Our team held our first official internal AMA on Tuesday, April 5th at 12:00 PM UTC, where our founders Mark & Praveen Paul answered a series of pre-submitted and live questions about our project with the community in our Discord AMA channel.
For those of you who may have missed it or want to get a quick refresh of the event, take a look at our recap below!
You can also listen to the entire audio recording on the official Itheum Spotify channel.
Mark Paul: Hi, everybody, and welcome to Itheum’s Discord AMA. My name is Mark Paul and it’s really good to be here. So, I’ll be joined today by our co-founder Praveen. This is our first Discord AMA, so it’s really exciting to be here with you all and to directly communicate with our community.
So just to give you a quick rundown on the format — we have actually asked people over the last few days to ask us questions, which was on Twitter and Discord, and Telegram, and we have collected some of the really good questions. Secondly, we have a live channel happening here in Discord where you can put your live questions. So what’s going to happen is we are going to rotate between the pre-asked questions, but also the live questions from the AMA questions channel. So I encourage you guys if there’s something that you want to ask, just jump in and ask it on the AMA questions.
So I’m going to pick the first question that was asked offline. As you can imagine, this is the question that everybody wants to know about, and that is, “Itheum just completed its token generation event on the Maiar Launchpad. When is the token going to be listed on the Maiar DEX?”
We get this all the time. And I think we wanted to very quickly clarify this and give you an update. We have been working with the Elrond team over the last week and, effectively, Elrond is very interested in putting in place some mechanisms that prevent bots from attacking the listing event. So I think if you guys and girls have participated in the previous launch where you might have experienced some negativity around this. So Elrond’s got a really interesting solution that they’re putting in place. The CEO of Elrond, Beniamin, actually tweeted about this solution. And over the next couple of days, they’re going to put out some educational material on how this works. So the timelines that we are working with Elrond are effectively in the next few weeks — so this is happening very soon. Elrond’s very interested in educating on how this new listing procedure is going to work. And then we’re going to announce the listing, and then we’re going to get Itheum listed — so it’s coming soon. It’s going to be something that is a lot more robust than the previous ones.
So I think this is something that we want to support Elrond with. They are very community-focused and they want to prevent bad things from happening again. So we want to support them and we have been constantly working with them on this. So stay tuned for some updates over the next week or so — we will always keep you guys in the loop for when the listing event is going to happen.
I will jump straight into the next question. The next question came from somebody in the community and is, “In your data metaverse ecosystem, there are many key products. Can you please explain the Greenroom Protocol? What is that?”
It’s a great question. So as you guys know Itheum’s goal is to let you take your personal data into the metaverse and then trade it, right? So you cannot do this in the current directory ecosystem. So the key feature that we have is called the NFMe ID avatar. And effectively, this is the version of you, but in avatar format. And we have created the personal data pipelines that take your personal identity and your data and attach it to this NFT-based avatar.
So you’ve got this pretty cool NFT that represents you in the metaverse and it’s backed by your personal data. Then I’m guessing, you’re thinking, “What else can I do with this thing?” Well, that’s where the Greenroom Protocol comes in. So the idea of Itheum in the long-term strategy is that it’ll power the open metaverse from a data protocol perspective. For that to happen, a lot needs to happen with the existing metaverse platforms. So they need to become interoperable, they need to support open standards, open identity standards, open data standards, and this has still not happened. So Itheum didn’t want to build the NFMe ID avatars, and then just say, “Okay, you can use this 10 years from now.”
What we wanted to do is introduce you guys and girls to the ability for you to enter a metaverse. So the Greenroom Protocol is, as the name suggests, an interim greenroom, where you are able to take your 3D avatar, and you can actually visualize it. You can interact with other avatars. You can organize your NFT accessories. So if you guys have read the whitepaper, you’ll see that every time you add new dimensions of personal data, you mint new layers to your NFMe ID avatar. So you want to kind of visualize this in a 3D environment, in a sort of a game environment. So that’s the Greenroom Protocol. It is the interim room where you would hang out (if you could call it that) until the metaverse interoperability systems mature, and then you can teleport your avatar into a different avatar, into a different metaverse platform.
An example, The Sandbox is a place where you can actually… they have an SDK to build avatars. We might have a mirrored avatar within The Sandbox, which is linked to your NFMe ID, Itheum NFT avatar, and you’ll be able to run — the protocol supports it, and the metadata standard support it. You’ll be able to teleport your avatar into these other environments. And then you’ll walk around these metaverse platforms, visit retail shops and experiences, and share your personal data. So to summarize, the Greenroom Protocol’s an interim area where you would hang out until we solve metaverse interoperability.
I’m going to jump to a question now from the live audience. So, the first question that I had was, I think, it’s the most basic question. “How do you intend to make a difference?”
