Category Archives: Sponsored Project Introduction

Media Protocol: Crypto Rewards for Sharing Content

Media Protocol is a new crypto system that is based on creating rewards for sharing content. How does it achieve such a thing? Mostly through its native ‘Smart URLs’ built by the Media Protocol that track the sharing of content. This creates a more direct economy for content creators, affiliates, and content sharers.

Through the Media Protocol, publishers can promote their content and reach a much wider audience. At the same time, the people who share the content can reap in some of its success. This creates an economic incentive to share good pieces of content that are subsequently more widely shared.

Protocol Value

The protocol value itself comes from different sources. For example, media creators can directly incentivize consumers to consume and interact with their content. How? With the help of the native token of the Media Protocol. And what do content producers get out of this? Simply put – data, and lots of it.

The end consumers who are savvy can benefit from using the Media Protocol, since they are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to trends, and publishers want to hear their opinions. The publishers record their data and preferences, and can now reward them for this participation.

Application and Protocol

The Media Protocol team is building their first application on the Media Protocol called CryptoCatnip. As the name might suggest, this is an app created specifically for the crypto community to learn more about specific cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets. This app is going to be like any other end-consumer app. The team hopes that the crypto community would visit the app as their first stop into the world of crypto news and media content.

This is a smart move by the team because the app provides a proof of concept for other third-party app developers to build other applications for other niches. Many of these protocols rely on the success of third-party developers using their protocols anyway.

Secondly, by focusing on the crypto community specifically, the team has lowered the barrier of entry, since they are preaching to the choir about the benefits of a crypto-token and blockchain. The sale to the consumers becomes much easier.

The CryptoCatnip app therefore serves as a proof of concept of the underlying Media Protocol itself. It is safe to say that very likely the protocol’s success will depend on the success of this proof of concept app, since if it fails, any other community will be harder pressed to use such a system.

If you’re interested to learn more about Media Protocol and the CryptoCatnip app, check out their website and whitepaper. Remember that token sales carry a considerable amount of risk and you can lose all your money. Never invest more than you’re willing to lose and always do your own research before putting any money into ICOs.

MobileBridge Momentum Token – Loyalty Points on Blockchain

Loyalty points is something a lot of businesses use. However, getting loyalty points right is harder than it appears. Got a punch card for getting your eight coffee free? Well, how many millennials do you think are going to carry your card in their wallet? There are apps today for loyalty points, but they come with their own set of challenges of trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. Why? Because you need to abide by the limitations set by the app developers.

Blockchain Solution

However, it does’t have to be like this. We have better technological tools today to do loyalty points right. That’s the aim of MobileBridge Momentum – taking a stab at the loyalty points industry with the help of blockchain.

One immediate drawback of using these points on the blockchain is going to be the transfer fees – it would take a lot of money just to send a couple of points for a small purchase, and may not be economical. However, in the future, as blockchains scale, this fees may very well come down and make this a usable application for small transfers.

For example, the MobileBridge Momentum team can hire some additional developers with the money raised in the token sale to build out a Plasma chain for all of the users of their platform. This will mean real fast confirmation times with little to no fees for these transfers, making it easy to issue these tokens for small purchases.

Loyalty Points Combined with Data

The MobileBridge Momentum pitch goes beyond just loyalty points and into the data plays as well. Customer data is valuable to businesses, or at least the businesses that understand marketing. It all comes down to knowing and understanding your customers, and targeting them appropriately. That’s why Facebook and Google combined are worth a staggering $1 Trillion today.

Of course, if you’re a small business, then you cannot really compete with the biggest advertising companies of our lifetime. Instead, you would want to get your customers to first reveal more data about themselves, and then be able to track them through the sales lifecycle.

The MobileBridge platform that exists today is already geared towards marketing automation for advertisers and marketers. This, integrated with loyalty points on the blockchain, can help small businesses learn more about their customers and in the process capture more value.

Interested to learn more? Check out the MobileBridge website. If you’re interested in the token sale, make sure you read the whitepaper as well. Remember token sale investing is extremely risky and you can lose all your money. Never invest more than you’re willing to lose.

Photo Credit: Jeepers media

Quadrant: Decentralized Data Mapping on the Blockchain

Data is the lifeline of the modern economy. This will only continue to get more important in the future as more firms depend on data. Even more, whole economies are built on data, and these economies are bound to drastically increase their presence in the world. Whole new industries like AI and Machine Learning depend on vast troves of data.

As data becomes more important to the modern economy, the gap between the firms that have their own data and those that don’t is widening. Giants like Google and Facebook with vast data collection prowess are getting ahead of the smaller players. How do you make the playing field even?

