Welcome to THEOS Ecosystem — A Carbon Neutral Instant Liquidity Protocol for Non-Fungible Tokens
When Beeple sold the first digital-only artwork through centuries-old auction house Christie’s for some US$70 million, the world of blockchain took a deep breath and waited. To veterans of the blockchain space, it seemed it could go only one of two ways — either divide and confuse public opinion on this new asset class, or create a renewed explosion of interest in blockchain. Quite predictably in the unpredictable world of blockchain, it did both simultaneously.
Irrespective of which side of the fence you sit, one thing is clear — we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way we store and transact value. Just as we witnessed the birth of Bitcoin and the digital currency transformation which followed swiftly behind it; and the decentralized world-computing revolution which was ushered in through Ethereum and other layer-2 solutions, we are now once again embarking on a new value era through the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFT).
But building an NFT ecosystem which is both sustainable and equitable, while empowering and serving the needs of creators, is a huge undertaking. Nevertheless, that is our mission at THEOS. Here, we’re going to explore what that means for the wider blockchain space, the creator community, and eventually, the world.
Exploring the current NFT landscape
Browse any major news outlet’s coverage of blockchain technology, and it won’t take long to uncover a sustainability crisis that runs deep to the very roots of the industry — starting with proof of work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. These protocols, which require energy in the form of computing power to reach consensus, have attracted widespread criticism for their vast use of computing resources. As is the case with Bitcoin, energy requirements often exceed that of even small nations.
While some argue that Bitcoin sources much of this computing power from renewable sources, the damage to proof of work’s public perception may already be done. But despite this, blockchain on the whole may still be saved — most notably through the rise of proof of stake consensus mechanisms. Instead of vast energy requirements, in simplistic terms proof of stake allows individuals to leverage their share of a blockchain’s tokens to help process transactions. This element is crucial in reducing the carbon emissions and energy consumption associated with blockchain platforms, and will be a key feature in our mission of becoming a truly carbon-neutral platform.
This energy reputation crisis and other pain points is why, during the Global Blockchain Business Council at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, THEOS’ founding team members asserted that claiming innovation by simply building using blockchain was no longer enough. Instead, the blockchain projects of the future must support the creation of an impact-based and sustainable crypto economy.
In this rapidly transforming industry, those who do not fully believe in the mission of decentralization, or are only interested in turning a quick profit, will surely be left behind. Instead, our interests run much deeper. The THEOS team cares about the tangible physical resources required to maintain a functioning blockchain protocol, and are also concerned about the distribution of wealth across the world.
Just as blockchain alone can no longer be used by companies to make revolutionary claims, NFTs in their current form are not innovative enough when deployed in isolation. NFTs as a technology can only change the status-quo of our financial system if we first collectively face the challenge of how best we use them. This includes facing up to the fact that a large portion of NFT projects today bring little in the way of innovation. Instead of looking for ways to merge traditional off-chain assets and creations with the NFT phenomenon, many projects rehash the same tired approach time and time again.
This is the reason THEOS is determined to build a set of tools closely connected in an interconnected ecosystem — built to expand the limits of our interaction with digital goods without ever losing touch with our non-digital existence as individuals, communities, and real-world ecosystems.
Selecting a smart contract ecosystem
Our development methodology is a reflection on our ideology. Before we discuss the THEOS platform, let’s take a moment to talk about our underlying blockchain of choice.
As a platform that aims to become a powerful force for change in the NFT ecosystem, our choice of underlying blockchain must align with our philosophy. This includes an academically rigorous, community-embracing approach which empowers true decentralization while pushing power to the edges. After extensive research and careful consideration, we concluded that Cardano is the blockchain that most closely aligns with our vision at THEOS.
Deploying on Cardano, however, will require careful navigation due to current technical dependencies. For example, as smart contracts are not yet live on Cardano until the Alonzo hard fork, a first version of THEOS will be deployed initially on Ethereum using Solidity as the primary coding language. However, our community can rest assured that our ultimate goal is to undertake a complete migration to Cardano as a secondary phase, as soon as the respective components become available.
Building the Platform for Creators — THEOS
Our expert team is acutely aware of the flaws and inefficiencies that currently exist within the creator’s economy — flaws that are not suffered by market intermediaries, but by the creators and enthusiasts themselves. To correct for this uneven balance of power, a creative, alternative, and equitable system has been set in motion through THEOS.
