Some of the key highlights of Zocial’s approach is the IBA™ Blockchain with on-chain logic, off-chain data, which is a low latency, high throughput, lossless, and deterministic implementation, while the Nexuss™ Omnichannel Application Platform is a mobile experience integrating social messaging, mobile commerce, and fintech services.
We recently sat down with Rick Bleszynski for his thoughts on the ecosystem in general. Rick Bleszynski, CEO and Co-Founder of Zocial has over 25 years in system-on-chip, microprocessor and networking experience in terms of creating internet infrastructure.
Firstly, thank you for your time. At ABR, we are always looking for the movers and shakers in the world of blockchain. So how has 2020 been so far?
Exciting. We have been building a Blockchain based series of networks for the unbanked, underbanked and underserved communities. These communities are not well served by current Social Networks. Zocial’s solution is to identify their needs/problems and provide Blockchain based apps that would aid in resolution.
At their core, each app includes social messaging, mobile commerce, fintech services, marketplace, streaming news, and chat. We identified South East Asia’s internet economy as a focus, as it will have significant growth through 2025. This is also true for Asia in general, as 4 of the top 5 economies in the world will be from Asia by 2030.
From your perspective, how has the journey of digital development been so far with your organization?
We are maintaining our original charter and hastening the transition of our customers to digital (The Apps cited are examples). We are in process of providing Super Apps for communities and will be making those announcements in the near future.
Examples are farmers providing goods to local businesses. These farmers and their offerings would be “lost” on a platform like Amazon. Also, working with Universities to provide a digital platform so students can complete transactions on-line.
Zocial’s roadmap includes gaming, predictive analytics, utility payments, eLearning, health/fitness via partners. The plan was to do this in Asia today and then do the same in other geographies “tomorrow”. In Q1 , as we moved down this path the SARS-COV-2 virus surfaced .
With the recent Covid-19 scenario worldwide and other complications that have arisen, how has it affected your commercial operations so far?
Like everyone else, we looked at Covid-19 with huge concern. Our team in the US, India, Japan and Macau have already been working from home , so that has not been an adjustment. We also maintained a focus on our core products and opportunities. We had a realization that the modules that we were building had applicability for Digital Contact Tracing.
So, we pivoted and started working on Epipath, a Covid-19 digital contact tracing platform for Communities and Enterprises. Epipath has unique features like a Health portal for communication with Healthcare workers, Marketplace for acquisition of PPE, Heatmap to provide information on exposure to Covid-19 along with the features mentioned earlier. Blockchain is the key element as it preserves security and anonymity. Additionally, mobile phones and SIM cards are not tracked.Sequoia Capital sent a Medium post to their CEO’s/Founders on May 5th. It is called “Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020”. It speaks to effects of the virus (personal loss, business disruption, the need to question every business assumption, etc.).
It ends with a quote from Darwin: “Those who survive are not the strongest or most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.” In keeping with the Sequoia article –the “pivot” reflects our ability to adapt to change. Incidentally –We noticed this article, as Sequoia previously invested in our Co-founders’ previous company (Softcom Microsystem). Softcom was subsequently sold to Intel.
Are there any lessons that you have learned so far? Perhaps you can share some insights and key learnings from the evolution of things?
Blockchain positions us to add unique value with applicability across numerous verticals ranging from Health/Wellness to Fintech.
These days, we are all living in a state of flux, with the pandemic and how market forces are changing every day. How does a company cope with these dynamics?
They need to focus on core competencies. Our focus is Blockchain, and Super Apps. We pursue opportunities in verticals where Blockchain facilitates security and anonymity and Super Apps address identified needs where we have an unfair competitive advantage.
In your experience, what will you list as some of the key factors that help a business navigate through these trying times?
Limit spending. Pursue opportunities where you have a competitive advantage and where a disproportionate level of service will provide a similar return. Partner where it makes sense.
Finally, when it comes to blockchain as a technology and cryptocurrency as an offshoot of this paradigm, what is your opinion on the state of the ecosystem at the moment?
The ecosystem is in its infancy. Blockchain has not had its NETSCAPE moment, where millions of users will be using this global network of trust using billions of devices.Zocial’s offering provides both an infrastructure piece and applications platform that will support these users and provide a mobile omni-channel experience thereby enabling the mass adoption required for Blockchain.
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