We held an AMA with VideoCoin in our public Telegram channel on November 25th.
The VideoCoin Network is a decentralized video platform, powered by the VideoCoin token (VID) from the VideoCoin Development Association Ltd. and its strategic, advisory, and implementation partner, next generation video company Live Planet. By using the blockchain in combination with unused distributed computing resources, the VideoCoin Network brings significant innovation and cost reductions to processing, storing and distributing video content on and across the Internet.
VideoCoin is the first PoW network to reward miners in fiat as opposed to tokens. Clients using the VideoCoin Network pay for services in fiat which is then distributed to miners and stakers in fiat based off their contribution to processed work on the network. In this sense, VideoCoin stakes a claim to be the first Fiat-Based blockchain business.
VideoCoin recently signed a partnership with iNDEMAND —
You can visit the VideoCoin Telegram channel or VideoCoin website for further details.
Here’s what VideoCoin Founder & CEO CEO Halsey Minor, CTO Devadutta Ghat, Director of Ecosystem Development Kellam Ames and Director of Marketing James Hallahan had to say in the AMA.*
*This AMA has been edited for clarity.
WC (Wolf Crypto Telegram Member)
Welcome to another edition of Wolf Crypto AMA, this time with VideoCoin!
We’re up to part two of our AMA series with VideoCoin now, you can check the previous AMA we did with the team here —
Joining us from the VideoCoin team this time are Live Planet Founder & CEO Halsey Minor, CTO Devadutta Ghat, Director of Ecosystem Development Kellam Ames and Director of Marketing James Hallahan.
Guys, the plan for this AMA is to run it as an open chat, but I do ask, keep your questions relevant to the subject we’re discussing at the time and don’t flood the chat. I want everyone to be able to have their say on this, but please be fair on other users and of course on the VID guys!
This is the agenda for the AMA. I’m going to lead with questions but please feel free to chime in with related questions as we go through each section…
- Introduction & Recent Progress
- VideoCoin Partnerships & Marketing
- Third Party Workers
- The Orbital Application
- Third Party Camera Support
- The Stream Explorer
- VideoCoin & Staking
- The VID Token & Exchanges
INTRODUCTION & RECENT PROGRESS
Welcome guys, it’s been a moment since we last spoke to you.
For those who didn’t join us last time and are joining us for the first time tonight, can we get a brief intro from each team member and a short synopsis on what VideoCoin is and what you’re trying to achieve with your project?
Great to speak with you again Winston. Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us!
So in my 25 year career, I have founded or co-founded companies that now exceed over $145 billion in market value prior to entering the blockchain world. These companies include CNET, salesforce.com, Vignette, OpenDNS, Google Voice, NBCi and in the blockchain arena I first started Uphold in 2013 and began building the VideoCoin Network in 2017.
In addition to founding these companies I built CNET into a NASDAQ 100 company as a founder and CEO.
Hey all! I’m Deva. I started my career as an engineer and now I’m here. I have 6 patents in video and related technologies.
Got into crypto in 2013 when I got interested in Bitcoin and arbitrage trading.
Hello everyone. So I am a 20 year veteran of executive of sales and marketing at both GE Information Services and JDA focused on the technology sector.
I have an MBA in Intl Business and have invested in or been part of start-upis with Halsey since 1994 with CNET.
I love working with high performing teams that are changing the world through disruptive tech and that’s precisely what we do at VideoCoin.
Hello all! My name is James Hallahan and I am a marketing veteran who has worked in entertainment companies like Sony and Electronic Arts for the past 15 years.
I feel like we are changing the world with this project and am excited to be here with you all!
Just quickly on the team side of things, have you added anyone to the team since we last spoke to you?
Hanno Basse immediately jumps to mind. You’ll recall he was hired in June of this year. He has been working diligently as our President of Decentralized Media. Previously he held the role of CTO at 20th Century Fox.
We also recently hired engineering manager Harikishan Desineni, who came from Facebook.
