VideoCoin: How can blockchain disrupt the video services space?
In a world where blockchain is disrupting every industry – from traditional finance to music and everything in between – the VideoCoin Network aims to revolutionize how video content is processed. Unlike incumbents in the industry such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), VideoCoin chooses blockchain over cloud computing to process videos on the internet.
Halsey Minor, strategic technology partner at VideoCoin Network, sat down with Crypto Dawn to discuss how the looming issue of expensive cloud-based video services led to the creation of VideoCoin. Minor, a serial entrepreneur, who heads Live Planet – an end-to-end virtual reality video platform that allows users to stream live from anywhere with cell service. He had also founded CNET, a technology-focused media website, which was later sold to broadcasting giant CBS Corp. He was also an early investor in cloud-based software firm Salesforce.com and was its second-largest shareholder back in 2000.
Excerpts from the interview
Before we talk about your views on cryptocurrencies, can you shed some light on VideoCoin and how it lowers the cost of internet video?
Hello Crypto Dawn readers!
The VideoCoin Network is a decentralized video encoding, storage, and content distribution system that turns all cloud-based video services into an efficient algorithmic market running on a new blockchain with a native token, the VideoCoin (VID). Think of it like Uber or Airbnb for video processing and delivery over the internet.
Most people don’t realize it, but video accounts for close to 82% of internet traffic. As video quality has increased, so has the file size — virtual reality and augmented reality traffic alone will increase 20-fold between 2016 and 2021. Moving that much data efficiently is where current solutions have started to struggle.
The VideoCoin Network ecosystem will lower costs by deploying unused computing resources, enable a new generation of applications via open APIs and open source-based development, disintermediate media giants with P2P video distribution, and increase privacy with decentralized, end-to-end encryption.
We are building a system that offers everyone from Hollywood studios to amateur videographers a way to process their video content just as easily as AWS but for far less. Current estimates show VideoCoin reduces costs by 60 to 80 percent, dramatically undercutting the competition.
What gave you the idea of starting VideoCoin? How has the response been so far to the platform?
VideoCoin originated to solve a problem we were facing while we were building Live Planet. The cost of running one of our VR cameras at 4K Stereoscopic, 30 FPS video 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is about $30,000 dollars in Google cloud costs. And that’s just one month!
Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on cloud-based video-related services each year via AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc. so this is not a problem specific to Live Planet.
We set out to reduce the cost for our own video streaming consumption and discovered 30 percent of all data center computers sit idle and another 20 percent aren’t being used at all. We then thought, what if we could efficiently harness this unused computing power to process and encode video securely?
Can you share some details about how the response was for the token presale for VideoCoin? Also, can you give a timeframe on when the tokens will be distributed and when the platform will go fully live?
The VideoCoin Network received overwhelming support with $50 million committed from crypto and blockchain funds including Alphabit Fund, Galaxy Investment Partners, Distributed Network Advisors (DNA), and Science Blockchain – to name a few. We converted the majority of our funds to fiat during the process and as a result, we are completely funded unlike many other crypto projects.
When VideoCoin is ready to distribute tokens and list, it will be listed on the Bitfinex and Ethfinex exchanges simultaneously. Additionally, we are continuing conversations with other exchanges in an effort to bring VideoCoin to the widest community possible.
We delayed our token distribution and listing until a later date, to further strengthen the long-term success of the project. Timing our token distribution is essential to the VideoCoin Network’s success and delaying was in the best interest of the project and contributors, as we move toward the testnet and Alpha launch in 2019.
What attracted you in the world of cryptocurrencies? Do you think the current state of the industry has far exceeded what you would’ve thought possible initially, or is it still lagging?
I first learned about blockchain when I launched Bitreserve (now Uphold) in 2013, a digital currency service that lets you buy crypto and move money around without any of it taken away by the banks. Bitreserve was one of the first companies in the crypto space connected to banks. Today, it’s thriving and profitable, but the regulatory aspect was a headache. I thought there were others who were better suited to run the company so I left and started Live Planet.
I firmly believe in the power of blockchain tech as a game-changing disruptor, both against tech giants and in favor of civilians with much to gain. With the blockchain, we have a completely decentralized version of the internet, all powered by a simple idea. There was an internet of information, but now there is an internet of value connected to information. These two things compound each other. What’s interesting is you can combine the transparency of information with the liquidity of money, transforming the internet into what it was always meant to be — a decentralized communication network.