It has become the norm for blockchain startups to crowdfund new projects with an ICO, building a community of investors and early adopters. However, it’s still far less frequent to see an existing company conducting a token sale to raise funds for new blockchain initiatives.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. German fintech company Naga held a token sale to fund the expansion of their existing trading platform into a multi-functional financial ecosystem. Kodak is a household name, but is also running an ICO for its new offering, KodakOne, which will bring digital imaging rights onto the blockchain.
Ceek is another such example. The existing Ceek business model is based around the production of virtual reality (VR) headsets that allow immersive experiences for the user. VR broadcasts include sporting events, live concerts or virtual classroom-based activities. Users with a VR headset can access content from the Ceek smartphone app, which is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores. Ceek also recently concluded a successful ICO, raising more than $17m from the sale of the CEEK token.
Using the CEEK token for the VR experience
So why has Ceek been running a token sale? After all, VR is still a relatively new concept for many people, with plenty of opportunities to gain new audiences through more widespread adoption.
The goal of Ceek is to create a “decentralized VR Entertainment Metaverse.” The company believes that the introduction of a token economy within the medium of VR will enhance the ability for artists, celebrities, and sports teams to connect more directly with their fans.
Of the millions of concert and event tickets sold to eager fans every year, there are countless fans who don’t get the chance to see their favorite artists or teams perform. VR streaming of a concert or game allows many more millions of people to participate in these big-ticket events.
To create a financial incentive for VR streaming to gain adoption by artists, Ceek will launch a tool called the “Celebrity Coin Mint.” The CEEK token is being launched on the Ethereum blockchain. This coin minting tool will allow artists to create their own branded ERC-20 tokens, using the Ceek ecosystem.
These branded tokens can then be used by fans to purchase virtual concert tickets, digital merchandise or cast votes within the Ceek system. In this way, supply and demand will determine the value of the individual celebrity tokens.
The Ceek headset and app are already available for purchase. So far, the company has partnered on content releases with big names such as Katy Perry and U2, providing concerts through their existing VR platform, known as Ceek City.
Most recently, Ceek announced partnerships with NBA2K league teams Kings Guard and Orlando Magic. Akim Millington, Director of Global Partnerships at Ceek, described the vision of the company to enable NBA2K League fans to project themselves into the arena live during games using their VR headsets.
In a ground-breaking proof of concept, the company also partnered with thrash metal band Megadeth on the release of a special VR edition of their 2017 album Dystopia. Fans could purchase an album package together with the Ceek headset that allowed them to watch a VR concert of five songs. The album went on to open on the Billboard Top 200 album charts at #3 and won a 2017 Grammy award.
Virtual Reality TV?
As an example of how the voting system can work, Ceek has recently announced a partnership with World of Dance. Viewers will be able to watch the dance contests via VR. Using the CEEK token, VR viewers will also be able to vote alongside judges. With this convergence of VR and tokens used for voting, it is not difficult to imagine how reality TV could, in the future, evolve to become VR TV. Viewers could cast votes using tokens rather than paying for a premium rate phone call.
If celebrities and event organizers ultimately adopt the idea of selling digital tickets to virtual events, it could create a far more widespread adoption of VR. The experience of sitting at home viewing on a flat screen does not provide the same immersive experience as a VR headset.
Participation in events broadcast over VR could ultimately even prove to be more popular than live shows with particular sectors of fans. After all, VR does not require travelling to and from a venue or standing in line for entrance and security searches in the same way as a live event. Younger fans or geographically dispersed fans, for example, could be more likely to buy tickets to a VR broadcast than a live event.
Creating potential for widespread adoption
As a provider of VR headsets, Ceek offers some unique advantages over competitors such as Samsung or Oculus Rift. In addition to providing the VR headset at a significantly lower price point than the others, Ceek is also platform agnostic and smartphone compatible, making it a more versatile option.
The development team at Ceek have recently completed integration with Bancor, which provides greater liquidity of cryptocurrencies, enhancing the potential for mainstream adoption of Ceek. The team is also working on integration with the Jaxx digital wallet, which will further open up to new users. More details of the Ceek platform including technical specifications are available in the company’s white paper.