About Francisco Álvarez Cano
The Worlds Times: Explain your background and “MARICOIN” in detail.
Your Answer: Well, I am a Storyteller, reputation builder, digital prophet, marketing enthusiast, comms architect, creative experimenter and curious professional. Serial entrepreneur, co-founder of six startups, Master in Finance, DEA (pre-PhD) in Marketing, journalist, and expert advisor on innovation strategies for more than 50 corporates and, since 2021, CEO at Maricoin, first social coin created by and for LGBT community.
With regards to our value proposal, please, consider than one in three countries (69 in total) punish homosexual relations, eleven with death. By contrast, only 28 countries have equal marriage. In Europe alone, countries such as San Marino, Poland, Belarus, Monaco, Russia, Armenia, Turkey or Azerbaijan do not respect LGBT rights, according to Rainbow Europe. Even here in Spain, the eighth European country with the highest respect for equality in this ranking, or in the States, a third of LGBT people do not go to some places out of fear and half of those with partners avoid holding hands in public.
Maricoin is the first cryptocurrency that is not looking for a community but is an existing community that is looking for its cryptocurrency. A currency with SETT principles – Social, Ethical, Transparent and Transversal. And a community that is also proud to belong to a group that shares the values of sexual equality and non-discrimination. Absolutely NO discrimination. A community that, according to a survey appearing in USA Today in 2021, compared to the white U.S. population, are more than twice as likely to use cryptocurrencies. This is an indicator that, even in countries where minority rights have come a long way, certain groups are using cryptocurrencies to escape financial discrimination. And this is our MISSION.
Goals & Strength
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Your Answer: Maricoin is a digital nation, a socio-economic phenomenon that makes up 7.5% of the world population. If we were a country, we would move 5 trillion dollars, making us the fourth largest economy in the world after the United States, China and Japan, according to Credit Suisse.
Our main goal is to build this backbone economy and then hand it over to our maricoiners in the form of a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to enable the financing of social actions of the thousands of organizations that support the LGBT community, beneficiaries of one out of every four coins.
In the short term, this involves the massive adoption of the currency throughout the world, for which we already have embassies in eight countries: Miami and New York in the USA; 6 embassies in Madrid, Barcelona and other capitals in Spain; Bogota in Colombia; Santiago in Chile; Mexico City in Mexico; Lima in Peru; France, and Germany/Poland.
We are fully prepared, technologically and regulatory, to undertake this exciting challenge.
Last but not least, our medium-term challenge is our own metaverse, the world’s first metadiverse, already in beta phase, where a wonderful island of diversity will host entertainment events, live music, a community TV (Canal You), inclusive weddings, parades, will host our LGBT-friendly businesses and organizations… and much more.
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of “MARICOIN” right now?
Your Answer: Our main strength and unique competitive advantage is our community.
It is true that in this year and a half we have built a robust, secure and very usable technology that allows us to have a digital wallet “for mothers”, the Mariwallet…
It is true that we have equipped ourselves with the best, such as our financial team, led by Jesús Pérez, CEO of Cryptoplaza, and with references such as Alberto Toribio in regulation and our Maricoin routes, Lorenzo de Leo from Miami in internationalization and company builder, Fernando Alberca in the strategic approach of the blockchain or Remo Domingo in financial efficiency. Or the founder, a genius of innovation as Juan Belmonte. Or the communication team, led by Patricia Magaña. Or the marketing team, with Gabriela Sánchez Silva, also from Miami. And what can we say about technology, led by a guru and a master in this art as Iván Becerro…
It is true that we have partners that bring strength and projection to our ecosystem, such as Moltrex for the Metadiverse, Green Data Chain and Social Battery to provide services to pay with maricoins, Biotapass of Nat2r Holding to provide sustainability to our businesses, Borderless and the Algorand Foundation to give us financial wings, Rokk3r from Miami to project us in the USA and Latin America, Codify to project cashback and build customer loyalty, or Cryptopocket and Waynance to make it possible to pay and collect with our currency and switch to fiat money…
But I insist: our strength is the community, those more than 10,000 maricoiners who have bet on building their economy, those more than 150 businesses that already accept the currency and appear on our “Marimap”, the LGBT organizations that support us and that we support financially with aid projects. That is definitive.
Career & Path of Francisco Álvarez Cano
The Worlds Times: Why did you start “MARICOIN”?
Your Answer: As always advocated by our President, Juan, to fight discrimination, providing a backbone to unite all of us who identify with the acronym LGBTIQ+ and all LGBT friendlies. First we were united by a struggle, from that June 28, 1969 in Stonewall, NY. Then a rainbow flag. And now we have an economy of our own, the fourth largest in the world, which makes us stronger. If we save just one life, or make the world a little better, it will have been worth it.
The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Your Answer: The idea was born during Madrid Pride, in the Chueca neighborhood, by the hairdresser Juan Belmonte, our President. It came up as a joke, like what would it be like to have our own coin and call it “Maricoin”? Then, after some homophobic and transphobic episodes here in Madrid, other businessmen in the area were outraged and supported the idea. The Algorand Foundation gave us the definitive backing by selecting us for the Algorand Miami Accelerator. This allowed us to build the necessary technology in one of the main blockchain networks, which is not only scalable, but also efficient and secure, ideal for adoption.
From there, we have gone through a thousand and one challenges, to explain the reason for our name, Maricoin, which proudly resignifies a term used as stones by those who want to attack us; to overcome team mistakes; to finance ourselves; to overcome the technological challenge of overcoming the great dilemma of blockchain: its transactional use as a currency. And here we are.
