Category Archives: Business

31 Things You Should Know about Doing an ICO

Going through an ICO is not like going through an IPO. It’s not like a traditional fundraising round either.

This article, by Jason Goldberg, called Insider Reflections on the ICO Bubble, Part II: What it takes to ICO is probably the best I have read in the last year.

He blows out of the water the misconception that “ICOs are easy.”

Doing it right is far from easy.

He lists 31 different things he learned that are all valuable.

I thought there were a few key points worth highlighting.

  • focus on community…over 100,000 Telegram responses and the near 100% conversion rate between engagement and purchase of token
  • the lengths to which they went for token key management
  • the KPI of “speed of KYC request processing”
  • the efforts required to ward off scammers

We’re watching the birth of an entirely new fundraising model that will be around for a long, long time, I believe.

If you have not done an ICO, that is fine.

However, not doing what you can to educate yourself and manage your expectations about what is involved in an ICO is just irresponsible–if you plan on being in the crypto world for any length of time.

The post 31 Things You Should Know about Doing an ICO appeared first on Never Stop Marketing.

6 Questions to Ask When Considering Blockchain Solutions for Enterprise

ConsenSys Chief of Staff Jeremy Millar poses the foundational queries innovative developers and IT managers must ask when looking to integrate blockchain technology into enterprise.

Blockchain is one of the most promising technological innovations in recent memory, and has captured the attention of innovative startups and legacy institutions alike. The list of industry-leading enterprises building on the blockchain spans tech leaders (Microsoft), financial institutions (JP Morgan, Santander), and even national governments (Singapore, Dubai, Brazil). But as with any emerging technology, there are some particular and unique quirks and obstacles that all early adopters will face along the way for which even the savviest business leaders considering blockchain solutions should be prepared.

In the coming weeks, we’ll dive deep into the key challenges that enterprises face when implementing blockchain tech. To begin, here’s a quick walkthrough of some of those problems…

  1. How do you plan blockchain projects that provide the greatest utility?

Blockchain technology is still nascent. It is more expensive and time consuming to build a blockchain application than a traditional cloud app in many situations. Successful applications will not only create efficiencies, but also have a sufficient impact on the status quo. That is to say: You have to find the right problem before you can build the right solution. There are use cases that can create incredible value, but it’s important to make sure you’ve selected the right ones to demonstrate the real capabilities of the technology.

Before we build anything at ConsenSys, we evaluate the blockchain use case to make sure there is a return on investment. We do this by mapping the business process and use case to specific blockchain capabilities: digital signatures, distributed immutable ledgers, smart contracts, tokenization and decentralized identity. We only pursue applications where we can demonstrate how these basic blockchain building blocks provide significant benefits to an application and solve a real problem.

A key element for success is to ideate the future state. What can the business process look like as a decentralized network? Often times, these networks look radically different — and radically better — than the current business processes, with many fewer steps, intermediaries and costs, releasing capital and improving user/customer experience.

2. Which technology should you use? What are the standards?

Today, clients tell us there are predominantly two technologies emerging as ‘de facto standards’ for building enterprise blockchain applications: IBM Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. At ConsenSys, we build applications on the Ethereum blockchain; both the larger public network, and private Ethereum blockchains.

We use the Ethereum blockchain for three main reasons:

  • Ethereum is the only decentralised smart contract platform designed to be general purpose and global from the offset
  • With Ethereum, you can deploy private chains, public chain decentralized apps (DApps), and consortium chains, both on premise and in the cloud
  • Ethereum has the largest developer pool globally, which is advancing the platform rapidly, and also provides enterprises choice in terms of implementation partners

Later in this series we’ll dive further into the differences between Fabric and Ethereum and the distinction between the public Ethereum blockchain and private implementations.


The full ecosystem of ConsenSys hubs and spokes

3. How do you put together a blockchain development team?

The bad news is that there simply aren’t enough blockchain developers to meet the growing demand. The good news is that the majority of blockchain application development falls in line with typical web development (the blockchain aspects are only a portion of the overall application). However, you’ll still need to have an experienced blockchain architect on your team to guide a project to fruition.

At ConsenSys, we’ve developed a program — ConsenSys Academy — to train developers around the world to become blockchain developers. We will make this program available to enterprises in Q4 this year. Later in this series, we’ll talk you through how to build your team, what it takes to become a blockchain developer, and our impending training services for enterprises.

4. What support and services are out there for Enterprise?

For enterprises, simply building the app isn’t enough. Applications need to be deployed into production and supported. ConsenSys is focused on providing an ecosystem of support services and products ranging from developer support to system health checks and monitoring.

Developer support includes; i) curated knowledge bases for blockchain technology, core components and developer tools ii) community support through forums iii) live support from technical support engineers including break fix.

Systems support is offered to ConsenSys Enterprise customers on production systems and is being developed for ConsenSys applications, including Viant.io (our asset track and trace product).


A partial membership list of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

5. What infrastructure is available to build atop?

Until recently, developing an enterprise blockchain solution required you to build from the ground up, but that is beginning to change. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a worldwide consortium of leading organizations from across numerous fields investing in blockchain tech, was formed to tackle these issues.

The EEA is building the industry standard, open source, free-to-use blockchain solutions that will be the foundation for businesses going forward. Working groups are looking at legal aspects of blockchains and smart contracts, industry areas such as banking and supply chain, and of course core technology issues such as privacy, permissioning and networking standards.

6. What tech stack and tools should your developers use?

We run many hackathons and training programs around the globe. One of the major hurdles we see in the learning curve is the ‘developer stack’. Developers can struggle choosing their tools and configuring their environment optimally. This is an area ConsenSys in particular and others through the ecosystem have focused on. In our series, we will take you through the layers of the blockchain stack and explain how the emerging tools can be integrated into existing development environments and frameworks, such as continuous integration, testing frameworks, automated deployment and devops.

Start giving thought to these issues now if you’re considering implementing blockchain at your organization. Stay tuned to hear more about the ConsenSys perspective on each of these pivotal issues. Together we can build your vision of a better way.

Want to learn more? Check out ConsenSys.net, the ConsenSys Media blog, and our weekly newsletter.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author above do not necessarily represent the views of Consensys AG. ConsenSys is a decentralized community with ConsenSys Media being a platform for members to freely express their diverse ideas and perspectives. To learn more about ConsenSys and Ethereum, please visit our website.



6 Questions to Ask When Considering Blockchain Solutions for Enterprise was originally published in ConsenSys Media on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Talent Coin.


The Talent Coin.

Welcome to the future of creativity online.

This is the essay that delineates the fundamental aspects of the Talent Coin and the ways it will be used inside the Playfold™ system.

We will explain the theory, the vision, the applications and the astounding potential we see in creating an independent and fair economic system for Creative Industries.

But first, we will explore the basics. We’ll take a look at the fundamental concepts and ideas needed to understand the Talent, and the present state of the multitude of businesses, thinkers and schools many identify with the new name of Token Economy.

We are excited to bring to life this new hope for artists, publishers and creative companies all around the World. And here we will explain how we’ll do it.

The essay is divided in seven main sections:

I. What the Future Holds

II. The Needs of the New Economies

III. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Token

IV. The Choices of Creating a New System

V. A New Beginning for Creativity

VI. The Talent Coin

VII. Final Considerations

The essay will serve as the main document you can use to approach the ideas regarding the Talent Coin and its uses; it will be constantly updated and host your own ideas too.

A community is built with a shared passion and shared effort.

So, without other premises, let’s get right into it.

I. What the Future Holds.

In our dreams of digital evolution, we often wonder: “What will happen next? What’s even possible now?” Some even like saying “What’s left to do?”, as if nothing more could ever be achieved, discovered or invented.

It used to happen more frequently in the past than now, now that evolutions happen much faster, in greater numbers and are exponentially more advanced at every new generation.

But still, as we approach the peak of an era, be it about a technological product or a culture, it’s very easy to wonder what’s next. What more can be done with it?

What more can be done with TV? Asked people in the ‘90s.

What more can be done with a phone? They asked in the early 2000s.

What more can the Internet do? We ask now.

There is a great fallacy concerning the logical reasoning of the argument. This wants to be a natural progression from the current situation to a hypothetical future, based on the progression of the past. What more can this thing do (that is a logical progression of what it already did?)

It sounds reasonable, it sound realistic, but it’s not naturalistic at all. It doesn’t mirror how things happen. How progress naturally manifests itself.

It sometimes does in the form of an obscure, niche idea or creation, that is then blown up and shot into mainstream view, ready to disrupt the status quo.

In other words, progress is incremental until it’s not.

It took the internet to evolve TV.

It took the iPhone to evolve cellphones.

Now it’s clear that Blockchain is what will evolve the Digital World.

“…Give us faster horses!” as Ford joked so long ago. People don’t know what’s possible until it’s right in front of their eyes.

So now we’re peeking out of our long-run, tired internet world to see what’s really possible. What amazing new feats of creation are being developed right at this moment. What’s the potential for the future. For us.

Blockchain businesses are achieving something that the internet never could. Something that nobody has been able to invent for hundreds of years.

A new economic system.

The creation of independent, self sustaining and unbreakable financial systems is what’s driving the feverish excitement and what is attracting the best minds like a magnet.

The creation of value from sources that have been inaccessible until now.

Do you want to avoid censorship and central control of the net? It’s possible.

Do you want a currency that defies Keynes and it’s not controlled by a Central Bank? There’s loads of them.

Do you want your business to become an entire economy in an on itself, like a self-sustaining microcosm of financial interactions? Welcome to the Token Economy.


Many are dreaming of an economy evolution.

There are literally thousands of people theorizing and experimenting with this concept, thousands of companies trying their version of it. Many are the luminaries that pioneer and light the way, so I won’t try to pass for one here and I’ll just limit myself to suggest you a couple of great reads. You can check out David Siegel, William Mougayar and David Drake to start.

What I’m doing here, in this introduction, is to delineate the fundamental aspects of this oncoming revolution (and believe me it’s coming fast, so you better get it before it gets you), as if you were a newcomer to these concepts, because this is what the core audience of Playfold™ is.

Not the tech and finance experts. Not the luminaries.

But the young creatives who deserve an independent economy that works for them. That deserve a good place for intellectual and artistic innovation which lets them thrive and rewards them. A new horizon.

So as we will venture into how this economy works, and how the token at its center, the exciting Talent Coin, makes it possible, hopefully I’ll be able to truly show you the potential of this future that is being created.

What is really possible.

II. The Needs of the New Economies.

Here we have it: 2018 is truly poised to be the year when the public, from small individuals to large institutions, assimilates and embraces the so called “Cryptorevolution”. This means that the past years of developing and speculating will finally have the chance to put these ideas to the test, and try to crack the ultimate issues of these newborn systems, more noticeably their scalability, safety and efficacy.

Companies from all industries are initiating the shift from traditional online economy (selling through a centralized platform, inefficient payout systems and Advertisement-based revenues, for example) to full-fledged, token economies that are able to operate and grow by themselves.

But the problem is, since this tech is so new and at the moment only thrives in theory, the issues faced have to be resolved in order for it to become standardly available to the masses.

So as we venture into this year of change, finally, and many are waiting around the corner with watering mouths, it’s best to keep our eyes on the ball. When it comes to businesses, new startups, the most important thing is not the tech itself, or the coins they use. It’s not the pipe dream of unicorning at ICO (which means that some companies put all of their energy into having a big, great, unnecessary sale, where they sell their coin or token to investors, and reach disproportionately large valuations immediately). It’s the product.

How does this idea serve my community?

Do people need my invention?

Is this the best way to go about it?

These are the questions that must be asked. And these are topics of argument that the Playfold team spent months over. Amongst ourselves, with our partners and advisors.

If we want to create a completely new, independent and solid economy for Creatives and Creative Industries, what is the best possible way to achieve it? What are its most fundamental features, what is at its core?

Therefore, when we started Playfold last year we wanted to solve the critical situation of media and arts in the digital world, by bringing these items to market:

  1. A viable economic system for creators that relies on content itself, not on Ads.
  2. A way to engage and fulfil the audience in a creative environment, for them to unleash their creativity, pay and get paid.
  3. A new form of expression that takes advantage of the two items above and offers unprecedented experiences that mix artforms and technologies, that rewards collaborations and that simplifies the content experience online.

This is the goal of Playfold. A new explosion of creativity and innovation that both has an impact on Culture, and is matched by an Economic advancement that supports it and makes it possible.

Bear in mind, new culture + new economy is a golden standard. An astronomical coincidence that when happened in the past gave rise to the most stupendous golden ages of humanity.

Mecenatism + Mercantilism = Renaissance

Egalitarianism + Industrial Revolution = Age of Enlightenment

Youth Culture + Post-War Boom = The ‘50s-’60s Revolution

We believe that our product and our community have the potential to have a massive impact on how media is created and enjoyed. And we also believe that the Cryptorevolution is the economic advancement we needed to make this all possible.

So before we talk about how Playfold participates in this revolution and applies the Token Economy to its own purpose, let’s identify the most important elements of the Token Economy we need to understand beforehand.

III. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Token.

There are a lot of concepts people like to throw around these days. They may seem too new and difficult to understand, but they are not, to the averagely intellingent human being.

…Cryptocurrencies… Blockchain… ICO… Tokens…

If you want a good explanation of what Blockchain is and how these new Cryptocurrencies, which are based on it, work, there is a vast amount of really good material online, and if you want to keep things simple I suggest you watch this video.

Fundamentally, blockchain businesses decide to utilize a big, shared ledger that keeps track of transactions history and protects every participant against tampering and fraud. This also automates the whole thing and has no need of a central authority to process every transaction. Cryptography is used for security.

Currencies are created to work this way. The oldest and most famous one, Bitcoin, wants to be a universal unit of value for international commerce. Other ones are trying to improve on its concept, or are trying to accomplish completely different things altogether, like the second most popular cryptocurrency, the Ether. It’s what fuels Ethereum, an open-source, decentralised platform designed to develop new decentralised applications and run automated protocols called smart contracts.

Many projects decide to develop on the Ethereum blockchain. Playfold’s own Talent Coin is Ethereum-based.

Anyway, one thing has to be noted. This is a blossoming field, blessed by endless potential and unexpected applications.

These coins work on the same basic premise. The more people buy and use a coin, the more its value grows.

So these coins, that are designed to behave like currencies and perform across the world, across markets, are called Cryptocurrencies.

Then there are coins that only work within one specific platform. They aren’t designed to be universally valuable currencies, but only to have value internally, in relation to the service or products offered in the platform.

These are called Tokens.

A token is a unit of value within a system. It can be stored, exchanged or used to pay for products or fees. It can be considered a contract.

A token can have a lot of uses, depending on what its specific purpose inside the platform is.

A company that issues tokens to work inside their platform usually releases them in a fixed amount. Tokens are real things, like money. They are not an infinite resource. They can be held, lost or even destroyed. And you can understand the inflationary implications of a monetary system that works this way.

There are many kinds of tokens, for many kinds of necessities, but for what concerns us at this moment, it suffices to say that passive tokens are just virtual currencies that work within a system. They behave like money. This is not a new idea. Banks, websites and corporations have always had internal currencies to hold value and operate more efficiently. Since the days of the internet revolution, most systems now use internal tokens. Even without blockchain.

Now blockchain tokens are made to be much safer to hold and trade with.

Having an internal token instead of using a commonplace currency like the Dollar or even Bitcoin serves many purposes. For one it highlights the uniqueness of the system and its independence. — If you want to trade in my marketplace you have to exchange your money for mine– And this really gives the system an advantage. A higly demanded and used coin rises in value and incites ulterior demand, therefore initiating a circle of growth that can reach exponential rates (like Bitcoin in late 2017).

Secondly, it simplifies the internal movement of value. If you imagine a large multinational bank, for them to operate efficiently across many countries is extremely helpful to have an internal unit of value that converts every external currency and smoothens out the process. This goes for large marketplaces too.

And lastly, it reduces the incidence of foul play and outright theft. Holding a token is safer than holding a universally desired currency, that once stolen has immediate value to the thief. I can imagine a future where every business has its own internal token, thereby maximising their growth potential and minimising the risk of hacks and external influences.

It is basically the same principle of land feudalism. The more you subdivide value, the less the risk incurred by the entire system.

Tokens are able to trade safely and at a very low cost on the blockchain, without intermediaries. This is a banking and commerce epochal disruption waiting to happen. If the Token Economy ever will be a thing, it will depend on this specific feature of the tokens, and how quickly will people and entities adapt.

Tokens are usually very divisible. This means that as the platform grows and with it the value of its token, a single coin could be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Of course, these are ridiculous prices for a token, because they make it difficult to purchase and purchase with.

For this reason tokens are made to be divisible up to the 18th decimal, so buying it and exchanging it with many different currencies is not a problem.

One drawback is that the price of the items on the platform varies a lot, and has to be continuously updated.

When a token reaches uncomfortably high prices, other than rejoicing, the team behind a platform can split it, thereby creating more tokens of lower value out of the high-priced ones they had before. The price changes immediately, it normalises to a level that is suitable to operate, and a new level of scaling becomes possible.

IV. The Choices of Creating a New System.

So the token is the tool that companies use to operate their own independent systems. But then they have to think about these systems as whole. There are choices to be made, and features to implement. And that’s not even counting the products themselves they will sell in the systems.

So, how do they go about it?

They usually start with a process called Coin Sale, or Initial Coin Offering, or ICO.

An ICO is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, but usually for Bitcoin. uring the ICO campaign, enthusiasts and supporters of the firm’s initiative buy some of the distributed cryptocoins with fiat or virtual currency. These coins are referred to as tokens and are similar to shares of a company sold to investors in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) transaction. (from Investopedia)

So, a company presents their idea to the public, they release technical papers that describe the project, they engage the community with rewards and all in all conduct a crowdfunding campaign leading up to the ICO Event.

At that point, they release however many tokens they choose to reach their funding goal and the market buys them to fulfil the demand.

If the ICO is successful and the goal is reached, the company now has the funds necessary to develop the platform, and the new owners of the tokens can begin holding them or trading them at will (if there are not provisions that keep them from doing so).

After that, if there are any unsold tokens, usually the company puts them “on ice” or destroys them. Putting tokens on ice lets the market know what is the size of the money supply the company stores going forward and avoids drastic valuation shifts when they decide to release them.

When the platform is accessible by the public, and the service starts to be sold, the token will begin to rise, grow or fall depending on how well can the company perform.

In the platform, the token will be used to pay, earn and purchase products or services. A token can behave in many ways once in its system, and that depends on the needs and purposes it is designed for.

A token can be created for one specific purpose, after which it is then destroyed, like a concert ticket for example.

It can behave like a currency within its system, like in the case of the banks we mentioned before, only to be exchanged for a real currency in the end.

Or it can be the currency of a real, full fledged economy that thrives within the platform. In this case the participants have no need to exchange the token for other currencies in order to earn value. The economy itself they are a part of has value to them, so the token is kept in the system and traded in a circular way.

The Talent Coin in Playfold behaves like the latter.

V. A New Beginning for Creativity.

So, after everything we’ve learned, let’s take a moment now to raise our eyes to the sky and let inspiration take flight. Let’s imagine what the perfect environment for creativity and intellectual innovation could actually look like. How would it feel, and how would it work.

We can be as optimistic and wide-eyed as we want, here. This will be the ideal model we will draw from, when building this project in reality.

How does the perfect environment for creativity looks like?

We may start from a real life example of the past, one of the great ages we mentioned above and that has been a source of inspiration to us for a very long time.

The Renaissance.

And specifically, the environment that made the Renaissance possible, a place that became the thriving core of its world, and is regarded as a wondrous place even now: 15th Century Florence.

What made it so special?

As with anything, many are the answers and many are the historians that want to focus on different aspects of the complex set of circumstances that made that city the right place at the right time for an explosion of innovations to happen.

But if we want to simplify the reasons, we can say that:

  1. Florence was a city of new money. A new generation of extraordinarily wealthy bourgeois came to the forefront of public life, ready to challenge the old nobility and shape the times in their favor. Bankers were at the heart of this. An extremely resourceful family of bankers took Florence by a storm and rose to dominate it. They were the Medici, and it was partly because of their enlightened rule that the city grew to the heights it did.
  2. Florence was part of a network of wealthy cities. Nobody rises to greatness alone. At that time, international mercantile commerce was booming, and banking was revolutionising Europe to quickly become the most powerful force of western civilization. Talent and ideas travelled around and spread to places that were already fertile terrains for them to flourish. And Florence was positioned in a perfect place to take advantage of all this.
  3. With money comes the need for status. The accumulation of wealth by the non-aristocratic classes meant that they strived to compete for status, recognition and prestige. They had plenty to spend on pleasures, parties, palaces and used to scout artists all over the world to surround them and produce creations of beauty to show off. They invested in new businesses and technical innovations. They lobbied for new liberal laws and entered politics.
  4. The Ancient Classics were rediscovered. Thanks to the refugees escaping the muslim invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, Europe experienced a wave of new-found passion for the greatest ancient civilisation, which became even more idealised. Laws, texts, clothing styles, novels, poetry and arts conquered the minds and hearts of the time. Archeologists and explorers were sent around to hunt for forgotten places and treasures by their patrons. The ideals that inspired this time were the love for public life, order, beauty and glory.
  5. Florence was small. Lastly, for all these ideas to come to fruition, it was necessary that different people of different skills and lifestyles mingled. And Florence made it possible so perfectly: artists and artisans crowded the streets, just around the corner from large banks and trade companies. Wealthy patrons lived with their artists, who in turn mingled with their employees. Politicians were poets. Warriors were philosophers.

