AMA: Ask Me Anything Session Ipchain (12.03.2018)

Ipchain is doing a Token Sale at the moment. IPCHAIN database covers the protection of intellectual property (IP) through the use of Blockchain technology and has been developed for the needs of scientists, inventors, artists and companies.

At Monday the 12th of March the CEO of the project Dr. Dominik Thor and Lukas Fiedler (Corporate Strategy) have been in our Telegram channel to answer all questions from the community regarding their project (Names of community members are anonymous):

Mr A, [12.03.18 20:59]

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the AMA session with IpChain. Your questions will be answered by Dr. Dominik Thor (CEO) and Lukas Fiedler (Corporate Strategy). Thank you both for answering all of our questions!

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:00]

Hey guys, thanks for inviting us and happy to chat about IPCHAIN Database.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:01]

Great to have you Dominik. If you could explain your project in 2-3 sentences in easy words.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:02]

Of course, happy to. Basically IPCHAIN is about better protection for intellectual property using Blockchain technology. That means we help to protect inventions, scientific research, art (ranging from music, videos, to pictures, text), files, confidential information aka trade secrets. Our services is intended for the use by artists, inventors, scientists and companies.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:02]

aight I am here too now 🙂

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:04]

IP law is complex and many current mechanisms for defensive publication are slow and expensive. We wanted to change that. Also we can offer a new way of securely sharing confidential information and documenting the transfer of IP rights thus creating a secure marketplace for IP.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:04]

you call it blockchain and database, isnt that confusing?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:05]

[In reply to Mr B]

You mean in our name "IPCHAIN Database"?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:05]

Well, we did so intentionally because we are not only adressing crypto investors who understand about the technology but deal with a plethora of stakeholders new to Blockchain. From the perspective of the patent offices we are a prior art database. We wanted to make sure they understand this

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:06]

Will you run a own Blockchain or will be it a kind of ERC20 Token on Top of Ethereum?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:06]

[In reply to Mr A]

The latter.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:07]

If we would build our own chain we would have to ensure its security and minability

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:07]

We opted for an open architecture that can run on any suitable public blockchain. Ethereum works great for us now and thanks to its network can be considered a safe option but maybe in the future there will be other or better blockchains.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:08]

Of course this is a one out of many solution, and we are not bound to use Ethereum. In fact, the database will be designed in a way that it will be easy to switch to another blockchain if needed

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:08]

For example, there might be a future in which WIPO or patent offices run their own chains.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:08]

What will you store there, is the amount of data huge? I'm thinking about Datacoin 2013/2014 with a similar concept and the Blockchain was bloated quickly

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:09]

We will store the hash of the documents in the blockchain and the document itself using IPFS

Mr C, [12.03.18 21:09]

I read in the roadmap that you will have the product launch at the end of 2018. Do you have a demo/prototype available yet?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:09]

This ensures security and proof while being cost effective in terms of actual data on the blockchain

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:11]

\@panigsan we are currently still working on the prototype and expect to release a few videos soon-ish and a mvp before the ICO. Probably in April. However I am taking great care not to show off semi-great stuff since we are dealing with big international orgnisations and they may have higher expectations than the average investor.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:12]

what is the token for? looking at the whitepaper it seems it is mostly a way to raise funds

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:12]

We are working with Dennemeyer Group, the largest IP law firm worldwide and e.g. the MCAA as beta testers which represents some 10,000 researcger

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:12]

No, the token will be required to use the platform and you will be able to start using the token on our released beta version right after the ICO

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:12]

[In reply to Mr B]

Well, it is indeed a utility token as it is with every ICO currently (few exceptions there). You will have to pay for publications with our token

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:13]

I think Byteball is also covering a kind of notary database. Are there other compeditors out there at the moment with a similar approach?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:14]

[In reply to Mr A], steemit, are all projects who do something like storing a hash on a blockchain, mostely for written documents. I personally believe that the biggest difference between us and them is that we will work close with patent offices and will design a database that is built according to their search requirements

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:15]

Besides, we want to be a database not onlly for writeen documents, but all sorts of IP

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:15]

When does the ICO starts?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:15]

Lukas is right, there is currently no other project that focuses on IP protection. They are about ( e.g.) new ways of publishing information. Instead of a traditional publisher you use them but only if you are an author. It is very industry specific and does not care so much about the protection of rights.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:16]

Some more details on bernstein, they are actually the most similar project to ours, though there has not been any significant development in the recent years and we believe that nothing will happen on their end

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:16]

[In reply to Mr A]

We have the pre Sale planned for March 24th 1 PM GMT, lasting 3 weeks

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:16]

We are currently planning for the ICO to start in May, the main reason being that we have a roadshow to do first with a number of conferences already planned until May

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:17]

the ERC20 token has a big flaw, is that many people don't understand that it needs ether to transfer it to someone else. how have you considered this, if you want to include people that have no or little understanding of ethereum blockchain

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:17]

Besides, we want to analyze the results of the Pre Sale (which has no invest limitations whatsoever) and want to take into considersation what the community wishes for the Main sale (white list etc.)

