5 Questions For OST CEO Jason Goldberg
Jason Goldberg joined me in Los Angeles on November 19th for a 5 question interview. Jason commented on the current crypto market and the ICO landscape, explaining why he believes 99.99% of companies planning to ICO in 2019 don’t stand a chance. He also discussed what the team is currently working on and what to expect from OST in the coming months.
1 — What brings you to LA and where are you going next?
I’ve been traveling around over the last couple weeks meeting with a number of partners, clients, and future partners. Today we met with LGBT Token and the team behind Hornet, one of the largest gay and lesbian social networks with 25 million downloads. We hosted a workshop to plan out their token economy. We’re working on a launch early next year and we hope to be one of the largest, if not the largest, live use cases to date in terms of actual implementation of blockchain.
I’m here in LA for Monday and Tuesday. Then from Wednesday through Friday, I’ll be spending some time in Washington, D.C. I’ll be seeing my family for Thanksgiving. From there I will fly to Singapore where we have a number of exciting partnerships we’re working on. Then I will be spending the next few days in Pune, India with our engineering team to plan out the next few months of engineering.
2 — What are your thoughts on the current crypto market?
Markets go up, markets go down, builders keep building. Our team is very focused on building real solutions and real use cases for blockchain. Our partner companies represent over 300+ million end users. In comparison, there are only about 30 million total people in the world who own crypto wallets today. We are focused on go-to-market to enable our partner companies to benefit from having branded token economies that they can use to stimulate their communities and create economies around their ecosystems. Markets are not our focus at all.
3 — What are your thoughts on ICO’s in 2018?
The market is tightening. At OST, we think that’s a good thing because it’s something we’ve been preparing for over the past couple of years. OST was built on a counter thesis to the prevalent thesis at the time in the blockchain and crypto market. A couple years ago, everyone was talking about ICOs. Everyone thought that everyone was going to do an ICO. We looked at the market and we saw that it didn’t really seem practical. We thought that 99.99% of companies have no business doing an ICO. Not everyone was going to create the technology they need to even warrant doing an ICO, having a token sale, and having their own token. We believed that the legal and regulatory headache involved in doing an ICO would be too much for most companies.
We created the OpenST Protocol and the OST technology stack. The OpenST Protocol is a method for using the OST token as a base token against creating branded tokens and branded digital currencies for other companies. This allows companies to run on open scalable blockchains, use OST’s scalability solution Mosaic, and turnkey software tools to launch their own branded currency without the legal headache or the technology risks and costs of building it in-house.
OST is going to serve as a single legal and regulated entity on behalf of all our clients. We’re handling things such as wallet security, KYC AML, and easy to use smart contracts. We think that 99.99% of companies, whether they considered an ICO in the past or whether they are thinking about having a branded currency in the future, should consider working with OST because it’s a much smarter solution than pursuing your own ICO.
4 — What is the team working on?
There are a number of exciting developments underway that we’re looking to make progress on and launch in Q4 2018.
We’re working on enabling key management solutions for mainstream applications, allowing them to have tens of millions of users and a path from people having a very lightweight approach to crypto keys to heavier approaches as people accumulate more tokens. That involves things like ephemeral keys so that users can have session based ways to sign their transactions. This allows users to process transactions without having to actually take out a crypto key and sign every single transaction while also keeping the entire system very safe and secure. We’re launching a wallet API and SDK so that our partner companies can integrate this technology very seamlessly and easily into their existing applications. In working with our partners that have tens of millions of users, we take security very seriously. We’re working with a number of security experts on this. Key management is a very important topic and we really think that we can innovate the user experience of blockchain.
Another big thing that our team is working on is around token rules. We build infrastructure that will enable our partner companies to create smart contracts. Now we’re working on the ability to create their own smart contracts with their own branded tokens without requiring them to write any code. This works with a graphical user friendly interface. Essentially you just need to create “if, then” logic that leads to writing a smart contract.
You can say if “these users have met this criteria” or “have taken this action” or “performed this event”, then “distribute these tokens to them.” You can also have a rule on the tokens and have certain timing or an expiration for the contract. This is a very exciting innovation that’s creating user experience for blockchain.
KYC as a Service
Our team is also working on KYC AML. We’re managing how users are going to earn tokens, how they’ll be able to spend tokens, and what they need to redeem their tokens, so it’s very important that we provide KYC as a Service for all of our partner companies. They can rely on us to be the single regulated entity and the single entity responsible for the KYC of their end users.
Lastly, we’re working on building a redemption network, a partner network where users who earn branded tokens can then redeem those branded tokens for a number of things in the real world. It can be exchanged for a gift card, another service or for another token. This is a very exciting work stream that we think can have lots of value and can create interoperability between our partners and the real world.
5 — What can we expect from OST?
We’re going to market next year. Our plan is to start launching real live client pilots where branded tokens will be earned, bought, traded, and spent on goods and services within apps for mainstream use cases. This is a big moment, we have 300+ million end users amongst the current OST partners and it’s only going to grow.
We really think that we’re going to play a critical role in improving blockchain use cases in the mainstream. The first thing that we’ve been doing in getting ready for next year is making sure we have the right team in place. We have a very hard working 60 person team around the globe. We have offices in New York, Berlin, Pune, and Hong Kong. We have people here in Los Angeles, Montreal, and even in Belgrade, Serbia. We’re looking at where we need more people and more resources in order to pull off this ambitious goal ahead of us. We have a number of positions we’re hiring for. If you’re looking to grow your career in blockchain and work on one of the most exciting projects that’s bringing blockchain to mainstream, we encourage you to go to our website, look at our careers, our opportunities and apply for a job at OST.
Secondly, we’re working really closely with our partner companies, the partners we met today, and several companies that we’re talking to about partnering in the future. We host workshops where we model out their token economies and we look at the various ways that users are going to earn, spend, and buy the tokens inside their token economy. We also look at where smart contracts are going to come into play, technology integration, and how to start a plan for the pilots. We’re really excited to launch some of these pilots early next year.
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OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.