In this ShareRing AMA with Tim Bos and EmileTrader, Tim discusses opportunities for ShareRing in Latin America, plans for 2021, and much more!
Katarin: Hi Tim, thank you for your time for being able to interview you in the name of the Hispanic investor community of ShareRing.
You’re welcome.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Emile Machado: Thank you, my name is Emile, the CEO of Profit4life. As you know, I am running the Spanish community. This is Katarin who is going to help me a little bit with the questions because her English is better than mine.
Emile Machado: Also, can you say hello, we are here with almost 500 people!
Wow, hey everyone!ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Tim’s Background and the Origins of ShareRing
Katarin: First question. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started ShareRing to begin with?
It’s been a very, very long journey for me. I started my first company in around 1996 while I was working for a video game company. What I was doing was actually training people how to use the Internet.
So I rented out a spot at one of the universities, a room, and trained people how to use the Internet. Then I started doing some work for companies after hours, just teaching them how to use the Internet and getting them connected and all that sort of stuff.
I very, very quickly realized I had no idea how to run a business. I decided to sort of stop doing that and really get a lot of experience within different startups and different businesses and learn how to run businesses.
I worked for the games company for a while, I became general manager of their IT operations in Australia. Then I moved to a consulting company and basically started working for them for a while.
Then moved over to a company that was owned by Microsoft, did some IT consulting for them. I worked for an investment bank, and then by that time I was like, OK, I know how to run a business, I know what customers want, what they need to do, and all that.
So I left in 2004 and started my first company, which was a company called BioWatch and BioWatch was developed to create software as a service architecture for GPS and fleet companies, I sold that in 2008.
Fast forward a couple of years and I actually started getting very, very interested in the sharing economy and how we could do better with our utilization of assets and things like that.
At that time, I enjoyed camping and caravanning a lot, so what I did was I started a company which was like Airbnb except for caravans and camping and motorhomes.
So I started that company and ran that for a while and I actually quickly realized that owning a caravan and renting it out is very different from owning a house and renting it out.
The reason why is because if you own a house and rent it out on Airbnb, the times that you rent it out when you’re traveling, which means that the house is empty. But with a caravan, the times that you use it are actually during the holiday period.
People didn’t really want to rent out their caravans because they wanted to use them during the holiday period. Then during the winter months, they didn’t want to use them, so they would rent them out, but nobody would want to rent them [Laughter], so the company struggled a bit but I ended up selling that to a publicly listed company.
That gave me a real feeling or the need to develop something in the sharing economy. I had this idea to create a platform for the sharing and the rental of anything. The idea was really like Amazon for the sharing economy.
We started a company called Keaz in about 2013. The idea behind that was that we would create a platform that any company could integrate with, rent out products and do all of the things that they needed to do for the sharing economy.
But we very quickly realized that creating a standard API and trying to create all of the rules associated with it was too difficult, so we focused just on car sharing.
Then in 2016, the Ethereum Whitepaper came out and spoke about this idea of smart contracts and virtual machines on the blockchain and all of that. I did a lot of research on that, and that’s where I thought this is where we can actually launch my idea of the sharing economy.
Because what you could do with this virtual machine is instead of having these very specific rules about how people do things, the smart contracts allowed us to have something that was a little bit more flexible with how somebody might want to sort of build the company or integrate with it.
I had some staff do some research on that, I did a lot of research myself, and then by the end of 2017 the idea for ShareRing was basically born.
It’s been a very, very long path to get to this and a lot of the experience that we’ve had in the past is really sort of brought us to this point where ShareRing is actually building something that I dreamt of more than 10 years ago.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Katarin: Nice this sounds like an amazing journey.
Emile Machado: Yeah it is. Just the way you find the Ethereum Whitepaper and then you realize you can integrate that into the project, that’s the next level for everything I think right now.
ShareRing’s Plan for 2021
Katarin: Question number two. 2020 has been great for ShareToken. With great levels of growth at all levels. What can you expect for next year?
Really 2020 for us was about the growth of the business in terms of partnerships and also building our products. If you look at our team, we restructured our team in late 2019 to really focus less on our sales and marketing side and focus much, much more on building products.
Then when COVID hit in March, we had a choice. We could either do what a lot of companies did which was go underground and try to save money so that we didn’t burn all of our money.
Or double down, grow the business and take advantage of that to really spend a lot of time building and making stronger products and partnerships.
That’s what we chose to do and we’re very, very thankful that we did it. Our team has actually tripled in size in terms of the number of people. We’ve got new offices, a new office we’re just moving into in Thailand, which is a great fourth story building.