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:18]

[In reply to Mr B]

There is a section dedicated in the WP for exactly this, where we explain that it will be possible from the early beginnings on to pay in ETH, too.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:18]

This will be done via Smart Contracts holding our tokens where a users seds their ETH and we "exchange it" to our token without him taking noticve

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:19]

The potential userbase for IPCHAIn covers all patent applicants, all researchers, all artists, coders, photographers, etc. So we are talking about dozens of millions of people. I am ware that many will find it difficult to use tokens instead of fiat but on the other hand we see a transformational change happening. Also we are closing deals with universities e.g. who will provide access to IPCHAIn via their intranet and worry about the payment and the professor just useses the platform.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:20]

Regarding the ICO you just collect Ethereum, right?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:21]

Yes, that is correct. We have a hard cap of 20 Mio USD

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:22]

[In reply to Lukas Fiedler]


there is interesting work on the "gasstation" by Swarmcity done here. it might be worth looking at it, eventhough they did not seem to have solve the remaining dust ETH issue.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:22]

[In reply to Dominik Thor]

Wow, in the current market environment it's quite a baller decision. Good luck with that 😯

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:23]

[In reply to Mr A]

I will come up with an answer as soon as my pc restarted 😅

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:24]

Well, we have heard mild mild criticism because we are taking our time in a fast moving market , meaning why do we take so much time until the ICO. So who knows how the environment will be like in 2 months. We tried to come up with a conservative number to create the best possible platform. I certainly hope we will see volatility come down again and rising prices soon.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:25]

Personally I am not a fan tailoring ICOs to the current environment, it should be about the product when you plan. Not "get as much as you can"

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:26]

Well choosing ETH pur at the moment instead of BTC and ETH costs you around 50% of Investment Value. It's not June 2017 anymore. But other question, what is the minimum to get the project up the curve, to make a MVP?

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:27]

i would add, what is the minimum size of the DB of protected documents to give it the network effect to be used as a platform?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:27]

Actually the development of the mvp is covered by the investment of the founders, that is why we can release it around the time of the ICO. But we designed the final version in "modules" so that we can adapt to the actual budget at hand after the ICO.

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:29]

[In reply to Mr A]

Alright! We are aware of that decision being "ballsy". Though let me explain something. There are two main types of ICOs we see out there. No. 1, being an ICO where the user has his own ETH wallet, with a dashboard and the ability for the user to invest in more currencies than just ETH. Option No.2 in my eyes is just a simple Smart Contract where people send ETH and it returns tokens. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. We decided to go for option two, mainly because in the current market you want to be as fast as possible and a dashboard is extremely time consuiming to develop. I know that we both disagree on these matters Marc 😉 but from a company standpoint it doesnt make much sense to develop something for more than a week while any user could trade any currency for ETh in a matter of minutes

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:29]

\@Mr. B not quite sure I get your meaning correctly but it is not about size of the database but quality content. We build IPCHAIN according to WIPO regulations and will thereby make it a requirment for patent offices to use it in their research.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:31]

[In reply to Lukas Fiedler]

This is completely fine with me. Especially as you will have already enough founds for MVP. Money is not everything. My company probably will skip the ICO despites the liklihood of a good funding base. So if the budget a few millions lower and you can reach the target as well, why not.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:31]

Will be left over token burned if the 20 million are not reached?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:31]

[In reply to Mr A]

they wont even be created 🙂

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:32]

--> no burning needed hehe

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:32]

[In reply to Dominik Thor]

now i don't understand :) is this a development asked by WIPO to replace their system? how could this be a requirement to use IPCHAIN?

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:32]

The 20 million are the hardcap overall or just for the pre-ico?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:32]

[In reply to Mr A]


Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:33]

would be a bit weird, pre sale with 20 million cap, how big would be the Main Sale? 😂

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:34]

\@Mr B no, the system they have is a legal system. But they technical tools that are used are simply not as suitable as Blockchain technology.

