It’s time for the Blockparty Monthly Review #April 2020.
In this review, we talk about all the things that happened in the previous month for Blockparty. For anyone wanting to read our previous reviews and posts, you can find them all here.
April is in the books. For Blockparty, and many other businesses, it was the first full month of 100% remote work. We committed effort and maintained focus while so much of the world is in question. The team is currently working in three time zones and in touch constantly through sprint meetings and Slack discussions across sales, operations and engineering.
Blockparty team members are often asked about the state of the live events and ticketing industry. What is going on? When will events resume? What will the new normal look like?
Our answer is the same as everyone else in the industry: we just don’t know. We continue to speak with clients, from festival owners and sports team executives to performing artists and club owners. Most festivals and performing artists are postponed indefinitely or rescheduled to 2021. Sports teams are planning on what a season in a COVID world looks like, but are largely working on assumptions and projections instead of hard data.
While we can’t control the input — the outcomes or timeline of COVID-19 — Blockparty’s commitment is to always have 100% control of our output. In that regard, we are hard at work delivering on our current goal to build a blockchain-based marketplace for non-fungible digital assets. Our marketplace will service all types of NFT’s, from digital art to collectibles, and will eventually enable resale of tickets from the Blockparty Tickets platform.
The rationale for a digital asset marketplace is simple — our original focus on tickets saw us enter into conversations with some of the biggest brands in live entertainment. They often didn’t have ticketing business available for us to pitch for, as they were in locked into expensive long-term contracts with players like Ticketmaster or Eventbrite. However, they were fascinated with what we could do for them in other areas of blockchain, whether it was digital collectibles, rewards or a resale marketplace. We had the choice to either listen to what potential clients were telling us, and develop products for market fit, or lose clients. We chose the former. As a result, we have a growing client book for Blockparty NFTs and Digital Assets, while our primary ticketing business continues to grow organically.
These clients are now providing us with numerous NFT opportunities. Live entertainment brands need to remain engaged with their fans virtually, while their live events are shut down. Collectibles and rewards are top of mind. To that end, we have been working on creating exciting new NFT products that will help our clients win in this difficult time. We intend to reveal our new NFT products in parallel with the marketplace launch before mid-year.
In February, we released our Blockparty 2020 post. It included several key roadmap dates for 1H 2020. Here is an update of how we’re progressing on each of those roadmap dates:
- Q2 2020 → Update on token utility and blockchain development
We have provided an update in section 3 below on blockchain development and token utility. We are still preparing the plans for our updates to token utility and expect to be ready to share a formal plan closer to, or at the time of, the launch of the marketplace.
- June 2020 → Launch of Blockparty Marketplace
We are excited to report that we are on track with our plans to launch Blockparty Marketplace in the first half of the year. Our team has been hard at work and we are meeting milestones for NFT creation and transfer, dashboard and consumer front-end UX and infrastructure, as described below.
- June 2020 → Blockparty NFT’s
We are adding this new product goal to the roadmap. We intend to provide a formal product overview of our new NFT’s in tandem with the launch of Blockparty Marketplace.
3. Product Update
In late April, Blockparty hit a major checkpoint in digital asset marketplace development:
- NFT support and NFT backend for the marketplace are operational
- Successful demonstration of payment confirmation and subsequent NFT transactions (change in ownership)
- Demonstrated NFT withdrawal and status change
That is, a purchaser can pay for an NFT on the marketplace, it can be transferred from original seller to the purchaser, with the transaction recorded on a distributed ledger. And the purchaser is able to withdraw that NFT for personal use. Additionally, UI/UX for the consumer front-end and user dashboard have been designed and are currently in development.
Additionally, by the end of May, we expect to have user wallets active as well as the UI/UX to browse and shop for NFT’s on the platform.
As indicated in our February and March updates, we are planning for an upgrade to our token utility for the Blockparty Marketplace. It is intended that our future token model will be based on the following principles:
Ownership-as-a-utility creates interest in the token while also serving as a reward. As holders own more tokens, it is intended that they receive greater benefits, such as:
- access to more rights, benefits and assets on the platform; and
- additional tokens (staking).
