In this AMA hosted by Gains Associates, Tim Bos talks about ShareRing’s killer features, upcoming plans, ShareRing ID’s adoption forecast and more!
Tim, can you tell us what you did before crypto, how you got into crypto, and if you’ve had any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with ShareRing? In a way, this question is a good occasion for you to tell us what experience you’ve had, the cool things you’ve done in the past (that can show you can do other cool things in your current position).
Before crypto, I was running another company (Keaz).. and before that, I had 2 other companies that I ran and successfully sold. I was introduced to Bitcoin in about 2010 and mined a bit on my home computer..
I was really interested in the technology and how it all worked, but wasn’t really interested in the ‘digital money’ side of things. It was when the Ethereum whitepaper came out that I really got interested in blockchain and the possibilities.. so I guess it was around 2016 that I started thinking about how to build a business around blockchain.
In my past, I’ve always worked in tech.. I started programming when I was about 13 years old (in the 80’s).. I was mostly self taught, but I had a few mentors that helped me. I wrote my first game in 1993 on a dial up BBS.. it was a multi user domain that people would dial into and play (like a text based adventure game). Since then, I’ve worked in tech, as an IT manager, 3D artist, project manager, head of strategy, CIO, CEO, etc.
I started my first ‘real’ company in 2004 and sold it to a US company (Procon) in 2008.. then started another one in 2010, sold it in 2012 (P2P caravan rentals), and then started Keaz in 2012.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Alright, for anyone who doesn’t know what ShareRing is, in a few simple sentences, what is it? And remind us what your role is as well, please.
At ShareRing, we’re developing an ecosystem for the sharing economy and circular economies.. that encompasses traditional rentals, travel, ecommerce, and the services that also connect them together.
Our plan is to be more focused on the technology side of things and grow through partnerships where our partners utilise our platform, or where we form a JV where they handle the operations, and we handle the technology side of things.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
My role is as CEO, but I wear a few hats.. I’m mostly focused on the overall strategy and technical direction of the company. I also handle all of our strategic partnerships and joint venture opportunities.
Okay. I think you’re gonna need to give us a more concrete example if possible so that we get a better idea of how ShareRing helps companies in these fields you just mentioned.
Yes, absolutely.. 2 products as an example:
ShareRing Travel – we’ve built a platform that connects with our partners (either hotel chains, aggregators, activity providers, airlines, etc) to offer travel products. To push that out to market, we have the ShareRing Travel app, but our main plan with this is to work with travel agents so they can leverage our API’s, blockchain, etc and offer the travel services to their own clients.
ShareRing Shop – is an eCommerce platform that allows people to buy products from shops within a 5km (varies based on region) radius of them and have it delivered on the same day (kind of like Amazon, except all the purchases are from local small businesses in your area, so you’re supporting the local economy more effectively).
Both of those products are underpinned by the protocols and services that we’ve developed, including:
ShareRing ID – our self sovereign identity model. This is quite unique, as it’s more than just a portable KYC tool on the blockchain. When someone signs up for ShareRing ID, we take their photo, video selfie, name, DOB, address, etc and store it in an encrypted file.
We also take a ‘fingerprint’ of the data and documentation and store that on the blockchain. The file is encrypted with your public key, so only you can access it. You can also back it up to your Google Drive, or other cloud storage.
When you use one of our services, the app will send the bits of your id that our partner requires to them so that you can use their services (ie car rental service), and we’ll also watermark the image so we know that if it’s ever hacked, we know where the leak is from. As well as that, we can also store things like insurance policies, etc in your ShareRing ID file.
ShareRIng Pay – this is our payment system. It’s supported by our own stablecoin (SharePay), but the biggest benefit (other than allowing for immediate reconciliation via the blockchain) is that we run liquidity pools across various currencies (fiat and crypto) to allow for instant and almost zero fee currency exchange. So you could be in Thailand and pay for something with BTC, and the merchant would received Thai Baht instantly into their bank account.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
We also have a number of other protocols we’ve developed but haven’t launched yet around rewards, reviews, reputation, etc.. but we don’t want to release everything at once.
We’re launching Shop in Thailand in Q3 this year too. We’ve got an operations partner there and will be branding it under their name (they’re a well known and trusted brand there)
In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry suffered greatly. How has this situation affected ShareRing business development?
In February, we were faced with a difficult decision.. do we slow down and try to draw out our travel app and bootstrap until the travel industry comes back, or do we increase our investment in our technology and accelerate the roadmap around our other products such as Shop, etc, and also put more effort into building the travel partnerships so we can launch with a stronger product when the travel industry opens again.
