Block Conex

Hi Matt,

in response to the questions:

1. We have not factored in the immediate requirement for grants at the moment, however, as we partner with entities like Joust we believe that we will look to utilise the grant pool for example to help grow those platforms in order to target different industry sectors beyond the VFX freelancer market. We are also looking at the legal solutions market and we may look to utlise grants to obtain additional development support to help deploy those solutions
2. As set out in the application we have on board two of the leading VFX engineers in the world and we are looking to work across multiple VFX software/solution providers to promote Factom as their protocol of choice. The team is also able to share development support to the other ANOs and help provide access to these markets and industries. Our other advisors are working across multiple industries and again will be able to help provide support and access to ANOs to help them target different market sectors and organizations. The team has spent a considerable amount of time working with the protocol and this will continue regardless of whether the team is successful as we feel we have a lot to offer in general.

Thank you

Block Connex
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
Hello Block Connex,

Do you guys have any relationship with Block Party or any other ANOs (current or prospective)? I believe Block Party is also in the VFX space and utilizes Sheridans for legal services. And as follow up question, how is your approach in the VFX space differ from Block Party? Any concern about stepping on each other's toes?

Thanks!
 
Thank you for applying. A few questions I am asking all applicants,
  1. How many person-hours per week do you expect your team to devote to this ecosystem?
  2. How will these hours be distributed among your members?
  3. How will this be distributed among your ANO activities (open source project dev, proprietary project dev, protocol level technical involvement, governance involvement, marketing/promotion … )?
  4. Can you give a list of demonstrable metrics that the community could use say 6 months or a year from now if you are selected in this application to evaluate your ANO?
 
Hello Block Connex,

Do you guys have any relationship with Block Party or any other ANOs (current or prospective)? I believe Block Party is also in the VFX space and utilizes Sheridans for legal services. And as follow up question, how is your approach in the VFX space differ from Block Party? Any concern about stepping on each other's toes?

Thanks!
We don't have any formal relationships with any other ANO. In regard to Block Party, given the profile of the respective members of each group they have individually worked with each other in previous companies. Subsequently Block Party introduced members of Block Conex to Factom and they went from there. We operate in different parts of the VFX sector and understand the partners and solutions we are looking to bring to the market are substantially different and geared towards different parts of the overall VFX production pipeline.

Obviously given we are targeting the same industry sector, in part, we will look to bring certain synergies such as leveraging each other's relationships within the industry as well as things like collaborating at trade shows with the view to promoting the growth of the protocol as a whole.

Block Party is advised by Sheridans and Legalbadger who is a Partner at Sheridans is a member of Block Conex.

Thanks

The Block Conex Team
 
Thanks for the application.

Can you elaborate on how you will utilize Factom in the VFX industry: what problems it solves and what value it brings?

The letter from Joust mentions smart contracts, but currently the Factom protocol doesn't support those. Will you be developing a smart contract protocol on top of Factom or how will the Joust platform utilize the protocol?
 
@SamuelVanderwaal thanks for your questions.

The solutions offered by Joust are not strictly limited to the VFX industry, however due to the experience and background of the team we are focusing on the space as a template for other industries.

For example, Joust also has license agreements with one the largest players in the construction industry for verification of employment records and skills of contractors and engineers - where this can be expanded to certification as well as health and safety.

In terms of VFX however, there is a huge gap in the industry to connect employers directly with freelancers who are intelligently matched, validated, available and to cut out the cost and time burdens of traditional talent sourcing and management. Joust and Block Conex are looking to use the Factom protocol initially to ensure transparency and validity of data relating to skills and references.

In terms of smart contracts, the product roadmap accommodates building a smart contract protocol on top of Factom if the ANO application is successful, and would support this (in part) via the efficiency of the Node as well as grants.

Block Conex
 
Thank you for applying. A few questions I am asking all applicants,
  1. How many person-hours per week do you expect your team to devote to this ecosystem?
  2. How will these hours be distributed among your members?
  3. How will this be distributed among your ANO activities (open source project dev, proprietary project dev, protocol level technical involvement, governance involvement, marketing/promotion … )?
  4. Can you give a list of demonstrable metrics that the community could use say 6 months or a year from now if you are selected in this application to evaluate your ANO?
Hi Julian,

To answer your questions:

1. We currently anticipate we are looking at around 30 hours per week but we expect this to scale up to 50 plus if selected just for the core team. In addition through Joust we will be looking to scale to multiple developer hours to support their solution plus others
2. Difficult to assess exactly how these will be distributed. Initially we will be front loaded on the engineering front but then expect to even this out with other team members as we develop and grow the business.
3. As per our response to 2 we need to be very careful we don’t try and tackle lots of areas head on and spread the team too thin. At the moment we are focused on engineering but also supporting the Joust solution. Joust are currently spending about 80+ hours on management a week and around 300+ hours of development resource on the solution. We are working closely with them as believe this is a perfect test of the platform and a springboard for its growth.
4. We feel a good metric is deploying and operating a fully commercial solution through Joust within a 6 month period of being selected.
 
