In this interview, Brad Laurie speaks with Tim Bos concerning everything ShareRing stands for, building the ShareRing infrastructure/apps for the sharing economy, ShareRing’s future and much more!
Intro & Non-Payment Disclosure
Brad Laurie: Hello It’s Brad Laurie, Blockchain Brad. Today we’re talking about all things apps and all things travel, to do that we have the CEO and co-founder of ShareRing to explain all the updates for you exclusively. His name is Tim Bos. Thank you very much Tim for being here to really let us understand what ShareRing is all about.
Thanks, Brad. It’s great to be here.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Likewise mate, now for transparency and for the non BS approach, this is not paid in any way at all for me. But, I also want to make it very clear that the team at ShareRing have offered to support the editing aspect of this, which is a small donation to pay for the editing costs. Again, not required, but I appreciate that support. Also, in transparency as well I have not invested in this project and it’s important that the community do know that.
Tim Bos’s Background
Brad Laurie: Now, as the CEO thank you for being here to let us know all about ShareRing, I appreciate your time Tim. Do you want to just start with a little tiny bit of a rundown on your experience and your background, particularly with regard to your entrepreneurial background and your engineering?
My background back into the nineties has always been focused around technology. I worked for a video game company that was bought out by Atari, called Melbourne House in 1994. I moved into consulting as a consultant to Evernote, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture.
I wrote one of Microsoft’s operations manuals, which is a global offering they had, I worked for an investment bank doing strategy for a while. My first company that I started was actually 1996, I moonlighted while I was working full time doing network installs and I.T services for a bunch of small businesses, I gave that away a couple of years later.
I quit my work in 2004 to start my own company with a partner who invested in it, that was a focus around GPS tracking. We started a telematics business and I sold that in 2008, then we licensed the technology to an Australian company which I sold in 2010.
In 2012 we got into the car-sharing business. Initially, when we started that company we wanted to develop a platform for the sharing and rental of anything, like Amazon for sharing economy. One of the things that we realized very quickly was to try to build a platform that can allow companies to come on and rent anything was Insurmountable.
We focused very quickly into car-sharing and we’d built a world-leading platform in car-sharing, called Keaz. I sold that at the start of this year. I moved away from working full time on that the year before we started ShareRing.
The reason why we started ShareRing was really to help me achieve that dream that I had to build a platform that allows you to share anything, blockchain technology really allowed us to do that.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: We’re going to talk about that more in more detail as we move across and it’s interesting, you say sharing was part of that business background. I felt the same as I was researching you, thinking that your agenda is very much geared around that shared economy or the sharing economy. I want to sort of unpack how that correlates with the blockchain through ShareRing.
The Sharing Economy – One-Stop-Shop
Brad Laurie: Now I want to touch very directly on the gateway aspect of the whole ShareRing concept. It’s regarded perhaps by you guys and based on literature as a one-stop-shop. You’re talking about statements like no more juggling handling, when it comes to things like passports, travel documents, bank cards, in the sense that it’s all linked to one sort of service and facility and one app. Can you just tell us a bit more about the value add of it all being bound together?
To give you a bit of background information in terms of the platform that we’ve developed, we’ve taken a very modular approach to the platform. We’ve got effectively a blockchain platform that’s got a bunch of modules that sit on top of it that’s developed on Tendermint.
Two of the core modules that we’ve developed, one is a self sovereign identity platform. One of the things that we realized in terms of sharing, rental, travel and this whole ecosystem, identity is absolutely key to that process.
A lot of gaps in companies such as Airbnb and other rental companies is when Airbnb owns and holds your identity, they’re putting you at risk.
What we did is basically created a self sovereign identity model where us as a company ShareRing do not hold your ID when you sign up for our platform. You still own and hold your ID and any other information that goes in as part of your ID.
When you sign up for a rental service that is integrated with us, that ID goes directly to that rental service provider for the duration of your rental, if it’s bookings for flights, flats and things like that.
There is a rental platform, which we use smart contracts to basically lock in payments for that rental platform. Our payment system, which we use a stable coin, but we don’t actually offer that for sale anywhere.
That sort of sits in the background to allow us to do things like very quick and instant currency exchange at the actual currency value, because we hold multiple fiat currencies. Also, the stable coin actually helps us do instant reconciliation of that and so on. There’s a bunch of modules that basically helped us facilitate that.
We’re not saying one app is going to do that. What we’re saying is we’re releasing an app that allows you to sign up for ShareRing ID and do a bunch of functions that we will offer to consumers.
But we have partner companies that are now building systems on top of our blockchain where they will offer it in their own apps and stuff like that as well.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
The Relationship with Tendermint and ShareRing: ShareLedger
Brad Laurie: Well let’s explore that because I hadn’t heard before in any interview you’ve done previously about the nature of your blockchain, as you said, because my understanding was utilizing Tendermint and certainly capitalizing on even other networks with the way in which different tokens are set up like your own token for example, as I understand, it interconnects with other platforms, In terms of how it’s used.
Let’s talk about Tendermint, let’s talk about your choices there. Let’s talk about the blockchain, why utilize Tendermint especially when you’ve had problems with Tendermint as you’ve discussed in the past, let’s unpack this and get real about It.
We did a bit of exercise in 2018, around do we build our own blockchain and spend ridiculous amounts of money and ridiculous amounts of time doing that, or do we look for one that we can build on top of?
Ethereum was the obvious choice, we looked at that and said, if we want to get to the scale that we need to get in terms of number of rentals, number of transactions and all of that, Ethereum’s not going to cut it.
We knew their roadmap was to increase scalability, transactions, lower the cost and move to proof of stake but it wasn’t in a timeline that we could trust.
We looked at Waves, EOS and NEO, we looked at all of them and the one that really stood out for us at the time was Tendermint. Some of the reasons why were we didn’t have to build products/smart contracts on top of an existing platform that we had zero control over.
What we could do is effectively take the open source Tendermint code, improve upon that and build something that solves our problem without any additional overheads, we could create a very efficient result that is made for us.
We started building on Tendermint and realized very quickly that the stage that Tendermint was at in that point in time was a lot of bugs that limited what we could do with it.
We spent more time than we expected we would improving the platform. We’ve made contributions to the open source code of Tendermint and even now we’re still improving it, there’s an issue with it now where it’s mining empty blocks, which is completely unnecessary.
We’ve just done an update that actually stops mining empty blocks. We’ve moved from compiling into C-level DB and also improved the efficiency of it. There’s a bunch of things that we do to improve it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
The Future Collaboration with Tendermint: Tech Talk
Brad Laurie; So essentially Tim, it’s been a bit of a headache in the sense of trying to integrate. What I really liked firstly is the transparency about this. Secondly, is that with Tendermint there is finality built into this. It is certainly a pro-business in many respects because of the way it’s designed.