So these were the characteristics that made Florence the perfect place for innovation and cultural achievements. It’s always about individual talent, of course, but these are the features of a place that lets talent achieve.

And I don’t see it happening now.

However, I think that this rare coincidence of circumstances is brewing again under the skin of our present, and the Florence experiment can be repeated if these circumstances are helped out a bit.

Drawing some conclusions, our perfect place would need:

  1. A new economy or industry that has produced a new generation of wealth, a new way to make money.
  2. A large network of exchange and innovation to be a part of.
  3. To be inhabited by people that want to spend their wealth on art, culture, innovation and beauty, based on the sole fact that wide recognition and prestige are much valuable to them.
  4. A rediscovery of forgotten ideals that re-excite the public. A nostalgia that inspires ambition, harmony and progress.
  5. To be a tighlty-knit community where different individuals and businesses meet, collaborate, exchange and improve each other. Basically, to be an orgy of productivity.

And, of course, it needs to attract the talent and let it experiment, innovate and create value.

This is what is needed to give creative industries a new beginning. For artists and businesses to grow independently and reach new heights. And I think these elements are available to us now. Think about it:

  1. A new economy or industry that has produced a new generation of wealth, a new way to make money. — The Cryptorevolution is all about this. New ways to create value, and a new generation of wealth ready to take the world by a storm.
  2. A large network of exchange and innovation to be a part of. — This revolution in business and finance places Playfold amidst a large network of ideas, resources and talent that spans the entire world and every industry.
  3. To be inhabited by people that want to spend their wealth on art, culture, innovation and beauty, based on the sole fact that wide recognition and prestige are much valuable to them. — This new generation has to prove themselves and challenge their predecessors for the spotlight. Brands, especially, are looking for new ways to reach audiences online that is both a better performing investment of time and money, and something that improves their reputation instead of tarnishing it.
  4. A rediscovery of forgotten ideals that re-excite the public. A nostalgia that inspires ambition, harmony and progress. — This is the cultural aspect of Playfold. The things our present generation needs and pines for. We already live in a time of nostalgia and cultural chaos, which has only been enhanced by the anxiety and divisiveness of current social communities. Progress can come from the repurposing of old ideas, and now is the perfect time for it. If people learned what it means to inhabit a place of excitement and inspiration. If using your talents could really earn you a living and give you the chance to make a difference in the world. If ideas and creations were held to a high degree and valued. If there was a widespread love and commitment to the community and to each member, from the large and powerful to the small ones. Such a place could funnel otherwise wasted energy and potential into useful applications. Progress that feeds upon itself.
  5. To be a tighlty-knit community where different individuals and businesses meet, collaborate, exchange and improve each other. Basically, to be an orgy of productivity. — Such a place has to forge new relationships between its participants. To find and extract value from unprecedented places, to reward in unprecedented ways, and to create with unprecedented quality.

This is the Playfold community in a nutshell. This is our goal, and our inspiration.

Imagine a place that welcomes people with things to do, things to see and opportunities of unprecedented quality. A place that gives people innovative, exciting and intellectually stimulating experiences, without the constraints and predictability of other content platforms. Artists of all kinds come together to offer their creations, inspired by new tools to experiment and take risks, knowing that taking risks can pay off handsomely. (These new tools are collectively used in a digital format called “Fold”, that will tackle in the next essay).

In this place, people are not only engaged by the entertaining and cultural offerings, but are also rewarded when they share, buy, help and create things themselves. They are literally paid with tokens the more they are active doing things that benefit the community.

So they are encouraged to keep the value circulating in the system, they are more liberal with how often and how much they’re willing to spend on art and content. They feel a sense of self-worth and achivement for being part of an active and tight community. For being part of something important.

The artists and creators dream of a place like this. Somewhere they can try to offer their unique perspective for a living. Where they can engage and connect with their audience fully in one single place, without dispersing them all over the web.

Where their rights as creators are protected. Where their creations are not diluted, endlessly replicable items online but real numbered things that hold value. Where the financial relationship with their audience is direct, transparent, low-cost and devoid of scams or other nefarious tricks.

The small and medium publishers can work to gain back two decades of lost growth, and have the chance to return to pre-internet levels of revenue with internet levels of distribution. To return to a status quo where only the value they bring to the market is what decides if they succeed or not. Where they are independent, not relying on Ads or exceptional clients to survive.

And these new tools available to them for creating with unmatched freedom and potential are precisely the 21-Century counterpart of what made Florence so special. The collaboration of artists and artisans, of people mixing their crafts, providing tools, providing services and evolving together.

Imagine software providers, makers of digital tools, ticketing companies, licensing and promotion services, event organisers and more, all offering their expertise to the artists and publishers, working, exploring and reaching new heights together.

This marketplace of creativity would be the perfect fertile ground for the next World-changing ideas.

And the of course, in this place there would be the patrons, the investors, the high-minded sponsors of creativity that do it not only for a mundane return, but because the admiration and praise of the community is an equally valuable currency to them.

These are the brands, long looking for a more efficient and cheaper way to reach the young audiences online, to be liked and get their message through.

They would do it by sponsoring artists, ideas and events. Giving content and other experiences to the people, giving tokens and other gifts with lotteries, games and giveways.

This would be new hunting grounds for them. A new land to make theirs and thrive in.

And instead of displeasing the audience like it happens with ads and commercial, the end result would be a much improved experience for everybody.

This ultimate ambition is what moves Playfold, together with the firm conviction that an independent environment such as this can only exist with its own economy. Its own token.

VI. The Talent Coin.

Now we can finally talk about the token itself that powers this community. We can finally talk about the Talent Coin and how it works inside the Playfold system.

The Talent is a ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. Inspired by one of the currencies of Classical Athens, the civilisation that gave birth to philosophy, democracy and Western culture.
It’s an essential component of Playfold’s service, and what we will use to create the conditions for a stable, profitable market that engages people and rewards creativity fairly.

Because right now there are not the conditions for creative industries (Arts, music, publishing, digital experiences, toolmaker, ticketing services, etc…) to grow and thrive independently from the large conglomerates and Ad revenue. Think about how little are people willing to spend on traditionally sold content (and with good reason). Think about how difficult it is to nurture a good career in the arts or publishing without sponsors and Ad-based revenue. Think about how much control do the largest platforms have on these sources of revenue (I’m looking at you, YouTube and Spotify).

It can’t be easy. It never was easy. But at least 20 years ago good creations equalled good money. Now the internet has disrupted every single business model, it has opened the door to infinite content creation, and nothing on the financial side has ever emerge to balance it out and evolve at the same rate.

This is the basis of what we do. Reward creativity, reward curiosity, reward creative businesses and creative behaviours. And you will get that evolution that has been missing.

You just have to know how…

How it works.

We already mentioned how a marketplace on a blockchain makes it easier to secure transactions, record them, protect content by making it unique and unreplicable, and eliminate cumbersome intermediaries between parties.

This marketplace needs a shared unit of value that powers it. Something that people hold and exchange and agree that is a valid medium for their transactions.

The Talent will serve every role within Playfold. Payment of fees, purchases, rewards and any other task. It’s the unit of value for the creative industries to regain independence and for the users to stay engaged with the platform, to feel rewarded. It’s a powerful tool for brands to reach the audience in creative ways and build a better image in a much more intelligent way.

It is the key to access a creator’s Folds.

We want to make it easy for newcomers to purchase, hold and trade Talent Coins.

And we aim to form a direct partnership with one of the major virtual wallets, in order to have a streamlined and easy experience for the users within the Playfold platform.

So, let’s examine closely how every participant uses the Talent inside of Playfold.

Users

When early users sign up to Playfold they are welcomed by a gift of a few Talent Coins, to thank and encourage them to become active participants of the community.

They are then guided through the simple process of setting up their own digital wallet to receive the Talents and transact with the other members.

After that, they can go on to set up their profile in the traditional way they are used to.

They are now full-fledged members of Playfold, and they can start exploring for good content, their favourite artists, new ones to discover, and their friends on the platform. They have their coins to spend, and the first purchase is always a special one.

From now on, specific aspects of a user’s behaviour are encouraged and rewarded. Every time they spend Talent Coins, every time they interact with a sponsor, every review they write, or activity they partake in, or content they create, the users are rewarded with new coins.

Their stake in the community grows, their time and efforts are really getting something in return. They grow along with the platform.

But there are other advantages for Playfold members:

1. Things cost less. Be it a Fold, an event or other products, a member’s payment goes directly to the receiver’s wallet with no intermediaries to take undeserved cuts.

2. Real ownership. When a member buys a Fold they are buying a real digital product, not one of infinite copies with no real value. They are the forever owners of that Fold, until they trade it or sell it.

3. Unique experiences. The things members find in a creator’s Fold are only to be found there. This is because the degree of customisation, collaboration and the amount of instruments the creator has available on Playfold has no match. Creators can offer incredible VR setpieces with a company that specialises in creating them. They can offer cheap and safe concert tickets by working with a company like Aventus or Viberate.

Active, creative and all in all positive behaviour is what it’s all about. To keep the flame of excitement and communion burning, without the cold and chaotic atmosphere of other media / entertainment platforms.

Creators

Other than the attractive opportunity to think and create with a much larger scope than ever, creators and similar entities (labels, publishers, publications, collectives) have other practical incentives for being present on Playfold:

1. Direct payments, with no intermediaries between the buyer and the seller. No inscrutable algorithm to master for navigating the platform and getting the most out of it. No back-alley deals that cut the small creators out from the real money.

2. Secure and protected creations. Impossible to duplicate or steal. Creators can be sure that their relationship with the fans is genuine and safe.

3. Royalties protection. Since every transaction is stored forever and immutable, and content cannot change hands or be copied under the radar, the creators can be sure that they receive every single cent of revenue they deserve, in the form of Talent Coins.

4. Direct control over what to publish, at what price and in how many copies.

5. Collateral business. Not only can the creators sell or give their art to the fans, but can also engage them to create for them with contests, promotions or regular collaboration, which can be compensated with tokens, content or other exclusive experiences.

6. Brands support. Creators can team up with brands or other patrons that support their creations or their entire careers. The sponsors can buy and give away content, host and pay for events or activities, help promote and more.

7. No censorship, no risk of being demonetised or ostracised because of your ideas, if you are not a malignant or dangerous presence in the community.

8. Growth. Not only do the creators earn fairly and safely, but what they earn, the Talent Coins, are the perfect way for them too to have high stakes in the platform. They are not left out and behind, they grow with the company and witness their coins rise in value over time. Keeping the creators engaged and on an equal ground is a practice that is sorely missing from the traditional platforms.

Businesses & Service Providers

As we have already seen, businesses that specialise in digital tools and services have a new marketplace to inhabit and grow in.

These businesses provide to their clients the tools they need to create and sell content or other experiences. Cheaply and with seamless compatibility between them.

They benefit from everything the publishers and creators do when it comes to safe and fair transactions and relationships with sponsors and investors. After all, the Renaissance Florence we examined above thrived on patrons supporting innovative ideas of all kinds.

Only the Future knows how many kinds of companies will choose to offer their services on Playfold, but for now the most logical ones are those most closely related to creativity, such as:

  1. Digital tools like graphic and drawing software
  2. Photo and video making / editing tools
  3. Music making applications
  4. Digital experiences creators, like VR and AR technologies
  5. Ticketing companies, like the examples mentioned above
  6. Licensing
  7. Promotion
  8. Hypertext and writing
  9. Video streaming
  10. Event planners and venues

They will all work upon the same protocol and with the same basic requirements so that an infinite number of permutations of collaborations will be possible with seamless and trustless execution.

Brands

The best way to create a pleasant and sustainable environment is to rethink the relationship between users, creators and sponsors.

The presence of brands and sponsors, in fact, is essential for a platform that wants to keep its features accessible to everyone. And it’s also a powerful tool for a creator’s well being.
But this relationship between sponsors and users is full of misunderstandings, wariness and plain old spite.

We want to return to the core principle of the great Renaissance age, when wealthy individuals and companies aimed to the highest degree of esteem and popularity by employing the best artists, helping them and cultivating their career, effectively creating such a deep and intimate relationship that cannot be compared to what campaigns and influencers sponsorships are today.

On Playfold, brands are active participants in the community: they choose and compete for the best creators and the best content, forging long lasting deals that increase their reputation with the users.

Sponsors promote content, finance shows and events, or even directly benefit the users t with giveaways, lotteries, games, discounts and activities.

This ensures a platform with no traditional ads, but with active engagement. A platform where the users not only tolerate the brands but actively like them and seek out a relationship with them.

When a brand’s only strategy is to be creative, to support creativity and to be appreciated by the community as a precious member, the return on their Investment of time, energy and money is going to be orders of magnitude bigger than what a traditional Ad campaign is capable of.

Level Ups and the Gamification of Rewards.

This is the reason we want everyone on Playfold to be an active participant, and activity is generously rewarded.

The experience we aim for is of a big shared creative city whose only purpose is expanding minds and creating a new culture.

Users can use their Talent Coins to purchase Level Ups, which unlock higher reward rates and other bonuses. They can organise parties, societies and collectives to forge new visions and ideals together.

Playfold is not just a marketplace, it’s not just an application. It’s a completely new and innovative environment, designed to be exciting and fulfilling in its every aspect.

William Mougayar’s Token Test

Esteemed crypto investor and author William Mougayar, in his famous essay on token economics proposed a series of question a project should ask about the necessity and effectivity of their token, as it follows:

“When evaluating a given token-based organization, the more boxes that can be ticked pertaining to the role of the token, the better it would be. The role of tokens is like nails that encroach on your business model. You want more than a single one to hold it firmly in place, and keep it defensible and sustainable.

Here is a proposed set of questions to ask. If you are an ICO-based organization, give yourself 1 point for each yes answer, totalling a maximum of 20 points.”

Let’s analyse Playfold’s Talent Coin based on what we learned until now, and see whether it is a good token or not. Remember, the closest number of points to 20 we get, the more solid the token is:

  • Is the token tied to a product usage, i.e. does it give the user exclusive access to it, or provide interaction rights to the product? YES
  • Does the token grant a governance action, like voting on a consensus related or other decision-making factor? NO
  • Does the token enable the user to contribute to a value-adding action for the network or market that is being built? YES
  • Does the token grant an ownership of sorts, whether it is real or a proxy to a value? YES
  • Does the token result in a monetizable reward based on an action by the user (active work)? YES
  • Does the token grant the user a value based on sharing or disclosing some data about them (passive work)? NO
  • Is buying something part of the business model? YES
  • Is selling something part of the business model? YES
  • Can users create a new product or service? YES
  • Is the token required to run a smart contract or to fund an oracle? (an oracle is a source of information or data that other a smart contract can use) NO
  • Is the token required as a security deposit to secure some aspect of the blockchain’s operation? NO
  • Is the token (or a derivative of it, like a stable coin or gas unit) used to pay for some usage? YES
  • Is the token required to join a network or other related entity? YES
  • Does the token enable a real connection between users? YES
  • Is the token given away or offered at a discount, as an incentive to encourage product trial or usage? YES
  • Is the token your principal payment unit, essentially functioning as an internal currency? YES
  • Is the token (or derivative of it) the principal accounting unit for all internal transactions? YES
  • Does your blockchain autonomously distribute profits to token holders? NO
  • Does your blockchain autonomously distribute other benefits to token holders? YES
  • Is there a related benefit to your users, resulting from built-in currency inflation? YES

Final result: 15 / 20.

It appears that the Talent Coin secured every major aspect of a good functioning token, aside from the governance, passive work and other technical features that are irrelevant to Playfold as it stands.

Tokens as utility and investment construct
In the blockchain and crypto business, utility tokens are currently seen as the best kind of token to be sold in an ICO. A utility token has a specific use in your application. If you are thinking about creating utility tokens, you should challenge your concept and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will want to buy and hold this token?
  • Why would people want to use it?
  • Under what scenarios will people need this token?
  • Can the same job be done better in a different way?

In general, if you want to create a utility token, you should be sure that the purpose of your token cannot be fulfilled more easily and cheaply without tokens.

A utility token has one clear advantage over other token classes, which is one reason behind the recent explosion of ICOs: in some circumstances and depending on the regional authority involved, token sales can circumvent official regulatory requirements governing traditional capital-raising processes like IPOs.

VII. Final Considerations.

In this essay we examined the potential and goals of the Talent Coin, with the purpose of bringing a new digital community together and work for a more hopeful future for creativity.

This is by no means a comprehensive description of the whole Playfold project, for which you can read the other stories in our official publication, our website and the comments of our ever growing community of artists, partners and institutional investors.

There is still a lot to do before we can have the ICO event we want to have. The most exciting, safest and most “real” of 2018.

There is still to explain to you in detail how you will be able to participate and what you’ll get for your participation.

(Including a kick-ass Bounty Campaign we are putting together with our media partners in London and New York).

So I want to thank you for reading this long — and I hope captivating — essay, and finish on a more abstract and inspirational statement about Playfold itself.

Playfold is the only media platform that can not only survive the next era of digital business, but grow to become the leader in its area.

This is because Playfold has the potential to bring Blockchain and Token Economics to the creative community online, with an environmnet designed for growth, ambition, fun and simplicity.
Because Playfold is one of the only companies of this new generation that has user fulfillment at its core, not only our customer’s experience, but how creators, businesses and brands are made to thrive.

Because Playfold knows how to engage every member and forge a new relationship with them. A relationship based on creativity and intellectual achievement, something than long ago was recognised to bring a much higher return on investment and more innovation.

But most of all, because Playfold is more than these things.
Playfold is the ideals of our creative community.

Playfold will improve partnerships, open up new market possibilities and promote the use of the Talent throughout all the major creative industries.

Playfold is a new perspective.
It’s a completely different way to envision all these elements, and it’s greater that the sum of its parts.
If you decide to invest your time, money or ideas in Playfold, you are not betting on a new service, or speculating on a new digital asset.

You are participating in the creation an entirely new way of doing things.

😊

Thank you!

If you want to learn more or contribute to Playfold, get in touch at press@plyfld.com, on Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and Facebook.

Follow me and all the other contributors of the Medium publication and keep reading! Your mind is the greatest asset of all.

😊



The Talent Coin. was originally published in Playfold™ on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Talent Coin.


The Talent Coin.

Welcome to the future of creativity online.

This is the essay that delineates the fundamental aspects of the Talent Coin and the ways it will be used inside the Playfold™ system.

We will explain the theory, the vision, the applications and the astounding potential we see in creating an independent and fair economic system for Creative Industries.

But first, we will explore the basics. We’ll take a look at the fundamental concepts and ideas needed to understand the Talent, and the present state of the multitude of businesses, thinkers and schools many identify with the new name of Token Economy.

We are excited to bring to life this new hope for artists, publishers and creative companies all around the World. And here we will explain how we’ll do it.

The essay is divided in seven main sections:

I. What the Future Holds

II. The Needs of the New Economies

III. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Token

IV. The Choices of Creating a New System

V. A New Beginning for Creativity

VI. The Talent Coin

VII. Final Considerations

The essay will serve as the main document you can use to approach the ideas regarding the Talent Coin and its uses; it will be constantly updated and host your own ideas too.

A community is built with a shared passion and shared effort.

So, without other premises, let’s get right into it.

I. What the Future Holds.

In our dreams of digital evolution, we often wonder: “What will happen next? What’s even possible now?” Some even like saying “What’s left to do?”, as if nothing more could ever be achieved, discovered or invented.

It used to happen more frequently in the past than now, now that evolutions happen much faster, in greater numbers and are exponentially more advanced at every new generation.

But still, as we approach the peak of an era, be it about a technological product or a culture, it’s very easy to wonder what’s next. What more can be done with it?

What more can be done with TV? Asked people in the ‘90s.

What more can be done with a phone? They asked in the early 2000s.

What more can the Internet do? We ask now.