Thank you for your application!

I'm having a hard time grasping how you'll utilize the Factom Protocol.

Can you please give me a high level walk through of how you'll be integrating Factom and what problem it will solve?
 
Thank you for your application!

I'm having a hard time grasping how you'll utilize the Factom Protocol.

Can you please give me a high level walk through of how you'll be integrating Factom and what problem it will solve?
Hi @DChapman,

Thanks for your additional questions.

As per our application we are primarily looking at bringing different use cases within the VFX market to the protocol once we are appointed as an ANO. It is important to note that JOUST is just one example of the type of use case we have but it demonstrates a real commercial solution which we have already secured.

Therefore, in terms of an example of the type of use case and problem solving solution, the JOUST platform intends to utilize the Factom protocol for verification of skills for freelancers within the VFX industry to power a platform which intelligently matches these skills to demand, reducing the time and cost burdens of on-boarding and referencing talent as well as automating billing sequences - ultimately using this as a template for other industries as previously mentioned.

JOUST in conjunction with the Block Conex team, will develop a protocol for smart contracts (along with self-auditing code to enhance the security of the smart contacts) to handle and leverage this automation if the ANO application is granted, crucially we want to utilise the grant pool over and above efficiency of the nodes to deliver these solutions via Factom.

We hope this provides clarification.

The Block Conex Team and JOUST.
 
You'll be developing a separate protocol for smart contracts that integrates with Factom? If so, can you provide the a general overview of the approach you will be taking?

How will Factom verify the skills of freelancers?

Thanks.
 
You'll be developing a separate protocol for smart contracts that integrates with Factom? If so, can you provide the a general overview of the approach you will be taking?

How will Factom verify the skills of freelancers?

Thanks.
Thanks for the question. As you know we are taking a two pronged approach to this. First off is the operation of the ANs to which we have assembled a team with expertise from across the vfx sector. Secondly we are onbording partners to work with us and on the Factom protocol.

This distinction is important because these partners are commercial enterprises and so you can appreciate there are certain aspects of the business which they cannot set out in a public forum especially pre-release. In the case of Joust this is a partner who are looking to support Block Conex and who is prepared to provide development support. It is likely that we will look to a grant for further development and deployment of that solution but it is not necessarily needed at this stage. Joust has a choice of blockchain solutions but wants to work with Block Conex given the industry knowledge the team has and Joust can also see the potential of Factom and the support it has. There is therefore a need to balance what Joust can disclose about its commercial solution with what is needed to help support Block Conex’s ANO application.

Joust would be ok disclosing further details on the questions in a direct conversation with you but unfortunately they can not disclose this in a public forum.

Happy to address any additional questions.

Thanks

The Block Conex team
 
The problem here is you're in essence asking us to trust that you and Joust have the knowledge of Factom and technical skills necessary to execute upon your very generalized idea without providing any proof.

Until you can provide a rough outline of how your "smart contract protocol" will work and integrate with Factom and publicly explain the mechanism by which Factom can verify the skills of freelancers, I will remain unconvinced of the value of your offering.
 
The problem here is you're in essence asking us to trust that you and Joust have the knowledge of Factom and technical skills necessary to execute upon your very generalized idea without providing any proof.

Until you can provide a rough outline of how your "smart contract protocol" will work and integrate with Factom and publicly explain the mechanism by which Factom can verify the skills of freelancers, I will remain unconvinced of the value of your offering.
The core ANO team consists of two of the leading VFX Engineers globally together with key legal and commercial support. As such they have the expertise to run a successful enterprise AN. We would like our application to be assessed first and foremost on this aspect of the team. We are looking at multiple commercial partners of which Joust is one to help further the protocol and to assist in running applications on Factom which solve multiple use cases in VFX that we have identified. Joust is prepared to invest time and resources into exploring a smart contract protocol with Block Conex as required for its own platform. Through Joust, skills verification can be easily checked as vfx jobs are created and authenticated through the Joust platform. This can also be developed further into IP verification all through the Joust platform running over Factom. This is not an overnight solution but building on a solidly run AN we believe we have the resource and talent to make this work.
 
NK01)
What is the minimal price of FCT for your potential ANO to not operate at a loss?

NK02)
How long would you be able to operate at a loss if the need arises? What provisions are made to accomplish that?

NK03)
Could you list some examples of data you will be storing on Factom with the above mentioned smart contract solutions you would be building?
 