Also, on top of that you’re agnostic, so whilst you’re decided on Tendermint now there’s the potential in the future to look at POA or beyond. What I’m hearing from you is you’re really focused on that kind of consensus that melds well with your enterprise and entrepreneurial vision.
That’s right, we look at the outcome, the solution and the benefits that we can provide to our customers, partners and our community. We’re not married to any platform, if something better comes along that allows us to migrate to, for us thats fine, as long as we can still provide the minimum services that we’re providing to our clients.
When we build our self sovereign identity model, and all of the modules on top of that, we built them in a way that allows us to pick it up and move it over to another foundation if we have to. Obviously it would require a lot of work but it’s something that we always kept in mind.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right and it’s good that we’re talking about this because as you become more known, for what you essentially are, which is that suite and that tooling in services and products.
Many people won’t know about Tendermint, they shouldn’t, and they won’t know about the underlying blockchain layer, but what is important that we talk about in this context as people listen is that you’re certainly working and successfully, and I guess reciprocally with these parties, like Tendermint so that we know that the efficiencies or the inefficiencies are addressed as you continue to build.
What Does ShareRing Stand For?
Brad Laurie Let’s go back a little bit, we’ll touch on the blockchain more but let’s discuss a little bit more about you, with regard to the products. I want to touch on that because the most important part we understand so far is that the app is a core focus, but it’s not just one app, one-stop-shop, it’s really a whole suite. I really want to try and expand on this with you and understand exactly what ShareRing stands for.
What we’ve done is on top of the blockchain, and you’re a hundred percent right, we don’t go out there saying we’re doing this on Tendermint or we’re a blockchain/crypto company.
We focus very much on the solutions that we provide to our clients and our partners. What we’ve done is we’ve built an API layer, if you’re talking to traditional companies, traditional developers and all of that, they understand APIs.
They understand how to integrate with those. We wanted to make a very easy on-ramp for our partners to integrate with our platform. We’ve got a few examples in the travel sector, we’ve got companies that are now building on top of our API to add things like activities, ferry bookings, luggage services and things like that.
They are not learning about blockchain, what they know is we’ve got an API, we’ve got an ability to pass identity information and we’ve got transaction fees, those transaction fees are done in fiat to whatever their currency is.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Revenue and Transaction Fees
Brad Laurie: So just to jump in there, surely that’s a good thing for you in terms of revenue, because if you’re able to capitalize on the value add of blockchain in your own system, then talking through it in the context of APIs with other partners, clients and even other business parties in the future.
Surely that’s a value add for you because you’ve once again taken the time to build out your own ecosystem utilizing the blockchain underneath.
Most of the revenue comes through is transaction fees and all those transaction fees are fed through as Sharetoken. While it’s good for us because we hold a number of the nodes and we’ll make transaction fees on that.
We do have consulting fees that we do charge and development fees that we do charge and that just goes towards paying our developers and building our ecosystem, everything that we do feeds back into that ecosystem that we’re building.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Got it and it’s good to hear that you do have some other streams of revenue, not just solely and wholly relying on those transaction fees, even if it’s a small amount to have that roll back into the ecosystem, build it further and arguably make the team bigger as you grow.
The Fundamentals of ShareRing
Brad Laurie: So let’s pull it back a bit. Let’s talk about the fundamentals once again. You’re a business, I wanted to clarify because we hear a lot about decentralization and DeFi as you know, but you’re fundamentally a company isn’t that right?
Yes we’re a company, we’ve got shareholders, , we’ve got investors and then we also have token holders. What we do is we sit on the fence where we have to basically think about both our shareholders and our token holders with every decision that we make in the business, and everywhere we sort of develop new products, grow and bring clients on.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Got it. So in turn, obviously you being Ozzy, is there any consideration for being listed with regards to the sort of security aspects? I’m not talking about tokens here. Do you want to lead in that direction where eventually become a nationally listed, for example on one of the…
On a stock exchange like ISX or NASDAQ? We don’t have a short term or even a medium term goal to do that at all. I think that’s something that we have sort of discussed and that discussion was always pushed back and said, `let’s not work towards any goals like that.
I think it’s a decision that will be made In one or two years, to see whether it’s in our roadmap, but it’s definitely not something that I want to focus on at the moment.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right. It sounds like you’ve got your plate full with the sort of the blockchain side and also building out.
Let’s just build haha.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: and hopefully mate that becomes a side effect of your success.
The Founders and Team of ShareRing
Brad Laurie: Let’s pull it back again to some of the other things, like your team. Now, one of the things that was interesting as I was researching you is that you have a differentiation between founders and team.
I wanted to understand firstly your comment on founders because you definitely have a lot of business savvy people in that founding group. Then the team itself was very much conditioned it seemed in certain regions of the globe, particularly in Thailand. Can you just touch on the two and what they represent?
The founders myself, Ron, Peter, Neville, Jane are like you said very, very business focused, they’re not tech, I’m the tech guy in the founding team. What’s important is you need to focus on building a sustainable business first.
If you’ve got a team that’s just tech people that have never run a business before, God help you. With our founders we’ve got a very good cross section of skills that allow us to actually focus on the governance of the company and building a company that is sustainable and can grow.
In terms of the team, being in Australia and also my experience living in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand, I’ve got a very large network of partners, customers and teams that we’ve been able to leverage in those places.
It’s better to have the team where a lot of your clients and your partners are going to be, we’ve got a good team in Vietnam, we’ve got a bunch of developers in China that do work with us, we’ve got a couple of people in Hong Kong.
In Thailand, we’ve got four staff members that are focused on partnership management, we’ve got some insane and incredible stuff that we’re doing in Thailand at the moment.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yeah, we’re going to be talking about that. I heard you talk about that in a recent interview. So what’s good to know is that the founders are still part of the team, from what you’re saying, it’s just they have that business savvy and that’s why they are distinguished because I didn’t want to send a message that it was anything but that, and get that clarification from you because people may suppose there is some sort of difference but really it’s just showing the business level and then showing the builder level.
Okay so let’s talk a little bit more about that then in regard to the team being diverse, I mean a lot of it’s based in Asia. So what kind of things are happening in terms of the building going on right now for ShareRing?
The team until now has been very, very focused on development. It’s almost a hundred percent tech focused team. Now what we’re doing is we’re expanding both our marketing side, in terms of marketing to partners and then also our partner management and sales side.