There is a great fallacy concerning the logical reasoning of the argument. This wants to be a natural progression from the current situation to a hypothetical future, based on the progression of the past. What more can this thing do (that is a logical progression of what it already did?)

It sounds reasonable, it sound realistic, but it’s not naturalistic at all. It doesn’t mirror how things happen. How progress naturally manifests itself.

It sometimes does in the form of an obscure, niche idea or creation, that is then blown up and shot into mainstream view, ready to disrupt the status quo.

In other words, progress is incremental until it’s not.

It took the internet to evolve TV.

It took the iPhone to evolve cellphones.

Now it’s clear that Blockchain is what will evolve the Digital World.

“…Give us faster horses!” as Ford joked so long ago. People don’t know what’s possible until it’s right in front of their eyes.

So now we’re peeking out of our long-run, tired internet world to see what’s really possible. What amazing new feats of creation are being developed right at this moment. What’s the potential for the future. For us.

Blockchain businesses are achieving something that the internet never could. Something that nobody has been able to invent for hundreds of years.

A new economic system.

The creation of independent, self sustaining and unbreakable financial systems is what’s driving the feverish excitement and what is attracting the best minds like a magnet.

The creation of value from sources that have been inaccessible until now.

Do you want to avoid censorship and central control of the net? It’s possible.

Do you want a currency that defies Keynes and it’s not controlled by a Central Bank? There’s loads of them.

Do you want your business to become an entire economy in an on itself, like a self-sustaining microcosm of financial interactions? Welcome to the Token Economy.


Many are dreaming of an economy evolution.

There are literally thousands of people theorizing and experimenting with this concept, thousands of companies trying their version of it. Many are the luminaries that pioneer and light the way, so I won’t try to pass for one here and I’ll just limit myself to suggest you a couple of great reads. You can check out David Siegel, William Mougayar and David Drake to start.

What I’m doing here, in this introduction, is to delineate the fundamental aspects of this oncoming revolution (and believe me it’s coming fast, so you better get it before it gets you), as if you were a newcomer to these concepts, because this is what the core audience of Playfold™ is.

Not the tech and finance experts. Not the luminaries.

But the young creatives who deserve an independent economy that works for them. That deserve a good place for intellectual and artistic innovation which lets them thrive and rewards them. A new horizon.

So as we will venture into how this economy works, and how the token at its center, the exciting Talent Coin, makes it possible, hopefully I’ll be able to truly show you the potential of this future that is being created.

What is really possible.

II. The Needs of the New Economies.

Here we have it: 2018 is truly poised to be the year when the public, from small individuals to large institutions, assimilates and embraces the so called “Cryptorevolution”. This means that the past years of developing and speculating will finally have the chance to put these ideas to the test, and try to crack the ultimate issues of these newborn systems, more noticeably their scalability, safety and efficacy.

Companies from all industries are initiating the shift from traditional online economy (selling through a centralized platform, inefficient payout systems and Advertisement-based revenues, for example) to full-fledged, token economies that are able to operate and grow by themselves.

But the problem is, since this tech is so new and at the moment only thrives in theory, the issues faced have to be resolved in order for it to become standardly available to the masses.

So as we venture into this year of change, finally, and many are waiting around the corner with watering mouths, it’s best to keep our eyes on the ball. When it comes to businesses, new startups, the most important thing is not the tech itself, or the coins they use. It’s not the pipe dream of unicorning at ICO (which means that some companies put all of their energy into having a big, great, unnecessary sale, where they sell their coin or token to investors, and reach disproportionately large valuations immediately). It’s the product.

How does this idea serve my community?

Do people need my invention?

Is this the best way to go about it?

These are the questions that must be asked. And these are topics of argument that the Playfold team spent months over. Amongst ourselves, with our partners and advisors.

If we want to create a completely new, independent and solid economy for Creatives and Creative Industries, what is the best possible way to achieve it? What are its most fundamental features, what is at its core?

Therefore, when we started Playfold last year we wanted to solve the critical situation of media and arts in the digital world, by bringing these items to market:

  1. A viable economic system for creators that relies on content itself, not on Ads.
  2. A way to engage and fulfil the audience in a creative environment, for them to unleash their creativity, pay and get paid.
  3. A new form of expression that takes advantage of the two items above and offers unprecedented experiences that mix artforms and technologies, that rewards collaborations and that simplifies the content experience online.

This is the goal of Playfold. A new explosion of creativity and innovation that both has an impact on Culture, and is matched by an Economic advancement that supports it and makes it possible.

Bear in mind, new culture + new economy is a golden standard. An astronomical coincidence that when happened in the past gave rise to the most stupendous golden ages of humanity.

Mecenatism + Mercantilism = Renaissance

Egalitarianism + Industrial Revolution = Age of Enlightenment

Youth Culture + Post-War Boom = The ‘50s-’60s Revolution

We believe that our product and our community have the potential to have a massive impact on how media is created and enjoyed. And we also believe that the Cryptorevolution is the economic advancement we needed to make this all possible.

So before we talk about how Playfold participates in this revolution and applies the Token Economy to its own purpose, let’s identify the most important elements of the Token Economy we need to understand beforehand.

III. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Token.

There are a lot of concepts people like to throw around these days. They may seem too new and difficult to understand, but they are not, to the averagely intellingent human being.

…Cryptocurrencies… Blockchain… ICO… Tokens…

If you want a good explanation of what Blockchain is and how these new Cryptocurrencies, which are based on it, work, there is a vast amount of really good material online, and if you want to keep things simple I suggest you watch this video.

Fundamentally, blockchain businesses decide to utilize a big, shared ledger that keeps track of transactions history and protects every participant against tampering and fraud. This also automates the whole thing and has no need of a central authority to process every transaction. Cryptography is used for security.

Currencies are created to work this way. The oldest and most famous one, Bitcoin, wants to be a universal unit of value for international commerce. Other ones are trying to improve on its concept, or are trying to accomplish completely different things altogether, like the second most popular cryptocurrency, the Ether. It’s what fuels Ethereum, an open-source, decentralised platform designed to develop new decentralised applications and run automated protocols called smart contracts.

Many projects decide to develop on the Ethereum blockchain. Playfold’s own Talent Coin is Ethereum-based.

Anyway, one thing has to be noted. This is a blossoming field, blessed by endless potential and unexpected applications.

These coins work on the same basic premise. The more people buy and use a coin, the more its value grows.

So these coins, that are designed to behave like currencies and perform across the world, across markets, are called Cryptocurrencies.

Then there are coins that only work within one specific platform. They aren’t designed to be universally valuable currencies, but only to have value internally, in relation to the service or products offered in the platform.

These are called Tokens.

A token is a unit of value within a system. It can be stored, exchanged or used to pay for products or fees. It can be considered a contract.

A token can have a lot of uses, depending on what its specific purpose inside the platform is.

A company that issues tokens to work inside their platform usually releases them in a fixed amount. Tokens are real things, like money. They are not an infinite resource. They can be held, lost or even destroyed. And you can understand the inflationary implications of a monetary system that works this way.

There are many kinds of tokens, for many kinds of necessities, but for what concerns us at this moment, it suffices to say that passive tokens are just virtual currencies that work within a system. They behave like money. This is not a new idea. Banks, websites and corporations have always had internal currencies to hold value and operate more efficiently. Since the days of the internet revolution, most systems now use internal tokens. Even without blockchain.

Now blockchain tokens are made to be much safer to hold and trade with.

Having an internal token instead of using a commonplace currency like the Dollar or even Bitcoin serves many purposes. For one it highlights the uniqueness of the system and its independence. — If you want to trade in my marketplace you have to exchange your money for mine– And this really gives the system an advantage. A higly demanded and used coin rises in value and incites ulterior demand, therefore initiating a circle of growth that can reach exponential rates (like Bitcoin in late 2017).

Secondly, it simplifies the internal movement of value. If you imagine a large multinational bank, for them to operate efficiently across many countries is extremely helpful to have an internal unit of value that converts every external currency and smoothens out the process. This goes for large marketplaces too.

And lastly, it reduces the incidence of foul play and outright theft. Holding a token is safer than holding a universally desired currency, that once stolen has immediate value to the thief. I can imagine a future where every business has its own internal token, thereby maximising their growth potential and minimising the risk of hacks and external influences.

It is basically the same principle of land feudalism. The more you subdivide value, the less the risk incurred by the entire system.

Tokens are able to trade safely and at a very low cost on the blockchain, without intermediaries. This is a banking and commerce epochal disruption waiting to happen. If the Token Economy ever will be a thing, it will depend on this specific feature of the tokens, and how quickly will people and entities adapt.

Tokens are usually very divisible. This means that as the platform grows and with it the value of its token, a single coin could be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Of course, these are ridiculous prices for a token, because they make it difficult to purchase and purchase with.

For this reason tokens are made to be divisible up to the 18th decimal, so buying it and exchanging it with many different currencies is not a problem.

One drawback is that the price of the items on the platform varies a lot, and has to be continuously updated.

When a token reaches uncomfortably high prices, other than rejoicing, the team behind a platform can split it, thereby creating more tokens of lower value out of the high-priced ones they had before. The price changes immediately, it normalises to a level that is suitable to operate, and a new level of scaling becomes possible.

IV. The Choices of Creating a New System.

So the token is the tool that companies use to operate their own independent systems. But then they have to think about these systems as whole. There are choices to be made, and features to implement. And that’s not even counting the products themselves they will sell in the systems.

So, how do they go about it?

They usually start with a process called Coin Sale, or Initial Coin Offering, or ICO.

An ICO is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is used by startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, but usually for Bitcoin. uring the ICO campaign, enthusiasts and supporters of the firm’s initiative buy some of the distributed cryptocoins with fiat or virtual currency. These coins are referred to as tokens and are similar to shares of a company sold to investors in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) transaction. (from Investopedia)

So, a company presents their idea to the public, they release technical papers that describe the project, they engage the community with rewards and all in all conduct a crowdfunding campaign leading up to the ICO Event.

At that point, they release however many tokens they choose to reach their funding goal and the market buys them to fulfil the demand.

If the ICO is successful and the goal is reached, the company now has the funds necessary to develop the platform, and the new owners of the tokens can begin holding them or trading them at will (if there are not provisions that keep them from doing so).

After that, if there are any unsold tokens, usually the company puts them “on ice” or destroys them. Putting tokens on ice lets the market know what is the size of the money supply the company stores going forward and avoids drastic valuation shifts when they decide to release them.

When the platform is accessible by the public, and the service starts to be sold, the token will begin to rise, grow or fall depending on how well can the company perform.

In the platform, the token will be used to pay, earn and purchase products or services. A token can behave in many ways once in its system, and that depends on the needs and purposes it is designed for.

A token can be created for one specific purpose, after which it is then destroyed, like a concert ticket for example.

It can behave like a currency within its system, like in the case of the banks we mentioned before, only to be exchanged for a real currency in the end.

Or it can be the currency of a real, full fledged economy that thrives within the platform. In this case the participants have no need to exchange the token for other currencies in order to earn value. The economy itself they are a part of has value to them, so the token is kept in the system and traded in a circular way.

The Talent Coin in Playfold behaves like the latter.

V. A New Beginning for Creativity.

So, after everything we’ve learned, let’s take a moment now to raise our eyes to the sky and let inspiration take flight. Let’s imagine what the perfect environment for creativity and intellectual innovation could actually look like. How would it feel, and how would it work.

We can be as optimistic and wide-eyed as we want, here. This will be the ideal model we will draw from, when building this project in reality.

How does the perfect environment for creativity looks like?

We may start from a real life example of the past, one of the great ages we mentioned above and that has been a source of inspiration to us for a very long time.

The Renaissance.

And specifically, the environment that made the Renaissance possible, a place that became the thriving core of its world, and is regarded as a wondrous place even now: 15th Century Florence.

What made it so special?

As with anything, many are the answers and many are the historians that want to focus on different aspects of the complex set of circumstances that made that city the right place at the right time for an explosion of innovations to happen.

But if we want to simplify the reasons, we can say that:

  1. Florence was a city of new money. A new generation of extraordinarily wealthy bourgeois came to the forefront of public life, ready to challenge the old nobility and shape the times in their favor. Bankers were at the heart of this. An extremely resourceful family of bankers took Florence by a storm and rose to dominate it. They were the Medici, and it was partly because of their enlightened rule that the city grew to the heights it did.
  2. Florence was part of a network of wealthy cities. Nobody rises to greatness alone. At that time, international mercantile commerce was booming, and banking was revolutionising Europe to quickly become the most powerful force of western civilization. Talent and ideas travelled around and spread to places that were already fertile terrains for them to flourish. And Florence was positioned in a perfect place to take advantage of all this.
  3. With money comes the need for status. The accumulation of wealth by the non-aristocratic classes meant that they strived to compete for status, recognition and prestige. They had plenty to spend on pleasures, parties, palaces and used to scout artists all over the world to surround them and produce creations of beauty to show off. They invested in new businesses and technical innovations. They lobbied for new liberal laws and entered politics.
  4. The Ancient Classics were rediscovered. Thanks to the refugees escaping the muslim invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, Europe experienced a wave of new-found passion for the greatest ancient civilisation, which became even more idealised. Laws, texts, clothing styles, novels, poetry and arts conquered the minds and hearts of the time. Archeologists and explorers were sent around to hunt for forgotten places and treasures by their patrons. The ideals that inspired this time were the love for public life, order, beauty and glory.
  5. Florence was small. Lastly, for all these ideas to come to fruition, it was necessary that different people of different skills and lifestyles mingled. And Florence made it possible so perfectly: artists and artisans crowded the streets, just around the corner from large banks and trade companies. Wealthy patrons lived with their artists, who in turn mingled with their employees. Politicians were poets. Warriors were philosophers.

So these were the characteristics that made Florence the perfect place for innovation and cultural achievements. It’s always about individual talent, of course, but these are the features of a place that lets talent achieve.

And I don’t see it happening now.

However, I think that this rare coincidence of circumstances is brewing again under the skin of our present, and the Florence experiment can be repeated if these circumstances are helped out a bit.

Drawing some conclusions, our perfect place would need:

  1. A new economy or industry that has produced a new generation of wealth, a new way to make money.
  2. A large network of exchange and innovation to be a part of.
  3. To be inhabited by people that want to spend their wealth on art, culture, innovation and beauty, based on the sole fact that wide recognition and prestige are much valuable to them.
  4. A rediscovery of forgotten ideals that re-excite the public. A nostalgia that inspires ambition, harmony and progress.
  5. To be a tighlty-knit community where different individuals and businesses meet, collaborate, exchange and improve each other. Basically, to be an orgy of productivity.

And, of course, it needs to attract the talent and let it experiment, innovate and create value.

This is what is needed to give creative industries a new beginning. For artists and businesses to grow independently and reach new heights. And I think these elements are available to us now. Think about it:

  1. A new economy or industry that has produced a new generation of wealth, a new way to make money. — The Cryptorevolution is all about this. New ways to create value, and a new generation of wealth ready to take the world by a storm.
  2. A large network of exchange and innovation to be a part of. — This revolution in business and finance places Playfold amidst a large network of ideas, resources and talent that spans the entire world and every industry.
  3. To be inhabited by people that want to spend their wealth on art, culture, innovation and beauty, based on the sole fact that wide recognition and prestige are much valuable to them. — This new generation has to prove themselves and challenge their predecessors for the spotlight. Brands, especially, are looking for new ways to reach audiences online that is both a better performing investment of time and money, and something that improves their reputation instead of tarnishing it.
  4. A rediscovery of forgotten ideals that re-excite the public. A nostalgia that inspires ambition, harmony and progress. — This is the cultural aspect of Playfold. The things our present generation needs and pines for. We already live in a time of nostalgia and cultural chaos, which has only been enhanced by the anxiety and divisiveness of current social communities. Progress can come from the repurposing of old ideas, and now is the perfect time for it. If people learned what it means to inhabit a place of excitement and inspiration. If using your talents could really earn you a living and give you the chance to make a difference in the world. If ideas and creations were held to a high degree and valued. If there was a widespread love and commitment to the community and to each member, from the large and powerful to the small ones. Such a place could funnel otherwise wasted energy and potential into useful applications. Progress that feeds upon itself.
  5. To be a tighlty-knit community where different individuals and businesses meet, collaborate, exchange and improve each other. Basically, to be an orgy of productivity. — Such a place has to forge new relationships between its participants. To find and extract value from unprecedented places, to reward in unprecedented ways, and to create with unprecedented quality.

This is the Playfold community in a nutshell. This is our goal, and our inspiration.

Imagine a place that welcomes people with things to do, things to see and opportunities of unprecedented quality. A place that gives people innovative, exciting and intellectually stimulating experiences, without the constraints and predictability of other content platforms. Artists of all kinds come together to offer their creations, inspired by new tools to experiment and take risks, knowing that taking risks can pay off handsomely. (These new tools are collectively used in a digital format called “Fold”, that will tackle in the next essay).

In this place, people are not only engaged by the entertaining and cultural offerings, but are also rewarded when they share, buy, help and create things themselves. They are literally paid with tokens the more they are active doing things that benefit the community.

So they are encouraged to keep the value circulating in the system, they are more liberal with how often and how much they’re willing to spend on art and content. They feel a sense of self-worth and achivement for being part of an active and tight community. For being part of something important.

The artists and creators dream of a place like this. Somewhere they can try to offer their unique perspective for a living. Where they can engage and connect with their audience fully in one single place, without dispersing them all over the web.

Where their rights as creators are protected. Where their creations are not diluted, endlessly replicable items online but real numbered things that hold value. Where the financial relationship with their audience is direct, transparent, low-cost and devoid of scams or other nefarious tricks.

The small and medium publishers can work to gain back two decades of lost growth, and have the chance to return to pre-internet levels of revenue with internet levels of distribution. To return to a status quo where only the value they bring to the market is what decides if they succeed or not. Where they are independent, not relying on Ads or exceptional clients to survive.

And these new tools available to them for creating with unmatched freedom and potential are precisely the 21-Century counterpart of what made Florence so special. The collaboration of artists and artisans, of people mixing their crafts, providing tools, providing services and evolving together.

Imagine software providers, makers of digital tools, ticketing companies, licensing and promotion services, event organisers and more, all offering their expertise to the artists and publishers, working, exploring and reaching new heights together.

This marketplace of creativity would be the perfect fertile ground for the next World-changing ideas.

And the of course, in this place there would be the patrons, the investors, the high-minded sponsors of creativity that do it not only for a mundane return, but because the admiration and praise of the community is an equally valuable currency to them.

These are the brands, long looking for a more efficient and cheaper way to reach the young audiences online, to be liked and get their message through.

They would do it by sponsoring artists, ideas and events. Giving content and other experiences to the people, giving tokens and other gifts with lotteries, games and giveways.

This would be new hunting grounds for them. A new land to make theirs and thrive in.

And instead of displeasing the audience like it happens with ads and commercial, the end result would be a much improved experience for everybody.

This ultimate ambition is what moves Playfold, together with the firm conviction that an independent environment such as this can only exist with its own economy. Its own token.

VI. The Talent Coin.

Now we can finally talk about the token itself that powers this community. We can finally talk about the Talent Coin and how it works inside the Playfold system.

The Talent is a ERC20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain. Inspired by one of the currencies of Classical Athens, the civilisation that gave birth to philosophy, democracy and Western culture.
It’s an essential component of Playfold’s service, and what we will use to create the conditions for a stable, profitable market that engages people and rewards creativity fairly.

Because right now there are not the conditions for creative industries (Arts, music, publishing, digital experiences, toolmaker, ticketing services, etc…) to grow and thrive independently from the large conglomerates and Ad revenue. Think about how little are people willing to spend on traditionally sold content (and with good reason). Think about how difficult it is to nurture a good career in the arts or publishing without sponsors and Ad-based revenue. Think about how much control do the largest platforms have on these sources of revenue (I’m looking at you, YouTube and Spotify).

It can’t be easy. It never was easy. But at least 20 years ago good creations equalled good money. Now the internet has disrupted every single business model, it has opened the door to infinite content creation, and nothing on the financial side has ever emerge to balance it out and evolve at the same rate.

This is the basis of what we do. Reward creativity, reward curiosity, reward creative businesses and creative behaviours. And you will get that evolution that has been missing.

You just have to know how…

How it works.

We already mentioned how a marketplace on a blockchain makes it easier to secure transactions, record them, protect content by making it unique and unreplicable, and eliminate cumbersome intermediaries between parties.

This marketplace needs a shared unit of value that powers it. Something that people hold and exchange and agree that is a valid medium for their transactions.

The Talent will serve every role within Playfold. Payment of fees, purchases, rewards and any other task. It’s the unit of value for the creative industries to regain independence and for the users to stay engaged with the platform, to feel rewarded. It’s a powerful tool for brands to reach the audience in creative ways and build a better image in a much more intelligent way.

