David Yu is the CEO of ECOMI, an innovative blockchain startup, bringing Licensed and Brand-name Collectables to the Blockchain. After CryptoKitties, ECOMI plans to take crypto-collectables to the next level by offering licensed and brand name digital collectables to the world, via ECOMI Collect.
1) Please tell us your name, title, and about your background?
My name is David Yu, and I am the co-founder and CEO of ECOMI. I started my first business, Games R Us Ltd., in 1997 and since then, people have labeled me a serial entrepreneur. For the past 20 years I have established various businesses in the license and retail industry, with ECOMI being the latest venture. I was introduced to cryptocurrency and blockchain by ECOMI’s other co-founders, Daniel Crothers, and Joseph Janik. Together, we saw the opportunity to bring licensed collectibles into the digital realm with irrefutable ownership using blockchain technology.
2) What is ECOMI?
ECOMI’s vision is to create the world’s best platform to pay, protect, and collect using distributed ledger technologies. The ECOMI all-in-one ecosystem includes four products – ECOMI Collect, ECOMI Secure Wallet, ECOMI One, and ECOMI Vault. We utilise blockchain technology in three primary areas – the protection of private keys, real-world cryptocurrency payments, and the exciting new world of crypto-collectables.
3) What are the major products and services provided by ECOMI?
In the ECOMI ecosystem, we have two current products – ECOMI Secure Wallet (completed) and ECOMI Collect (in development), with two additional products planned in the near future – ECOMI One and ECOMI Vault.
ECOMI Secure Wallet is a credit card-sized hardware device, which allows you to securely store your private keys offline for crypto, DApps and non-fungible tokens (e.g. collectibles). At the time of release, the Secure Wallet can hold the top five tokens by market cap (BTC, LTC, ETH, XRP, BCC), as well as ECOMI’s OMI token.
Our Secure Wallet is innovative in that it is a true cold storage hardware wallet, where it doesn’t connect directly to the internet for the most secure storage. We have also built the ECOMI companion app to be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to store and send cryptocurrencies from a very familiar interface. It is this seamless integration that sets the Secure Wallet apart from competitors, simplifying the process of security and reducing the learning curve, while making it more approachable to the general public.
ECOMI Collect, our signature product, is digitising collectibles in a way that is modern and fun, whilst maintaining the integrity of collecting. Thanks to the underlying blockchain technology and the ERC721 protocol, we are able to digitise and gamify content, provide traceable and verifiable ownership, and identify individual collectibles as unique/rare. The key difference in the ECOMI Collect platform is that we are providing licensed content. We have currently secured the license to digitise tokidoki content, with more well-known brand announcements coming soon!
We are taking ECOMI Collect a step further by integrating it with the Secure Wallet, not only to securely store non-fungible tokens, but also to display and interact with your collectibles in 2D and in 3D with augmented reality.
4) Tell us more about the OMI token.
The OMI token is a utility token with multiple uses throughout the ECOMI ecosystem. To start, the OMI Token will be used for applications and content access throughout the ECOMI ecosystem, and can be used in lieu of paid subscription services.
The primary utility of the OMI token is in ECOMI Collect, to buy, trade, and sell licensed digital collectables. It also facilitates the trade and sale of these licensed collectibles on our second-hand market, allowing for user-to-user transactions, as well as rental and escrow services. These collectibles include (but are not limited to) characters, scenes, digital artworks, additional items such as costumes, and other tokenised assets.
In addition to purchasing collectables with the OMI tokens, all DApps, including ECOMI Collect and Vault will be funded by OMI Tokens in one of the following ways: cold storage private key staking, and one-time payments, per access payment, or recurring payments (depending on the DApp being used).
5) What is the market size for this type of blockchain project, and do you have any major competitors?
Our project is quite unique, in the sense that we are taking a giant leap into the collectables space with digital licensed collectables. The collectables market is a $200 billion dollar industry, which includes everything from toys and memorabilia, to trading cards and comics.
Our major competitors in the cold storage wallet space are Ledger Nano and Trezor Wallet, which have had popular adoption in the crypto space.
With our ECOMI Collect product, we have forged industry partnerships with OpenSea, Decentraland, XLNT, Big Red Button, and Pixion Games. Digital collectibles is still such a budding industry, and we need to support each other.
6) What are some issues that ECOMI hopes to solve with its products?
We aim to solve certain issues with each ECOMI product offering.
Secure Wallet: Solving issues of security, as well as convenience and portability to simplify the way we interact with the blockchain and crypto-security, in order to make it more approachable to newcomers and veterans alike.
ECOMI Collect: Providing a platform for licensors to monetise their digital content, as well as modernising the collectible industry in a fun and friendly way. ECOMI Collect returns property rights to the owner of content/collectibles and provides a means of verifiable ownership and accountability.
Ecomi One: Builds on the Secure Wallet technology (and is therefore uber-secure) to solve the current issues with crypto-payments. It is also a hardware device for storing private keys and can store any and all NFC enabled cards including existing debit/credit cards, gym memberships, loyalty cards etc. It is therefore the only card you will ever need to carry, allowing for instantaneous transactions across the world.
