How ConnectScale Wants to Tokenise the $115 Billion Recreational Fishing Market

A case study on OST Partner Company ConnectScale.

The smell of grass, mud, and water - trees gently swaying in the autumn breeze. Nothing but silence as a lone angler watches the circles forming around his bobber. ‘Come on’, he mutters, ‘just a little bit closer…’ Then, in one mighty pull, he reels in the largemouth bass. A great catch!

Time to tell his fellow anglers about today’s catch. Using the ConnectScale, he weighs the fish with the Bluetooth device, which is paired with his smartphone. Moments later our fisherman shares everything there’s to know about his catch on Facebook: pictures, weight, GPS location, time and what bait he used.

Think this is just a neat little gadget for a couple of anglers? Think again! 
The US recreational fishing industry is a $115B market, with nearly $50B retail revenue generated by 50 million licensed anglers, generating nearly 1 million jobs.

“If sportfishing were a corporation, the amount spent by anglers to support fishing-related retail sales would rank it number 51 on the Fortune 500™ list.”
American Sportfishing Association

ConnectScale is a signed OST Partner Company based in Tennessee, USA. The family-owned business was founded in 2015 and has made it its mission to “provide tools for recreational and tournament anglers to make fishing experiences more efficient and enjoyable.”

With thousands of users all across the United States, ConnectScale is now looking to tokenise its growing community with the help of OST blockchain infrastructure, using OST KIT to mint their own Branded Token, ConnectCoin, facilitated by the OpenST and OpenST Mosaic protocols.

ConnectScale was among the first Partners to join the OST KIT Alpha program to kickstart the development of their token economy.

They submitted their successful Alpha III Proof of Concept just weeks ago, integrating the OST Ledger & Balance APIs to provide end-users with embedded wallet-lite features like token balances and transaction histories.

The ConnectScale team created this excellent POC video, demonstrating how anglers get rewarded with ConnectCoins for adding a new catch, and how these transactions are immediately visible within their app:

OST KIT Alpha III Proof of Concept video by ConnectScale

I talked with ConnectScale Founder Ben Arnold to ask him all about his plans for tokenising the ConnectScale community and what their roadmap for coming six months looks like.

W: Hi Ben, can you give us an elevator pitch about ConnectScale?
B: ConnectScale allows anglers to weigh, log and share their catches with fellow anglers all across the country. Fishermen exchange tips, techniques, fishing spots to avoid and what bait to use with a growing community of licensed anglers.

You’ve already demonstrated rewarding anglers with ConnectCoin for submitting their catches: Would it be fair to assume you’ll be tokenising these tournaments as well?
Absolutely! In fact, I think that’s one of the most enticing aspects of tokenisation: Anglers would stake their ConnectCoins, like a betting pool, and the one who catches the biggest fish wins all the coins. Of course, we would charge a modest fee to facilitate the tournament, but it will really be a community-driven event.

That does sound fascinating! Where would these tournaments “live” on the blockchain?
In smart contracts, which are now considered legally binding agreements in the state of Tennessee. You can’t cheat your way out of smart contract; everything gets recorded and stored immutably on the blockchain. Got caught cheating? Say goodbye to your staked coins!

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I understand. But since a human, prone to making mistakes, would provide the smart contract with data, how will you prevent fraud and even corruption?
We’ve been thinking about this as well, as you can’t even begin to imagine the many ways one could cheat during a tournament. To this end, we’ve been exploring implementing Augmented Reality into our platform. AR could cross-verify the catch by classifying the fish and then comparing its length to the estimated weight. Again, this is still a work in progress.

Staking and earning coins is one example of tokenisation: What other transactions do you have planned for ConnectSCale?
In terms of Company-to-User we want to reward anglers for:

  • Submitting a catch
  • Sharing the record on social media
  • Liking and commenting on other catches
  • Referring friends

We’re also looking into ways to reward users for performing tasks for our partners, like watching an ad, responding to surveys, etc.

As for User-to-Company, we want to charge anglers for:

  • Premium services like an extended overview of local weather conditions
  • Exporting data and statistics to Spreadsheets or other formats
  • Fee for staking ConnectCoins in tournaments

Lastly, we want users to pay others (User-to-User) for:

  • Unlocking reports, recommendations, and other user-generated content
  • Creating VIP groups where anglers share the best gear and techniques
  • Incentivising others to create or participate in a tournament

What does your roadmap for the next six months look like?
Right now we are focused entirely on growing our community, continuously improving our hardware, our native apps and of course on getting everything in place to start tokenising our platform. We’re among the first OST Partners to actually mint our own Branded Token by staking real OST on Mainnet, so we’re definitely on top of things. The goal is to introduce token-backed tournaments in the first quarter of 2019.

Ben, ConnectScale has been around for three years now — are there any plans to expand into other markets?
We’re actually considering applying our experience and technology to other outdoor recreation verticals. Considering the outdoor industry is one of America’s biggest economic sectors, with nearly $900 billion in annual consumer spending, it makes sense to start exploring other markets!

Last but certainly not least, why blockchain and why OST?
That’s easy: If you want to tokenise your business with the help of microtransactions, there’s no getting around blockchain. On top of that, we believe smart contracts will pave the way for fraud-proof contests like the Catch Weigh Release Tournaments organised by members of the community.

As far as we can tell, OST is the only project offering everything you need to launch a token economy, without having to hire blockchain developers. The fact that their protocols will soon allow for thousands of transactions per second, on-chain, is exactly what we’re looking for in a blockchain partner.

We’ve been with OST right from the beginning, and I can’t wait to introduce ConnectCoin to our community of anglers!

Thank you very much, Ben!


Ben Arnold sat down with José Mota to talk about ConnectScale, their Alpha III Proof of Concept and what’s in store for the coming months in a new episode of OST LIVE:


About ConnectScale

ConnectScale LLC. founded in 2015, is a Tennessee-based, fishing analytics and product development company dedicated to providing tools for recreational and tournament anglers to make fishing experiences more efficient and enjoyable. For more information about ConnectScale’s products and apps, please visit https://connectscale.com

About OST

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 200 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, 500 Startups.