It is the key to access a creator’s Folds.

We want to make it easy for newcomers to purchase, hold and trade Talent Coins.

And we aim to form a direct partnership with one of the major virtual wallets, in order to have a streamlined and easy experience for the users within the Playfold platform.

So, let’s examine closely how every participant uses the Talent inside of Playfold.

Users

When early users sign up to Playfold they are welcomed by a gift of a few Talent Coins, to thank and encourage them to become active participants of the community.

They are then guided through the simple process of setting up their own digital wallet to receive the Talents and transact with the other members.

After that, they can go on to set up their profile in the traditional way they are used to.

They are now full-fledged members of Playfold, and they can start exploring for good content, their favourite artists, new ones to discover, and their friends on the platform. They have their coins to spend, and the first purchase is always a special one.

From now on, specific aspects of a user’s behaviour are encouraged and rewarded. Every time they spend Talent Coins, every time they interact with a sponsor, every review they write, or activity they partake in, or content they create, the users are rewarded with new coins.

Their stake in the community grows, their time and efforts are really getting something in return. They grow along with the platform.

But there are other advantages for Playfold members:

1. Things cost less. Be it a Fold, an event or other products, a member’s payment goes directly to the receiver’s wallet with no intermediaries to take undeserved cuts.

2. Real ownership. When a member buys a Fold they are buying a real digital product, not one of infinite copies with no real value. They are the forever owners of that Fold, until they trade it or sell it.

3. Unique experiences. The things members find in a creator’s Fold are only to be found there. This is because the degree of customisation, collaboration and the amount of instruments the creator has available on Playfold has no match. Creators can offer incredible VR setpieces with a company that specialises in creating them. They can offer cheap and safe concert tickets by working with a company like Aventus or Viberate.

Active, creative and all in all positive behaviour is what it’s all about. To keep the flame of excitement and communion burning, without the cold and chaotic atmosphere of other media / entertainment platforms.

Creators

Other than the attractive opportunity to think and create with a much larger scope than ever, creators and similar entities (labels, publishers, publications, collectives) have other practical incentives for being present on Playfold:

1. Direct payments, with no intermediaries between the buyer and the seller. No inscrutable algorithm to master for navigating the platform and getting the most out of it. No back-alley deals that cut the small creators out from the real money.

2. Secure and protected creations. Impossible to duplicate or steal. Creators can be sure that their relationship with the fans is genuine and safe.

3. Royalties protection. Since every transaction is stored forever and immutable, and content cannot change hands or be copied under the radar, the creators can be sure that they receive every single cent of revenue they deserve, in the form of Talent Coins.

4. Direct control over what to publish, at what price and in how many copies.

5. Collateral business. Not only can the creators sell or give their art to the fans, but can also engage them to create for them with contests, promotions or regular collaboration, which can be compensated with tokens, content or other exclusive experiences.

6. Brands support. Creators can team up with brands or other patrons that support their creations or their entire careers. The sponsors can buy and give away content, host and pay for events or activities, help promote and more.

7. No censorship, no risk of being demonetised or ostracised because of your ideas, if you are not a malignant or dangerous presence in the community.

8. Growth. Not only do the creators earn fairly and safely, but what they earn, the Talent Coins, are the perfect way for them too to have high stakes in the platform. They are not left out and behind, they grow with the company and witness their coins rise in value over time. Keeping the creators engaged and on an equal ground is a practice that is sorely missing from the traditional platforms.

Businesses & Service Providers

As we have already seen, businesses that specialise in digital tools and services have a new marketplace to inhabit and grow in.

These businesses provide to their clients the tools they need to create and sell content or other experiences. Cheaply and with seamless compatibility between them.

They benefit from everything the publishers and creators do when it comes to safe and fair transactions and relationships with sponsors and investors. After all, the Renaissance Florence we examined above thrived on patrons supporting innovative ideas of all kinds.

Only the Future knows how many kinds of companies will choose to offer their services on Playfold, but for now the most logical ones are those most closely related to creativity, such as:

  1. Digital tools like graphic and drawing software
  2. Photo and video making / editing tools
  3. Music making applications
  4. Digital experiences creators, like VR and AR technologies
  5. Ticketing companies, like the examples mentioned above
  6. Licensing
  7. Promotion
  8. Hypertext and writing
  9. Video streaming
  10. Event planners and venues

They will all work upon the same protocol and with the same basic requirements so that an infinite number of permutations of collaborations will be possible with seamless and trustless execution.

Brands

The best way to create a pleasant and sustainable environment is to rethink the relationship between users, creators and sponsors.

The presence of brands and sponsors, in fact, is essential for a platform that wants to keep its features accessible to everyone. And it’s also a powerful tool for a creator’s well being.
But this relationship between sponsors and users is full of misunderstandings, wariness and plain old spite.

We want to return to the core principle of the great Renaissance age, when wealthy individuals and companies aimed to the highest degree of esteem and popularity by employing the best artists, helping them and cultivating their career, effectively creating such a deep and intimate relationship that cannot be compared to what campaigns and influencers sponsorships are today.

On Playfold, brands are active participants in the community: they choose and compete for the best creators and the best content, forging long lasting deals that increase their reputation with the users.

Sponsors promote content, finance shows and events, or even directly benefit the users t with giveaways, lotteries, games, discounts and activities.

This ensures a platform with no traditional ads, but with active engagement. A platform where the users not only tolerate the brands but actively like them and seek out a relationship with them.

When a brand’s only strategy is to be creative, to support creativity and to be appreciated by the community as a precious member, the return on their Investment of time, energy and money is going to be orders of magnitude bigger than what a traditional Ad campaign is capable of.

Level Ups and the Gamification of Rewards.

This is the reason we want everyone on Playfold to be an active participant, and activity is generously rewarded.

The experience we aim for is of a big shared creative city whose only purpose is expanding minds and creating a new culture.

Users can use their Talent Coins to purchase Level Ups, which unlock higher reward rates and other bonuses. They can organise parties, societies and collectives to forge new visions and ideals together.

Playfold is not just a marketplace, it’s not just an application. It’s a completely new and innovative environment, designed to be exciting and fulfilling in its every aspect.

William Mougayar’s Token Test

Esteemed crypto investor and author William Mougayar, in his famous essay on token economics proposed a series of question a project should ask about the necessity and effectivity of their token, as it follows:

“When evaluating a given token-based organization, the more boxes that can be ticked pertaining to the role of the token, the better it would be. The role of tokens is like nails that encroach on your business model. You want more than a single one to hold it firmly in place, and keep it defensible and sustainable.

Here is a proposed set of questions to ask. If you are an ICO-based organization, give yourself 1 point for each yes answer, totalling a maximum of 20 points.”

Let’s analyse Playfold’s Talent Coin based on what we learned until now, and see whether it is a good token or not. Remember, the closest number of points to 20 we get, the more solid the token is:

  • Is the token tied to a product usage, i.e. does it give the user exclusive access to it, or provide interaction rights to the product? YES
  • Does the token grant a governance action, like voting on a consensus related or other decision-making factor? NO
  • Does the token enable the user to contribute to a value-adding action for the network or market that is being built? YES
  • Does the token grant an ownership of sorts, whether it is real or a proxy to a value? YES
  • Does the token result in a monetizable reward based on an action by the user (active work)? YES
  • Does the token grant the user a value based on sharing or disclosing some data about them (passive work)? NO
  • Is buying something part of the business model? YES
  • Is selling something part of the business model? YES
  • Can users create a new product or service? YES
  • Is the token required to run a smart contract or to fund an oracle? (an oracle is a source of information or data that other a smart contract can use) NO
  • Is the token required as a security deposit to secure some aspect of the blockchain’s operation? NO
  • Is the token (or a derivative of it, like a stable coin or gas unit) used to pay for some usage? YES
  • Is the token required to join a network or other related entity? YES
  • Does the token enable a real connection between users? YES
  • Is the token given away or offered at a discount, as an incentive to encourage product trial or usage? YES
  • Is the token your principal payment unit, essentially functioning as an internal currency? YES
  • Is the token (or derivative of it) the principal accounting unit for all internal transactions? YES
  • Does your blockchain autonomously distribute profits to token holders? NO
  • Does your blockchain autonomously distribute other benefits to token holders? YES
  • Is there a related benefit to your users, resulting from built-in currency inflation? YES

Final result: 15 / 20.

It appears that the Talent Coin secured every major aspect of a good functioning token, aside from the governance, passive work and other technical features that are irrelevant to Playfold as it stands.

Tokens as utility and investment construct
In the blockchain and crypto business, utility tokens are currently seen as the best kind of token to be sold in an ICO. A utility token has a specific use in your application. If you are thinking about creating utility tokens, you should challenge your concept and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will want to buy and hold this token?
  • Why would people want to use it?
  • Under what scenarios will people need this token?
  • Can the same job be done better in a different way?

In general, if you want to create a utility token, you should be sure that the purpose of your token cannot be fulfilled more easily and cheaply without tokens.

A utility token has one clear advantage over other token classes, which is one reason behind the recent explosion of ICOs: in some circumstances and depending on the regional authority involved, token sales can circumvent official regulatory requirements governing traditional capital-raising processes like IPOs.

VII. Final Considerations.

In this essay we examined the potential and goals of the Talent Coin, with the purpose of bringing a new digital community together and work for a more hopeful future for creativity.

This is by no means a comprehensive description of the whole Playfold project, for which you can read the other stories in our official publication, our website and the comments of our ever growing community of artists, partners and institutional investors.

There is still a lot to do before we can have the ICO event we want to have. The most exciting, safest and most “real” of 2018.

There is still to explain to you in detail how you will be able to participate and what you’ll get for your participation.

(Including a kick-ass Bounty Campaign we are putting together with our media partners in London and New York).

So I want to thank you for reading this long — and I hope captivating — essay, and finish on a more abstract and inspirational statement about Playfold itself.

Playfold is the only media platform that can not only survive the next era of digital business, but grow to become the leader in its area.

This is because Playfold has the potential to bring Blockchain and Token Economics to the creative community online, with an environmnet designed for growth, ambition, fun and simplicity.
Because Playfold is one of the only companies of this new generation that has user fulfillment at its core, not only our customer’s experience, but how creators, businesses and brands are made to thrive.

Because Playfold knows how to engage every member and forge a new relationship with them. A relationship based on creativity and intellectual achievement, something than long ago was recognised to bring a much higher return on investment and more innovation.

But most of all, because Playfold is more than these things.
Playfold is the ideals of our creative community.

Playfold will improve partnerships, open up new market possibilities and promote the use of the Talent throughout all the major creative industries.

Playfold is a new perspective.
It’s a completely different way to envision all these elements, and it’s greater that the sum of its parts.
If you decide to invest your time, money or ideas in Playfold, you are not betting on a new service, or speculating on a new digital asset.

You are participating in the creation an entirely new way of doing things.

😊

Thank you!

If you want to learn more or contribute to Playfold, get in touch at press@plyfld.com, on Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and Facebook.

Follow me and all the other contributors of the Medium publication and keep reading! Your mind is the greatest asset of all.

😊



The Talent Coin. was originally published in Playfold™ on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Why you want blockchain-based AI (even if you don’t know it yet)

TL;DR: the blockchain-based AI stack offers the possibility for increased security and more rapid innovation. 
Recently, my nine-year-old daughter (who is, of course, the most tech-savvy person in the house), introduced me to a new Amazon Alexa skill.

“Alexa, start a conversation,” she said.

We were immediately drawn into an experience with new bot, or, as the technologists would say, “conversational user interface” (CUI).  It was, we were told, the recent winner in an Amazon AI competition from the University of Washington.

At first, the experience was fun, but when we chose to explore a technology topic, the bot responded, “have you heard of Net Neutrality?” What we experienced thereafter was slightly discomforting. The bot seemingly innocuously cited a number of articles that she “had read on the web” about the FCC, Ajit Pai, and the issue of net neutrality. But here’s the thing: All four articles she recommended had a distinct and clear anti-Ajit Pai bias.

Now, the topic of Net Neutrality is a heated one and many smart people make valid points on both sides, including Fred Wilson and Ben Thompson. That is how it should be.

But the experience of the Alexa CUI should give you pause, as it did me. To someone with limited familiarity with the topic of net neutrality, the voice seemed soothing and the information unbiased. But if you have a familiarity with the topic, you might start to wonder, “wait … am I being manipulated on this topic by an Amazon-owned AI engine to help the company achieve its own policy objectives?”

The experience highlights some of the risks of the AI-powered future into which we are hurtling at warp speed.

Any it’s a reminder that big companies, such as Amazon, have traditionally had big advantages when it comes to big data and AI.

The trust problem with centralized big data

According to Trent McConaghy, CTO of BigChainDB, AI took a huge evolutionary step forward in 2001. This was when two Microsoft researchers named Banko and Brill discovered something that now seems obvious to all of us: The bigger the data set you’re analyzing by orders of magnitude, the lower the error rates you get.

The era of Big Data was officially upon us and the race was on.

But if the race is about gathering, storing, and analyzing as much data as possible, then who is in the pole position to win? That’s right, the FANGs in the U.S. (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google), the BATs in China (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), and the wealthy Fortune 1000 or so multinational corporations.

They are the only ones with the reach and capital to get more data, store it, analyze it, and build AI models on top of it. What’s more, they are the only ones who can offer starting salaries in the $300,000 to $500,000 range and top-tier salaries that extend into to seven and eight digits. Your son or daughter may not make it to the NBA or NFL, but become a top AI scientist and you’re doing great.

The net effect of all of this is that the rich become even richer and more powerful and the barriers to innovation become even higher.

It is not only innovation that suffers, however. The closed nature of big-company AI means society must put its trust in “black boxes.”

Let’s look at how AI works to help make this clear. There are three layers that are essential

  1. The data repository
  2. The algorithm/machine learning engine
  3. The AI interface.

If you are going to trust your decision-making to a centralized AI source, you need to have 100 percent confidence in:

  • The integrity and security of the data (are the inputs accurate and reliable, and can they be manipulated or stolen?)
  • The machine learning algorithms that inform the AI (are they prone to excessive error or bias, and can they be inspected?)
  • The AI’s interface (does it reliably represent the output of the AI and effectively capture new data?)

In a centralized, closed model of AI, you are asked to implicitly trust in each layer without knowing what is going on behind the curtains.

For a simple conversation with a nine-year-old, this may not be the end of the world. But for certain African-American criminal defendants, the implications can be life-altering: According to both the New York Times and Wired, the use of a proprietary machine-learning system called COMPAS, which is used by courts in many parts of the U.S., actually recommends longer prison sentences for blacks than whites, with all other data points being equal.

In effect, the AI makes racially-biased decisions, but no one can inspect it, and the company that makes it will not explain it. It’s closed, it is hidden, and models like these are in the hands of big, powerful companies have no incentive to share them or reveal how they work.

How blockchains level the playing field and add trust

Over time, more and more data will flow into blockchains, and that will reduce the big data advantage that the FANGs, BATs, and Fortune 1000 have over the little guys.

As Deepak Dutt, CEO of AI-based identity proofing company Zighra says, “When data is commoditized, AI algorithms become the most valuable part of the ecosystem.” In other words, we’ll see a power shift from those who own big sets of data to those who build smart, useful algorithms.

That’s great, but if we’re moving data to blockchains, some big, thorny questions still exist. For example:

  • Where does the data go?
  • How is it discovered and utilized?
  • Why would people put their data in there?
  • And don’t the “big guys” still have a huge advantage in terms of building powerful AI?

Welcome to the world of Blockchain+AI.

3 blockchain projects tackling decentralized data and AI

A number of projects have popped up to reward people through cryptographic tokens for making their data available through a decentralized marketplace. The result could be ever-more accurate AI models and the ability to create valuable conversational user interfaces, all with the trust and transparency that blockchains offer.

We are going to look at three of them.

1. Ocean Protocol. On the repository level, the Ocean Protocol aims to create a “decentralized data exchange protocol and network that incentivizes the publishing of data for use in the training of artificial intelligence models.” Put more simply, if you upload valuable data to the Ocean network and your data is used by someone else to train an AI model, you are compensated.

Let’s take one of my favorite examples, my Nest thermostat. Right now, data is uploaded constantly from my thermostat to Google. With data from me and all other Nest owners, Google has a really strong data set against which it can build AI services that could, for example, know when someone should send an offer of insulation or new windows to my house.

That data, which is mine (and yours), has value, but Google currently gets it for free.

What if, however, an enterprising home automation AI scientist (let’s call her Alice) believes she can build a better model than Google can?

In the Ocean model, Alice would license your data (and the millions of other data points out there) and compensate you with some amount of Ocean tokens.

Now think even bigger …

All of that data you are giving away for free (Nest, Fitbit, Hue lights, Ring doorbell, and every other IOT device out there) now has

  • data integrity (everyone knows the source of the data)
  • clear ownership (you)
  • and thanks to cryptocurrencies and blockchains, a cost-effective way to buy and/or lease it.

You’re happy, since you’ll be getting compensated for something you’re currently giving away for free. Alice is happy, since she (eventually) will have access to the same dataset that Google has. Boom — playing field leveled, thanks to an open data marketplace. And we’re all safer from bias and error because the AI built on this data comes with more transparency, since the data sets that inform the models are known.

Another notable player in this space is IOTA, which already launched its marketplace.

2. SingularityNet. Now, let’s say Alice has really cracked the code on a powerful AI algorithm that could help marketers, government officials, or environmentalists understand how weather patterns affect energy consumption. That’s where SingularityNet comes in, focusing on the AI level.

SingularityNet has a strong leadership team which includes AI pioneers Ben Goertzel and David Hanson and aims to be the first AI-as-a-service (AIaaS) blcockhain-based marketplace. In their world, Alice offers up her model (for sale or rent) to others for use against their own dataset. Thanks to a standardized AI taxonomy, a search engine helps users discover and rapidly integrate Alice’s model with complementary models, creating even more powerful and better trained models.

Coming back to our Nest example, let’s say that Alice’s model is built to study the home energy market in New York City. Combine that with models for Newark, Stamford, and Long Island, and you can start getting even better insights about tri-state area consumption.

Since ownership of the model is clear (it belongs to Alice), her intellectual property is protected. Every time her model is used, she is compensated in SingularityNet’s AGI tokens (AGI being the acronym for Artificial General Intelligence). Now you have the data sets that the big guys have AND access to the AI models they have as well.

For those of you familiar with the crypto space, the project will sound a lot like Numerai, albeit with a more broad focus than the hedge-fund disintermediation objective Numerai has.

The implications of a successful rollout of the more broadly focused SingularityNet on every industry could be quite dramatic. It should lead to an arms race in terms of AI models among industry competitors and will likely impact the required skill sets for jobs of the future.

3. SEED. Finally, at the interface level comes SEED, a project that is looking to give us all confidence that we can actually trust the bots in our lives.

According to SEED, “The bot market is estimated to grow from $3 billion to $20 billion by 2021,” a projection that means interactions like the one my daughter and I had with Alexa will become much more common and potentially more risky. After all, even if you completely trust Amazon, there’s still the possibility the bot you are interfacing with has been hijacked.

The solution for this is the combination of the SEED Network, the SEED Network Marketplace, and the Seed Token.

The SEED Network is an open-source, decentralized network where any and all bot interactions can be managed, viewed, and verified. It is also the framework for ensuring that the data fed into the AI via the conversational user interface aka “bot” can be assigned a data owner who can be compensated for it.

The Marketplace is the way aspiring bot creators, like AI model creators, can sell and license the various components they have built to others who need the services. While the University of Washington students who built the winning AI for Amazon were probably thrilled with their $500,000 check, they would probably be more thrilled to get a small royalty on every interaction their CUI has with Alexa’s users in perpetuity.

Finally, the SEED token is the mechanism through which bot creators and data owners (you and I) are compensated for the value created inside the network.

To round it out, let’s come back to Alice. She has not only built an AI for home energy use, she has built a bot that will periodically ask you, “Hey, are you feeling hot or cold in your house right now?” When you answer, you are feeding data into the AI and into the AI repository. That’s your data. Why shouldn’t you be compensated for it? After all, it makes the AI better and enriches the data repository. SEED says you should, and it secures your asset rights in the blockchain.

When all is said and done, SEED will offer you better protection for the data you offer and greater confidence in the authenticity and reputation of the bot with which you are interacting.

The promise of blockchain-based AI

Blockchain-based AI projects are still in very early development, and the big data kings have a huge advantage, but so did the Atlanta Falcons at halftime of last year’s Super Bowl.

As blockchains drive into the mainstream, we will see more and more data hitting decentralized marketplaces and exchanges. As people realize the value their personal data has, along with the opportunities to monetize it, and as networks like SEED, SingularityNet, and Ocean mature, we will see a tipping point in the evolution of big data, moving from a closed, siloed phenomenon to open systems where the creators of data are more fairly rewarded for their contributions.

