at the beginning of building our community, but these places are where to start.
We’d like to thank Kevin for taking the time to share his insights and knowledge with us. His passion and enthusiasm for Layer One X are clear and it’s inspiring to see how the team is taking a holistic approach to blockchain technology. Layer One X is set to change the way we interact with blockchain technology and decentralized applications, and we are excited to see where the team takes it in the next few years. We wish the entire team the best of luck and continued success as they continue to develop the project.