Last time we did an AMA with you was prior to your token and network launch. Your token is now listed on KuCoin and the network is up and running, so some congrats are in order there…a lot of projects from 2018 didn’t even make it to having a token out and trading, as sad as that is…
Can you give us some insight from your end as to your thoughts on how both the network and token launch went and what else has been going on at VideoCoin since you listed?
Well right after we did the first AMA, we had our Fiji Release. You can learn more about that here —
Additionally, we launched the VideoCoin Developer Studio —
The Blockchain VR Network has been awful busy as well —
Further, we’ve been testing different ways to open up the VideoCoin Network. You can see several of our results at the following blogs —
And now we are in full preparation mode for our Kilimanjaro release.
So speaking of Kilimanjaro, you’re now a few days out from this next major milestone on the VideoCoin roadmap.
Before we get into what Kilimanjaro involves, can you please give us a recap on what your first release (Fuji) included and how that’s formed a pathway to this next release and maturation of the VideoCoin network?
Fuji was a monumental effort and I am proud of the entire team for taking that on. That milestone was all about making the network functional. The product update showcased the VideoCoin Studio, where publishers can livestream over the network.
Here’s a great summary of everything we released —
Ok so moving onto Kilimanjaro, what does this update specifically involve and how is this pushing the network forward towards its final vision (keeping in mind there are only two other major releases, K2 and Everest, to come on your roadmap)?
Kilimanjaro is one of the biggest advancements for the VideoCoin product. We have a lot of exciting announcements coming up in the next week, but you can expect news about
- Massive improvements to VideoCoin Studio
- Native Blockchain Enhancements
- Updates on VideoCoin Third Party Workers
- Updates to our Block Explorer (Stream Explorer)
- Open source release updates
- And our reference app — Orbital that we’re super excited about
What’s the ethos behind starting to allow more open access to the VideoCoin network?
Last time we spoke to you it was more of a closed wall ecosystem and it seems now with some of the things you’re doing with the latest release and updates, these walls are now starting to come down?
Starting with Kilimanjaro, we are going to remove developer approvals and allow all developers who sign up to use the platform.
Nice, so anyone can just sign up and start using the network?
I note that on the Fuji release there were some restrictions in place, you could only deposit 50 VID at a time, will these be removed?
I should clarify…
We would still have restrictions, as we build out the network we want a stable ramp up of load, but, we will be accepting more developers and reducing the friction to get started.
So what exactly can a user or developer do with the VideoCoin Developer Studio at this point in time?
One of the most common video infrastructure use cases live streaming with RTMP. You can presently do that, we’ve published some great blogs (posted above), like using OBS to stream your desktop, using your GoPro to stream live and using your Wyze camera to stream live.
There are a wide set of awesome use cases. These three should help you get started.
How does the VideoCoin Developer Studio fit in with other parts of the VideoCoin ecosystem?
Can you give us a working example, start to finish as to how a developer would “pick up and run” with the developer studio and build and release an app using it and on top of VideoCoin?
Definitely, we’ve written multiple blogs on how you ca do this, but the best example is Orbital.
We will be releasing the full source code of a reference app that you can build on top of VideoCoin.
Check this blog post for more —
So speaking of developers, what are they actually building on VideoCoin?
You mentioned in our previous AMA that VideoCoin is the underlying architecture and that developers would need to build on top of it…
Check out our Orbital app. It’s a great example of what developers can do. We have other developers who’re looking at similar applications. As you know, we’re working towards our Everest release where we hope to get some of these developers to successfully ship apps.
Until then we will keep adding features and make it easy for developers to build. We have several announcements coming up next week in this respect.
From my understanding, until recently, LivePlanet was the main use case for VideoCoin and the network.
Have you been using your own developer tools to build this use case and if so, how has that shaped your approach to what you’re now releasing and what has been learnt along the way?
We’ve learned a great deal! VR video is so hard that getting that right has helped us understand how to get any video right.