It is too early to tell which protocols will be the winners and whether these three first movers I’ve pointed to will remain in the lead or lose out to the next wave of fast-followers.

The only clear thing is that the winners will be the developers and consumers whose data and intellectual property will be rewarded and whose experiences will be protected from bad or manipulating actors by open, transparent systems.

The post Why you want blockchain-based AI (even if you don’t know it yet) appeared first on Never Stop Marketing.

Beware of Bubbles

What is a bubble?

In the context of capital markets, a “bubble” is a phenomenon in which the prices of an asset or asset class are bid up to levels far beyond their historical baseline, and far beyond what any rational valuation of future prospects would warrant.

Put simply, bubbles typically arise when some legit factor causes there to be excess demand for an asset, thus forcing the price of the asset to rise. This rise in price attracts speculators looking to turn a quick profit, which in turn drives the price up further. If speculators drive its price up enough, it gets the attention of the large financial institutions. Those who are bullish on the asset or are confident that they can make a quick buck out of it begin to drive its price up at an exponential rate. A fear of missing out kicks in and fund managers buy in simply because they see other managers doing the same. At this point, fortunes have already been made by those who bought in at the beginning. Stories of these overnight millionaires flood the news, suddenly everyone with a few bucks to scrape together is considering joining the fold.

This is where the calls of a market bubble start to appear. Sophisticated investors familiar with past market bubbles start to cry out that there is no away these price increases can continue. However, prices keep going up. There are still enough unsophisticated investors drawn in by the tales of the overnight millionaires, hoping it is not too late. Typically there are even large price corrections, but the asset quickly returns to reaching new highs. Eventually, the voices warning against a market bubble begin to get drowned out by the crowd.

Buyers begin to think that there is no limit to how high the price can go. To quote Alan Greenspan (though he was not the first person to use the expression), “Irrational Exuberance” begins to set in. Unfortunately, it is at this point, when the least sophisticated investors have just managed to scrape some money together to get in on the action, that there is no one left who is looking to buy in. At this point, supply starts to outpace demand, and prices begin to fall.

As soon as the this happens, all the speculators begin to panic and sell out immediately, since their decision to buy had no relation to the underlying fundamentals of the asset. No one is left waiting on the outside too buy in on the next price correction, so prices continue to decline. This leads to an incredible reduction in prices, leaving the common investors, those last to enter the fray and last to find out that the party is over, with empty retirement accounts and a wealth of newfound knowledge.

Past Bubbles

Perhaps the most notorious bubble occurred for tulips in 17th-century Holland, and has since been coined “tulip mania”. Tulips were brought from Turkey into Holland in the late 16th century, and the novelty of this new flower made it very sought after, driving up the price. This attracted more buyers, raising the price again and again until inevitably the priced collapsed. The price fell from around $60 to ten cents, and overnight the savings of thousands of people were completely wiped out.

While the idea that tulips could be purchased for investment purposes at any price is particularly absurd, in truth, no asset is a good investment at any price. The most recent bubbles have occurred in industries which truly had a phenomenal potential for growth, yet even so, this potential for growth was still only finite. The valuations placed on the companies in these industries were priced as if they were guaranteed to grow hundreds of times over in the immediate future. Inevitably reality would sink in, and even if a given company was still poised to increase its earnings 10x over the next few years, it would see its stock price crumble.

The best example of this is the intertnet bubble, the Nasdaq declined by 75% from 2000–2002. Speculation that internet the would fundamentally change the way the world operated caused buyers to believe that no price was too high to pay for interenet stocks. Companies who added “tech” or “internet” to their name saw their share price increase astronomically within a matter of days. IPO’s for new tech companies were a near-daily occurrence, and investors would throw their money at these companies with little to no due diligence. While investors were right about the fact that the internet would change the world and dominate the lives of millions of people, many of these companies didn’t make last more than a handful of years, and it took 20 years for the Nasdaq stock index to surpass its 2000 peak.

This is where the true danger lies, not in industries with have little prospect for legitimate growth, but in industries with awesome potential.

Today’s Bubbles

CryptoCurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to completely revolutionize the global financial system. They have the potential to circumvent central banks, allow for the expedient transfer of money across borders, and potenitally lower fees, among a barrage of other potential uses. The blockchain technology that enables them to function has revolutionary potential in its own right. While some may doubt the validity of cryptocurrencies, there are very few in the know who scoff at the potential of blockchain technology.

All of this potential for growth has caused the price of the most predominate cryptocurrency, bitcoin, to increase fifteen-fold over the course of 2017. Other cryptocurrencies have experienced a similar rise. Reminiscent of the tech bubble in the early 2000’s, companies have seen their share prices increase several times over simply because they added some variant of blockchain or cryptocurrency to their name. New coins are being launched, known as an initial coin offering (ICO), and the prices of such coins often skyrocket upon their launch due to massive amounts of promotion only to crash back down shortly thereafter.

One problem with cryptocurrencies is that there is no standard method for valuing them. They produce no earings and they give holders claim to no assets. Any intrinsic value for cryptocurrencies stems from the natural demand for them in order to complete transactions.

Alas, the increase in price over 2017 has not come as a result of an increased likelihood that Bitcoin will be used for transactions across the world, i.e due to a growing acceptance as a store of value and medium of exchange. Instead, it is the of a result of a speculative bubble. As with previous market bubbles, this situation is unlikely to end well, and it will be those who can afford to lose the least who will suffer the most.

Marijuana?

The underground market for marijuana in North America is likely in the billions. With Canada expected to legalize the substance sometime in July 2018, and many States having already gone ahead with legalization, cannabis stock have risen through the roof. Companies with negative earnings are being given billion dollar plus valuations based primarily on speculation.

While some companies are sure to dominate this industry and warrant their sky high valuations, just as a few select internet stocks did in the past, the vast majority of them will likely fall short. Even those which are ultimatley successul will take a long time to realize the level of earnings which justifies their current valuation and may well become more affordable before that time arrives.

Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, there is less reason to believe that marijuana stocks are in bubble territory. In fact, whether they will ever get to that level is also uncertain, but it is a fair statement to say that the majority of these companies should be classified as highly speculative given their current valuations.

Crypto Technology Will Reinvigorate the RegTech Landscape

Crypto Technology Will Reinvigorate the RegTech Landscape


aXpire is a leading RegTech Solutions Provider, find out more at aXpire.io

RegTech spending, as a percentage of regulatory spending, will increase dramatically, from 4.8% in 2017 to 34.4% by 2022. With multinational financial institutions such as Citi having as many as 30,000 compliance staff, just 3 bank compliance departments could fill London’s Wembley Stadium. This level of staffing means that a 50% reduction could save a single large bank $1.2 billion per annum, based on average wages. To give some additional context, the RegTech market stands at $10.6Bn in 2017, and is predicted to grow at a 48% CAGR, to ~$75Bn, by 2022.

Driving this increase in demand is the need to reduce Paper, PDF and Spreadsheets (PPS) from the mid- and back-office, and replace these archaic practices with digital, auditable workflows, hosted on the cloud, and empowered by blockchain technology. Below are a couple of cases in which blockchain technology will reinvigorate and grow the RegTech market.

Private Equity Deal Data Solution

Most data regarding private equity transactions is stored internally on the firm’s servers, or with a third party data storage provider. The parties involved in any given transaction, such as a buyout, include the portfolio company, the buyers and sellers. More often the case, a transaction will also include investment banks, lawyers, consultants, accountants, and sometimes advisors. Among these groups, sensitive data surrounding the transaction and the company being transacted is passed around. This data is sometimes shared via email and/or virtual data rooms (“VDR”). VDRs aren’t cheap, and are typically reserved for larger firms, while I’ve seen some smaller deals use a dropbox account. A single data room can hold gigabytes of data on a company and their employees. At which point seller advisors take good care to scrub this data of any sensitive materials that could adversely affect employees. Moreover, once the data room is shared there is little the seller can do ensure that data isn’t emailed or stored on a buyers server. The concern is that terabytes of private company data is held by various parties on independent ledgers and is vulnerable to attack.

Imagine a future where the seller owns all deal information via a private blockchain. The investment bank on the transaction would have a centralized location to tack in real time the ownership of documents. Compare the current process a document, like an NDA, is sent from an investment bank to a potential buyer. The potential buyer then forwards the NDA to their general counsel, who then may send it to external counsel. The external counsel will then send it back to the general counsel of the potential buyer and then it works its way back to the investment bank. With a blockchain solution, the investment bank could set up a private chain where all the buying party members could access the documents in real time, changes could be kept and tracked by the investment bank.

General Asset Managers Solution

The solution may be grossly oversimplified, but there is so much potential to improve the backend of financial services. When applying this to compliance, negotiating financing agreements, or drafting closing documents, having everything on a blockchain can allow for more data security and transparency to businesses owners in regards to where their data is being sent.

Moreover, blockchain technology could be used to help fund managers (hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital) better communicate and transfer funds with their limited partners. An internal private blockchain at a fund could be used to track quantitative based performance reviews and compensation. However, in a world where every fund’s internal matters are operating on a private blockchain, there could rise some new problems. We can only make data harder to compromise, not impossible to hack. For one, competitors will have to get clever quickly to try and estimate competitor pricing but this would be quite difficult to do. Another being, firms could pay hackers to uses sly methods to collect data from their competitor’s private blockchain.

Industry Agnostic Solution

There are a great deal of external expenses that companies in all industries have to manage to effectively improve their Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC). In the current scenario, external vendors, who provide services to a company e.g. an accounting firm, submit expenses as letters in the mail, or email, with all responsibility of digitally storing and auditing these invoices falling on the companies they service. Currently, this work is performed by printing invoices, marking line items for fund/cost center allocation by hand, negotiating by phone or email with vendors, sometimes having invoices updated and re-submitted, and then handing marked-up paper copies to the accounting team, who enter data into spreadsheets in order to allocate expenses to funds/cost centres. All of this manual/administrative effort, with minimal audit trail and knowledge of the progress/location of invoices or immediate reports on the allocation of expenses. With AIFMD, FATCA and SEC requirements, this process quickly becomes costly without efficient technology in place.

A blockchain solutions conveyed through a SaaS interface, reduces complications of sorting and auditing invoices, while maintaining an understanding of cash levels within the company. Detailed, auditable reports are quickly available to regulatory bodies, or the CFO, for inspection and understanding of how cash is moving around the company. Not only does this enhance compliance, but also this upgraded process improves profitability.

Conclusion

The answers listed above are just a few ways companies in asset management and other industries must implement digital technologies, including blockchain, to become truly competitive. To give additional context, researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management estimate “companies throw away 20% of their revenue dealing with data quality issues.” If this isn’t enough to convince companies to upgrade, they will likely fade away as the survival of the fittest nature of capitalism rewards the most efficient companies.

Crypto Technology Will Reinvigorate the RegTech Landscape

Crypto Technology Will Reinvigorate the RegTech Landscape


aXpire is a leading RegTech Solutions Provider, find out more at aXpire.io

RegTech spending, as a percentage of regulatory spending, will increase dramatically, from 4.8% in 2017 to 34.4% by 2022. With multinational financial institutions such as Citi having as many as 30,000 compliance staff, just 3 bank compliance departments could fill London’s Wembley Stadium. This level of staffing means that a 50% reduction could save a single large bank $1.2 billion per annum, based on average wages. To give some additional context, the RegTech market stands at $10.6Bn in 2017, and is predicted to grow at a 48% CAGR, to ~$75Bn, by 2022.

Driving this increase in demand is the need to reduce Paper, PDF and Spreadsheets (PPS) from the mid- and back-office, and replace these archaic practices with digital, auditable workflows, hosted on the cloud, and empowered by blockchain technology. Below are a couple of cases in which blockchain technology will reinvigorate and grow the RegTech market.

Private Equity Deal Data Solution

Most data regarding private equity transactions is stored internally on the firm’s servers, or with a third party data storage provider. The parties involved in any given transaction, such as a buyout, include the portfolio company, the buyers and sellers. More often the case, a transaction will also include investment banks, lawyers, consultants, accountants, and sometimes advisors. Among these groups, sensitive data surrounding the transaction and the company being transacted is passed around. This data is sometimes shared via email and/or virtual data rooms (“VDR”). VDRs aren’t cheap, and are typically reserved for larger firms, while I’ve seen some smaller deals use a dropbox account. A single data room can hold gigabytes of data on a company and their employees. At which point seller advisors take good care to scrub this data of any sensitive materials that could adversely affect employees. Moreover, once the data room is shared there is little the seller can do ensure that data isn’t emailed or stored on a buyers server. The concern is that terabytes of private company data is held by various parties on independent ledgers and is vulnerable to attack.

Imagine a future where the seller owns all deal information via a private blockchain. The investment bank on the transaction would have a centralized location to tack in real time the ownership of documents. Compare the current process a document, like an NDA, is sent from an investment bank to a potential buyer. The potential buyer then forwards the NDA to their general counsel, who then may send it to external counsel. The external counsel will then send it back to the general counsel of the potential buyer and then it works its way back to the investment bank. With a blockchain solution, the investment bank could set up a private chain where all the buying party members could access the documents in real time, changes could be kept and tracked by the investment bank.

General Asset Managers Solution

The solution may be grossly oversimplified, but there is so much potential to improve the backend of financial services. When applying this to compliance, negotiating financing agreements, or drafting closing documents, having everything on a blockchain can allow for more data security and transparency to businesses owners in regards to where their data is being sent.

Moreover, blockchain technology could be used to help fund managers (hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital) better communicate and transfer funds with their limited partners. An internal private blockchain at a fund could be used to track quantitative based performance reviews and compensation. However, in a world where every fund’s internal matters are operating on a private blockchain, there could rise some new problems. We can only make data harder to compromise, not impossible to hack. For one, competitors will have to get clever quickly to try and estimate competitor pricing but this would be quite difficult to do. Another being, firms could pay hackers to uses sly methods to collect data from their competitor’s private blockchain.

Industry Agnostic Solution

There are a great deal of external expenses that companies in all industries have to manage to effectively improve their Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC). In the current scenario, external vendors, who provide services to a company e.g. an accounting firm, submit expenses as letters in the mail, or email, with all responsibility of digitally storing and auditing these invoices falling on the companies they service. Currently, this work is performed by printing invoices, marking line items for fund/cost center allocation by hand, negotiating by phone or email with vendors, sometimes having invoices updated and re-submitted, and then handing marked-up paper copies to the accounting team, who enter data into spreadsheets in order to allocate expenses to funds/cost centres. All of this manual/administrative effort, with minimal audit trail and knowledge of the progress/location of invoices or immediate reports on the allocation of expenses. With AIFMD, FATCA and SEC requirements, this process quickly becomes costly without efficient technology in place.

A blockchain solutions conveyed through a SaaS interface, reduces complications of sorting and auditing invoices, while maintaining an understanding of cash levels within the company. Detailed, auditable reports are quickly available to regulatory bodies, or the CFO, for inspection and understanding of how cash is moving around the company. Not only does this enhance compliance, but also this upgraded process improves profitability.

Conclusion

The answers listed above are just a few ways companies in asset management and other industries must implement digital technologies, including blockchain, to become truly competitive. To give additional context, researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management estimate “companies throw away 20% of their revenue dealing with data quality issues.” If this isn’t enough to convince companies to upgrade, they will likely fade away as the survival of the fittest nature of capitalism rewards the most efficient companies.

A Simple Smart Contract Using Solidity, Which You Wished To Create But Didn’t knew How To Start?


source

Blockchain is the technology working at the core & empowering all the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoins which has been catching the imaginations of the masses. I have already covered the blockchain basics in my previous articles-

1. Blockchain Technology Part 1 : What and Why ?

2. Blockchain Technology Part 2 : Smart Contract Fundamentals

3. Smart Contract: A Blockchain Innovation For Non-Techies

It is recommended that you go through all those basic fundamentals, to have the required understanding before we write our first smart contract.

Assumption :

  • You must have basic fundamental knowledge of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin & Ethereum, Litecoin etc…
  • You should have some hands-on experience in ANY programming language or scripts (like C, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Shell etc.)

We will create our first smart contract using a popular Solidity Framework . So let me first navigate you through some basics of Solidity as a whole. We will cover this journey together in following steps

  1. What Is Solidity?
  2. IDE’s & Tools We Need To Get Started.
  3. Getting Hands Dirty With Coding Stuff.

1. What Is Solidity?

Solidity is a high level language which helps developers to implement smart contracts and extracts it’s essence from C++, Python & JS. Solidity language has been designed to support EVM(Ethereum Virtual Machine). Solidity is statically typed and supports inheritance. It comes loaded with some rich set of libraries to help you code with ease.

Solidity is a contract-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts. It was influenced by C++, Python and JavaScript and is designed to target the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Solidity is statically typed, supports inheritance, libraries and complex user-defined types among other features.

As you will see, it is possible to create contracts for voting, crowdfunding, blind auctions, multi-signature wallets and more.

2. IDE’s & Tools We Need To Get Started.

To get started with solidity you need IDE , as you need it to develop any Android, iOS Or Web Apps. Some of the popular IDE’s which support solidity plugin-

IDE’s-

As per official solidity web portal :- Here are few among many IDE’s which supports smart contracts development-

Solidity Tools(source)

  • Dapp– Build tool, package manager, and deployment assistant for Solidity.
  • Solidity REPL– Try Solidity instantly with a command-line Solidity console.
  • Solgraph– Visualize Solidity control flow and highlight potential security vulnerabilities.
  • evmdis– EVM Disassembler that performs static analysis on the bytecode to provide a higher level of abstraction than raw EVM operations.
  • Doxity– Documentation Generator for Solidity.

Installing Solidity:

Using npm / Node.js:

It can be done in most portable & hassle free way using Emscripten a platform independent JS library. Here is the repository of solc-js. Download it. you will have command line tool called solcjs which you can install using npm as given below-

npm install g solc

Solidity Binary Packages:

To get Binary packages of Solidity click: solidity/releases.

Binary packages of Solidity available at solidity/releases.

Personal Packages Archive:

You can slo download PPAs for Ubuntu. For the latest stable version do this

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install solc

For Cutting edge developer version do this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install solc

For more detail about getting through with the Solidity installation please go through :

Installing Solidity — Solidity 0.4.20 documentation

Once you are through configuring Solidity based on your pc/laptops Operating system, you will be all set to start writing your very first Ethereum smart contract.

3. Getting Hands Dirty With Coding Stuff.

Your Maiden Smart Contract Code Snippet : Are You Excited?

Here We Go . ……….

A Smart Contract- How Does It Look CodeWise:

& It’s Ok if you are not able to grab some of what has been written we will understand as we go about it in detail.

MyFirstContract:

//Code Snippet 1.0
pragma solidity ^0.4.0;// here we define the version of solidity
contract MyFirstContract {
uint mydata;
function set(uint x) public {
mydata = a;
}
function get() public constant returns (uint) {
return myData;
}
}

Lets decode the code snippet 1.0:

pragma : keyword instructs compiler how to treat the source code written. As you can see we have instructed the compiler about the version of Solidity. A contract structure has two major component-

  1. Functions
  2. State(Data)

this datas are stored at specific address on Ethereum Blockchain.

uint mydata;  it is a declaration of data state variable which has a dataype of unsigned integer(of 256 bits size)

functions:-

function set(uint x) public {
mydata = a;
}
function get() public constant returns (uint) {
return myData;
}

here the functions set and get helps you to modify or retrieve the value of the variable.

Note! In order to access a state variable like mydata , you don’t need the prefix this. as we get to see in many other programming language.

So now you have consumed the very first dose of ethereum smart contract and must be feeling energised, so now when you know some smart contract fundas.

Let me take you through a cryptocurrency example to take you on a ride full of excitement & adventure in 2017 and help you welcome 2018 where you will have all the confidence to be a blockchain expert.

Every new skills learned should be a adventure for a developer. It should be a fuel to keep us going and keep us inspired. — Pramod Chandrayan

See i am writing this article out of sheer excitement & with a purpose to learn more and help more fellow champ developer community by sharing what i have experienced as a blockchain enthusiast

So let us dig deeper with some more code and now this time it is a crypto creation itself.


