In this ShareRing AMA hosted by Hillrise Capital, Tim Bos talks about DeFi, partnership hints, roadmap updates and much more!
Welcome Tim, thank you for being here today, we’ve been looking forward to organizing this one for a while. For those just hearing about ShareRing for the first time, could you please give a brief intro to yourself and the company?
Yes, sure.. thanks Daniel. I’m Tim Bos, the CEO and founder of ShareRing. I’ve been involved in blockchain for about 10 years in some form or another, from mining, to building businesses on the blockchain.
ShareRing was started for the purpose of developing a platform and ecosystem to support the circular economies, including sharing economy, travel industry and e-commerce.
We have introduced our foundation products on our ShareLedger blockchain, which include our identity management system (ShareRing ID), our payment system (ShareRing Pay) and a number of other protocols and products.
I’m interested in learning more about your white-label product and the niche you’re targeting with it. What are the core selling points of this product in comparison to established travel booking interfaces and how does your token interact within that?
What is your strategy to penetrate that market and onboard agencies and travel agents?
Sure.. .travel is one of the first products we had ready. We delayed the launch of it due to COVID-19 though. We have a multi-tiered approach.
The first is the launch of the ShareRing App, which (after signing up for ShareRing ID) allows you to book hotels, flights and activities through one of our many aggregator partners (we haven’t announced any of them yet, but they’re all leaders in the industry).
The additional benefits we add though are things like ‘express check-in’ through some of our partner hotels, where we utilise your ShareRing ID to check you in before you arrive, so you can go straight to your room.
We also offer advance check-in for flights and pre-checks by sending your passport info. All of this functionality is also offered through our API, so online travel agents can make use of it with their own branding and customer base.
We’re also about to launch ShareRing Shop with a huge partner in Thailand. We’re just doing operational testing from this Monday before we launch the pilot there.
The shop is focused on ‘local’, so customers can purchase products from anywhere within about a 5km radius and have it delivered to them on the same day. It utilises ShareRing Pay, and also our identity management system.
In terms of ShareToken, our utlity token, this is used to pay for transactions on the ShareLedger network. Because most of our clients/partners aren’t too familiar with blockchain and how to purchase the tokens, we charge in Fiat (USD 0.02 to 0.05 per tx) and then use that fiat to purchase SHR on the open market and distribute it to the masternode holders.
Operational testing will take 2 weeks, then we’ll move into ‘prototype/pilot’ for a period of 2 months. It may finish sooner, depending on the results.
Our other products that are ready to launch include our eVisa on Arrival system, which will be used for entry into Thailand and other countries we are in discussions with.
That will launch when travel resumes. We are also in discussion with governments and other organisations about our Open World COVID passport. This is providing a way to help open the borders again.. these discussions are in advanced stages with NGOs and governments.
On the ShareRing website it there is an application for drivers .. in India. Does this mean there are things in the pipeline coming up soon?
We’re looking at multiple options in India too.. we have a partner there. I think one of our guys was a bit excited and premature with that though.
Tim, can you tell us the sales numbers from the shop? We know that 100.000 people got in contact with ShareRing. Can you also maybe tell us what huge partner has joined sharering? We have been waiting for this for a while now.
Sales numbers are steady. Our pilot area in a small part of Melbourne was launched to learn the process.. we’re generating about 45 orders per day and not allowing more than that at this stage… just while we perfect the model. We’re in the business of developing platforms and technology, so we don’t want to get locked into doing operations, which is why we are launching overseas with partners.
We actually have a backlog of 4-5 very large partners, which will be announced over the next 2 months. We work to their schedule, as we are relying on their PR and marketing teams to release the news in conjunction with us. When we announce partners, we don’t just talk about a signature on a piece of paper, we want to only announce ones that have a genuine benefit to ShareRing and our growth.
Hi Tim, can anyone stake on the new app?
We have built the staking, but it won’t be in v1.0.. it’ll come shortly after. The main purpose of v1.0 is to facilitate sign-ups to ShareRing ID, Shop pilot, some travel functionality, and the SHR wallet and payment system, then we’ll add some more blockchain functions such as staking.