ECOMI Vault: Combines decentralised storage with cryptographically protected access to store, edit, and send data, intellectual property and sensitive information. All information is securely stored and recorded in the blockchain, to trace origins and verify ownership, as well as provide immutable security of said property.
7) Tell us more about your ECOMI crowdsale, how to invest, and the advantages of participating in the sale.
The ECOMI crowdsale started on June 30th, and we have 362,500,000 OMI tokens available to the public at $0.05USD per token. The crowdsale will end on September 30th or when we reach the hard cap of $22.125M.
If you purchases $500 USD worth of OMI (or more) in the crowdsale, you will receive a FREE Secure Wallet. This unique cold storage hardware wallet will allow you to store all your digital collectibles safely and securely offline, as well as private keys for cryptocurrencies and DApps.
Unfortunately, due to regulatory restrictions U.S. citizens cannot participate in the crowdsale.
8) What is next on the ECOMI roadmap after the token sale concludes, and where do you see the business in 5 years?
During the crowdsale we’ll be shipping out the FREE Secure Wallets. At the end of 2018, the first version of ECOMI Collect will be ready. Over the next 12 months, we’ll be working hard on acquiring new licenses and developing the Collect platform, as well as adding new tokens to the Secure Wallets storage capabilities, navigating the regulations of releasing ECOMI One, and developing ECOMI Vault.
Five years from now, I imagine that augmented reality is going to be a much more common part of our lives. ECOMI Collect will have gaming capabilities, and we’ll be able to use the collectibles we own in games and cross-platform. ECOMI Collect will be a platform for other tokenised asset exchange, as well. We will continue to simplify the way people interact with the blockchain (and associated technologies) to help introduce more people to the space, as I believe that within five years we will hit the mainstream adoption curve.
9) Could you tell us about your team, advisors, and customer support?
As previously mentioned, my background over the last 21 years has been in the licensing, collectables, and retail industry. Over this time, I have established many businesses and cemented relationships with well-known brands in the licensing and retail space. Our team is currently comprised of 15 staff, and 12 board members and advisors.
Dan Crothers, our COO, is a New Zealand-born entrepreneur who started his career 20 years ago with a web and software development company. Since then, Dan has founded numerous businesses, including an online media company in the U.S. which, at the time of his exit, reached 8MM+ followers and an equal number of monthly page views. Dan entered the crypto-space 2016 and quickly developed a keen interest.
Mikel Duffy, our CTO, has more than 15 years of experience in leading technical teams to success. With a focus on intellectual property Mikel has used both AI and blockchain to solve major problems. He has led teams in the Blockchain Advisory department of KPMG, universities and AI firms, and has a keen eye for innovation. In his spare time he has developed cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, multiple other DApps, and has his doctorate in philosophy.
Joseph Janik, our CIO (Chief-Innovation-Officer), is an Australian who began his entrepreneurial journey at a young age, starting his first business at 18 years old. Joseph now owns multiple successful businesses and has been involved in blockchain since 2016, where he became a very successful day trader, as well as spotting key opportunities in crypto-space. Joseph has a strong passion and creative innovation.
ECOMI Advisors have been hand-picked to complement one of ECOMI’s products or the greater ECOMI vision. Each advisor plays an important role, but the skills and experience of these three will be most significant in helping ECOMI achieve its vision.
Jonty Kelt – Jonty is an investor in 30 early-stage companies out of his venture fund, Fantail Ventures and works at Silicon Valley-based data and analytics firm Palantir Technologies. Previously, Jonty helped establish Macquarie Bank in New Zealand, co-founded a media business in China, co-founded technology businesses in the UK and USA and worked for DoubleClick and Google.
Hongbo Xu – Hongbo is a serial entrepreneur, and has more than 25 years of experience in the TMT (technology, media, and telecom) industry with extensive experiences in strategic planning, product development, marketing and investments around the world in more than eight countries. He sits on the China National BlockChain Standard committee and is a professor at South China University of Technology.
Kam Punia – As TCG Manager, Kam Punia was pivotal in building Konami Northern Europe’s TCG division, helping Yugioh become one of the most popular TCGs in several territories in both the hobby and mass market. Kam has been instrumental in forging relationships with games, creative, and event-led industries to build strong brand partnerships internationally.
10) What is your perspective on the current state of the digital collectables market? Where do you see digital collectables in 5 years?
Right now, we are on the precipice of adoption. We have seen the success of cryptokitties, and that there is a market niche ready to be explored, with huge potential. Digital collectibles just make sense. It opens licensed content up to a global audience, and transactions and ownership are instantaneous, secure, and verifiable. It allows us to reimagine the collectible space and transport it to this new medium. It’s exciting!
In five years, digital collectibles will be part of our everyday life. You will earn/win them in gaming scenarios, AR and VR will be more common, and the whole experience will be transformed. We will no longer be limited to physical products, users won’t even be aware of the underlying blockchain technology, and we will be able to shape the next experiences based on our community.
11) Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Please visit our website for more information https://www.ecomi.com/. If you’re interested in participating in our crowdsale, check out our pitch deck and whitepaper!