Alan Knitowski He is the president, CEO, and co-founder of Phunware, Inc.
Ross Alan Prince: Tell me about Phunware.
Alan Knitowski: Phunware, Inc. It is a company that is approximately 14 years old. We focus on the enterprise cloud platform for mobile, which is called Multiscreen-as-a-Service — MaaS. In our first 10 years as a private company, we raised more than $100 million. In 2018, we rolled out to the public via SPAC. Today, we continue to raise money to invest in our platform as we add new products, solutions, services, and other offerings, including both software and hardware, that help today’s leading brands with everything they need to succeed on mobile.
We’ve developed mobile ecosystems for some of the world’s most popular brands. In our early days, we were one of the first publishers to offer products in the Apple App Store. Today, we have evolved to be an industry leader in helping the world’s largest brands with their digital transformation needs.
Our MaaS platform supports digital app experiences and campaigns for brands, helping them reach their customers across smartphones, tablets, wearables, smart TVs, kiosks and digital signage. We help both businesses and governments engage, manage, and invest their global audiences and communities on Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems and devices.
PrinceHow is Phunware’s dual-currency economy empowering consumers and reimagining how brands interact with their audiences?
Knitovsky: In the digital age, data privacy has become a very sensitive topic for consumers and rightly so. Unfortunately, consumers have become the product of big tech companies and their data oligarchs. These companies provide platforms, solutions, and services “for free,” but they also significantly monetize their users, monetizing them for profit. Unfortunately, and most importantly, they usually do so without user consent, so consumers usually don’t know which brands own their data, what they are actually doing with that data, and how it may affect them individually.
We are very different from these technology companies, in that we believe that consumers deserve complete sovereign control over their personal data that also represents their online digital identities, and that they should be appropriately compensated when they share it or actively engage with brands. We reach over 1 billion active devices per month, representing hundreds of millions of active app users for the world’s biggest brands.
With this authorized data, we are building a two-token economy within our MaaS customer data platform. To this end, we have created PhunToken as the basis for running a crypto ecosystem that connects to the functionality provided in our cloud-based platform. In parallel, and separately from these platform credits that can reward you for being you, we have also created PhunCoin as a financial instrument for token holders to receive the distributions of economic value generated by the ecosystem.
Prince: What is the main difference between utility and security token for people who may not be familiar with these terms?
Knitovsky: In general, there is Bitcoin as a one-in-one asset around the world, and then there are all other cryptocurrencies like nothing else. Cryptocurrencies encompass a wide range of digital assets, including the complete nonsense and scrap of new, highly sophisticated tokens that enable users to engage in non-traditional, or decentralized finance, as a new generation of banking and yield.
Security tokens like PhunCoin are regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and can only trade legally on a specially regulated ATS exchange, where investors have to go through the process of creating an account, with full KYC compliance, anti-money laundering and approved investor certificates.
Utility tokens like PhunToken are completely unregulated and currently have no rules or regulations that are easily understood by most governments around the world. In our case, PhunToken acts as a unit of measure or credit that is used to participate in our MaaS ecosystem to consume the functionality of the platform to engage, manage and monetize mobile audiences. Similar and similar to Travel Rewards points or points that consumers earn from financial transactions via Visa, MasterCard, or other forms of credit or debit cards.
PrinceWhat are some of the biggest trends you see in terms of cryptocurrency, and how do you see the industry developing?
Knitovsky: Right now, we are experiencing what many would consider a “crypto nuclear winter” of some sort, which tends to repeat itself every four years along with Bitcoin protocol cycles. Specifically, every four years, Bitcoin goes through a so-called halving, in which the block rewards programmed into the code are halved.
There will only be 21 million bitcoins left in the world, and the last bitcoin will likely be mined around the year 2140. As a guaranteed and programmatic constant supply, this is very different from what we are used to seeing with US dollars or other fiat currencies, where central banks can print money No limits to create additional debt to expand our money supply and create inflation.
Unfortunately, we are now living in a period of hyperinflation due to the recent period of “easy money”. The markets have been inundated with excessive liquidity that tends to raise the price of everything we consume.
Globally, the current number of cryptocurrency wallets is likely to be close to the total number of Internet users in 1997, with their adoption being more prolific than Internet adoption in the 1990s. This trend is not only expected to continue moving forward but is also expected to accelerate significantly over time. As each cycle of Bitcoin continues into the future, we fully expect to see more and more adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain and self-custodianship, and sovereign control of both assets and wealth.
Ross Alan Prince He is the CEO of Private Wealth magazine (pw-mag.com) and Head of Content at High-Net-Worth Genius (hnwgenius.com). He consults with family offices, wealthy, fast-moving entrepreneurs, and select professionals.
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