BLOCKv is a protocol for the creation of smart objects on a blockchain, digital goods that combine code with multimedia elements to create interactive user experiences. The protocol may represent the interface moment for blockchain technology. As of this writing, the buzz doesn’t match the potential of this ICO, but it’s possible that by the time V tokens hit exchanges, more people will have learned about this exciting protocol and demand will spike.
|Supply & Demand||6|
|Main sale:||Thurs. 10/12 @ 16:00 UTC – 10/16/17|
|Pre-sale:||9/18 – 10/10 (Tues.)|
|Country Excl||Not Currently|
|Hard Cap||40m (20m in presale)|
|Token||VEE (or V)|
|Price||TBA, Max $.02 per V|
|% Tokens Sold||35%|
|Distribution||By 11/16 (likely earlier)|
Smart objects in the BLOCKv protocol are called Virtual Atoms (vAtoms). vAtoms are robust: they are redeemable, programmable, finite, transferable, and traceable. Examples include in-game goods (WOW swords), smart 3D coupons, and digital prescription bottles that refill themselves. With both an interface (2D/3D graphics, sounds, etc.) and functional traits (GPS location, connection to real-time events, etc.), vAtoms are dynamic and interactive.
Picture earning a Coke vAtom when you like Coca Cola’s facebook page. That Coke object entitles you to a free Coke at a 711. When you redeem it, the 3D bottle graphic in your wallet changes from full to empty. For greater clarity on the functionality of vAtoms, watch this neat video or skim this medium article.
The BLOCKv white paper is long (10,671 words), detailed and well-written. The composition of vAtoms is discussed in depth as is the platform architecture. BLOCKv is a blockchain abstraction layer; vAtoms can function on any chain in the future. The protocol has been demoed on the Bitcoin blockchain, and current plans also include Ethereum and EOS. vAtoms can be fully on-chain, operate on side-chains or a hybrid of those two.
Market Size: The market opportunity appears to be enormous, though it’s challenging to accurately imagine the use cases and possibilities for smart objects. The team’s take:
“BLOCKv digital objects [can] transform the landscape of physical, digital and social advertising, micro-transacting, ticketing, gifting and promotions. Businesses and brands will be able to attract, engage and conduct commerce like never before across digital and physical environments – creating new revenue streams, driving traffic and holding attention like never before.”
vAtoms work across any digital platform, including mobile and AR/VR, so adoption could be extremely varied. In general terms, tokens like BTC and ETH lack an experiential layer (we’ve never seen a smart object Bitcoin), and experiential objects like in-game items lack a blockchain layer. BLOCKv can empower both of these broad types of digital assets. Because they are feature rich, vAtoms may work well as a marketplace for in-game items, a popular niche for blockchain projects to target.
Peter Diamandis (founder of the XPrize & Singularity University) is an advisor to BLOCKv and enthusiastically argues that BLOCKv is the Blockchain interface moment. That’s the moment when a technology that is difficult to interact with becomes easy to use and build upon, unlocking its revenue generating potential. The Netscape mosaic browser was the interface moment for the internet, and the iPhone app store was the interface moment for mobile apps.
vAtoms are effective as singular digital objects where uniqueness matters. The in-game economy alone is currently worth 15b, and it’s also easy to envision unique AR/VR objects being valuable in five or ten years. It’s harder to predict whether digital Coke bottle coupons will prove to be groundbreaking.
Competition: ARToken is an ecosystem for the creation and distribution of 3D content for AR/VR. It has a more narrow scope than BLOCKv because the 3D content isn’t particularly smart, and it is not a protocol. Similarly, there are many projects focused on in-game content marketplaces including DMarket and Enjin Coin. BLOCKv is the only smart object protocol that I’ve come across.
Progress & Roadmap
Development began in Q1 of 2016. The team launched an iOS app and demo on the BTC chain in Q3. The mobile user interface demo referenced earlier is slick. Two sets of APIs are live on Github. On 9/19, BLOCKv won the fairly prestigious d10e ICO pitch competition.
Upcoming milestones include integration with the ETH chain in Q4 of 2017 and public launch of the platform in Q1 of 2018.
The BLOCKv executive team is extremely talented and experienced:
- Reeve Collins (CEO): cofounded Tether, a token backed by USD, which has a 400m+ market cap and which was acquired by Bitfinex. He also founded Pala Interactive, an online social and gambling dev company, which raised 70m and currently has 34 employees on LinkedIn.
