Circuits of Value (Coval) Future of Trading & Rewards Platform
On July 11 2016 Loyyal™ announced the new direction for RibbitRewards™ The move had one major goal, to enable the legacy project to leverage the Loyyal™ network right away. Part of the change required the trademarked terms be removed from the crypto-currency. The originally proposed name was designated “NRG Vouchers”. This name was not received very well and a naming contest was held to come up with a new name.
Circuits of Value: COVAL was picked as the winning name and met with enthusiasm by the newly forming group of enthusiasts in slack.
With the help of community member: @3u11 the new website has begun to take shape. Everyone can view a teaser here: http://cov.al
The hand-off to me took place using my personal identity. This has a few disadvantages. In an effort to build COVAL into a successful RApp and revolutionary rewards program I found it necessary to form a corporation. The new C Corporation was formed in the crypto friendly state of Delaware under the name Decentric. All further agreements, partnerships and obligations will be undertaken within the context of Decentric.
The Business Model
COVAL can be seen as a 2 sided coin. Side one is able to be traded on crypto currency exchanges. Side two is the reward side. The reward side is utilized whenever a reward transaction takes place within the COVAL reward program.
The crypto side of COVAL is used as a currency within our program. The currency is used to purchase COVAL rewards. These rewards are then spent on partner offers or other gifts. Most often the transformation from crypto to rewards is completely automatic to the user and can appear as if they are directly spending COVAL crypto currency on products and services at our partner locations.
For users who do not wish to utilize the crypto features of COVAL, they can transform their existing COVAL tokens into COVAL rewards from within their wallets and spend them on gifts at a later time.
Users can earn COVAL rewards a number of ways within our RApp. Right away users will be able to earn COVAL rewards by shopping or utilizing deals from within the application. These deals can be coupons, check-in’s & social media interaction. Many of these rewards are paid for by the merchant providing the offer. Some of these rewards will be paid for by our program to encourage user participation within the network.
Users often times are presented with a way to “spend” rewards and receive extra discounts (sometimes using rewards to complete a purchase entirely) Rewards that are spent on goods and services will convert at the current market rate of COVAL. (A 50% coupon costs $5.00, at the market rate of $0.0007 the cost of this coupon would be 7,143 COVAL)
COVAL rewards can be redeemed for gift cards provided by participating merchants. Gift card redemption's happen at close to COVAL market rate.
COVAL rewards can soon be used to perform purchases at participating merchants.
Partner rewards can be spent on gifts & offers. These partner rewards are not dependent on the market rate of COVAL. These rewards have a value that’s specified by the partner who issued the rewards.
The more partner rewards used within our program the less the value of COVAL will rely on market rate.
Users are not required to purchase COVAL on an exchange, they have the ability to earn COVAL rewards through participating in the program and can spend these rewards on offers and gifts as they choose.
Seeing is understanding. Soon you will be able to see these features in action.
Road-map, State of the Chain, Momentum
This post should set the bar for the kind of momentum you can expect from COVAL.
Mobile Wallet: Coming soon.
We are actively investigating various options related to the crypto-currency side of COVAL, more details coming soon.
You might have noticed that this post spoke about accomplishments and was light on promises. This is intentional. As a business owner I value the ability to meet the demands of the market. The further out a road-map goes the blurrier it gets.
Within these updates you will hear about events since the last update, software releases that are nearing release, partnerships that have been realized and short term expectations.
What you will not see within these updates are promises of specific partnerships not yet realized, action plans that span years, products that may or may not be needed by the market by the time they can be built or other promises that might prohibit our ability to adjust to meet the demand of the market.
We are innovating, breaking apart and re-assembling classic models and assumptions and otherwise discovering the needs of the market. If we were to define preemptively, the plan of action, we would be doing less innovation and more trying to force a market to fit around our product. In closing I’d like to highlight a few quotes that embody the spirit of what I’m trying to describe.
On the redemption side we are working with a network that provides support for gifts from hundreds of well known brands across America, Canada and Europe.
Retail Brands such as: Amazon.com, eBay, Lowes, Target, Playstation, Best Buy & more.
Restaurant brands like: Black Angus, Chili’s, Maggiano’s & more.
Misc brands that provide everything from lodging to transportation: Lyft, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts & more.
On the earn side our offers coupons and discounts that you can earn rewards at numbers the 10’s of thousand. With over 1000 brands spanning the globe providing both local and online deals, the potential is limitless.
More Update Of Partner & Collaboration
We would like to announce that we have been collaborating with Alex Radzishevsky of TrustedAudio.com and AudioWatermarking.info. Alex is an Audio Engineer who specializes in audio watermarking and is an expert in many other audio related technologies. Our collaboration started several weeks ago and began as an exploration into the combination of audio watermarking with cryptography, blockchain and cryptocurrency tech. Alex has been a patient guide as we have experimented with various concepts to integrate ɃTC and the ₡OVAL cryptocurrency into the VOCAL audio publishing project in ways that leverage audio as a carrier of secure value. We’ll continue down this road with Alex as one of our primary areas of dev focus going forward. We’re confident that together we can bring new unique features to our projects and look forward to discussing our progress in future updates. In the meantime, we encourage anyone who has a need for general audio watermarking services to check out Alex’s websites to learn more about his patented solutions and services.
Coval Open Reward Distribution (CORD)
In addition to the 1/4 burn, we have also decided to allocate another 1/4 of the pre-mine (100m) to a program we are calling CORD which stands for Coval Open Reward Distribution. As the name suggests, we will distribute ₡OVAL tokens as rewards to people who use certain other cryptocurrency platforms that we will approve for this program and partner with. Primarily, this will be other content networks but may also include some games and other apps. We have a few projects already in mind that we would like to partner with on this but will not make official announcements yet.