Some of the stuff we’re doing in Thailand, we’ve hired two new junior sales people that are focusing on some stuff in there. Now that we’ve got technology that we can show something you can touch and use. It’s now going towards sales to bring on more clients as well and also manage these partners a bit more effectively.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
ShareRing’s Operations – Logistics & Retail
Brad Laurie: Just breaking that down again also into different areas and verticals that you focus on. For example, the operations, logistics, retail and then the tech as well.
It seems like you’re really addressing a lot of different verticals in the process of building this out from those teams. So do you want to give us a bit of a breakdown on how you do this?
My approach is if when we see an opportunity in an area where we don’t currently have a partner in that area, we build it out we prove that it works amd we hire the right people to sort of manage that area and then we partner and let our partners handle the operations side.
First and foremost, we are always a technology company and we’re always a public platform company. What that means is, in terms of doing the operations side of things, we will partner to handle those operations.
ShareRing Shop is a perfect example. We had this great idea, we needed to capitalize on a crisis that was happening at that point in time to try to help the communities with being able to buy stuff online, same day delivery, all that sort of stuff that we do through our platform.
But we had no partner to do it, we quickly hired a logistics and operations manager and a product manager to get up and running very quickly. But now we’ve partnered with two companies overseas that are handling all of the operations side, all of the marketing side and using their backing and their name behind it to grow that, from us we are just technology people.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: So in that sense, really it is about forging genuine partnerships where your value add when we’re talking about the tech is obviously vital to the basis of everything you’re doing or the crux of everything. But those partners do real work.
It’s the same when we talk about some of the top tech teams from around the world, and we were talking about this pre-interview, they also look for partners that do real things and value add, so that it’s not just the tech that speaks but it’s also the business side of it.
What’s in the ShareRing Pipeline?
Brad Laurie: It’s good to know and it sounds like there are plans in the pipeline also for other partnerships of this nature to continue to strengthen the ties between the tech and operations.
You wont see an announcement from us of a partnership that is simply we’re using their services. When we talk about partnerships, every time we have a partner, it’s genuinely a partner.
It’s someone that if a solution requires this, this and this, we will provide this and our partners will provide these other parts of that solution.
More often than not, it’s either technology that we don’t have and we will partner to connect our technologies, or it’s operations, logistics or marketing that they’re doing on our part.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Got it, so a no BS approach and no announcements of announcements as well.
You wont hear us saying we’re partnered with Amazon because we use Amazon web services haha.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yeah and let’s be frank as well Tim, we see a lot of that BS in crypto, where we see those superficial announcements to pump prices. So it’s really great to hear that this is about legit partnerships. This is about you building your team, tech and focus on that core agenda, which essentially is to make sure that ShareRing evolves into a global network.
ShareRing’s Product Offerings
Brad Laurie: Let’s look at this in terms of the products and the product offering, because they are slightly different in the explanations that are provided and I wanted to try and better understand that.
Because as you’ve made it very clear with regard to the value add of ID especially as a product, that’s unique because it gives us autonomy and changes the game. But then there are also discussions about product offerings which is slightly different. So do you want to just touch on that and explain the difference?
What we do is we’ve got the underpinning technology of ID and all that sort of stuff like you just mentioned. When we create a product offering, our whole long term plan in terms of that product offering is we won’t run that product offering forever.
It’ll either get a life of its own or it will be a partner that takes on that product offering and has it as their offering. Travel is a perfect example, what we expect in the long term from travel is we’re not going to go into having a support center, dealing with consumers buying travel and flight tickets and all that sort of stuff. That’s not our business.
What we’re basically offering is for existing travel providers to take on that platform and take on the services that we’ve created and make it their own and we will provide the technology for that.
We spin out these product offerings as examples of what you can do with the platform and then let it have a life of their own.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
The Utility & Usability of the Platform
Brad Laurie: I think that’s the exciting part for me when I was researching is that people perhaps had this misconception that you’re all travel, but when you look at it deeply, it’s actually that core structure of the sovereign ID that could potentially broaden into, or be utilized in different verticals, not just those that are obviously logically connected.
We’re about to release very soon a new website that explains that more effectively. It explains the different modules that are available. It talks about our API, which way we’re releasing the API documentation next week as well and it doesn’t just talk about travel, it talks about travel as an example and not a means to an end.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: In the beginning, I did mention travel so do apologize, really It’s not about that travel it’s about that core technology that’s really driving the potential in different verticals and travel just happens to be a very strong use case right now.
We talked about travel as well previously because what we found was there’s a couple of other ‘blockchain’ or let’s call them crypto companies that say ‘we’re in the travel industry’ but all they do is become a middleman for people being able to pay for travel with Bitcoin, Ethereum or tokens.
They dont provide any value add to the travel industry in terms of making it easier for consumers to travel. We focused on saying how do we have an offering that makes it easier for people to buy their flight tickets, get their visas, check into hotels, have some trust between activity service providers and their customers, and how do we leverage what we’ve developed to do that.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: And to be honest with you as a consumer and also someone who understands blockchain, that was imperative that whole point you just said, there had to be something more than just simply offering a service that was just going to be essentially a travel agency that utilized options including multiple cryptos, it had to be more than that.
So that’s the self-sovereign agency that was on another level of discussion and that’s what you’re really explaining. So that’s where that one-stop-shop comes from it’s literally underneath that.
The User Process Explained
Brad Laurie: Let’s discuss a little bit more about the user process now because that’s important we understand the simplicity of it, from registration, selection, payment and then the enjoy part. How easy is this going to be? What’s the UI, the UX, that sort of question.
Can you imagine someone going online or downloading an app to purchase Bitcoin now? It’s still complex. You’re teaching them about private key storage, wallets and all that sort of stuff.
We didn’t want to be a product that only allows people that understand blockchain and private keys to use. What we’ve done is in terms of signing up for the app, there’s only one point in time where we ask you to save a phrase or a QR code.
But someone can say, ah I want to save that into my Google account, Apple account, WeChat account or Line Account, so they can actually save that into one other account and then from then on they can log into their ShareRing ID account with any of those platforms and not have to worry about a private key.
We don’t even need to teach people how to use blockchain. It’s just a foundation layer. So they sign up, take a photo of their ID, say passport and they do a liveness detection, which is like a selfie but they have to move their heads so we actually tell them to nod and then shake your head or say a word or something like that and then we do OCR with one of our partners on the passport, we do a face match on their face to the passport.
We then fingerprint those bits of information and store that fingerprint on the blockchain, then we encrypt that information into a single file and that file is stored on your phone.
There’s an option to say, I want to back this up to my Google drive, my iCloud, my Tencent personal drive. So there’s an option for that and then they’re ready to go.