Enter Quadrant

Quadrant Making Data More Open

The quadrant protocol is attempting to make data more open, which has many advantages for the smaller players. They can rely on other people’s data sets, other people’s expertise in evaluating the data, and build  their products. This is especially useful for smaller businesses that don’t have the capabilities of Google and Facebook in data collection.

In addition to making data more accessible to smaller players, the Quadrant Protocol is designed to keep data accuracy in mind. This is generally a big issue facing AI and machine learning models, since they are trained on data. If this is training data is inaccurate, the model will produce garbage or incorrect data in its prediction and ultimately prove useless for the real world. Quadrant makes the data vendors in the ecosystem accountable and more honest.

Finally, quadrant is designed to reward the data providers themselves. This is only fair considering they are the ones that have made all these algorithms possible in the first place.

How Quadrant Works

At its core, the Quadrant Protocol is a way to bring the owners of data and the consumers of data into a single platform for interaction.

There are of course many elements that need to come together before this happens. Take trust, for instance. Quadrant is perfectly suited to solve this problem, considering the use of blockchain as a public ledger of trust and provenance. In fact, that’s one of the core uses of a blockchain, as The Economist explained in their Blockchain – the Trust Machine feature.

Quadrant makes it such that any stakeholder in the whole chain can find the provenance of the data that they use. They can vet the sources first-hand instead of relying on third-party unscrupulous data vendors.

With the help of Constellations, the Quadrant Protocol makes it easy to bring disparate data sources into one place, while still maintaining trust as envisioned above. Among the many advantages of this, Constellations are intended to level the playing field so that everyone has access to the data that they need when they need it with the end goal to inspire a new generation of data scientists to discover revolutionary insights and form new businesses. Let the smart people building by themselves have a chance to get paid for their data products.

And that brings us to the final part of this protocol – remuneration. Using their own token, the protocol lets the stakeholders get paid for their efforts at each stage, thus incentivizing parties to be honest and also build useful products for the entire ecosystem, right from data collection to end products.

To learn more, check out the Quadrant website and Quadrant Whitepaper. There is also an ongoing token sale for QUAD tokens that you can check out. Remember that all ICOs are risky and you must do your due-diligence before investing any money. Remember you can lose everything and never invest more than you’re able and willing to lose.

Photo Credit: Eric Fisher

Countinghouse: Trading Crypto Like Forex

The crypto industry is fairly unique in its history, philosophies, and market structures. However, if there is one industry that a lot of the very short-term behavior of crypto can be compared to, that’s Forex. Don’t mistake this for the long-term though – I don’t know of any traditional currency that gains a 100% in a day like crypto can. However, if you’re looking at the very short-term, say minute-by-minute trading action, the charts resemble the Forex market in many ways, especially the leveraged Forex market.

Forex to Crypto Transition

For investors in the crypto asset class then, is there an advantage to have mastered Forex? That’s what the team at Countinghouse is betting on, with their new fund that trades exclusively in crypto using investor money.

Like any project, especially one that trades in the crypto markets, we’d add a risk premium that can go both ways. In a bull market, the returns can be amplified, and in a bear market, the returns can be decimated more than the market. Why? Because the fund still needs to pay fixed costs even if the money in the bank has gone down like 80% in a full cyrpto bear market.

So, it’s a double edged sword. If you’re in crypto and think the markets are not exciting enough, the funds generally make sense. Countinghouse’s strategy is a little different than other funds though.

Strategy and Fundraising

On the strategy side, the Countinghouse fund isn’t doing the traditional ICO investing like many other funds do. Sure, it allocates 10% of the fund for this purpose, but that’s not the majority by any means. Instead, the majority of the money is allocated to algorithmic trading and arbitrage strategies.

What’s the advantage of this? For starters, the team has expertise in Forex. The Forex markets can be quite choppy like crypto especially when you add in leverage. The team is hoping to translate that expertise from Forex to crypto.

Then, crypto is a unique beast. We all know how the market structure is inefficient. During the recent bull run you might remember how the price on Korean exchanges was consistently higher than others. The Clearinghouse team realizes this, and is trying to take advantage of it. Sometimes, these arbitrage funds can make a lot of sense.

For investors then, the expectation is to make profits in both bull and bear markets. Arbitrage, for example, should work in both types of markets. In fact, the strategy should perform well as long as there is volatility in the markets, and we know how that works in crypto!

Clearinghouse also has a different strategy to raise investor money than other crypto hedge funds. It is doing a straightforward ICO for this purpose. Investors give money to the team, and get their tokens. These are security tokens representing ownership in the fund managed by Clearinghouse. You get the benefits of more liquid markets. You also pay less minimum fees, because of granular divisibility.

At the end of the day, you’re making a bet on the team to deliver, so make sure to do your research. Check out the website and whitepaper as the starting point. Remember, investing in tokens is risky business and never invest more than you’re willing and able to lose completely.

Can Blockchain Help with Climate Change?

