BlockV – What is it?
BlockV is a digital goods blockchain platform built on top of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchains to enable scarce interactive digital goods and objects that can be valuable, tradeable, programmable and even collectable.
Examples of use some cases for scarce digital objects are unique trading sports cards (e.g. baseball cards), individualised corporate vouchers (coffee or food coupons enabling discounts or free items) and even interactive, personalised messages from celebrities, to name but a few.
With every type of media on the internet being copyable, BlockV enables a new type of digital good or item the can have value due to it being truly unique or scarce. This is what the BlockV team are describing as the Blockchain’s ‘Interface moment’.
App Store ‘Interface Moment’
An equivalent interface moment seen with recent technology adoption was the advent of the iOS App Store, which enabled developers to create a new type of more personalised and functional software on mobile connected devices. Another interface moment was the introduction of the internet browser in the 90s which took the internet from a black and white command line interface to an image rich more interactive experience. Despite all of the blockchain innovation and speculation to date, there really hasn’t been a widely adopted real life example of blockchain technology in use today. Enter BlockV’s vAtoms.
vAtoms are essentially the virtual atoms and building blocks of the digital goods that BlockV enables. Think a visual Coca-Cola coupon in a mobile app or unique interactive and functional 3d digital object of Rick and Morty that can enable a free Mcdonalds Burger or fries.
Blockchain goes Mainstream
Could this really be the catalyst for blockchain to go mainstream? It is possible as the BlockV platform has been in development for the last two years and has a live working product and App currently downloadable in the iOS and Google Play stores. But how will it achieve this? It is quite an undertaking so the key lies with enticing developers and lots of them.
BlockV needs to create a vibrant development environment with strong economic incentivisation where experienced blockchain developers and those within large organisations are encouraged to develop on top of BlockV s platform to create these digital items. This incentivisation can be achieved through the VEE tokens.
The utility VEE Token is the mechanism by which rewards and collaboration can occur within the BlockV ecosystem. All BlockV operations will be powered by VEE, which enables developers and creators to be incentivised and experiment with the use of the technology. Economic incentivisation is the building block of Bitcoin and public blockchains so if Block V succeeds it could truly become the catalyst for the revolutionary leap in blockchain adoption every speculator is waiting for. The VEE token was recently available during the BlockV Token Generation Event, sometimes also referred to as an ICO.
Token Generation Event
The BlockV Token Generation Event raised the equivalent of approximately 22m USD in ethereum contributions, which was considerably under the hard cap target of 40m USD. In comparison to some other more recent ICOs, this ~22m USD initial market capilisation could be seen as low, especially considering the potential of the BlockV development platform and the team behind it.
The BlockV management and development team includes some of the most experienced and well connected individuals in the crypto space. The team has the rare blend of having been around at the dawn of bitcoin development and having launched numerous successful projects. Their advisors consist of some of the most influential in crypto and the public blockchain sphere. This leaves them in a perfect place to outpace the competition.
There is plenty of competition in the digital goods realm of crypto currency but no other projects are as seemingly far along in their development roadmap as BlockV. This combined with the team’s strong network of personal connections should ensure BlockV can become an enormous success in this massive opportunity.
Indeed, there is a big opportunity for BlockV to have first mover advantage in becoming the dominant platform for the inevitable adoption of this new digital asset class enabled by blockchain technology. After all, the technology underpinning Bitcoin enables scarce unique bytes of data that are not copyable so applying this trait to digital items will provide them with value. This has such a wide array of applications but initially the focus for BlockV appears to be the digital advertising and promotions market.
With one senior BlockV team member having worked a career at Coca-Cola there seems to be a likelihood that this corporate giant could be one of the first companies to trial a promotional coupon campaign using BlockV. With a massive digital advertising budget and the ongoing concern of paying for fake clicks through Facebook, Google etc it seems apparent something could be under discussion. Corporate deals such as these are hard to get completed but there would be little risk in Coca-Cola potentially trying out the platform. This would only give BlockV more exposure and they are certainly using the Coca-Cola branding in some of their own promotional material.
BlockV has a standout product and team that is already live and developed so the funds raised during the Token Generation Event can only assist the team in creating even more intuitive development tools for others to help build out the platform more quickly. This is for sure a project to watch that could even become ubiquitous in our lives without the need for the users to ever really understand that crypto and blockchain underpins it all. If the BlockV team outpaces the competition and successfully encourages developers to create real world value that enriches peoples lives then there could be no stopping mass adoption of BlockVs platform for the use cases it serves.
Is it possible for Crypto Currency exchanges to create coins and trading volume from nothing?
Crypto currency exchanges are starting to trade enormous daily volumes on their crypto currency exchanges.
All the transactions occur ‘off chain’, so they are not recorded on any blockchain or publicly accountable database.
Exchanges take deposits in crypto currency coins and then ‘credit’ your account with that amount ready for trading. For your deposit there is a verifiable blockchain transaction to the exchange but the crediting of your account appears to be just an entry on their database. Likewise, each trade on the exchange is just a ledger change on their own private database.
Exchanges do publish all the reported volume on their platform but how do we know if this volume is real and backed up by real crypto currency deposits? Quite frankly, we don’t know for certain so there is every chance that some of the volume or orders could be fakery. This means the crypto currency exchanges could have the power to act as market manipulators with ‘coins’ on the exchange created from nothing. We are calling this #CoinCreate .