For example, video from VR cameras is 50MBPS. As we tried to understand how to encode such massive throughouts of video content, we built sophisticated massively parallel distributed encoding system.
So what you’re saying is, VR equals hardest, anything under that equals easier?
It’s a huge amount of processing in real-time for many different platforms. Encoding and transcoding.
What’s the incentive for a developer to use VideoCoin dev tools and the network to build on top of, and how can they go about doing so?
One of the most useful things we will be releasing for developers is a RESTful API playground. Developers can learn and write apps using this.
Stay tuned for more details next week.
VIDEOCOIN PARTNERSHIPS & MARKETING
So lets talk about your latest and greatest news, the partnership with iNDEMAND.
For those not in the know, who are iNDEMAND and what do they do?
iNDEMAND is a leading video-on-demand provider, who services over 60 Million households in North America. They are a leader in the industry and someone we are very proud to be working with.
Right, so if iNDEMAND is all about live pay per views, how does this fit in with VideoCoin right now?
Forgive the pun, but where is the demand from iNDEMAND’s side of things to use the VideoCoin network?
Like with any content provider, content is king. This is no different for iNDEMAND, who has petabytes of video.
With so much content, it is cost prohibitive to store. In the future, VideoCoin Network will provide a simple and cheap solution for this and any other partner.
So if I’m understanding this correctly, iNDEMAND will first partner with the VideoCoin Network to help build out functionality, but at some point you will digitise and store their existing tape libraries so they can start utilising these as part of their business model (instead of them just sitting around unused).
Further, as the VideoCoin network progresses towards being able to handle live streaming events, will use the VideoCoin network to start delivering Live Pay per View content via the VideoCoin Network?
Right now, we are partnered to help ensure we deliver the functionality, robustness, and related other requirements so we may fulfill customer needs in the future. In return, when the network is at full functionality, iNDEMAND will have first-in-line privilege to join the cost-saving network.
Considering the scope of the partnership, and the size of the overall iNDEMAND brand and company, how did this partnership actually come about?
This doesn’t seem to be your usual run of the mill partnership for partnerships sake kind of deal…
John Ward, acting CTO of inDEMAND is an advisor and made the connection for the VideoCoin network. Our team is built from industry veterans. You can expect this caliber of business partnership going forward. This is one of the key differentiators between Theta or LivePeer or any of the other blockchain streaming projects.
With that in mind it sounds like Hanno is going to be busy in his near future, get him on the phone to his buddies at Fox already! 😉
THIRD PARTY WORKERS
Before we get too far into the worker side of things, can you give us a recap on who workers are in the VideoCoin ecosystem and what role they serve in the overall functions of the network?
Proof of Transcoding — When workers livestream video, they produce chunks of work, for challenge response, calculate a verifiable Proof of Compute and record it to the VideoCoin blockchain. The verifiable proof of compute is presently based on Perceptual hash computation and the network is slated to transition into a zkSNARK-based verifiable proof of compute. Learn more here.
Reputation Management and Staking — Workers stake VideoCoins to establish, grow and exert reputation on performing work on the network. If workers perform verifiably correct work, they get compensated. Staked VID tokens get slashed if workers perform malicious activity.
Just to confirm, in VideoCoin terminology, workers = miners right?
Miner is a term that does not make much sense for us, so we use the term worker because, workers on our network do real video encoding, storage or distribution work.
So I guess its the storage that sets them apart from “traditional miners”?
Storage is an interesting one, as from my understanding it sounds like in the VideoCoin ecosystem, workers/miners are actually data centers who sell unused resources back to the VideoCoin network.
Is this correct?
We know today there are huge data centers sitting idle because they have moved to the cloud.
In order for them to get actual work they need to attract staking tokens.
The more staking tokens they have the more work they get. There will be significant demand for tokens because no one gets work without them!