I would say 2020 was about partnerships and building our products. 2021 is actually going to be all about products, services, and transactions.
The things that we’ve got lined up for 2021, if you think 2020 was good, just wait for 2021 because we’ve got new products coming out, they’re actually going to be launched to the market.
We’re taking advantage of all of the partners that we’ve announced to really launch things with them. And it’s really going to be focused on transactions on the blockchain. So let’s start growing those transactions very quickly.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Emile Machado: That’s awesome.
How Many Streams of Revenue Will ShareRing Have?
Katarin: How many streams of revenue will ShareRing have as a company?
We’ve got basically three streams of revenue, our main bread and butter, which is our main stream of revenue, is from transactions. We like a number of other people own some masternodes and we will make revenue through the transactions on our platform, through those masternodes.
That will happen through sign-ups, bookings, identity checks, other things like that. We also have a monthly service revenue. So with some clients, we might charge them for software as a service or some additional things that they do where we manage on a monthly basis. so they pay us a monthly service revenue.
The other area is in non-repeatable services, so it might be some development services or integration or things like that. Actually, through the transactions, there is also a margin like we make a profit margin when somebody books say travel or uses the FX service or something like that.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Is ShareRing Considering Partnerships in Latin America?
Katarin: Now with the growth of the Latino and the Spanish-speaking community has had, would you consider having partners with the Latin American companies?
Absolutely. We’re actually in the process now of looking at doing the translations of our app and our website into a number of other languages.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Espanol is definitely one of them. We’re also looking at Portuguese as another one, so it’s absolutely our focus. With our app now, we have the English version, we have a Chinese version, we have a Thai version.
I would say that Spanish would be the next version. So we need to make sure that we have the right Espanol in there. I think it’s been suggested that Espanol Mexicano is probably the next one that we’ll look at as well.
Emile Machado: The white paper was the thing that engaged me in the project, so we’ve been working on the Whitepaper for the Spanish community that would be ready maybe Friday or at the latest Monday. But we’re going to have the Whitepaper in Spanish.
Absolutely amazing.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Does ShareRing Have Any Plans To Expand to Latin America?
Katarin: Do you have any expansion plans in the US and Latin American countries like physical offices?
Not right now but the deciding thing for us is a strong community. If we have a strong community, which what you guys have done in the last couple of months or even a few weeks is incredible in terms of growing the community.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
We definitely thank you and the community for that. So a strong community is really the first thing that we look at. If we do have that, then that triggers something for us to say, well, there’s going to be an interest in our products there.
Let’s start looking at how we open some sales there, some partnerships, and then look at how we open the office there and then where we would if it’s in the US or if it’s in Latin America. So what part of the Americas do we open it in.
How Have European Companies Reacted to ShareRing’s Technology?
Katarin: How do European companies react to the adoption of technologies like ShareRing ID, and dcommerce? Is this new class of e-commerce with the benefits of blockchain technology gaining traction around in this region?
That’s a very good question. Europe is a very, very good continent for distributed commerce applications. Part of the reason why is Europe seems to be generally against big business, like big business having too much control.
When you look at the likes of Amazon, I think there’s also a preference to have alternatives to help the smaller businesses grow.
There’s a lot of small businesses that are struggling because of COVID19, so we feel that this type of distributed commerce platform can help those small businesses to really find a voice again and actually start growing again.
The feedback that we’ve had of people messaging us saying, hey we want to do distributed commerce in our area is incredible. I would say 80% of that has actually been in Europe and the remainder in other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
What’s the Progress with Recent Partners like Tencent, BSN & Rakuten?
Katarin: So how’s the progress with recent partners like Tencent, BSN, and Rakuten?
We have regular weekly or biweekly calls with all of those and with most of our partners. So Tencent, we have regular weekly calls with them. Tencent we have multiple tiers of integration we’re doing with them.
The first stage, which is around our identity management product, that’s done. So we’ve completed that connection and integration with them. The next stage is to use some more of their cloud services and cloud infrastructure, so that’s happening now. We’ve got to call with them next week to progress that.
Then there are other parts which I’ll answer a bit later. With BSN we have regular calls with them. We’re currently integrating with their API, which should be done in the next couple of weeks.
Then Rakuten is another one we have regular calls with for their travel exchange. I think we’re looking at finishing the integration with that in early January.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Will the ShareRing App be Available in WeChat?
Katarin: Will the ShareRing App be integrated into WeChat for massive use in the Asian continent?
Yes, we actually already have a beta version of our app for WeChat. I wish I could show it to you now, we’ve got the full ShareRing ID sign-up, we’ve got payments in there, we’ve got some bookings in there.