How Ethereum Works

A Crypto Coin Example Demo in Solidity-

MyFirstCoin:

This code snippet has been inspired by solidity official web page

Code Snippet 2.0// sourced from
pragma solidity 0.4.8;
contract MyFirstCoin {
/*
* @note Example for the Solidity Course
* @dev Just for demo the simple crypto example
*
*/
address public iMinter;
uint public SumTotalCoin;
event CoinsMintedLog(address addressedTo, uint amount);
event CoinsSentLog(address sentTo, uint amount);
mapping (address => uint) balances;
function Coin(uint initCoins) {
iMinter = msg.sender;
SumTotalCoin = initCoins;
balances[iMinter] = initCoins;
}
/// @notice Mint the coins
/// @dev This does not return any value
/// @param owner address of the coin owner, amount amount of coins to be delivered to owner
/// @return Nothing
function mint(address owner, uint amount) {
if (msg.sender != iMinter) return;
balances[owner] += amount;
SumTotalCoin += amount;
CoinsMintedLog(owner, amount);
}
function send(address receiver, uint amount) {
if (balances[msg.sender] < amount) return;
balances[msg.sender] -= amount;
balances[receiver] += amount;
CoinsSentLog(receiver, amount);
}
function queryBalance(address addr) constant returns (uint balance) {
return balances[addr];
}
function killCoin() returns (bool status) {
if (msg.sender != minter) throw;
selfdestruct(minter);
}
}

Explanation Time For MyFirstCoin:

address public iMinter;

declares a state variable of type address that is publicly accessible. The address type is a 160-bit value that does not allow any arithmetic operations. It has public access type so that you can access these data state variable current value it holds, Without this keyword, other contracts have no way to access the variable. The function will look something like this:

function minter() returns (address) { return iMinter; }

mapping (address => uint) public balances;

here we are creating a balance type of complex state variable which maps addresses to unsigned integer data type. Here mapping an address uses hash tables which virtually initialized such that every possible key exists and is mapped to a value whose byte-representation is all zeros.

event CoinsSentLog(address sentTo, uint amount);

This event is triggered within the function send where it listens to the. As soon as it is fired, the listener will also receive the arguments from, to and amount, which makes tracking transactions. To listen for this event, you can use below code snippet

MyFirstCoin.Sent().watch({}, ‘’, function(error, result) {
if (!error) {
console.log(“Coin transfer: “ + result.args.amount +
“ coins were sent from “ + result.args.from +
“ to “ + result.args.to + “.”);
console.log(“Balances now:n” +
“Sender: “ + MyFirstCoin.balances.call(result.args.from) +
“Receiver: “ + MyFirstCoin.balances.call(result.args.to));
}
})

MyFirstCoin is the constructor which is run during creation of the contract and cannot be called afterwards. It permanently stores the address of the person creating the contract: msg (together with tx and block) is a magic global variable that contains some properties which allow access to the blockchain. msg.sender is always the address where the current (external) function call came from.

functions like mint and send, will eventually hold the contracts to enquired by the users & other similar contracts. If anyone other than contract creator tries to access mint it is not possible.

Only send method can be used by a person who already have some coins in their kitty to send.

What Next :

I hope you now have some required understanding of how to write a basic smart contract , next we will further try to understand how EVM ethereum virtual machine function and manages transactions. Some of the things which we will cover in the upcoming series of articles on “ Blockchain Using Solidity.” –

  1. EVM Overview
  2. Ethereum Accounts
  3. Transactions Between Those Accounts

& much more….

Summing Up:

As I have already spoken in one of my article Top 3 Technology Trends For 2018, Which Will Be A Game Changer ! that Blockchain based tech will be a hot cake in coming years and if one is looking for better career opportunity professionally he should not only keep a close eye on it, but also need to invest some serious time learning the craft of it. Banking, voting, insurance, user authentication, contracting & many more use cases will pop up as the year unfolds, and one should not just let it pass by. As a developer or as an entrepreneur it becomes really important that we adopt this trend and create some innovative solutions which can pass on the benefit to the masses.


smart contract use cases

Already people who never traded in the existing share market have started to invest in their capacity on cryptos, with all excitement to grow their wealth. The ease of creating account & freedom to invest without too much regulation has fascinated many new & first time investor. This is not going to cool of any sooner.

With all this open market opportunities, now onus is on all the Technology innovators & Visionaries to utilize this blockchain technology and see what they can come up with, to fire the imagination of the youth, who are going to be an early adopter of what we have to offer.

Don’t forget to check out my thoughts on edge computing:

All About Edge Computing- How It Is Changing The Present Past & Future Of IoT?

which i feel will be a tech trend to watch out in 2018 & beyond.

If you are 💚 💚 my contribution do 👏 👏 clap , Click Here and subscribe to reach out to me for more and I would feel blessed to hear you and respond back.

for more do check out : www.techprenuer.com where very often i share my learning for all you lovely readers .

I am really honored with all the love & feedbacks, I have been receiving for my contribution and i am really thankful to all of you for inspiring me….

Thanks A Lot & Wishing You All A Very Blissful New Year 2018, ahead.

Love this, Kai.

Love this, Kai. Incredibly clear, sound logic from someone who has obvious business experience (eh hem 😉

To many of your points laid out in this article, here is what we’re doing with the blockchain:

How We Are Using the Blockchain in The Buildout of an Independent & Regenerative Media Ecosystem

It would be great to connect on the writing/contribution front for our next generation of Insurge Intelligence — your style and perspective lends very well to our core format.

Cheers.

Love this, Kai.

Love this, Kai. Incredibly clear, sound logic from someone who has obvious business experience (eh hem 😉

To many of your points laid out in this article, here is what we’re doing with the blockchain:

How We Are Using the Blockchain in The Buildout of an Independent & Regenerative Media Ecosystem

It would be great to connect on the writing/contribution front for our next generation of Insurge Intelligence — your style and perspective lends very well to our core format.

Cheers.

Getting Started With Cryptocurrency | Bitcoin & More!

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What Will I Learn?

  • -What exactly is cryptocurrency?
  • What is Blockchain?
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  • The Different types of cryptocurrency wallets
  • Cryptocurrency Trading
  • Getting Started with cryptocurrency trading
  • Cryptocoin Mining
  • Other Options to Earn Cryptocoins on the Exchange

Description

Are you familiar with terms such as Bitcoin, ethereum, litecoins, and whatnot? Maybe you have heard these terms, but do you have any idea about what they are? Maybe you know they are related to cryptocurrency, but do you know how to use them and move ahead investing through them? It is also possible that you may have used them to pay for a purchase done online or maybe you want to own some amount of cryptocurrency, but you have no idea what to do. Or maybe your lack of knowledge in this area makes you slightly scared about foraying into it. Don’t worry. This guide will help you get started in cryptocurrency. You will learn all about what cryptocurrency is. What blockchain technology is and how it makes your digital money safer than your regular money. What fiat money is and how you can change it to digital money and vice versa. You will learn how to store your cryptocoins and how to trade with them and also get some tips about how to get started and move forward to earn more and more profits in cryptocurrency trading.

Requirements

  • You should be able to use a PC at the beginner level

Venezuela is going to create its own cryptocurrency

President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a new cryptocurrency “petro”, which will be provided with commodity stocks, including oil, diamonds and gold.

Keep in touch with all the crypto news with Telegram channel & website subscription.

According to Maduro, this will allow to overcome the “financial blockade” of the country. To implement the plans, he created the Office for Venezuelan CryptoCurrency and its interaction with the world.

The opposition is skeptical towards this idea, believing that the cryptocurrency will not solve economic problems. Venezuela is in a situation of a severe economic crisis.

22nd December 2017 | Daily Business Digest


Startup #founders who wishes to share their story can email us at dreamcatchers@tussleandtriumph.com

#Blockchain and Crypto News: SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi has said that Bitcoins, and cryptocurrencies in general, cannot be ignored.

#Personality Focus:

Mohandas Pai has so far invested in over 18 startups. He also runs five investment funds: Aarin Capital, Aaruha Technology Fund, Exfinity Venture Partners, The Saha Fund, Tandem Capital and 3one4 Capital, with a cumulative capital of $500 Mn. He is also one of the most active top angel investors in India.

#Indian Startup News

#21. IoT startup HexOctane to raise $2.5 mn

#20. Healthcare services aggregator EasyBuyHealth raises 350K

#19. Hero Electric promoters, others invest in bike taxi & on-demand delivery app N.O.W

#18. Tendulkar-backed Smartron buys into home automation startup MiQasa

#17. Tiger Global-backed Razorpay to foray into online lending

#16. Twitter targets business users with live news to boost ad revenue

#15. Omidyar-backed Indus OS raises $4 mn in pre-Series B funding

#14. E-commerce enabler EasyEcom raises angel funding

#13. Flipkart to float artificial intelligence unit AIforIndia

#12. Alibaba launches first cloud data centre in India

#11. Diabetes management app Wellthy raises funding from GrowX Ventures

#10. Ratan Tata, others invest in cannabis research startup BOHECO

#9. Carlyle acquires majority stake in Visionary RCM Infotech

#8. Venture Catalysts invests in online gifting company IGP.com

#7. Quikr to acquire HDFC Realty, HDFC Developers

#6. FidelisWorld-backed Smaaash raises $14 mn from HNIs

#5. Solar panel maker Waaree Energies raises $15.6 mn from Centrum Financial, others

#4. Flipkart Bolsters Artificial Intelligence Push By Creating An Internal AIforIndia Unit

India’s ecommerce behemoth Flipkart is taking big steps to make headway in the area of artificial intelligence by creating an internal unit called AIforIndia, in order to put machine learning and AI at the core of its business.

#3. More Than 50,700 Complaints Filed Against Ecommerce Firms Last Fiscal

Over 50,760 complaints were filed against ecommerce firms between April 2016 and March 2017, a steep jump from 23,955 in the financial year prior to that. The figures were recently revealed in a written reply to the Lok Sabha by Consumer Affairs Minister C.R. Chaudhary.

#2. Mobile Operating System Indus OS Raises $4 Mn From Existing Investors

Homegrown mobile operating system and native applications platform Indus OS has raised $4 Mn Pre Series B funding from existing investors Omidyar Network, Ventureast and JSW Ventures. With this, the startup’s total fundraise till date has reached $13 Mn.

#1. Amazon Prime Membership Program Now Applicable To 11 Mn Products In India

Amazon’s popular membership programme, Amazon Prime has grown to encompass over 11 Mn Prime eligible products across categories in India this year, compared to the 2 Mn products it offered in 2016. The programme also saw customers from over 350 cities across the country signing up in 2017.

#Global Startup News

#5. Uber rival Didi Chuxing gets $4 bn from SoftBank, others for global expansion

#4. Sequoia Capital seeks up to $6 bn for new global fund: Report

#3. Traditional businesses have invested $50 million in start-ups this year

More than a dozen traditional businesses have made investments totalling $50 million in 11 start-ups in 2017, shows data from Venture Intelligence

#2. Daimler buys majority stake in French car-ride app Chauffeur Prive

The Daimler-Chauffeur Prive deal, whose details weren’t disclosed, is aimed at Uber and the latest example of car firms tying up with a car-ride start-ups

#1. China’s Didi Chuxing gets more than $4 billion in new funding round

Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion in a new funding round to fuel its international expansion and development of artificial intelligence

#Indian Business News

#1. Reliance Infrastructure sells Mumbai power business to Adani Transmission for Rs18,800 crore

Reliance Infrastructure will use the proceeds from the sale of its Mumbai power assets to repay debt, and post the deal, it will turn debt-free

#2. HDFC Capital raises $500 mn for second affordable housing fund

#3. Altico Capital invests $195 mn across realty projects in Hyderabad, Pune

#4. Lodha Developers plans $1 bn IPO, hires bankers

#5. Edelweiss aims to mop up as much as $1 bn in infra fund

#6. Azim Premji Trust sold 2.73% stake in Wipro in share buyback offer

Azim Premji Trust, along with nine other promoter entities, offloaded a little over 17.96 crore shares during the share buyback that closed on 13 December

#7. Canara Bank to sell 4% stake in Canfin Homes

The stake sale in Canfin Homes will reduce Canara Bank’s shareholding in its housing finance subsidiary to 26%

#8. Air India’s operational profit rises to Rs215 crore in 2016–17

Air India Ltd’s operational profit rose to Rs215 crore and net loss narrowed to Rs3,643 crore in 2016–17, ahead of its planned privatisation

#9. Maruti seeks more govt incentives to make electric cars affordable

Maruti Suzuki, which plans to launch its first electric vehicle by 2020, also said it will conduct a study to find consumer insights to prepare for the journey

#10. PepsiCo’s midlife crisis in India

Changing consumer preferences and rising competition have led to a fall in market shares and revenues that the US-based food and beverages maker has failed to arrest despite shifting focus to healthier offerings

#11. Will Apple be the first to reach $1 trillion market capitalization?

Apple, the company that Steve Jobs founded, lost and re-found is now within touching distance of becoming the first company to achieve a market capitalization of $1 trillion

#12. Gujarat NRE Coke faces liquidation as NCLT says no to deadline extension

At least four firms keen to take over Gujarat NRE Coke, but none will be able to submit binding bids within specified time frame, NCLT-appointed administrator says

#13. Waaree Energies raises Rs100 crore from Centrum Financial, global private equity fund

The proceeds will go towards the growth capital requirement of Waaree Energies

#14. Essar Steel creditors may extend deadline to sign agreements with bidders

The deadline for a binding agreement is fixed by the resolution professional and approved by the committee of creditors. The deadline for Essar Steel is in the last week of December

#15. Tycoons set to remake India steel as $26 billion battle heats up

Surging steel prices and a new Indian insolvency law have set the stage for an industry-defining battle between tycoons and producers for more than $26 billion of the sector’s most-coveted assets, reports Bloomberg.

#16. Altico Capital invests Rs1,250 crore in 5 realty deals

Altico Capital, the non-banking finance company, promoted by Clearwater Capital, Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Varde Partners, has invested over Rs1,250 crore across five deals in Pune and Hyderabad, reports The Economic Times.

#17. Creditors of insolvent companies can get shares at discount

The Companies Amendment Bill passed by Parliament has brought relief for creditors involved in insolvency proceedings allowing them to acquire shares of insolvent company at a discounted price, reports The Economic Times.

#18. Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices Boards clear terms for consumer business merger

The boards of Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and its listed Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (TTML) unit separately cleared the terms for the merger of Tata Group companies’ consumer mobility business with the nation’s top telecom operator, reports The Economic Times.

#19. Rs6,000-crore equity held back from laggard state-run banks

The Centre did not release around Rs6,500 crore to 13 public sector banks (PSBs) in 2016–17 under the Indradhanush plan as none of the banks met the performance standards, reports Business Standard.

#20. PE funds stare at capital loss on stressed investee firms

Even as vulture funds eye bargain buys from stressed assets on sale, a set of private equity (PE) funds are staring at capital losses and looking at ways to limit these, as their investee companies are dragged to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) by lenders, reports Business Standard.

#21. Upfront cash criteria to bid for stressed assets not feasible

The new evaluation criteria laid down by lenders for stressed assets have put bidders in the bind as more weight is being given to upfront cash to be paid to the banks with the bid offer instead of giving more weight to equity investments to be made in the stressed company, reports Business Standard.

#22. RCom lenders’ meet today, stock up 32%

The stock price of Reliance Communications (RCom) shot up by over 32.14% to close at Rs17.10 on Wednesday, possibly triggered by a joint lenders’ forum meeting scheduled for Thursday. The forum is expected to discuss the bids it has received for sale of the company’s assets, reports Business Standard.

21th December 2017 | Daily Business Digest

☞ Clap if you liked this post. ☞ For daily updates on #Startups and #Businessupdates follow Tussle and Triumph

If you wish to get your startup story published email us at dreamcatchers@tussleandtriumph.com

#Startup #India #Digital #TussleandTriumph #Funding #CollaboratingIntoTheFuture #Entrepreneurs #Cryptocurrency #Investment#Acquisition #fund #unicorn #VentureCapitalist #InvestIndia



22nd December 2017 | Daily Business Digest was originally published in Tussle and Triumph on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

EVACOIN BLOCKCHAIN BI SOLUTION POWERED by CROWD INSIGHT

EVACOIN — invest your money and experience to expand modern and fully transparent business with a three-year history and management system powered by blockchain.

Using insight of our partners-investors and fully transparent streamlined business system we follow simple and rational way to increase a production efficiency to get a powerful competitive edge.

PREFACE

We have built our business based on our beliefs, ethics and philosophy. Transparency is the foundation of our business.
Every member of our team has unique background and skills which boost your business to new achievements on a daily base.
We do not have a “star team” which could “solve all the troubles”. We are ordinary hard-working people with ambitious plans. We know exactly what we want and how to achieve it.

Evabonbons Team

AMBITION

  • We create a modern business model. Transparent efficient and flexible.
  • Think about it, that every token holder will be able to monitor and control all business processes, including production and financial flows online, and participate in the solution of any raised issues.
  • We selected our own business operated in the restaurant industry for the implementation of the idea into reality.
  • Our model is a fundamentally new level of confidence in business and the opportunity to realize the most daring and inovative ideas.
  • We belive that future will be built on trust.

Build this future with us!

What is EVABONBONS:

Today we are the pastry business and brand with a three-year history, a spacious modern confectionery manufactory, own production of modern confectionery products according to the author’s recipes of the founder and pastry-chief Vera Osinina / operating pastry café in Moscow region / sweet delivery in Moscow.

Tomorrow — international pastry chain, managed by thousands investors from over the world through blockchain technology.

What is EVACOIN project

We are going to expand business and the experience of founders to the international markets using the principles of absolute transparency through financial and intellectual investments.

In fact we are going to develop financial management tool with a decentralized registry based on Ethereum blockchain which will be used in operating business.

To implement the project, we are going to create EVACOIN token through ICO on the Etherium platform, invest raised funds to expand business in local market, return funds by paying dividends to investors and initiate additional issue of tokens to expand business to the international markets. All token holders from the first round will get a bonus payment as a pleasure.

100% of the business operating profit will be used to pay dividends monthly through a smart contract.

EVACOIN offers you a chance to build with us useful and profitable business through innovation.

CHALLENGES

Just think about all the decisions that need to be made on a daily basis when operating a restaurant. And now think of how much uncertainty, guesswork, distorted information is behind almost every restaurant management routine.

POOR INFORMATIONAL SUPPLY

Investors are divorced from production and cannot correctly assess the state of affairs in business using only financial reports.

ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION

Usually, Investor do not have chance to influence business decisions because ideas could not be heard by CEO or other investors.

LACKING TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST

Mistrust between investors and management in conditions of non-transparent cash flow.

SMART INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT TOOL

Business development and management will be implemented through
the tool of group decision making (or Smart Investment Management Tool).

PRINCIPLES OF SIMT OPERATION:

  • All the information about the chain operation (cloud cash boxes, OPEX, purchase of ingredients, banks’ commissions, salary fund, taxes and levies, rental fee, utensils, promotion expenses, etc.) is available for analysis in SIMT
  • Access to SIMT will be provided to holders of EVACOIN tokens
  • Strategic Project roadmap of the chain with a high detalization degree in presented in SIMT
  • Investors (holders of EVACOIN tokens) can assess every item of Strategic Project roadmap, make their own alternative proposal/amendment and lobby proposals of other SIMT users
  • Decision making at the risk of your own capital is the guarantee of making a responsible, well considered decision
  • On condition a proposal made an investor is approved by a big number of users (holders of EVACOIN tokens), it is brought for consideration of CEO and the Company’s management
  • The sum-total of assessments of items of Strategic Development Plan of the Chain of Pastry Cafes form the integrated assessment of CEO and Company’s management activity every reporting period (one month). This will be an internal index of approval of the Company’s management operation
  • Key financial and management data is written to Ethereum based registry daily

With the help of SIMT an investor will get the opportunity to see all the processes from the inside, correctly evaluate the business potential, team’s operation and, most importantly, at any moment, impact the development of the business by proposing their alternative solution to a task after the support of the majority of users has been obtained. The IT tool, developed within the framework of the Project, is a “consigliere” in the business with opportunities of collective intelligence, diffusion of investors into the Project. Through this
tool, one SIMT user has the voting right and the opportunity to be heard by the majority. On condition there is transparency of internal technological and business processes, SIMT will not only allow to correct the faults made within the shortest possible period of time, but also suggest weighed strategic decisions for further development.

Applying SIMT, the level of trust to the Project will be equal to 100%, that will allow to raise therequired amounts in order to achieve the set targets, and the rate of development of the Project will be sweepingly fast.

EVACOIN is the foundation of a new business model with transparent financial, production and management processes powered by the great collaboration of investors and management as a team.

Returned loan will give you a trust you can’t buy.

We plan to fundraise in 3 steps, like a venture investments. We’re going to have a traction between all of them and everyone can see, that we make revenue and everyone will receive dividends monthly. That’s why we don’t try to get $5M right now. We don’t need this amount of money now. This money is necessary for further development of the business and we’ll get it when we’re going to scale.

