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Deep Dive with Dan Novaes, CEO at Current

Dan will be joining us live on 27th February at 2pm PST

posted 10 months ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
Dan Berger
What do you see as the problem Current is trying to solve?
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Dan Novaes
@Dan-Berger Right now media consumption and distribution is fairly binary. The two options that exist are 1) use this service for free and get ads and let me use your data the way i please without your discretion 2) pay for this service... I think there is more to it than just these two options. Users should have choice in how they consume and the should be rewarded for their time data and attention. I am 100% certain the next netflix's and Facebooks of the world will adapt similar models that align incentives amongst all parties.
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Dan Berger
@Dan-Berger @novaes_ai sounds very cool - have always felt that those two options are limiting. Can't wait to see your hybrid
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Dan Novaes
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Joshua Kaufman
Is it valuable to reward the consumption of content for the user? Is there some mechanism it helps propel in the tokenomics? Users tend to go where the good content goes, so incentivization doesn't seem necessary. Correct me if I'm wrong. Kinda, reminds me of how Bing rewarded users for using Bing search every day, obviously it didn't work cause the service was at best marginally better than Google, if at all.
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Dan Novaes
@Joshua-Kaufman I think people will always go to where the good content is, but i think that users should get rewarded for their time and attention when they are consuming that content even if they CHOSE to go watch it. When i get hit with an ad or some other piece of content i didn't want you are wasting my time and attention - We can never get that time or attention back. By paying users for that time attention and data while also providing them with the best content then you create something that is much better than anything that i believe currently exists today. thats the goal... That even the platforms you are imagining have things they want from you that they have yet to get ( things that would make their service better and increase network value - here is a fair way to do it that aligns interests amongst all parties )
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Joshua Kaufman
Is your "perfect world" for content/consumption one where centralized content distributors no longer exist, but rather the current network act as the decentralized hub for connecting creators, consumers, and advertisers. Ultimately removing all middlemen from the industry. If not, could you describe your "perfect world" scenario, want to understand the future you're trying to build
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Dan Novaes
@Joshua-Kaufman I dont think most users really care of things are decentralized or not - they just want the best experience. My goal is to provide that. What decentralization gets is the ability to give choice to consumers and creators in a worldwide fashion. I get access to countries and people I would never had otherwise. I highly doubt the centralized services we use today will be going away anytime soon, I think that simply they will need to change their model to something that more closely resembles our form of compensation to the user for their consumption. I think my perfect world would have that and Current leading the charge of getting all major platform bought into that notion - along with have our platform being a hub where centralized services and a decentralized service meet.
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Joshua Kaufman
How many DAUs (and how do define a user) do you believe you need in order for the ecosystem to become self-sustaining? When do you think you will see this happen?
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Nathan Pilcowitz
@Joshua-Kaufman @novaes_ai v Thanks for your thoughtful answer -- how do you define an AU? (i.e someone who listens to one song a month is a MAU?)
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Dan Novaes
@Joshua-Kaufman The platform does not yet have the incentive part of it built into it for the public to use, right now users can download Current in the app store to see how we integrate a variety of services people love in one place. Our hope to to have something our in the upcoming couple of months that people can play with as an alpha for the reward aspect of Current. We are optimizing for a 50% ratio of MAU to DAU - I think the ecosystem will become self sustaining going into next year. At the end of the day if you are providing value to people then its not hard to scale things. media consumption is something all of us do every day independent of where we are located. our value prop is quite unique in the market.
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Joshua Kaufman
Are you more excited by the blockchains potential to remove middlemen increasing value to the users/sellers, by the globalization of products/services which are decentralized and autonomous, or by the potential for unimaginable applications which could’ve never existed before to now have a platform to exist on?
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Dan Novaes
@Joshua-Kaufman i think a little bit of all! I think as we move past this infrastructure building part of the industry many of these will become more evident in our daily lives. Decentralization excites me but things need to be practical ( right now we face several chicken and egg issues in addition to obvious scalability worries )and i think projects like Current are a great bridge to get us there.
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Ben Tossell
How did you get into crypto?
