carVertical co-founders Rokas Medonis & Audrius Kučinskas: To our greatest token holders and especially DVDex fans (2021 letter)

by carVertical
February 4, 2021
by carVertical
February 4, 2021

The automotive industry has evolved rapidly during the past 4 years. But the more things change, the more they stay the same in the automotive data segment. However, carVertical is leading the change and is rapidly gaining momentum.

That could be an introduction to the exciting and adventurous story which began in the 2017 summer and leads us to the present day. Finally, we can thank you, our token holders, for your patience and announce some long-awaited news related to the token side of our project.

Let’s start with a quick review of the 2020 numbers:

After all those volatile years, the carVertical company has built a solid foundation under its feet. Along with the company, cV token has also matured. This year, it is ready to pursue some big goals.

cV token unleashed

While the whole year of 2020 was full of surprises, September appeared the darkest for carVertical token. Its main market, KuCoin exchange, was hacked. Hundreds of crypto-assets were affected (total value of $280M), including 1,7 billion cV tokens.

We had to act fast. carVertical reissued cV tokens via a new smart contract, with automatic distribution of new tokens to all previous cV holders. Meanwhile, all stolen tokens became worthless.

Now we’re moving forward. In the near future, we’ll perform many actions directly related to the cV token.

  • We are re-introducing crypto payments to the carVertical website (which we had to remove because of technical issues). Once again, buyers will get a 30% discount when paying for car history reports with cV tokens. 
  • We will include Ether and several other cryptocurrencies in payment options, too. 
  • We will use all of the revenue earned from crypto to burn cV tokens.
  • All cV tokens accumulated from report sales in the past few years will also be burned.
  • The community has always been asking for liquidity, and we’re finally able to provide more of it. We are adding an ETH/cV pair on UniSwap.

We will introduce these steps one by one in the upcoming weeks and will make a separate announcement for each one of them.

All mentioned activities bring us to the latest news, which we want to share with you now. 

A long-term goal

From day one, we concentrated only on the long-term goal of building a sustainable company that solves automotive data issues. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but we earned tenfold in acquired wisdom.

Feedback from serving around a million retail and business customers and making hundreds of integrations has dramatically improved our industry knowledge, providing us with news opportunities.

We target several particular industry problems, and we believe that we will bring the most value to the market by solving them.

More critical, the solutions to these problems bring a natural and fundamental token utility. We will be evolving this utility model over the upcoming years.

The road to token utility creation

We started the carVertical project from the assumption that blockchain features will primarily be concentrated on the client-side. For some time, with short technical brakes, we have been accepting cV tokens for the car history reports with a 30% discount. We were also posting report hashes to Ethereum and then to EOS blockchains to validate report authenticity. 

However, these attempts to forcefully create utility for the token did not work as these features did not bring much value to the customer. In the end, we understood that the effort was pointless, expensive, and has only taken time from the team. 

On the other hand, we realized our own natural need for an internal currency, which would help us assess the value of our providers’ data.

Moreover, it is in the interest of all parties that market principles work. In other words, the most demanded data should be the most expensive, and vice versa. In order to achieve that, we need the platform established on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Since a separate data unit costs so little (far away to the right after the decimal point), it’s impossible to use fiat currency – USD or EUR cents. Therefore, the cV token fits perfectly in this case. 

Hence, we naturally concentrated our effort to utilize the cV token and decentralization development on the business-side.

Decentralized Vehicle Data exchange: the first look

carVertical believes that the whole market would benefit if its leader takes a step towards decentralization and launches peer-2-peer transfers.

So, instead of providing an opportunity to buy high-quality standardized car data from only one seller (carVertical), we offer much more. 

We give you the fully operational exchange market dedicated to automotive data transfers. We call it DVDex, or Decentralized Vehicle Data exchange.

DVDex provides data access via API. carVertical becomes its first data user and tester. However, we’ll only be one of the many players in the market.

The release of DVDex will allow all automotive industry parties – from the major car manufacturers or insurance companies to the workshop next door or an ordinary car buyer – can become data sellers or buyers. 

In fact, we’ve already onboarded a dozen of partners. This way, the public car data exchange is established where everyone can be paid for the automotive data he or she manages. 

carVertical sets a data standard and provides the infrastructure for fast and smooth data transactions using cV token. A dedicated team focuses on this project.

A solution for global problems

At the dawn of carVertical, we identified a few specific “illnesses” of the automotive data industry. From day one, we started searching how to “cure” them.

During the years, our team and partners were experimenting with various possible token utility models. But reality always proved there are more cons than pros. 