How close to “in the bag” are the COVID passport discussions?
Nothing is certain yet, but we’re progressing on multiple fronts. There’s one part that’s ‘in the bag’, but that’s part of a working committee we’ve been asked to join.
Can you tell us more about what you are doing and achieving in China? You mentioned you had to expand your workforce to deal with demand.
We’ve got 5 full-time developers that are based in China. We’re also working with a couple of companies there on our travel and identity products. I can’t say more than that at this stage.
Definitely. In terms of our identity products, we have also had our sales staff start pitching the solution to a number of companies. We’re in final negotiations with a bank in the UK, a few companies in Thailand (including insurance companies) and other companies to adopt ShareRing ID as a sign-up method for their products. We’ll be seeing a lot of transactions through these arrangements too.
How much tx on the blockchain is that. Was there a flowback purchase recently as a result of the shop performance?
The flowback purchase of 2m SHR was as a result of shop and other testing that we’ve been doing with partners. Mostly for ShareRing ID sign up testing we’re doing with them (and charging for).
It doesn’t appear that a COVID vaccine is anywhere near close to final development/deployment, which means that governments around the world probably will need to develop new strategies to open the economy and human movement back up.
Reading about how ‘successful’ countries (specifically the Asian counties like South Korea, Taiwan and China) have leveraged QR codes for identification and tracking. Do you think we could develop something similar here in Melbourne? and could Sharering help in that front? I know Woolies here in the West of Melbourne have trialled QR logging.
Yes, definitely.. that’s what we’ve developed. Here is a sneak peak.
Can you give an overview of projects that you are working on?
The core technologies are:
ShareRing Rewards (not announced in detail yet).
These underpin our core products:
Hotel bookings (with express check-in, etc)
eVisa on arrival
Open World COVID-19 Pass
And also our push to get ShareRing ID adopted as the preferred sign-up/in method for many companies.
Everybody is waiting for some partner announcement. Can you please share some? Or tell us what bg the have and within what timeline the announcement will be made.
Sure.. without naming any.. the best I can give you is:
One is a platform/infrastructure company.
Two are huge travel companies
One is a global logistics/delivery company
One is an NGO
And the others aren’t scheduled yet.
Now you can speculate :).
Will ShareRing create a “listing” of sorts of the masternodes and the fee each will charge in order to stake with each node? I believe this will create a competitive marketplace for staking. I also believe this will also entice more individuals to stake.
Also can/will there be an option to have the flowbacks deposited into a separate wallet in order for ease of access to spend on the app?
Yes, that’s exactly what we’ll do. The Masternode can set their commission up when they start the node. It’s built into the commands they use to start it. They can change it at any time to make it more competitive too.
What are the latest surprising successes you have achieved?
What are the latest surprising challenges you have faced?
The latest suprising successes.. probably our ability to talk to people in government and high up in some very large oganisations.
In terms of surprising challenges.. probably the technology.
Things don’t always work the way you expect them to. Blockchain is still in its infancy, and when we try to push the boundaries a bit much, we’re often disappointed.. but it just makes us stronger.
How is the Logistics trial progressing in Thailand Tim?
That’s linked to ShareRing Shop Thailand (actually.. it’ll go under a new name there).
Do you have any plan for Bangladesh? They badly need this product!
Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka have all been highlighted as potential candidates for a rollout.
There were several community questions curious about roadmap updates and milestones leading into and beyond next year. Can you share anything regarding progress plans and future goals for the company?
We’ve just finished a few weeks of long workshops to define our go-to-market strategy and product direction for the next 12 months. We’ll be publishing this very soon, but the product list I mentioned earlier will form the core of what we’re focusing on.
In terms of actual products..we’ve got our development roadmap firmed up, so I’ll work with Alan to have that released soon.
Those partners who use ShareRing ID brand, like the bank in the UK. Do they brand it as their own id product? Or are they using SHR as underlying API?
It’s a mix.. but all will have the ShareRing ID brand on it. We use that to allow portability of their ID. Once they sign up for that bank, then they can also have a quick and easy sign up to any other services that use our ecosystem.