We hope to have some automated processes in place to validate users and confirm that we can read their content and balances of earned funds (ɃTC or other cryptocurrency) on these other platforms. We may also include manual procedures to authorize payments. Details of terms, limitations, ratios and payout schedule details will be available when the program officially launches.
CORD was an idea that came up when we decided to burn some of the original pre-mine and when we were looking at some other projects in the cryptocurrency space. We think it could be mutually beneficial to both our project and the other projects that may end up being involved with CORD as well as any owner of ₡OVAL tokens. A more widely distributed supply of ₡OVAL tokens will result in a healthier market and attract new users to the products, services and redemption paths that we will be offering. It’s also just an added incentive for people to create good content and experiment on various platforms.
We don’t perceive other crypto content projects as competition and instead would like to encourage their use. In a world of only a few big social networks that most people stick with, it can be a challenge to get people to use new types of networks with more innovative features that support independent creators and is a move away from being used for our attention and activity data.
The CORD program is planned to start in early 2017 and continue until all 100m allocated ₡OVAL tokens are given away to qualified people.
Development on the VOCAL webapp has moved forward. Most of the basic features have now been completed and more focus will now be on integrating payments/tipping and wallet features and of course new audio watermarking tech that we are experimenting with (beyond standard functionality).
One new feature of interest is called vocalgram which is a visual version of an audio file… because it gets converted into a themed video file.
Screenshot of a vocalgram
Another new feature in VOCAL is the ability to create a content “collection” and optionally associate it with your own Counterparty Asset. A user could create a show or an album or any project that needs to organize content into a single collection. When associating a crypto asset that has been verified and authenticated by the owner within VOCAL, all content in that collection automatically inherits the ownership assertion provided by the crypto asset. The owner could do creative things with the asset tokens or accept ɃTC, ₡OVAL or other tokens to the address that is associated with the asset/collection. Also, any audio file added to the collection will get properly watermarked with a reference to the asset and other metadata. All posts in VOCAL are also anchored and notarized on the Bitcoin Blockchain in a separate transaction.
Development is currently underway against the GiftBit API to provide a redemption method for COVAL users. Contact us if you are interested in experimenting early with the tools we are building.
Mobile Wallet: Coming soon.
Useful Tools & Files:
Coval Legacy Wallet Backup File ([email protected] / test123
COVAL UPDATE 0417
As the crypto dust settles after the ₡OVAL migration to Counterparty and all ₡OVAL has been swapped from legacy wallets and Bittrex accounts, it’s time to review where COVAL is currently at as a project and reiterate a few points that have been previously expressed here on this blog and in our Slack.
The total supply of ₡OVAL had been 1 billion from the legacy chain and that amount was applied to the new Counterparty COVALC asset when the swap began. About 1 billion ₡OVAL was swapped. Most of this was automated on Bittrex with a 15% bonus as promised by us. The total amount of mined ₡OVAL at the time of the swap was around 1.2 billion. ~200 million ₡OVAL was unclaimed.
We will be increasing the total supply of ₡OVAL to 1.2 billion to reflect these numbers and the COVALC asset will be locked so no other tokens can ever be issued. The extra ~200m tokens is an adjustment from the unclaimed amount and 100m of this will be reserved for various reward programs via the CORD Fund.
The Swap is now over and the swap app will be disabled. The legacy chain will now be deprecated by EOD today.
Additional supply details:
- 20m ₡OVAL (premine) is owned by both COVAL developers/founders.
- 85,114,504 ₡OVAL was given away to Bittrex accounts as part of the 15% swap bonus.
- ~65,000,000 ₡OVAL was given away to private wallets as part of the 15% swap bonus.
- 250,000 ₡OVAL (premine) was sent as an initial donation to the CORD Fund. This amount will increase to 100m once our final accounting audit is finished today.
- The remaining balance will go into a reserve account (~100m) and usage of these tokens will be determined in the future. They may be used for partnership strategies, to replenish the CORD Fund or to cover certain other types of business expenses, developer bounties or possibly made available via new “mining” algorithms that could be introduced by COVAL in the future.
It should be noted that originally we had wanted to conduct the swap as an opt-in system including for Bittrex accounts, not an automated balancing of all accounts. We were looking at the migration as more of a restart so we could adjust the total supply based on how much was intentionally swapped by holders in the given timeframe. Anything not swapped would have been burned and/or re-allocated as per previous blog posts describing such plans.
However, Bittrex would not allow this and it is understandable why. Since COVAL is not considered a new currency, any legacy RBR accounts needed to be balanced accurately whether or not these people had any interest in COVAL. Therefore, some earlier published intentions are no longer accurate representations of what occurred.
Speaking of Bittrex, we want to thank them for their patience and assistance during this migration and market reactivation. They were professional, highly responsive and available throughout the long migration plan.
So now that we are here once again with a functioning open market cryptocurrency, why did we bother with the trouble to first keep the legacy coin alive to begin with and then put all the effort in to migrate it (over 3 month span) to the Bitcoin Blockchain compatible Counterparty platform?
Counterparty is the humble veteran in the blockchain space. Launched about 2 1/2 years ago, it was the first innovative Bitcoin meta layer platform that actually worked as advertised and still does. The uptime and maintenance has been excellent. It is a trusted platform.
Over the years, the core team and community has shown that they are cautious yet eager to enhance the platform. The Counterparty codebase is treated with the same kind of delicate respect that Bitcoin core developers have. Thoughtful discussion and decisions have always been part of the Counterparty ethos. They don’t hype XCP and have happily existed with little to no drama which sais a lot for a project in the cryptocurrency space.