Okay. So, I picked this question because it’s not just about always talking about the tech or the product, but how are we trying to make a difference. So Itheum, most of you who might know if you’re following us — we have been around for about four years now, and we have been constantly working on giving you the ability to own your data. And this has been really a tricky thing to do because not many enterprises and Web2 companies want this. They want to own your data. We have been working on this for so long, and we have finally reached the stage where we found a home. We’ve found an audience. We found a community that says, “I’m ready to own my data, and I’m ready to explore the metaverse with my personal data.” So how we intend to make a difference is for the first time in history, we are going to let you own your data in this critical time where the world is moving more and more virtual. They’re moving more and more into the metaverse.
That’s how we intend to make a difference. It’s a long journey, but we are actually building this for people to own their data for the first time. And own it in a fun way, in a really gamified way. So that’s our goal.
I’m going to swap now to another question that was asked us before. “How do you convince players and large companies to choose Itheum for their customer data management?”
Okay. Very interesting. So as you might know, Itheum has a very unique approach to adoption. We actually go for bottom-up adoption. So this is basically saying we will give the broad audience (basically, you guys and girls), the ability to claim an NFT based avatar, NFMe ID avatar, and then link some personal data to it, whether it be your gaming data, your DeFi data, your health data. So that’s a very unique strategy — we are going directly to the masses. At the same time, we are very focused also on top-down, and we trying to think about how we get enterprises coming into this ecosystem. In fact, that’s one of Praveen’s key focus areas based out of Dubai.
Itheum has this tool called the Data CAT, or the data collection and analytics toolkit. And it’s an SDK for enterprises, specifically small to medium businesses to build apps on that can onboard high-value personal data directly from the users. Unlike the horrible apps that we have today, where if you use it, you lose your personal data, apps built on Itheum Data CAT would give the actual user ownership of their data. And I’m talking about ownership all the way from Web2, all the way into Web3, and then linked to your NFMe ID avatar, and then eventually to the metaverse. So we have tools specifically for enterprises that make it very attractive to them, but we also have tools specifically for the crypto native people for bottom-up adoption as well.
Okay. I’m going to jump to a question from the live section now. So this is another question about the listing, and I will take that because I actually understand the community really wants to know this. “When will the Itheum listing take place and at what price, please?”
As I had previously explained in the question, the listing, Elrond is building some new tech to make the listing process more robust from a price discovery point of view, as well as a bot protection point of view. So that’s happening, the timeframe that we have been given and we’re working with Elrond, and this in the next few weeks. So maybe about three to four weeks, maybe even before.
And at what price? This is one of the key differences with the Itheum listing as compared to the previous project’s listing — the Itheum’s listing and the new technology Elrond’s building, there’s going to be a phased listing approach. And the first phase is price discovery from the community. So the community will be able to actually flag at what price they want to buy. And the price is averaged over a 24-hour period — that’s the price that’s going to be listed. So it’s not going to be a price that’s going to be determined by Elrond or Itheum. It’s going to be a price of listing that’s determined by the community. So I urge you guys to stay tuned to the Elrond channels because they are actually educating everybody about this new listing process. And as soon as we find out more, we’ll share it in our communities as well. So I’m going to jump to another question.
Praveen Paul: Happy to take a question and then continue on from there if you’d like.
Mark Paul: Yes, absolutely. Why don’t you pick the next question and answer it?
Praveen Paul: All right. Good. So I think that was a good question here that was pre-asked prior to us actually coming on live in regards to the future of self-driving cars, and the fact that they are constantly gathering data. So it was asked by Funk, and it was a very good question.
You’ve got the Tesla cars that gather a lot of data. They’ve got the self-driving system that sort of learning as it’s going along. So is this a potential use case for Itheum. And I think it’s a great question because Itheum’s all about collecting data and that to personal data. And obviously, in your cars, as it’s driving along by itself, obviously, there’s a lot of data that are gathered as part of that process. And obviously, this is also a potential use case for us.
And I think the greatest thing for us is being a part of the whole Elrond ecosystem. And of course, the Holoride project being a complete car-based project that was actually launched before us with Audi, and us having a good relationship with them, also points out the fact that obviously there’ll be collaborations that we can do with these car manufacturers where potentially data can be brought across to your individual profiles within our ecosystem and trade it.
So there is an option also in the future, I believe, to look at this as a potential use case as well to bring data across to Itheum and trade that data. Mark, over to you.
Mark Paul: Yep, thanks for that, Praveen. So I’m going to take a question from the live question stream. So the question I’m going to answer here is, “How does Itheum prevent the selling of stolen data, as an example, selling Facebook data that are borrowed or harvested from other parties?” Awesome question. And thank you for asking this.
So, this is one of the questions that we get asked a lot, right? Because we are a data platform, specifically, a personal data platform. How do you prevent identity attacks? How do you prevent simple attacks? How do you prevent fake data and junk data attacks? There’s a section in our whitepaper towards the bottom that specifically deals with all the measures that we are looking at right now. But in the simplest form, you have to understand something with Itheum — you cannot remain anonymous because you’re dealing with personal data. So if you want to trade your data, you’ll have to go through a process of verifying your identity. And this is kind of how your NFMe ID advertised actually generated. I think we have explained this it’s a generative NFT. And it’s generated based on an identity seed technology. So you’ll have to actually prove your identity to generate this NFMe ID.
