In this ShareRing AMA with Tim Bos and NomadFury, Tim discusses ShareRing’s vision and mission, future plans, opportunities in the Philippines, and more!
Jeff Caceres: I am here right now with my special amazing guest for today, the co-founder and CEO of ShareRing, Mr. Tim Bos. It’s great for you to be here sir, welcome to the show.
Thanks for inviting me. I’m really excited to be here.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Jeff Caceres: Could you say hello to our amazing subscribers and those who are watching us right now on YouTube?
Sure. Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoy this interview.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Jeff Caceres: Could you share more about yourself with our amazing subscribers here on YouTube?
Yeah, sure. ShareRing is the third company, actually the fourth company I’ve co-founded. I founded my first company when I was in my late teens, 19 to 20.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
I was teaching people how to use the Internet back in the early 90s and got a real taste for running my own company, but realized that I needed to learn a lot more about how to actually run a company.
So I went and got a job. I worked for a video games company, I was a general manager for their IT after a while there. I then worked for a company that was a joint venture of Accenture and Microsoft, and then I left the company and worked for an investment bank in Singapore for a while, running strategy.
Then started my first proper startup in 2004, which was focused around GPS tracking, tracking vehicles, actually tracking animals we started off doing and then moved into vehicles. I sold that in 2008, worked for them for a while.
I started a new company called Keaz in 2012, initially, it was focused on how do we build a platform for the sharing economy, how do we build an Amazon for the sharing economy?
We started working on it and we realized that through a very narrowly defined set of APIs for companies to come on and build their own rental products and things like that.
We realized it was too difficult to create something that was super flexible and allowed us to actually have car rentals and house rentals and equipment rentals because the rules behind it are all different. So we basically just focused on car sharing and car rental business and built that out.
That was sold earlier this year to a German startup called Wunder Mobility. But we always wanted to start something that was a flexible platform for the sharing of anything. We knew what we needed to do.
We needed to have a flexible rental mechanism, payments, a really solid identity management, and a number of other things around reviews, trust, and that stuff.
When Ethereum basically came out, the whitepaper came out in 2016, I really looked at the idea of these smart contracts or virtual machines where you could effectively run a contract for a set of rules that was immutable in a virtual machine.
That was something I looked at and thought, this is going to allow us to make a flexible platform that we wanted to do. So it was always in the back of my mind and I got some people looking at it. I researched it myself and then at the end of 2017, ShareRing was born.
So the idea of ShareRing really morphed out of an understanding that we could create this platform that had these protocols on it. The rest is history.
ShareRing’s Mission and Vision
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing more about yourself and how ShareRing started. What is currently the mission and vision of ShareRing?
For ShareRing we’ve got quite a broad mission and vision. Really what we want to do is basically create or work within the new breed of what is called the sharing economy. In terms of sharing, we don’t just look it at as simply me sharing or renting stuff to you. It’s quite a broad view.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Anything from the sharing of products, the sharing of rentals, P2P sharing, and all that sort of stuff. But we also operating identity management. So sharing of ID and things like that. We operate in payment systems as well, so FX and all that sort of stuff.
The platform we’ve created has an identity management protocol, we’ve got a payment protocol, we’ve got a rental protocol, an asset management protocol, and a few other things that we have released that are in the pipeline as well.
It’s quite a broad vision and we’re really well on our way to achieving that.
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us about the mission and vision of ShareRing. Now, could you explain to our subscribers here about the whole project concept of ShareRing?
In terms of the concept of ShareRing, as I mentioned before, it is quite broad. We do have a few, very, very tight focus areas that we operate within. That is obviously the identity management, that is the payment systems and all of that.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
What we’re trying to do is really create that backbone of the sharing economy. So the areas that we work in at the moment are travel and aviation, which has obviously been an interesting year for that [Laughter], finance and banking, governments and cities, so smart cities and things like that, and then logistics and transportation.
The technology really includes identification, document storage, and verification, which uses our identity platform to actually verify and validate different documents.
It could be anything from a driver’s license or passport, to a university degree or something like that. On-demand access services, P2P marketplace, and also micropayments for our ShareRing payment platform.
