Blockchain and Monetization of Content 303

The Promise of Ethereum

Ethereum, the leading blockchain platform, and catalyst for a growing number of decentralized applications and blockchain-based platforms has proven over the past 12 months that it is far from a fad. This immutable, unhackable, distributed database of digital assets is everything the Internet always wanted to be: a fair and public way to store and transfer information. This is a platform for truth and it’s a platform for trust.

In the music industry, the protection of rights and distribution of earnings within the music industry is a key consideration. Removing the ability for piracy and allowing listeners to download music stored on the blockchain, paying for the music with cryptocurrency would be one of the paradigm shifts. It would also mean that the right people get paid.

This challenge of monetizing content is also prevalent in the broadcast content industry. Ethereum Blockchain with smart contracts makes for a perfect solution.

Pain Points for Content Creators

The industry has not changed in over 80 years. Today, it continues to be a largely offline and extensive process, involving multiple dis-jointed parties – the creators, the owners, the distributors, the increasing array of formats (eg. mobile, free-to-air TV, cable, OTT, cinemas, etc) and then there is a global consumer base with differing interests and language preferences.

The whole ecosystem today is highly fragmented and content creators are challenged to optimally monetize their content. Compounding the monetization challenge is the fact that content creators also face extremely high costs of distribution. Because the value chain is a cumbersome process for content to reach end viewers; typically 30% to 40% of the value of the content is being lost to cost of distribution via third-party commissions and fees. Hosting a conference booth and meeting events with champagne in the South of France at the Cannes Film Festival is no cheap affair.

To give some context on the potential value of a piece of content, let’s take well-known franchises like “Game of Thrones” or the “F1 Series”.   These projects can be sold in 193+ countries via free-to-air, cable, satellite and streaming mobile platforms, that is, it can potentially be sold 600 different ways once you factor language and territorial configurations.

An “A” list project can potentially earn millions of dollars via such a syndication, however, a lesser known title is lucky to be sold in 10 countries and monetized in 10 ways. Hence the potential to optimize the value of this content is at least 50 times more for the content creator if they can easily monetize their content across the various permutations.

The chief pain points of content sellers are:

  • Rights are tied up for the long-term (average 2-5 years) in distributor exclusivity contracts
  • Distributor fees are significant; averaging 35% of the value of the content
  • Rights are typically sold in bulk with other content which limits differentiation for content creators
  • The multiplicity of currencies and the vagaries of the fluctuating exchange rates
  • Content ages very fast and becomes less attractive to distributors to market

Such problems, which appear daunting are actually very easy to address, provided you have a global platform and a globally trusted ledger. Enter Ethereum Blockchain.   

Pain Points for Content Buyers

Content buyers purchase rights to play the content on their own networks and channels, such as Netflix and cable TV channels like Sony. The buyers also face a host of problems:

  • The content discovery process is fragmented and manual
  • Delayed verifiability of the rights
  • Limited by distributor’s rights options
  • Bundled rights instead of customized selection

As we can see, these problems can also be solved by implementing a global platform and a globally trusted ledger. Thus, Blockchain is not an add-on, but a natural solution to the problems faced by the content rights industry.

Existing Solutions

There are companies operating traditional marketplaces for trading content rights today; like RightsTrade (2011), TRX (2015) and AllRites (2015). With the advent of the blockchain, we are starting to observe the emergence of companies like Hubii Network, LiveTree, and AllRites exploring the use of blockchain to democratize content.

In the case of AllRites, the company was established by media professionals with decades of experience in the industry. Being intimate with the distribution challenges, they are proponents of blockchain and are moving their existing marketplace onto the Ethereum Blockchain.

But they are not stopping there, the AllRites vision is to create an integrated B2B and B2C ecosystem to holistically support the overall industry. Built on Blockchain technology, the AllRites ecosystem will drive trade efficiencies between content producers and buyers globally, facilitate funding of creative ideas and offer direct streaming to end-customers. Two associated B2C platforms will complement their existing marketplace – RiteFund and RiteStream. For consumers, these platforms allow individuals to directly support and benefit from creative concepts that they believe in.