We chose the latter, and we are much much stronger for it. We’ve now got some partnerships in place that I would’ve only dreamt about back in February, and we are also working with a few travel behemoths that were previously inaccessible to us. Having the new funds on board has certainly helped us too, and I’m grateful for their confidence in our vision.
Also, to help the travel industry, we’re working on a COVID passport that’s specifically for travellers, based around our ShareRing ID and the eVOA product we’ve released. We’re in discussions with a couple of governments about it already.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
A very bold move for sure. How did you make that decision at the time?
Good question.. I was in China when COVID hit, and I experienced lockdown quite early in the pandemic, so I had a feeling that this would go on for a long long time. Based on that feeling, I felt that there was no way we’d survive for the long haul if we just went into semi-hibernation.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Is ShareRing Shop live? Is it available in France (all over the world)? How much do people need to know about crypto to use this? Seriously, it can be a great way to foster adoption for older people who will be interested in shopping locally and then hear about crypto that way
Not in France yet.. Melbourne was a pilot, and it’s going well, but we need to expand it with some operational partner, and Thailand will be a larger scale rollout to test the partnership model.. then we’ll start looking at global partnerships.
No crypto knowledge is required at all.. in fact, we’ve taken the approach that none of our partners, merchants, or users of our apps should have to be taught about crypto to use them. They can pay with crypto, but they can also use their credit card for any transactions. Even transaction fee’s (SHR) are converted from fiat on behalf of our partners.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Can you list 1-3 killer features of ShareRing that make it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your platform has that you feel most confident about?
ShareRing ID is the one that’s had the most positive response from everyone we’ve presented it to. We’re talking to large real estate companies, insurance companies, banks, governments, etc.. the demand is higher than we can handle at the moment, which is a good problem to have.
SharePay is another killer feature.. instead of just having a public stable coin, we took a different approach and used our stable coin as the intermediary between different currencies. We also created our liquidity pools to handle the FX across different currencies… that’s been quite groundbreaking, and I’m looking forward to seeing it scale.
I guess we started doing DeFi before it became so hyped. We’ll allow people to stake crypto into the liquidity pools in the near future too (including across other fiat backed stable coins around the world).. that’ll help us accept more and more currencies.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Many tourists don’t know about cryptocurrencies. What is your strategy for attracting new users who are not from the crypto space? Does ShareRing have a referral program to bring new members to the platform?
Our value proposition isn’t that we will acccept crypto for travel.. that’s not very exciting for most people. Our value proposition is how we can enhance their travel experience through the services we offer, such as:ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Hotels – we can do express check-in, by sending your ShareRing ID to the hotel in advance of you arriving so that they can do pre-check in and you can go straight to your room. We can also allow for over the counter currency exchange by using ShareRing Pay.
Activities – we can do KYC checks on the activity provider and customers to ensure safety and security.
eVisa on Arrival – through our integration in Thailand, you can use your ShareRing ID to very quickly apply for a visa to go to Thailand (for the 18 countries that require it)>
Flights – You can do all the prechecks, etc without having to fill in all your information.
And more.. We offer convenience, safety, cost effectiveness, etc. also, because we don’t store any of your ID at all, there’s a far lower chance that your identity will be leaked.
I can see that the ShareRing platform has a stable coin called $SharePay and the $SHR token! Why is it necessary for the platform to have a coin and also a token? Could you detail the purpose they were created and what are each used for?
The SharePay stable coin serves a purpose on our blockchain as the intermediary currency for all the currency conversions. When you pay into our platform, we convert it to SharePay at the prevailing rate, then the reverse when it goes back into your chosen crypto/fiat wallet.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
You are proud to partner and have an advisory agreement with 12 Peers Capital Management, can you explain what roles they would play in increasing the usability and adoption of ShareRing
12 Peers have a huge network of partners that we work with.. we’ll be working with them to help expand our partnershp network, and also our community of potential users.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Currently, the world is experiencing a global crisis due to Covid-19 and several projects have declined. My question, What is the vision and mission of the ShareRing team to make this $SHR token have very high demand during Covid-19?
We operate across a few industries now, some that are booming during covid-19 (eCommerce) and some that will benefit from our products as they start to open up (ie our covid-19 passport for travellers)… this allows us to continue to grow even during this downturn.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Trust is very important in business. So, what makes investors, customers and users feel safe when working with SHARERING? And how will you get the trust of many users that have negative thoughts about Blockchain?