ICO would be launched in a few steps:

Pre-sale (Dec 2017)

You can now apply to our PRE-SALE WHITELIST by email: tokensale@evabonbons.ru

Sales of only 4% from the total number of tokens. Cap — $25,000. Price 1EVA=$0.33
Conditions of investment at Pre-Sale stage: 100% bonus. Minimum amount of investment is 1 ETH.

The funds raised will be spent on advertising campaingh and marketing of the main round of ICO and EVABOBONS brand promotion.

ICO (Feb 2018)

Sales of 81% from the total number of tokens. Cap — $750,000. Price 1EVA=$0.33
Conditions of investment during the period of ICO: No bonus. Minimum amount of investment is 0.01 ETH.

The funds raised will be spent on construction of the chain consisting of 7 pastry cafes located in RF. Primary development of SIMT. EVABOBONS brand promotion.

Additional issue of EVACOIN (April 2019)

Cap ~ $5,000,000.

The funds raised will be spent on expanding the business, entering international markets and sales of franchises, development of SIMT.

EVACOIN ECONOMY

  • Investment payback period is equal to 20 month. For pre-ICO or early ICO investers estimated period is less than 20 months.
  • Annual dividends from operational activity can reach up to 100% after a planned rate of the revenue is reached.

THE FORECAST OF FINANCIAL EFFICIENCY IS MADE ON THE BASE OF THE ECONOMIC MODELING
Model incorporates market research and statistical data obtained over the years of work on the Project


Video has been made for Forbes in 2016. We are going to translate it as soon as possible

Join us at

1. ICO website http://en.tokensale.evabonbons.com
2. Pastry cafe website http://evabonbons.ru
3. Franchaise website http://franchise.evabonbons.ru/
4. Digital economic model https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bcgPvEsdjhpxw..
5. Instagram https://www.instagram.com/evabonbons/
6. Telegram chat https://t.me/evabonbons
7. Ru bitcointalk thread https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2238096.0
8. En bitcointalk thread https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2497254.0

Articles:

https://medium.com/@skvortsovim
https://golos.io/@skvortsovim

How to Reinvent Money

Bitcoin Won’t Replace Currency. Here’s Why.

It’s a frenzy. Bitcoin’s reached soaring heights. Should you buy it, hold it, keep it, sell it? And in the bigger picture, will these currencies displace money — reinventing it? Let’s think about it together.

Imagine perched next to a mountain spring is a city’s central water plant. Now, how much water should the plant produce? Well, let’s say the land is parched dry and the rain doesn’t come this year. Then the water supply plant must work overtime and produce more water. Let’s say that the storms lash the fields and the river overruns, then the plant can produce less water.

So it is with money. In times of plenty the job of a currency is to restrain, moderate, gently pull back. In times of little, when an economy’s stuck or paralyzed, the job of a currency is to flow, multiply, and accelerate, so it can get unstuck. A thing is only an optimally good medium of exchange if it can act in reverse polarity to the economy — which is the first job of money. Can digital currencies act in this way as well?

Imagine that one clever person suddenly cornered a country’s entire supply of money. He’s become something like a king, for now, to get some of these magical notes, people will do anything he asks. What should a currency be able to do? It should be able to be printed with abandon, which is exactly what a good central bank would do. Sure, there’d be “inflation” and while you might have been taught to be scared of that by extremists, you’ve been taught wrong: that is precisely what this little society needs, so it can stay vibrant, prosperous, a democracy — and it’s what ours does, too, because too much money is stuck in the hands of too few.

But flexibility isn’t really possible with digital currencies, because they’re premised on tightly controlled artificial scarcity. Bitcoin isn’t pliable or plastic enough to meet the challenge of being a genuinely optimal medium of exchange in this way. (You’re right if you say that even central banks aren’t creating enough money, or not enough for the right people, only banks — but digital currencies can only create even less, and so they don’t improve on that failure, they worsen it.)

So managing a currency well is countercyclical to the currents of the real economy. Bitcoin won’t replace money: it’s not countercyclical, it’s procyclical. Now, because of that, the second job of money, which is to be a store of value, also isn’t likely to be handled well by digital currencies. Why? During booms, people are more likely to invest in digital currencies, and thus pump up their prices, seeing them as speculative assets. But exactly that makes them too expensive to be used as true currencies. During busts, people will invest in digital currencies less and that will erode their buying power when people need it most, devaluing currencies precisely when they need to be strong. In both ways, the volatility defeats the purpose of a currency.

In this way, Bitcoin won’t replace money, because it doesn’t do the first two jobs of a currency well: being a countercyclical medium of exchange, and being a store of value with little volatility (a safe, stable anchor if you like). Bitcoin et al. can’t really store value well (though they might appear to now): they’ll reflect the stock market, only with more ups and downs and jagged edges, and so you might as well buy Apple stock or index funds.

Now. A currency has three functions, two of which we’ve discussed: a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a measure of value. But there’s an even deeper problem that Bitcoin and digital currencies must overcome — measuring value well. Hedge fund traders “earn” a hundred, maybe a thousand, times what teachers do. Which one creates more human possibility? Which one destroys it? Now you see the problem: money as we know it doesn’t measure value well. It doesn’t internalize hidden and shifted costs, nor does it track the uncounted gains that we give, whether through emotional, social, or creative work. See how deep the issues of really redesigning currencies are?

Reinventing money as we know it isn’t going to be as simple as a printing artifically scarce digital chits. That’s a cop-out, sorry. To reinvent money, a digital currency must improve on money’s three functions, each of which, if you’ve followed me so far, are currently failing. But digital currencies don’t really improve them — much less transformatively reinvent them — yet: if anything, they make them worse, in many ways.

Now that brings me to what digital currencies might indeed replace. I do most of my shopping at a certain London department store. Not because I’m awesome or finicky, but only because they give me very generous discounts if I spend certain amounts. What have they created? A little micro currency, more or less, only called points. We’ve all got tons of points — airlines, stores, clubs, and so on. But what are points, really? Points are credit. Credit that a seller gives you to spend whichever way that you like. This kind of credit is a substitute for, competitor to, financial credit, credit cards, lines of credit, and so on.

And that’s where digital currencies are heading. They’re more likely to replace points and credit cards than currencies. Why? Well, just like credits of whatever kind, they’re inflexible, they’re volatile, and they’re convex, meaning that the more of them you have, the less real benefit you realize (can you buy a house with Bitcoin? Maybe, but it’s not going to be easy). It’s easy enough to see people keeping small balances of digital currencies to spend on their little luxuries — which is what happens at PayPal, more or less. And it’s easy enough to see sellers converting those points into balances of digital currencies that cross platforms, as online competition heats up, too.

Now forgive me. I want to talk about the big picture for a minute. Too often, we see people buying digital currencies as a way to opt out of society. It’s a kind of doomsday prepping for the slightly more intelligent person, yet doomsday prepping it is, nonetheless. Digital currencies need to help us build stronger, more vibrant societies — not help us flee the ones that are breaking, and those aren’t the same thing. Why? Because I say so? Nope. Because if all they are is a way for the paranoid few among us to escape to lives on little islands, by definition, they have precisely no point or purpose at all, any more than diamonds or gold do.

Don’t get me wrong. Reinventing money is going to be a great and glorious adventure. Society needs better currencies that can yield greater, more enduring investments in higher qualities of life. But digital currencies as they stand aren’t there yet. Those making them haven’t really understood the roles money plays in a society yet, and so they don’t improve the three functions of money. Buy them, sell them, play with them, have fun, by all means. But if it’s revolution you want, there’s more work to be done.

1 big reasons why I am not investing in bitcoin? • TinyStories.io

I won’t lie — I am tempted to invest in bitcoin. I am looking at its number for a long time. I guess I am not alone. Thousands of people were waiting if that magical coin can get over 10k$. And it did. No surprise. And here comes the big but.

But I am still not investing my money, and even more important, I am not investing my time into it. The reason is in my nature. I like gambling. I like it a lot. The idea of getting money without working for it’s awesome; especially if big returns are promised.

So why I am not investing if everything sounds perfect for me? It’s because I made a decision. I am not seeking quick returns. Two things I learned in a short life of mine is that “easy come, easy go” and that “I can have anything but not everything.” I set a mission for myself a long time before bitcoin. And I feel, by investing in it, my focus will shift where I don’t want to.

Bitcoin is a bubble. That’s my opinion. Investing into the bubble without knowledge is dangerous. Its true, people will make a lot of money — but those are few — a lot more people will lose it. Especially because 99% of them seek the same thing as my gambling mind do, and that’s to get rich quickly. The mindset like this will never invest in learning. Neither it has patience and more importantly nerves needed for that kind of investment. Ask yourself what’s going to happen when all these people want their money back?

Currently, I don’t have enough knowledge to fight that bubble before it burst. I don’t want to invest my time into getting that knowledge because it’s gonna shift me from my current mission.

To conclude, I will tell you where do I invest my time.

  • Knowledge — each day I am learning things that will bring me closer to my goals. One of these is to learn more about blockchain technology. I think it’s excellent and revolutionary technology. It’s gonna change the world, and I want to be part of it.
  • Saving money — to invest in things I already know. It might not bring me high returns, but I am sure they will return.
  • Focusing on my core mission — I will become expert & influencer in marketing, e-commerce world. They say you need ten years to get there so for me is worth to invest two years more.

When my first business collapsed, one thing that did stay was me and my knowledge. Nobody was able to take it away from me. With its help, I’ve built the path to the place where I am today.

If you’re looking for an investment with the most promised returns, look into a mirror.

Leo is a Digital entrepreneur & father of 👧🏼👦🏼
Traveling the globe 🌎 with my @your_travel_family

Originally published at www.tinystories.io a project of passion which I am doing with my family. You can Check out what we’re doing here.


Business problems in travel industry

What does an average people spend the most money on other than housing mortgage or health care?

The answer is: On travelling.

Travelling has become the world biggest expenditure last year which tourism covered more than 60%. Consumers are more concerned about making decision related to travelling than deciding on taking a loan, buying a new fridge or fixing their car. We understand that everyone wants a getaway to unwind but worries about stress associated with long and tedious planning.

Unbiased statistic shows that 35% of the tourists spend 3–5 months deciding on their destination before the trip, another 19% spend half a year or even more. We can imagine how much work it takes for the marketers to satisfy all kind of needs of their customers during the long process of purchases. Moreover, spoiled with the speed of Internet, customers demand for quick decision making. Everyone wish to plan their journey as fast as booking a cab.

And how long will you spend on planning your own trip?

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Steemit | Telegram | Questions

Following Square’s Testing Report, Bitcoin’s Price Nears $8000

Bitcoin has become stronger following the report of Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square Inc. (SQ.N). The cash payment app was involved in testing support for bitcoin which has certainly affected the price of the cryptocurrency, which edged closer to $8000 and posted a fresh all-time high at $7997.00 on November 17.

At the beginning of the November, the cryptocurrency smashed through $7000 and climbed to record high to $7888 on November 8. But over the following weekend, the price fell to $5555, subsequent to the SegWit2x cancellation.  

A Square spokesperson declared “We’re always listening to our customers and we’ve found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin. We’re exploring how Square can make this experience faster and easier, and have rolled out this feature to a small number of Cash app customers. We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system and we’re excited to learn more here.”

Moreover, Credit Suisse analysts described “how bitcoin buying option could help the stock,” sending Square up as much as five percent in the markets. The chart below shows the rise of the payment company’s stock since November 8.

Square tested bitcoin trading functionality within the Cash app during early November. Consequently, a report has been published that states how a bitcoin buying option could help the stock. One Wall Street analyst believes the test of bitcoin functionality will bring positive things for Square’s stock down the line, as it adds to the company’s reputation for innovation.

Evercore ISI analyst Rayna Kumar stated:

“We believe Square could generate revenue growth of 40 percent and 35 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively, similar to the 41 percent we estimate for 2017. Following our meeting Wednesday with CFO Sarah Friar, we are upgrading Square to outperform. Square’s introduction of bitcoin on Square Cash reflects its ability to innovate.”

However, in the short-term, the company’s stock is not anticipated to be boosted by the experimental phase of bitcoin adoption. You can see for yourself Square’s app in action here.

According to CryptoCompare, in addition to Japan which accounts for around 56 percent of bitcoin trades, the US dollar share of bitcoin trading counts for approximately 25 percent. However, after the SegWit2x fork cancellation, bitcoin cash surged while ether was temporarily pushed into third place by market cap.

However, the wild fluctuations in the cryptocurrency market over the past week or so has adversely affected the price of other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Cash, which is now trading near $1000. According to Alex Sunnarborg, the founding partner of Tetras Capital “A lot of the recent volatility has been caused by the recent narrative and events surrounding Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash and the record-setting exchange trading volume between the two amongst large investors, miners, and retail investors in Asia.”

The post Following Square’s Testing Report, Bitcoin’s Price Nears $8000 appeared first on BTCMANAGER.

5 Reasons I am Bullish on Zcash

TL:DR— there are plenty of reasons why I think Zcash will be around for the long-haul.

 Full disclosure: I am an advisor to Zcash (ZEC) and hold some coins.

Readers of this blog will often ping me asking for advice on ICOs, tokens, Ethereum, and Bitcoin. Obviously (or maybe not obviously), I can’t give investment advice. As you know, the whole crypto world is full of volatility and risk. Please keep that in mind.

Background

I recently had the opportunity to spend 2 days in deep conversations with the extended team responsible for driving the Zcash protocol.

I am fairly certain that I have never been in a room with as much cryptographic horsepower as the one I was in with them. And I’d doubt that many others have either.

At a certain point in the conversations, I had to “tap out” because I couldn’t totally understand all the nuances of elliptical curves, gates, and zk-Snarks (though I tried to hold my own).

The discussions were enlightening, empowering, and exhausting. With the team’s permission, I am sharing some of the reasons why I am even more excited now than I was before (and I was pretty excited).

Before we jump in though, I want to call your attention to this podcast about Zcash which describes the elaborate and serious extent to which the team went to in order to ensure your security and the integrity of the system.

It’s a drama in the vein of the “Serial” podcast that will have you on the edge of your seats (in a good way).

The Needs and Wants You May Not Yet Realize You Have

Wayne Gretzky famously said “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” (I don’t care if the quote is over-used, it’s still good).

That’s what Zooko and team are doing.

They are skating to where the puck is going.

Zcash is pretty much what people who really, really get the power of blockchains (both good and bad) designed so that we get the good without the bad.

#1: You’re going to want a truly digital version of cash

What makes cash so useful?

It gives you a simple, easy way to conduct a transaction without anyone else knowing about it, if you don’t want them to. What’s more, you know you have it because it is right there in your hands. Afterwards, the other party to the transaction similarly knows s/he has it ….quickly (the so-called “shielded” transactions that give you total privacy take about 40 seconds to generate the transaction).

While every crypto-asset gives you the ability to control your coins, Zcash is the closest thing out there that is blockchain-based to replicate the functionality of cash. Bitcoin (you know I’m a fan) is great, but it’s totally traceable. Remember, the blockchain tracks everything.

Cash and Zcash give you tremendous flexibility and speed combined with privacy.  You don’t want everyone to know everything you are buying all the time, do you?

Sometimes, you may not care, but it would be nice to have the option at your disposal if you want it.

#2: You want others to have privacy, too.
There’s a larger societal good that comes with Zcash and it’s one that should appeal to liberals and conservatives alike.

By creating a system that favors privacy as the ultimate goal, you not only protect yourself, but you protect the rights of others.

Imagine living in a totalitarian state where your phone calls, expenditures, messages, and votes (among other things) were subject to surveillance.

If you knew that everything was being watched all the time, how comfortable would you feel to freely express your opinions or vote your conscience?

You wouldn’t.

Similarly, you don’t want others to feel throttled either. A technology that is private-by-default gives you a better chance of having the society you really want.

Need #3: You want businesses to have privacy

It’s not just individuals who need privacy.  It’s companies as well.

The benefits of the blockchain have been well documented on this blog.

But, imagine you are in a highly competitive industry and you are making an acquisition or a purchase of any kind.  Do you really want others to know how much you have paid for something?

No, you don’t.

If businesses can’t keep anything a secret from their competitors, you’re going to have a less dynamic market. This will lead to fewer goods and services and prices will not be as competitive (or low) for you.

Need #4: You want to know people are behaving honestly

The transparency and immutability of blockchains are what enable you to trust someone without actually trusting them. You know for a fact that they have possession of the coins they are sending you and are authorized to spend them.

But, total transparency and total privacy don’t really go together.

That’s where the super cool zk-Snarks technology comes in. Understanding the inner workings of the technology requires a PhD from MIT, Technion, or Johns Hopkins. But that’s not important.

ZK stands for “zero knowledge” and the basic concept is that you just need to be able to assess the veracity of a statement without knowing the details of the transaction.

One great example used a grocery store receipt with 50 items on it.

If I give you a receipt, you can inspect everything that I purchased. I have no privacy.

However, what if there were a way to know that I spent $178 at the grocery store, but you have NO idea exactly what I purchased? (that’s the “zero-knowledge” part)

And you were 100% confident that, in fact, the $178 was spent? (that’s kind of the “proof” part)

There you go, now you get zk-Snarks.

Need #5: Know that the monetary system in which you are participating is secure

If you ask anyone in the crypto-business who has the absolute “best in the business” when it comes to cryptography, there’s only right answer.

Take a look at this list. Any sophisticated investor will tell you, “it’s all about the team.”  The combination of the “7 scientists” as they are known (I like to call them the “Zeven Zamurai” or “Magnificent Zeven”) is unparalleled.

Then, look at the advisors and investors.

It’s pretty much the “Crypto-Dream Team.”

If there is a group of people that is going to figure out how to keep the system integrity where it needs to be, I believe in this one.

Zcash’s Forward Path: Overshooting

In The Innovators’ Dilemma, Clayton Christensen describes a concept called “overshooting”:

Disruptive technologies, though they initially can only be used in small markets remote from the mainstream, are disruptive because they subsequently can become fully performance-competitive within the mainstream market against established products.

This happens because the pace of technological progress in products frequently exceeds the rate of performance improvement that mainstream customers demand or can absorb. As a consequence, products whose features and functionality closely match market needs today often follow a trajectory of improvement by which they overshoot mainstream market needs tomorrow.

And products that seriously underperform today, relative to customer expectations in mainstream markets, may become directly performance-competitive tomorrow.

In my mind, Christensen is describing Zcash perfectly.

The products out there (e.g. Visa, PayPal, etc.) whose features match the needs of today’s customer are going to follow a trajectory, I believe, that will overshoot mainstream needs tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Zcash is already being used in small markets remote from the mainstream. It underperforms relative to customer expectations (most people don’t understand why they need something like Zcash yet), but with the pace of technological progress, combined with changing customer needs (see Gretzky), I expect Zcash to become performance competitive.

The post 5 Reasons I am Bullish on Zcash appeared first on Never Stop Marketing.

ICOs as a Marketing Tool for Business

As a financial tool for blockchain companies, the ICO has already started to lose popularity in its original form. More and more, however, companies in the non-crypto economy are pondering the idea of raising money through an ICO. But, when it comes down to it, these companies don’t have the know-how, nor the willingness, to switch their business processes over to the blockchain.

What would an ICO do for these companies? Would it just be a tool to raise funds, or perhaps something more?

As of late, many of these companies of the “traditional” economy have approached our team seeking consultation on the primary requirements for starting an ICO. Although we are not a consulting firm, and our entire team is busy with our own ICO and the development of our product, we do find time to speak with these people and to give some advice regarding the ICO mechanism and blockchain tech.

More and more, in these conversations, we find ourselves talking to the heads of highly innovative companies, that have rather popular products. Of course, chief among their interests is to offer some sort of tokenized securities. In business, the most understood practice is to offer a share of the company or some portion of the profit. These companies want to use the ICO like an IPO. Instead, we recommend creating a token that is connected to the product, rather than to the company.

Over the course of these discussions, during which we recommended that it is better to connect the token with the product, we have gradually come to a new idea — an interesting model for ICO use — which has already been applied to traditional companies several times.

The idea is this: since these companies already have started production, have determined who the audience is for their products, and since they are seeking increase sales, they must be ready to provide discounts for the products. We think a great idea for these companies would be to sell tokens at 5–10% of the market price of the product, and offer all token holders a discount on the actual product of around 50%. So if the product costs 100 USD, the token would cost 5–10 USD, and the token would give its owners the right to purchase the product for 50 USD.

We think this can really be an effective strategy to increase sales. The product is already finished, and past the R&D phase. Even with the large discount, profit will still be made, especially since the product is ready to be delivered at any moment. What’s more, during the ICO there will be no reason to go through escrow, as the company has already long since proven its concept and its trustworthiness. Funds raised during such an ICO will be available to be reinvested into the global marketing of the product, and the promotion of the ICO itself.