With RiteFund, the platform facilitates content creators to list their projects and allows prospective contributors to help get a project of their choice off the ground, like Kickstarter, but with infinitely more transparency in rights management and benefits sharing thanks to smart contracts.

RiteStream is for content owners with unsold rights to optimally monetize their content via direct streaming to a global viewership base. The smart contracts seamlessly manage viewers, rights availability and revenue sharing in the backend. For example, an OTT player, like iFlix, may purchase rights to showcase a piece of content in only 30 countries, with RiteStream that same piece of content can potentially be monetized in the remaining 163 countries by direct streaming, if viewers are interested in that content. View RiteStream like the “Spotify” of TV, Movies and Sports content.

For esoteric sports like, Extreme Sailing – they have ardent fans globally but such a sport is very niche and unlikely to garner support from mainstream broadcasters. With RiteFund, fans of Extreme Sailing can directly support creative talent who are also passionate about their sport and who are creating great content about it. These same creative talents can now monetize their content by streaming it directly to the Extreme Sailing fans globally via RiteStream.

Blockchain Technology Deployed

The team at AllRites believe that if the content itself can be reliably audited, the management of its rights becomes a much simpler exercise. Thanks to the Ethereum Blockchain, each ID can be a smart contract that manages the identity and purchase history of the rights belonging to one piece of content at an individual level. Thus, the rights can be sliced and diced in multiple ways and the buyers can buy only those rights which they need. The smart contract tied to each content piece records the transaction history of that content piece individually in a transparent and immutable manner.

While the content rights can be viewed by all prospective buyers, the sellers can be assured of optimal monetization due to the plethora of ways in which the rights have been divided into.

The ID tied to the content can be managed by creating a non-fungible token. It could be similar to the EIP721 protocol that was famously used by CryptoKitties. Thus, the sale and purchase of content rights can be recorded on individual non fungible tokens without affecting the entire ecosystem.

A global fungible token that adheres to the ERC20 standards can take care of the sale and purchase aspects of the deal. To ensure trust, AllRites will be storing the content as decentralized encrypted files which can be unlocked only by a private key.

On successful completion of a sale, the seller sends the private key to the buyer while the buyer transfers the payment tokens to the seller. As an added layer of security, the key and the tokens corresponding to the bid made on the content rights can be placed in an escrow. Once the sale is finalized, a smart contract takes over and governs the transfer of the private key and the tokens to the new owners in an automated manner.

Regarding the case of content creators with unsold content, the RiteStream platform caters to them. Here, the platform becomes the universal global distributor of the rights that went unsold and streams it directly to the viewers in exchange for tokens. In this case, content creators get a platform like YouTube, but with an infinitely better monetization potential.

It has also been seen that content creators, despite having amazing ideas, often struggle to get their plans off the ground due to lack of funding. Consumers are robbed of potential gems. In the music world, its analogues with the likes of Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen being discovered via YouTube.

With Ethereum, smart contracts can be implemented which facilitate the transfer of funds from fans and supporters directly to the content creators in an easy and trackable manner. Once the content is created, it is uploaded onto the AllRites Marketplace where content rights can be transacted. After subtracting for platform fees, all proceeds can be seamlessly transferred back to the fans/supporters corresponding to the ratio in which they were contributed.

Conclusion

Using blockchain and smart contracts makes the business of content rights deal making and distribution a lot less complicated and instantaneously verifiable. Blockchain takes care of the globally trusted ledger needs, the smart contracts take care of transactions by automating them.

This translates to tremendous efficiency gains for both content buyers and sellers. And, for owners of content, the age-old challenge of optimally monetizing their content is solved.

The added bonus is that in this new decentralized and immutable ecosystem driven by blockchain, consumers can finally have a direct say in what content they want to support and watch.