Counterparty faces some challenges moving forward as it is tightly integrated with and leverages the Bitcoin Blockchain which is itself going through growing pains and important decisions in the Bitcoin (and hence the Counterparty) community will need to be made over the course of the next 12–24 months. Counterparty recently addressed some of these issues in a blog post — Counterparty: On scalability and the future which we encourage everyone to read.
The strategy to migrate ₡OVAL to Counterparty boils down to these points:
- We do not want to spend time and resources maintaining an outdated vulnerable mineable blockchain or inventing a new distributed ledger and consensus algorithm of our own.
- We need ₡OVAL to exist on a secure and trusted distributed ledger network and crypto asset platform so that we can focus our efforts on building the COVAL components that will enable ₡OVAL to be a useful digital currency.
- The differentiation of the ₡OVAL currency (COVALC asset) and the materialized ₡OVAL on other networks (distributed ledgers and traditional systems) via our Circuit Jumper Sidechains is important to note as it will remove certain limitations and poor user experience of Bitcoin/Counterparty (i.e. slow transactions) while maintaining the highest security for the core currency.
- Counterparty provides a variety of compatible wallets and related software as well as a helpful community that COVAL users can benefit from.
- Counterparty is moving forward with new developments and improvements that COVAL can benefit from.
By now, it should be clear that COVAL is not a project touting a unique blockchain alternative with a yet another token used for things like computing costs (gas) and mining/validation incentives. So the value proposition is not in the underlying ledger used for the currency, which at this point is more akin to being a commodity layer of a tech stack with so many alternative ledgers available on the market. We have offset the currency’s chain related tech and security to Bitcoin and the Counterparty platform so that we can work on actually making this cryptocurrency useful in the real world and move beyond the common speculative silos of many cryptocurrency projects where a currency is born into and eventually dies within.
This is not to say that we are not building interesting technology involving the movability of value through cryptographic based token systems. We are! In fact, we will be incorporating multiple distributed ledger instances as sidechains within COVAL’s “Circuit Jumper” system in order for ₡OVAL to traverse in and out of other blockchains such as Ethereum and networks like Loyyal among others. But our base ₡OVAL currency is best suited to have presence on the most secure Bitcoin Blockchain while we innovate on how to move and materialize ₡OVAL elsewhere.
Now we can focus on the aforementioned interoperable strategies in addition to making traditional API based connections for practical redemption paths that everyday people can benefit from. We are actively working on integrations with popular services such as Zapier and IFTTT to let ₡OVAL owners spend normally as if using a credit card or loyalty points. This is low hanging fruit stuff that should be done without question for any project that wants to make a digital token useful and have utility for the people who possess it.
As we move forward from logical API integrations into more complex sidechain-powered integrations and further yet into strategic partnerships including Loyyal, the usefulness and value of ₡OVAL will become more apparent. It takes work to bring a digital currency to “life”. This is our pragmatic philosophy. No, we are not betting on a technical reinvention or fringe innovation to draw attention to COVAL and to drive the currency’s value and usefulness. That won’t work well. After all, Bitcoin and the usual suspects that are leading the space are moving the cryptocurrency needle and yet still are surrounded by controversy and an unpredictable future. Joining this foray will not be sustainable and is not the primary goal of COVAL at this time. Instead, this is an exercise in how to take a digital token using the current state of the art technologies into existing economies.
The crowded space of cryptocurrency alternatives often tend to attempt to duplicate the profitability phenomena and first-mover advantage of those who have come before them and have a positive network effect. They do this by depending on variations of features and approaches to solving a set of commonly and sometimes not so commonly debated problems and challenges. This is done both with best intentions and bad intentions (scams). COVAL is not about that. COVAL can be portable and flexible and blockchain agnostic. It can be as resilient as we want it to be. COVAL can hop around and persist while still maintaining its connections with it’s own systems, integrations and partners. Being a useful and practical digital currency need not be tethered to the far side fringes of cryptocurrency communities where controversy and drama often leads the story. Meanwhile, these currencies have little or no real world use case and end up stuck in the speculators bubble.
The Honest Conclusion
Having said that, we cannot today give anyone a great reason to own ₡OVAL no more than Ethereum could promise anything of the Ether tokens back in 2014 before an ecosystem of developers and projects emerged. We will strive to achieve our goal of making ₡OVAL a useful currency that can be transformed in ways that allow it to permeate into apps, services, games, reward programs and many other incentive based and value transfer systems. We invite developers, artists and innovators of all kinds to work with us. We encourage the support but make no promises. We will express our ideas and intentions, but will avoid needless hype. We will enhance our presence and properties, but will not artificially market vaporware. We will communicate honestly and be as transparent as we can.
Internal Development Projects
Apps and Services
Development continues on ODEOKEE and will resume on VOCAL, the two projects that I (Michael) am working on that will integrate ₡OVAL. More on those will be discussed in a future update.
Along with the above projects, a COVAL desktop app is under development that will encompass all things COVAL in one interface (both local and cloud-based). Work on mobile app(s) will resume as well. These will showcase how ₡OVAL can be transacted quickly inside other systems to make purchases or p2p transfers. We will be looking for others to join us in these development efforts.
Shannon has been doing some great work on rapid development tooling so we can build things efficiently. The main focus is our Circuit Jumper system which will use a network of sidechains to provide interoperable opportunities. We will do a deeper dive into those projects when they are open sourced.
The CORD FundCoval Open Reward Distribution
CORD stands for Coval Open Reward Distribution and is a community donation fund. A new website for CORD will be available in the coming weeks.
We recognize the irony in having a project that solicits donations of our own cryptocurrency right after we gave away a lot with the 15% bonus, but that is what we are now doing with CORD.