Mr A, [12.03.18 21:34]

[In reply to Lukas Fiedler]

Strategy could be the blow up the presale as much as possible, because most of the investors want to go in the presale. There are projects out there that already allocate much more token for presale.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:34]

If we offer relevant data they will ahve to use it. I think IPCHAIN is more of a revolution for the user/artist/inventor rather than WIPO or the patent office. They will jsut use our services instead of older databases

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:36]

interesting theorem. Hard to decide what is a best practice nowadays. I think we wanted to go form something people can understand and relate to. Asking for too much money in the beginning seemed to me a bit confusing.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:36]

[In reply to Dominik Thor]

fair enough. but you cannot force any one to use your system, so my question was, how much adoption (inciting people to register their work) you need in order to get the network effect so that user would actually use the token to purchase rights

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:36]

[In reply to Mr A]

Yes, although that would ofc feel like us scamming investors, promising a bonus that is in the end effectively 0.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:37]

or maybe i am completely not understanding how it works 😝

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:37]

(not to be excluded)

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:37]

haha no worries. We picked a difficult subject with IP rights. Let me give you a simple example

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:38]

Let's say you are an artist and create something, maybe a poem, I like that example. And you tell it your friends and one day you wake up and hear it in the radio. one of your lines. The poem being art is automatically protected. You own the copyright to it. However proving that you created it is difficult. Your friends at witnesses? Not reliable. Your webpage, your notes, in legal proceedings they all do not count

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:38]

So how can you prove your status, how about the practical application of your (copy)right?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:39]

It is simple if you host it on the Blockchain and have a time stamp to prove your status as first author. Simple but very very helpful and important.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:39]

That is just one example. it works diffrently for inventions.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:39]

wait wait

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:40]


Mr B, [12.03.18 21:40]

with the same example

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:40]

how would you register and then claim?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:41]

You would publish the poem on IPCHAIN Database and have clear proof that it is yours and you came up with it first.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:41]

You already have the rights to it, but you need to be able to prove them. Because you could just as well have heard that line and just pretended you are the original author.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:42]

the text in IPFS and the hash in ether transaction

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:42]

Yes, is very simple and elegant. So much that the guys at WIPO, EUIPO, EPO etc are going crazy ;)

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:44]

ok but with your poem, either you go in front of the judge (hope he understands blockchain, and hashing) either you go to a rights management association. but they already have their systems. they will ask to use their.

how do you make IPCHAIN enforceable?

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:45]

Well, it depends on the legal system but yes, a judge has the power to decide which proof he considers real. But if he does not know about Blockchain it will be his responsibility to have an expert give an opinion on that. I see no risk there

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:46]

the rights management association or any tool is not important as long as it counts as proof. remember you already own the rights. you only have to proof when you did that work.

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:46]

That example is just one of the many things IPCHAIN will do. Safe sharing of confidential information is also a big issue for companies and researchers. We store that info on the blockchain privately and you just share it with select others and those guys have to sign an NDA that is also stored on the Blockchain. Again simple but very effective.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:49]

i have a question about the team

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:49]


Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:49]


Mr B, [12.03.18 21:50]

how can you run such a project if your CTO already has a job at Swisscom Blockchain AG?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:51]

[In reply to Mr B]

Our CTO is overseeing development and is checking that our development partners are doing their jobs correctly. We are outsourcing the blockchain development to a company whit a nice amount of expertise and who already worked on healthbase

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:51]

ahhh Lukas was faster than me ;)

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:51]

We have 6 developers working on it right now

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:51]

We don't believe that having the developers as part of the team is 100% necessary if you find quality people in a company

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:52]

different aspects, pure code, UI, smart contract etc

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:53]

We deemed it necessary that we needed someone whom we trust to tell us if something would be done incorrectly...SC, security, etc. Sven with his expertise as Head of initial Coin Offering at Swisscom Blockchain seemed a natural fit

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:56]

i would argue that for a project that wants to attract 20M you need a dedicated team also at technical level.

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:56]

but why not? if this is conscious choice

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:56]

where is the difference to paying a company you closely work with?

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:57]

like day and night

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:57]

at least in my view

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:57]

[In reply to Mr B]

I would agree when it comes to the real business world

Mr B, [12.03.18 21:58]

[In reply to Lukas Fiedler]

this is not what you want to do?

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:58]

In blockchain however I still believe that these boarders are not there (yet)

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 21:58]

[In reply to Mr B]

haha of course, sorry I should have said traditional and established company world

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 21:58]

I think the simple truth is that there is little chance of making people quit their jobs over a project. Things will be different once we have raised the funds necessary to set up all aspect of the company. Development will be ongoing and it might then be the case that we have more staff in that regard

Mr A, [12.03.18 22:01]

One hour is gone, any further questions?

Mr B, [12.03.18 22:01]

[In reply to Dominik Thor]

If i look around me, all the successful projects I know, have this is common. People did switch their life before raising their funding. taking risk is part of the game in Blockchain world. (my view again)

Mr B, [12.03.18 22:01]

no more questions :)

Mr B, [12.03.18 22:01]

thanks guys for the honest answers

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 22:01]

Of course anytime. Feel free to join our telegram group and we can chat more :)

Dominik Thor, [12.03.18 22:02]

Thanks for the invite and the good questions

Lukas Fiedler, [12.03.18 22:02]

Thank you for having us 🙂

Mr A, [12.03.18 22:03]

Many thanks gentlemen, it was a pleasure.

Mr A, [12.03.18 22:04]

I will do a transcript and we will blog it at the blog of Bitcoin Association 👍