Hey Niels thanks for the questions:

1. We have relationships with AWS and Google which allows us access to the heighest levels of support and credits. This allows us to minimise our cost base. All members of Block Conex are equal partners so we are all working towards getting promoted to ANO and the rewards that come with that are enough for us to warrant putting the effort in. We haven’t had to employ any permanent staff yet as two of the team are responsible for running highly sophisticated infrastructure at 100% availability for multi-million pound companies so the running of the nodes really is our bread and butter.

2. We would ensure flexibility in the first year both with our cost allocation and staff base so if needed we can collapse both down to a lower managed level. This will allow us to maintain a low operating cost base which we believe we can sustain for 6 months.

3. We would store structured data for freelancer profiles such as usernames, employment records, skills, certifications, and timesheet entries.
 
Hi @blockconex,

Some other ANO's provide speculative EC usage for their use cases. For example, BIF provided some numbers as to what they can expect from an EC usage standpoint if they're able to secure a couple of major clients in the construction industry. And before Factom, Inc. was an ANO, during their first AMA, they speculated about what kind of EC usage could be expected for mortgages and the mortgage industry.

Assuming you're able to build out the smart contract functionality on top of Factom (with or without collaboration with other ANO's or Grant pool money), what kind of EC usage can be expected? Is there some sort of back-of-the-napkin math that you could do here to justify the demand for EC's in the VFX world?

Also, I have to echo @DChapman when I say that I'm left with more uncertainty than assurance about the ability to build out that smart contract functionality. Funding from Joust, working with other ANO's (potentially), drawing from the grant pool....all of these sources are ways to fund that work, but even if you obtain the necessary funding to grind out lots of work here, I do not see the technical rationale or assurance here to assuage my concerns over blockconex's capability to build out this technology. I know you've mentioned that your team has top VFX engineers and support from Joust, but money and connections aside, please convince me about the step-by-step process you would employ to go from the -concept- of building out the protocol for smart contracts to a fully implemented smart contract technology built on Factom.
 
Also, @blockconex, aside from the application that Niels posted above and the letter from Joust, are there any other supporting documents/PDF's or proposals that are available for me to read? I took a look on the Google Drive and was unable to find anything else.
 
Hi Sanfranseahawk,

Thanks for the questions. As per our application documents we set about bringing together a team which has the combination of top class engineering, commercial and legal experience in the VFX space. We are happy to share links to our respective LinkedIN and other professional profiles should anyone want to verify our respective experience. Together we feel that in the primary objective of establishing and running an AN we are extremely well placed to achieve this. Once established as an ANO then our approach is to promote the protocol within the wider VFX space for those entities and services who we feel will benefit from implementing innovative solutions based on Factom.

One of the entities we have been fortunate to link in with through the process is Joust. Joust are one example of a commercial enterprise who see the value in both Block Conex and Factom. As such Joust have been working with the team at Block Conex to see how their platform can be integrated and how Block Conex in turn can support Joust. A prime example of how we will endeavour to work with other commercial entities.

The term commercial entities is key though as Block Conex and Joust are two separate legal entities each with their own commercial agenda, shareholders and Directors. As such whilst Joust are open to giving a general overview of their solution they are not going to be able to go into sensitive commercial details which these questions are straying into. We can appreciate that should, for example, Joust want to apply for a grant to develop out a smart contract protocol then that would inevitably open them up to answering detailed technical questions. They are not at this stage and so we cannot ask them to open up to that line of questioning.

In short to the other questions we have not given much thought to EC usage and have instead focused on operating costs and even more so in light of recent devaluation. We don’t have any other supporting documentation.

Thanks

Block Conex
 
Hi Niels, sure:

Time-sheet entries and usernames will not go on a public blockchain, the username itself will be tied to a global identity which will have it's own public key. Information such as time-sheets and skills will be tied to a private key, where the user can choose to publish and control what is public.


Other information stored in the freelancer profile is already made public elsewhere, such as self-declarations on CVs for skills and employment history on career networking platforms. We are simply encoding and verifying that data then bringing it onto Factom.

In order to ensure tight governance on the above, Joust is continually consulting with data lawyers on all aspects of the platform.

Thanks,
Block Conex
 
how would a smart contract work on the factom blockchain?

Should we be successful in our ANO application, the team at Block Conex and Joust would submit a white-paper on smart contracts on Factom which can be seen by and collaborated upon with the community. A key part of this would be in rewarding members with tokens (or FCT) for contributing to skills ratings and verifications, as a function of the commercial solution that Joust is prepared to invest in and bring to the platform.

We hope this is sufficient to progress our ANO application and we look forward to hopefully being able to contribute to the platform in a meaningful way and further the cause.

Thanks for all the questions and insights posed to us, and we wish the other applicants luck!

The team at Block Conex & Joust
 
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