We’re putting together an SDK that companies can incorporate into their app for easy sign-up, or they can use our existing API.
Have you been in chats with Dan Andrews? We need to have this deployed ASAP!
Unfortunately not. Funny enough, we haven’t spoken to the Vic Government at all yet. I should reach out.
Other than China and Thailand, what other markets are you trying to penetrate?
China, Thailand, Vietnam, HK, UK are all on our short term hit list, but there are others that we’ll be talking to also. We are often approached by prospective partners, but we need to make sure we don’t spread ourselves too thin.
My goal is to develop the products and tools in a way that allow it to be easy for any company to integrate them or use them, but we’re not at that point yet.
When will the COVID passport be released?
We’re testing the workflow at the moment, but we won’t go too far into the final development until we’ve got confirmation from the partners we’re discussing it with.
You said there a few other apps releasing soon too, like ShareRing services. any sneak previews of these apps and what they’re all about?
Yes.. we’ve got our Merchant app for Shop, and our Sorter/Delivery app that also has direct integration with our logistics partner.
In addition to that, our main ShareRing App will constantly have new modules added to it for new services that we add.
Tim, can you talk more about the said companies that will be branding and marketing SHR? We know ShareRing Shop as ShareShop, how will these companies be advertising ShareShop, will the name ShareShop not exist?
Will it be a different name from country to country, isn’t ShareRing providing just the backend of these services? How will the average consumer know they’re buying through ShareRing if the name ShareRing is just a sticker on the box?
You are absolutely correct. In Thailand it’ll be called * (can’t name it yet).. but it’ll have ‘Powered by ShareRing’ as part of the branding. Our focus isn’t on running a delivery company. Our focus IS on providing technology and platforms to drive the ShareRing ecosystem.
With your connections and experience in the car hire/sharing business, I’d imagine this would be one of the first areas in which you could really get a significant amount of transactions flowing through, especially with your mention of the large partnership in that sector (?) Any timeframes or forecasts/thoughts on that?
Yes, absolutely, but since March, the car-sharing/rental market has been struggling, so our releases there have been put on ice (beyond some of the things we already did).
Some people are concerned about collusion among nodes. What would happen if nodes successfully colluded to charge exorbitant fees of even 50%+?
The ShareRing nodes will keep them honest.
Can Masternodes change their commission rates whenever they like?
No.. it’s not that easy to just change the commission at any time. There’s a process that’s similar to the unbonding process.
If there is one thing you wished someone asked you, that you are dying to let the public know, what would that be?
That’s the first time someone has asked me that… umm… I’m not sure, to be honest. But while you’re giving me a free question… what events are you talking at soon?
I’m glad you asked.. I’m speaking on 2 panels at the BG2C conference in Tokyo on Monday and Tuesay. One will be about mobility, with a focus on how our identity management solution and covid pass can assist there, and another will be on blockchain in general.
I’ve also been asked to be a keynote speaker at a large conference that the National Innovation Authority (NIA) of Thailand is hosting in September. I’ll post more information on that when i have it. The focus will be on how we can get the borders open for travel again.
With V 1.0 not having staking. Do you have any rough time indication of when staking will be available for the masses?
Definitely within 6 weeks of v1.0 launch. Probably earlier.. it’s not a big release, but we didn’t want to have a flood of users from day 1 just for staking.
Regarding the technology challenges you mentioned. Is it possible you may run into a wall that would force a major redesign?
That’s always possible, but unlikely. We’ve developed a modular system (as opposed to a monolithic one) that will limit the scale of redevelopment that’s required if we notice something that’s not scaling the way we need it to.
Can you give some kind of timeline when these partnerships come out? I understand the NDA’s but it would be nice to get some information that will help the SHR chart to rise 🙂
Haha.. between now and October 15.
Tim, you’re speaking to Governments now around the world. How far and surprised are you with how far SHR has come in the last 2 years when you started ShareRing as a way to share tools and the like, could you imagine your speaking to major governments all over the world. You, Rohan, Jane, Neville and the team must be so proud.