Once you do that, you start to largely behave in more authentic mechanisms because you know that if your signal that’s doing something illegal, your path to trading could be prevented. How is the identity generated? So we’re still working on a few options. It’s not going to be like a KYC thing — it’s a centralized thing. It’ll be a decentralized identity process. There are a few options we’re looking at as proof of identity… proof of humanity, and a sovereign protocol. And we are also looking at BrightID, and stuff like this. But we are also working with the Elrond team as they have some really cool UX around the Maiar app as well. So I hope that kind of clarifies it.
There’s always going to be this cat and mouse game about people trying to gain the system. But Itheum’s kind of built with these mechanisms where if people misbehave, there are entities that can catch them out. Another entity that could do it is the Data Coalition DAO. So if you’re trying to trade bad data through a Data Coalition DAO, there’s a board there that’s actually making sure that people are aligned in the right way, so they can pick it out and flag you as low credibility or as being an imposter. And eventually, you’ll get booted out of the system. So that’s the answer to that question. Praveen, do you want to take one?
Praveen Paul: Yeah, definitely. So there are plenty of questions. I think this is what’s really great about the community. I think the fact that they are such awesome questions and a lot of the community has such a lot of depth and understanding about the project, which is really awesome to see because I think personal data sort of touches everyone to some degree, ownership of personal data in some regards.
So, I have a question here, a good one — it says, “How will you convince players and large companies to choose Itheum for their customer data management?”
That’s a very good question because I think for us, as a project, that’s actually come into Web3 now and both Mark and I coming from, I guess very heavy duty Web2 backgrounds. We understand how the corporate world works and basically how they operate from an enterprise angle. So, I think what differentiates Itheum from all of the other projects out there is the fact that we follow (as Mark would have probably mentioned numerous times) a bottom-up approach.
So we appeal to the end-users. And basically, the idea is we attack or go after the end-users and essentially tell them the importance of owning their own data. And when end users have an idea about how valuable the data is to them and claim ownership of this data, this no doubt triggers the companies above to help understand the value of giving ownership to the end-users. And then, when more and more and more end-users actually start claiming ownership of the data, as opposed to just giving it across to whoever actually takes it from you, that sort of creates and triggers an action in the enterprise degree.
So that’s what we are hoping for a viral, I guess, approach from everyone in the space, actually, claiming ownership of their data. And when you claim ownership of your data, you are sending a message to the bigger companies and the enterprises and saying, “Hey, look, I want ownership of my data. I think it’s important that you respect my right to own the data and give me the chance to willingly give you the data. And at the same time, let me get something out of it in terms of a trading value.”
Yes. Our approach is going to be a bottom-up approach where we appeal to as many of the end-users as possible through various means. It could be different data polls. It could be gameplay-related data. It could be health data. It could be all types of different data that we actually look at personal data. And once we have this viral adoption, we do hope to talk to enterprises and sort of help them understand the value of giving more ownership to the end-users. As a result, end-users share more data, which could actually be a lot more valuable to them. Over to you, Mark.
Mark Paul: Thank you, Praveen. That was a great question. So, I’m going to take two questions at the same time from the live channel because they’re kind of related. “You have been working for three years. Your token launches in March. What else would we expect in the upcoming weeks and months?” And a related question by Silver, “What are your thoughts on the future of Itheum? Why can’t exceed $2 these days? You think Itheum will be able to maintain its place in the market?”
So, the reason I’m picking this here is it’s kind of related to the roadmap, right? And I’m sure a lot of people want to know. Itheum’s been working in development for three years. The path that we have shifted to production is the Data CAT, right? This is the toolkit that you can use to bridge high-value, personal data from Web2 to Web3. This is already built. It’s already used in the industry. It’s used in the health industry. It’s used in the corporate wellness industry. And we are going to grow that as an individual product by itself.
So, our focus now with the launch, the TGE that happened last week is now fully on what we could do with the Elrond ecosystem immediately. And the first product that we are aiming to launch, I would say, optimistically within the next two to three months, is what we call the origin series of the NFMe avatar. So just to give you a quick idea of what you guys probably notice, the NFMe ID avatars are the version of you in the metaverse. And it’s based on NFT technology. And it’s based on generative 3D art technology.
So we are going to launch the origin series of NFT avatars. And these are super cool that we have a tool that’s going to let you actually try it out and mint your own NFMe ID avatars. And the origin series will inform the core skeleton almost for all the other NFMe ID avatars that come on top of it. So that’s super exciting. We are working on that NFT drop, which will be unlike anything that you guys have seen before.