Let’s say there’s a random car sharing company and it says, do you have a ShareRing ID? I say yes and you can say download it from my Google drive and instantly they’ve got their ID that’s available within that app, so it makes it completely portable across different platforms and different apps as well.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yes and once again, that’s the value proposition that you really do offer and you see how the blockchain startups are doing something similar in terms of the ID focus and actually quite a few big platforms. For example, I remember talking about Ontology some years ago who were experimenting with the ID in their vast platform then.
Self Sovereignty – How ShareRing get People to Care?
Brad Laurie: The big question I did want to ask you is how do you get people to care about self-sovereignty in the sense of ID? Because obviously, that’s encountered by many people in crypto when we understand it, but more broadly how do you convince people to utilize the service and thus the apps and the products with sovereignty and autonomy in mind.
It’s funny, we started looking at that and saying, why don’t we get people to sign up by talking about the fear that your ID is going to get stolen because someone hosts it and all that sort of stuff. But that’s not the approach to take, the approach to take is to get the partners that accept ShareRing ID to get their users to sign up using that ID.
Instead of us approaching consumers and saying sign up for this, what we do is for example with eVISA on arrival in Thailand, we’ve got a market of 7 million tourists that need to use eVisa on arrival. For a lot of those tourists, to make it easier for them to sign up for an eVisa, they’ll use that ID and then understand the benefits of that.
Same with insurance, we’re working with some insurance companies now to make it so they can sign up for insurance without having to go into the office to get their insurance.
We get a lot of people using that and then suddenly they’ve got this ID that they can use across other services as we sign those up,Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: That’s a really smart business model also to get more business, having that sort of hub approach where you’re that bespoke model with the ID offering.
Discussion on Partnerships
Brad Laurie: Is it easy in your experience as a CEO to establish strong partnerships and forge those relationships that are lasting, where they see the value add also?
One thing that’s been really surprising for me, and I guess this is just because of my network and my background and experience is we’re talking to huge companies and they’re accepting us very immediately and the technology that we’ve developed and saying, yes, we’re happy to work with you and partner with you on that.
A good example is we did this big announcement last year with Dhipaya insurance, which is one of the top insurance companies in Thailand. They are huge and we’re a startup, for them to say that they’re going to use our technology was just incredible.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Oh, especially given that these are real partnerships, they are capitalizing on your technology and you’re capitalizing on their business.
I think they look at us as a team of individuals, they see where we’ve come from, our background and they put their faith in that. They understand that we can build something that’s really good because we’ve done it before.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Network effects are a big deal as well and one of the big challenges is actually breaking into the mainstream for many of the small startups and even the bigger ones. To be honest, you seem to be doing that already quite quickly. Regardless of price movement and all that stuff, It’s more about the development in terms of business.
What about the rest of the world? You do focus on Asia but being Aussie as well surely there’s interest in your own country, like what’s happening in the bigger picture with regard to broadening this and building this around the globe?
Absolutely. We are doing that. The thing is we’re a lot further down the road with the ones in Asia that we’re working with. That’s been our focus just because of the fact that we’re a lot further down the road. Once we start establishing ourselves with them a lot more, Australia, the US and Europe are obviously obvious next steps for us.
A hundred percent we’re doing that. We’ve got a new CIO who starts next week, he’s based in the UK. We are looking at building out some infrastructure and stuff in Europe, that’s probably the next logical step for us is to start doing some more things over there.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
How is ShareRing Easy, Secure & Cost-Effective
Brad Laurie: Now, one of the things that you also claim is things like being easy, cost-effective and secure. Secure was an interesting one because we talked about Tendermint and some of the issues that you’ve had.
It was a big claim to make given you are utilizing blockchain because blockchain is so innovative and new, not everything’s always as secure as we’d like it to be. But for options that are across the spectrum of blockchain, Tendermint does seem to cut it when it comes to some of the aspects of security. But I did want to get that feedback from you on those claims of being easy, cost-effective and secure.
Cost-effective is obvious and one of the things around being cost effective is because we effectively run our own blockchain.
We’ve got node holders and all that sort of stuff, we can dictate or define what the price is of the transaction so we can always make sure that we’re cost effective.
In terms of security, we never store personal data on the blockchain, even in an encrypted fashion. If someone was to hack into the blockchain, they get nothing.
The best that they can get is potentially some of the stable coins that are in there. I mean there’s obviously a potential financial risk if someone manages to hack into your account, but not an identity risk, so the same as any blockchain.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: So you’re talking about ID security there.
In terms of financial security, it’s like anything, If someone manages to hack into your account somehow, because they get your private key or something like that, that’s just what happens.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right and even with blockchain, as you know, the systems that are built now are still developing themselves, even Tendermint, so that’s a process that’s ongoing. So that’s what you mean by the security aspect.
We do that with our eyes wide open, we understand any shortfalls or any potential shortfalls and we make sure that we’re in a position where those sorts of things never bring us down to our knees.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
How Does ShareRing Work in the Context of Centralising Agencies to get Network Effects
Brad Laurie: One of the things that you’d said in a statement was that gen three based bookings, that’s sort of a focus now, and it’s a minor upgrade to web-based booking.
I wanted to ask you in that context because you’ve made it clear that it’s that underlying technology that is your core value, but because apps are also apart of what you’re building, how do you work in the context of centralised agencies that have either good apps or have really high-quality web applications as well?
Because obviously, those centralized parties are doing a good job in their own right for their own business needs, use cases, clientele and then network effects. So how do you manage to participate in that arena and how do you get network effects?
You’ve got a lot of companies that have got a lot of really awesome websites and travel is a really good example. They’ve got great websites but the backend and the management of those systems is still stuck in the nineties.
What we’re saying is, yeah, you’ve got great websites, but can someone go up to a hotel for example, scan a QR code, press one button and then they are checked into that hotel and they can go straight up to their room.
We’re basically offering the technology that doesn’t necessarily improve at the front end, but it improves that user journey. Car sharing is another good example. Car sharing is relatively new technology, but at the moment signing up for the car sharing, waiting for an RFID card to arrive and things like that. It’s still quite a slow user experience.
Whereas we’ve got the technology where you can go up to a car, scan a QR code on a car, hit one button and your ID will be sent to the provider or the company that runs that car sharing and you can unlock the car in 10 seconds.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I see, so mate in that context, what’s clear is that the utility (and you see that word thrown around a lot in crypto), but the more I understand it from what you’re saying, the more it makes sense that there is a utility aspect to your token.
The Utility of SHR Token
The sense that if we go into the discussion of Masternodes, staking and staker pooling, all of those things add to the flavour of utility potentially. I want to understand that and then maybe we could touch on the question of compliance and regulation, which is tough. But let’s start there with ShareLedger for example, and how everything’s built-in with staking, masternodes et cetera.