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Dan Novaes
@bentossell I started investing in it after i found out about it at a party after college. I heard about this young kid who went to MIT who was a "miner" and I had absolutely no idea what he meant. bought bitcoin soon after
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Soona Amhaz
What's the vision and story behind Current?
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Dan Novaes
@soonaorlater its about setting the precedent of what media consumption is going to look like in the next decade to come. Its about giving people independent of their location the best access to content. Its about rewarding people for their most precious assets - their time, data, and attention.
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Soona Amhaz
What role do you anticipate cryptocurrencies playing in our lives 5-10 years out?
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Dan Novaes
@soonaorlater I think we will see it expand into all aspects of our lives. Right now we are in the infrastructure stage of Blockchain/crypto. In the next 5-10 years i think we will see so many amazing practical applications built. We will see resources that we were once unable to attribute value to now getting "tokenized" - Beyond that, I think we will see many tier 3-4 currencies fade out of existence and get replaced by universal crypto currencies.
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Dennis Stücken
How will mining of CRNC tokens exactly work?
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Dan Novaes
@dstuecken as you consume content on Current or any platform that integrates on Current protocol you earn the token. We assign a variable to your consumption based on your contribution to the overall ecosystem. Its similar to the hash rate if you were mining bitcoin - the higher it is the more powerful or "better" your consumption is to the overall ecosystem.
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Romane Geraci
What are the potential problems Current might face down the line?
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Dan Novaes
@Romane-Geraci @Romane-Geraci The most common question we get is what happens if Spotify or someone doesn't want to work with you and pulls your access. Our response to that is two fold. 1) current is not dependent on any one service for its content integrations - we integrate with several and also have our own internal partnerships & developments being launched. 2) Our mission is not to cannibalize Spotify or any platform, its quite the opposite. we want to reward people for something they aren't being rewarded for today which gives them the ability to get premium subscriptions in return + Spotify earns money for each play of its service within the Current network. We also incent the platforms we want to partner with by allowing them to launch their own token using Current protocol by staking a large portion of CRNC for their sub token ecosystem.
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Calvin Chu
How did you & your team decide on an airdrop strategy?
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Dan Novaes
@calchulus We had 250,000 people registered in less than 3-4 weeks after announcing the sale to the public, at the rate we were going we would be with 750k people signed up for the sale. Even if only 50% made whitelist we would have to limit contributions to .1 a person ( hard cap was only 36M ) ... I did not like the idea of blocking whole countries due to regulatory environment. Our north start as a consumer platform is the our users and we didnt want to block anyone - thus - the airdrop was the best way to go while also having everyone being able to participate and growing the value of the overall network. We made a very large one ($4M + other ways to earn ) in order to reward those who supported us throughout this process.
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Calvin Chu
Lucky enough to have gone to school with Brian Ng! Would love to learn about how your team assembled!
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Dan Novaes
@calchulus Great guy! he was a friend of another economist we worked with. He was in chicago for a workshop we did this past weekend with a bunch of blockchain devs and advisors / contributors of the team.
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Calvin Chu
My first internship the summer between high school and college was at an internet radio place (accuradio.com), and the loyalties were a huge pain to both our time and our bottom line, but as a kid that never made a cent off his YouTube channel, I get both sides of the problem - how do you see Current setting the standard for mediating both sides in a fair way to make media creators, supporters, and consumers?
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Dan Novaes
@calchulus I think that was rooted in the way we created our token breakdown for every token minted in the system - 55% to consumer, 20% creators, 20% curators, 3% referrers, and 2% growth pool. I think its about aligning incentives amongst all parties and thats why your token economics are one of the most important things you will do.
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Romane Geraci
What are the potential problems Current might face down the line?
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Dan Novaes
@Romane-Geraci The most common question we get is what happens if Spotify or someone doesn't want to work with you and pulls your access. Our response to that is two fold. 1) current is not dependent on any one service for its content integrations - we integrate with several and also have our own internal partnerships & developments being launched. 2) Our mission is not to cannibalize Spotify or any platform, its quite the opposite. we want to reward people for something they aren't being rewarded for today which gives them the ability to get premium subscriptions in return + Spotify earns money for each play of its service within the Current network. We also incent the platforms we want to partner with by allowing them to launch their own token using Current protocol by staking a large portion of CRNC for their sub token ecosystem.
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