In this Telegram AMA recap, you’ll find insights about the ARA Blocks project. In an event hosted by Iris from MEXC Global, you will meet Tony Mugavero, CEO of ARA Blocks.
I went to college to study computer engineering and graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering and a Minor in Math. While I was in school, I also produced electronic music and did a bunch of remixes for film soundtracks. I started building live video transcoders in 2005 for video streaming and started my first tech startup in 2008. I sold that company in 2012, which is around the time I got into Bitcoin. I played around with bitcoin for a couple of years and then started a VR streaming company. VR was taking its time to mature, so in 2017 we started playing around with Ethereum and how we could use smart contracts to package up content. I wrote the first whitepaper for a decentralized content network at the end of 2017. We were kind of doing NFTs before erc721 took over.
Questions from the community:
Iris: What is ARA Blocks? Can you share with us more in detail? @ZeroXTony
Tony: We built ARA as a decentralized content marketplace. Basically, any digital file could be packaged up and sold.
This allows creators of anything, games, video, music, documents, etc., to package up and sell content in a peer to peer fashion
It’s layers of tools. Smart Contract Layer, Identity Layer, Content Delivery Layer, and rewards.
Iris: What are ARA Blocks’s unique selling points as compared to other similar projects in the industry?
Tony: We really built it to give power back to creators and consumers. 🙂
I think what makes ARA different is that we designed it as a toolset first, and one that can support any type of content.
Iris: that’s really something unique!
Tony: So instead of trying to focus it to only support one file type, we built it to support all types. This way people could build a decentralized Steam, or Spotify, or Netflix on top of it
The file system also supports things like updating metadata
this comes in very handy when you need to update something, like a bugfix/patch for a game
Giving people flexibility first.
Iris: What is the role of the $ARA token in ARA Blocks? Would you tell us more about its tokenomics?
Originally, ARA was designed for consumptive use, such that in order to publish content, you needed to have ARA, and to buy the content you needed ARA, and then rewards would be paid out in ARA. Since it was an ERC20 token at launch, it was tricky to achieve this because you still needed ETH behind the scenes.
As gas got more expensive, we had to look at shifting the strategy to provide value to holders
and uses of ARA:
the rewards for ARA initially would come from users hosting and delivering content, so if you bought a game or a movie and were hosting it on your computer, you would get paid every time someone else bought the content. you would deliver that content to them
and get paid
mind you, we built this in 2017 and 2018, so gas was way cheaper (and we were way ahead of our time)
as gas got more expensive though, we started rethinking rewards a bit
so now there are a few main goals that will make ara useful
the peering now instead of rewarding ARA will reward ETH. you’ll be able to run a peer with staked ARA, and all content flowing through ARA derived smart contracts will pay out rewards to peers
this also means that we’re reducing the amount of ARA dumped into the market via rewards, and it’s designed more to hold and earn
if we were constantly rewarding ARA, people would sell their earnings
so now their ARA becomes more valuable, and they can sell the ETH
Since we rebuilt a web frontend (we previously had a downloadable file manager only) to ARAs technology we can do interesting things there
One thing that is about to be released either this week or next on Rad (which is powered by Ara), will be that you get 0% fees on any NFT sales
meaning that it removes the platform fee
if you hold 100k ARA (subject to change)
This way, if you’re buying and selling NFTs, and you’re an ARA holder (but you don’t want to be a peer using up storage and bandwidth), you can still get rewarded as a holder
Instead of paying 2.5% fees for every sale on the platform, you pay 0
We’ve also built it in such a way that the discount doesn’t require you to stake the tokens, we’ll just look at your wallet
to see that you own the correct amount of ARA
the 3rd thing we enabled for ARA holders is DAO voting
this will give the community more ways to participate in the decision making process of the platform
including things outside of the protocols
We also, for example, buy into other NFT projects and support them / partner with them
This engages their communities and gets them excited about what we’re building
we put up things like “Which NFT project should we buy into/support” up for votes
that has actually been really great for marketing and awareness for us, and it gives people a reason to buy ARA to vote
but I think we can expand the DAO side alot more, we’re just getting started there
the project wasn’t DAO first, so it will be a transition
That’s a broader overview too, if people want to read it later
That’s where people can vote on proposals, and we’ll have a new one up this week
with many more proposals about to drop.
