Interview

Joseph Mark, CEO of Publica “Crypto-currency is the most convenient money”

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1. Please tell us about your project. What is its uniqueness? What are the newest protocols or technologies you use?

In short, digital trust and the freedom to exercise it commercially in the publishing economy worldwide.

Publica is a platform for ecommerce in the publishing economy, including the social networking that fuels commerce between businesses, groups, and individuals who need to collaborate on book projects.

Other ICO’s will continue to address atomic portions of the publishing ecosystem, i.e., copyright registration, translation, retail ebook sales, advertising, reputation points, book recommendations, or crowdfunding. On the Publica Circle illustration, those are the corners nearest to the readers and authors.

Publica addresses those too, plus all the rest of the publishing ecosystem so that everyone can enjoy the full benefits of social and commercial network effects.

2. What tasks will your tokens solve? What can users use them?

READ tokens decrypt ebooks for reading. You buy READ tokens with Pebbles in a public Book ICO. (Like a crowdfunding event. You might not see the Pebbles if the Book ICO’s website is set to show you a local currency.)

READ tokens are your private key in a two-key encryption system, locked inside your ereader app/wallet. The ebook’s public key is on the blockchain. RIGHTS tokens distribute a book’s derivative rights revenues for movie scripts, games, merchandise, reprints and so on. You buy them in a book’s RIGHTS ICO, which may be open to the public or limited by invitation. Your private key is locked inside your app/wallet, the public key is on the blockchain, and the smart contract that determines your share of revenues is also on the blockchain.

READ and RIGHTS tokens, and PBL tokens called Pebbles, are ERC20 tokens for the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts.

Pebbles are the money used in all ecommerce transactions on the platform.

So, your ereader app/wallet will hold your digital keys to all three token types, READ, RIGHTS, and Pebbles. This completes the minimum required functions of an ereader app/wallet for the fun and profit of book projects in the blockchain era.

3. How can users who invest in your project be able to make a profit?

This ICO is likely to be the lowest price that Pebbles will ever be in exchange for other currencies, because there’s nothing to spend them on yet. The platform opens to the public for ecommerce and social/commercial networking in 2018. Then, Publica will become a perpetual ICO engine.

Each new book project on the Publica platform will be a new Book ICO or Rights ICO. You buy into those with Pebbles. People who don’t have Pebbles will have to buy some. “Demand & Supply Equilibrium” forces will kick in. We explain this in more detail in our white papers for those who aren’t familiar with macroeconomics.

4. What is the cost of the token now?

One PBL is priced at $0.10 USD for the main ICO.

5. In what ways can the user invest in your project? Using which cryptocurrency? Maybe you accept funds from investors through Internet payment systems or by bank cards?

510 million Pebbles will be sold in the ICO starting on October 19, targeting approximately $51M USD or 43M Euros denominated in Bitcoin and Ether (BTC, ETH).

We encourage Pebbles buyers who aren’t familiar with digital wallets, BTC or ETH, to contact our support team at publica.io or social media for free assistance.

6. What are the most interesting users in your product? What are they most often asking about?

We gathered all the FAQ at publica.io but here are the highlights from a CEO’s perspective.

For authors

Advances on revenues in new Book ICO’s. That practice virtually disappeared in the Amazon/iTunes age and authors need it back.

Social networking with a professional edge, e.g., treating books as the projects they are. Project managers, collaborators, publicists, marketers, printers, and all the rest of the people and businesses that make books great and help authors reach the readers who want their books.

Authors need an ecosystem with simple, trustworthy ecommerce that looks more like a LinkedIn than a 50-page contract of fine print that serves lawyers better than authors. New business models. Every new book is like a startup. The business model is as important as the creative writing, and one size doesn’t fit all.

In one easy example, readers can’t pass traditional ebooks along to their friends and colleagues for fear that the publisher might miss out on revenues. This stifles word-of-mouth marketing and forces all sales to unrealistic retail pricing. Ebooks languishing in an elibrary don’t help anyone except the minority of readers who want to re-read them.

At Publica, readers can resell ebooks on an open market. Authors can set creative new terms for ebook resales including a portion back to themselves or their next book project. They can promote word-of-mouth marketing, host a shop on their own site inlcuding like-minded authors, boost their fan clubs and book clubs, etc.

Opportunites abound.

For readers

Crowdfunding in creative ways. Whatever the readers, authors, institutions, and project managers can dream up in their business models to include their fans and readers who care and want to participate.

After reading, resell ebooks on an open market. This is also good for authors because they can get a portion of the resale on Publica if that’s a term of their smart contract.

In one easy example, university textbooks are expensive and students sell them back at a fraction of their purchase price. Universities don’t need that commerce, they do it because they have to, so the courses can happen on time.

At Publica, authors, project managers, and institutions can set creative new terms for book resales including a portion back to the book project or its successor (fund the next edition). Ebook resale market prices are then up to the seller (reader) and buyer (next reader).

For all the people and businesses illustrated in the Publica Circle

Publishing is a global economy and ecosystem unto itself. Online retail is only one corner of it.