Challenges & Vision of Francisco Álvarez Cano
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Your Answer: The main one is the innovative gap: a new technology to which we, to make matters worse, bring a disruptive, new dimension, for the first time, orienting it not to speculation, but to mass use. A massive use by a community that does not know it (barely 11% of the western population knows something about the Blockchain). Then the main challenge is being pedagogical and technological: we are not targeting crypto-savvies, we are targeting the masses.
The second big challenge is to build usability from security: to make a complex, secure, efficient and scalable technology simple and easy to use, at a click. Avoiding the “bad guys”, who, out of homophobia or greed, have once tried to get their way with us.
The third great challenge has been to find the best team, and I am proud of it. We probably have the best possible team for this huge challenge.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Your Answer: The first one was on the American east coast because of the name. They questioned us because of the similarity of our brand with the word “maricón”, which in Spanish is also a slur, but from the LGBT community we intend to redefine it. It was a reputational blow. We explained it with pride and transparency, and we were firm when it came to defending our reputation and our brand.
The second was a result of one of the dozens of people who offered to help us, and who had responsibility as admin in our first Telegram group in Spanish. His ambition got the better of him, and when we created another group and we were firm with his ambitions, he sought to hurt us. At first, he succeeded, but when our maricoiners came out to defend us, he had to shut up.
The third arose as a result of a security breach in the “MyAlgo” desktop wallet, a “third party”, unrelated to Algorand and us, but which many of our maricoiners used to store their coins. We acted transparently, telling about the problem with this wallet, recommending all the security measures available to us, and compensating our maricoiners. We neutralized the problem, but we had a hard time for our people.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Your Answer: Passionate.
The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about “MARICOIN” vision?
Your Answer: That Maricoin seeks to improve the world. Not to change the world, mind you. Improve it. Save just one life.
Competition & Future of Maricoin
The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of “MARICOIN” and how do you stand unique from your competitors?
Your Answer: Our approach is rather top-down: We go to the market through the businesses, which display the sticker “Here we accept maricoins”, as well as signs and fliers to download the mariwallet and, from there, buy and use their maricoins. Through LGBT organizations, which involve their associates as referrals, earning the same number of maricoins as each associate buys. And through our ambassadors around the world, who involve businesses, organizations and maricoiners, directly or through events, in our ecosystem.
Regarding the second question, it is not that we have to do much to stand unique from our competitors, we are already unique. We do not compete with fiat money (euros or dollars), because our maricoiners carry their Mariwallet in their front pocket and their wallet with dollars in their back pocket. But if we had to compete with them, I would tell you that fiat money, which 50 years ago abandoned the gold standard, and then the dollar standard, became an inflationary currency. It is worth less and less. The $100 that you had in your pocket at the beginning of the year is worth less today, you can buy less things with it. Why? Simple, because they are printing more and more and more bills. Without backing. We, at Maricoin, recovered the standard, and this is a HUMAN standard. And besides, we do not print new maricoins, we have already issued them all. That makes the currency deflationary, so the more you use it, the more it is worth. And you know the funniest thing of all? NOT even we could, even if we wanted to, print more. That’s the magic of blockchain.
Just as we can’t see fiat money as a competitor, we don’t see direct competition in other cryptocurrencies either. The reason is that we are a social currency of use, not speculative.
The Worlds Times: How do you see “MARICOIN” changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Your Answer: Right now we are at a turning point. We have reached the operational capacity that makes it a reality to be able to buy with maricoins, exchange euros or dollars for maricoins, and for the merchant to receive the portion of maricoins he wants in euros or dollars. Mass adoption begins.
We are listed on two decentralized exchanges, but we aim to list this year on two or more centralized exchanges. That means much more volume and liquidity, which will open the doors to strategic funding round, once the initial seed round is over, and to real internationalization, with marketing based on community events and parades.
Therefore, in two years I foresee that we will have enough maturity in the market to hand over the governance of the currency to who it really belongs to, the community. How? Through a DAO, an organization where the maricoiners will govern their currency in a decentralized way.
My role is secondary. The community and the team are the protagonists.
The Worlds Times: What benefits are clients getting from “MARICOIN” in this competitive world?
Your Answer: MariCoin is creating a crypto synergy where the community, merchants, organizations and investors are represented and supported … They all have good reasons to use MariCoin, ALWAYS WITH VALUE.
- Maricoiners use maricoins for pride and vindication, but they also have access to discounts and cashbacks.
- Merchants accept maricoins because they defend the community, but also because they attract customers – as they appear on our “Marimap” – and because they recover 1% of all transactions. Yes, you heard right: instead of paying VISA or Mastercard, the merchant gets paid, earns money on the transactions and can cashback part of this profit to build customer loyalty.
- LGBT organizations are depositories of one out of four coins: 20% on the one hand, to fund themselves, another 2% to fund community outreach projects that require urgent liquidity, and an additional 3% for community visibility events.
- And the markets or exchanges allow, with the fluctuation of the currency, that the more it is used, the more it is worth. Redeeming the surplus value in social aid to the community.
Advice from Francisco Álvarez Cano
The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?
Your Answer: More than them, The Worlds Times for giving us the opportunity to fight for our noble cause. To your viewers, we invite you to get to know us through our website (https://maricoin.org/en/home/), our social channels, such as Telegram (t.me/maricoin_english), Twitter (https://twitter.com/maricoinoficial), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/maricoin_oficial/), Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgNJwRp8rUFhPHCrtu1FUaQ), Coinmarketcap (https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/maricoin/) or Stonks (https://stonks.com/deal/maricoin).