Eventually, we discarded all of the previous ideas and assumptions and focused only on the token model around DVDex data transfers. 

It’s a very logical solution because all of our other projects are based on trading data. Therefore, the correct DVDex model will cover all of the cases.

More importantly, DVDex will solve core industry problems:

  • Scattered data

Analysts estimate there are about 1,5 billion cars on the roads around the planet. An enormous amount of vehicle data is scattered across multiple digital and analog sources. Before carVertical, the only way to get the whole picture about the vehicle’s real condition was to play a jigsaw puzzle – gathering data bit by bit.

Over the decades, this problem has become so ingrained that consumers have simply come to terms with the status quo, and drowned their hopes that a quality solution was possible.

For instance, currently, we are working with 22 different data types spread across 400 various data sources. And our global average for data coverage per vehicle still reaches only ~40% (in our observations, this is more than any competitors). 

Due to various reasons, to get to 100% coverage, merely signing up for new data sources is not efficient anymore. We need a more elaborate solution. Data coverage is the primary reason for carVertical DVDex.

  • Unwillingness to disclose data and no perception of its real value

First of all, none of the data holding parties are willing to reveal it, and content creators have no incentives to get data, as they have no use for it. This is yet another reason for today’s multi-billion car fraud business.

The market hasn’t developed a transparent and widely recognized ecosystem to trade automotive data. So, we still live in the Wild West stage. carVertical data team often gets offers to buy data from under the table. Currently, we call them “grey zone offers”. But we aim to transform them into “green” business transactions for us and the whole market.

As we’ve developed tools to verify whether any automotive data is reliable and useful, the next step would be to legitimize it on DVDex. 

Also, currently, even if holders are willing to trade, some parties overvalue their data while others underestimate the real value and would sell it too cheap.

DVDex, acting on the free market’s principles, will solve supply and demand problems and set fair prices.

  • Unfair vehicle trade practices (clocked cars, concealed damages, etc.) and inter-country data loss

Many countries have laws protecting casual car buyers against these fraudulent and unfair practices, but they simply don’t work in reality.  

Criminals and fraudsters act faster than a massive bureaucratic state apparatus. If you start digging deeper into this topic, you’ll frequently feel like in pre-digital times. Enormous amounts of data still exist only on paper, and we all must hope there won’t be any fire or flood. 

States don’t communicate with each other and don’t have the infrastructure to share information in real-time or in decent periods. In many cases, every government (or every entity within the country) has its own rules for gathering and managing the data. Usually, those rules are not aligned among different states. 

Even if the institutions have a benevolent attitude, it often takes months for data transfers to complete. 

So, after falsifying documents or tampering with the odometer, fraudsters quickly sell a vehicle, and a link between the fraud and the person who commits it may be lost.

However, a tree of trust already started growing and bearing fruits. As carVertical successfully operates in 24 countries and gains visibility and confidence, more and more car sellers mention that they have carVertical vehicle history reports, thus confirming the car’s past transparency. 

So, carVertical reports already offer a solution. But with DVDex, we will get even more high-quality data and significantly improve the situation of an average used car buyer.

Another novelty on the way

In addition, we’re planning to release carLogger, the data gathering app, which would operate independently, but also complement our DVDex.

The idea behind this project is to incentivize people to share their car data as often as possible so that we could increase data granularity

At the moment, we often collect data scattered in relatively long periods. For example, owners may record their car mileage once in a year or two, only when the technical inspection is being conducted. Meanwhile, dishonest drivers could drive 150,000 km, but roll back the odometer, and it will show that mileage increased only by 50,000 km. It’s also possible to get involved in a severe car accident, but repair it in an underground workshop and conceal the fact of the damage.

However, if owners keep capturing the car’s present condition every month or even more frequently, in the end, we’ll have much more detailed vehicle’s “auto-biography”.

The new app users will upload pictures of their car’s VIN, odometer readings, and the car body to record whether it had any new damages, color, or any other changes on that exact date. We will reward data providers with cV tokens. Obviously, it will have an impact both on the cV token and users.

In the beginning, this app will work autonomically, since we must test whether users get involved and if it gathers high-quality data. If the model succeeds, it will be integrated with DVDex.

On the edge of the big changes

All in all, we believe that the DVDex platform and related projects have potential to induce one of the greatest moves in automotive data history. It can change the whole perception of the industry operation or even help create a totally new industry.

Thank you for your trust. We’re going back to our everyday mission – fighting for transparency. 

Let’s build this data company together.

carVertical co-founders Rokas Medonis & Audrius Kučinskas and the rest 48 verticals

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