Donating ₡OVAL to the fund allows for this program to sustain itself beyond the initial deposit of 100m ₡OVAL.
COVAL, through the CORD Fund, will support certain projects and partners by rewarding people such as users, employees, students, volunteers etc, with ₡OVAL cryptocurrency. These rewards are based on the user’s earnings or achievements on these platforms.
The purpose of CORD is to widen the distribution of ₡OVAL to a broader user base and encourage interest and curiosity in the COVAL Project. It’s also just an expression of generosity by the COVAL community.
All donations over 10k ₡OVAL will trigger a broadcast message transaction on the Bitcoin Blockchain from the CORD Counterparty asset owner address. This immutable blockchain message will state the from address and amount of ₡OVAL that was donated. This is a receipt and proof of donation. Smaller donations will only get an email confirmation.
For every 100k ₡OVAL that you donate, you will receive a CORD token which will be meaningful and useful at a later date.
CORD is not a COVAL development fund. This is not an “ICO”. We are not soliciting any currency such as bitcoin. This is a fund explicitly for ₡OVAL and only to distribute freely to others who qualify.
The CORD website will be launched this month.
Websites will be launched for COVAL, CORD and a few others over the next month or so.
We do appreciate those who are interested and who have been supporting us, no matter what your motivations and intentions are ;-) We hope that you keep COVAL on your radar over the next few months and beyond to see how we are progressing with our efforts.
Fringe Technologist — Balance, Timing, Fortitude, Appreciation
Stephan Morgenstern Meet Shannon Code and Circuits of Value Please and Thanks
COVAL UPDATE 0617
This month’s update will be shorter than usual but expect to have a follow-up in July with more details. We’re going to mainly mention some of the technology that we have chosen to use as part of the COVAL platform.
First, we would like everyone to know that COVAL is no longer a side-project. We are now dedicated at full-time capacity and are also expanding the team with both core and partner resources. This new level of focus will allow us to more rapidly advance the COVAL platform and our initial projects that will use the platform. We’ll also be able to soon provide a developer hub with tools and documentation on how to use our platform. Additionally, we are working with a team of software testing specialists to help us harden our core and make the COVAL platform robust, secure and efficient. We are especially focused on our off-chain crypto token transport tech.
Our business developments are also moving forward. Both technology and CORD partners and relationships are forming and we’ll discuss some of these now.
Our first CORD partner will be Simon Edhouse and the Bittunes indie-music platform. Simon will release an official statement soon.
Bittunes effectively creates a merit based competitive marketplace for Independent Music. This allows Artists to self-publish.. independent from outdated music industry and legacy financial systems. As each sale occurs the Artist receives their payment instantly, and a selection of previous buyers of that track also share micro earnings in bitcoin.. instantly, anywhere in the world.
The Bittunes app currently has users in more than 90 countries with around 60% of these being Artists, (musicians). The company is currently developing Bittunes 2.0, a cross-platform web service, to make Bittunes available to a much larger audience.
We are excited to work with Simon on integrating Bittunes with the COVAL platform and awarding the Bittunes community of artists with a portion of the 100m ₡OVAL from the CORD Fund. We hope that this injection of value into that great community will be helpful and meaningful to a lot of talented and brave musicians.
More details will be released in future updates as this partnership proceeds.
The process behind CORD has been interesting as we set out to effectively give away “money”. Though the value fluctuates because this is crypto, we look at it as about 100m pennies to give away. A more attention grabbing way to put it… We’re giving away…
The process and concept of CORD is also opening up new ideas amongst our team which we are exploring… So CORD may be modified and expanded in exciting ways. With that said, we will be spending more time and resources on CORD so expect a new website and messaging on what CORD is and what criteria we are looking for in an ideal partner and recipient of funds. We will also be considering feedback that we have received on the CORD token offering.
Also, terms and conditions will prevent CORD partners or their users from selling the COVAL currency in a way that would negatively affect the market price.
This will all be more clear in July as we boil things down on our end. In the mean time, feel free to suggest projects, companies and organizations that you think we should consider by going to the cord.fund website.
The COVAL Platform is a combination of our own technologies and partner technologies. Being pragmatic technologists, we know when we need to leverage other great tech as opposed to reinventing. Here is a short list of some important technology partners and platforms that we have decided to use within the COVAL Platform.
UNLOQ.i0 — Our off-chain value token transport system is an important core component of COVAL and part of this system leverages Multi-factor Authentication technology. We have partnered with UNLOQ who we think are doing a great job in this field and they have been highly available to assist us when we have questions. Expect a custom COVAL mobile app with UNLOQ integrated as well as various web integrations such as on VOCAL and elsewhere.
Audiowatermarking.info — Alex Radzishevsky is a brilliant audio engineer who has partnered with us since last year on our “audio wallet” concepts. Though we have had to shift focus in recent months, it is obvious that we will circle back into this area as our platform matures and apply it to what we call “odeokee”. Audio and video files with encrypted watermarked data will become increasingly important not only on VOCAL but elsewhere too. We are appreciative of this partnership and look forward to a continuous relationship with Alex as we co-invent unique crypto watermarking solutions together.
Multichain.com — We have been chatting with Gideon Greenspan for years now and were early adopters of both Coinspark and Multichain so we are big fans of this team’s perspective on blockchain and their careful pragmatic approach to building a software solution after years of listening to their clients and developers and anyone with logical insights. The result is a solid performant blockchain package that is still backward-compatible with Bitcoin APIs. We at COVAL have decided to use Multichain for some of COVAL’s purposeful sidechain ledgers and we have been happy with that decision.