What are ShareRing’s Advantages & Benefits?
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us about the whole project concept of ShareRing Tim. What are the advantages and benefits of ShareRing for both the travel, crypto, blockchain, and DeFi space?
It’s a great question. In terms of the travel area, which is one of our focus areas, we basically view this as travel version 4. We haven’t seen any real true innovations in travel for many, many years.
I mean, the biggest innovation that we’ve seen is basically creating travel programs on an app that allow you to still do the same things like book a flight, book hotels, and things like that.
What we’re trying to do is take a lot of this friction away for travelers. At the moment, if I book a flight, I need to go in there, I find the airline, I book the flight and I need to go in later, I enter all my passport details, I get approval. I need to separately organize a visa, I need to get approval for that.
The steps that you need to do just to get on a plane and do international travel is crazy. Using ShareRing ID we basically look at simplifying that to say, OK, I’m by my airline, in one click that automatically has my passport details so can send it off to the airline to get the approval. I need a COVID test done, that’s fine, I use my ShareRing ID to facilitate that.
We have this single streamlined process that takes you from booking a flight to arriving at your destination. The same goes for hotels.
Why when I book a hotel today, do I need to go to the front counter and wait 30 minutes in a busy time to actually just get my card to go up to my room?
Our process allows us to use ShareRing ID and our payment system to book your hotel, go straight to the hotel, someone can see your photo because they’ve got the ShareRing ID.
They don’t need to do the passport check and all that sort of stuff because it’s done already. Then they just give you your room key or you use your phone to unlock the door and go to your room. That’s sort of some of the improvements we’re doing in travel.
The other area is around activities. How do we create trust between me as a customer and the activities provider in terms of making sure that they’re trusted, they’ve got a good history, especially for things like one on one tours and things like that.
Who are ShareRing’s Partners?
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us about the advantages and benefits of ShareRing for both the travel of crypto blockchain and DeFi space. Who are currently the project partners of ShareRing?
That’s a big question. We’ve got a lot of partners. In terms of the travel industry, we’ve got very large partners like Rakuten Travel Exchange, which is a Japanese based company, we work with them not just as an aggregator of hotels for us.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
They recently started this organization off as an intermediary between the hotels and the online travel agents and then other services that get offered to those. So there are discussions that are bigger than just us supplying some of their products.
Other partners that we’ve got include Viator, which is a division of TripAdvisor. We work with Viator for activities, events, and things like that. Our largest partner at the moment is Tencent. Tencent is one of the five largest companies in the world.
We work with them very, very closely on our identity management platform, but also jointly on other opportunities together to get wider adoption of our platform in finance, travel and a number of other areas.
We’ve got a huge list of other partners, there is really too many to mention at the moment, but they’re probably the top three that are worth mentioning.
ShareRing’s Future Plans
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us the project part of ShareRing. Now, could you share with us the future plans of ShareRing in the next few years?
Yeah, sure. 2020 for us has been really about building on our partnerships and developing the product. We were ready to launch a very good product at the start of the year.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
It was very travel-focused [Laughter], so when COVID hit we made a decision to, we could either lay low, save our money, lower the team, and really sort of wait for this to play out.
Or invest more, build stronger products, build better partnerships, increase the team size, open new offices, and all that. That’s exactly what we did and we’re very thankful for it because it’s worked really, really well for us.
Next year is really about adoption. So we release the app, we release the products on the app, and then it’s all about building the community and get user adoption.
Then start being accepted as an option for hotels, for travelers, for things like our Open World Passport, which is our COVID vaccination proof, eVisa On Arrival, bankings and ShareRing ID. All of these things we’re looking for adoption next year.
Next year, we’re looking to sort of either invest in or acquire some startups or other companies as well. It’s an area where we’re in discussions to do those things, which is really exciting for us.
Then after that, it’s really about growth. So we get initial adoption, we grow the product set, and then we sort of grow the communities, not just operate within the crypto sphere. We sort of target people outside of the crypto area as well.