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Fineqia International Provides Update on Market Activity 5891

At the request of IIROC, Fineqia International Inc. (the “Company” or “Fineqia”) (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) wishes to confirm that the Company’s management is unaware of any material change in the Company’s operations that would account for the recent increase in market activity.

Fineqia International outlines the Company’s corporate governance, culture, processes and relations by which the Company and its subsidiaries are controlled, directed and governed. Fineqia International oversees and ensures the overall success, planning and growth of the Company and all of its subsidiaries including those pertaining to the incorporation of blockchain technologies to achieve these objectives.

This news release may contain assumptions, estimates, and other forward-looking statements regarding future events. Such forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are subject to factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.

Dvision Network Integrates With Chainlink to Bring Fair Random Rewards Distribution & NFT Costing to Their VR Ecosystem 6028

Dvision Network have announced its integration with blockchain oracle solution Chainlink, bringing accurate NFT item costing and secure, provably-fair rewards to its VR Ecosystem. South Korean-based VR Content Ecosystem Dvision Network has announced an integration of its technology with market-leading blockchain oracle solution Chainlink. Chainlink’s Decentralized Price Feeds, will enable Dvision Network users to accurately estimate the cost of NFT item creation in its VR marketplace. Additionally, Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF) will enable the secure, provably-fair random generation and distribution of on-chain rewards to its users.

What is Dvision Network?

Dvision Network is a pioneering new VR metaverse on the blockchain, which aspires to set the new standard of what is possible for the VR user experience. By utilizing the exponential potential of Blockchain and VR technologies, Dvision network will create an unprecedented and inclusive virtual ecosystem for businesses, designers, and regular users.

The South-Korean powerhouse aims to establish an efficient VR ecosystem with a new concept, addressing the arising issues in the VR industry. Dvision offers high-quality pieces of content in the VR-City, and a customization of the virtual space in the VR-Space and essentially expands the VR ecosystem via its VR-Market, introducing its unprecedented NFT ecosystem.

Blockchain Oracles and Smart Contracts: A Perfect Match?

Blockchain oracles are devices or programs that enable (on-chain) smart contacts to interact with off-chain data and systems outside their native blockchain. This relationship allows the smart contracts to execute on-chain functions based on real-world data and events such as web APIs, IoT networks, and blockchain data-centric networks.

This new ability to use external data in smart contract applications has been a massive breakthrough, greatly expanding the amount of use cases possible on blockchains. The only caveat with this optimal relationship is that the oracle is responsible for executing the smart contract and must have a level of security and reliability equal to the underlying blockchain.

Chainlink Decentralized Oracle

Chainlink’s decentralized blockchain oracle uses a unique flexible framework preventing any one point of failure whilst allowing users to receive data from external sources. The initial intergration with Division Network will leverage Chainlink’s hugely successful decentralized price feeds as the primary oracle solution in the NFT marketplace.

Chainlink Price Feeds will be used to calculate the exact gas fees incurred when creating NFTs, ensuring users have access to accurate, up-to-date data on the true costs of using the network. Chainlinks Price Feeds were selected exclusively for their best-in-class features, including:

  • High-Quality Data: Price data is sourced from premium off-chain data aggregators, leading to a volume-adjusted market-wide price aggregated from hundreds of exchanges as opposed to any one exchange.
  • Decentralized: Price Feeds are decentralized at both the data source and oracle level, providing highly available and manipulation resistant oracle services.
  • Secure Nodes: All oracle nodes are run by known and experienced blockchain DevOps, bringing users reliable services to users.

Dvision Networks Provably Fair Random Gaming Rewards

Dvision Network will integrate Chainlink VRF to power the distribution of chance-based rewards to users who accomplish certain tasks. Chainlink VRF is an on-chain random number generation (RNG) solution that the oracle nodes, external entities, or even Dvision developers can tamper with.