Iris: You already mentioned some upcoming features of your project, are there any other exciting news you’d like to share with us?
Tony: We have a number of big content partners in the pipeline for launch
our biggest effort has been around building up the useable frontend for ARA, which is called Rad (rad.live)
The full marketplace is in heavy testing currently and the launch will be on June 21st
We’re having a big party at NFT NYC to celebrate it!
We will make sure to invite the MEXC community obviously!
But also, there will be special VIP status for ARA holders
on the platform though
features will focus on video as a differentiator initailly since the tools for video creators in the NFT space are severely lacking
so creators will be able to mint single videos, 1 of N editions, 10k+ piece collections, and use existing or new NFTs as gates to access video or live streams
the platform already has support for all of these things, and they’re being tested before launch
we also already have apps on PlayStation 4 / 5 / PSVR, Android TV, and iPhone/iPad
Currently in the stores as Rad TV but it will soon be updated to Rad NFTV 🙂
this whole platform will be backboned by ARAs technology, and the updates we make to the NFTV marketplace will be open-sourced and contributed to the ARA GitHub.
Iris: If you were to summarize your project in ONE word, what would it be? Why?
We’re giving the power back to creators and consumers
we’ve been abused for too long haha
Q1. What are the steps to become a part of your community, and start getting revenues? Where do we buy, where do we sign up? This looks like an amazing project!
You can get ARA on MEXC 🙂 The platform will be available on https://rad.live coming June 21, but you can see a few things there already with the initial NFT partners we had, as well as a bunch of video. In the coming weeks, it will largely become the video / NFT marketplace powered by ARA
Q2. Many projects have problems with UI / UX and this one turns off new users. How do you plan to improve the interaction with new users and with users outside the crypto space?
We’re believers in building a hybrid system for general consumers to make their lives easier. Rad will be the user friendly version of the tech, and users really shouldn’t have to know anything about the underlying protocols. If someone is an engineering and they want to dig in, they can go to the Ara github 🙂
Q3. How do you plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries where English is not good? Do you have local communities like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea,.. so they can better understand your project?
We have done some localizing, but want to do alot more. We’ll work with community members to help with translations and education to spread the word, and of course do that work ourselves directly as much as possible. But good opportunity to reward and give back to the community for helping us too
Q4. Security and anonymity are always prioritized by BlockChain projects in the development of project platforms and technologies. So, does you have any technological solutions or plans to enhance user trust in these issues?
We build the platform to use DID spec, which keeps everything anonymous, although broader consumers find self custody to be annoying. So we enable full anonymity via ARA, but on Rad there is a centralized database, much like centralized exchanges have people log in as a user
Q5. Have you being audited ? Have not heard you talk about that security of funds is what every investor craves for and plans to escape incase of insecurity if funds,scams and rug pulls ? How strongly built are your security put in place?
We worked with ConsenSys to launch the platform originally. Security can always be a focus though, so we’re finishing this new round of marketplace contracts and will go through another audit
Q6. Currently from where i can buy ? Is it possible that I can get only by holding it?
You can buy on MEXC, you could also swap on Defi
There is also an ARA holding rewards pool
Check out https://ara.one for how to get to those rewards
You can buy ARA on MEXC then stake it to earn more ARA
Q7. Revenue is an important aspect for all projects to survive and maintain the project/company. How have you been able to build a complete project and what is the way to generate profit/revenue from the token? What is the income model?
Rad gives people the ability to subscribe to access some content, so we have subscribers. We also sometimes help other companies to build on top of our technology, so they pay us for that. This way we can continue to build ARA.
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