Founded in 2018, the Toulouse startup OKP4 is preparing to launch the test version of its blockchain dedicated to sharing business data. Meeting with co-founder Emmanuel Aldeguer and blockchain manager Théo Pelliet.
JDN. What problem does the creation of OKP4 address?
Emmanuel Aldeguer. OKP4 stands for “Open Knowledge Protocol for everything and everyone”. We are one blockchain devoted to the creation of data applications, which will allow and facilitate the sharing of data. There is a distrust of data sharing and a major lack of alignment of interests. Today, when we talk about the data market, we are essentially talking about exchanges: a seller sends his data to a buyer and the buyer reworks it. We want to allow you to share your data without exchanging it.
What solutions does OKP4 provide in this context ?
EA Our system makes it possible to orchestrate interactions between individuals, services, algorithms, hosting or storage services, whose data can produce added value. It is this added value that can be redistributed between each of the participants in the network, in proportion to their contribution. There is a notion of shared values.
Can you show us current use cases?
EA For example, there is an agricultural consortium subsidized by the Brittany region called “La data est dans le pré”, with on the one hand CERFrance, which is a player in agricultural accounting, and on the other hand, actors in livestock advice who accompany breeders on practices. Very powerful structures that have a lot of data, each in their sector, but confidential. However, the contextualization and aggregation of this data is likely to allow the creation of very useful indicators and new value chains. In particular with food manufacturers, for example to calculate a fair cost price for milk. It’s a mix of accounting data and years of practice.
The added value does not come from the raw data but from the contextualization of their aggregation. However, originally they are two economic actors who, without that, would have looked at each other like a faience dog before moving. As part of a project to set up a dataspace, they take advantage of the infrastructure offered by the OKP4 protocol to share their data and make better use of it. The actors come together on common rules.
Originally, you were developing OKP4 on the IOTA platform. Why did you reorient yourself on the Cosmos network?
Theo Pelliet. IOTA technology has proven to be unreliable and problematic in terms of smart contract and centralization. In 2021, we finally opted for Cosmos and its SDKs to launch our own blockchain. The question of decentralization is vast. We even wondered about a Layer-3 on Bitcoin or smart contracts on Ethereum, but what we are building is very complex, with several layers of governance. In the end, the easiest thing for our developers was to have a sovereign and dedicated environment, so our own blockchain. We will have our own network of around 150 proof-of-stake validators at launch. The challenge is really to have a distribution of tokens which is intended to be as wide as possible.
“We will have our own network of around 150 validators at launch”
You plan to issue a token. What will be its use?
TP It is primarily a utility token for transferring value between participants. The valuation of the token is also a fairly powerful mechanism to attract new developers. It will also be a governance token.
Do you think the token model is easy for businesses to access?
EA The corporate world is not ready for token management. This is why one of our activities will be to act as an intermediary for companies that have an interest in using the protocol but are fiat only and do not wish to have to manage tokens. We can take care of the problem of wallets and tokens.
Why a new SAFT (simplified agreement for future tokens, a pre-sale of tokens) in September, about ten months after the first?
EA We actually raised close to one million euros a few months ago, with in particular a first SAFT which was the subject of 550,000 euros of subscription. At the time, we were considering doing a seed lift because of the bull market. But the crypto winter has arrived and we have reviewed our strategy. Today, we are in a bridge phase before a fundraising of ten million that we plan to do at the beginning of the year 2023. This bridge phase should allow us to go as far as the deployment of our testnet (test network, editor’s note) and launch the first use cases. The SAFT is a fast and interesting mode of financing, because of the liquidity opportunities.
Is the bear market a danger to the sustainability of your business?
EA It is certainly better to launch a token in a bull market than in a bear market, but our project, our business model does not depend on the evolution of the market. What is important is that the token has a value thanks to the network that we will have formed.
When will you be ready to deploy the test phase of your network?
EA The testnet is imminent, in the fall. For the mainnet (main and functional blockchain, editor’s note), we’re going to take our time because we want to test a certain number of elements first.
Entrepreneur in consulting and marketing, Emmanuel Aldeguer founded OKP4 in 2018. An agricultural engineer by training, Theo Pelliet has been responsible for OKP4’s blockchain infrastructure since 2020.
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Emmanuel Aldeguer (OKP4): “OKP4’s decentralized infrastructure makes it possible to better value data”
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