- Gunther Thiel (CTO): Extensive work for NetApp (12k empl.), and head of cloud products and on the executive board of Swisscom (11k empl.). Economics MS.
- Craig Sellars (Blockchain Architect): Co-founded Omni (12m market cap), Co-founded and CTO of Tether, Bitfinex CTO for 1.5 yrs, Partner at Block.one, which is building EOS.
- Lukas Fluri (COO): 8+ yrs at Swisscom, including program manager and head of cloud dev.
- Brock Pierce (Advisor): Block.one founder, Blockchain Capital co-founder (invested in Civic, coinbase, ripple, and 0x).
- Peter Diamandis (Advisor): chairman of the XPRIZE, co-founder of singularity university.
BLOCKv has a partnership with vAtomic systems, a privately held company based in Los Angeles. This appears to be a protocol/company relationship, similar to BlockOne and EOS. vAtomic is piloting the BLOCKv platform with brands in financial services, music and entertainment, and consumer goods. Partnerships will be announced in the coming months.
The vAtomic team has five members not on the BLOCKv team including Michael Judd who has serious management experience with CSC, a massive global tech solutions company.
VEE Tokens are essential to the BLOCKv ecosystem. They provide access and power to the smart objects. Linking vAtoms to a blockchain, changing ownership or using a dev. template all require V. The BLOCKV foundation will also use V to reward competitions and hackathons.
Trading & Investing Strategy
With a talented team, a protocol that uses blockchain in an interesting way, and an enormous market, BLOCKv reminds us of Brave. Brave raised a bit less (35m) and sold a larger percentage of their tokens (66%). BAT tokens sold for $.035 in the May ICO and currently (10/5/17) trade for ~$.268 (a 7.6x return).
As of 10/3, the telegram community had 1119 members, which is average for a top tier blockchain ICO prior to its public sale. However, there is little chatter on BitcoinTalk, the project has only 500 twitter followers and the only coverage online has been small press outlets. Given the impressive technology and team, the moderate buzz may indicate that the team has not yet focused heavily on marketing and community engagement.
Supply & Demand
BLOCKv is selling 35% of their tokens for $40m, but the other 65% of tokens all have vesting periods, including 15% that is locked up for in 3yrs. After the token sale, 45% of the tokens will be liquid, giving a max starting market cap of $51m. That’s relatively small for a protocol with big potential.
On the other hand, many projects with smaller raises have two or three times the number of telegram/slack followers. This may also be partly due to the unique nature of the technology: it is difficult to envision the future possibilities for smart objects.
This ICO is unlikely to sell out quickly unless funds or investors buy large amounts. The cap is split equally between the presale and the public sale, which may indicate that a large presale raise is planned. If you are interested in flipping this token, gauging the success of the presale should be helpful. If the presale sells out, that likely indicates that there is greater demand than the primary buzz markers indicate.
There are up to 20% bonuses for investing in the presale, and that may be a good move for those looking at this as a long term investment.
Flip Score – 6.6
As of this writing, there is relatively little buzz for the project given its $40m cap. It is possible that by the time the tokens hit exchanges, more people will have learned about this exciting project and demand may spike. Given the current buzz level, this is not a particularly promising project for flipping.
Invest Score – 8.7
Rarely do you see a truly talented team being first to a large niche in blockchain technology. If the team executes well and the use cases of smart objects become more evident, V tokens will gain an enormous amount of value in the coming years. Investing during the pre or public sale appears to be a smart move for investors that appreciate the technology and its potential.
Author Disclosure: I’m impressed with this project and plan on buying into the public sale.
- Block Tribune Interview w/ Reeve Collins
- BlockchainNews Article by Kastelein
- Bitcoin Exchange Guide profile
“Disclaimer: Please be aware of the fact, that a Contribution within the TGE (Token Generation Event) is not a form of investment, but a Contribution into a Smart Contract System for the generation VEE. VEE are only for use in connection with the BLOCKv Project under the terms of the Smart Contract System and only constitute a transferable representation of attributed functions specified in the Smart Contract System. Ownership of VEE carries no rights express or implied other than a limited right (license), which enables the creation and consumption of virtual goods and the utilization of the BLOCKv Platform, if and to the extent the BLOCKv Project has been successfully completed and launched. In particular, Participants in the TGE understand and accept that VEE do not represent or constitute any ownership right or stake, share or security or equivalent rights nor any right to receive future revenues, shares or any other form of participation or governance right in or relating to the BLOCKv Project and/or BLOCKv AG.”
Written by Tommy Hall, 10/5/17