Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Reeve Collins, CEO of BLOCKv.
1. What’s the history of BLOCKv? How and where did you begin?
RC: We started working on the BLOCKv platform in 2016. Our team’s combined years of experiences in technology and blockchain gave us deep insights into the financial applications of blockchain technology as well as the true disruptive power of tokenization technology. But blockchain’s applications span across the entire spectrum of industries, not just finance. We had many discussions around the real types of innovations that blockchain technology can bring and what it lacks at the current state for mass adoption. That is how we started working on BLOCKv.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Gunther Thiel is BLOCKv’s CTO and a blockchain technology genius capable of using code to fundamentally change the way industries work. He is a veteran technology entrepreneur leading multi- disciplinary and international teams across various verticals from IT to media to marketing. In his last role he headed Cloud Products and Technologies at Swisscom, a leading telecom provider in Switzerland.
Lukas Fluri, BLOCKv’s COO, and a technology executive, brings more than 20 years of experience leading development of innovative technology products. Lukas worked at Swisscom with Gunther and led the highly successful development and market launch of the first cloud-based IP-TV solution. Prior to that, he was the leader of Product and Innovation groups at a mobile venture for Telefonica and for Alcatel-Lucent.
I have been a long-standing pioneer in Blockchain space. I was a co-founder and CEO of Tether, the world’s first fiat backed currency. Tether helped me form many relationships in the space that have led to BLOCKv. Prior to that, I worked I founded and sold a number of digital media, advertising and entertainment business that got acquired by major players in the space. My media experience helped me understand that Blockchain needed that app like media experience for wide adoption.
We also have an extraordinary board of advisors – tech visionaries from companies like Uber, Blockchain Capital, Singularity University and many more, that have been with us this whole time.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
RC: It took us, experienced technology entrepreneurs, a long time to discover and truly understand the extraordinary benefits of the decentralized peer to peer public network and its implications for the business world. It was evident that even with rising education resources the concept was difficult to grasp for both users and developers alike and that it was missing an interface. That is why we created BLOCKv – a game-changing innovation that will make blockchain development accessible to a broad range of developers around the world through its open source platform with easy to use SDKs and APIs to build digital goods on blockchain. Marc Andreessen who brought Mosaic browser to the world and introduced the interface to the web said: “Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it. On the other hand, technologists are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.” This potential is still to be unlocked. At the current state, a very small number of developers around the world and even smaller number of users understand the power of blockchain and that is because it is a complex technology and does not have a user interface. We are changing that. Our platform will bring revenue maximizing opportunities to developers, companies, brands and even users.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
RC: At its heart, BLOCKv is an open source, shared protocol that enhances the underlying distributed ledger and is made available to individual applications Our APIs, SDKs and developer tools make take away the complexity of today’s blockchain development and enable developers around the world to build applications on top blockchain through what we call vAtoms – the experiential currency that combine cryptocurrency characteristics of transferability, security, authenticity, traceability with rich app like multimedia experiences. These vAtoms unlock the revenue-generating opportunities for developers.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
RC: Well, if we look from the blockchain industry perspective, there are over 1500 cryptocurrency companies with a total market cap close to $500B that is more than the market cap of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Snapchat combined. Yet it is estimated that only 3% of the world is really aware of blockchain. It is because the tools to simplify the technology for developers and users are not there yet.
From applications standpoint, our solution is industry agnostic. Every industry that is subject to inefficiencies of centralized governance and data management can benefit by integrating blockchain. Cutting transaction intermediaries, data verification and validation services (auditing, QA etc.) and introducing direct ownership and management saves costs and brings more transparency into the ecosystem. We provide interoperability, scalability and user-centric experience that has a lot of potential in a multitude of industries from gaming, AR/VR, advertising to healthcare, identity management, and crypto markets that by themselves represent enormous market opportunities. There are 2.2 millions apps and over a billion websites, all with numerous objects, that extrapolates to trillions of digital objects in the world that can be created on blockhchain. Now, not every digital good will need to be on blockchain but it represents biggest market in the world.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: Blockchain is still in the growth stage. The industry will soon consolidate, the market will stabilize and we will start truly extracting and seeing the benefits of the technology applications in the space. It took almost 20 years from the time Mosaic was introduced to Facebook’s IPO. There is a lot to yet happen in our space and it will take time to see the truly groundbreaking applications. We are excited to have created the platform that these applications can be built on!
Prediction #2: I think in the future our children will be amazed that we gave away our data to companies like Facebook and Google for no value in return. Today’s tokenization will allow taking that value back to our hands.
Prediction #3: Blockchain will change the way the entire world transacts. Transactions will become global, instant, and free, the middlemen will be removed and the rewards for doing business will go to those who actually create the value.