CoinGeek Weekly Livestream with VXPASS Zach Weiner: Giving people control of their data

Kurt Wuckert Jr. was back on the CoinGeek Weekly Livestream, this time hosting the show from Miami. The special guest for the week was Zachary Weiner, the founder of VXPASS who talked about how the 2008 financial crisis got him into developing, the controversies of the COVID-19 vaccine, switching from Ethereum to Bitcoin SV, separating politics from data, Gopniks, and so much more.

VXPASS offers a BSV blockchain-based vaccine administration and verification platform, enabling its users to access and monitor vaccination programs in real-time. Being built on BSV, it allows its users to retain the ultimate control and access to their personal vaccination records. In one of the biggest moves in the Bitcoin sector, it partnered with the Sesiu sa Tšoele le beta Poho Fund (SESIU) to digitize vaccine card distribution in Lesotho.

The company is one of the most controversial in the Bitcoin space. As Kurt observed, it strikes right at the heart of one of the most contentious issues today—a COVID-19 vaccinations. Quite a few have accused VXPASS of “giving tools to the fascist governments to enforce draconian policies.”

However, as Zach explained, VXPASS is focusing on giving people control of their data. In fact, contrary to these accusations, it’s one of the very few companies that are fighting against the system to give people control of their data.

“What we’re trying to do is give people agency over their data, make sure that you own it, you have control over who you can share it with,” he stated. “I understand vaccines are controversial, only that your data shouldn’t be.”

Zach’s first field was in stock trading at a very young age following the economic downturn that the 2008 housing crisis unleashed, he said. While trading, he realized there was the need to learn basic programming skills to develop his own trading algorithms and therein was born a desire to get better at it. 

His first venture into blockchain was on Ethereum, but he later migrated to the BSV blockchain. As he told Kurt, Ethereum’s variable pricing model was unsustainable for a business that operates at the lowest cost possible. 

Initially, he was working on banking the unbanked. He later switched to a decentralized voting application, and it was this technology that he would later apply to vaccination records. 

Zach envisions VXPASS going beyond vaccine records to digitizing all manner of data, especially in disenfranchised nations. 

He said, “For us as a business, we’re moving more towards things that continue to be problematic, especially the ones that are problematic today and don’t have good or any record-keeping systems that allow them to be interoperable.”

As Kurt observed, Bitcoin SV has been attacked by several critics in the past as being “just a weather app,” owing to the great success of WeatherSV. However, as has been seen in the past, large swaths of weather data have been lost, either through malice or genuine system flaws. Bitcoin SV is ensuring that the challenge of data loss is eliminated, be it in the climate sector with WeatherSV and others or in the medical space where VXPASS operates.

With NFTs being all the rage in the blockchain world, the conversation had to veer towards them at some point, and it did. Responding to an audience question, Zach revealed that he owns Gopniks, the generative NFT project that launched on Bitcoin SV this month.

“I do [own Gopniks]. And if I’m being totally honest, I think I have more than I should,” he revealed.

Zach and Kurt (who coincidentally are now neighbors) also delved into tokens, which CoinGeek’s chief Bitcoin historian believes to be “one of the most interesting and useful applications of the blockchain.”

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