With a mission to discover and promote quality blockchain projects, we recently found SesameOpen Network. And then we immediately got in touch with Brandon — co-founder of SesameOpen — to learn more.
In this interview, you will see it all — from the launch of the company to the challenges and the future growth. Plus, you will see what really makes SesameOpen special.
1. Can you explain SesameOpen in a simple language?
At SesameOpen, we believe that commerce will be decentralized using blockchain and token economics because of the high fees charged by middlemen and difficulty that vendors have in finding an audience for their product (especially in centralized e-commerce).
However, commerce can’t truly decentralize without a middle-layer protocol to coordinate the communication between sellers and buyers, and more importantly, to incentivize consumers to buy. SesameOpen is building that middle-layer protocol to power decentralized commerce.
2. What is so exciting about SesameOpen that everyone should know?
SesameOpen is exciting for many reasons:
- Commerce is a huge industry, and it is tremendously exciting to bridge between traditional commerce and new blockchain and token economic insights. We believe it opens up a whole new global commerce opportunity.
- We are one of the few blockchain companies focused directly on driving commerce transactions.
- The founding team and advisors have deep understanding of token economics and have designed the token to incentivize transactions and grow the network of buyers, sellers, and curating agents.
3. Where is the Sesame token used for? What are its advantages?
The Sesame token is used within the network for three things:
- Consumer Reward: This is critical because consumers are motivated by low price, so we use our token as a price incentive to encourage consumers to purchase through the SesameOpen Network.
- Vendor & Venue Escrow: To establish trust within the decentralized network, anyone selling their own product or someone else’s product through the network must stake Sesame token as escrow to incentivize them to act fairly and honestly.
- Commission Payment to Venue: In the network, venues are able to curate products for their audience and receive commission when sales are made. That commission is paid by the product vendor in Sesame token.
As you can see in our token design, we have established a native demand for the token through commission payments that is directly tied to the same activity that mints new tokens into the network through consumer purchase rewards. Through this mechanism, the token captures the full value and growth of commission as the network grows.
It is worth mentioning that we don’t require Sesame token to be used as consumer payment as we believe that limits adoption, but we certainly foresee that it could emerge as a viable currency as the network grows.
4. What is that ONE challenge SesameOpen is facing and solving right now?
We are driving toward the launch of our protocol, so in addition to solving the technical challenges that arise in development, we are working to build a community of supporters and others who see the value in participating in the SesameOpen Network, either as a vendor, venue, or consumer.
Our challenge is getting our story out, around the world, everywhere buyers and sellers come together. We appreciate any support in helping us achieve that!
5. What led to the foundation of SesameOpen?
SesameOpen co-founder, Henry He, initially built a business that allowed any location to become a virtual bookstore, offering digital magazines and ebooks to their customers through a mobile app.
The need to find an audience was clear from vendors; however, as a centralized business model, Henry quickly realized the challenges of scaling such a business.
The emergence of a token-based business model provided a new solution to the scaling challenges, and Henry and his co-founders realized that a protocol-based solution provided much broader value to enable a new decentralized commerce channel.
And so SesameOpen was born.
6. What was the most difficult part of the process?
As with any startup, execution risk is one of the largest challenges to overcome. The team has worked hard to ensure that we have the best token economic design, which was not easy because there is no clear success story to build from as this is still a relatively new field. We also have worked hard on communicating the value of token economics and SesameOpen’s design to various audiences.
That has taken time and perseverance to accomplish, but we believe that strong token economics design is the greatest predictor of long-term success for a project.
7. Great. Can you talk more about the SesameOpen team?
Co-founder Henry He holds a Masters degree in Computer Engineering and Computer Science and an MBA from Wharton. As a former engineer with Nortel Networks and ex-Googler, Henry is an expert in IP Routing and Security, with eight patents granted. His combination of technical and business knowledge, honed during years of entrepreneurship, makes him a leading expert in blockchain and token economics.
Co-founder Brandon Bidlack (myself) spent over 20 years in technology marketing, spanning enterprise storage, location-based services, SaaS, machine learning, and blockchain. I have led OpenTable’s restaurant marketing team and was the first marketing hire at several Silicon Valley startups. I hold a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Kellogg.
The SesameOpen team also includes economics and monetary policy experts who are thought leaders in designing effective incentive and monetary design mechanisms, as well as blockchain technology developers who have successfully built and launched several blockchain companies.
8. How do you perceive blockchain technology? Where do you think is it heading in the next five years?
We believe blockchain technology, and even more importantly the token economics that blockchain technology enables, opens up an entirely new business model across multiple domains. As a result, we think its potential is similar to how the internet has changed business forever.
That being said, we are clearly just at the beginning of the adoption curve.
Over the next five years, we expect the ecosystem to mature significantly as more real-world use cases take shape, more app developers enter the market, more institutional money funds development, and crypto adoption and acceptance enters the mainstream.
9. Any word on partnerships?
We have signed a number of agreements with vendors and venues that are excited about the decentralized commerce channel that SesameOpen is enabling. Many of those announcements can be found on our blog.
In addition, we have a number of informal partnerships with leading public blockchain companies that want to promote and enable commerce on their blockchains. We are also in ongoing partner conversations with one of the leading consumer retailers in the US.
10. In the next six months, how are you going to attract people to SesameOpen?
We expect to finish the first phase of development of the protocol and launch within the next six months. Initially, our primary focus will be on commerce opportunities within the crypto community — enabling the sale and exchange of digital crypto assets like tokens, NFTs, and other tokenized assets like STOs as they emerge.
We have a unique token launch strategy to attract early participants to the SesameOpen Network, so stay tuned for more information on that plan!
11. What’s the next big update from your roadmap / team?
In addition to completing our private pre-sale, we are focused intensely on the initial launch of our protocol and bringing early adopters into the network. Join us on Telegram and let us know if you are interested in participating!
After that, our work is on fostering the network effect that our protocol produces, encouraging adjacent commerce categories, building up the app developer ecosystem, and expanding the functionality of the protocol for all network participants.