In this AMA, Halsey Minor, Chief Visionary of the VideoCoin Network, and Devadutta Ghat, Principal Architect of the VideoCoin Network, answer your questions on the latest updates to the VideoCoin Network.
Read the AMA from our VideoCoin Official Telegram Group below.
*This AMA has been edited for clarity.
Q: What’s new with the VideoCoin Network?
HM: VideoCoin hit its first major milestone on August 27th. We’re now marching toward our Kilimanjaro release slated presently for November 27. For that release, there will be the next phase of token distribution, product updates, marketing updates and updates to BVRN.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s an update from September where we summarized the latest progress: https://medium.com/videocoin/videocoin-update-september-2019-ccfe72041a4
Q: What’s new with the Blockchain VR Network?
HM: This is something I am very excited about, the convergence of advanced forms of media like VR and the Blockchain. Both technologies will most affect the next 10 to 20 years.
Some great content will be coming very soon from our platform. If you haven’t seen it yet, our contributor Ran Neuner of Crypto Trader captured the keynote speech from Vitalik Buterin in VR at Korean Blockchain Week: https://liveplanet.live/shared/video/19406
We have other crypto influencers/creators actively working on new crypto VR content and we will release it as it becomes available. We want VideoCoin and video innovation to be synonymous. These crypto influencers also continuously extend the VideoCoin brand.
Q: Can you specifically discuss how VideoCoin came to be? What are the origins?
HM: In 2017, the Live Planet team had built the world’s most advanced VR cloud streaming platform but was shocked by the cost of VR processing, storage, and delivery charged by the existing legacy cloud providers.
For example, one VR camera, streaming content for 24/7 costs $28,000 for one month to transcode for all 360 and VR platforms (Oculus, Daydream, Samsung VR, etc.).
We also recognized that there is a tremendous amount of server capacity sitting unused that can encode and transcode video. A full 30% of global servers sit idle, creating an opportunity to leverage the “sharing economy”. Since video is already 80% of internet traffic growing at 25% per year, the opportunity to innovate in this area was utterly enormous.
The blockchain is at its best leveraging decentralized compute capacity. It’s the very first use case!
Q: It appears you’re not using VID as a payment token. What is the point of the token now?
HM: I think we have a really great model. It’s an area of innovation for us.
VID will play a central role in network operation. The token will have utility as a reputational staking token. Staking VID increases the chance a worker will get jobs, as workers are designated jobs based on price, performance and staked tokens. VID Stakers will receive both fiat and incremental VID tokens purchased from the market automatically using fiat.
This means Stakers get fiat and more VID tokens, which are automatically bought from the market using fiat. This creates demand for tokens while also generating fiat-based payments.
Q: When will other users be able to use the Publisher Studio to stream? (without approving)
DG: You can start streaming with VideoCoin Studio right now! We are following standard industry practice and onboarding users through a simple survey process. This helps us understand each use-case and also plan our product roadmap.
Q: How many users have already been approved to be able to stream?
DG: We’ve approved anyone who provides us a simple use-case review survey. If you’ve already registered and want to get approved, please fill out this quick survey: https://forms.gle/GEYQ2XoDg8DiqKxP8
Q: When can staking and public workers come to participate in the Network?
DG: We’re presently working on an implementation for third-party worker support. You can expect a roadmap update during our Kilimanjaro release. For staking, we will publish a technical report during Kilimanjaro that will layout upcoming functionality.
Q: Can you explain more about the economic model?
HM: There are three key refinements to the crypto-economic model we’ve made. I think these will become the standard for projects in the future.
First, to reduce friction and spur adoption, content publishers will pay for services with fiat, removing payment volatility and friction. Data centers and Stakers also receive fiat.
Second, we’ve eliminated token inflation by capping the total token supply at 265MM VID tokens, no new VID tokens will ever be created. Just because bitcoin has inflation does not mean all projects need it. It devalues each person’s share of the ecosystem.
Third, we optimized our network efficiency through the utility of VID as a reputational staking token. Workers will be selected based on their reputation, price and number of tokens staked. The VID staking token makes the network function.
Q: Can you explain more about this fiat payment processor?
HM: Going fast…
We recognize that most companies — especially larger corporations — will never be comfortable transacting in volatile cryptocurrency of any kind. Frankly, it’s an issue in our industry model and the number one barrier to adoption.
We are partnering with a third-party provider to provide seamless conversion of fiat currency used by publisher customers to pay for services to a tokenized form of fiat that is distributed internally within the VideoCoin Network to compensate workers and Stakers.
Thus, we can leverage both fiat payments for customers and data centers, alongside the utility of the VID token, to enable and optimize processing within the network, without exposing anything crypto-related to a typical business customer.