To be clear. Staking tokens is the key driver in our worker ecosystem. The algorithm selects workers each day based on the reputational staking they possess.
This utility use of the tokens plays a key role in our selection process for what workers get assigned processing work each day and drives our competitive worker ecosystem.
Can you explain to us why data centers are more preferable to this role in the VideoCoin network as opposed to your normal user at home?
To be clear, we’re open to both type of nodes.
But, the way we’re approaching this is to allow users to select nodes based on reputation and performance. Data centers usually have really good compute nodes, internet bandwidth and SSD and NVME storage, so we expect them to rank high in node quality.
I guess that’s because different users with have different needs right?
Like if I’m streaming say a game to my friends (poor example perhaps) I can use nodes with less resources, but if I’m Fox for example…or iNDEAMND using it to stream to customers, I’d need the best nodes with the best resources right?
What updates does the Kilimanjaro release include that helps workers when it comes to participating in the VideoCoin network?
The upcoming release will showcase some very important aspects of third party workers.
Look for a blog on our Medium next week!
THE ORBITAL APPLICATION
To me, this seems to be one of the more exciting parts of this release. Since VideoCoin is a network layer and protocol without anything that has a “consumer” frontend, this seems to be the first part of the VideoCoin network that ordinary users can touch, feel and have a play with.
What is the app, what can you do with it and why have VideoCoin chosen to build it, keeping in mind the previous chat we had about the developer studio?
Yes! We’re super excited about Orbital.
We’ve always wanted to develop reference applications for our developers to quickly get started on VideoCoin Network and Orbital is exactly that.
It’s an open source reference application developers can just pull and use to build their applications, we are releasing the Android version in December,
iOS, web and a server side implementation will follow.
That is damn cool, so not only can “normal” users download the app and play with it, i.e stream on the network, developers can use it to build their own apps on VideoCoin.
It’s almost like the network is becoming real…
One goal is to reignite video innovation. YouTube and Facebook have brought little innovation in the last 10 years.
Low cost is why you’ll come to us at first but we also want to drive new applications as well. At salesforce.com we started as cheaper but ultimately delivered more innovation as well.
Dev, the app sounds super cool and all, but can you explain to us what functions of the Orbital app are actually happening on the VideoCoin network as of right here, right now, and how this will change as you complete your next two roadmap milestones and finalise the network itself?
The great thing about the Orbital App is that almost everything related to video encoding happens on the VideoCoin Network.
As we progress towards K2 and Everest, we plan to add more profiles, encoding optimizations and other features.
So when and where can users access the Orbital app?
The Android Version of Orbital application source code will be released on our GitHub in December 2019.
The Orbital application itself will be available on the Google Play store shortly after — subject to approval by Google.
Ok so do I have it right that at the moment, it encodes and streams video, but doesn’t store them?
That will come later as the network grows?
Correct, it stores the HLS video temporarily.
So not that I have a dirty mind at all, but does this mean we’ll see a porn application that uses VideoCoin in the very near future?
It seems like porn is the white whale of video delivery on the Internet and a developer having access to a network that could drastically reduce their costs would make this a very attractive proposition indeed…
You aren’t the first to mention it!
With all of the savings the VideoCoin Network provides, we expect many different video applications to utilize the network.
THIRD PARTY CAMERA SUPPORT
As you’ve posted above, you’re now starting to support streaming on the VideoCoin Network with consumer grade cameras.
When we first spoke to you, it was only possible to use the network using a very expensive 3D camera.
Can you explain to us as to why you’ve chosen to go down this path and the impact this will have on users and developers being able to leverage the VideoCoin Network?
Video is 80% of the Internet and VR is a small part of it. Our goal is to enable video developers across the spectrum with the infrastructure and tools they need.
In order to illustrate the simplicity and flexibility of our platform, we have created a series of tutorials.
You will see even more wide ranging uses and demos of VID, that’s the flexibility of what we’re building.
Can you link us through to some of these tutorials?