This shift represents a huge advancement in the space, enabling a provably fair and on-chain verifiable source of secure randomness that any user can independently audit. in-game items or NFT attributes can now be proven as both randomly determined and distributed, ensuring each user has a fair chance of receiving rewards.

Dvision Network CEO Jung Hyun Eom stated:

“By using Chainlink to access reliable price feeds and determine the distribution of random NFT rewards, Dvision users have assurances that the digital goods created by their gameplay will be based on provably fair systems, as well as be exchangeable on the open market for fair-market values and governed by economic models that are permanent and stable.”

Dvision and Chainlink: A Decentralized Vision

The core values supporting the Chainlink blockchain oracle perfectly align with the vision of Dvision Network, which aims to build a truly decentralized blockchain platform. Dvisions new integration with Chainlinks Verifiable Random Function and Decentralized Price Feeds are a game-changer for the VR industry, with a new found level of trust and security for not only the ecosystem, but the entire VR industry.

CPH Crypto Offers Total Trading Flexibility With New Mobile App for iOS and Android 5691

Just a couple of weeks ago CPH Crypto, a leading Scandinavian deep-discount crypto exchange, announced margin trading 10x on crypto spot as its latest service. The company is proud to announce that traders can now onboard as clients and conduct all trading activities via CPH Crypto’s new mobile Trader App now available as Android and iOS platforms. The new trader app enables clients to start trading after just a couple of minutes of registration and onboarding. The CPH Crypto Trader App allows users to trade all the most popular cryptocurrencies and pairs, swiftly deposit, transfer, and withdraw bitcoin and USD anytime.

CPH Crypto’s CEO, Jan Andersen describes the recent progress, stating:

“We have come a long way in only a few months since the launch of CPH Crypto webtrader in September. Margin trading on crypto spot was successfully launched just recently, and now our apps are ready. We know that this is extremely important for our clients because it offers them total trading flexibility. They can do everything on the smartphone and use the mobile trading apps like their usual desktop trading.”

Unlimited Trading For Just 39 USD/Month

According to CPH Crypto’s philosophy, traders should only have to focus on their strategy and not on the costs when they trade. That is why CPH Crypto goes against the trend of high trading fees on the crypto market and offers a deep-discount fixed fee of only 39 USD/month for unlimited trading. Or a commission of only 0.04 pct. per transaction for single trading.

CEO Jan Andersen explains:

“In the traditional stock and FX trading market competition has driven down fees to a low level over the last decade. The same needs to happen in the crypto space, but we want it to go faster, and that’s why we launched our discount concept in September.”

Dominant Trading Platforms Up to 13X More Expensive

Recent calculations clearly document that some of the biggest crypto trading platforms are as much as 13 times more expensive for active crypto traders to use than CPH Crypto.

To obtain a complete view of a particular broker’s or exchange’s trading fees, individuals need to take both commissions and spread into consideration. Traders tend to forget the impact of the spread on the total costs, even though the spread is often where the most significant part of the total fees is hidden, especially when trading on so-called commission-free brokers or exchanges.

Typically these brokers/exchanges tend to compensate for the lack of fee on commission by heavily increasing the spread – the difference between the bid price and the sales price – enabling them to earn their margin on the spread instead. On top of this, traders should not forget that high fees on money management – like deposits and withdrawal – is also added to the total costs.

Wize Pharma and Cosmos Capital enter into Bid Implementation Agreement 5200

Wize Pharma, Inc. (OTCQB: WIZP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of ophthalmic disorders, and Cosmos Capital Limited, a leading digital infrastructure provider based in Sydney, Australia, today announced that they have entered into a bid implementation agreement (“BIA”), whereby Wize has agreed to make an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cosmos, subject to satisfaction of various closing conditions set forth in the BIA, resulting in Cosmos becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wize.

“We are excited about the Wize Cosmos transaction,” stated Noam Danenberg, CEO of Wize. “The Cosmos team brings a proven track record, experienced management and logistics capabilities within the Bitcoin mining industry. Consistent with our focus on maximising value for our shareholders, this transaction provides a continuing interest in our LO2A biomed activity, through the creation of a contingent value right, while providing exposure to Cosmos’ Bitcoin mining operations.”