Sound familiar? Yes, it is exactly like fractional reserve banking or a ponzi scheme. As long as they have enough coins to pay each account holder when customers go to ‘withdraw’ then we are all good. Until of course the tide goes out and we have a ‘run’ on the exchange when everyone withdraws at once. Then we can see who is swimming without any trunks on.
Audit & Accountability
Do the exchanges have auditors or any accountability? All exchanges should be registered businesses, with some even being regulated, so they certainly should have an accountant or even an external auditor. However, as we have seen time and time again, any auditor being paid by the company to check the books often overlooks or doesn’t question crucial information. It takes quite some effort for an auditor to go that extra mile to ensure every check and balance is performed, especially in something like crypto which can be difficult to understand.
It seems like exchanges could certainly do #CoinCreate but are they actually doing it? It would certainly be tempting. History tells us that if someone can cheat they usually will. Cheating often starts small at first and then it becomes addictive and profitable so the temptation to profit further kicks in. Also the more people that become aware of whats going, the more people you have to ‘pay off’.
Incentive to be honest
There is certainly some incentive to be honest and not do this. Crypto is an early stage phenomenon and any bad actors now will potentially compromise themselves becoming an extremely large company in the the future, thus disincentivising gaming the market. Crypto is a passionate and honest space with some of the best minds on the planet ready to campaign and call out any bad actors in this space. Money and their savings is the driver and motivation, as with most things. The more people get ripped off the more angry people you will create. Therefore any short term and dishonest profiteering now risks forgoing long term success for any exchange that could become a very big player in this space.
Of course, the other major incentive is the threat of criminal prosecution from operating a ponzi scheme.
There are already ‘on chain’ type solutions but the speed, expense and low liquidity means they are underused. It just shows how people are willing to forgoe security for convenience up until the point they lose money. One solution is of course BitSquare but this has next to zero volume on most available markets. Therefore what is really needed for now is an exchange to open up their business ‘Bitcoin Style’ and put all their transactions on a publicly available immutable ledger ready for inspection at any time. Sounds fanciful yes, but this would give trust and assurance that they are not cheating their customers by creating volume and moving markets with proprietary trading from free credits #CoinCreate.
BlockChain Capital completes 10 million USD ICO.
A more traditional style Venture Capital fund has been launched by Blockchain Capital and has raised over the 10 million USD maximum in its first day and will invest all of this in anything but traditional ventures.
In what BlockChain Capital itself dubs a world first they have launched the First Digital Liquid Venture Fund which they say “will disrupt the traditional VC market and create the first of its kind “Digital LP” investment vehicle”.
The difference with this fund, and why it can disrupt, is that it will not only invest in companies associated with Blockchain technologies, such as Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum but it will issue a liquid tradeable token, representing value in the fund, that can be bought and sold on an exchange. This means that investors can essentially cash in their investment at any time as opposed to waiting many years like in a more established Venture Capital fund.
This Blockchain Capital token will be issued on the Ethereum Blockchain, and joins an increasing number of ICOs using Ethereum’s easy and straightforward deployment of secure tokens on its network.
Time will tell
We shall certainly see over time whether this fund is able to return value to its investors but with some big names backing it, and a massive treasure trove to pick the best investments from, it certainly has a great chance of retuning investors multiple times their original investment in 5-10 years.
The fund has essentially underwritten the value of the token at 1USD and thus creating a floor at its original par value. This is achieved trough their intent to buy up any tokens in the event that it falls below this base value.
With the ICO raising finishing so quickly, it would have meant many would-be investors potential missing out on the initial offering. This will create a pent up demand and when the tokens are finally issued on Ethereum and listed for exchange you could see an initial explosion in price built around the hype and opportunity of a more regulated type token, of sorts, amidst a largely speculative and unregulated space.
Of course now they have created a honey Pot for new and more established Blockchain type companies to request funding from. This makes Blockchain Capital the current ‘Belle of the Bitcoin Ball’ and thus creating an opportunity to pick and choose from the most alluring suitors. This should at least mean the Fund managers being able to decide on more quality investments and not just any old Blockchain company with a great idea. With this space developing so fast, and there starting to be a number of well established players likley looking to expand their offerings, there will certainly be no shortage of suitors.
Open Blockchain not Permissioned database
If they use the mantra that the word ‘Blockchain’ cannot be replaced by the word ‘Database’ when looking at company pitches then it is likely to be a better type business investment. Many new startups and advisors are creating new closed access, permissioned style databases and calling it ‘Blockchain’ or ‘Distributed Ledger Technology’ and are really suggesting nothing better than an open SharePoint. Unless a company is building technology that resembles all of the main characteristics of Bitcoin such as having an open and permission-less innovation & security model then it will inevitably find it hard to differentiate itself. Any Blockchain investment needs to be disruptive and not just offering small efficiency gains here and there.
It will be fascinating to see how the token trades when it is listed on exchanges and how they will restrict Non-Accredited US investors from buying the tokens. I suspect it will be listed only on a limited number of exchanges who conduct thorough KYC before allowing investors to buy. One such exchange could be the fairly new NYCEX, which looks fairly quiet but well designed and part of the Argon Group that helped launch the ICO on Tokenhub .
Watch this space…
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