By going through the ICO process in this way, the company will see an increase in demand for the product, widened marketing, as well as a big media push, as is typical when ICOs are happening. The new publicity can lead to new strategic partnerships for the company and even greater growth in the future. While the ICO only focussed on the product, attention will go back to the company, gradually, and resources will be obtained that can help to produce new products or improve existing ones.

When we take a step back, we can see that, when companies make good use of the ICO as a tool, it can bring great benefits to the business. However, these benefits aren’t directly to do with the blockchain. It has more to do with the marketing and media attention.

We do encourage such ICO use as, more likely than not, when those traditional companies make use of the ICO as a tool, they are developing the infrastructure which eventually will enable the interaction of the crypto and traditional economies. That ICOs will become a part of the whole economy is a fact. It is only a matter of time.



ICOs as a Marketing Tool for Business was originally published in @PlusCoin.io on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

ICOs as a Marketing Tool for Business

As a financial tool for blockchain companies, the ICO has already started to lose popularity in its original form. More and more, however, companies in the non-crypto economy are pondering the idea of raising money through an ICO. But, when it comes down to it, these companies don’t have the know-how, nor the willingness, to switch their business processes over to the blockchain.

What would an ICO do for these companies? Would it just be a tool to raise funds, or perhaps something more?

As of late, many of these companies of the “traditional” economy have approached our team seeking consultation on the primary requirements for starting an ICO. Although we are not a consulting firm, and our entire team is busy with our own ICO and the development of our product, we do find time to speak with these people and to give some advice regarding the ICO mechanism and blockchain tech.

More and more, in these conversations, we find ourselves talking to the heads of highly innovative companies, that have rather popular products. Of course, chief among their interests is to offer some sort of tokenized securities. In business, the most understood practice is to offer a share of the company or some portion of the profit. These companies want to use the ICO like an IPO. Instead, we recommend creating a token that is connected to the product, rather than to the company.

Over the course of these discussions, during which we recommended that it is better to connect the token with the product, we have gradually come to a new idea — an interesting model for ICO use — which has already been applied to traditional companies several times.

The idea is this: since these companies already have started production, have determined who the audience is for their products, and since they are seeking increase sales, they must be ready to provide discounts for the products. We think a great idea for these companies would be to sell tokens at 5–10% of the market price of the product, and offer all token holders a discount on the actual product of around 50%. So if the product costs 100 USD, the token would cost 5–10 USD, and the token would give its owners the right to purchase the product for 50 USD.

We think this can really be an effective strategy to increase sales. The product is already finished, and past the R&D phase. Even with the large discount, profit will still be made, especially since the product is ready to be delivered at any moment. What’s more, during the ICO there will be no reason to go through escrow, as the company has already long since proven its concept and its trustworthiness. Funds raised during such an ICO will be available to be reinvested into the global marketing of the product, and the promotion of the ICO itself.

By going through the ICO process in this way, the company will see an increase in demand for the product, widened marketing, as well as a big media push, as is typical when ICOs are happening. The new publicity can lead to new strategic partnerships for the company and even greater growth in the future. While the ICO only focussed on the product, attention will go back to the company, gradually, and resources will be obtained that can help to produce new products or improve existing ones.

When we take a step back, we can see that, when companies make good use of the ICO as a tool, it can bring great benefits to the business. However, these benefits aren’t directly to do with the blockchain. It has more to do with the marketing and media attention.

We do encourage such ICO use as, more likely than not, when those traditional companies make use of the ICO as a tool, they are developing the infrastructure which eventually will enable the interaction of the crypto and traditional economies. That ICOs will become a part of the whole economy is a fact. It is only a matter of time.



ICOs as a Marketing Tool for Business was originally published in @PlusCoin.io on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Dave,

Dave,

Thank you for sharing this great video with us. I enjoyed watching it. Your idea that blockchain would remove is provocative. Here is my thought:

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar postulated that there is a limit on the number of people we can encompass in our conceptual “village” of about 150. Even with the technologies of trust and agreement we have today, we voluntarily suspend the need for enforced formal agreements with people in our “village”. I think that blockchain will change how we function in the wider world when it comes to trusted transactions. I am inclined to believe that we will continue to function on personal knowledge of individuals in our village in our immediate dealings. Perhaps I am missing the full impact here, but I cannot envision how blockchain can necessarily insert itself into interactions between as and people in our immediate circles without our willing cooperation.

Also, I believe that the ability to have a personal circle of trust is a basic higher-order human need, on the order of needing objects of love, or a sense of life’s meaning. We could not thrive emotionally in an environment where we trust no one, even if blockchain could mitigate the practical need for trust in contractual/financial interactions. What we see around us on all levels, as the crisis of public trust intensifies, that people are desperately casting around for someone or some institution they can place their trust in. It’s how we are wired.

So (speaking as the parent of teenagers) a parent could choose a “smart” transaction with a teenaged child to avoid the need to have to trust them, or they could choose a trusting interaction precisely to convey a confidence in the young person’s integrity, and to use a possible breach of that trust as a teachable moment.

Dave,

Dave,

Thank you for sharing this great video with us. I enjoyed watching it. Your idea that blockchain would remove is provocative. Here is my thought:

Anthropologist Robin Dunbar postulated that there is a limit on the number of people we can encompass in our conceptual “village” of about 150. Even with the technologies of trust and agreement we have today, we voluntarily suspend the need for enforced formal agreements with people in our “village”. I think that blockchain will change how we function in the wider world when it comes to trusted transactions. I am inclined to believe that we will continue to function on personal knowledge of individuals in our village in our immediate dealings. Perhaps I am missing the full impact here, but I cannot envision how blockchain can necessarily insert itself into interactions between as and people in our immediate circles without our willing cooperation.

Also, I believe that the ability to have a personal circle of trust is a basic higher-order human need, on the order of needing objects of love, or a sense of life’s meaning. We could not thrive emotionally in an environment where we trust no one, even if blockchain could mitigate the practical need for trust in contractual/financial interactions. What we see around us on all levels, as the crisis of public trust intensifies, that people are desperately casting around for someone or some institution they can place their trust in. It’s how we are wired.

So (speaking as the parent of teenagers) a parent could choose a “smart” transaction with a teenaged child to avoid the need to have to trust them, or they could choose a trusting interaction precisely to convey a confidence in the young person’s integrity, and to use a possible breach of that trust as a teachable moment.

REX 12 Month Roadmap

Hello REX Community,

Since the token sale, we have been expanding the team, attending real estate industry and blockchain conferences, meeting with potential partners and testing the RexIndexer.

We want to take this opportunity to update the community on our 12 month roadmap:

Team

Stephen King: CEO

Russell McLernon: CTO

Alex Jacoby: Head of Operations

Brock Haugen: Senior JavaScript Developer

Piyush Shrivastava: Senior Solidity Developer

Duke Long: Head of Strategic Partnerships

Ryan Song: Community Liaison

Guido Smidt: EMEA Operations

We are a global company, headquartered in Switzerland, with team members in the United States, Australia, Switzerland and India. We are excited to announce in addition to Zug, we just opened a second office in New York City!

Operations

We hold two team calls a week:

Every Wednesday morning at 11:00am UTC we discuss development milestones (short and long term), business operations, marketing, upcoming conferences, and community development. The call organizes the team and keeps everyone accountable for their portion of the project.

The second call is held Mondays at 11:00am UTC. This call is dedicated to the development roadmap. We are currently focused on the Alpha and Beta releases. We discuss architecture, features, bugs and scaling — boiling them down a to their lowest common denominator.

Throughout these phases, we intend to release two blog posts a month. One of these posts will focus on development updates from Monday’s scrum.

Next 12 months

REX’s 12 month roadmap is broken up into two phases:

Phase I: Alpha Release and Partner Pilot

Phase II: Beta

The Vision:

We are building two products. The first is the RexIndexer which is the decentralized, shared database. The second is the application layer that will sit on top the of the RexIndexer. The application provides a means for users to interact with the RexIndexer.

What is built/tested:

The RexIndexer is fully built and operable. We have been testing it regularly and fixing bugs as adjustments are made to the application’s UI. Brock has completed approximately 75% of all frontend/backend connections in preparation for REX’s Partner Pilot. We have the upload/edit listing functionality built and will begin testing both features in the coming weeks. Russell and Piyush are reworking the Listing Rewards Contract to include a newly designed Rating System.

We are also in the process of upgrading REX’s Spam Feed. Beyond our own default processes, users can vote to approve/disapprove spam. This will include a number of other functionalities/incentive programs we are excited to announce, including new types of curation feeds.

Phase I: Alpha Release and Partner Pilot

In this phase, we are partnering with 2–4 firms and syndicating their listing data via the RexIndexer.

The goal is to test the RexIndexer’s functionality and stability under heavier loads. It will also provide participants the opportunity to learn REX’s onboarding processes and provide the development team with feedback. The Pilot will last approximately three months. We have three proposals out and plan to announce details once all terms have been agreed upon.

Once the initial data pushes are tested and automated, REX will open the application layer to users outside the Pilot.

Phase II: Beta Rollout

REX Beta will consist of a six-feature release:

1. REX User Ratings

REX will deploy our rating-based trust system. Ratings will establish user-credibility benchmarks that will be used throughout REX’s ecosystem.

2. REX Spam Feed

REX’s Spam Feed will be deployed. Spam will be handled via a combination of the User Rating System and community curation. Details on our Spam architecture will be released in the coming months.

3. REX 90-day Cliff

REX will automatically drop idle listings after a 90 day period. Idle listings will include anything that have not been updated (via a transaction) for 90 days.

4. Individual User Sign-up

The community will be able to sign up through the application layer.

5. Non-Crypto Subscriptions

REX subscription model will be introduced. To help with user onboarding through the application layer, we’ve designed a non-crypto subscription model. Funds collected through the subscription model will be used to automate transaction costs so the user does not need to to obtain ETH in order to cover gas. Details on the subscription model will be explained in a separate post.

6. Curation Feeds

Members will be able to create custom feeds and earn listings rewards.

This is the moment when new digital real estate markets will emerge!

REX Alpha and Beta is 9–12 months in duration. We will focus on a limited number of markets. This will help the team optimize resources, releases and bug fixes before we expand into new territory.

Last, we continue to work to get REX listed on the major exchanges. Please understand, the exchanges are faced with a multitude of new onboarding processes, an increase in listing requests and the migration of tokens moving from Chinese exchanges. This is causing major delays, but we are following all necessary steps and continue to communicate what is requested of us.

As always, thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support.

REX

REX Social

Twitter: https://twitter.com/REXmls

Discord Chat: https://discord.gg/BSe7j4C

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/11070246/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theREXmls/

Instagram: @therexmls

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/REXMLS/

Telegram: https://t.me/TheREXmls

REX 12 Month Roadmap

Hello REX Community,

Since the token sale, we have been expanding the team, attending real estate industry and blockchain conferences, meeting with potential partners and testing the RexIndexer.

We want to take this opportunity to update the community on our 12 month roadmap:

Team

Stephen King: CEO

Russell McLernon: CTO

Alex Jacoby: Head of Operations

Brock Haugen: Senior JavaScript Developer

Piyush Shrivastava: Senior Solidity Developer

Duke Long: Head of Strategic Partnerships

Ryan Song: Community Liaison

Guido Smidt: EMEA Operations

We are a global company, headquartered in Switzerland, with team members in the United States, Australia, Switzerland and India. We are excited to announce in addition to Zug, we just opened a second office in New York City!

Operations

We hold two team calls a week:

Every Wednesday morning at 11:00am UTC we discuss development milestones (short and long term), business operations, marketing, upcoming conferences, and community development. The call organizes the team and keeps everyone accountable for their portion of the project.

The second call is held Mondays at 11:00am UTC. This call is dedicated to the development roadmap. We are currently focused on the Alpha and Beta releases. We discuss architecture, features, bugs and scaling — boiling them down a to their lowest common denominator.

Throughout these phases, we intend to release two blog posts a month. One of these posts will focus on development updates from Monday’s scrum.

Next 12 months

REX’s 12 month roadmap is broken up into two phases:

Phase I: Alpha Release and Partner Pilot

Phase II: Beta

The Vision:

We are building two products. The first is the RexIndexer which is the decentralized, shared database. The second is the application layer that will sit on top the of the RexIndexer. The application provides a means for users to interact with the RexIndexer.

What is built/tested:

The RexIndexer is fully built and operable. We have been testing it regularly and fixing bugs as adjustments are made to the application’s UI. Brock has completed approximately 75% of all frontend/backend connections in preparation for REX’s Partner Pilot. We have the upload/edit listing functionality built and will begin testing both features in the coming weeks. Russell and Piyush are reworking the Listing Rewards Contract to include a newly designed Rating System.

We are also in the process of upgrading REX’s Spam Feed. Beyond our own default processes, users can vote to approve/disapprove spam. This will include a number of other functionalities/incentive programs we are excited to announce, including new types of curation feeds.

Phase I: Alpha Release and Partner Pilot

In this phase, we are partnering with 2–4 firms and syndicating their listing data via the RexIndexer.

The goal is to test the RexIndexer’s functionality and stability under heavier loads. It will also provide participants the opportunity to learn REX’s onboarding processes and provide the development team with feedback. The Pilot will last approximately three months. We have three proposals out and plan to announce details once all terms have been agreed upon.

Once the initial data pushes are tested and automated, REX will open the application layer to users outside the Pilot.

Phase II: Beta Rollout

REX Beta will consist of a six-feature release:

1. REX User Ratings

REX will deploy our rating-based trust system. Ratings will establish user-credibility benchmarks that will be used throughout REX’s ecosystem.

2. REX Spam Feed

REX’s Spam Feed will be deployed. Spam will be handled via a combination of the User Rating System and community curation. Details on our Spam architecture will be released in the coming months.

3. REX 90-day Cliff

REX will automatically drop idle listings after a 90 day period. Idle listings will include anything that have not been updated (via a transaction) for 90 days.

4. Individual User Sign-up

The community will be able to sign up through the application layer.

5. Non-Crypto Subscriptions

REX subscription model will be introduced. To help with user onboarding through the application layer, we’ve designed a non-crypto subscription model. Funds collected through the subscription model will be used to automate transaction costs so the user does not need to to obtain ETH in order to cover gas. Details on the subscription model will be explained in a separate post.

6. Curation Feeds

Members will be able to create custom feeds and earn listings rewards.

This is the moment when new digital real estate markets will emerge!

REX Alpha and Beta is 9–12 months in duration. We will focus on a limited number of markets. This will help the team optimize resources, releases and bug fixes before we expand into new territory.

Last, we continue to work to get REX listed on the major exchanges. Please understand, the exchanges are faced with a multitude of new onboarding processes, an increase in listing requests and the migration of tokens moving from Chinese exchanges. This is causing major delays, but we are following all necessary steps and continue to communicate what is requested of us.

As always, thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support.

REX

REX Social

Twitter: https://twitter.com/REXmls

Discord Chat: https://discord.gg/BSe7j4C

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/11070246/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theREXmls/

Instagram: @therexmls

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/REXMLS/

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MAPMESS.COM — TEAM NEWS :

MAPMESS.COM — TEAM NEWS :


Soon ICO MapMess

Success doesn’t come to you . You go to it. Simon Davenport QC — general consul at MapMess and Greg Limon Vice-President & Co-Founder at MapMess .

Simon Davenport QC , “A first-rate silk” and a “fearless advocate”, Simon Davenport QC practises in Insolvency, Civil Fraud and Commercial Dispute Resolution, including Arbitration cases :

http://www.3harecourt.com/content/view/simon-davenport-qc-3

Ontario Securities Commission Shows Flexibility Towards ICOs

It is good news that some governments have decided that it is convenient for them to support almost everything that has to do with virtual currencies. The last regulatory agency to do that is the Ontario Securities Commission which short while ago revealed that it is “keen to support” initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies. The Ontario Securities Commission administers and enforces securities law in the province of Ontario, so its main job is to keep an eye on businesses that have to comply with Canada’s securities law. Besides their service to make sure these laws are obeyed, OSC has also announced that a newly-established team will be committed to react to the ICOs

In their recent Twitter post, on October 10, the members of the OSC stated that in the light of recent inquiries, they want “to share some thoughts on cryptocurrency offerings.” For us, it is refreshing to see that some regulatory institutions are more receptive to change and don’t drift away from innovation in the financial sector. OSC says:

“Cryptocurrency offerings have the potential to change the way financial services are offered to Canadians, and we are keen to support innovation in this area. We need to be prepared for this new asset class and way of doing business. At the same time, we must balance the demand for new ways to raise capital and invest with the need to protect investors from high-risk or fraudulent activities.”

Declaring they are open to the idea of adopting virtual coins offerings and that they are willing to inform and educate anyone who is interested in the subject previously mentioned, OSC continued to state that they:

“Encourage businesses to consider, as early as possible, whether their offering/ arrangement involves a security, and to reach out to our OSC LaunchPad team to discuss approaches to complying with securities law.” Then they assured everyone that they “are willing to sit down with any business that has questions about this area and regularly host information days for fintech community on topics such as cryptocurrency offerings.”

(*OSC Twitter capture)

 OSC reacts to KiK’s discontent?

Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik Interactive Inc. (a Canadian messaging application), declared that Canadian investors will not be allowed to be a part of their high profile initial coin offering and pointed his finger at OSC for the ambiguity of the securities law. Apparently, Livingston’s protest was triggered by the “weak guidance” from Ontario Securities Commission: “They have failed to give us clear direction on when Canadian securities law will or, more importantly, will not apply […] to avoid risks arising from this uncertainty, we, a Canadian company, have decided to move forward without Canada,” Livingston said.

We know that, this year, regulatory entities from different countries around the world recognized they are restrained towards ICOs and even imposed regulatory measures against them. Nevertheless, it’s good news to see that OSC is not restrictive in this regard. Their Twitter post ends optimistically: “We aim to be flexible in our approach, and believe it’s important to work together with businesses and investors to find the right balance for those vested in this space.”

The post Ontario Securities Commission Shows Flexibility Towards ICOs appeared first on CryptoStreet.

Russia Might Issue CryptoRuble as a National Cryptocurrency

Lately, we have received numerous contradictory signals from Russia with regard to cryptocurrency trading in all its forms. First, Sergei Shvetsov, the First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Bank, says that they “consider all cryptocurrency derivatives to be a negative development on the Russian market and do not consider it possible to support it”, and then, only a few days later at a meeting on cryptocurrencies, the Russian President Vladimir Putin makes several assertions that are contrary to the remarks of his fellow countryman – “it is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.” What are we to believe anymore? Do Russians support virtual coins or not?

Well, apparently, not only do they support it, but they are also determined to establish their own national digital currency, which will wisely be called “Crytporuble”. In the light of the antithetical statements that the Russian officials have recently made, it sure is highly surprising. But it does not come as a surprise at all that they, the Russians, want to become competitive on a very rapidly growing market.

Even though there are only a few details regarding the now highly anticipated Cryptoruble, some people say it won’t bear similarities with other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in the sense that Cryptoruble will not be as decentralized as the others. It may be just a mere speculation, but it has been reported that Nikolay Nikiforov, the Russian Minister of Communications said: “I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.” If we remember well, and we do, Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, said last week that the creation of a national cryptocurrency stimulates the growth of non-cash payments and electronic payments.

Russians haven’t banned ICOs like China did, but they don’t trade a lot in cryptocurrencies either. We all know they are very conservative when it comes to the transactional currencies they accept in their country. Ksenia Yudaeva, First Deputy Governor and Director of the Russian Central Bank and also a member of the Board of Directors of the same bank, proudly said “The ruble is the only transactional currency allowed in Russia as far as we are concerned”. This statement was made during a Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX) forum in New York on October 12. Most importantly, about ICOs Ms. Yudaeva declared:

“We are very conservative on this issue of initial coin offerings and crypto. There has been a lot of froth in this industry and it reminds me of the early days just after the fall of the Soviet Union with promises of big gains coming from nothing. We are very skeptical.”

Keeping in mind all these very different statements and firm stances on the matter, we’re now really curious to see if Cryptoruble is ever going to be a thing and, if so, we wonder whether it will be a smash cryptocurrency or not. Meanwhile, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

In other related news

On Friday, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, told CNBC that everyone’s excited about the blockchain technology! We sure are, Mr. Kim! Here’s what he said:

“Blockchain technology is something that everyone is excited about, but we have to remember that Bitcoin is one of the very few instances. And the other times when blockchain was used they were basically Ponzi schemes, so it’s very important that if we go forward with it, we’re sure that it’s not going to be used to exploit.”

He ends his short media appearance by acknowledging the fact that Bitcoin is, indeed, “very expensive”.

The post Russia Might Issue CryptoRuble as a National Cryptocurrency appeared first on CryptoStreet.