We currently pay Amazon web services thousands of dollars a month to host our infrastructure for the middleware layer and the API and all of that sort of stuff. When you look at ShareLedger, instead of paying a single company like Amazon, we have a bunch of node holders that get paid to host that infrastructure, it’s exactly the same approach.
The way that they get paid is based on the volume of transactions that go through that network. For example, if someone’s scans an ID, signs up, checks an ID or makes a payment. Any transactions that happen on the platform, there’s a transaction fee that’s associated with that.
We charge that fee through the API in a fiat manner, it’s between 2 and 5 cents per transaction. Then we take their fiat and we buy at random times the SHR token equivilant on the exchange. Then that gets fed out through ShareLedger to the master node holders.
They can then take those transactions and stake more or they can sell them on exchange. They can do whatever they want with them. That’s how they make their money.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right, exactly the question I was gonna ask is that they clearly do make money as masternodes securing the network.
How Does ShareRing Operate Nodes?
Brad Laurie: Now, one of the things I wanted to ask is in that context, how many masternodes are there? Is it finite? Also, do you regard that as somewhat of a centralized model, in that yes you’re utilizing & capitalizing on the blockchain, however just like we see with the likes of Chainlink, they are a well-known network and they’re regarded as a decentralized network, but they have a sort of closed number of nodes as well. In the same sense, is this all set in stone how do you operate the masternodes?
We are currently a permissioned network, meaning that you need permission to be able to run a masternode at the moment. We do have 50% of the current master nodes that are running. There’s currently 55 I think in total allocation, including our 50%. We will reduce the number of master nodes we hold and allow the community to hold more.
In terms of becoming permissionless in the future, that’s going to be a result of the number of transactions that we have and the benefits of scaling the network out for potentially a unlimited number of node holders. At the moment in terms of performance, there’s actually no benefit to scale beyond about a hundred nodes on the system.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I see, because it’s operational at the moment.
Brad Laurie: Now, one of the things that people in crypto love is to hear more about that permissionless sort of interaction. When we’re talking about even technologically, we know from the likes of Ethereum leading out that narrative with DeFi, what are your thoughts on that? When you have a response saying you’re mostly permissioned, you’re based on business, how are you really DeFi? How are you catering to the needs of the crypto space?
First and foremost, we’re a business and the node holders and token holders benefit from that as well.
In terms of moving towards permissionless, it is definitely on our roadmap, but I can’t even give you a year on when that will happen.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I appreciate that transparency and like we talked about, there is always the prospect also of migrating to other permissionless networks that are open source and do utilize similar consensus models as well.
That’s right, yes.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Regulations & Compliance
Brad Laurie: Okay, let’s talk about a tough one and that is the compliance aspect. That’s the regulation aspect I really want to hear also with regard to Australia as an example because we are so progressive in Australia about blockchain, but because the masternodes also get revenue and because it’s clear utility is built-in, does that mean you’re not going to have question marks from the top down when the top dogs are looking at these models?
Has it been difficult to get any sort of assessment from the top with regard to the utility model of this, because it is new?
We had lawyers review it when we first started and wrote the white paper. In terms of utility versus security and the models and all that, it was clear we were a utility token, but even now it’s a moving target to make sure that we don’t advertise our tokens as the price is going to go up or we’re going to go on these exchanges. We are very, very much focused on the utility of the token, even from a business sense.
For us, the utility of the token is the most important thing, because we need to keep these masternodes up and running to be able to provide a service to our users.
That’s first and foremost what our hundred percent focus is, the more tokens that are staked means that they’re there are less tokens available on the market, more security, we push the tokens through the exchange because we need to convert the fiat to SHR token and on and on. There’s a lot of reasons why It makes sense to run it the way that we’re running it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yep and what is interesting also is we’ve talked about being progressive in Australia and many of the countries that you’re working with are the same. It’s always been interesting watching Asia sort of blossom in the blockchain arena and in crypto as well. It’s because there they’re more relaxed in many of those regions to allow that to happen.
Thailand is a very good example. At the moment, Thailand has something called a NDID , which is like a national identity service that runs on Tendermint which is really cool.
At the moment where we’re integrating with NDID to create an on-ramp because they don’t have the apps or things like that, they basically have a passage of sending an ID to the banks and the banks need to make their own way of actually recording the ID.
We’re basically talking about how we can connect them up and we are reviewing that code at the moment. That’s one example and I mean, that’s extremely progressive in terms of adopting blockchain.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right and do not FOMO but what I’m hearing from you is a lot more than you’re saying when you’re able to connect with the likes of a whole country with regard to them not having certain aspects of it that you can offer.
That would suggest to me that all the way to the government all the way to major corporate enterprise as well, there’s potential for you to engage at those levels and in many countries as well?
Yeah, absolutely, a hundred percent. I use Thailand as a good example as we’re very much progressed there.
Once we sort of start releasing the products into that market, we will continue the discussions with some of the other companies and countries that we’re talking to already.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Got it so good things coming for each of those regions.
Brad Laurie: Now with the tech, I noticed in some of your other discussions that version 1 for ShareLedger has happened, but there’s always iterations to come, version 2, version 3 so on and so on. What’s the plan ahead with regards to updates, improvements and tweaking the tech?
We had version 1 released in March, we released version 1.1 early last week where we actually rewrote probably about 30% of the code. and we rewrote the stacking module. We rewrote the banking module. We rewrote the exchange module. we’re also now, as I mentioned, doing an update, we’re actually testing our hard fork process in production right now.
Because what we’re doing is we’re doing an update that removes the generation of empty blocks. We’re also doing the update to improve the efficiency of a platform. It’s going to be constant improvements on the platform.
In Tendermint they’ve got something called ABCI layers, which is really the modules that you develop on top of Tendermint. We’re constantly developing new modules for that and we will open source that to allow other people to write their own modules.
We will still have a test and auditing process instead of them just dumping something on the platform, we still will have an element of control over it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Again, we hear about DeFi as a common theme but really it’s on that spectrum and you certainly do have aspects of control and admin controls so that you can manage this.
Speculation of Crypto & Blockchain Building
Now, as this builds out, clearly there’s a lot of buzz about you right now. What are your thoughts on that in the sense of speculation, as opposed to the building aspects of this, does it frustrate you sometimes the speculation?
What’s really funny is it’s not my focus. I’m 70% focused on building, 30% focused on partnerships and sales.
What’s coming out of that is our marketing team and some other parts of our company are focusing really on how we build the community and exactly how we generate, I hate the word hype, but how do we generate some hype.
