Ayre Ventures, the investment group founded by Calvin Ayre, has closed a $1.23 million funding round with Vaionex Corporation, the Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) firm that has become a crucial part of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) ecosystem.
In a statement, Ayre hailed Vaionex for creating “a funnel that brings developers and non-developers alike into the BSV ecosystem, identifying major pain points and simplifying them for both entrepreneurs looking to build new businesses as well as existing companies looking to incorporate blockchain benefits into their operations.”
Indeed, Vaionex co-founder Robin Kohze describes his company as an ecosystem all by itself. From humble beginnings, Vaionex is now a group of companies based on the view that “all enterprises ultimately need to have some blockchain component in it, for micropayments, tokenization, ownership aspects and more.”
Vaionex operates three separate business units – Joint Ventures, #Blockchain as a Service and Consultancy.
We see these as key strategic units to growing the #BitcoinSV ecosystem and accelerating global adoption.
— Vaionex (@Vaionex_Corp) January 27, 2022
Kohze believes blockchain technology is just “so much leaner than the existing infrastructure. Where once you needed a team of 20 coders and an extended support team, you can now build the same product with a single developer.”
But while interest in blockchain is high, resistance to incorporating blockchain tech remains, in part due to the perception of the challenges involved. Vaionex aims to alleviate these concerns by providing companies with a way to seamlessly integrate blockchain tech while ensuring reliability, all without breaking one’s budget.
Humble beginnings at Cambridge
Kohze, a genetics department PhD student at the University of Cambridge just months short of graduation, is no newcomer to BSV. Kohze was taken by Dr. Craig Wright’s insistence that the original Bitcoin protocol could easily transcend the capacity restrictions zealously enforced by the BTC developer team. A step BSV has taken to create “one global blockchain” that focuses on worldwide infrastructure utility rather than short-term monetary schemes.
As Kohze told CoinGeek, Bitcoin’s status as the initial blockchain-based technology makes it “the most stable token protocol out there.” If Bitcoin was scalable without protocol changes it would make it “pretty much superior to all the other blockchains.”
In November 2018, directly after the BSV/BCH split, Kohze invited Wright to discuss the future of BSV in Cambridge. The pair discussed the possibilities that would arise once BSV demonstrated its ability to scale to not only meet the requirements of a truly cost-effective digital currency but also an immutable data storage platform. Kohze says Wright explained his belief and confidence that BSV would ultimately “roll up all the different blockchains into BSV,” which would allow all developers to build on one platform, much as they build on one internet.
Inspired by Wright’s vision of a Metanet, Kohze founded the Cambridge University Metanet Society in April 2019 to support the study and development of BSV with the ultimate aim of building blockchain-driven Metanet applications. With financial assistance from the Bitcoin Association, the Society has conducted dozens of events in addition to its Phoenix Challenge coding competition.
Kohze himself is no slouch in the coding arena, having received two Google Summer of Code stipends and winning a series of competitions. Among them, Kohze won CBhack 2019, a Cambridge hackathon with 120 participants and got second-place at the international CoinGeek Seoul Hackathon.
The success of the Metanet Society led Kohze to team with long term acquaintance and former supervisor Dr. Samuel Schmidt, a previous postdoc at Cornell University with an enthusiasm for BSV to match Kohze’s, leading to the launch of Vaionex in 2020. One of their first endeavors was Satolearn, a blockchain education platform that was built in a matter of months at a cost of only $4,000 but has since had sustained student success and even became an integral part of the fintech curriculum at the University of Exeter. Talks are ongoing with other schools interested in adding Satolearn to their curriculum.
Kohze said Satolearn was designed as a “fun interactive learning experience” that would also challenge users by requiring them to interact with the blockchain through coding. By the time a student has finished the program, they’re not just better educated on blockchain matters but actual blockchain developers. The platform has been so successful that commercial companies are increasingly using it to ‘upscale’ their employees.