Kadena.io Another “under the radar” project that we admire greatly is Kadena and their open-source Pact smart contract language. Kadena has solved a blockchain scalability issue that most if not all other solutions have been unable to achieve. We’ve been following Will and Stuart’s Kadena platform since it was called Juno as a JP Morgan internal blockchain labs project. What first drew us to it was its practical transaction confidentiality approach. It’s been a pleasure talking to them and learning more about their platform and we anticipate using Kadena for some of our purposeful sidechain ledgers, particulary when we need to use smart contracts (along with ethereum) and as part of our future sidechain scaling strategy.
Counterparty.io Our core currency runs on the Bitcoin Counterparty Platform as well as various other crypto assets that we use for internal projects such as COVAL ZERO. We’ve written about our opinion of Counterparty before and will just state that nothing has changed and we are confident that we can continue to use this platform and that many improvements and enhancements will get pumped out. This is a great project with great people behind it. COVAL’s relationship will be symbiotic and we look forward to co-evolving in the coming months.
Disclosure: Michael Sullivan is one of the Foundation Directors at Counterparty, recently elected for a 1 year term.
Our first to launch internal project (we consider these our labs token projects) looks like will be COVAL ZERO. We think it will be available for use sometime in August. We have decided to use an auction model for registering names and will be working with Tamas, the main developer of ZeroNet, to make this service integrate as much as we can into the ZeroNet platform.
COVAL ZERO will also have a companion web browser that will handle by default the resolving of ZERO names to p2p “zites”. This web browser will be a fork of Beaker Browser which we absolutely love. I have talked quite a bit with the main developer, Paul Frazee, and really admire this project and his perspectives on p2p, decentralization, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The Beaker Browser uses the DAT protocol and natively handles p2p websites similar to ZeroNet. We think it’s too cool to have the power of DAT in a web browser with fork-able p2p websites AND have it support ZeroNet, a similar p2p project, in the same web browser app.
Since we also use DAT in other ways (i.e. odeokee) we are excited to extend DAT’s use further within the COVAL landscape by using Beaker Browser. The COVAL Browser will not just be ZERO specific and will be used as a desktop app to encompass many of our projects, apps and websites as well as support other Counterparty crypto assets that are used to resolve to websites and apps (p2p or http). More details soon.
COVAL PRISM and PACK
Earlier this month, we began the process of collaborating with Shapeshift to integrate with their Ethereum smart contracts that run the Prism Portfolio service. Since Prism is a brand new service, they are still being cautious and working to do thorough security audits before rolling out full access to APIs and ABI functions to developers. We have been able to get started with preliminary work to get an integration going and work on some interesting features to provide enhanced Prism portfolios that will also integrate with COVAL PACK. The Shapeshift team has been great, especially considering that they have been going through a very busy time with the launch of Prism and because of various blockchain problems due to ICOs that effect their services negatively.
Summer of Code
We will have a busy summer working on all things COVAL and look forward to publishing our next update.
Enjoy the summer!
Fringe Technologist — Balance, Timing, Fortitude, Appreciation
Circuits of Value (Coval) UPDATE 0717
Since our last update, we have focused primarily on the COVAL Platform, a new Protocol and an associated app. This update will give a high-level overview of this work.
The COVAL Platform is being developed with a primary purpose of moving value using “off-chain” methods. In other words, native crypto assets and tokens from other public and private blockchains (including ₡OVAL itself) enter the COVAL Network of distributed ledgers (COVAL Sidechains) where they can be flexibly and securely transacted using federated and p2p models. Transactions consist of both individual tokens and wallets (containers of tokens) represented by native sidechain ledger assets called Emblems.
emblem is defined as… Something which represents a larger whole. It is also synonymous with “token”.
This off-chain network is intended for apps and services built on the COVAL Platform and is considered to be a permissioned blockchain network. Though the platform is capable of reaching out and into other networks to bring interoperability features to users, the primary use is for transacting among nodes and users within the COVAL Network and adhering to the LAW Protocol.
LAW Protocol (Ledger Assigned Wallet)
The COVAL Platform implements the LAW Protocol which has been created by the COVAL team in conjunction with designing the COVAL platform. The LAW protocol describes off-chain wallet assignment transactions where a distributed ledger network (COVAL Sidechains) is used to log the assignment of wallets to users and the status of those wallets as Owned or Unowned. This simple concept is the basis for a secure and trusted wallet transport system and is at the core of the COVAL platform. The full LAW Protocol spec will be published soon atlawprotocol.org and linked to fromcoval.cc.
The COVAL Platform and LAW Protocol involves the following general components:
- Distributed Ledger Network (COVAL Sidechains)
- Secure COVAL API Endpoints and P2P secret sharing (DAT Protocol)
- HD Wallet Creation Service
- Multi-Factor Authentication/Authorization (MFA)
- User devices running COVAL apps (mobile, desktop, web)
The COVAL Platform uses a network of blockchain ledgers. We refer to these ledgers as Sidechains since the COVAL Platform base cryptocurrency is on the Bitcoin Blockchain (Counterparty Platform) but leverages purposeful ledgers that enable core platform functionality and service integrations.
All COVAL Sidechains interoperate with each other and can also interface with other public and private blockchain networks using various methods including a continuation of the work described here.
To understand the purpose of each COVAL Sidechain, it helps to view them in their domain name format with descriptions.
The LAW Sidechain
The LAW Sidechain is a core platform sidechain as opposed to other more ancillary COVAL sidechains (i.e. ZERO, PACK, PRISM etc). This distributed ledger’s transactions represent the state of wallets and users. A Key/Value data store embedded in the ledger is also used as an immutable activity log in addition to blockchain asset transactions that represent the transportable wallets (encrypted private key parts).