In our ecosystem, any collaborative force or individual artist will remain in full control of the distribution terms for their intellectual property (IP). As an NFT is essentially a medium for peer-to-peer transfer of digital creative assets, we will enable the seamless and simple creation of NFTs, and facilitate their transfer, through our own tailored minting protocol and marketplace.
As well as retail users, THEOS will also welcome professional art enthusiasts and curators to serve as ecosystem experts, helping to determine NFT price discovery. We expect that a flourishing and incentive-based ecosystem will emerge to fix an NFT landscape that has, to date, been skewed in favour of the platform rather than the creators.
Understanding the THEOS ecosystem
On the surface, the THEOS platform enables the minting, auction, and trading of NFTs. While this may seem to have parallels with existing NFT platforms, THEOS introduces several innovations — in addition to our focus on social and environmental responsibility — which dramatically sets our protocol apart from the norm. Let’s discover them below:
- User-friendly minting protocol — While minting protocols widely exist across the NFT ecosystem, there are still dramatic improvements to be made. THEOS introduces a new protocol focused on providing unparalleled user experience, such as simple drag-and-drop features, and a design which highlights top creators, to set a new standard for NFT minting.
- Instant liquidity — We recognize that financially engineered ways of transforming illiquid assets into liquid assets are common in the traditional financial markets. Why should on-chain creative assets be any different? By taking advantage of existing financial market infrastructure together with our technology partners, we can offer unrivalled liquidity for our users. In practice, this means creators will have instant access to people interested in their art, connecting collectors, curators, and creatives from across the globe in an instant.
- Price discovery — With the development of our Odyssey NFTIZE pools and API-linked secondary markets, NFTs will be fortified with the means to go through adequate price-discovery mechanisms — just like traditional assets would in existing financial markets.
- Collaborative creation — We aim to develop seamless ways of co-creating NFTs. Association in our NFTIZE pools, where owners can remove NFTs which do not offer true artistic qualities, offers an original approach to collective acceptance among creative communities. For example, it would be relatively simple for a graffiti artist to deposit art into a pool owned by Banksy, assuming Banksy considers the artist worthy to showcase their work alongside them. With these mechanisms in place, budding artists can gain exposure and approval from leading creators in a decentralized, freely open, and limitless environment.
- Pre-commitment to social causes — The concept of charity and social contribution is relative. For example, we could ask if contributing $5,000 USD holds the same value from an individual with a net worth of $1B USD, compared with someone whose net worth is $50,000 USD? We believe that a struggling artist pre-commiting to a cause even before they attain financial recognition for their work cannot be viewed in the same light as a peer who donates only after securing their financial position. Within THEOS, we can now set pre-commitment clauses on smart contracts, securing contributions throughout a creators’ career.
The beating heart of THEOS: the THEOS Token
The THEOS token is the lifeblood of the THEOS protocol. By fueling every interaction within our platform and providing rewards mechanisms for our users, the THEOS token incentivises positive user feedback and facilitates ecosystem growth. Staking THEOS will allow access to a multitude of special features, such as bidding on verified auctions, access to liquidity mining rewards, enabling the creation of referral links, community voting, and more.
The THEOS token will first be launched as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, and will then migrate to a Cardano native token as and when the technology allows us to do so. We will be using Occam.fi’s bridge to make the migration as soon as possible. You can read all about the bridge here.
The THEOS Association
Finally, the THEOS Association has been created to defend artistic expression and the fair growth of our platform. Formed from talented individuals with diverse backgrounds, the Association team has carefully examined the current NFT ecosystem and applied their years of experience to solving its pain points.
Our members come from Sthorm Impact Labs, Occam.fi, Global Pandemic Shield, Block Bio Science, Possima, Node Zero, Global Blockchain Business Council, OxyChain and other highly renowned blockchain projects and institutions. They have united in THEOS to design a protocol capable of drastically improving the NFT space. Stay tuned as we will soon develop among each member, their background, merits, and the positive effect they will have on THEOS.
Learn more about THEOS and all of its novel mechanisms in our whitepaper. Watch this space for further details, as we will be unveiling in-depth descriptions of each of our features soon!