Because we need a bigger community to get more people to talk about us, to get more people to use our products to get more partners to notice us and so on.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: The challenge is also that when you’re talking about building communities, you’re talking about building communities who are also trying to advocate for use and application. So that’s another challenge as well because there’s also the groups and we’ll talk about this in a little bit later, who tend to focus on the more speculative.
How Do ShareRing Aquire More Users
Brad Laurie: One of the things I wanted to pull back on is marketing. Now you clearly have a plan built-in, but can you just give us a bit of an indicator on how do you approach, that means of getting more users, what kinds of things that you’re looking at doing internally to make sure that user-driven approach for marketing does happen.
We don’t have a big marketing team and I don’t provide a huge marketing budget. What we do is we’re leveraging the PR and the marketing of our partners because all of our partners are bigger than us.
We’re leveraging their PR and marketing to push out the information. The problem with doing that is we don’t own the dialogue and we don’t own the timeline as to when they release their announcements.
The benefits of doing that is you get the right people looking at it, listening to it and seeing it because generally they’re not going to market to CoinTelegraph and CoinDesk, they are going to market to traditional media and traditional press, which brings more partners in and more customers who are interested in using our platform.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: So interesting you say that because when we’re talking about CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph or many of the crypto media that involves paid articles and the likes of that and in different audiences as well, the majority one side and one is very much user-driven.
It’s great to see that you have one down pat, you don’t have control of that but then there’s also parties like me and many others will come that will provide organic interest and will start to educate more, so you’re getting the best of both worlds there.
Brad Laurie: Partners, we’ve talked a bit more about this but I want to dig a little bit more because I think you’ll tell me more with regards to the scope. Give us some hints about the real partners coming.
I’ve got these things called non disclosure agreements, this is just between you and me right? There’s five companies that we’re working with at the moment that are a lot bigger than us.
One of them is in operations and logistics, another one’s in retail, another one’s government and another one’s a platform company. We’re working very, very closely with all of those on releasing products.
One of the products that we are releasing is aiming around August.
There will definitely be more information either in August or before then and that’s a joint venture that we’re entering into between three companies.
That’s something that’s going to be potentially huge. The other one is focused very much on eVisa on arrival, also the COVID passport stuff for travelers going into certain countries but I can’t say any more about that.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I really appreciate that I could tell you were forcing some of the responses that you didn’t want to give, so I appreciate you went that far. The reasoning behind this is not to FOMO price appreciation. Now that may happen regardless but the point is it’s illustrating that you’re constantly in that focus of building and forging those real partnerships for the future.
When we’re dealing in a corporate sense with these companies, if we leak or give away information or things like that, we lose our credibility with these companies. We don’t want the deals that we’ve got in place to fall apart because someone’s given any information.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: And it’s the same also, I’m not here to do anything more than just illustrate the fact that you are so focused on that pipeline/business.
Brad Laurie: Investors, I wanted to touch on that because interestingly you do have shareholders and you also have the token utility model. In the context of the investors, I wanted to better understand who they are, who are these people that supported this from the beginning?
In terms of the company and shareholders, we’ve got some private investors, no firms or funds or anything.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: No VCs?
No, we never reached out to VCs and we were never interested in that because it was going to be very difficult to balance the benefits of the token holders versus the equity holders.
Our equity holders are all in it for the long term, there’s no possibility of them exiting it in the short term, they’re looking for the very, very long term benefits out of it. They support us in an incredible way, supporting the company in various manners.
We’ve got some token holder investors, there’s a couple of funds that are on board, we did recently announce ASC and we’ve got another couple that are basically negotiating with us at the moment. There’s some really cool stuff happening around that.
We get offers all the time but we turn away most of them. The only thing we look at now in terms of investors for us is it’s not just about money. We look at how they can help us strategically to build on what we’ve done, like our platform, our ecosystem and the company.
If they can help bring additional partners in, if they can help us with some things that we don’t know how to do then we invite them to work with us as investors. If they come and say, we want to buy OTC X number of tokens because we want to be token holders, it’s not something of interest to us.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yes and that’s in line with visionaries of crypto and blockchain and we get to see the dark side as well. Now let’s go back a bit to the app, one of the things you mentioned recently is about app readiness.
You’ve made it very clear that the app is already done and dusted. I want to talk more about the development of that in terms of launching, what’s the roadmap there?
We had an app ready to launch in March, and it was very focused on travel. It had activities, hotels, flights and all of that. Then all of the travel bans came in place, our activities partner basically said we’re not selling activities until the end of July, our hotel partner said no bookings of hotels.
We basically said, okay, we’re going to have to shelve this. We’ve taken advantage of that time to improve the app, add more functionality, change some things and turn certain aspects into SDKs that are portable across other apps. We’ve just been building and making a better app.
What we’re doing now is we’re tossing around the idea of releasing a vanilla app that doesn’t have some of these booking functionality, that allows people to at least use it as a wallet, use it to swap between ERC-20 and create and use their ID.
Or, do we wait until July when stuff starts opening up again and releasing the fully fledged app, at the moment I’m leaning towards the vanilla, just so people can have a play around with it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Well, that’s good to know, because I think a lot of people are excited to know firstly that it’s been ready for that long and they can start to see a little bit more of that empirical evidence that it is. Now we can see it’s ready and that’s why I’m asking mate because we want to make sure it really is and then it progresses again to that full launch, which again you explained, it’s not just about you, it’s about the decree and the decision making from those partners.
Okay so Q3 and Q4 big things to come in terms of launching for sure by then, or we would imagine so, and then your ID system and integrating insurance aspects, of that all that’s coming?
Yes.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
ShareRing’s Interoperability with ERC-20 & BEP2
Brad Laurie: Okay. Now the token itself I want to touch on this for a bit so people understand, there’s the ERC-20 & BEP2, the connections with Binance, Ethereum, can you just address that? In terms of that, I guess you’d call it interoperability of a platform with regard to working with both of them.
Yep. If we just had ShareLedger and we said to all the exchanges, you need to integrate our Shareledger and our native token into the exchange, it’s an uphill battle to do that and get acceptance to do that.
We needed to make sure that SHR token was available to as wide an audience as possible. We first launched on ERC-20 as that was the obvious choice. Binance we launched on because the Binance chain is also built on Tendermint, this allows us to do things like atomic swaps between our chain and their chain, it’s very easy to integrate that sort of stuff.
Also, when we start turning fiat into SHR token doing it natively in Tendermint is a lot easier for us to do it as well. We don’t have any plans in the near future to stop doing ERC-20 and move all the way to Binance chain or vice versa. It’s just the tokens are available to more people by having it across multiple chains.