James Manning, CEO and founder of Cosmos, commented, “Through this transaction we are excited to be providing public markets access to our digital infrastructure business and have enjoyed working with the like-minded Wize team throughout this process. Becoming a part of a publicly traded company is central to our continued growth and will allow us to accelerate our expansion plans moving forward.”

Key Transaction Details

Under the terms of the BIA, Wize will commence an off-market takeover offer under applicable Australian laws to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cosmos (the “Offer”) in exchange for (i) 38.78 shares of Wize common stock and (ii) 22.33 warrants (each to acquire one share of Wize common stock) (the “Milestone Warrants”) for each Cosmos share (subject to a minimum tender of at least 90% of Cosmos’ outstanding ordinary shares). Subject to certain exceptions, the Milestone Warrants will become fully exercisable into Wize common stock provided Cosmos warrant holders retain the Wize stock issued to them until December 31, 2021 (the “31 December Milestone”).

Upon completion of the transaction, and assuming all of the holders of Cosmos shares accept the Offer, Cosmos shareholders will own approximately 81.3% of the outstanding common stock of the combined company (87% if all of the Milestone Warrants become fully vested), while Wize existing shareholders will remain the owners of approximately 16.3% of the outstanding common stock of the combined company (11.1% if all of holders of the Milestone Warrants satisfy the 31 December Milestone and the Milestone Warrants become fully vested), each on a fully diluted basis and including warrants to be issued to Wize’s financial advisor to the transaction.

Following the targeted closing of the transaction in the first quarter of 2021, and based on Wize’s 60 day VWAP of US$0.143 on December 29, 2020 (and assuming that all the Milestone Warrants become fully vested), the combined company is expected to have a market capitalisation of approximately US$75.75 million.

Upon completion of the transaction, pre-closing Wize securityholders will receive one contingent value right (“CVR”) for each share of Wize held on the record date. Each CVR will entitle the holder to a pro rata share of any consideration that may be received in connection with Wize’s existing LO2A business, subject to transaction expenses and customary deductions as detailed in the CVR agreement.

Concurrently with the execution of the BIA, Wize entered into (i) a US$3.0 million Private Investment in Public Equity (“PIPE”) financing from various accredited investors, including Noam Danenberg, CEO of Wize, in exchange for 25 million shares of common stock of Wize at US$0.12 per share, which financing is expected to close simultaneously with and subject to the closing of the Cosmos transaction, and (ii) pre-bid acceptance agreements with several Cosmos shareholders holding 19.9% of the outstanding Cosmos shares who have agreed to accept the Offer.

Following completion of the transaction, it is expected that (i) the combined company will have approximately US$5 million in cash and cash equivalents, (ii) Cosmos will retain its experienced management team, with Cosmos’ CEO and founder James Manning assuming the role of CEO of the combined company, (iii) the Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of three members designated by Cosmos and one member designated by Wize, and (iv) the combined company will seek shareholder approval to be renamed Cosmos Capital, Inc. (or similar name), and to effect a reverse share split of the combined company’s common stock.

ZK International’s Subsidiary, xSigma Corporation, Completes its Smart Contract on the Heels of Bitcoin Hitting a High of $26,700 5048

ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: ZKIN) (“ZKIN”, “ZK International” or the “Company”), a designer, engineer, manufacturer, and supplier of patented high-performance stainless steel and carbon steel pipe products primarily used for water and gas supplies, is pleased to announce that xSigma Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, has completed the smart contract development of xSigma’s DeFi platform. This marks an important milestone for xSigma as it systematically builds out the ecosystem of the xSigma DeFi protocol.