It’s pretty amazing.. I think it has a lot to do with how blockchain is being taken seriously by a lot of companies now also.
When listing for exchanges you said you have high standards for them to comply with the flowback API, but is there also room for other exchanges, lets say they only are used for traditionally trading.
Yes, definitely. Not all the exchanges we have now will be used for flowback. Some were chosen based on the geography of their userbase too.
Even as you mentioned not spreading yourself too thin, which is amazing, you must have 40+ NDAs ready to announce, how many would you say? Also, I understand you can’t announce partnerships til the partners are ready to announce but the team has been quiet on this front the last 3 weeks, are you waiting til app is live before announcing more partnerships, surely not all of them wish to remain silent? Is this a strategic decision?
Generally, most want to remain silent until we have something tangible to release. That’s also what we want too. There’s no point announcing a partnership to the general media unless we can also show the fruits of that partnership. So we work with them in the background to make sure we have everything in place to leverage that partnership announcement to it’s fullest.
Any middle expansion plans? Huge potential and demand.
You mean middle-east? We had someone from UAE contact us recently, and our new partnership manager has spent many years living in Dubai, so it’s likely we’ll do something there soon.
100%, I don’t think us Victorians could handle a 3rd lockdown and if this is a simple to use tracking/logging system, based on blockchain tech with privacy features could be deployed, would really help on many fronts in my opinion.
It helps identify community transmission cases, people in breach of quarantine, will certainly help to get the movement of people back again but in a safer manner! If it helps I’ll camp out in front of Mr. Andrews’ office if you like!
haha.. it’s too cold to camp outside his office. I agree with you, but there’s a huge amount of red tape with our government to get these things approved (plus the competitive bidding system).
I know from experience.. we even tried to donate masks to some of the hospitals here, and they couldn’t accept them because we’re not a government approved supplier. One of the hospitals was Frankston hospital, and now they have 50+ staff that are off work with the virus.
Does that concern you at all that it could be called a different company from country to country?
No. We could even see multiple rollouts in a single country, but with different focus, workflow or target areas/customers.
When can we expect detailed information regarding staking rewards/master nodes fees?
There’s a proof of stake document on our blog somewhere, but I think you’re after a % fees/commisison document. We’ll release that with the staking module.
You hinted previously about great things happening Aug/Sep. What is the current estimate of this timeline?
Still on track for Aug/Sep.. some have happened already (new exchanges is one of them). Operations testing from Monday, pilot rollout shortly after, app release, etc.
It’s hard to explain quickly with a few short sentences… but basically, we have set up some fiat based liquidity pools with banking partners. When you pay in AUD, we’ll add that to our AUD liquidity pool and create the equivalend amount in SHRP (our stable coin), then transfer that SHRP to the merchant.
They can then convert it to their home currency (ie. USD). When they withdraw, they will receive it straight to their bank account as a local transaction. Or they can use the SHRP to pay for other good and services on our platform in whatever currency they want.
We’re going to be adding partnering with some stablecoins (ie. USDT, USDC, AUDT, etc) to provide crypto liquidity pools that people can stake with and earn interest and some SHR. We’ve finished modeling that out and are doing the development for it already.
How has the interest been from people over in China on WeChat etc? I know you mentioned doing some marketing there. I’m a bit disappointed with how Lbank exchange has been so far.
The WeChat community has been growing well. Our marketing team are increasing our efforts there now too, so I’m expecting some good results.
Tim, Do you have any expansion plans for other continents? like Europe / America. How Do you see ShareRing in 2 years?
Yes.. but we want to get the foundations in place first.. see what works, see what doesn’t.. then let the community and our partners help us scale very fast from there.
How well is sharering prepared for a possible market crash? How certain are you that sharing could pull through such an event?
Very prepared.. we weathered the storm once already by making sure we’re not completely reliant on crypto.
Tim, what feature are you most PROUD of to be rolling out in the next 12 months?
Everything! Honestly, I can see the whole ecosystem coming together. The plans we have to connect all the products together are amazing.
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Interested in purchasing SHR tokens? Then you can do so from the following exchanges:
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