Most ICO DApp projects will realize this payment friction and adoption issue when they approach actual business customers. Businesses don’t want to buy volatile money from an exchange. Fiat needs to at least be an option.
Q: Why does video need to change? It seems to be working fine the way it is without needing the blockchain.
HM: The current marketplace for video processing and distribution is dominated by a very small circle of major players AWS, Google, Microsoft. They make a lot of money!
AWS accounts for roughly ¾ of Amazon’s total value. They also compete with their own media customers with their streaming services. That’s a real problem. They are feeding their hungry competitors.
By putting unused compute power to work, we can save those struggling with the staggering costs of video distribution a lot of money and reduce the need to fund their biggest scariest competitors, Google and Amazon.
It’s a giant market and even if we only get a part of the 25% per year growth, we will create a very large platform.
Q: How do you address illegal content on the network?
HM: This is a difficult question for us and everyone else in the business.
We are not really in a position either technically or legally to unilaterally inspect and police all the content that runs through the system. The VideoCoin Network is also not a user-facing streaming platform.
To the degree we are made aware of illegal or other abusive content is being processed by the VideoCoin Network, we can ban users (publishers) who are engaging in the illegal activity, and we will have safeguards in place should that arise.
Q: Are you looking to get partnerships like Hulu or Netflix to stream on the network?
HM: Good question. The reality is the streaming market is so big, these companies only represent a small portion of the total market.
We have very deep entertainment industry relationships. For instance, before until joining VideoCoin, Hanno Basse was the CTO of 20th Century Fox Film.
New applications like home security videos are also exploding and cost-consciousness. We will have a very diverse set of customers, but we do not need a Netflix to have a large business.
How does this differ from something like YouTube?
HM: YouTube is a consumer-facing video service.
VideoCoin is a video infrastructure service that competes with AWS, Google and other large scale providers for encoding, storage, and delivery. A competitor to YouTube could actually use the VideoCoin Network as its infrastructure. We expect just such applications to emerge.
The video business for all its growth has been stagnant in terms of innovation since YouTube.
Q: Can you give insight into the Netflix effect and cord-cutting as it relates to media content providers?
HM: It’s a tough world for media companies today. Video distribution is obviously changing.
DIRECTV lost over 1.3 million customers just last quarter! Broadcast video is imploding replaced by streaming of course. It’s forcing every media company to rethink their business models, acquire other companies and to create many new streaming services.
This is going on as video is exploding across many other application areas. There is no other business as large as streaming video that’s growing at 25% per year. It’s an opportunity that does not come along often.
The ability to tap all of the unused video encoders that sit at the heart of every CPU and GPU is unique. Unlike other forms of mining video, minors need no additional hardware. That’s a big advantage.
Q: Have you had any major hires?
HM: We’re continuing to add to our team.
As I said before, Hanno Basse is the former CTO at 20th Century Fox Film joined Live Planet as President of Decentralized Media Solutions.
Per Borgklint and Marcus Bergström have also joined the Decentralized Media Solutions team as advisors. With Per and Marcus’s collective accomplishment at Ericsson, CANAL+, and Versatel, the pair will work with Hanno Basse to focus on industry solutions.
And we’re always looking for great people to join our team. If you want to join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Q: How does the content publisher and worker payment work. Please explain the reward mechanism for VideoCoin?
HM: The workers (miners) are directly paid for their services in fiat — the fiat paid into the system by the customers.
The workers receive fiat something like a “stable coin”. All parties will have access to bank accounts and standard payment mechanisms. In addition to moving funds into and out of bank accounts, they can take their fiat and convert it into any other coin at a participating exchange if that is their preference.
This avoids forcing customers to have to buy “money” to pay for services from a crypto exchange. Customers don’t want to have to establish a trading operation to pay for services.
Q: So how realistic is it that a user at home will be involved in the backend of the VideoCoin Network?
HM: Most of the work on the Network will likely be performed by data centers exploiting their unused/underused/dormant capacity.
But there is no reason smaller, even individual home users, can’t be part of the Network and selected based on their capability and performance.
Q: Can you explain how data centers work on the VideoCoin Network? Do they process or store videos? And why would they be involved in the first place?
HM: Data centers (actually, all worker nodes) are the core of the Network — they do the work and are compensated for it in fiat.
Worker nodes can offer their services to process (encode/transcode), store, and/or distribute video files. Each worker node is scored based on performance and staking and thereby has a specific probability of being selected by the VideoCoin Network’s algorithm to work on a specific job or portion of a job.
Of course, they would only be selected for encoding if they offer that as one of their services — ditto for storage and distribution.
VC: Thank you, Halsey and Devadutta for taking the time to address the community’s questions.
HM: Thanks everyone for showing up!
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