Can you explain what OBS Studio is, who uses it currently and in a similar vein to the previous question, what impact this will have on users and developers being able to leverage the VideoCoin network?
OBS Studio is one of the most popular ways gamers and podcasters stream video on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.
You can use the same tool to stream on the VideoCoin Network. It demonstrates the great flexibility the VideoCoin Network API’s provide.
THE STREAM EXPLORER
In our last AMA, you introduced the concept of a “Stream Explorer”, which from my understanding is different to a traditional block explorer.
The Stream Explorer, from what I’ve heard, has now moved past the concept stage and is now a reality?
Yes! We are super excited to launch our brand new network explorer.
We now call it a “Network Explorer” instead of a Stream Explorer or Block Explorer because it can do so much more than a traditional block explorer.
This new Network Explorer is embedded throughout the project and we will keep seeing increasing use of this across the stack.
You have a traditional block explorer too though right?
When you say old one, this is getting a facelift or being replaced by the Stream Explorer?
Facelift and new functionality and it will continue to come in throughout and until the Everest release.
Are there any applications or services running on the network right now in which traffic can be observed passing over/through the Stream Explorer?
Yes! We’ll be releasing a demo showcasing this after the Kilimanjaro release!
VIDEOCOIN & STAKING
A lot of emphasis has been placed behind the fact that you’ll be able to hold VID tokens and as such either participate as a worker on the network and/or earn fiat for doing so.
How far has the staking model progressed and when can we expect to hear more news on this?
We’re the first project to ever undertake staking in USD.
Let’s take a deeper look at what that means. Even though we are working with a third party to power payments in USD (and other fiat), getting payments in fiat right is extremely difficult. We need to address AML, KYC, Fraud protection, customer service, and a long list of other services.
We’ve made a lot of progress on the technical side of things, but getting everything right for a launch is a very hard problem and we’re actively working on it.
Lots of projects have implemented staking with an inflating coin they mint. But with VideoCoin, people will be staking USD.
How many stakers are needed, is there a minimum?
Does your total supply match with your expected token utility, if yes can you please show some numbers.
The reason for asking the last part is crypto projects have this bad habit of having ridiculously high token supply for no valid reason.
Why is the VID token itself needed for reputation?
Could you choose to have another metric/variable such as location if you wanted to?
Short answer: Proof of Stake.
Without VID maintaining reputation, slashing is not possible
Cool USD staking.
It looks very complex. Can you give a demo example how demand for VID grows organically with ecosystem growth.
The growth of the network drives growth of fiat rather than inflationary tokens. There are 2 options for staking. Tokens or fiat. You do not want to receive staking tokens that are inflationary. Make sense?
Rather than giving stakers more inflationary tokens is what EVERYONE does — receiving inflated tokens creates no value.
Receiving fiat however has real value.
That’s why we have no tokens fairies making them like everyone else.
VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE!
Receiving fiat value is what 99.9% of global investors expect.
.1% of global investors (crypto) expect tokens created out of thin air.
Who would you rather our project appeal to?
Every investor around the world or ONLY crypto funds?
Making people use tokens to pay for things rather than say a credit card kills utility. However the token is CENTRAL to our functioning. We’ve already listed all of its uses.
Staking to me is what crypto dapps are all about. We must have staking.
Just so I understand this correctly, I stake VID and I get USD in return?
There are only 2 options.
EVERYONE with staking programs gives inflationary tokens as payment. You are paid in new tokens that are generated out of thin air.
The second option is that staking tokens like VID get paid in fiat. Just like all projects our success is reflected in VID value. We just don’t pay in inflationary tokens.
Ironically VID tokens appeal to crypto AND all other investors. With success VID tokens are worth more and more. That’s not true with minting new tokens.
As more fiat is paid by customers more fiat is generated. It’s the only way to insure actual increase in value. Inflation is not creation of value. It’s just inflation.
