It’s not every day that we see a big player in the Web 1.0 and 2.0 space make a token-based blockchain network, and it’s even rarer to see anyone start one that caters to business-to-business services. However, Halsey Minor—a man who either founded or led ventures like CNET, Salesforce, Google (NASDAQ:) Voice, Uphold, Voxelus, and OpenDNS—is the type of person who built his reputation by filling gaps in the markets he enters.
His latest project, known as VideoCoin, is an attempt to use blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to address a pervasive problem in the video streaming and encoding industry in the internet, incentivizing data centers with unused computing power to commit some of their resources in exchange for a reward through a complex combination between proof-of-work and proof-of-stake models.
Cryptovest had the pleasure and honor of speaking with him before his trip to the World Blockchain Forum in London and asking him about this new technology.
The story of VideoCoin
The idea behind VideoCoin came as a result of Minor’s work with LivePlanet, a company that makes cameras that can stream VR video and offers cloud media services revolving around stereoscopic VR.
“At LivePlanet, we have this very deep video expertise. We take 4K video and ingest it from a VR camera and then we send it to all major platforms, which is very much like Fox does with their video as they have to send it to like 9 different platforms, different devices, different services, at different bandwidths,” Minor said.
With such services, not only are bandwidth requirements much higher than with 2D video but there’s also a need for more storage and processing power to stream the video to consumers. On top of that, we can pile on the fact that it gets more complicated when delivering video at different resolutions.
“My guess is that Netflix (NASDAQ:) has a version [of its videos]for every streaming rate, for every device. It’s called encoding and you have to do it for every single device if you want to optimize it. So, a big cost has now become this process of video as you encode it for all these different devices. You look at a totally different video on your iPhone as you do on your iPad, or your Galaxy Gear. They’re all processed differently.
Every device and every chip has a video encoder and decoder so that the video encoder takes HD video that’s 50 megabits and they reduce it down to 5,” he said.
Problem & solution
Halsey Minor approached blockchain technology with a stark level of skepticism while he was launching Uphold, making him doubtful about whether there were any proper use cases for it outside of the cryptocurrency and fintech world.
After seeing Ethereum’s blockchain, however, he caught a glimpse of something that sparked an idea.
“When I was launching Uphold, at the time, I was very cynical about blockchain applications. It wasn’t until started taking off that I really started thinkin…
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