But that’s just not what we are doing, right? We’re not just minting NFTs. These NFTs are actually utility-based, so they have personal data linked to them. So when you mint it, you link some personal data to it. So immediately, you’re going to see some benefits. And though the first two products that we are working on is one is called the player passport, which is for the gaming industry. That’s going to let players own their data using this NFMe ID avatar technology. And the second is very interesting, it’s in the health space, in the enterprise space, it’s health passports, where you’re going to be able to link health data and then explore Web3, and metaverse use cases through it as well.
So, all of this is some internal product roadmap linked to the price. Now, we’ll also be announcing a lot of partnerships that are coming up as well. So price is always a speculated thing based on the second question — if the market’s doing well, people are going to be speculating on it. But our goal is to actually build and ship and put a product out and also put out a product that appeals to a vast amount of people, not just a few people who are kind of doing this.
The thing about personal data ownership and trading personal data is it applies to everybody in the world, right? Every one of us has personal data that it’s currently being stolen from us. So we have a huge market to address. So our goal is to, from a product perspective, ship on a regular basis and let the market decide what we’re worth. So I’ll hand it to Praveen now.
Praveen Paul: Okay, guys. Again, we’ll keep circulating between these pre-asked questions and also the live ones. I mean, there are so many coming and it’s really good to see you guys getting so involved. So I have a question here that talks about revenue generation being an important aspect for all projects to survive and maintain, especially in this scene. And so basically, what are we doing to ensure that happens and basically keep the project going for as long as it actually can keep going and not just purely depend on the funds that we raised. It’s a very good question.
I think everyone should ask this question of projects because it’s very important for projects to plan their cash flow and plan their revenue streams so that they take a long-term approach and not just look at basically just spending the funds that they raised. So, with Itheum, obviously, I guess the starting point of our revenue generation will come through the trade of all of the data that actually goes through our platform. So when our actual platform is launched, each of the trades through the platform will have a very small percentage that will actually be taken as a fee, essentially that will power some of the revenue generation angles.
So once we do look at a longer-term, midterm approach… once we get past the building of the initial and the release of the initial core tech onto the mainnet, we’ll be looking at also onboarding enterprises board. And when we look at the enterprise onboarding scene, we’ll be actually looking at areas that are data-intense that will require a substantial amount of personal data. And since we’ll have a lot of personal data in the system at that point through people minting their own NFMe ID and loading all types of data across to that and getting it available for trade, we’ll be able to talk to enterprises to help them understand the value of that data because it’s provided by the end-users and look at areas such as, for example, engineering the manufacturing industries, the hospitality industries.
So, these are industries that actually work very well when they actually have a lot of data that they can gather from end-users. So these are other revenue streams that we’ll be bringing in across through the deployment of various data platforms that will start ingesting data into the Itheum platform.
And our connector platforms like our Data CAT, for example, actually will connect to typical Web2 applications and start bringing across this data. So we do have plans as the years and months progress, including a lot of these enterprise-level data platforms as well to connect across to our Data DEX and start using that accordingly. Over to you, Mark.
Mark Paul: Okay. Thank you. So I’m going to move on to a question that was asked previously, but it’s very important. And this question is by MDD, “Will both metastaking and metabonding ITHEUM be possible in the future?”
Yes, and I have to address this because it’s very, very important. So for those of you who are not from the Elrond ecosystem… firstly, welcome to the Elrond ecosystem. It’s a pretty awesome place to be. For those of you who are familiar with Elrond, you’ll know that Elrond does a lot of things that are very community-oriented. This is one of the reasons (one of the main reasons) we decided to pick Elrond as our main chain. And that’s because they put in place programs that actually let the community participate a lot more. And two of those programs that they introduced, one was introduced a while ago called metastaking, which is another utility where if you provide the liquidity to a specific project, you are able to get more value by metastaking your liquidity tokens.
So, that’s already live. And I believe Holoride already has a metastaking pool, but metabonding is very interesting. And I’m not sure if there are other projects that are already supporting metabonding in Elrond, but we definitely intend to support metabonding. And if you look at our tokenomics, we have quite a large portion of our tokens that are set aside for ecosystem and community. And a lot of them unlock at the beginning because we want to kickstart metabonding and metastaking as soon as possible. We want people to not just FOMO into Itheum and then disappear.
Another person put a comment here that said Itheum is a very different project compared to all the other projects we see around. And that’s very true. And I think you guys and girls who picked this up. We’re not just some game, we’re not just some play to run guild or anything. We’re actually trying to build something that’s going to be around for 50 years, especially as we hinder this metaverse phase of the world where you need this kind of data ownership platform.
So we really want the community to come in early and then stay with us for the long run — and that’s metabonding. So metabonding is this phased-out community bonding program by Elrond, which incentivizes people to come in early and then stay, and then the longer you stay, you get tokens that are sent to you. So, yes, of course, we’ll be doing metastaking and metabonding as soon as possible. And on top of that, we’ll probably start launching our own community in long-term bonding programs as well, which we are kind of thinking about what’s the best way to do. Praveen, over to you.
Praveen Paul: It’s great that you started the topic of the gaming guilds and the gaming environments because I picked a question here from our live questions just on this topic in regard to giving an insight on what. “Can you please give us an insight on the gaming guilds and environments that will be joining Itheum in the first wave?”
