Blockv Aims For Digital Objects with Real-World Value

Blockchain, Interviews, Investing | August 30, 2017 By:

Imagine buying a digital ticket to a basketball game, and every time your team scores more than 100 points throughout the season that digital memento on your phone morphs into a coupon for a free Coke. Or, imagine you need a last-minute b-day gift. You scan a magazine ad for a pair of sneakers and receive a digital pair on your phone. You double-click the object, pay for it, and send it to your friend, who can then redeem it at the store. But he’d rather have sunglasses so he trades the digital object for some digital Ray Ban’s of equal value on an exchange…

These are just some of the scenarios envisioned by BLOCKv, a start-up whose blockchain tech enables the creation of digital objects that are imbued with real-world value; can be bought, sold, collected, traded, owned and redeemed; can exist in any digital environment; and are immune to fraud.

The BLOCKv platform lets developers create fully-programmable, smart, experiential digital objects that can interact with consumers or other digital objects; drive traffic or create new revenue streams for businesses; change their behaviors and functions based on real-world stimuli – such as the weather, stock prices, sports scores, social media trends; are finite, and obtainable from almost anywhere – traditional media, social media, physical locations, online exchanges, mobile devices, virtual and augmented reality environments; and more. The company plans a token offering that kicks off September 21.

CEO Reeve Collins talked with about the service and its uses.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Tell me how it works.

REEVE COLLINS: The real vision behind what we’re doing is bringing an experiential layer to the blockchain. If you think about what the killer app has been to-date, it’s tokens, right? The technology has been around for a number of years. Multiple blockchains have been built, but on top of all of these blockchains, the world realizes that the tokenization of assets or to utilize tokens to power other functions and companies has really been the killer app to date.

However, when you look at these tokens, they’re a very flat experience. There’s not much to it. It’s like a text-based video game. It’s like the web before the web browser. Right now, when you look at any coin wallet or any type of token wallet, it’s just a very flat experience. It lists the token and a ticker.

What we’re doing is adding the experiential layer. We’re adding code to those tokens so now they can come alive to image, sound, but more importantly, policy control. You can create a whole set of rules behind how that token is going to act. What this evolves into is a few things that are really important for the world.

One is, it greatly increases the utility of all these tokens from just a currency. It expands the use cases beyond that to a whole new world of applications. Now, they go into marketing and branding and loyalty and tickets and coupons and collectibles and memorabilia. Because essentially what we have is a unique digital object, that’s what a bit coin is and it represents a value, now imagine a unique digital object that you have the ability to program that object similar to an app.

Right now, you can program apps and do all sorts of things that are interesting, entertaining or valuable to the consumer in their own right. However, if that app now is scarce, so we’ve introduced the notion of scarcity because that is really what the underlying technology of these tokens does, enables you to have digital scarcity. Now, if you are able to program a token that has all the cryptocurrency characteristics, but you can program it to do extraordinary things and that there’s scarcity behind it, you create market places. Now, you have these objects of value that do a lot more things for the user than a cryptocurrency. 

The last point is, ultimately, what we do is greatly enhance the value that the users get out of their digital life.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me how a consumer will interact with this and then tell me how a company will get on board with it.

REEVE COLLINS: Absolutely. Block V’s mission is, actually, to provide the tools to developers so they can build this new asset. What we’re calling our asset class is a vAtom, which is a smart digital object on blockchains. These vAtoms are going to change the way that companies communicate with consumers, as well as many other use cases.

One, you asked how does the consumer get involved and how does the company get involved. Let’s start with the company. Today there’s a couple of hundred billion dollars spent in advertising, I think $70 billion in the US in digital advertising alone. For the most part, they are paying all of that money to the intermediaries to put a message in front of your face. They pay it to the technology and the planners and the buyers and then they pay the websites to post the message. Our vision with vAtoms is that now brands will be able to go direct to the consumer and provide them an object of value versus a message in front of their face.

The way that brands and companies will interact with the platform is that there will be agencies and other developers that are built on top of the platform that will go out and provide these assets to the brands. Similar to advertising agency-created banner shops and then whole brand agencies were built, we believe this new asset class called the vAtom will replace that and all these agencies will now have vAtom shops and will be able to create these unique digital objects for brands to enable brands to directly connect with their consumers.

Then, secondly, you asked how the consumers interact with it. That’s also, I think, part of the brilliance of the platform. It doesn’t change the way consumers have to behave. It’s very similar to their behavior today. I’ll give you one simple example. Imagine you buy a ticket to a concert for $100. You would go online to wherever you’d buy the ticket. You’d get an email confirmation. You’d click that email. You’d click a link and you’d get a pdf. That would be that. You’d take that pdf in. They’d scan it and you’d be done.

