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 Clem Chambers, CEO of Online Blockchain Plc.
1. What’s the history of Online Blockchain Plc? How and where did you begin?
CC: Established in the UK in 1996 as On-line plc – an incubator and investor in Internet and information businesses – the company changed its name to Online Blockchain Plc in Q4 of 2017 to reflect its focus on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Online Blockchain plc (LSE:OBC) is the only UK company of its kind to be listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
Online Blockchain’s mission is to build up functionality within blockchain; it is a developer of use cases for blockchain.
OBC incubated and owns 17.98% of ADVFN Plc (LSE:AFN). ADVFN (founded 1999) is a global stock and shares information website, which provides market-leading financial tools and data to over three million retail investors around the world. InvestorsHub.com, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADVFN.
– Has a tried and tested technological management – the team behind OBC has a proven track record in the technology sector and also runs ADVFN.
– Has a history of pioneering in technology.
– Has access to a huge financial community via ADVFN.
Online Blockchain announced the launch of its PlusOneCoin social media cryptocurrency in December 2017. Following successful testing within the ADVFN community, OBC was able to offer all of ADVFN's members a PlusOneCoin wallet. This marked the first part of its cryptocurrency project with ADVFN.
The bitcoin-like currency enables content providers and platform owners to monetize their social media sites while giving their audience more power to affect the social media content they consume. A social media user has a PlusOneCoin wallet with crypto coins in that they can spend on content and appreciating content providers and fellow users on the website by up voting or highlighting themselves.
PlusOneCoin is easy to use, tradable (between wallet holders) and you can mine it on any personal computer.
ADVFN serves as a reference site for other content providers who see how the PlusOneCoin application works and understand its earning potential, while attracting the wider crypto community.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Michael Hodges, Chairman
Co-founder of Online Blockchain plc, All IPO plc and ADVFN Plc
Michael Hodges has over 25 years experience in computer software development and publishing and has worked on multi-user and Internet projects for the last 22 years.
Clem Chambers, CEO
Co-founder of ADVFN plc, All IPO plc and Online Blockchain Plc, Clem Chambers has been involved in the software industry for over 25 years as a pioneer of computer games, massively multiplayer games, multimedia and the Internet.
Jonathan Mullins, Technical Director
Jonathan Mullins has been involved in the development of a wide variety of on-line and Internet services over 21 years.
He has extensive experience of managing entire technical departments and does this at Online Blockchain Plc.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for? What is your solution to this problem?
CC: Liking, re-tweeting, sharing… it is all valueless if it’s fake or, at best, done with no real value. Fake likes, fake friends, fake followers, fake views and fake news are an Internet plague.
Online Blockchain’s PlusOneCoin is a social validation token, which can address all the fakery by putting a value, however tiny, on any online action. Filtering by that value separates the noise from the signal. What is more, there are few monetization mechanisms on the web. Most content providers give their material away. PlusOneCoin (which trades on TradeSatoshi) is a way content providers and platform owners can monetize their traffic and send money to those creators. This is a boon to all stakeholders which simultaneously takes away opportunity from the fakers and trolls.
4. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
CC: Google and Facebook basically make all the money to be made from the Internet in the US and large tracts of Europe and the rest of the world. This monoculture relies on people giving away everything they have to these behemoths. Take Google’s and Facebook’s $100 billion in income; what does the rest of the WWW earn from their sites? Low billions at best. The supernormal returns for the top 0.0001% of web businesses is ripe for disruption.
5. What’s the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: Internet users get paid directly.
Prediction #2: Computers make users passive income.
Prediction #3: Crypto becomes the electricity of the engine of attention.
About Clem Chambers
Clem Chambers is CEO of ADVFN – a global stocks and shares information website – and Online Blockchain plc, a company that develops blockchain technology products.
Clem is a freelance journalist covering global finance, economics and investing.
He is author of the Amazon No.1 Bestseller 101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners and a Forbes and IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) columnist. He has been nominated for PPA business columnist of the year 2016 and 2017 for his writing in the latter. In June 2017 he won silver in the Tabbie Awards for his Money and Markets column in E&T Magazine.
A broadcast and print media regular, Chambers is a familiar face and frequent guest presenter on CNBC and CNBC Europe. He has been a market commentator and guest on the BBC, Fox News, CNBC Arabia, Newsnight, Al Jazeera, CNN, SKY News, TF1, Canada’s Business News Network and numerous US radio stations.
Clem has written investment columns for Wired Magazine, Business Mirror, Inversionista, Index Trader, Traders, Gulf News, YTE, RiskAFRICA and the Scotsman and has been a commentator for The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Express.
Clem has written several books for ADVFN Books, including: 101 Ways To Pick Stock Market Winners, A Beginner’s Guide to Value Investing, The Death of Wealth and Letters to my Broker. His latest book: Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin was published in November 2017.