This is the second part of the APS interview with Andrii Shapovalov. To read Part 1 of the interview, click here.
You're currently in the close beta testing stage of the project. Is there a roadmap for future stages?
We are, at the moment, fine tuning the marketplace and the blockchain. A couple weeks ago , I signed the blockchain audit agreement with one of the blockchain auditors. We expect the results in one month. So again, this will all be made public from both sides. The auditor will publish our report on their behalf, and we will publish it on our site as well. It's an absolute, reasonable and necessary requirement for any blockchain project to be verified by an independent party. This is because collectors have to feel secure that this is not a scam or an unprofessional enterprise. They have to be persuaded by an independent party that everything that is implemented here is according to industry standards.
Going off of that, how are you planning to manage security risk?
Blockchain by itself is secure. The major security parts will be managed by a third party solution. We are not in a position to create something new in that area. The personal data and KYC data will be managed by the financial partner. For example, the security we have is a cloud solution. Technically, we are not keeping the server somewhere in Kiev, or Warsaw or any other place. This is why the stampdaq blockchain is rolled out on Amazon servers. We've made the choice in favor of Amazon because it was something that we liked more than Microsoft or Google. So from that side, it's technically secure. In addition, from the security side it is worthy to note that we are incorporated in the European Union. We are in the process of obtaining the crypto license which will allow us to be the wallet providers and conduct crypto exchange which is usually done by third party solutions. In our case, we have the legal possibility to create our own exchange. I don't know what we will use eventually as it will depend on the cost, but it gives us an extra layer of flexibility and protection in case the whole market goes crazy over gas-free fees. We might be able to offer the solutions that will be more reasonable to our customers.
To attract older stamp collections, the real world applications of the NF T's are very important. So I know you've mentioned before that you're partnering with some museums or galleries to offer people free access with their purchases.
Yes, the second branch or second field that we are cultivating is the art industry. We are focusing primarily on public museums.
Are there any other applications that you're working on?
The biggest application that we want to bring to philately and art is the play to earn model because this is where entertainment is part of our life. What we want to do is to create a regular system. This means that it would not be occasional contests which are common with many projects, but irregular standout contests and games where people will be able to entertain themselves daily and get results based on their merit and their activity level. And of course, you have to be lucky a little bit, because if there are too many people that are active, somebody has to be more active in order to gain a reward.
From our launch, we will offer four play to earn possibilities, three types of contests and an NFT trivia game. You can buy a stamp or a painting, put it on the wall and appreciate the artwork on a daily basis if you are the owner. But then the only thing that's left to do is sell it, ideally at a higher price than you bought. In my experience it's a very difficult market, and the majority of the benefit is actually eaten by intermediaries, and not by creators. But that's a different story. What we want to bring to the market is the possibility to entertain and at the same time give people a chance to make money on their collection. So for example, the collective contest will pay on a regular basis weekly to the top 200 collectors based on the league, and we have three leagues of collectors. The eligibility of the league will be based on your collection score. And the collection score is basically a sum of the collection points which are assigned to each NFT based on their rarity class. So eventually, if your collection score is high enough, you'll get money into your account based on the open formula. And we already published this formula in an article on Medium. It is a whole article that is available to read about how our contest and game structure is designed and what benefits it can bring to collectors on stampdaq.
And speaking of Medium, I know they just published an article about the new USPS NFT stamps that were recently released. So I was wondering what your opinion about that is?
We've been trying to deliver our message to USPS since the end of last year. Within our membership at the Dot Post Group of the UPU, we have conducted several webinars where USPS representatives were present. For some reason they have opted to go with the local solution that is already operational. I'm happy that they did it because then they will have something to compare with when we launch our platform. I'm optimistic about our negotiation with every postal administration. We create a formula of fair revenue distribution generated on stampdaq. All other issues of NFT stamps are issued on some marketplaces, and this is it. So you buy the stamp and the only thing you can do today is just to resell it. We believe there is much more than can be done for collectors. The purpose of our project is to make collectors engaged, happy and entertained as much as possible, and this can be done with stamps and art. So far, we are not considering anything else to add to the portfolio. For the coming years we are focusing on NFT philately and art.
I know you mentioned that football trading cards are also a potential market.
I believe that niche is already occupied and I don't think we will be able to offer anything better that's already offered by the French startup Sorare. I think they're doing an extremely great job in their field. I'm really happy that they managed to build a company with a valuation of $4.3 billion from scratch within the past year and a half.
That's amazing. Those were all the questions that I had for you today. So if you have anything else that you want to share, or add?
We would be very interested in cooperating with philatelic associations. We are planning on offering 1% of our primary sales, coming out from the stampsdaq revenue share, to support the traditional philatelic associations in the countries that have joined stampsdaq.
To learn more about stampsdaq, read this article on Medium. If you are interested in sharing your stamp story, contact the APS Media Team by emailing MediaTeam@stamps.org