Staking on its own is valuable. But in order to provide true utility for token owners, the platform should also offer benefits to holders that are not available to casual users (non-holders). This token model provides benefits based on ownership tiers (similar to airline mile programs). These benefits may include, but are not limited to, exclusive access to high-quality assets sales, preferred access to private sales and no-fee asset custody and delivery. In order for these benefits to be viewed as valuable, we have been laser-focused on securing high-quality sellers to launch exclusive asset sales on the platform throughout 2020, such as sports teams, performing artists and Hollywood studios.
From 2018-present, Blockparty has enabled BOXX tokens to be utilized in the Blockparty Tickets platform as follows:
- As an incentive to attract clients to sell event tickets on the platform
- As a reward for users who purchase primary tickets on the platform; and
- As a reward for those users who promote or refer ticket sales.
Our goal was to get tokens in the hands of users who are helping grow adoption of the platform.
In line with this original token utility, we still believe that, fundamentally, users should receive tokens for providing value to the platform. For example, for selling or re-selling items, for promoting items and for purchasing items.
We intend to consolidate and expand the number of “triggers” that cause a new token to be issued to a user. We expect that our main “contributors” will be digital artists, collectible creators, ticket sellers and other NFT sellers. It could also include communities of sports, music and art fans who may seek to build their own commerce networks on our platform.
There are many reasons why these contributors could earn tokens. However, there are several challenges. Firstly, in the words of CTO Joseph Fiscella “the challenge is proving that work was done”. The second challenge is ensuring that the work is accretive to the token economy, ie. not merely a giveaway.
We view this challenge as an opportunity to do something unique and innovative: algorithmically measure the value that users bring into a marketplace and incentivize them to continue to do so.
Our tasks for May includes defining the triggers and rules that could result in the emission of a “contribution token”, finalizing whether the decision will be made on whether token emissions should be programmatic or voter based, and commencing our build out of either the voter or programmatic model. We seek to strike a balance — on the one hand, we seek to enable communities to contribute to the rules of how to measure and reward value creation in a decentralized manner. On the other hand, we may need to program reward rules to eliminate the potential for network attacks by clusters of rogue voters.
Discounts are a relatively low intensity and rewarding way for token holders to benefit. We intend to offer this utility primarily for the benefit of casual users to easily spend tokens on discounts, without needing to accumulate or be long-term token owners.
As we finalize our upgraded token utility plan, we welcome community suggestions, opinions and discussion around these topics. Please join the unofficial BOXX telegram community to get involved. CTO Joseph Fiscella, CEO Vladislav Ginzburg and CPO Shiv Madan make themselves available from time to time to chime in and answer questions.
While it has been extremely slow going for the Blockparty Tickets platform amidst COVID-19, we continue to support the primary ticketing platform so it’s ready for events when they do return. We are currently upgrading functionality to support virtual events, which have become popular recently.
The sales team has had a very busy April. While live events are postponed indefinitely or cancelled around the world, the brands operating the events are increasingly curious about the power of NFT’s and collectibles to help drive revenue through this time of uncertainty. Our team is pleased to be engaged in many advanced discussions with US sports teams and leagues, performing artists and artist management groups, film studios, music festivals, venues and events, and well known artists. At this stage, we are targeting to be able to offer at least one major exclusive NFT sale per month on the platform during 2H 2020.
As indicated above, many of our discussions are with brands that are predominantly live events oriented . Many globally known live event brands are looking for ways to survive in a world where it is unclear when events can resume. We are lending our voice into that discussion, and how blockchain technology can help fans bring value today for experiences tomorrow.
5. Team hires and moves
Blockparty is eagerly finalizing the continuation of certain current strategic advisors and the addition of an additional advisor. These advisory relationships will be focused on the product and strategy areas of our music and rewards business. We are eagerly awaiting these contracts to be finalized so we can announce additions to our team this month.
Until then, the Blockparty team wishes everyone safety and health during this time.
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