The COVAL Platform enables value transfer by facilitating the assignment of wallets to users. The wallet’s contents are effectively sent to another user who would also inherit the capability to send the wallet to yet another user and so on and so forth. MFA is leveraged in this user-to-user system and no single entity or user has full control and access to thefunds in these sendable wallets. The intended benefits of the COVAL Platform are:
- Fast transactions
- No native blockchain miner fees
- Privacy via encrypted off-chain p2p transactions
- Transfer multiple types and amounts of assets and tokens in a single transaction
- Uses trustless models
- Enables COVAL products and services to function efficiently
LAW uses a concept of Owned andUnowned Wallets as well as users that are either the Owner or Holder of wallets. The LAW Sidechain ledger handles the assignment of wallets to users. An Unowned Wallet can be “held” by a user. Wallet Holders are able to:
- Request Ownership of Wallet
- Send Wallet to other users
- Receive tokens to addresses in the wallet
A Wallet Holder does not have direct access to the wallet/private key while the wallet status is Unowned but they control the ability to own the wallet by making a request to the LAW Sidechain ledger API which confirms if that user is the current Wallet Holder or not. Only the current validated Wallet Holder is able to make this wallet ownership request. Once the request is validated and approved via the ledger’s consensus algorithm, the user becomes the Wallet Owner and now solely controls the private key and ability to unlock the wallet and move any tokens inside it. Once an owner of a wallet, that wallet can no longer be sent to anyone else as it is effectively a private personal wallet at this point. Wallet Owners are able to:
- Send tokens that are in the wallet to other wallet addresses
- Receive tokens to addresses in the wallet (same as wallet holders)
Wallets as Blockchain Assets
A wallet represented as a blockchain asset makes it easy to send and receive wallets just like any asset or token. In the COVAL Platform’s implementation of the LAW Protocol, blockchain assets would represent unowned wallets. In our app, we call these assets Emblems. An Emblem is a type of asset which represents a wallet containing various other assets (tokens) such as bitcoin, ₡OVAL, ether and any tokens created on top of Bitcoin (i.e. XCP Assets) and Ethereum (ERC20 standard tokens). Other blockchain cryptocurrencies can be supported as well.
Only Unowned Wallets are represented by Emblems. Once a wallet is owned, the Emblem asset is destroyed (sent to a burn address). Emblem assets are not going to be listed on any centralized exchanges. They are only meant for p2p transactions and markets.COVAL’s LAW Protocol Illustration
Though many details about how our platform works is left out of this blog post (such as how wallets are co-generated in a trustless manner and dependent on the ledger), we will be publishing a new section on our website with documentation for developers and users of our apps that will go more in depth when these materials are properly peer reviewed and completed.
Again, we are still working on all of this so the final design is not quite finished but this high level view of our model should provide a glimpse into our thinking on how COVAL will exist as a platform for movable value and give utility to the pre-existing ₡OVAL cryptocurrency.
A blockchain network protocol and the platform that implements it succeeds in part by having a token incentive model in place. This is normally referred to as anetwork token. COVAL’s network token is the same as the core cryptocurrency (₡OVAL) that we apply to all of our projects and services as well as partner integrations. No new token will be introduced.
₡OVAL is already available on Bittrexso there is no ICO stuff to worry about. We consider COVAL to be an Open Market Reverse ICO.
Brief Statement on Monetary and Fiscal Policy
Fees in ₡OVAL would apply to every wallet assignment transaction (LAW related) and other types of transactions related to cross-chain interoperability features of the COVAL Platform (using our APIs or within apps). These fees would partially be used to reward eventual transaction validators (sidechain nodes). COVAL reserves the right to take a portion of fees that flow through services that we choose to run on the platform. The fees would either be kept or destroyed/burned. More details on fee structures will be made available in the future. We will provide “free credits” during early roll-out and also in an on-going manner to help on-board new users and developers. Special tokens may also be used to bypass fees.
₡OVAL is a locked asset with a 1.2B total supply. No new tokens can be minted. We’ve talked in the past about efforts to lower the total supply by burning tokens (mainly via fees). This still applies yet we are not prepared to offer any deeper details and specifics on this at this time. As the COVAL Platform nears a launch, this issue will be a higher priority and we will announce more solid plans at that point… such as how long and how much of any fees would be destroyed or how other programs under consideration would work.
The Emblem App
We are working on a new app tentatively called Emblem that will be an implementation of the COVAL Platform and LAW Protocol. The goal is to take the normal wallet features that users would expect to have in an app and build layers on top that provide unique features powered by COVAL. Shapeshift is a planned integration which would give users a lot of flexibility for adding various digital assets to a user’s personal wallet in the app which can then be used to add a mix of tokens to sendable Emblem wallets.
We are currently prototyping this app in parallel with the completion of the COVAL Platform and LAW Protocol and are working with designers now to make sure it has a high quality UX and brand. The app will have its own brand and website.
The desktop version of the app will be a fork of Beaker Browser and have additional features and double as a fully functional Chrome web browser with native support for the p2p DAT protocol(which we are using in our platform as well).
Our next update will have more details and we’ll publish screenshots from our designers. Below is an early rough mockup given to our designers to assist them. It just shows a few features and flow ideas.
The CORD Program will be going through some modeling changes and will be relaunched. Any CORD partner efforts on our end are on hold until this process is complete. We think that CORD has potential to be an important part of COVAL but requires careful thought and dedicated resources to setup and manage properly to minimize risks and maximize benefits. Our focus is on building the COVAL Platform which CORD would be a part of so this decision is in the best interest of the overall COVAL Project at this time. The fund will be considered locked until further notice.
