COVAL UPDATE 0517
The Token of Things
Digital things… Our lives are full of them and this will of course continue. Digital things like loyalty reward points and miles, student incentive reward points in learning apps, renewable energy credits, airtime minutes, coupons and vouchers, virtual currencies and items in video games, API and cloud service credits, social media actions and gestures, urls and domain names, usernames, music and video files, photos and images, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the many tokens associated with new decentralized apps and protocols. These are some of the digital things that we commonly earn, win, interact with, collect, create and use. All of these can be, if not already, tokenized and become a part of what some call the token economy.
It’s hard to ignore the evolving culture of digital things that surround all of us. It’s a global commonality. The tokenization concept is driving an industry of innovators and brave early adopters at the bleeding edge who are experimenting with cryptography, distributed databases and p2p technologies that allow for a new breed of trust to supplement or even replace existing data authentication systems. You can look at this simply as an upgrade and modernization of legacy tech that potentially offers more efficient and robust methods to do what has been done for years…. Keeping track of things in a reliable and trustworthy way. This update will include some details on how COVAL relates to The Token of Things.
It’s an exciting space to work in but it should not be tainted by hyperbole and deception. We encourage the excitement and enthusiasm and most importantly the experimentation. As always, we want to avoid hype and just openly discuss our ideas and what we are currently working on. We invite developers who are also interested in COVAL and the broader concepts in general to get in touch with us via our website at coval.cc. Help us build a platform for moveable value.
COVAL’s philosophy is to be pragmatic as we work on our ideas and services in the “blockchain space”. We know that we are catering to crypto enthusiasts by having a cryptocurrency out there in the wild that is associated with our efforts. We understand that the market is largely a trader’s game of speculation until real usefulness and value becomes apparent. We know that we are initially working on projects and services targeting smaller markets who are interested in decentralized technologies. We also understand the challenges of entering into more traditional systems and programs to extend the real world usefulness of a cryptocurrency without pre-arranged relationships or dealing with the tangled behind-the-scenes reconciliation processes and claiming “interoperability”.
COVAL will evolve gradually but it won’t be abandoned by us. It will require patience and perseverance but through experimentation we hope to make ₡OVAL useful. Market manipulation and premature investment attitudes should be avoided. Consider this a request by us and a warning to anyone who uses exchanges for short-term profit or who is trying to build a cryptocurrency portfolio.
Work finally began on our website in April. It is still a work-in-progress and new content and modifications are being done every few days. But at least there is something more than the placeholder landing page that was up for months. Not having a real website up prior to this just further exemplifies our non-hype approach. We used Twitter and published to this Medium blog and are always available in our Slack to chat with anyone but a website was low priority. With that said, it is nice to have a website up where we can organize the COVAL project info and describe our upcoming services etc.
The website was designed to be minimal yet informative to those who are curious and delve into links. Some are more curious than others ;-)
The small screen mobile UI is still being worked on as well but should be usable for the basic content right now. More content is being actively created and added so check in every so often. Also, please report bugs and feedback either by using the contact form on the site or in our Slack. We have not done full QA as this was developed quickly from scratch and normally it would still be considered a mockup but we wanted to get something up by end of April. We also touched up our branding a bit on Twitter and Medium channels to keep the brand consistent.
A note about our domain names
Our primary domain name is coval.cc. We will be using the cov.al domain for other purposes (short redirect urls and app-specific urls in VOCAL). the base cov.al domain does redirect/mirror to coval.cc however. This is the only official website of COVAL at this time. Our other COVAL domains are vocal.vc, sidechains.com and zero.network which will be used by us soon and currently redirect to coval.cc. Please do not trust other websites and ask us first to find out if something you find on the web is officially associated with COVAL or not.
COVAL’s social network and publishing platform is called VOCAL and the first phase of this is located at vocal.vc. Here is an excerpt from our website:
VOCAL is a federated node (instance) on a decentralized network running on Mastodon which is a Twitter-like system that is compatible with federated social networking protocols. VOCAL will also be ubiquitous and omnipresent just as COVAL intends to be. The Mastodon instance is the first phase of VOCAL.
VOCAL has an emphasis on audio publishing tools and distributed ledger technology and is a canvas for various COVAL related components and integrations that will include tip bots, p2p markets/payments, cryptographic audio watermarking/steganography, crypto token access/action controls and real-world redemption paths.
We are adding some custom audio and crypto functionality to vocal.vc before we open it up to beta users. In COVAL UPDATE 0617 we will have more details and instructions for registering. vocal.vc will act as COVAL’s primary user system and authentication layer for any COVAL service that requires a user account. We will also be integrating Unloq technology which will be tied to all COVAL authentications and transaction authorizations.
As a service, COVAL will provide deployment and hosting of Mastodon servers (instances) that are fully compatible with COVAL and VOCAL components and apps. These subvocals can also be setup with their own subassets (custom COVAL tokens) and other branded options including either a subdomain of vocal.vc or a custom domain name, logo, theme and a simple content management system for static content pages and other areas of the interface where content other than posts appear.
₡OVAL is used to pay for this service and like all services offered by COVAL, these fees will be burned/destroyed indefinitely until the total supply is economically adjusted to an acceptable level.
We have only begun the exploration and strategy of this particular service as of April 2017 and we will need some time to prepare and launch this service for beta users. We will announce more details when we are closer to launching the subvocal service. If you are interested, use the contact form on this website to get in touch with the COVAL team.
COVAL controls the Counterparty Asset ZERO. We will be introducing a new naming service to the ZeroNet community (zeronet.io) using the ZERO asset and Counterparty’s new subassets feature which enables asset names like ZERO.SULL. Currently, ZeroNet supports Namecoin for custom .bit domains that resolve to ZeroNet decentralized sites/pages/apps. The same functionality will be available with ZERO subassets.