Now, instead of the pdf that you’d get, you’d still go click the link and instead of this pdf, you’d get this rich digital object. Essentially what it would be is, imagine you were going to a Taylor Swift concert. You click on it and instead of a pdf, you’d get this cool little video and song and Taylor Swift saying, “I’m so excited for you to come to see my next concert. Here are a couple of photos from the tour so far.” You’re like, “Okay, that’s awesome.” That would get you excited. Then when you’re at the show, it transforms once they scan it and it says, “Guess what? You just won a free backstage pass.” Or, “Guess what? You won a popcorn.” Or, “You know what? You didn’t win anything but Taylor Swift loves you.” It’s just that moment of surprise and delight after they scan it because you know that you may get that backstage pass.

More importantly, after the show, this object comes alive again because Taylor Swift goes backstage, films some exclusive content of her saying how the show went for her, what her highlights were and a little footage from backstage and then a couple of other photos that’s uploaded to this object. Because this object evolves, I have an experience before, during and after.

Since it’s a unique digital object, it was a ticket, so you know there was only a couple of thousand for the venue, or how many were sold and it has exclusive content tied to this ticket. It’s got the video. It’s got the content and you, as a user, know the only way to get it was to actually have been to the concert. Therefore, this object now that you own, similar to a bitcoin, which is a token, this is a token that you own that has exclusive content and now you can buy, sell or trade it because now it’s a collectible. 

There’s a few thousand out there. You may like Taylor Swift so you want to keep it. You may not. You can put it on the marketplace and sell it for $5 or whatever the market is doing because there are a lot of collectors that would love to collect all of these ticket stubs.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: How would you transfer it to them?

REEVE COLLINS:  Using the wallet on their phone. In this wallet, they have all of these different digital objects. You, as a user, would have this beautiful interactive object and you would have the full capabilities to send it to a friend, to put it on the marketplace or even to drop it on the mat. Imagine you didn’t want it so you put it down and someone else comes along and they use their phone with augmented reality similar to Pokemon GO and they could see this object on the mat. They could pick it up.

Think of this new asset class, vAtoms, similar to a real world object. This is a digital equivalent to a real world object. You can do all the same things with a real world object, such as it’s yours. You put it in your garage. You can buy, sell or trade it or you can leave it somewhere and someone else can pick it up or you can send it to a friend.

All of that functionality is already built. We’ve been building the platform for over two years, put over $4 million into it. This is what’s being released to the marketplace. vAtom. An atom is a building block of life and a vAtom is the building block of your virtual life, of the digital world.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. Got it. Tell me a little bit about your token offering and what that will entail.

REEVE COLLINS: Yes, so the launch date is September 21st. It’s a ERC-20 token, so the token will be traded on the ethereum blockchain. Ultimately, this token is going to power the ecosystem. It does three things. It enables developers to create and publish vAtoms. It also pays for the long-running process.

Let’s say you pay for this vAtom like that ticket I shared with you. It has to update the video and the content and then Taylor Swift sends messages to it every month. It might cost a fraction of a penny or a couple of pennies a year. Our network token will enable developers to publish it, to pay for the long-running process. Then, lastly, it’s for our version of miners, which we call cyclers, which confirm all of those transactions and power those processes. We have a network token that is integrated into our entire ecosystem so it has longevity and it can flourish and it be self-sustaining and scale to billions of objects.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you already have some development partners on board?

REEVE COLLINS: We do. Our first development partner is vAtomic, which is actually another startup and they see the power of vAtoms, this new asset class that we’re creating. They see how it can transform the world and transform people’s relationships with their digital life. Their company is called vAtomic and they’re going out to the brands. They have secured Fortune 10, Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 brands to utilize this new asset class and to start testing it with their consumers.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Any specifics?

REEVE COLLINS: Unfortunately, right now I can’t share any of the names but by the end of the year, the first tests will be live with some of these very large brands.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Beyond the consumer-oriented things, you had a few other future applications that you can envision this being used?

REEVE COLLINS: Absolutely. Most importantly, what we feel, because we also are firm believers in the ecosystem and blockchain technology and how it’s going to revolutionize the future, all of these token offerings that are taking place and the different businesses that are going to start utilizing tokens to either represent assets or represent the fuel to their networks, we feel that our platform will be the place that people come to do these token offerings. They will just add our technology on top of the token because right now, they can use whichever blockchain they choose.

Because we have an abstraction from blockchains, the developer can choose whichever blockchain they want to write the token to, but what we do is we add code to that token. These developers can use our tools to make their token very experiential and make it a much richer experience for the end user, and it provides a direct communication line between them and their token holders. They can update it. They can change it. They can reward them. What we feel and see is a future where every token utilizes the Block V technology because it enhances the experience at least tenfold.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is your background?

REEVE COLLINS:  I was involved in the late ’90s in some of the very first Internet companies. The first company I was involved with went public for $6 billion. It was the very first online advertising agency. Since then, I’ve started a number of other companies in the digital media space, then an online real money gaming and then prior to this and most applicable, is I was the co-founder of Tether. Tether is one of the top cryptocurrencies in the space and it’s a stable coin. It’s a token pegged to the dollar. It enables you to send real world currencies in the manner that you send bitcoin.