As we get closer to the London Blockchain Conference (LBC), it feels like things are really heating up in the BSV blockchain ecosystem. Everything from new partnerships, to acquisitions and innovative companies popping up such as Rekord, a BSV transaction-generating machine that has left many of us wondering, what exactly does this company do?
To provide you with all the answers and an introduction to the brilliant mind who is behind Rekord, CoinGeek spoke with James Marchant, Founder & CEO and also Chairman of Block Dojo.
James, thank you so much for joining me today. To kick things off, can you briefly explain your professional background, especially as an entrepreneur?
James Marchant: Sure, my first ‘real’ business was importing components used in manufacturing and robotics industry. This started out fairly scrappy and eBay, which was the rising ecommerce star of the day back then was the main selling channel. With the rise of online stores, we became more professional and had major distribution agreements with many of the largest names in the robotics industry. As components suppliers we were often approached for assistance in designing bespoke manufacturing systems and over time we pivoted the company from being a seller of components into a bespoke manufacturing solutions consultancy which was later acquired.
In 2013, I launched a company which grew rapidly as one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of 3D printers before exiting in 2016. From there it was onto disrupting the CNC industry with the launch of some new products that combined a range of manufacturing processes together. I led an international R&D project between the U.K., Russia and China to build new manufacturing technologies resulting in approximately 30% reduction in manufacturing waste. I subsequently exited this business took a little time out to take a break and enjoy my farm in Devon, U.K.
What an impressive background, James and I love that you have a farm! So, we first met via Block Dojo. Why did you decide to get involved in the Dojo and building your own business using BSV tech?
JM: A few months after my ‘early retirement’ I learnt that the dream of working extremely hard to ‘retire’ and ‘do nothing’ was a total fallacy and did not suit me at all. I had been following ‘crypto’ for a while and whilst watching asset prices rise and fall, was more drawn to the technological advantages that blockchain could bring.
I had mentored some startups across a range of sectors and wanted to do more of this and ended up being part of the founding team that came up with what is now Block Dojo. Initially my role was that of Chief Investment Officer, helping the Dojo and its startups raise funds and over the past 12 months or so have moved around the company and now am the Dojo’s Chairman.
To begin with the Dojo was not necessarily going to be BSV specific and we looked at many other chains alongside the idea of being blockchain agnostic however the result of our research was that despite there being perhaps ‘more money’ in other chains short term, BSV was the only long-term option when looking to build future proof and scalable businesses.
I absolutely love running the Dojo and now under nChain and working closely with Christen Ager-Hanssen I’m very excited to continue its growth in all directions. It is a very exciting time!
Among many synergies between @nChainGlobal and @Block_Dojo, for me lots of excitement around Dojo startups being able to leverage the value, tech and protection of the mammoth patent portfolio!
— James Marchant (@JamesRMarchant) February 16, 2023
Very exciting indeed! So now that you are now a part of the nChain family, how has this changed life at Block Dojo?
JM: As always with any significant investment from any entity, particularly when taking a controlling stake, it can be a little worrying as to how it plays out operationally and ‘in real life’ however the nChain merger has been a real dream. They have offered up support where we wanted it and have allowed us to continue ‘doing our thing’ elsewhere as well as exploring new avenues that simply were not possible as a small startup ourselves.
I’ve always looked at nChain as an absolute monster of potential commercial energy largely through its huge database of patents it has developed over many years. I am so excited that with the Dojo being part of the nChain group we have access to leverage this IP and start to generate commercially viable businesses and products off the back of it as well as gaining patent access for our startups coming through the Dojo which is of course a major value add to them.
I think we might have to do a separate piece regarding the nChain merger and plans moving forward as this also intertwines with other plans Christen has—but it is all incredibly exciting and for the first time, I’m seeing real significant deals being done between BSV entities and the outside.
Same here and for sure we will do a separate piece on the merger, I would love it. Speaking of Christen, his tweet about Rekord has drawn quite a bit of attention to this new project of yours! Can you give us the backstory? What exactly is your goal with Rekord? What problems does it solve?
JM: Rekord is a company that is building the bridges between devices, machines and indeed anything with IoT connectivity and the BSV blockchain. Bridges we are building include our VortexSV IoT gateway which has been developed alongside a well know IoT brand, our RIOT protocol and RIOT multi-sig wallet as well as our client facing management and reporting platform, Rekord IQ.
