In this SHRAMA with Altcoinbuzz, Tim Bos discusses ShareRing’s partnership with Tencent Thailand, our 3 months roadmap, and much more!


Layah Heilpern: Hi, guys, and welcome back to AltcoinBuzz spotlight with me, Layah Heilpern. Joining me today for an AMA, we have the CEO of ShareRing, Tim Bos. Tim, how are you doing?

Hey, Layah. Good, how are you?

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Yeah, I’m good thank you. Great to have you back on the show. There’s been a lot of developments since we last spoke, I think nearly six months ago. I’m really excited to chat with you.

Before we start, I want to learn a little bit more about you. Tell me about yourself and why you decided to start a Blockchain company.

Sure. This is actually my fourth company I started, I started my first company in the 90s as a bit of a sidekick while I was working at a video game developer. I was general manager for a video game company for I.T. department there. I decided to start my own company back then.

That gave me the first taste of running my own company. My family, parents and my grandparents had always run their own companies as well. So I guess it’s in the blood.

Fast forward a few years I worked for a few consulting companies. I worked for Microsoft and Accenture joint venture called Avanade for a while. I worked for an investment bank for a while, basically running strategy for their Asia-Pacific region.

Then started my own company in 2004 doing GPS tracking. We did a number of things like tracking of animals, tracking of vehicles and a bunch of other things.

Fast forward to around 2010, I sold that company and started another company called Keaz. Our original focus for Keaz was really to develop a platform for the sharing economy.

What we wanted to do is create this sort of ubiquitous platform that allowed people to share anything or businesses to run their own rental and sharing products on it.

We very, very quickly figured out that using traditional technology like database and APIs and all of that, it was very difficult to create a one size fits all, especially for something that has so many different variables, such as rental and sharing.

What we did is we just focused on vehicle sharing and always in the back of my mind, I always wanted to create that company that could create this platform for the sharing economy and a number of other industries.

That’s why we started ShareRing. Ethereum came out, the whitepaper for Ethereum was around 2016. I read that and did a lot of research, got some of my team to start researching it. Then in late 2017, ShareRing was born.

It’s been a long path to get to this point, but everything that I’ve worked on is basically led to us developing this platform.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Yeah, I think is really interesting. Just to go back a little bit and hear about your family and everybody sort of started their own business and everything like that. So it sort of was only inevitable that you’d go and sort of do the same.

What makes the ShareRing Platform Special?

Layah Heilpern: You mentioned ShareRing. Obviously, we’re going to talk about ShareRing. So talk to me about it. Tell me about some of the products that you have and what actually makes the platform special.

What we’re basically doing is developing the backbone of the next generation sharing economy. People think of the sharing economy really in the traditional sense of me renting something to someone else or a business renting something to someone else.

We look at it more of a holistic view to basically say sharing economy includes technology such as identity management, rental management, some e-commerce and some other functions. What we’re basically doing is creating the platform that contains all of those functions and allows businesses to integrate with that platform and utilize a lot of the technology that we’ve developed.

What we’ve also done is we’ve created a front end app that actually allows those businesses to get customers. The consumer-facing side of things, at the moment, the app is very focused on e-commerce and travel, but we’re adding some other services to it, such as banking, education, and a number of other things as well.

One of the things that we try to do is really build the technology to connect to the people, places, and commerce globally through this business-to-business-to-consumer -type environment.

The technologies that we’re working on at the moment include identification, document storage, and verification, on-demand access services, peer to peer marketplace, and also micropayments, all on the Blockchain tech platform that we’ve developed.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Will ShareRing Release a Visa or Debit Card?

Layah Heilpern: You mentioned banking that which actually touches on the next question because this is an AMA and obviously is one of the questions that your community submitted. So the community wants to know whether there’s going to be a form of Visa or debit card coming out for ShareRing.

It’s a good question, and we’ve actually been asked that quite a lot. We’ve had offers from a number of companies that can do white label Visa and debit cards. But one of the things that we look at is, why would we need to do that when we can do very much, do things as payments with phone.

We can use our app right now to basically scan QR code and send the payment with that, but not just a payment. What we can actually do through that is actually have it as a richer payment experience.

It might send some of my identity with that for a rental. Or it might actually respond back to the receipt within the app so that I’ve actually got the receipt in front of me, whereas a credit card is simply just the transfer of money with no real richness associated to it.

Not to say we want because it’s a way to get additional customers on board, but it’s certainly not our focus at the moment.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: You make a good point. It’s not something that necessarily really need because you like you said, you can scan the QR code on your phone.

