BitcoinX: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. Shall we begin with who you are and what you do at VIULY?
Ruslan Popa (RP): Hi, I’m very pleased for the opportunity! My name is Ruslan Popa and I am the CEO of VIULY.
BitcoinX: Tell us – what is VIULY? What is the main idea behind the project and why did you decide to start it?
RP: At its most basic level, VIULY is a video sharing platform based on the blockchain. The main idea behind VIULY is to provide a way for a video sharing network to directly benefit and share rewards between themselves. Because it’s decentralized, there won’t be any central control mechanism so you get a censorship free platform.
I thought a great deal about this idea when I saw the unfair nature of the current industry – how our competitors run their platforms, without sharing rewards fairly and controlling so many aspects.
I felt that authors should be able to sell access to premium content, receive donations and earn more from in-video ads. Users should earn rewards for watching free videos. Advertisers should be able to choose where to place ads and be allowed to pay directly to users.
I believed that a decentralized platform would result in more equitable distribution of advertising revenues among content creators and users. No more middlemen!
A tokenized rewards and payment system, like VIULY’s VIU tokens, would allow automatic payments on the platform, storing every transaction forever on the blockchain. VIU tokens would be based on the Ethereum blockchain, executed by smart contracts. VIU tokens, therefore, would represent the main tool for transferring value between advertisers, content creators and users.
So that’s the whole idea! I hope to bring the VIULY network together to enter this huge, multi-billion dollar video sharing market and completely change the game.
BitcoinX: Blockchain technology is expected to alter the landscape and/or create efficiencies in almost every industry. In what ways does your technology address these?
RP: Blockchain tech certainly opens up a lot of possibilities to improve efficiency in the video sharing industry due to its inherent characteristics. These include decentralized distribution, transparency, immutability and security.
With smart contracts executing all payments and related processes automatically, there is no need for 3rd party interference to delay processes. Everything is automated and transparent to everyone on the blockchain. Settlements and transactions are quicker and more efficient on the blockchain: no more waiting for payments and no more ambiguity about how much you will get.
Another efficiency is how the network is in full control. The platform rewards the entire network (as described above) but, more importantly, it does this while eliminating middlemen and their ability to restrict. Decentralization negates the need for 3rd parties, putting control of the network in the hands of the network.
This results in a system that is free: no censorship and access restriction. This will minimize user frustration in censorship and restricted access because the network decides quickly which content is allowed and which content they want to access.
BitcoinX: When and why did you first decide to do an ICO?
RP: As soon as I was clear on the issues with our competitors, I worked on a concept that I thought would solve them. I knew that it was a great idea with a lot of potential. I knew that video sharing was already becoming the future of how people communicate.
My own outlook is that there will be an even bigger shift to online video over the coming years, especially by the larger players in the marketplace. I also understand how big players in the industry like YouTube work, and I know how things could be improved. As an avid believer of blockchain technology, I see the benefits that it could bring to general society and global business as a whole.
VIULY’s vision to fully decentralize the industry and reward all participants fairly through the use of blockchain technology to power its platform was an exciting glimpse of the future to me.
I believed that an ICO would be the appropriate platform to launch this project, as it would ideally provide the necessary foundation for building a solution encompassing all the problems that I felt needed resolving.
BitcoinX: Tell us about the preparations required to get the project to this point?
RP: To be honest, like any project one truly believes in, there have been a lot of sleepless nights involved! I know it can be cliché, but everyone involved has shed a fair share of blood, sweat and tears.
I spent a tremendous amount of time discussing ideas with industry experts, including developers and coders, video sharing experts, blockchain, PR, marketing experts and many others. It has been a long journey so far, but I think this is just the beginning and there is a lot more hard work to come for both myself and my team.
BitcoinX: What makes this project especially exciting for ICO participants? What makes them want to join?
RP: It’s exciting because it promises to change the industry on so many levels! There have been many players who’ve tried to introduce changes and innovations to the scene. But I honestly believe that VIULY is really here to revolutionize the entire video sharing experience, to take the experience and rewards structure to a new, different level. I believe that VIULY offers a strategic advantage over our competitors; one that will take us into the future of video sharing.
We hope to do this by focusing on three basic solutions that most of our competitors have simply ignored and believe that these benefits will appeal to ICO participants!
- BENEFITS ARE SHARED – WE ALL GAIN A PART OF THE BENEFITS WITHIN THE NETWORK
One aspect that VIULY technology aims to transform is the way benefits are shared. It is one of the main problems in the industry that we hope to solve and this aspect alone separates us from the competition. We are creating a truly revolutionary platform that shares all the rewards internally among the components of the network, that is, publishers, viewers and advertisers.