I think it’s a very good question. And it’s obviously, a very key highlight for us actually going into the first wave. And you picked up on that very well. Now obviously, we have released a blog post on the gaming and guild space.
I would strongly encourage you to visit our blog and actually have a read through that because it actually does explain a bit why we think gaming data is valuable and why sort of in a way, not very structured. Now, both Mark and I come from, once again, data-intense industries — we worked a lot with data analytics. We worked a lot with data harvesting platforms, but this is all in the traditional space. And you guys know in the traditional space, this thing is very well set up. There are very, very strong means of data gathering and analytics platforms that are actually available already out there.
So, what we are looking to do is basically work with games and gaming guilds, whom we’ve had a lot of connectivity with right now. And it’s very interesting to speak to these games because we would like to be their data platform to help them understand their players and scholars, and also help them get a deeper understanding and connection with them. In addition to being a decentralized setup where we give ownership of the data back to the person who’s playing, back to the scholar that has joined a particular guild instead of basically hoarding that data.
So, this is going to be an interesting area for us, not just being able to collect the data but also using the building blocks that we’ve actually already pre-built to gather and analyze data in various other industries to help guilds and games also understand the data a lot better… visualize it better. Look at some nice graphs, look at analytics, look at how exactly the payers are performing. Are they doing a good job? Are they effectively utilizing their assets? Things like that, which I think could be really good for a lot of the guilds, particularly the mid-size guilds.
For example, they don’t want to invest a lot of time and effort into building their own infrastructure. So there’s a lot coming in this space. I would highly urge you to follow us and keep a close track of this because this is going to be one of the big things that will actually be coming out when we do launch. The NFMe avatar is actually going to be the core of the player passport. So very exciting times, I think. So please keep an eye on this, and then we look forward to you guys asking more questions on this too. Over to you, Mark.
Mark Paul: Okay. So the next question, I’ll take two quick questions. “Why the Itheum name for this project?” And this is related to another question that asked us whether Itheum and Ethereum are related. I’m going to take this because it’s very important and just wanted to clarify.
So Itheum and Ethereum are not really related. Itheum is not a blockchain — it is a data protocol and it can be implemented on any blockchain, including Ethereum, but at the moment we’re working on Elrond. Actually, the name Itheum originated in 2017, which is the time when I first got exposed to the blockchain, but the name Itheum stands in my native language stands for “heart” because the first version of Itheum was a data protocol that unlocked cardiovascular heart health data. So the platform was named Itheum, which means heart.
So the next question is whether offering individual data is good from Nancy7B. “Offering individual data is good, but is there anything like pooling data, having strong similarities in order to make it more attractive? How do you plan to connect this pool of data with prospective buyers?”
Awesome question, because what you’ve described is one of the main value propositions of Itheum. Itheum has the ability for you to do like peer-to-peer personal data trade or peer-to-peer data NFT-based trade. But realistically, it’s not going to work like this in the future. No one has the time to go and source another person’s personal data if I’m an enterprise or a business. Let’s give you an example — let’s say I’m a health research company and I want health data. I’m not going to go to the Itheum Data DEX and then try to find a hundred people whom I can get their data for. This is why we introduced the technology called the Data Coalition DAOs. The Data Coalition DAOs means anybody can form a DAO, but we actually encourage people who understand the data within the DAO to form it.
So in that example of health, you would see somebody like maybe a research institute, maybe a university, maybe a hospital, a hospital network, or a clinic network. They form the DAO, they end up as board members, and then they incentivize people to come to this Data Coalition DAO and align to it. And how it works is initially, the DAO will begin, and then just like a staking pool, as a user, you’ll be able to kind of see who’s running this DAO, see some background, see if they understand data regulation, data privacy, and then you align. It’s like you align, then you forget. And then this DAO is going to price the data and then trade the data and then reimburse you in micropayments.
And at any time as a user, if you say, “I don’t like the person or board that’s running this DAO,” or maybe they didn’t use the data according to the terms — you can exit at any time. So it’s this concept of, “I want friction-free trading of my personal data, but I want some sort of voting ability to decide who’s going to represent my data, but if they do wrong, I can exit anytime.” And this is a really powerful concept.
We envision Itheum in the future will be like a DAO of DAOs because you’re going to have DAOs for different industries, gaming, and financial health. And what’s really cool — if you look at the Itheum tokenomics, we are going to fund a lot of these DAOs to be created initially. And we are almost going to create the data marketplace — think of it as data market making. So that’s really exciting, and thank you for that question. Praveen, over to you.
Praveen Paul: All right. Man, we are getting so many questions — 157 live questions… that is unbelievable. And we still have some time to go. So, we may have to do more of these I feel at this rate, and it’s amazing to see this. I’m so encouraged. I think both of us are so thrilled to see this, right? So one of the quick things — I can see a few questions revolving around our team, basically the importance of growing the team the community, and also looking at projects, and attracting partners. And I think more along the lines of a couple of things — is there a plan to recruit and also to recruit people to test the stuff that we actually are deploying and find bugs with it?