ShareRing’s Roadmap for the Next 3 Months

Layah Heilpern: The audience wants to know what we can expect then from you guys in the next three months. What are you looking forward to, particularly the most?

As a lot of people know, we recently announced some huge partnerships with Tencent Cloud services, Rakuten Travel Exchange and a bunch of others. One of the things is we don’t just announce partnerships for the sake of saying, hey, we’ve got a new partner.

We only announced partnerships when we’re ready to start doing that, really tight integration with them. We’ve been working with Tencent since early this year in February, March this year.

But now is the right time because we’ve got our technology coming out in the next few weeks that actually demonstrate some of the integration we’ve done with Tencent.

In the next few weeks, we’ll basically see the app come out. We’ve already gone live with our mainnet and block explorer. The app will come out, which will have a primary focus on ShareRing ID, so getting a lot of user sign ups.

We’re going to have some giveaways to promote those sign-ups and then we’ll progressively add services after that, starting with the e-commerce platform and then some of the travel functionality, hotel bookings, activity bookings, and then going beyond that. So all of that is definitely happening within the next three months.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Overview of ShareRing’s Partnership with Tencent Thailand

ShareRing x Tencent Cloud

Layah Heilpern: Well, tell us about Tencent. So why is this significant and what does this mean? Just give us the overview.

We met with Tencent, I guess the first time we met with them was at the end of 2019 and we started discussing some of the identity management stuff that we’re doing, the requirement to do things like good OCR on identity documents, very, very strong cloud services, and then a number of the opportunities that we’re working in.

What we realized is there was a lot of synergies between what we were doing in terms of the identity management, OCR services and those sorts of things. They had a lot of requests and requirements from some of their clients in terms of opportunities that could take advantage of that technology. And so we basically entered into an agreement with them where we leveraged all of these opportunities.

The first version will be things like our liveness detection within the app. When we do identity verification instead of just a photo, we actually ask the person to do something, so they might have to nod their head and shake it, or they might need to say something.

It’s an action that that stops them effectively from either just taking a photo of a photo or just playing a repeating sort of video over and over again. Then also we’ve been working with them to develop OCR on scanning flight bookings, hotel bookings, for our visa services and things like that. There are heaps that we’re doing with them.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

What Sets ShareRing Apart from Other Blockchain Companies?

Layah Heilpern: OK, now in terms of being a unique company, what do you think sets you guys apart from other tokenized blockchain companies?

There’s a few things. We’re not just about creating protocols on top of existing blockchains like Ethereum and things like that. What we’re doing is we’re basically creating multiple layers. When we interact with businesses and consumers, that can be in any of these layers.

An organization that is blockchain savvy might actually choose to develop on our blockchain layer and use our protocols that we’ve developed on there or other organizations we’re finding or actually using our API. So just some more traditional integration that still takes advantage of the blockchain.

The other thing is that, ours is purpose-built, the protocols that were developed a very much purpose-built to the industries that we’re targeting and working in right now and then develop to scale into those industries as well. So, you know, millions and millions of transactions, billions of assets without actually slowing down. That’s become a very important thing.

“Privacy by design” is also a very big thing for us. Things like GDPR compliant basically by design. The self-sovereign identity is very unique in the way that we’re doing it, in terms of how we validate and sign the identity documents.

We’re not creating a bottleneck where we actually validate every document that comes through. We’re actually allowing third parties to do validation and say that they have a third party. We’re doing a white paper on that very soon as well. And I mean, I could go on and on and on, but there’s just a few examples.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

ShareRing’s Competitors

Layah Heilpern: Would you say that there are any strong competitors out there or are you guys truly pioneers in the space?

Yeah, I would say that there’s there’s some strong competitors in certain areas, not just within Blockchain, but also within traditional competitors as well that don’t use blockchain technology.

We’ve definitely got some strengths above a lot of those and some of them have a few strengths above ours, but it’s difficult to name any specific ones at the moment.

When we say competitors, they are really competitors in just one area that we operate in, not as a holistic view.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Right. OK, because you guys, I guess, sort of tap into many different markets or aspects of the space.

ShareRing’s Partnerships

Layah Heilpern: OK, now we spoke about Tencent and you guys have had plenty of other partnerships this year. How many partnerships have there been and how many more would you have to reveal?

I lost count.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: That’s great!

Someone showed me a diagram yesterday, I think it was about 14 new partnerships we’ve announced in the last 18 months. All of those are basically either being integrated or have been integrated already. They’re are a variety of other blockchain companies, travel-related companies, aggregators or even luggage suppliers.