Climate change is one of the biggest long-term threats that the current generation faces. It is also one of those threats with a very long-term impact not just on individuals or societies, but on humanity as a whole. It is no wonder that people need to marshal all the resources they can to help solve this for the future generations. The current path we’re on isn’t sustainable. The data is clear and unambiguous.

So why don’t we do something about it, if everyone agrees it is a big problem? It is because solving climate change generally requires a sacrifice. Those of us in the developed world consume and emit way more carbon that the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the rest of the world aspires to the standards of the developed world. If we are not to go down this road, people will need to make sacrifices. No one wants to voluntarily lower their standard of living. It’s a deadlock. No wonder nothing substantial gets done, other than the feel-good pats on the back people give themselves for extremely trivial ‘achievements’ in reducing emissions.

The Way Forward

Then what’s the way forward? We need to consider incentives. People will not voluntarily cut emissions, but they can be incentivized to do so. This is a powerful idea that economists have been advocating for a long time anyway. However, the question is, where does this extra reward come from? The usual answer is governments, but we all know the kind of dysfunction that happens there especially in today’s world. Combine that with the political inclinations of the party in power in the world’s largest economy and all of a sudden the prospects don’t look so good.

So what’s a good free market solution to this, and can crypto really help? The answer lies in carbon credits, and it can indeed be implemented on the blockchain. The idea is to reward people for using cleaner energy sources and punish people for using the dirtier sources like coal.

And that’s exactly what a company called Zero Carbon is trying to do – carbon credits on the blockchain to help with reducing emissions on the planet.  They accomplish this with the help of their native token – Energis Token. The way it works is simple – if you’re an energy provider and you use clean energy as part of the system, you get rewarded. Otherwise, you pay a penalty.

The energy suppliers may want to buy Energis Token to manage demand and have the ability to use fossil fuels sometimes. Why? Because we’re not yet at the point where renewables are as reliable as traditional fuels. This is like a ‘bridge’ solution, but it works.

Energis token is a neat attempt at mimicking carbon credits on the blockchain. Let’s see if it works in the marketplace.

If you’re interested to learn more, check out their website and whitepaper.

Real Estate on the Blockchain with Proper Diversification via Global REIT

Global REIT

Real estate on the blockchain has been a hot topic for at least a year now. The real estate industry sees the writing on the wall that their outdated ways to buy and sell real estate won’t last forever. The blockchain provides a perfect launching pad to streamline the industry for investors, owing to its transparency and ability to get multiple parties on the same page. In addition, blockchains are inherently global, and as much as real estate is local, the investors today especially in top cities in the world are from around the globe.

However, this whole blockchain real estate needs to be done right if it is to succeed.

REITs and Property Backed Tokens

Global REIT is taking an interesting approach here, which is from the get go creating a REIT-like instrument for the tokens that it sells. Essentially, it isn’t a platform play but really a real-estate backed crypto token here. So if you like the team and investments, it makes sense to consider the token. The tokens are based by real estate assets in specific locations and verticals, and accrue cash flow accordingly.

Cash flow of course is the name of the game when it comes to real estate. Using Ethereum based tokens, it is easy to track ownership and changes of ownership over time. This makes the accounting easier. The big win is for global investors. For example, Global REIT is buying its first property in UAE. How many, say Australian investors have exposure to real estate in the middle east? Now it is possible through their tokens.

Of course the UAE property is the first step. The company has plans to expand to other markets including the UK. Crypto payments make it easier to go through the paperwork and compliance for ownership and transfer of these rights. The company intends to pay dividends on these tokens in Tether, backed by the cash flows of the actual properties on the ground.

Real Estate Tokens

There are two tokens at play here – the GREM and GRET tokens. These will be sold in an initial crowdsale to investors, very similar to an ICO. The GREM token pays out a 2% AUM (assets under management) that decreases to 1.25% in 0.25% increments over time but never below 1.25%. The GRET token pays out a stable 8% per annum dividend on the first acquired asset, which is the UAE property for Global REIT. Each property will have its own GRET token and contract.

More numbers for you. The company plans to start with $75 million in AUM and reach $2 billion in AUM in 3 years. Yes, that’s a highly ambitious goal, but could provide some real diversification to real estate investors if they succeed.

The team isn’t limiting its investments to a geography or asset type. Its roadmap has everything from a hotel in UK to a shopping mall in UAE. But since GRET tokens are different for each property, investors can build their own collection of real estate tokens if they so wish. Otherwise, they can just invest in GRAM tokens as described above.

If you’re a real estate and/or crypto enthusiast and want to learn more, check out their website and whitepaper. Be very careful if you invest any money in the tokens, since it is a risky investment and you can lose all your money. Do your due diligence and never invest more than you can lose.

Photo Credit: michaela loheit