The way that we’ve actually allowed for that because we’ve recently built some new smart contracts in Ethereum. We’ve built an interface into Binance chain that allows us to automatically manage swaps. Up until now we haven’t been very good at it because it’s been a bit of a manual process to allow for swaps between the chains.
But we do have an API that’s published, It’s done, It’s facilitated by the app that allows people to swap between chains. We also have something called a peg wallet where what we do is we maintain the total token in circulation across all three chains so that we never go above what our maximum cap is.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I see, with regards to liquidity, just having that approach you’ve taken potentially leads to more liquid scenarios in the future, especially with Binance Dex involved as well, which is one of the two exchanges.
We’ll talk about that, we’re also going to touch on Binance a little bit more because as I was digging deep with the advisors I got a sense that, Binance certainly indirectly at the very least, I’m going to question that with you, just in terms of their support as well in the future I wanted to touch on that.
Why Does ShareRing Need a Token?
Brad Laurie: Now with essentially the blockchain itself, we discussed essentially why you have it and how fundamental it is but I wanted to ask that very direct question of why, in a CEOs position, you feel that you must have this token because obviously, it’s integral, It’s about utility.
But once again, some would argue when we look at that mindset of oh well if you like to travel or if you like other competitors in the space, you don’t really need to exist. So, what’s your argument for really just reinforcing the needs of the token.
The token keeps our platform alive. If we didn’t have token, the blockchain couldn’t stay alive because of the transaction value and the utility of that token basically allows the node holders to keep our nodes up and running, which creates the blocks which allows the transactions to happen, which allows our platform to exist.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: So it’s not just for payments?
No.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
The Challenges of Implementation
Brad Laurie: Now with regard to the implementation of this as well, are you concerned about the prospect of any other problems that may come up? In terms of the blockchain is always something that’s very innovative and very plastic in the sense that there are problems sometimes that come up.
Do you ever get concerned that you’ve got the right team to deal with that because it’s something that’s going to continue I would imagine?
The two things that keep me awake at night are scale, our team is never big enough and we’re growing the team constantly to meet all of the demands of the companies and the partners that we’re working with. We get more companies that approach us then we can actually handle at the moment, we need to pick and choose the ones that we need to work with.
Also, the scale of the platform itself, what’s going to happen when we have a hundred thousand transactions a day, a million transactions, what’s going to happen as we scale up. We can do as much testing as we can to make sure that we can allow for it but we need to always stay ahead of the game because the worst thing that can happen is things grind to a halt and we don’t know how to get out of it. That’s something we’re always thinking about.
The other one is the security of the data. I’m not talking about identity data, we’re not worried about that, I’m talking about the data in the blockchain itself. What happens if there’s a critical error that we introduce into it one day that breaks the ledger. There’s stuff we’re always thinking about and they’re the things that keep me awake at night.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Understandably, it’s not an easy job being a CEO, especially when some of these things are even beyond your control.
Pump and Dumps
Brad Laurie: The other thing I wanted to ask you about is pump and dumps which obviously exist in crypto, I had a little bit of a look at the price movement of late and in the last month especially since your token movement has been substantial.
I’m not trying to suggest that there is any pump and dumps with your token but I wanted to talk to you more generally about the existence of pump and dumps. When things move fast I worry that sometimes things happen in the space, whether there are shill groups going on, we don’t really know.
The reasoning is the following, I had a look at the exchanges Bitmart & Binance Dex and they’re the two as I understand that currently list your token. A lot of the volume Tim comes from Bitmart, 99.5% of the volume comparatively. So immediately I was wondering why that would be the case. Are you concerned at all about any of this stuff as it plays out?
If you look at the tokens in Binance Dex, there’s not a huge amount of volume of trading that goes on in Binace Dex and I think it’s as simple as that, they’re very different audiences that use those platforms.
Also, the total number that is in circulation in Binance Dex is far, far lower than in Bitmart, I can understand why it’s a lot higher on Bitmart. However, the fact that it’s by a factor of 10 is quite astounding. But more people find it easier to trade in ERC-20 than they do Binance Dex.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Right and also from my understanding there is an aspect of regulation with Bitmart?
Yes, Bitmart is approved in the US as an exchange, so they’ve got a wider audience due to that as well.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Okay, so it could be that.
Brad Laurie: Do you ever get concerned about the risks of wash trading for example, just in a more macro question? I’m not suggesting anything but there’s always my concern that wash trading comes up, even outside of the scope and control of exchanges and sometimes that does inflate prices of tokens.
I think one of the things a lot of people don’t understand, there’s a difference between wash trading and market-making.
Market making basically ensures that if someone wants to buy tokens there’s always someone to sell it, and If someone wants to sell tokens there is always someone to buy it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: And that’s legal?
Well that happens in traditional stock exchanges. When an IPO happens and a stock launches on a stock exchange, there’s market makers there to be on each side of the trade, that’s completely normal. Also, they also make sure that the gap is closed so that there’s not a huge gap in the trading.
In terms of wash trading, it just creates an awkward dishonest view of a token and it doesn’t help the token, it helps the exchange that the token is on becuase the exchange can say oh look at all the volume we have got, we’re great , we’re wonderful.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Are you concerned that some exchanges can list you without any control at all and then engage in this kind of thing.
Yeah, It’s one of the reasons why CoinMarketCap has put in lot of checks and balances around ensuring that wash trading doesn’t happen and you can see they review it, like they say there’s a 91% certainty that these are genuine transactions and so on.
I like the fact that there’s a focus on making sure that that doesn’t happen. To be honest with you, as I’ve told you privately, I don’t trade in crypto. I haven’t bought or sold tokens for 2 years so it’s not something that I pay a huge amount of attention to.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I really appreciate all those responses and I’m sure you’d appreciate my job is to make sure we look into this and ask the hard stuff and you’re answering it, so I really appreciate that.
One of the harder questions as well is about influencer promotion as opposed to educational content. Now, one of the things that I’d want to ask you about is your thoughts on that, because when I had a look that was a bit of a mix of information, promotion and education about you I have to be honest about that.
Brad Laurie: The other interesting thing was there was an influx of promotion and information that correlated around the time that the token price has really gone crazy. That tends to make sense because all the sentiment data of right across the board in crypto correlates with price movement. Now, you can’t talk about price and I appreciate that, but you can talk about the modes and methods of promotion and how does it all work?
We have paid marketers, we haven’t got paid influencers, it’s as simple as that. We haven’t done paid YouTube videos or anything like that, we did during the ICO but that was because there was so much noise during that time and we needed to basically try to rise above that noise.