For us It’s working and it will be launched pretty soon after the main app. We’ve got a development team in China, which is based in a place called Shenyang, which is in the western part of China, who are focusing very much on that.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Will the ShareRing App be Available Globally at Launch?
Katarin: Amazing. If I am outside of the countries where ShareRing services are functioning, could we still download the app and take a look at it?
We’re going to have no country restrictions on it. In fact, the identity checks that we do as part of ShareRing ID is global. So you could use identities from most places in the world.
When you go into the app, you can select the country and then you can select the type of ID that you’re signing up with.
Or we also have an option that internally, we call it a skinny ID, which means that you can bypass that ID check part and just get into the app, have a play around, look at the distributed commerce, look at some of the travel booking things and some other fun things that we’re adding to it as well.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Are any Countries Currently Using ShareRing’s Open World Passport?
Katarin: Amazing. Is there any country right now using the ShareRing passport ID.
On a production scale? No, we’re basically being going through a number of pilots. Some of the pilots that we were doing are basically on pause now for either the production rollout or the next stage of the pilot.
I think for us, we’ve learned a huge amount during the tests that we’ve done and some of the things that we learned through that really are around how we do the ID and how we use the ID and how we authenticate people’s passports and identities and other things.
We stopped some of the tests we did a couple of months ago and actually went back and changed the design of a lot of our identity management products.
What we were doing before is when someone created an ID, ShareRing would go out to identity services to validate them, and then we would actually put using the blockchain and authentication on that ID to say, yes, this is valid.
But what we found was it was better to instead of us to do it, which creates a risk for us but it also makes us a bottleneck, which means that we slow the process down by doing that authentication.
We’ve changed it now so that third parties can actually be involved in and authenticate IDs themselves. That’s opened up a lot of other potential opportunities for us, particularly around things like COVID testing and so on.
What we can do now on the platform is we can sign up, say, a COVID test center as an authority to be able to authorize certain documents.
When they look at an ID or they do a COVID test, they as a signer can actually authorize and say, yes, that test is actually successful, put that on the blockchain themselves and then send you the test results so that you have it in your identity wallet.
Then when you basically use it to get on a plane or something like that, they can say test center ABC was the one that did this, yes, we support this test center so tick and we’ll allow you on.
Or maybe test XYZ did it and they say, well, we don’t support that test center, so you can’t get on. It creates flexibility in our platform with that.
It means that we can have any types of identities that are assigned by different companies and the receiver of those identities can decide whether they approve those or accept those or not.
What we’ve done over the last few months in terms of that rework is actually very, very powerful in terms of how products are going to scale.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
ShareRing Shop Status in Thailand
Katarin: What is the status of the ShareRing Shop in Thailand? Can you give us more details about the partner that is helping you with the implementation?
We’re ready from a technology perspective, we’re just doing some bug fixing and some testing at the moment with the partner, we initially thought let’s launch in December, but they’ve decided that they don’t want to launch in December because it’s a busy period.
If you do a soft launch in a very, very busy period, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. Because if we soft launch and lots of people are desperate for products and they want to order things, we’ll get too many and we won’t be able to scale quickly enough for it.
So we’ve decided that we’ll push it back to January after the peak period, and then we’ll launch then. The marketing of all of that will start sort of around later this month, early next month.
Our partner there I can’t say who it is yet because we still have a nondisclosure with them. They are very heavily involved in the delivery and logistics industry over there, they are the perfect partner for this.
We do have a third partner as well that’s involved with this and they’ve been very much involved in e-commerce type arrangements and delivery services as well since the start of COVID.
They actually started their business off the back of COVID this third partner as well.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Conversations with Governments around ShareRing’s COVID Passport
Katarin: Can you give us information about the conversations that you are having with the government for the COVID passport?
I can’t give too much information, generally, we actually try not to do nondisclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements with our partners and all of that, but they often put them in front of us because they don’t want to share too much information.
We are talking to a number of governments like ministries of tourism and then ministries of immigration to open the orders for travel, but also for immigrant workers as well. There are some extremely advanced discussions happening around there.
We are also talking to companies that service those in the travel industry. So ones that create the booking gates, or the identity for passports or other areas.
Where our discussions are now, it’s not about do you want this? It’s about how do we integrate this? How do we make sure that we’ve got the right companies on board to do the right solution?
We’re talking less about actual COVID testing passports now and more about vaccination passports.
A lot of the airlines are saying that they would like to not necessarily restrict to only people that are vaccinated, but they want to know whether the travelers are being vaccinated on the flights so they can do risk profiling and things like that on them as well.