THE VID TOKEN & EXCHANGES
As part of the Kilimanjaro release, you have a big unlock of tokens coming up that from my maths with effectively double the current circulating supply.
Does VideoCoin have a plan in place to deal with this large unlock?
We cut the maximum token supply from 882m down to 265m. That is a reduction of 70% from the original planned token genesis. Of the 265m, 125m (14% of original supply) will be released in the first year. Remaining tokens generally locked up for 12–24 months Each token plays a greater role in the economic functioning of the network.
With the enhanced capabilities of the network and new partnership announcements, we release a commiserate amount of new tokens to take advantage of these new capabilities.
You launched on KuCoin and as to date, this is currently your only trading exchange (we’re not counting Beaxy due to its numerous issues and low liquidity).
Do you have plans for further exchange listings and can you give any insight as to when the timing of these might occur?
The VideoCoin Development Association (VDA) is in discussions with future partners and look for announcements coming out.
Regarding specific exchanges, legal has advised we not comment or discuss any market facing news, as this is not our purview.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that the VideoCoin VID token isn’t used as a method of payment within the VideoCoin ecosystem?
If this is the case, what actual utility does the token serve and why have you chosen to avoid the token as a payment side of things?
It does three things: Reduces friction, optimizes network efficiency, and becomes a reputational staking tool.
Reduce Friction — Payments for video services made via tokenized fiat currency. Customers buy video-services in non-volatile, familiar form of money. Workers are paid for services they provide in non-volatile, familiar form of money. Payments (in tokenized fiat) are separated from token-powered workstreams
Optimize Network Efficiency — Token utility drives the least expensive and best resources to the top for network operation. Token Staking drives reputation and automated Worker Node selection. Token Rewards are based on performance (work successfully completed). Token holders can pool resources to support Workers they choose
Token Utility as Reputational Staking Token
The VideoCoin token will have advanced functionality as a reputational staking token. Workers will be selected based on three factors: Quoted price to process the submitted work, number of staked tokens, and Historical Performance
This drives the least expensive and highest quality resources to be selected for work.
The best rise to the top…
Upon completion of verified work, the system’s networking protocol will disburse to workers both fiat payments and additional VID tokens, which further builds their reputation.
In addition, workers may participate in third-party staking services to enhance their reputational token stake.This competitive reward-based token staking model generates value and rewards for workers and participants alike.
Result: A Revolutionary Ecosystem
- Increased Customer Trust and Adoption — Services paid for only in familiar fiat
- Increased Worker Incentive — Workers are paid in non-volatile form of money
- Increased Network Efficiency — Token-driven internal workstream allows least expensive and highest performing Workers to rise to the top
That all makes sense, but have you given any consideration to still taking in fiat as payment, but then using that fiat to purchase tokens from the secondary market to then use as payment?
It seems using that system you get the best of both worlds? Content publishers on the network can still pay you directly in fiat so they don’t have that point of friction, tokens are bought off the market at market rate pegged to the fiat value a publisher would need to pay, and then further demand and velocity is placed on the VID token itself?
No other project out there has attempted to use a fiat blockchain to ease adoption, push on-boarding of enterprise clients and reduce the friction and volatility of blockchain projects to date. The stablecoins have provided an intermediate step by pegging value (mostly) to a fiat basis, but still requires friction and gas fees (in the case of Ethereum).
VID will break new ground of this fiat blockchain process mentioned, with VID acting as a valuable part of the ecosystem reputation and rewards program.
We feel confident in our existing roadmap and plans but we are always learning and adopting best practices so would never rule out a modification of our existing payment systems if its in the best interest of the customers and workers in our network.
That’s a wrap for now, thanks again to the VideoCoin guys for being here!
I’ve enjoy being here. Until next time, DM me if you have any questions or join us on our official Telegram group.
Thanks everyone for your support and stay tuned!
We’re building something very real and innovative — not just in blockchain but in the larger context of video.
We appreciate all of your support!!!!
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