We’re very transparent about our business and the technology we are developing. We also have a number of well respected people on our team, and have a very large network of friends and partners.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
If there is a money-losing system error, does ShareRing have backup funds to handle these problems? Like SAFU?
Yes.. we have more liquidity available than what actually goes into the ShareRing Pay liquidity pools.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
What markets is The ShareRing Shop app currently targeting? To which geographic areas would you like to expand it in the near future?
A small part of Melbourne for the pilot. Bangkok, Thailand in Q3 (around Asoke area to start, then expanding quickly). Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam after that.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Then we’ll be opening up to other partners, or expanding with our existing operational partners (they’re multi-nationals)
As there’s a product ShareRing Travel you have and Do you think Travala is your Competitor? How you are different?
We get asked this a lot. Travala isn’t a competitor.. their focus is on allowing crypto payments for travel, and they’re doing a great job with that. Our focus is on building a Travel v3.0 platform to make travel more convenient and affordable. We offer crypto payments for travel too, but that’s absolutely not a priority.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
You guys recently received investment from Alpha Sigma, a US-based hedge fund, have you had any other funds approach you and are there further investment on the project on the horizon from other funds?
Yes, we’ve had a number of funds approach us. We’ve also partnered with Alphabit, a billion $ fund out of Dubai and the UK, GDA, 12peers, and a couple of others.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Regarding the ShareRing app, what are the digital currencies available to make a payment? What are the other accepted payment methods?
looks at my app…. BTC, ETH, BNB, TRX, Nano, Vechain, Plair.. and more to come.. our team will open up application for other tokens to be accepted soon.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Who is ShareRingTargetted Userbase? On which type of Users & industry you’re mainly Targetting (like hotel, transportation)
Our targeted userbase is extremely broad. It depends on which product they’re using… for example, eVisa on Arrival is mostly targeting travellers to Thailand from India and China. Our eCommerce platform will be targeting local users in Bangkok, HCMC, Hanoi, Melbourne, and other areas we launch. Our general travel product will target global travellers, etc.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
There are two types of Tokens of ShareRing platform which are $SHR and $SHRP. Can you explain, why you created these two types of Tokens? What’s the main role of these 2 tokens in ShareRing platform?
$SHR is our transactional utility token. Basically, any transaction on the blockchain is paid for with SHR. Some partners will pay for transactions with Fiat, then we use our flowback system to buy SHR on the market and distribute it to the masternode holders. This creates a well balanced token velocity, and also increases scarcity of the token when the MN holders lock them up (or have to wait 3 weeks to unbond them)ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
IoT devices will be a significant part of the ShareRing platform. The team was looking to interface with some devices natively on ShareLedger. Can you give us an update on this topic?
Good question. I had a call with BYD last week about their IoT platform and how we can integrate with it. The IoT integration isn’t a key part of our system, but it’s good for certain areas (ie. delivery vehicles for ShareRing Shop, car sharing/rental, hotel room access, short stay rental access, etc).ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Why should a company use ShareRing? How can they make money on a p2p platform? Why should they chose a decentralized system instead of creating their own centralized version where they have all the power?
Some companies don’t want all the power.. a good company will play to their own strengths. For example, most car rental companies use 3rd party platforms to run their rental system, then they can just focus on the operations, PR, customer management, and buying/selling cars to maximise profits. Our hope is that we can demonstrate genuine benefits to their business with the products we’ve developed. Being decentralised isn’t the big selling point, it’s a feature of the sytem, but the selling points are that we can offer increased security, speed, flexibility and convenience with the various services we’ve developed (and easy integration).ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Why did you choose Tendermint Framework for ShareRing blockchain? What features did ShareRing get using Tendermint?
We started our hunt for a framework back in early 2018 and settled on Tendermint as it solved a lot of problems that other blockchains and frameworks didn’t at the time, including scalability, flexibility to create our own products on it, control (ie. not paying gas fees by building on another chain, and not being at the whim of any decisions/directions that another chain makes), plus the ability to link to other blockchains was excellent. We’ve had a number of issues with the integration of it, but I’m happy we went down this path.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Explains about the Charity in ShareRing? What has been achieved in this regard until now?
We’ve done a few donations, including the large 100,000 mask donation to Binance Charity and a number of hospitals in China. It hasn’t moved as fast as I’d like because it was originally focused around our travel market. We are looking at other ways where ShareRing Foundation can add value in the near future.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Countries are having to shut down international trips, causing tourism to be stopped. However, this contributes to stimulating the growth of online purchases in countries that increase. So, in order to meet market demand, ShareRingShop has any plans and strategies to catch this opportunity yet?