This project will start with a forked version of ZeroNet to implement and test this service. COVAL will then work with the ZeroNet developers to merge this enhancement into the official ZeroNet software. This assumes that ZeroNet is OK with this new feature. If not, other options can be considered such as proxy routing or maintaining the forked version as a COVAL project.
What is ZeroNet?
We have followed the ZeroNet project since the beginning and are big fans of this very innovative project. ZeroNet uses Bitcoin and Bittorrent technology as the backbone of a new p2p decentralized web. Learn more at zeronet.io.
The ZERO asset and zero.network website
This COVAL service will be available on zero.network where users can register COVAL ZERO names. Pricing is undetermined but will require payment in ₡OVAL only.
Benefits of COVAL ZERO
Unlike .bit Namecoin domains, COVAL ZERO names have the added benefit of being tokens on the Bitcoin Blockchain. This means that when you have a COVAL ZERO name, you also have your own supply of ZERO.YOURNAME tokens which you can use in any creative way that you want. This being a COVAL service, it will be integrated with other COVAL tools including the ability to optionally swap ZERO.MYNAME tokens for ₡OVAL tokens (if the owner sets it up as a COVAL Custom Currency) and move the value on the open market via Bittrex Exchange and others that support the ₡OVAL cryptocurrency. Likewise, COVAL’s Circuit Jumper Sidechains can get your ZERO.MYNAME tokens into other blockchain networks.
Apps and games contain many user and player actions. Some are social and others are functional. Commonly in social apps you can FOLLOW, SHARE, LIKE, FAVORITE, BLOCK, MUTE etc. In games you can SWING a sword or HIDE or FIGHT and so on.
COVAL will be experimenting with tokenizing such actions, or verbs, and creating a token economy around this concept. Only ₡OVAL can be used to purchase these tokens which could then be earned, purchased or traded by an app’s users based on the app owner’s rules and terms. Pricing has not yet been finalized. We will also be using these within VOCAL.
The tokens will be Counterparty Subassets of COVAL’s VERB asset. For example, VERB.INVITE, VERB.FOLLOW etc. COVAL may also offer premium non-subasset names that COVAL controls.
If the app or game project owner allows the COVAL VERB tokens to be owned by it’s users (i.e. users control private key to a wallet) then the tokens can be traded on the Counterparty decentralized exchange (DEX).
However, it may be preferred by app owners to use a withdrawal system that allows COVAL VERB tokens to be exchanged for ₡OVAL (keeping the COVAL VERB tokens inside the app’s own ecosystem) which would allow the app users to then take ₡OVAL to exchanges (currently only Bittrex.com) to sell/trade them. This is up to the app or game owner and it is also feasible that all redemption options stay within the app/game in a circular economy. In this case, the use of crypto tokens is mainly for leveraging a trusted ledger to log all token activity rather than letting users take advantage of the open markets.
More details are forthcoming.
Custom currencies can be created by using ₡OVAL as the “parent” currency. A project can leverage COVAL technology and the ₡OVAL cryptocurrency rather than only use an internal accounting database or creating a new cryptocurrency that would not be easily added to open markets via exchanges. It may be appealing to some to have the guarantees of a 1:1 ratio with ₡OVAL as a way to move the value out of the application or game and into the open markets.
When a user who owns 100 COVAL.MYGAME tokens can redeem them for 100 COVAL tokens and trade/sell them on Bittrex or elsewhere, that makes the MYGAME tokens more useful without any heavy lifting or expenses incurred by the project’s creators. The project’s users would be more satisfied with their in-app/in-game currency because they can extract the value in a more broad market rather than be restricted to trading with only fellow users/players of that app or game.
COVAL will also provide a sidechains component called Circuit Jumper to handle additional movement of these custom tokens into other blockchain networks such as Ethereum.
More info on how to create custom COVAL tokens will be published soon.
COVAL Sidechains (Circuit Jumper)
COVAL makes use of the concept of sidechains in order for tokens to jump from one network to another. There are various approaches on how to achieve this under the “sidechains” umbrella term. Our sidechains technology is called Circuit Jumper. A Circuit Jumper sidechain component is a delegated ledger that logs all transaction data and escrows ₡OVAL and derivative tokens (subassets).
These sidechains are interoperable with each other and with larger distributed ledger networks such as Ethereum and private permissioned blockchain networks such as Loyyal. In the future, COVAL may offer incentives for expanding the Circuit Jumper network in order to make it more robust and secure. Circuit Jumper hosts could earn ₡OVAL rewards or other redeemable tokens.
We will be publishing more details and diagrams on how COVAL’s Circuit Jumper Sidechains work soon.
We will also be using the sidechains.com domain to host a companion website with block explorers and other pertinent tools and data views for each sidechain that COVAL deploys and uses as well as info on how others can host an incentivized Circuit Jumper node to add more security and robustness to the network.
This has more information but we are still working on backend donation monitoring system. Of course, donations being on the blockchain, the system will work retroactively to keep track of any donations to the CORD fund.
Partners have not yet been chosen but discussions are underway. Again, having partners is the preferred way but we can support any external project or business that we want since we are giving away ₡OVAL. We want to have integrations for smooth verification process and have the blessing of these other entities so that effort is active. If you want to make partner suggestions you can use our contact forms to do so or talk to us in our Slack’s #cord channel.
This update details where our focus is at for the next few months. We are not estimating milestones at this point since our schedules are erratic and depending on new collaborator involvement as well as the technical assessments that we are doing, it is not realistic to announce dates. We will stick to publishing updates here, on Twitter and chat openly in the slack channel or email.
Thanks for reading and keeping up with COVAL updates.