If you’ve ever followed a live streamer, be it when she plays a song, visits a cool place or just eats her lunch, you know how personally attached you can get to these people. Many of us even donate to our favourite streamers, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could reward them in a more personal way?
That’s why the Uplive team has decided to bring virtual gifts to every social media platform with GIFTO, which combines donations with cool virtual gifts and Blockchain technology.
Turns out Uplive has been at this for a while now, and suffice to say, people have loved it so far.
How much? Just know GIFTO’s Token Sale sold out with USD 30 million, in one minute.
Andy Tian, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Innovations Group. Photo credit: GMIC.
We got a chance to talk with Andy Tian, CEO of Asia Innovations Group, where he explains to us how GIFTO came to be and why it received such a positive response from the public.
Q. Hello, Andy! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi! I’m Andy Tian, CEO of Asia Innovations Group (AIG). Before this, I was the former head of Zynga China and mobile business at Google China.
AIG has been around for around four years now. We are a fast-growing mobile internet company creating next-generation mobile products for the global audience, leveraging mobile social entertainment innovations from Asia.
Q. Can you kindly explain GIFTO to us?
GIFTO is the first virtual gifting protocol that is developed based on the successful experience of virtual gifting in Uplive; the fastest revenue growth live-streaming platform in the world.
Uplive is generating more than USD 100 million of revenue in 2017, mostly from virtual gifts that are expressive and fun. GIFTO will be able to bring this proven virtual gifting model to all content creators on any global platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.
Within the platform, millions of people globally can watch various live-streamed content and reward its creators with unique virtual gifts which content creators can exchange for real money.
Currently, it is very difficult for content creators, influencers or KOLs to rely on platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Instagram to generate revenue, even if they have a decent fan base. Advertisers usually only engage the top 1% user with the highest following.
What we hope to bring to the mass market with Uplive and GIFTO is to cater to the remaining 99% of these users. The GIFTO protocol enables them to monetise directly from their user base, no matter how small it is.
Q. What do you think was the most important factor for GIFTO’s impressive Token Sale?
Our record-breaking Token Sale was a result of months of hard work, and I am heartened by the confidence shown by the community in our project. I think the most important factor behind the sale’s success was the existing platform on which GIFTO can be used.
Uplive’s gifts in action. Photo credit: Uplive.
As it stands, Uplive already has over 2 million users and 60,000 broadcasters who have been exchanging virtual gifts. With this large user base, the GIFTO token can be used with immediate effect by users to send virtual gifts to their favourite broadcasters.
The Universal Gifting Protocol will also be ready soon, to be used in conjunction with other content platforms.
By having an existing product, we have shown that our token is ready for mass adoption by the general public, which adds to its value.
Q. Where there any events during the token sale you didn’t plan for? If so, how did you respond?
In the days leading up to our sale, the price of Ethereum was extremely volatile, with its value increasing to unprecedented levels. Hence, our initial valuation of 1 ETH to 4300 Gifto caused some concern among some buyers.
We responded by revising the terms of sale and, in a world’s first, also allowed the community to vote on the new price which GIFTO would be pegged to. An overwhelming majority decided to value Gifto at 1 ETH to 7000 Giftos.
Q. In regards to the token sale, how will you honour your holders’ investments? Does GIFTO plan on using token burning down the line?
GIFTO can be used on our live-streaming app, Uplive, where users can use the token to buy virtual gifts for their favourite broadcasters. Soon, we will be releasing our Universal GIFTO Protocol, which will enable content creators to better monetise their content across all platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
As we project our user base to grow exponentially, there are no plans for token burning as we believe that our tokens will maintain its value in the long run.
Q. What can you tell us about your team? How does the team compliment the execution of the project?
We have an experienced project team that is firmly entrenched in the crypto space. Our diverse experiences range from work in the online games industry to working with internet heavyweights such as Google and Youtube. We also have advisors who are serial blockchain entrepreneurs, researchers in blockchain technology as well as blockchain capitalists.
You can read more about them at https://gifto.io/#team-section
Having these people on our team helps with the execution of the project, as they bring a wealth of wisdom and advice to make our token sale a success.
Q. What’s the relationship between GIFTO and Ether?
Our team wholly creates our GIFTO token. It is an alternate coin to Ethereum. It is, however, based on the Ethereum blockchain technology that Ether comes from. So while we peg GIFTO’s price to Ether, it is still a standalone token that can be bought, sold and given to users.
Q. Can you elaborate on the steps taken by your platform to ensure that users’ assets are made secure?
We have a dedicated team of engineers and computer programmers who are working round the clock to ensure that our user’s assets are secure when being used on our Universal Protocol.
This includes regular checks and troubleshooting should any problems arise.
Q. When can we expect to start using GIFTO inside other apps aside from Uplive (e.g. YouTube and Facebook)?
We are expecting to roll-out the full Universal Gifting Protocol by Q1 2018. Once it is up, users and content creators from all content platforms will be able to tap into the product’s ability to monetise their content through virtual gifting.
Q. Do you have plans to expand GIFTO to other kinds of content creators aside from live-streamers?
Through our Universal Gifting Protocol, all forms of online content will be able to benefit from receiving virtual gifts via the web.
Photo credit: Uplive.
Q. What can you tell us about the state of Blockchain technology for real-world applications in Asia?
Many applications of blockchain technology are already leveraging financial and banking institutions, corporations, hospitals, the legal system, and governments all around the world.
Q. Is there any misconception about GIFTO you’d like to clarify?
Our aim of creating Gifto was to help empower the online content community. In our work with broadcasters on our Uplive app, many of them came to me to say that they would like a platform in which they can receive gifts from anyone and at any time, not just when they are live-streaming on the app.
The advent of blockchain technology made this vision a reality, as the smart contracts help greatly with sending the correct gifts to the broadcasters. It also enhances the experience for users, as they can also now buy unique gifts created by their favourite streamers.
This platform is designed to benefit the 99% of online content creators who may have a loyal following online, but without the large numbers of page views required to generate a sustainable income.
It helps them bypass the need to push for more page views and viewership numbers, but rather encourage them to create quality content which their loyal fans will enjoy and reward them for.
Q. Any last words for our readers, something you’d like to tell them?
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are here to stay.
Similar to the Internet industry in the early 90s, there may be fluctuations and fears of a blockchain bubble in these early stages of mass adoption by the general public, the industry will eventually begin to see a correction and stabilise in the long run.
In the meantime, look out for companies that have effective products which leverage on these cryptocurrencies as a way to make their business more efficient. These are the organisations that are staying ahead of the curve and are well placed to leverage on their first mover advantage to build this new industry.
Q. Where can we keep up with you and the Uplive and GIFTO team?