Any other project news will be included in the next update in August. There is more going on than what we are able to cover in this single blog post, especially related to our “labs” token projects (ZERO, PRISM, PACK). These all require the platform to be ready to properly implement them in the way that we want. So parallel development is ongoing.
A Note on the SEC’s Statement on the DAO and ICOs
You might have heard about the recentSEC report on the DAO concluding that DAO tokens were securities and the agency’s general warning to the public regarding ICOs. We think this is an important step towards more clarity and it’s been a long time coming. Though COVAL is not an ICO project, we are mindful of legalities and any overlap with crypto token models and economies. We will continue to monitor and understand the cryptocurrency and token industry and seek expert advice to make sure that COVAL follows regulations and considers any and all guidance that is made available.
We will continue to be transparent and offer more clarity in each monthly update. Feel free to chat with us onTwitter or in our Slack community or contact us on our website at coval.cc.Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Circuits of Value (Coval) Donation Bitcoin Addresses
The donation addresses on our website should match the addresses in the image below which is cross-posted to our Twitter and Medium accounts. Please verify that they all match to assure that you are sending your donation to the correct addresses. Thank you.
Emblem App Donation Address 1CPbM73UCGbKn9S8Gk5m8fVeS6TXPT5cFJ
Platform Dev Donation Address 1NDiCcEr1YciMnKNKA5Y4uA6LXZzuuJUn7
Circuits of Value - COVAL Crowdfunding Creed
COVAL is in a unique position. The ₡OVAL cryptocurrency preceded the COVAL Platform due to the circumstances that lead to this point. ₡OVAL was like an orphaned coin that we chose to adopt and nourish. It’s original parent was a company that pivoted and no longer wanted to include the coin and blockchain network in their new strategic path. A distributed and decentralized blockchain ledger and associated crypto coin cannot simply be shut down but it can be abandoned. It is then up to others to maintain the network to keep it alive. In the case of COVAL, Shannon and I were the ones to take it over. We rebranded to “Circuits of Value” (COVAL) and migrated the coin, which was on it’s own blockchain, to the Counterparty Platform which runs on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. During that time (about a year ago) we were strategizing on how to pivot away from the original concepts. We were attempting to make a useful cryptocurrency out of one that had no clear purpose. It was an open canvas for us. Since this process began, we have been transparently inventing COVAL.
In the same timespan that we started this journey, we have witnessed many fundraising schemes. The DAO could be considered the beginning of this latest token sale phase which occurred in the Spring of 2016. As many now have heard, The SEC just released a report on the DAO concluding that DAO tokens were securities. This report can be interpreted as either a serious warning to ICO projects or as a casual attitude since apparently the SEC has decided not to take action against those involved in The DAO (in part because all funds were returned and the project shut down due to the attack). Regardless, thus far in 2017 alone, more than $1.3 billion has been raised across many ICO projects.
The idea of selling tokens is not too new to us. Back in 2014, the first wave of token “Crowdsales” had begun and we observed these risky events then just as we have been observing the latest ICO craze now. I didn’t only observe. I too was considering doing a Crowdsale but after some months of preparing, I did not feel that it was appropriate based on both the substance of the project (too early) and the legal grey area that I would have had to experiment with. I recently published a retrospective piece on this unlaunched back-burnered project.
Just as in 2014, we are not comfortable with doing an ICO. Sure, we have many ideas on how to do one for COVAL and for other project ideas but instead, we have been more interested in how to leverage our unique position in this space. Since we are already associated with an existing token that people own and trade on exchanges, our focus has been on making this token useful. It is an inside-out approach and we sometimes refer to this as an Open Market Reverse ICO.
Since we have chosen to build a platform and a network similar to the approach of many other recent protocol projects, over time the ₡OVAL cryptocurrency as a network token will become integral which will transform it from being a coin without a home or purpose to a legitimate component of a token economy. Likewise, anything we and others build on top of the COVAL Platform would require to some extent the ₡OVAL cryptocurrency. In this way, it is not only a network token related to the fundamental economics of the COVAL Network, but it is also a broadly useful currency that can be applied to most anything.
The reality we face by doing the right thing and not taking advantage of the hyper-opportunistic atmosphere in the blockchain space is challenging. We don’t have a long or endless runway that you get with tens of millions of free donated money. What we are left with is traditional crowdfunding without the mask of ICO investment hype. So this is what we will do for the time being. It is honest and it’s straight up.
While ICO projects are taking advantage of the blurring concepts of donations as investments, projects like COVAL are just asking for donations to development funds. We do not subscribe to the entitlement attitudes that many seem to have in this space. We do not think that any ICO project that we have seen requires or should solicit enormous amounts of money which has been accepted without even a concept of refunds.
We believe what is happening is largely taking advantage of the newly formed ether and bitcoin wealthy (and the not so wealthy too!) and the willingness of these people to move their crypto tokens into these projects as highly speculative investments (Because Exchanges!) while not having any responsibility to provide to them a ROI. Free money. No shareholders. No risk. It’s an abuse of the crypto token creation technology. This is not sustainable and as mentioned it may cause some of these projects to go through a process with the SEC that will not be enjoyable, could cause the project to fail and could land some people in jail or with stiff financial penalties. This is not an outcome that we have any interest in being a part of.
Today, the ICO investors are willing and able to take risks with their magical internet money. Most of these people have a sense of the risks involved due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency and tokens. It’s a game that they are willing to play. And quite frankly, it is this behavior that is supporting the feasibility of ICOs in the first place. Without centralized exchanges and traders, the ICO model would still exist but the atmosphere would be much more sober. As more outsiders enter the space to get rich quick, the detrimental effects will become more real as people use their fiat earnings to participate whereas the first wave of speculators I would argue are using crypto profits, not pulling from savings accounts and retirement funds. It is this second wave of investors that may have the hardest impact on the lives of everyday people and families. People who have barely been familiar with Bitcoin are now asking how to get involved with ICO investments or even how to launch their own ICOs. This is dangerous territory and it’s why the SEC will finally start taking a more aggressive role.
