lPStock Blockchain - More Information

Posted on 1/15/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

After publishing the story on IPStock on Friday I had some further questions particularly in regard to how customers actually pay for the use of images and how the photographers would receive payment. Askold Romanov, answered my questions.

It is important to note that the procedures for other “blockchain” offerings may vary.

JP - “First, I see that you have small collections of vector images available for customers to search at www.macrovector.com and www.vectorplace.com but I do not see any place where it is currently possible to search for photos. Is that correct?“

AR - Macrovector is a graphic art and vector illustration design production studio since 2013 with focus on stock illustrations. Not a stock agency but a professional content provider.

But being one of the largest content providers (in our field) gives us deep understanding of the market and its problems. Having a different production process, both we and photographers face the same challenges working with agencies, like diminishing royalties, non-transparent licensing and copyright violation issues.

Vectorplace is a marketplace with focus only on vector images from selected artists with strictly curated collection of high-quality vector illustrations offered under royalty-free license. Returning to the objectives of the project Vectorplace is going to be a proof of technology for customers, contributors and other agencies but the technology itself will be open to use by all market participants.

JP - “When I search www.ipstock.com I can’t find any way that I can search for images even though you say you have images from more than 5,000 authors who upload over 100,000 unique images every month. It seems there may be plans to make that system live in the 2H 2018. Is that correct.”

AR - The service https://ipstock.com has been working since early 2016 but that’s not a search aggregator for multiple agencies, Please, see details below (next question).

JP - “I see that you are uploading the collections from 14 Microstock agencies, but I don’t see any way to cross search any of these collections. Will that be possible in the future, or will you just be using these images to search for unauthorized uses on the Internet?”

AR - Jim, all exactly the opposite. We’re uploading not FROM but TO all connected to https://ipstock.com microstock agencies (13 agency’s collections plus custom FTP uploads to be exact makes it 14).

IPStock is an established and successfully working cloud service for photographers and creative artists around the world to easy manage their portfolios in one window. You upload your image (or vector) once into the secure storage, manage its metadata onsite using keywording tools and automatically upload and submit to all accounts.

Among unique features IPStock offers automatic keywording using computer vision algorithms and automatic transfer of the portfolio from the Shutterstock to all other agencies. And that’s why we say that we have more than 5,000 authors who upload over 100,000 unique images every month. Because all this stuff works and people use it.

Adding blockchain registry looks as a natural way to create the open ecosystem for all market players. We understand that this will require a lot of effort from us but if you do not try, then it will not work out.

JP - “I’m also having trouble understanding how the Token Economics will work. Please answer the following questions:

JP - I understand that tokens may be used to license images. Is there a separate operation that accepts dollar transfers or credit cards payments and converts them into tokens in the customer’s name?”

AR - Yes that's right. For the final customers the process should not change significantly (they will be able to pay using credit cards, invoices, paypal etc). The key change is that there will be more opportunities for licensing like access to the history of image and so on. As a result they should get better products.

We believe that tokens will be used to pay for transactions between trusted nodes of the system when performing licensing or royalty payments, but the end-users will be able to continue working as they used to OR on a new (for enthusiasts).

JP - “Is there a fee for conducting such a transaction? How much?”

AR - Of course, the system must be self-sufficient and there will be commissions. However, using our blockchain (see the next question) will give us flexibility in this matter. Details will be published closer to launch.

JP - ”Is that transaction instantaneous? (Bloomberg reported that due to Bitcoins popularity in December sellers had to wait hours and sometimes days for their transactions to go through, or pay an average $55 fee to jump the line.)”

AR - That's exactly why we do not plan to use a public blockchain like Ethereum because of transaction costs and network congestion (competition with other applications using it). The network will be private, created only for market participants and serving only licensing & royalty transactions. Therefore, the commissions will not be large and the speed will be fast. At the same time, we will retain all the advantages of blockchain in the form of decentralization and transparency of operations.

JP - “If the fee for purchasing an image is $10 can the customer purchase tokens for exactly that amount, or is there some higher minimum purchase?”

AR - As always. The smaller the payment, the more the relative commission. The customer will decide on his own, which is optimal for him. No special limits planned.

JP - “If the customer has purchased a token with a value of $100, but only wants to use $10 of that value to purchase an image is that possible?”

AR - Yes, tokens are divided up to 18 decimal places. Could be used in parts.

JP - “Does the value of the tokens the customer has purchased, and is holding, vary from day to day?

JP – “Does the cost of tokens vary from day to day?”

AR - Tokens will be traded on the crypto-exchange and this is the main motivation for token contributors to buy them during the ICO. The more transactions will be served, the more commissions in the system will be generated, and the more the IPS Token demand increases.

JP - “When the customers uses a token valued at $10 to purchase an image and transfers ownership of that token to the image creator can the image creator immediately exchange, or transfer that $10 to his bank account?

JP – “Is there a service fee for such a transaction? How much?”

JP – “Will the transaction be instantaneous?”

AR - Accounting (accrual) and payment can be divided in time. The main thing is that all the terms will be fixed in ledger and the balance will be known. Small transactions always involve relatively large commissions. Therefore, we will look for the best options for payments.

JP - “If the image creator leaves the token in his account before changing it to dollars will its value vary?  Is it possible for it to be worth more or less than $10 when the token is finally converted to dollars?”

AR - Maybe so. This should be taken as part of the new technologies that come into our lives and change it. We always need to evaluate new opportunities and potential risks.

JP - I Also found “You Don’t Have To Buy A Whole Bitcoin” about buying a fraction of a bitcoin and a Fortune Magazine article helpful.

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


  • Dale Wilson Posted Jan 15, 2018
    I still fail to see how this "new technology" will benefit the stock photographer. "We’re uploading not FROM but TO all connected to https://ipstock.com microstock agencies." Does this not translate to IPS Blockchain simply being an additional level of administration that will have to be paid from the photographers royalty?

  • IURII EMELIN Posted Jan 25, 2018
    Hi Dale, ipstock.com is free for its users and we plan to keep it in that way. What's i'm talking about is its current state (it works already and you could try it without any risk!). Blockchain registry is going to completely change the way how it works for all elements of the chain from content creator to its consumer, it's not just another intermediary or marketplace. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned on the project news.

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