So, I think these are good questions and it’s good to see you guys actually asking these questions too. So we are in the early stages, as you guys know. We’ve got a good team, but we’ve still got a long way to go in building a great team. And I think what’s great about this team that we are building, and the team that is already with us now is… everybody here with us truly believes in the power of data ownership. And that’s what’s critical, and we’ve spoken to so many people who are keen to work with us, we’ve shortlisted many. And the majority trend is everyone just loves the project because they firmly believe in data ownership and claiming ownership of their data. And that’s why they want to be a part of this.
So, yes, we are recruiting. We’ve got many positions open at the moment. There will be many, that’ll be opening up in time to come. There is a career section on our site that will be constantly updated. If you have put an application in and we haven’t responded, I apologize. Obviously, we’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the number of requests that come in, but we will definitely get to all of your requests. We will definitely answer anyone who’s actually sent us a message. And it’s amazing to be able to build a truly global community. And that’s what’s really nice with crypto. This whole blockchain crypto space is the ability that we are not restricted geographically. The ability that we can work with anyone, meet people from all over the world, and that’s how our team’s going to be. It’s going to be a truly global team with people working from all over the world. So please continue to put your applications in. We will reach out to you, we will speak to you, and we will shortlist you as and when required. And we’ll be in touch because this team is just starting and we’ve got a long road ahead of us and we want you to be a part of it. Over to you, Mark.
Mark Paul: Thank you. And just on that note, head over to the career page. We have some engineering roles that are open. So, if you guys are into software engineering, if you’re Rust developers or even Solidity developers, please reach out. I don’t think these roles have reached the careers page yet, but we’ll probably update it in the next day or so.
Okay. So I am going to pick a question from the live chat. “I see in the roadmap that in Q2, Q3, we have an enterprise data sharing use case. Obviously, the web gaming ecosystem is huge in that it puts Itheum solely on the map for the short to medium term. Can you please share insights on tackling the enterprise data space? I believe that our challenge gives you a sneak peek at this.”
Yes. Thank you and absolutely. We’ve been doing this for three years and we started focusing on enterprises. And we realized that it’s really hard to sell to go to an enterprise and say, “Here’s some pretty cool blockchain data tech. And if you use it, your users get to own their data.” So whenever we say those words, they look at us like we are crazy, right? Because why would they give up ownership of their data?
So, that’s when we pivoted and said, “Listen, if we want to disrupt this industry, we have to go bottom-up.” And we have to put the pressure on from the bottom. And that’s when we came up with the NFMe ID avatars and the idea that everybody owns one of them and they start linking bits and pieces of their data. If you’re a gamer, you link your gaming data. If you are not a gamer and you just want to experiment, you link some identity data to it — or if you are one of those people who loves cutting edge tech, you link your health data to it, or your wellness data to it. And you get to immediately explore this tech from the bottom up. But you are right. Enterprise data is a huge market. And Praveen and I both have 20 years of experience in this space. And we have a lot of contexts and we talk to a lot of people, but we just feel like if we pursue that now, we are going to kind of waste a bit of our time. Instead, what we would like to do is go to an industry like Web3 crypto gaming, who’s got huge amounts of data who are open to adopting this tech. And then we will, at the same time, work on some enterprise angles and we are working on them.
So Red Heart Challenge is already in production — it’s a cardiovascular health app. OKPulse, which is a corporate wellness tool, is built on Itheum and is already in production. We’re talking to some of the largest healthcare providers who are interested in Itheum as a health data platform — huge industries. We’re talking to people in the sports industry or those who are interested in tokenizing sports data. So the moment the enterprise people see the mass adoption that’s enabled in the Web3 gaming side, they cannot ignore Itheum anymore. And they cannot ignore all these people who own these avatars already. And they’ll be happy to come and plugin. So it’s a very strategic go-to-market strategy, and we are very confident that when we execute this, we will eventually be able to get into the last enterprise market as well. Over to you, Praveen.
Praveen Paul: Cool. I’ll go back to one of the pre-asked questions because it is like a two-part question for both you and me, Mark. So maybe we can answer this together. This is from Kirthi’s. The first part of the question asks, “A common problem nowadays — most investors are only interested in initial profits and ignore long-term benefits. So can you give some reasons why they should buy and hold your tokens in the long term?”
Very good question. And I think it’s a very important question to ask, “Why do you invest in something and think long term?” And that’s one thing I would like to highlight — the strength of the Elrond ecosystem. And the fact that the community is just a major hotlist. And that’s what we love about this ecosystem. The fact that I guess, everyone that we come in contact with has been with Elrond from the beginning, has been a part of the whole journey. And that’s one of the main reasons why we decided that this would be the best platform for us to launch — because we firmly believe that majority of those who actually do invest in our project will see the overall vision that Elrond has for the ecosystem.