Eleven years ago this past July, I actually coined the term Crowdfunding while working on a platform to help creative independent video producers and videobloggers sustain themselves. Little did I know that this term would become so widely used and mean so many different things… from good causes to a startup investment act in congress (JOBS Act) and everything in between. Despite my interest in crowdfunding, I have never personally launched a crowdfunding campaign for myself or any project that I have worked on or been a part of. It is not until now that I am officially considering this as my first crowdfunding effort. That’s right, the guy who coined Crowdfunding is finally crowdfunding for coins!
Shannon and I would appreciate any donations to help us stay full-time on the COVAL Project and bring our vision to fruition. We would love to have a successful contrast to the ICO space by being a crypto token project that is deliberately not ICOing and proving that stuff can get built and projects can be successful without that multi-million dollar entitlement attitude. We’ll let you know when we think our stuff is worth $200M but we won’t try to solicit or accept that much from the crowd anytime soon. Let’s be real, again.
With that said, this decision is relevant to the now, not the future. We do not have a problem with the token sale model for funding innovative projects. In fact, we think the model is here to stay and is itself an innovation inherent in blockchain related technology. There are serious efforts underway to forge ahead with more responsible approaches to selling tokens that would be considered a security. One example is the SAFT. Though there is no simple solution at this time and more clarification is needed by the SEC and other agencies in different jurisdictions, we do think that over the coming months many questions will be answered, solutions provided and generally a sobering period will ensue. In the future, we will be able to assess our own project’s status and the regulatory information around token sales, ICOs and other forms of investment models to make intelligent decisions.
Below are our current Bitcoin donation addresses. One is for Emblem app dev and the other is for general Platform dev. The goal is a modest 40 BTC to support our efforts for the next 3–6 months which would include paying for resources beyond ourselves.
Thank you for your support!
Emblem App Donation Address 1CPbM73UCGbKn9S8Gk5m8fVeS6TXPT5cFJ
Platform Dev Donation Address 1NDiCcEr1YciMnKNKA5Y4uA6LXZzuuJUn7
Circuits of Value (Coval) UPDATE 1117
A few updates this month…
Last week we published the Emblem website at emblemvault.com. We would like to thank Griflan for working with us on this project and bringing our vision to life. Working with them was a great experience and highly recommend them. Of course their work speaks for itself so it should go without saying.
We have plans for adding more content and technical documents. Please subscribe to get updates on Emblem and alerted when a beta program is ready for limited users.
Subscribe for updates!
Pilot Program and Partnership
We have spent time in recent weeks conceptualizing an integration with Lightrail (their sister company is Giftbit). This is potentially an important innovation as it relates to the bridging of fiat based value networks with crypto token and blockchain networks. Our focus is on supporting digital gift cards and other types of consumer currency such as points, credits and promotions within the Emblem app and more broadly on the Coval Platform and Distributed Ledger Network.
An Emblem can contain crypto tokens and arbitrary files and data. It is obvious to us that handling gift card and credit/voucher codes in a seamless way by tightly integrating with Lightrail will have clear benefits for eventual Emblem users. The end goal is to bridge these two worlds together and allow for fiat value to travel as a crypto asset.
The other area of focus with Lightrail is a more standard integration of their APIs and drop-in gift card features for eCommerce stores.
Physical Emblems and Other Collectible Items
As a way to work with Lightrail’s current and forthcoming features and give important feedback to them, we have decided to plan to launch the Emblem Market. Though long-term this market/store will be used (hopefully) more broadly by Emblem users listing products and services that are associated with their Emblems, in the short-term we will focus on using the market ourselves to sell physical items.
We are putting effort into working with great artists and craftsmen to offer a high quality set of items and packages. In some cases, we will also strive to marry the tangible with digital and integrate these items with the Emblem app (via unique codes and serial numbers for example).
The primary item we will offer is a new physical metal coin with unique attributes not seen before in the physical cryptocurrency collectible space. The coins can be used as cold wallets and a key to unlock and redeem offerings that will be discussed at a later time. This coin is in the process of R&D&D (Research, Development, Design).
Other items will be supplemental to the coin for special limited edition package offerings. We hope to have the market and first batch of items available for sale by the end of the first quarter 2018.
The nice thing about this approach is that it allows us to do 3 things.
- Collaborate with our partner, Lightrail
- Raise funds for the project in a legal way
- Experiment with making functional physical objects and mixing them with software and digital systems
Work has continued on Coval Platform and Emblem. We have made a few architectural modifications and also had a few technical hurdles that we are working through related to trustless models (no shock there!). We also are aligned with development of other technologies that we depend on and anticipate some enhancements and bug fixes that will help our product and service be more robust.
We have also done some research and testing for desktop/browser version of Emblem using Remote Browser technology. This could be considered more of an enterprise feature as it relates to extreme security models. The idea here is that both the Emblem web app and Emblem URLs (emblem.id) would be accessible in application-specific remote browsers. We are talking to the folks at authentic8.com about leveraging a custom version of their Silo Browser for Emblem.
In other news, recently Shannon had this to share:
We’ll try to push out another update before the end of the year in December.
Thanks everyone for your interest, support and feedback. Remember, we have left Slack and our community is now part of the Matrix.org ecosystem. Please join us there. We are not active in any other “chat” networks. We can only handle one, our own, and of course Twitter and Medium.
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