John Bejakovic (CoinWatch):Today we have a really interesting interview with an exciting company that’s going through an ICO right now. The company is called CanYa, and today we have two of the founders: JP Thorbjornsen, who is the CEO, and Chris McLoughlin, who is the CMO.
Let’s jumpt right in. Can you first tell me what big problem CanYa is looking to solve?
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): We are trying to build a decentralized organization, an ecosystem to find and pay for peer-to-peer digital services like app developers, graphic designers and later on local services like plumbers, electricians. It’s fully powered by the blockchain and cryptocurrency payments.
What that means for the users is really, really low fees, a structure that is self-governing and resilient. And for providers it means that they can get paid in whatever currency they want, they can work whenever they want, wherever they want, not restricted by borders or geographic restrictions. So it’s a very exciting concept and we are definitely the first to do it. We’ve got a lot of momentum behind us and it’s an exciting future ahead.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): It seems like a giant business opportunity. So much work is moving into this kind of freelancing and on-demand work. Do you guys have an estimate of how big this market could be for you?
Chris McLoughlin (CanYa): Currently we refer to them as digital nomads. I mean we’re currently in Berlin, working from Berlin from an Airbnb. I mean yourself, you’re a professional where all you need is an Internet connection and you can run your business. So currently around the world, more and more people, particularly our generation, are kind of running that type of work/lifestyle.
There’s an estimated thirty four million people doing that at the moment and that’s growing 15% every single year. So the potential market is huge, and it’s going to continue to grow in the future. An estimate of around two trillion dollars worldwide and growing. We just need to look at platforms like Upwork or Fiverr and business that they’re able to renew and bring in. However, they’re charging twenty percent for someone to do a job on the platform and then they still have to pay a currency conversion fee, whereas CanYa is going to be a 1% fee plus a whole lot of other amazing features. So yeah, we’re pretty excited for it and we’re just really looking forward to building a really cool platform that people are going to want to use.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): From what I understand, you guys already have a working platform. Is that right?
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): Correct. So we launched in Australia, a soft launch, early this year straight into home and digital services. We’ve got just under ten thousand users and we definitely position it as truly peer-to-peer. We envision ourselves as just the infrastructure between the user and the provider and we don’t want to interfere. We do very little in the way of stepping between those two people. Very low fees and so with our existing user base we will now propell ourselves into global digital services because now that we don’t do fiat, we’re not locked into any particular country’s fiat currency, it means we’re immediately relevant to the global community and we can scale globally without geographic restrictions.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): Can you tell me a little bit more about your team, how you guys came together, how you started working on this, what experience you have in this space?
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): Myself and Chris, and we’ve got two other co-founders back in Australia. We started working on this two years ago, and we envisage it as a completely peer-to-peer marketplace for services. We’re still 100% committed to that and especially now it’s supercharged with blockchain technology because we can remove ourselves. There doesn’t need to be a centralized company behind it. We could make it completely decentralized. We’re very, very excited.
In terms of the team, there’s about fifteen people involved. For this ICO, we’ve now engaged thirty, maybe close to thirty five people, who are engaged with marketing, PR, development, all around the world, to push this out there. We’ve got six fantastic advisors that are global, not just in Australia. Singapore, the US, Europe. Our partners are really well stacked. We’ve got the best marketing agency, we feel one of the best PR agencies for the token space, which is Inbound Junction in Israel.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): You mentioned you have a list of very big-name advisors. Can you tell me in a little bit more detail about who’s actually advising you and what they’re going to be helping out with?
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): Our lead advisor is Josh Buirsky. He runs Distributed Technologies Institute in Australia. Very well-connected in this world and has a deep understanding of cryptocurrencies and he’s a big cryptocurrenncy fan himself.
We also have David Moskowitz, CEO of Indorse, they’re trying to build a decentralized LinkedIn and we fully support them. We also have a partnership with them where we’re going to deeply integrate the crowd verification of skills, so our providers can jump on CanYa and claim “Hey I’m a Java developer” or “I’m an app developer” or “I’m an electrician.” And instead of referring to centralized databases or making a centralized judgment, you push that claim out to the broader community and they get crowd verified and with Byzantine fault tolerance as well, so that’s exciting.
We also have the CEO of Digex, which was the first Ethereum ICO back in March 2016. Casey Chang. We also have a partnership with Digex. They will form the foundation of our hedge escrow because it means it will hedge out the volatility in currency when that money is in escrow between the users and providers.
I’m super excited about our partnership with Gladius. It’s a decentralized DDoS and CDN. We also have a partnership with Madana. It’s like a data analytics platform where users can sell their data. So yeah we’ve got some some pretty cool partnerships and I’m very excited about where we can take it.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): I’ve been seeing you popping up everywhere in the blockchain news space so I guess you’re doing something very good.
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): One of our best partnerships is with Giveth. Griff Green, one of the Ethereum founders, he started it. It basically allows you to track your charity donation all the way from where you donated through to who received it. The CanYa asset contract, 10% will be tied to the charity pool and from that will give it out to Giveth and then our users can see the donation can go all the way through to the charity that was supposed to be destined to. I’m very excited about it.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): I see you’re looking at contribute back. Giving forward.