In terms of what’s upcoming, the ones that we haven’t announced yet. I think there’s still six or seven that we haven’t announced yet and we’ll announce those at the right time when we’ve actually got to that point of integration with them.

Then obviously there’s more and more after that. But we don’t partner with partners just for the sake of announcing it. We partner because it actually benefits and helps grow our business as well.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Absolutely makes sense. But you have a very keen community that wants to know everything that’s going on. It’s good to have these kinds of discussions.

Why are Transactions Important? ETA for Staking?

Layah Heilpern: The community is asking about the transactions, why they’re important, and also when they can expect staking?

The transactions are important because that’s the lifeblood of our blockchain. We’ve got a bunch of node holders and those node holders are basically rewarded for hosting our blockchain with transactions.

They receive ShareToken every time transactions occur. That is effectively their payment for hosting that Blockchain. So why are more transactions important? There’s two reasons.

One is what happens when theres more transactions? That means more going to the masternodes, much more tokens are staked, which creates more scarcity of tokens on the network.

I think there’s a backlog of about 18 million Sharetoken that are basically being fed through the network at the moment as transactions from our testing we’ve done.

Then with the masternodes, they can actually allow other people to stake with them. When we’re launching the app, what we plan to do is actually allow people to also stake their tokens with the masternodes and earn ShareToken off the back of that.

We’ve found so far with the nodes, the earnings are actually really, really good with what they’re getting in terms of ShareToken.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Good. That’s great to hear. I’m really excited to see how everything develops with you guys, because, like you said, there are just so many more partnerships coming.

Why do Companies Decide to use ShareRing?

Layah Heilpern: In terms of partnerships, because I guess that is quite a big topic for you guys right now. The community is asking what the biggest factor is for a company to decide to actually use ShareRing and what then pushes them over the line?

That’s a good question. I mean, we’ve actually been very, very fortunate because our team are respectable business leaders who have had a lot of experience in the past.

They’ve got a great network of companies that they’ve worked with and dealt with in the past. We’ve actually found it reasonably easy to walk into the very, very high levels of a lot of companies with a partner, with a lot of potential clients and talk about what we’re doing as opposed to cold calling and knocking on the door without any previous introductions.

When we do a pitch to them, it’s very company-specific, we’re very good at identifying the benefits of what they get out of things like the self-sovereign identity, the security, the privacy, the document verification that we do, and then also the flexibility of our system. When you start combining all of those areas there they start to notice why we might be better than Company B.

The biggest challenge that we have, though, is the lack of history that we as a company have had. The first thing they say is what case studies have you got? What have you done before? We find that easier and easier now, but it was always a bit of a roadblock. But we’ve got some really, really interesting demos and pilots that we’re working on at the moment.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Well, just on that last point, I think, you know, that’s kind of like the natural way things go, I guess, in crypto, it’s such a new space.

If you want to start and build something in the space that it’s going to be difficult to have that backlog of eight years to sort of show people everything that you’ve done.

Yeah, true. I was also going to say that when we talk to these clients, we don’t go in there saying, hey, we use blockchain for this, we use crypto and all that. We go in there and only talk about the business benefits to them and why that is good, and blockchain is part of the bigger picture for them.

Actually, just on that, I forgot to mention our partnership with BSN, which is a Blockchain services network. One of the biggest benefits of that is the fact that businesses have a really easy way to integrate with Blockchain such as ShareLedger because it’s BSN is actually creating a gateway to make it easier for them to do that as well.

What a company can do is effectively cherry-pick some services of ours, maybe some that are on a Ethereum, maybe some that are on other enterprise blockchains and actually use those and integrate with them. That’s another on-ramp and sales target, or method that we’re basically using as well.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

When Will the ShareRing Products be Available?

Layah Heilpern: Just finally, to close the AMA, the last question that’s actually come through is when will I be able to use ShareRing products like Shop and App?

Before the end of the year.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Last Thoughts

Layah Heilpern: OK. All right, Tim, is there anything else you want to leave our audience on? Any last thoughts?

No. I mean, just jump on our website, have a look at what we’re doing. Join our Telegram groups.

We’ve got a great community there that are more than happy to answer any difficult questions. Yeah, I mean, it’s been a great ride and we look forward to the future.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

Layah Heilpern: Great. Thanks so much, Tim. It was an absolute pleasure hosting the AMA on AltcoinBuzz. Thank you so much for joining us. And also, best of luck with the Tencent partnership.

Awesome, thanks Layah, I appreciate it.

ShareRing CEO Tim Bos

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