DIY self-publishing is good but sacrifices some of the best parts of traditional publishing. They can be revived with elements of the gig economy and the sharing economy so long as the ecommerce is tailored to publishing.

Most of the ecommerce in making and publicizing great books happens before retail, starting with how book projects are funded. Book projects continue long after the release of their first editions. Publica serves book projects from start to finish–and they don’t have to end. Some book projects can go on forever in new or expanded editions, derivative rights, audio books, movie scripts, games, merchandise, etc.

7. Why did you decide to go to the ICO? What results do you expect from ICO?

Before the ecommerce can begin, Pebbles must be in the possession of many people outside of Publica-the-company. In other words, those Pebbles can’t be Publica’s own money.

ICO proceeds will pay for the free Publica ereader app/wallets for all common devices. Later in the roadmap, we’ll make and sell ereader/writer devices at Publica, Amazon, and other retailers.

Professionals will want a powerful device, something like the ReMarkable tablet https://remarkable.com, that supports their READ and RIGHTS token wallets. ICO proceeds will pay for publicizing the platform to the general public as well as the publishing industry. It’s a new idea.

ICO proceeds will fund a multilingual Publica EDU. It will teach how to promote books, manage book projects, find qualified help and form business relationships, find book projects to join, become a certified editor or marketer, etc.

ICO proceeds will pay for developing the legal framework for using tokens and blockchains in legally undefined areas like autonomous rights, derivative rights distributions, etc. in the global blockchain era.

ICO proceeds will help fund Publica’s Inaugural Set Of Books. They’ll need editors, illustrators, authors, project managers, publicists, printers, marketers, etc. They’ll need advances against revenues in order to do their work. They aren’t Publica employees, they’re free agents and businesses.

For another reason, we don’t think Pebbles are what traditional venture capital is looking for. Publica couldn’t pivot to become something else if traditional venture capital needed it to.

For another reason, we don’t expect Publica platform users to need fiat currencies for more than a year or so. After that, at the rate that the blockchain revolution is taking over money in general, we expect they’ll be able to live the rest of their professional and personal lives with Pebbles and cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets.

8. Tell a little about the founders of the project please. Is this their first project in the field of Blockchain or do they have experience implementing other projects?

CTO Yuri Pimenov was a pioneer in Bitcoin trading exchange systems and technology. He’s committed to the cause.

COO Antons Sapriko also runs Scandiweb, the leading ecommerce services provider on the Magento platform. Scandiweb.com is Publica’s development partner and these developers have been writing Ethereum smart contracts and Solidity apps since they were invented. Scandiweb built successful ICO’s for USA-based Element Group, and various apps for all common devices.

Marc Kenigsberg, our blockchain advisor, is the founder of Bitcoinchaser.com, one of the most popular resource sites for blockchain enthusiasts, and a regular speaker and contributor at industry events around the world. With 18 years’ experience in online marketing and having advised many successful blockchain businesses, we approached him when CEO Josef Marc saw video of him speaking at a blockchain event about corporate social responsibility.

This is CEO Josef Marc’s first blockchain company. In his 20’s he worked odd jobs in publishing books and music. A pioneer in composing computer music, his programming experience led to more technical and management roles including CBS Olympics, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, Library of Congress A/V preservation, UN Int’l Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda A/V preservation, etc. To him, blockchains are today’s most-important technology to explore for public benefits.

9. How do you see the development of the cryptocurrency market in the near future?

Josef believes that cryptocurrencies are today’s version of Representative Money, as outlined in our longest white paper (70 pages). In short, it’s the most convenient money “…in the field where the assets lie, malleable today, not tomorrow.” (Josef’s words, see Publica’s first post on Medium.com.)

In plain English, cryptocurrencies work better than fiat currencies. Therefore, people will prefer it over fiat alternatives as soon as they get to know it better.

Josef believes this will lead to two essential effects on cryptocurrency markets.

  1. Currency exchange will work better, drawing more people to use cryptocurrencies, leading to Demand & Supply Equilibrium effects. Deflation, like that programmed into the Bitcoin protocol, will make cryptocurrency values rise and rise.
  2. Cryptocurrencies like Pebbles, constrained within a defined economy, will feel the same Demand & Supply Equilibrium effects and deflation effects. However, by being insulated from general-purpose cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, Pebbles will be buffered from some of their fluctuations. Short, medium, and long-term holdings in Pebbles will be tied to the global publishing economy, as opposed to the global economy as a whole. Publishing is considerably less affected by nation-states and their perpetual conflicts. Think of cryptocurrencies used in this way as new nations with no national debt and no major infrastructure to have to build. They’re the best economies for their residents.

UPD:

According to latest information from Publica the date of presale is extended and will last to 31.10.2017. Crowdsale will start on 01.11.2017 and will last through 01.12.2017. The decision to change crowdsale dates was made in light of the announcements of two upcoming Bitcoin forks. Publica’s CEO Josef Marc commented:

We understand that today might not be the best day for many people to trade their Bitcoin or Ether. We’re happy we can accommodate our community needs.

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