I’m seeing that the increase in volume and the increase in dialogue about our token is because of certain things, we’ve now started accepting in our platform other tokens to be used as payment.
People from those other tokens are coming into our community to be part of that and we’re growing visibility as more people in the crypto sphere are talking about us.
We are being approached by more people to do a YouTube video and we are selectively saying yes to some of them, but we’re not paying them to do it. Same with you, as you said we can help with the editing of the videos, but that’s got nothing to do with this interview and the fact that you’re doing this.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: The thing is as well, is that when it comes down to it, marketing is marketing and as long as people are transparent and things are very disclosed I think it really doesn’t matter.
But what you’re saying is exactly how you’re spending your dollars and what you’re doing is focusing on those businesses that laid out marketing strategies and that’s what we wanted to clarify. What it does seem to be happening is regardless of your approach, some of these groups are capitalizing on the fortunes of the movement.
You always get that, I mean people will choose a token and then they’ll say let’s shill this and we’ll make some money out of it and the price will go up and then drop a little bit.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yeah so I wanted your feedback as a CEO, what is your sentiment? It must be bizarre and exciting I suppose in one sense, but frustrating in another.
I think as a company, we love the attention that we’re starting to get now, it’s the right timing for us because now everything’s sort of coming together where we’ve got products that are coming out, we’ve got the partnerships that are slowly being announced.
It’s quite bizarre that the timing is really spot on with that. The thing is in the back of my mind I think is has information leaked about some of the stuff that we haven’t announced, because you obviously that’s one of the things you think about.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: You never really know, my supposition is the buzz, in the sense that people start to see price movement in a whole broad spectrum of cryptos and then some of these grassroots groups start to self promote because they might’ve been invested in it themselves. So it might be nothing to do with marketing from your strategy or anything, it could just happen organically.
ShareRing’s Potential Competitors
Brad Laurie: Now, the competitors, that’s one thing I wanted to touch on, Travala is one I’ve obviously talked with several times and I don’t really want to discuss anything in terms of specific comparisons, but more generally do you regard yourself as a competitor or is the market’s so broad that it doesn’t really matter?
The market’s broad, people say oh Amazon has a monopoly over e-commerce, if you’re in the US maybe it does but you go to China you’ve got Jingdong and a bunch of other platforms. You go to Thailand, you’ve got Lazada.
The world is so big and there are so many different target markets and stuff that you can get into that I look at travel and I say fantastic, they’re progressing, they’re pushing blockchain, they’re part of the greater ecosystem that helps all of us that operate in this industry.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yeah, that’s a good point.
ShareRing’s Offices & Global Presence
Brad Laurie: Now, one of the things I wanted to better understand, because I couldn’t find this information anywhere was do you have offices located anywhere specifically? And are you registered as a company specifically in one region?
Our holding company is registered in Malta, we have a presence which is our accounting that is done in Malta, we’ve got registration in Hong Kong, we’ve got a registration in Thailand, we’ve got one in Vietnam and we’ve got one in Australia,
In Australia we’ve got a small office, we’ve got an office in a coworking space in Thailand, we’ve got our own private office in Vietnam which is a whole level of a building, in Hong Kong they work from home. We are registered as a proper corporate structure.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Okay so if I traveled in different regions, I could actually go to ShareRing offices, that’s what I want.
You’re more than welcome! Come visit us in Veitnam, it’s our biggest office.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I’ll start saving maybe for when we can travel haha.
Now, one of the things I wanted to really ask you just finally is with regard to your advisory team. I noticed that you don’t have a lot of info or you don’t really have any info on each of them other than their name. Is there a reason why that hasn’t been updated yet?
We use advisors based on where we are in the journey of our business. Right now we’re working very, very closely with Chelsea Rustrum and Faris as part of instigation protocol, they’re working with a very specific project for us. We’re leveraging their skills at the moment.
A lot of the other advisors that we were using were very much during the ICO last year when we were writing our white paper and when we were developing a project and all of that. We lean on them when we need to.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: That was a leading question I had to tell you because I wanted to hear your response to see what would come. It was the right answer based on what I found. Some of the advisors I looked into it was very clear that many of them were utilized during that initial ICO.,
Like Richard Kastelein, he’s great in terms of PR, media and all that sort of stuff. We send updates to him in terms of where we’re going with the business and press releases and all of that sort of stuff but he’s not an active advisor.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I really appreciate this transparency. I looked into Chris for example, I looked into Anna Melton and I looked into Jonathan. Now, what was interesting and the reason I referenced Binance before was because of Malta.
I wondered because of the history of Binance and also the Binance Dex, I was like okay, clearly a lot of your advisors are all based around there. But what you’re saying is you do have registration in Malta, but just to be Frank, have you had conversations with Binance? am I reading too much into this?
We know some of the Binance team, we give them updates. I know Helen from the Binance Charity as well, so we talk to them. I wouldn’t read much more into that and say we’re going to get a listing or something like that.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: I’m not trying to suggest anything, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t on the wrong track.
We’re all part of the same community, I guess that’s the best way to to put it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yep, the fact that on the Binance Dex indicates that, it’s just one of many others exchanges anyway, your value is not defined by what exchange you’re on and never will be.
Brad Laurie: Finally, on behalf of all of us, thank you so much for letting me do this educational interview. Is there anything you’d like to add? Just finally to encapsulate the value of ShareRing and anything I’ve missed.
You’ve captured everything really well. I think that the idea that we are first and foremost a technology company, not a company that’s just going to focus on creating consumer products.
That’s important when we’re developing a platform and an ecosystem that can be used by other partners and companies and things like that and we’re having a huge amount of fun doing it.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: Yeah, that’s the most important part is you’re enjoying the process. If you’d like to know more about ShareRing, I will put links in the below for social media, a means to contact the team or to learn more about it, there are certainly articles I’ll link you as well through mediums.
On behalf of us all thank you for taking the time as the CEO of ShareRing. I wish you all the very best as you continue to build, it’s great to hear that there is real technology and there’s real interest in building out real business.
That’s what we want to see on the blockchain. We want to see utility actually live up to its name and it sounds like mate, that’s exactly where you’re headed.
Thanks Brad, I really appreciate the in depth questions as well, these are the interviews that I enjoy doing.Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Brad Laurie: No worries, mate, take care and we’ll catch up hopefully in the next couple of months to find out more about what ShareRing is doing and get some insights.
Thanks very much!Tim Bos, ShareRing CEO
Where do I purchase ShareRing tokens?
Interested in purchasing SHR tokens? You can do so from the following exchanges:
Bitmart: SHR ERC-20
Binance Dex: SHR BEP2