xSigma’s smart contract has been completed and is undergoing a technology software audit, which is the last step for xSigma before it releases the project. The technology audit of the software is being conducted as good practice to ensure the safety of funds and the system in general. xSigma will offer enhanced rewards for early liquidity providers, who join in the first weeks after the launch. (Learn more about xSigma DeFi project on: https://xsigma.fi and Telegram: https://t.me/xsigma_global)

This is just the beginning of xSigma creating a new future, and it is a crucial step in building the xSigma ecosystem. The xSigma team is working on finalizing the white paper and all the technical details are to be released in the near future. As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain momentum and hit all-time highs, which currently has a total market cap of $688.3 billion, xSigma management team believes that the top team of xSigma, support from a NASDAQ listed company, and a DeFi protocol which aims to be first in class, are significant characteristics which should elevate and differentiate xSigma from the other DeFi platforms.

The xSigma DeFi protocol has received a significant initial interest, in a short period as it has already gathered over 5,000 members in its communities and has collected thousands of subscriptions on its waitlist. In addition, xSigma has secured commitments from individuals and institutional liquidity providers which is important for a successful launch.

Mr. Jiancong Huang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ZK International, stated, “as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain momentum, so does xSigma. xSigma continues to build its ecosystem, and it continues to gain a positive response from the blockchain community for its DeFi protocol. Currently, over $9 billion is locked in just five Defi projects according to DeFi Pulse and the aim of xSigma Protocol is to reach the top 5 by the value locked list in 2021. Having former Google, Amazon, 1inch and Ripple engineers on the team, xSigma is well positioned to join the list of the biggest blockchain projects in the future.”

Signify Health Projects Growth with its Partners in the BPCI Advanced Program 6096

Signify Health, a leading value-based healthcare platform enabled by advanced analytics, technology and nationwide healthcare networks, today announced that its provider partners in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI-A) program have selected a larger set of bundles to participate in for the remainder of the program (2021-2023) than they did in 2020. Signify Health’s experience and feedback from providers indicate that commitment to the program remains strong.

“The world has changed a lot since 2013 when a group of providers accepted CMMI’s invitation to try a radically different approach to better coordinate care and reduce expenditures while improving the quality of that care,” said Kyle Armbrester, Signify Health CEO. “Fast forward to today and these early pioneers are leaning in and fueling the next phase of growth with new entrants, including commercial plans and employers. Thanks to CMMI’s work to lay the foundation, we have a proven model that both government and commercial payors can use to accelerate the transformation from fee-for-service to value-based care.”

As a risk-sharing convener in the BPCI-A program, Signify Health partners with Acute Care Hospitals (ACHs) and Physician Group Practices (PGPs) to facilitate collaboration among providers sharing accountability for improving outcomes. As episodes of care continue to take hold in public and private value-based health programs, Signify anticipates the total volume of medical care managed through bundles will accelerate.

In a significant change from prior years for the remainder of the BPCI-A program, CMMI required participants to select from eight categories of care, referred to as clinical service line groupings, that each include multiple bundles. Overall, Signify’s provider partners selected more clinical bundles under the new requirement, assuming a greater amount of financial risk while ensuring that patients continue to receive high-quality care.

Once bundles are selected, Signify Health’s team works with providers to prevent adverse events, improve care quality, eliminate excess cost, and propel patient recovery homeward by applying a model that addresses patients’ holistic clinical, social, and behavioral needs. And, by providing sophisticated analytics, modeling and deep local market insights, Signify supports BPCI-A participants’ care redesign efforts to improve a patient’s care journey from hospital discharge to home.

To further inform the future of episode of care payment programs in Medicare, Signify Health recently engaged Leavitt Partners to convene an independent panel of health policy experts to offer policy recommendations that strengthen and expand these models. The recommendations emanating from this advisory process will be made publicly available in the first quarter of 2021.

“For voluntary alternative payment programs to be successful, they must attract as many participants as possible,” added Armbrester. “We believe that policies that minimize uncertainty and offer pricing stability for providers accepting financial risk are critical to the program’s continued and long-term success.”