The huge centralized corporations that dominate today’s business world compete for our attention. Advertising is the business model and that means our attention has become the product. These companies employ some of the most skilled scientists in the world to compete for every moment of our day. Our privacy rights become more and more meddled with as these companies’ profit margins increase. Privacy scandals with everyday products we all use such as Facebook are a perfect example of this.
TaTaTu flips this model by using blockchain technology to respect users privacy rights and provide a more user-oriented experience. TaTaTu is a social media and entertainment platform. The platform is powered by blockchain technology and users are incentivized to produce and consume content via the native token of the platform, TTU. Created content goes through an approval process and transactions are cryptographically signed to protect users’ rights.
Users will have access to premium content supplied by major entertainment brands and will be rewarded for watching the content they would typically watch on another platform. The revenue brought in by advertising third parties is shared between content users and producers. The premium brands benefit from the platform being powered by blockchain technology and gain assurances that the reviews of their content are 100% legitimate.
TaTaTu conducted a fundraising this year raising a whopping $575 million. This has been the third largest ICO of all time, surpassed only by EOS and Telegram. Amid a prolonged bear market during 2018, the project’s fundraising campaign was hugely successful. EOS conducted a full year-long ICO to raise $4 Billion. TaTaTu managed to raise over an eighth of that amount in a small fraction of time, from the 11th of June to the 30th of June.
TaTaTu was clearly an attractive proposition to retail investors but it was also attractive to institutional investors such as Blocktower Capital, and even Prince Felix of Luxembourg both backed the project. Lady Monika Bacardi also supported TaTaTu with a pledge of $100mln. Polymath Capital and LVNA Capital are also acting as strategic advisors.
The tokens used for the fundraising are ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. The initial total supply is set at 10 billion and there is no disclosure whether this is subject to increase in the future. The funds were strategically used and tokens were shrewdly distributed, with only a small fraction going to the founder and team. The founders are also subject to a five year lock-up period on their tokens showing the commitment of the team long term.
The ICO price for the Tatatu token was $0.25. The ICO successfully wrapped up at the end of June and the token is now trading at double its price – around $0.50 in September. ICO investors have so far been shown a good return so far and amid cryptocurrency market crashes, the token has held its value well so far considering the sector is undergoing a bear period. This is the sign of a fundamentally strong project with a significant backing. The project reached highs above $0.80 in August. HitBTC is one of the popular exchanges TTU is trading on.
Token Use Case
- Incentivize users to create and consume content
- Revenue to advertisers paid through the token
- Tracking distribution rights
The platform seeks to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology to increase utility to all the stakeholders. Payouts to content creators and users are orchestrated via an Ethereum smart contract as illustrated below. The smart contract is fed information from the user database and facilitates payments to users and creators in the form of TTU tokens. A small fraction of the revenue will go to TaTaTu to facilitate the running of the platform. Transactions are also cryptographically signed, which protects the privacy of individuals using the platform.
One of the main aims of TaTaTu is to set up a video on demand (VOD) service which will be in direct competition with centralized counterparts, such as Netflix. The VOD service will have a VOD player, a movie listings screen, along with a movie details screen. It will also be accessible from web browsers, iOS, and Android. The VOD service will be integrated into an advertisement server along with other advertisement technology enabling third-party advertisers to bring revenue to the ecosystem. The advertisers who use the platform will also be using the native TTU token.
Built upon the TaTaTu platform will be a social media and user management protocol. There will be a strong focus on an easy-to-use interface. The front-end of the protocol will enable users to post comments, share content, and invite friends. Users who invite friends will also be able to earn TTU tokens based on their invited friends’ usage and creation of content.
The platform is going to be rolled out over twelve months. There are currently 500 invited users testing the platform and providing their feedback. 200,000 were reported to be on the waiting list to use the project in June. The initial minimum viable product will have the basic features required for the functioning of the platform, such as privacy features powered by blockchain technology and the basic user functions in the VOD and social media platforms. Going forward, the potentials of applying blockchain technology in this area are enormous. The team aims to utilize blockchain technology to govern digital rights management. Features to be added will include celebrity profiles, streaming services, peer-to-peer recommendations, among others. The vision of TaTaTu seeks to incorporate all the key strengths of different business models in the entertainment industry while removing the drawbacks.
There are key questions to ask in relation to the team with any new project launching a blockchain technology project, especially if they are conducting an ICO where they will be using investors’ capital to bring the vision into existence. Has the team got the previous professional experience necessary to make this project a success? Is the team capable of executing what it promises? Does the team have strategic partnerships which can help it overcome the barriers which are certain to arise?
Every sign with the TaTaTu team screams yes to the above questions. Strategic partners and early investors include Blocktower Capital, Polymath Capital, LVNA Capital, and Dragon Investment Limited. The partner list goes much further than this and extends to key partnerships with institutions in the industry including studios, consulting firms, and art companies. The team has years of professional experience in all of the key areas which would indicate that they can successfully implement this project. The team consists of over 30 core members and over 200 members in total contributions.
TaTaTu Founder, Andrea Iervolino
TaTaTu founder, Andrea Iervolino, has the right background in the entertainment industry to understand the deep points about how it needs to be disrupted. Andrea has been a successful film producer for most of his career and was nominated best film producer at the Venice film festival. Currently, Iervolino finances and distributes films which include major successes such as The Passion of Christ, Memento, and Apocalypto. Iervolino was innovative from a young age developing new distribution models for films and founding his first technology start-up at the age of 13.
TaTaTu CTO, Jonathan Pullinger
The CTO of TaTaTu has a long history in the cryptocurrency industry. Pullinger has been mining Bitcoin since 2012 and has extensive experience working with the Ethereum blockchain and writing smart contracts. Pullinger has worked on many successful blockchain projects in the past including Waves, Hyperledger, and lightning nodes. Pullinger demonstrates both the theoretical and practical knowledge to make TaTaTu’s technology a success.
TaTaTu Head of Platform, Edward McCulloch
The head of the platform, Edward McCulloch, is responsible for all the innovative features noted above being implemented and delivered successfully. McCulloch has an impressive past resume working as a project lead and project consultant for huge clients such as the BBC, Microsoft, HSBC, Lloyd’s of London, Unilever, and other blue-chip companies. If the past is an indication of the future, McCulloch has the expertise and past experience to ensure the components of TaTaTu’s platform are delivered successfully.
Rollout & Future Impact
Going forward, the team has a detailed roadmap for product developments and updates. There is also a strategic plan on which markets to target and when. Many signs indicate the project can deliver on its promises. If the project can manage to achieve and apply blockchain technology to an industry in need of disruption, users will be able to benefit from a rewards-based ecosystem where they can be confident that their privacy is respected. Many people Netflix and chill. In years to come, many more may TaTaTu and chill. With huge interest and waitlists to adopt the product, it is likely TaTaTu will provide very interesting new movies and products for both users and interesting token for shareholders.