CNET Founder Backs $50 Million ICO for Video Streaming

CNET founder and early Salesforce investor Halsey Minor has revealed new details on his latest cryptocurrency project VideoCoin.

AccessTimeIconMay 16, 2018 at 4:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:57 a.m. UTC

Streaming a TV show or a sports game directly to your laptop doesn't make big TV networks much money today.

However, that might change if VideoCoin, a new decentralized project that's taking aim at the price major broadcasters and media companies pay to stream content, succeeds on its vision. When a broadcaster sends out a broadcast over the airwaves, one signal can reach many devices, but when it broadcasts over the internet one signal goes to one device.

"It's all cost and no revenue," Halsey Minor, CEO of Live Planet, an immersive video startup, told CoinDesk in an interview at Consensus 2018. Live Planet is a strategic partner in VideoCoin, which announced Wednesday the completion of a $50 million initial coin offering (ICO) entirely through private investment.

Leading investors included Galaxy Investment Partners, Alphabit Fund, ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio, Akamai Co-Founder Randall Kaplan and Science Blockchain. VideoCoin will not be doing a public sale, but a spokesperson for the project said that there will be details about an airdrop to supporters over its Telegram channel in the next two weeks.

"What we're building is the next-generation infrastructure for how you do video processing and distributed services," Minor, best known as the founder for the tech media website CNET, said. The plan is to create a platform that allows broadcasters to send their video streams out to unused computer infrastructure, such as server farms that have excess capacity, for processing.

Minor has a track record betting on early technology that faced serious doubts at first. As an early backer of Salesforce, he bet that companies would put their data into the cloud in order to better manage relationships with customers.

Since then, cloud businesses have become enormous and Amazon Web Services has become the dominant force in that space. "I think most people would believe that Amazon Web Services is the last step in computing," Minor said.

However, by decentralizing computing tasks, Minor believes that there is still more margin that can be shaved off the cost of computing services. He said:

"I believe the blockchain could unleash a highly competitive market on computing in the same way I believed Salesforce could change enterprise software."

"You don't need specialized hardware to do video mining," Minor explained. All computers, even cell phones, come with video encoders built in. That said, Minor doesn't see as much opportunity in personal devices as he does in data centers.

"For the video part, we're in very good stead," he said, citing team members who worked on enterprise streaming solutions. "The hard part is building a very performant blockchain."

With the completion of the token sale, the company announced it would update its product roadmap and new partnerships support adoption of the open source VideoCoin platform. Halsey said:

"The one use case the blockchain that's going to work first is the commodification of hardware. It's perfect for it."

Video tape image via Shutterstock


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