Yes, absolutely… that’s the main reason why we launched ShareRing shop ahead of our planned 2021 release of that business.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Can you tell us, What is the Minimum Token & Hardware setup required for Running the Full MasterNode of ShareRing project? Also, what’s the est. the reward we can expect from 1 Complete MasterNode?
At this stage, it’s a permissioned blockchain, so we’re not adding any more nodes.. we will allow staking on the existing nodes in the near future though… but I also suggest you consider staking with Bithumb when we launch with them next week!ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
As a large infrastructure project, why did you choose tourism as one of the first directions? What opportunities do you see for ShareRing in this market sector?
Tourism was an obvious choice for us.. it’s a huge industry that continues to grow (well, until COVID-19), but it’s highly fragmented and most of the systems that run the industry are very outdated.. it’s overdue for disruption.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
ShareRing using ShareLedger was developed on the Tendermint Blockchain for what reasons? Do you have plans to build your own blockchain in the future or move to Ethereum 2.0 that promises to improve scalability, accessibility and network congestion?
I’ve covered the first part of this question. As for Ethereum 2.0.. no, we don’t plan to move to that in the near future. If we moved to Ethereum, then any transactions would incur SHR and gas fee’s from Ethereum. Plus the model for how gas fee’s work are difficult to explain to our partners who aren’t crypto savvy (ie. try telling them that the fee to create a booking might be $0.02 today, but if the network is busy, it might be $0.50… how can they plan their business around that?).ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
How many ShareRing ID accounts are there today? How many do you plan to achieve by the end of 2020?
There’s a few thousand now. We expect to have a few million by the end of 2020.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Can you comment on ShareRing partnerships? What kind of sectors would you like to work on and solve their problems?
We’ve got a good infographic that shows the partners we’ve announced. Generally though, we only partner with companies that we can work with to create mutual benefit for.. ie travel partners are usually either aggregators, or suppliers of a travel service/product (ie. boutique hotel, activity provider, insurance provider, etc), we also have some infrastructure/platform partners who we work closely with for mutual benefit. If we simply use a companies product/service (ie. as a customer), we don’t announce them as a partner.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
How is trust built between buyers and sellers in the sharing economy and for each industry in our ShareRing ecosystem? You have worked on a COVID passport. What opportunities and services does this provide to tourists and travel providers?
Good question.. it’s a difficult balance in a 2-sided marketplace, especially when it’s a first-time buyer/seller. The best we can do is make sure there are tools in place to increase the level of trust (ie, good KYC such as ShareRing ID), then help them to build their reputation and become more trusted with every successful booking/sale/purchase.
ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
For the covid passport, our plan is to offer it for free, then wrap our other services around it, such as insurance with covid-19 coverage, hotel bookings in covid-19 safe hotels. We can also help increase the safety of providers by allowing them to accept covid-passport before letting the traveller into their hotel/etc.
Many consensus algorithms like Proof of Work ( PoW ), Proof of stake (PoS), PoA, etc! But what is meant by Leased Proof-of-Stake (LPOS) Consensus Algorithms used by ShareRing Network?
Other people can pool their SHR with existing masternode holders… so not only the MN holders will benefit.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
If I am a manager from a local hotel from my country, how can I make a partnership and put my hotel booking on the ShareRing service? There are many bad third-parties that sell and advertise a service with way more expensive price than the real price for their own profit, how does Share Ring team handle this issue?
Just email to email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re integrating with various front of house systems to make it easier to onboard with ShareRing too.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Despite the many superior and advantageous features of decentralized applications and platforms, the majority of users still prefer traditional centralised travel services, don’t give up their habits. How will you achieve ordinary people, older generation people to switch from traditional travel services to sharering?
It’s possible to create a service/app that is indistinguishable from a centralised service.. that’s what we’re doing.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Hey Tim, it was very nice to have you here. The ShareRing community is amazing, full of energy and good vibes. You’re working on many projects that complement each and are non-bullshit, which I like. I’m looking forward to more updates from ShareRing in the future. Where can we go to follow you?
You can follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/ShareRingShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Or twitter: https://twitter.com/shareringglobal
Or my twitter: https://twitter.com/therealtimbos
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Where do I purchase ShareRing tokens?
Interested in purchasing SHR tokens? Then you can do so from the following exchanges:
Bithumb Global: SHR BTC & SHR USDT
Bitmart: SHR BTC
Binance Dex: SHR BEP2 & SHR BUSD
LBank: SHR BTC & SHR USDT