This is completely contrary to how current processes work, where centralized companies control every transacting activity on their platforms, lacking transparency and taking up to 80% of all the revenue! Little, if anything, is shared with the people within the network – those who actually make all of this revenue possible.
I am confident that when our platform is activated and network participants are rewarded in real time for their efforts, they will see the process in action. They will be amazed to see that automatic rewards cannot be stopped and changed due to the use of smart contracts.
I foresee the network pushing the platform themselves because this. I hope that Viuly will create its own community where everyone interacts with each other and benefits each other.
- THE SYSTEM IS FAIR – DECENTRALIZATION MEANS THAT CONTROL IS WITHIN THE NETWORK AND IS AUTOMATIC
This is important as it will allow the network to benefit from a full range of interaction. At the same time, it takes control and social responsibility away from decision makers and gives it to the decentralized platform: no longer will absolute control be in the hands of the very few!
This has important implications, with viewers already moving from TV to online video content and studies suggesting this pattern is only going to get stronger.
Competition is necessary to the industry. The current centralization and market monopolization could even be of concern for other reasons. Can you imagine the few controlling what can and cannot be watched for their own interests, at the cost of side-lining legitimate videos and issues?
I believe that our platform is that competition and Viuly is what is needed to keep the middle ground. It creates a fairer system which allows the online video sharing space to be conducted in an open, transparent and accountable way. It also requires that the entire network maintains adherence to the common concepts of social responsibility, in which everyone has a say.
- A TRUE MARKETING TOOL
Another benefit VIULY offers will interest the business aspect of online video. Small, medium and large corporations acknowledge that online video is the future and will take content marketing by storm. I am convinced that our platform will become one of the leading marketing and lead generation tools that businesses the world over will use.
This will be achieved in the following ways:
Reduced Cost. Advertisers will be able to pay publishers and viewers directly – no more middlemen with hefty commissions. This will build a strong relationship within the network where everyone is there for each other and not just looking to exploit each other.
Better Quality. I believe marketing done within the network will result in higher quality. Without the need to work with 3rd parties outside the network, marketing minimizes irregularities. Since there will be no manipulation, alteration or external interference, marketing will be direct, targeted and fresh.
More Compliant Content. We aim to create a social media environment where people are ready to work with advertisers in a compliant and transparent way through the use of blockchain tech, resulting in data storage that is 100% compliant from day one. The network can either be targeted later or directly targeted based on advertiser needs.
This new way of marketing will be a revolution in its own right and will provide a 360 solution for businesses.
BitcoinX: Where are you in the actual development phase of the project?
RP: We have already worked on a bare structure of the VIULY platform, which we made available as an alpha version. Users were already able to test its basic functions as a video sharing platform, registering accounts, uploading and watching videos. VIU tokens have already been given out as rewards to these users for every action – demonstrating the ease of using VIU.
The next stage will be the public release of the Alpha platform which is scheduled for October 3.
Obviously, we will need a lot more work to fully develop the platform, as well as efforts on building commercial partnerships and grow our userbase – objectives which we laid out in our development roadmap. This will require us to raise funds, so for us the key dates will revolve around our ICO.
It kicks off with a pre-ICO from October 10 to October 13, where we will give the opportunity for our earliest supporters to purchase a limited amount of VIU tokens at a generous bonus. Our main ICO even begins on November 1 and ends on November 15, where the bulk of VIU tokens will be offered for sale.
BitcoinX: After a successful ICO, what is the timeline for coming to market?
RP: The full details of our timeline are available on our website at Viuly.com and in our Whitepaper. Our alpha platform is due to be released in a few days and we are serious about building out the decentralized video sharing platform of the future.
BitcoinX: Are you focused in any specific geographic areas?
RP: To begin with, we will focus first on the European and North American English-speaking populations as well as in Russia and surrounding countries, where people speak Russian.
I would also add here that the Asian market, including China and India, is really important to us. Ultimately, VIULY will be used worldwide and will be in every language, so that all can benefit from the platform.
BitcoinX: For those who have read your whitepaper and other info, is there anything else you want to add to convince them to participate?
RP: I would like to say that it is important to focus on the key objectives of the project, the platform’s vision and potential benefits. I appreciate that the whitepaper could do with better – needless to say, any attempt at summarizing an idea that continues to develop and evolve will always have room for improvement.
But I believe it’s sill early days and everything is a work in progress, so we always endeavour to better things in every possible way and greatly appreciate all the input and advice from our community.
Our aim is a network that allows people to do what they love doing and earn from what they love doing. Besides the obvious additional benefits, including additional or stand-alone income, VIULY hopes to foster innovation within the network and industry.
I believe this vision will be VIULY’s main catalyst and this is what we must keep our eyes firmly on.