End clients that have no IoT connectivity can use the full suite of hardware and software products, those that perhaps already have hardware conforming to IoT ISO standards can plug directly into our platform to begin recording data onchain. Rekord IQ helps them choose what data they want to record whether it is ‘live’ transactions, batched transactions or simply a hash of data kept off-chain as well as displaying back reporting and metrics taken from the data itself.
Longer term we want to open Rekord’s infrastructure to other builders and developers who have an IoT use case and we are already speaking with incumbent IoT companies to provide Rekord’s blockchain service as a bolt on to their platforms and end customers.
Super fun weekend ahead (if you like #robots and all that fun stuff) developing & testing our #IoT bridging infrastructure. The 'Cobot' is just for testing purposes/data generation – it passes me biscuits when I'm hungry #Rekord #robotics #BSV #blockchain pic.twitter.com/EONJdUa8sV
— James Marchant (@JamesRMarchant) February 24, 2023
For me personally, Rekord is a culmination of all my professional, business and sector specific experience and feels like one of those rare ‘stars are aligned’ type situations that come around so strongly maybe only a few times in a lifetime.
The idea for Rekord actually came about around the same time as we formed Block Dojo, and it’s not that I am a slow worker as to why we are starting to gain some traction now but instead I’ve spent the last two years or so quietly speaking with customers, and really ensuring there was interest and demand ultimately leading to commercial viability before taking it any further. We’ve then spent the last 12 months or so working on the IoT tech and now we’ve begun building and implementing the blockchain element hence the recent spike in transactions.
Ahh, yes, Rekord has received a lot of attention lately due to the huge amount of transactions its generating, thank you for explaining where they are coming from. Where does transaction volume fit into your vision for Rekord?
JM: There is always interest within the BSV ecosystem anytime a business starts generating significant transaction volume however we are experienced enough to know that this is short term and longer term in itself does not mean very much. The only thing that matters to me is building the best business possible. It is purely by extension of Rekord’s business model and the way we implement customer solutions, that we see transaction volume grow—and over the next 12 months it will grow very significantly. In other words, we are purely focused on delivering value to the end customer alongside growth and generating a profit as a business.
That said, it is really interesting to think about how Rekord also fits into the BSV ecosystem. A few days ago, I tweeted a bit of a revelation I had that when looking at the future operations and financials of the company, it is quite amazing to think that we alone could significantly offset the impact of the next halving in terms of total fees paid to miners i.e. the increase in transaction fees generated by Rekord on average per block will be higher than the 50% loss of block subsidy. Whilst most goals for Rekord are totally business focussed, this has become one blockchain focused goal—to help support the miners that ultimately provide the network security which benefits all Rekord customers regardless of how many transactions they produce individually.
Amazing. I must say it really does feel like the stars are aligned with this project, for you and for the BSV ecosystem in general. Can you provide a few examples of companies that will benefit from Rekord’s services and how?
JM: I don’t want Rekord to become a ‘coming soon’ company so I’ll briefly mention one real customer we are working with (although I’ll keep the name itself private for now), we internally call this project ‘Project M’ where the ‘M’ simply stands for ‘medical’, we are quite sophisticated!
The end client is a manufacturer of plastic components which are used as part of a medical device, it itself used by surgeons when performing surgery on humans. The manufacturing process is 97% plastic injection moulding which is performed in their U.K. factory full of plastic injection moulding machines.
The solution we are working on records all manufacturing data on chain—this includes the code that is fed into their machines as well as data collected during the manufacturing process itself. This provides not only an audit trail as to the success of the manufacturing process but also an ability to recreate that exact part by pulling the data back from the blockchain.
There are several opportunities where we add value by doing this. The leading driver for the project was interaction with the insurance company of this particular manufacturer. After explaining the basics of blockchain and demonstrating many of the unique abilities of the BSV blockchain in particular, they have agreed to reduce the manufacturers insurance premium by a margin that would see their investment into Rekord’s products paid back very rapidly and would therefore be a continuous saving moving forward. There are also secondary benefits to the manufacturer by using Rekord’s products such as improving efficiency in the allocation of jobs between machines, and we’ll likely extend the project to capture machine specific data to help with maintenance and predicted equipment failure.
All sounds spectacular James, we are so excited to watch your progress here. What else can we look forward to with Rekord? Anything you can tease?
JM: We have a few very fun projects which I hint to from time to time on Twitter. Some of these projects have some great marketing leverage for both Rekord and for BSV in general. All I’ll say for now is that we plan to soon be sending transactions to the BSV network from up very high and down very low (and very wet).
Ha ha! Can’t wait! Thank you so much for your time today, James—keep up the amazing work and looking forward to seeing you in London for the LBC.
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