And if you guys haven’t already, I’ve been telling everyone this, but there was a Binance blockchain conference this week that just occurred in Dubai — we’d be happy to post a link to a section of the conference in which Elrond actually spoke. Lucian from Elrond actually had a nice discussion on the bigger picture that Elrond has as far as metaverse and data, why payments will actually disappear, and how all of the Elrond ecosystem — the projects that actually are built through the ecosystem are there for the long run. And why they’re actually going to be beneficial in the long run as they support each other. So I would strongly encourage you to go and see that because that really paints the bigger picture about how as an ecosystem, they encourage investors who are actually in it for the long run because they have a big term picture. They’re not in it to make a quick buck. The second part of the question to you, Mark, I think you can read it out.
Mark Paul: Yep, sure. Let me jump to that question. “Do you have any plans to attract non-crypto investors to join your project? Because the success of a project matters, as more investors haven’t yet entered the crypto world. What are your plans to raise awareness about your project in a non-crypto space?”
Awesome question. So, our current investors are, I would say, mostly crypto investors, but we have non-crypto exposed investors as well. So one of our investors also invests in health tech data companies as well. If you look at our funding round, it was actually quite small because we aligned with Elrond, and they wanted a larger community round, or a lesser impact of a private round. Even though our private rounds are closed, we are definitely open to talking to bringing in some mainstream investors as well. So there are many investors in the world who are only now getting introduced to blockchain tech and they want to get into it. And interestingly enough, a lot of them are kind of blinded by just the 1,000 games that are launched every day.
So, when they see something like Itheum, which actually has some sort of long-term vision and a go-to-market strategy, they’re very interested to talk to us. The other interesting part about Itheum as I’ve mentioned is we have this thing called the Data CAT, which is an SDK that you can build real-world apps on. This is attractive to investors who do not really understand crypto, but who understand Web2 tech. This really just appeals to them because they can see, as an example, there’s an app called OKPulse, which is a corporate wellness tool. If they look at it, it just looks like a regular tech application. So they might be just interested in investing in one of these apps that somebody builds on Itheum not knowing that they’ve been directly, already been exposed to crypto. Yes, of course, I think there are benefits in getting more traditional VCs in this space, but ultimately Itheum’s mission is a community — we are a data platform for us to populate our form with data.
It’s not going to be VCs who are going to come and put that data in there — it’s going to be a community. So we are more thinking now that because we have finished our funding rounds, how do we best use our community and ecosystem bucket to incentivize more community adoption, more bonding, more staking, and long-term vision. Over to you, Praveen.
Praveen Paul: And, Mark, to add to that, I think for the bigger VC investors, we’re talking about people who are not into crypto getting into crypto. And I think that’s also another angle that we can actually look at in terms of others getting into this space. And that’s where I think in our longer-term plan, obviously, when we work with… it sort of leads me to this next question here, which is in regard to what direction you see Itheum going, continuing in the data field (pun intended), or branching out in other directions, perhaps returning to the medical field or has that ship already sailed?
This is a good question because we’ve been having many discussions with data providers. And the interesting thing with people who actually are from the medical field is they don’t understand crypto at all. So, this causes an interesting situation for us because us being a crypto native data platform and them having medical data, which obviously is valuable and all types of medical data, right? It could be heart-related data, genome data… I mean, the sky is the limit. It could be your medical reports, whatever it is that essentially that is uniquely yours, essentially that you would like to, if possible, put into a platform and monetize it. But a lot of those people who have that data are not very sharp with crypto or haven’t really gotten into crypto. And this is where I guess we also provide those who are not crypto savvy investors with an opportunity to get into crypto by building a bridge that essentially provides them a bridge from Web2 to Web3 through our system, through our ecosystem.
So data can be brought in from very traditional conservative fields, like the medical field into a crypto-native system and traded it either individually or on behalf of an organization or a DAO as it would be set up in our system. Yes, medical is big. We’ve got, as Mark was saying before, an investor who’s big on medical. We’ve actually got a project in Romania that we’re working with closely — that is also medical. We do have a very… I think it’s an untapped area, very traditional, but we certainly believe that, as Itheum, we have the building blocks to help these areas sort of get into crypto and get something out of the data that they have. Over to you, Mark.
Mark Paul: All right. Thank you. I think we’re heading to the last five minutes. Probably, we’ll take two more questions and then we’ll wrap up, and then maybe there are so many questions we’ll save it maybe for another Discord AMA. So, I’ll take the one before the last question. This is a pre-asked question from Harsha Prabath. “Most of the questions people had during the AMA asked about strengths of the project. So at this time, can we talk about your difficulties and challenges? Have you faced any major problems in creating your project so far? And if so, how did you solve them?”
So, thank you for that very thoughtful question. Yes, of course — so as explained, we have been trying to do this for four years and we began by going to enterprises and saying we have this cool blockchain data and ownership tech, letting your users own their data. And we, unfortunately, took a while to realize that this was not the right approach. It took us a few years. And then we completely went crypto native, and we started looking at what the use cases are in crypto that might leverage technology that lets people own and trade their personal data.
