Last Saturday some members of the Gulden Community organised an investors meet-up in Heerlen, the Netherlands. Several speakers informed the attending listeners on new developments. Lets get started with covering the first keynote, Nocks.
Nocks is a payment service provider with dedicated services on the Gulden blockchain. You probably heard from them before, since they are neatly integrated in the Gulden wallets. For example when you pay with Gulden to an IBAN account or directly to any Bitcoin address from your wallet. Behind the scenes Nocks is handling these transaction for you.
But Nocks does so much more, as stated in the video below.
To save you the trouble of 35 minutes watching it, I wrote this article to cover the highlights.
Roel Boer, co-founder of Nocks, started to explain that the name Nocks is derived from the American slang word nock, ‘ a social jack of all trades’ – a person who can work with anyone. This applies to Nocks in a sense that their platform can work with any currency.
When they first started it came from the wish to pay with Gulden at any merchant. Including the thousands of Bitcoin locations. But after a while it became clear that Nocks could become so much more then just a Gulden to Bitcoin converter. But to achieve this one must build relationships with the existing banking infrastructure. As Roel explains in one of the ‘lessons learned’ that was not as simple as it looks. Because in essence Nocks is stealing away customers from banks. Just drop the word Blockchain and instantly banks would refuse cooperation or even allow Nocks to open a bank account. Eventually the first bank account they obtained was by mistake. The bank found out much later they were a blockchain company, but allowed them to continue. Now the ECB decided that Blockchain is not a bad thing anymore, there is hope.
Nocks is building heavily on the Gulden infrastructure because it is reliable and fast and has an open community which is probably 80% of the value. This in contrast to Bitcoin, which has a toxic, counter productive environment and of top of that it’s just to slow to be building applications on.
Don’t sway for Money
This year Nocks talked to several investors to raise money for development, so they could continue to build on the vision they have. In one case they were offered Euro 300’000 for thirty pro-cent of the company, but they walked away from this meeting.
Later they were offered even more by two investors from The Hague. Euro 750’000 for only fifteen pro-cent participation. But since the only thing the investors cared about was getting the investment returned as fast as possible, there was no common ground found in the vision of Nocks. So Nocks declined and settled with some smaller investors and raised Euro 34’000. Money they did not actually needed anymore, since over time the Nocks platform started to generate an income on its own.
The lesson learned was: do not turn away from your vision, otherwise, what is the point of having one.
A lot of attention was in writing legal work for regulators and banks in the last year. Now that is done for most part, Nocks will continue testing the waters and move forward. The company which has started 20 February 2015 is eager to bring a complete new platform in the coming months. For building an economy parallel to the existing one you need four pillars: consumers, entrepreneurs, traders and an API to bring in the developers.
The complete Nocks platform will be overhauled and restyled, introducing new possibilities for developers to build on. Currently five companies are building apps using the new platform. These apps are not currency related but are build on the Gulden blockchain technology using the Nocks API, benefiting directly from the secure and fast Gulden blockchain network. The first one will be released in October.
Other improvements will be the introduction of new higher transaction limits, now 500 euro, to be in line of those of banks. With the new platform it will be possible to sent money directly from any IBAN account to a Guldenaddress, with Nocks acting as intermediar. Eventually Nocks will then become a full service payments provider like Adyen in September completely Gulden focused, even without the need of a bank account.
Nocks Trade is the name of the new Euro – Gulden trade pair exchange. It will go beta in July. We will certainly hear more from that soon.