ShareRing’s Plan for Expansion
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us about the future plans you have for us. Speaking of the future plans and adoption, do you have any plans for ShareRing to expand here in the Philippines?
Yeah, absolutely. Our focus at the moment is the ASEAN area. The Southeast Asia nations, the Philippines is very much within that area. We already have a couple of our community managers that are based in the Philippines.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
Then also a good friend of ours has some very, very strong contacts within not just the government, but also a large industry in the Philippines. We’re starting to work with him as well to see if what opportunities there are for us over there. Definitely watch this space.
Invite-Only Launch & Referral Program
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us that you are going to possibly expand here in the Philippines. We’re very excited about that. Speaking of excitement, do you have some exciting updates to share for the community and those who are watching our video here right now?
In terms of the app itself, the app is basically ready to roll out. We’re doing a soft launch on that. What that means is it’s an invite-only launch. We’ll be launching a website soon where people can put their name down and get how to become part of that invite-only.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
The other thing that we haven’t really announced yet is we’re going to launch a referral program as part of that. The referral program is going to basically ask people to obviously refer friends to get them in. But we’re going to give some really, really good rewards for that. It won’t just vouchers for travel and things like that.
We’re also going to offer some prizes like very significant prizes to people that refer over a set number of people. That’s to drive sign-ups and the more people that sign up, the better it is for everyone.
Why is ShareRing Going to Become a Game-Changer
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for sharing with us some exciting updates that you have for us. We’re looking forward to the app, of course. Could you share why ShareRing is going to become a game-changer in travel and other traditional industries, especially in adopting crypto blockchain and DeFi in their ecosystem?
That’s a great question. What we’ve seen is there are a few different types of companies that are operating in Blockchain. There are ones that say, I’m going to do something in travel or something in e-commerce or something like that, and we’re going to let people pay with crypto.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
The benefits of that are very questionable. I mean, other than the fact that they accept crypto as well as Fiat payments. So it’s just another travel company. What we’re basically doing is we’re saying how can we use the Blockchain platform and technology behind Blockchain to improve travel?
We’re not looking at sort of going head to head and competing with Booking.com and things like that. What we’re doing is we’re offering an alternative not just for customers of ours, but also other online travel agents that might want to white label our product.
We’re offering alternatives for governments for how their process their visa on arrival or visa process, for their VAT returns, for COVID passports, for banking on how people sign up.
What we’re doing is we’ve got these modules or this technology that can be embedded in existing products. A great example is we’ve now released or actually about to release the concept of using ShareRing ID to sign up for any service on any website.
So a website can add two lines of code to accept a ShareRing ID. And what that means is if I have a ShareRing ID, I can get my phone, scan a QR code on the website to prove that I can send whatever the data is, maybe it’s just an email address and username. Maybe it’s full identity information.
Then that would sign up automatically on the website using my blockchain-based identity. Then the next time I want to sign it, I just scan the QR code again.
What we’ve done there is we’ve eliminated passwords completely, so you don’t need a password to basically log to websites and things like that.
We see a lot of fundamental changes coming about because of some of the technology that we’ve developed. A lot of these things are game changes, and I think before I mentioned there are different types of blockchain.
There are the ones that are making protocols, which is just looking for real-world use that will adopt those protocols. Then ones like us that are making the whole platform to actually have some genuine real-world use and real-world adoption as well. We’re really looking forward to the future.
Jeff Caceres: Thank you very much for that, Tim. Before we end could you invite our audience here to check out the ShareRing website, social media channels, et cetera?
Absolutely. So you can check us out at our website here. We’ve got our telegram channels as well, which is here.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
We’ve got an amazing community, really sort of love to see the NomadFury community joining that community and provide some feedback.
Also welcome to start other different language communities as well, we’ve recently had a new Spanish community, which has now got a few thousand members in it. So please join in and join the discussion.
Jeff Caceres: There you have it ladies and gentlemen, our special guest, the co-founder, and CEO of ShareRing Mr. Tim Bos, thank you so much for your time here in the show, sir.
Thanks very much. Appreciate your time.ShareRing CEO Tim Bos
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