When we started this about eight months ago, we found out that almost all the VCs were just investing in games, guilds, and NFTs. And it was really hard to find any serious venture capitalist who would see the long-term mission and vision behind us. So this was quite disheartening because we had a real community-driven technology, we had a real decentralized core protocol level stack. That’s going to be around forever. And then we couldn’t get anyone to take us seriously in Web2 or Web3. There’s, I guess, a lesson here for anybody else, who’s kind of struggling with this — then we did what we do best, right?
We just built and built the Data DEX. We demonstrated data NFTs eight months ago, in addition to peer-to-peer trade. We started Data Coalition DAOs and did multi-chain, and we just launched it and we took part in a hackathon, and then we won that hackathon. And then we realized when we started winning these hackathons, people couldn’t ignore us anymore. So, we took part in just three or four hackathons and we just won everything. We won Filecoin, did well in Hadera, were fourth in Polygon, and then discovered Elrond.
So this is a lesson, I guess, if you want, you can take it. If you’re hitting these walls, just build the tech, take part in hackathons and then use that to kind of get your product amplified. And then you take part in another hackathon, and you get amplified. Eventually, they cannot ignore you. And that’s kind of our story. Praveen, do you want to take the last question?
Praveen Paul: Yeah, sure. I think there are just too many and it’s so difficult to pick. How do you pick from these? It’s like you want to answer every question — it’s tough. But I got a good one that I just picked up here just randomly — it says, “Many data creators sell their data to large firms. After that, they don’t have anything to do with their data. Why should these kinds of data creators join Itheum and what are the benefits that they will get here?”
So, this is exactly the sort of problem that we are trying to solve here — the fact that we provide you with a means of tracking your data. So essentially, you bring your data across to Itheum, and then from Itheum, you share it across to where you need to share it, right? And this can be either shared individually. And as Mark pointed out before, you could even maintain an NFT — your data gets converted into an NFT which gives you the ability to understand where it’s going. So that you can keep a track of where your data is shared. And similarly, you can always align yourself up to a DAO and have the DAO trade the data on your behalf.
And the DAO will obviously have a reputation score based on the data it trades. So you are going to as an individual, have a lot more clarity, a lot more transparency on where your data is going. And that is really the key fact here — and the key problem that we actually trying to solve. And we are going to solve it because there was another question around the fact that a lot of projects talk about stuff, but nothing’s really built yet. That is where we are very different — where we actually do have tech already built, we already have tech built on testnets. Now we are just taking it live. I think we have more than a thousand of our community members who’ve actually logged into our DEX and actually tried the DEX on our testnet.
So, it’s amazing to see that you guys are already using it. And you’re giving us input on how to make it better. This is what it’s going to be all about, basically, creating that along with the community, you helping us along the way. Data is not a simple topic, obviously, but we’d love to work along with you and help you get more ownership of your data. As creators, be able to see where your data is traded and know where exactly it’s going.
So I guess, Mark, we can wrap up, right? I think this is a very good session, really enjoyed it. I think we’ll definitely do more of these. Maybe we’ll give them a theme or something, Mark, next time so that we can handle more questions of similar nature. What do you say?
Mark Paul: I think that’s a great idea. One thing that really stood out in all the AMAs that we usually run is just the level of understanding of the Itheum project. And the questions are just so wonderful. So, I think the next one we’ll do is we’ll have a specific theme, maybe NFMe ID avatar, something that will introduce you more to more towards, but, yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a good idea.
Praveen Paul: Fantastic. So, guys, thank you very much. I really appreciate all of you joining. From my side, thank you so much. It was a pleasure being a part of the first official AMA on Discord. Hopefully, you got some good answers out of both of us, so I’ll leave it to Mark to close. Thank you.
Mark Paul: Thank you, Praveen. Thanks, everybody, it was really wonderful being here with you, one-on-one with our community. Apologies if we couldn’t get to all the questions, but we’ll have a few more of these. Thanks to our Discord moderators for organizing this and making sure it went so smoothly. So have a wonderful morning, afternoon, or night, wherever you are in the world, and we’ll speak soon. Goodbye.
Praveen Paul: Bye, guys.
Itheum empowers data ownership in the Web3 and Metaverse ecosystems and creates new market value for your data. It enables this by providing “decentralized data brokerage” technology. It’s a suite of tools that enable high-value data to be bridged from web2 to web3 and then be traded via peer-to-peer sales. It allows for “viral adoption” via our creative “Data NFTs” (provide “inner value” to NFTs and enable royalties / limited supply) and “NFMe ID” technology (a living Metaverse avatar representation of you — wrapped as an NFT and backed by personal data) and our innovative Data Coalition DAOs (which bulk trades your data). It also aims to be fully privacy-preserving, regulation-friendly and cross-chain; making it the most comprehensive core blockchain data infrastructure available in the market with use-cases in both the enterprise and retail space.