Recently we have seen an increased activity in the crypto — blockchain start-up world.
The start of 2018 showed a decrease in amounts raised by companies with an overall market that is growing (based upon CoinDesk data). Most companies leverage / require Blockchain and Cryptocurrency technology to disrupt the current market and economy where others don’t require this. Companies that don’t even need blockchain at all for their business probably see tokens as a good opportunity to raise funds (a new way of crowdfunding).
Companies that do require / leverage blockchain add value to the new economy by developing and delivering different blockchain initiatives.
In this article we will try to distinguish different categories of how blockchain can be applied and where we see Realland fit in the mix.
Infrastructure, Protocol and Ecosystem
There are roughly three types of blockchain initiatives: protocols, infrastructure and ecosystems.
Infrastructure projects are those that plan to create something that can become a technological base for other projects. Usually, they are a type of tool or a group of tools. These tools can then be used to create other projects or propositions.
For example: Amazon AWS Cloud services is an infrastructure service. Other companies can use this to create other, new solutions.
Blockchain Infrastructure projects are popular. People and investors understand that new infrastructures are needed to develop new (blockchain based) systems.
Protocols are a specific type of infrastructure project. These projects focus more on a very specific problem and try to create a solution for it. Protocols often are more a ‘set of rules’ and a ‘way of doing things’ than a full software solution. The example that everyone uses to exemplify this is the http/ip protocol (the set of rules that define how computers communicate).
Some very interesting projects in the blockchain are protocols for anonymous and decentralized internet, and others focus on Artificial Intelligence and how they should communicate between each other and other devices. A truly exciting new world is opening here.
The last category: Ecosystems is my personal favorites and if execute properly a real alternative to improve and change how things are to be done (most well-known ecosystems are Ethereum and Bitcoin).
How do we define what an ecosystem really is?
An ecosystem is something more than an Infrastructure and is typically formed from multiple Infrastructures.
A well-organized ecosystem is one with clear definitions of all the Actors in the system and how they will interact with each other. So therefor a solid infrastructure must have defined Protocols. These Protocols can be real communication protocols or they can be API definitions that ultimately are some kind of alt-communications protocols.
Another key part of Ecosystems is that they must create their own Infrastructure. This Infrastructure will act as the core of the system where all the Actors will reside and where the rules of interaction between Actors are defined. This Infrastructure will use its own Protocols yet it is open to user other Protocols and even other Infrastructures.
Ultimately the Ecosystem must define how the system is going to work: actor roles, resources, rules that manage the system and of course who is the customer/user of the system.
Non-blockchain Ecosystems examples
Because most blockchain ecosystems are currently in development, a good way to understand them is using some examples of more traditional businesses.
Two perfect examples of ecosystems that are actually competing to be the ‘mobile ecosystem’ are Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
Mobile stores are great examples because they have actors: app developers, end-user customers, mobile companies/manufacturers and marketing teams; they have protocols: app development API, rating and comments system, push notifications API, etc. and they have infrastructures: mobile OS, SDK, app marketplace, push notifications servers and mobile ads services.
In the end, the ecosystem is not the app store at all but the whole ‘mobile ecosystem’. And of course, they define the rules that govern this system, the roles and the way they can interact between each other. The key difference with blockchain ecosystem is that this one is a centralized system.
Finally we arrive to the most important concept, the crown jewel. Imagine the ecosystem that we have been talking about as a decentralized system. In other words, you define the system, create infrastructure and protocols, and create the rules and the roles for it, but in the end, the ecosystem is a ‘living thing’ that will operate by itself.
In decentralized ecosystems no one has the control. There is no admin role, like in Bitcoin and other crypto currencies. The system needs to have some consensus rules or at least, some self-management tools. The definition of these can be one of the hardest tasks to achieve.
Picture an ecosystem that defines a “rent your house or room to others” system. Yes, we are talking about the decentralized and ‘blockchained’ Airbnb. In this system, we have property owners and we have customers. Maybe we will include payment managers or ‘scrows’, who will be an intermediary between customer and owner, retaining the payment until the rent ends. We can include property sponsors role or other kind of marketing role. And in the end, we are only the developers, who maintain the code, but we don’t have control over the properties or the ratings in the system.
In decentralized ecosystems we won’t have an “Apple admin” who decides if your app can enter the app store or not. The system has its own rules, and your app will appear or not, based on the system mechanisms, most likely to include community rating or other forms of self-governance. The system is self-managed and no longer needs factors outside the community. Even the source code can be published as open source, and the ecosystem will not depend on the original developers forever.
ULTIMATE SUCCESS DRIVER
Key aspect here is that the Ecosystem does not rely on business revenue but on “system value”, these ecosystems and infrastructure projects can be the best projects to fund, from the investor perspective and from a more philosophical point of view as well.
Remember, the value is in the system (and probably in the token or coin that reflect this value) not in the income. With this in mind, crypto initiatives can fund true technological innovative solutions that the real world needs which transcend above companies whilst still making a good profit through an increase in token value.
The Realland Ecosystem Ambition
The ultimate Realland ecosystem will be just that: a decentralized and self-governing ecosystem for property investment and finance. Realland creates transparency, accessibility and liquidity for every real estate owner and investor. Our objective is to support seamless and instant transactions in real estate regardless of transaction type, size or location.
This new ecosystem will, with sufficient liquidity, completely change the way we live, invest and save.
To start this journey we are launching our RLD Token soon so we can continue to develop and market our platform. In its first phase Realland will manage due diligence, trading and KYC/AML, and slowly transition into a self-sustaining ecosystem.