There’s an incredible amount that’s going on in the background on that for us.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Katarin: Wow. What is the benefit of Tencent for using the blockchain of ShareRing? When will they start doing it?
The benefits of them to use the ShareRing Blockchain, the area of Tencent that we’re working with, they’ve got a lot of interest in how they can partner with companies like us to obviously help increase utilization of their own services as well.
It’s really a two-way relationship, we work with them on some opportunities where they see a benefit, not necessarily for Tencent, but for their customers and partners to use our platform, but then also use more of their platform to do so.
In terms of that relationship, I think the question is probably more towards what’s the benefit of Tencent’s existing partners and clients to use ShareRing’s platform.
That’s where we’re being introduced, which is a much better arrangement for us because it gives us exposure to a lot of customers.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Then also having Tencent assist us with that sales process is huge for us because it’s walking us into opportunities that we could have never dreamt about before.
Katarin: Amazing. Will the next infrastructure partnership be bigger than Tencent?
Wow, I mean Tencent’s like one of the five largest companies in the world, so how can it be much bigger than that [Laughter].
I think it goes back to one of the first questions that you asked, which was what’s in store for 2021?
I think 2021 for us will be less about announcing these great big partnerships and more about saying this is what we’re doing with the existing partnerships and this is how we’re actually growing, releasing products and platforms.
People now love hearing about partnerships right, and that’s a big thing, but they also want to see products and they want to see transactions, so that’s really where our focus is towards now.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Could we see ShareRing on Binance and the Stock Market?
Katarin: Are you planning to list on Binance soon? And would ShareRing ever consider listing on the stock market?
In terms of Binance, that’s often up to the exchanges as to whether they list us. There are ongoing discussions with exchanges about listing and all of that when the right time to list is.
We do get approached by exchanges all the time, I can’t say whether Binance has or not.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
In terms of listing on the stock market. It’s a good question, as a token-based sort of company, the growth of our organization is really based around the transaction volume, the utilization of those tokens.
It would be an interesting sort of concept to list on the stock market. But I don’t think that the structure of the business would really support a stock market listing. It makes more sense to be driven by the actual tokens.
ShareRing’s Vision for the Next Five Years
Katarin: What is your vision for ShareRing in the next five years?
In the next five years is you know, two years is all about building growth, product releases, platform releases, next five years is really where, you know, outside of the crypto community, the general public knows the name ShareRing.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
And it’s the first choice for them of certain services around say identity management, around rental services, booking services, and travel services as well.
I think for us to sort of go from being a niche player in a big market to now sort of getting towards being one of the leaders in at least one of the areas that we’re operating in.
Will ShareRing Partner with other Cryptocurrency Projects?
Katarin: OK, do you contemplate a partnership with any other cryptocurrency?
We are speaking to other crypto projects or Blockchain projects and talking about partnerships with them. Where there are better technologies than ours, we believe in integrating with those technologies instead of just trying to reinvent the wheel.
So I think we’re always open to good, solid partnerships. In fact, we are in some very, very strong discussions right now with a couple of projects where we’re looking at doing something with them.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Will ShareRing Release Staking and the App this Month?
Katarin: Awesome. Will we have tier-one staking, and the app this month?
Staking is ready, App release is pretty much ready. We’re just working with our marketing team on the launch of that. We are going to open up to a closed invite-only group over the next couple of weeks where they can start downloading the app and using the app.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
I think staking might be in the app. Staking is completely ready from the Blockchain side, so I would say yes for the closed invite-only group. We need to soft launch this to make sure we get the invite-only group in there, they’ll basically run it for a little while.
Then we expand that to a wider audience and then we open it up to everyone else. We need to do that just so we’re not overwhelmed from day one with too many downloads, too many requests, and we need to sort of manage that rollout. I think most good app releases follow the same schedule.
More Information on Staking & Flowbacks
Katarin: Can you tell us more about staking and flowbacks?
In terms of staking, basically what happens is we’ve got about 35 or 40 masternodes that run on the system, a bunch of those are run by us and the rest of them are run by very, very long term holders within the community.
So people that got in the seed or presale actually own the majority of the masternodes, and then also some people that are very heavily involved in the marketing side and community building for us as well. They basically hold the masternodes, they can stake their own tokens with it.
But what they do is when they set the masternode, they can also set an option to set like a commission level, which allows other people to stake with them, and the masternode holder earns a small commission, whatever they say it at, from the staking that other people do with them.
If you want to stake, what you need to do is just get SHR token, you convert it to our mainnet version of SHR token and then through the app, or through a command line that you can do, you can actually choose the masternode to stake with, stake with them and then you just earn based on the amount that you staked, and the number of transactions that go through our network, It’s quite straightforward.