Bitcoin’s Swiss Army knife
Kohze and Schmidt recognized that many companies would like to integrate the positive aspects of blockchain technology but didn’t want to impose unnecessary delays on their progress. This inspired Vaionex to develop Relysia, the ‘super-tool for developers and entrepreneurs.’ More specifically, Relysia is a BaaS development suite that employs over 60 Application Programming Interface (API) endpoints that ensure swift and reliable integration of wallet creation, token issuance, smart contracts and more.
Kohze said Relysia “can cover almost any possible blockchain application,” a claim borne out by the experiences of 16 projects completed over the past 18 months. Vaionex has been rolled out to 22 companies this year alone and directly collaborates with firms to continue to improve the robustness of its systems.
An extension of Relysia infrastructure is Metashard, a resource-efficient platform for registering and managing data for which authenticity is essential. In keeping with Vaionex principles, integration doesn’t require users to make any technical configurations, easing their way to storing files on-chain with guaranteed integrity while remaining easily accessible.
At the recent BSV Global Blockchain Convention in Dubai, Kohze unveiled a number of new Vaionex initiatives, including Transpiler, a ‘wormhole to efficiency’ that reduces transaction fees by 99.99%. Just by going to transpiler.bitcoinsv.com, a developer can enter an existing smart contract and get an sCrypt contract that can with one click be converted to low-level Bitcoin Script language.
Kohze also touted SV Agency, which (among other things) will allow WordPress users—who are responsible for 43% of internet content – to post not only to the internet but simultaneously to the BSV blockchain. With the concept of ‘truth’ being somewhat malleable these days, there’s a need to ensure that the content users post is “unchanged, authentic and yours,” something only the immutable blockchain can provide.
Vaionex is also bringing some badly needed utility to the NFT sector with NFTech, a partnership with Gravity that enables users to commoditize different assets. Utility is also the focus behind Vaionex’s STAS smart contract platform that can handle dynamic data tokens, royalty tokens that pay the initial user with every transfer and multi-output tokens that can be sent to dozens of users with a single transaction.
Transaction volume is the real ‘number goes up’
Kohze cited a recent Ethereum presentation that cited higher token price leading to a greater market cap that creates bandwidth for greater investment. Kohze wasn’t sure this would apply at the enterprise level, because while Ethereum had a large investor community, nearly all enterprise activity on Ethereum has moved to Layer 2 solutions like Polygon because Ethereum’s base layer simply can’t scale to meet enterprise-level requirements. Now Polygon has its own scaling issues, and Kohze notes that adding additional layers/protocols brings security issues that tend to make enterprises nervous.
Kohze is confident of BSVs competitive advantage “for the simple reason that when you build on Ethereum you have to ask for the transaction fees, therefore you cannot just start developing.” By comparison, the BSV blockchain’s ability to enable true micro-transactions allows Relysia to offer plans that cost as little as $30 for one million on-chain transactions. “With Relysia, you can directly start developing without any transaction fee burden and thus less onboarding friction than any blockchain platform out there, and that gives us the long-term advantage.”
The plans ahead
With sustained business success over the past 18 months, Vaionex has grown to a company of 33 members and aims with the new office extensions in Dubai and India to meet operational demands. Kohze states, “Vaionex has always stood for fast and efficient blockchain development at competitive price levels. Staying lean allowed us to be competitive, experimenting with new software architectures not explored previously. We will uphold our core philosophy during this transformative process with significantly more resources at hand.”
To the nature of the investment, Kohze responded: “Investment should always proceed product market fit. After Vaionex grew from a small company to one with significant revenue growth we are now confident to double down on the path taken and were thus keen to raise the required funds to accelerate the process. Ayre Group came at the right time as their biddings not only matched competitive funds, but moreover represented a deeply reliable partner in our growth path within the BSV ecosystem.”
Watch: BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Vaionex: Frictionless Blockchain Solutions
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