Chris McLoughlin (CanYa): Yeah, that’s right. The whole reason that we want to create a decentralized organization is that we’re not interested in making huge profits. That’s why we have a 1% fee. We’re just passionate about technology and the blockchain. We want to build a really cool platform. Where other companies have to pay shareholders and you know big salaries, we’re not really interested in that. 10% of our revenue is going to be going to charity, which is pretty pretty cool to be able to do so we’re excited about that.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): I want to head back a little bit to actually talking about the actual platform just so that our viewers can get an even clearer idea what you’re doing. Can you tell me since you already have a working product, since you already have users, what’s going to be happening after the ICO? What are you looking to do and how far along are you in terms of your long-term plans?
JP Thorbjornsen (CanYa): Sure, so as soon as the ICO has finished and we’ve wrapped it up nicely and we’ve got a happy community then we are going to essentially move that community from the ICO into giving us feedback on our roadmap. So we’ve done the design lock of the first version and over the next three to six months we’re going to bring in our community to track our progress, give us feedback on what features do they want. As of early next year we’re going to work in concert with our users to design the platform for them because we’re not designing for us but designing for them.Our community is awesome. We’ve got some real strong believers, some ambassadors and so we’re trying to bring them in and getting them to help us build the platform for them.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): It seems pretty clear how you’re actually using the token inside of your platform and why you need it, but can you spell it out just so that it’s clear why it is that you actually need the blockchain and how that’s going to work?
Chris McLoughlin (CanYa): The CanYa token itself there’s four fundamental reasons that we need the token. So the most simple is that it’s used as a form of payment within our platform. Basically people will be able to use fiat and basically a whole suite of currencies at their will and then that will go into our platform get converted into CanYa tokens. Which is now going to be the second use case which will then go to the hedged escrow so that is to ensure that we say you’ve booked a graphics design job may take two three maybe take a month or two months and in that time you know if you’re familiar with crypto, which we are, the price might go up or or might go down, which is not ideal to booking services. So we ensure that when a job is booked that the value of that job does not change. So that’s the second use for the CanYa token. The first is payment. The second is that it’s designed for a hedged escrow.
The third is that it’s used for our rewards pool. So twenty percent of the available CanYa tokens will be in our rewards pool and then it’s used to incentivize people to invite friends and other business partners etcetera to the platform. Similar to how Uber has “share this and you get both get $10 for a free Uber ride”. We’ll have a similar incentivization scheme but using the CanYa tokens. Then also there’s a freemium model in CanYa. So there’s the 1% transaction fees but if providers want to promote themselves and have featured listings and appear higher up on the listings they get more work they’ll have to purchase CanYa tokens to do that.
And now the final use case for it and and this is probably one of the most fundamental use cases for it is that when we convert to become a decentralized autonomous organization because that’s going to take some years. We won’t be able to do it straightaway. We’ll gradually push the platform in that direction but once that happens we’ll need our own economic oil to run the system effectively, for want of a better term, and that would be the CanYa token. So the same as how Dash has the Dash Organization has Dash or Decred has DCR, CanYa will have CanYa tokens.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): You guys are going through an ICO right now. Can you tell us the details of the ICO? What’s happening, how far have you progressed?
Chris McLoughlin (CanYa): We’re about halfway through. We’ve raised about $8 million dollars so far which we’re pretty pretty happy with. We’ve already reached the minimum that we need to push this project forward so we’re very excited about that. We have halved the hard cap a couple weeks ago just due to the price rise in Ether. Also because we’ve managed to achieve all these strategic partnerships, our development costs have been reduced significantly so we actually have half the cap of what we were going to require for those reasons. So currently we’re looking at options to potentially lower it again because you know you yourself and your listeners are probably watching right now and seeing the Ether price rises in the last couple of days. We’ve set a hard cap originally of roughly $10 million, we converted it to Ether at the time, which is now a lot less Ether to get to that $10 million , so we may look to our decrease it again. But as you said we’re in the middle of the ICO at the moment and the ICO finishes on the 25th of December or until sold out.
John Bejakovic (CoinWatch): For anybody who is interested in investing in CanYa right now, what’s the what’s the next step?
Chris McLoughlin (CanYa): First of all you should head to our website and find out about the project. It’s at canya.io. The white paper is available in many different languages you can see all the details, see that we’ve got a whole lot of really good ICO reviews on there and press and we also have a quick two-minute video if you prefer to just watch that. And then after that if you’re comfortable with the platform and what we’re trying to do head to sale.canya.io and then contribute from there. We accept Ether, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash and Litecoin to contribute so there’s many different options.
And also join our Telegram community so just search “CanYa community” in Telegram. It’s a really good community and we make sure ourselves and the other team members that we discussed are always in there and answering questions and kind of promoting that really community aspect of us as the founders of the CanYa team are in direct communication with our community. So head to the website, and then head to the sale page if you’re convinced that you do want to contribute, and then also join our Telegram.