In terms of flowbacks, the way that flowbacks work is it’s a creative name that was created by the community. We don’t call it buybacks, because we’re not buying back people’s tokens.
The way that basically works is, most of our customers that use our platform don’t understand cryptocurrency and they don’t want to buy a SHR token to use it to pay for transactions.
It just doesn’t make sense to teach them how to get on an exchange and buy tokens to use a product that may not be strictly crypto-based right.
What we do is we charge them transaction fees in US dollars or their local currency. So creating an ID might cost five cents for example. Then what we do is we take that US dollar amount and we actually purchase SHR tokens on their behalf on the exchanges.
We might do an automatic purchase of, say, a thousand SHR tokens for a bunch of transactions, and then that thousand SHR token we distribute among the masternodes. And that’s how they get their earnings, so they earn directly from the transactions that are created.
The good thing about that is we always charge the same USD amount in transaction fees to the customers. So even if SHR token price goes up or down, they’re still paying the same amount.
Our Blockchain has an exchange rate built into it, let’s say we charge ten cents for a transaction and the token price is two cents. What that means is that we would be buying five SHR tokens for that one transaction that’s done and distributing that among the node holders, so that’s how the flowback mechanism works.
The benefits of that are it creates really good velocity. So it creates good token velocity, which means the tokens keep moving through the network.
It creates automatic volume on the exchanges, so we’ve always got a demand because we’re buying tokens constantly.
Then it also creates scarcity, which is what people want to see, because those tokens then get locked up with the masternode holders, they’ll unlock them sometimes to sell them, and then they get pushed back through the system again.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Katarin: OK, is there a required amount of time to stake and how does it eliminate the need for an increase of the tokens supply as other projects using proof of stake do?
I explained a little bit about that, in terms of minimum time there’s a three-week schedule. So if you stake, it takes three weeks to unstake or unbond. That’s just to protect the network basically. So that would effectively be the minimum amount of time that it needs to be staked.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
In terms of making sure that we do still have tokens going back into the system. The way that we do it is the masternodes are disincentivized, it doesn’t make sense to them to stake too much because the more they stake, the less their overall earning will be.
If you have, say, 10 masternodes and some have staked two million tokens and one has staked 10 million, the earnings of the one for 10 million won’t be five times as much, it might only be two times as much, because the more you stake, the less you earn.
There’s actually an incentive for them to put tokens back into the network instead of just taking everything that they’ve got, which will keep the tokens flowing in the network.
It stops everything from being basically locked up in the masternodes, and we can effectively force that from happening as well.
Katarin: Great. Does ShareRing have a token burn planned?
No, it doesn’t make sense for us to do that. The number of tokens that we’ve got on the network is by design for us. We’ve forecast 10 years plus in advance to make sure that we have a good volume and velocity of tokens for the network.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
If we burn those tokens, it just doesn’t make sense for us to burn them. You know, for ones that have inflation, I can understand why they burn tokens, it makes a lot of sense because their inflation might be higher than what the growth of the platform is. But for us, it’s not that problem.
Emile Machado: Will ShareRing increase the maximum supply that they already have?
We don’t have any plans in the short term to increase our current max supply. I think our current max supply is 4.3 or 4.6 billion SHR tokens, so there’s no plan to increase that max supply.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
If we were, we could do it, we would need to hard folk the Blockchain because it’s actually built into the Blockchain to do that. I can’t see us increasing the max supply for the next 5 to 10 years.
But if there’s a requirement for us to do so because of the growth of the platform, then it’s absolutely something we would look at doing. So watch this space, just keep an eye on us in 10 years [Laughter].
Emile Machado: Awesome.
Katarin: That is the end of the questions, we just went through the whole list.
Emile Machado: There are 600 people watching!
Amazing. I wish I could do this in Spanish so that we don’t also need to add the translations later [Laughter].ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Emile Machado: That’s okay, most people will understand but we will add the translations at a later time.
Katarin: Thank you so much Tim for your answers, they were very precise and very understandable so thank you so much, and for your time as well.
Thanks, and thanks for the really great questions!ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
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Where do I purchase ShareRing tokens?
Interested in purchasing SHR tokens? You can do so from the following exchanges:
Bittrex Global: SHR BTC & SHR USDT
KuCoin: SHR BTC & SHR USDT
Uniswap: SHR ETH
ProBit: SHR BTC & SHR KRW
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Bitmart: SHR BTC
Binance Dex: SHR BEP2 & SHR BUSD
LBank: SHR BTC & SHR USDT