Factom is not a new cryptocurrency company per se, they have been in existence since 2014, however, their platform is just starting to gather pace and is garnering attention in the right quarters. A document (and data) storage platform that is built on the Bitcoin network without the flaws that plague the world’s foremost cryptocurrency, here is everything you need to know about Factom:
Factom is a data storage and management company. Its cryptocurrency token, Factoid (FCT) was launched on October 06, 2015.
There are many businesses in the world where tons of documentation are required. These documents need to be signed by hundreds of people and afterwards, safeguarded for future reference and verification. Now, by nature, documents are quite easy to alter and forge, and since so many of these documents pass through so many people, these businesses see lots of forgery and mishandling of important documents. For example, an average mortgage transaction sees up to 1000 different documents along with lots of digital proof, meaning there are over a thousand ways such a transaction can be compromised. The case is the same with healthcare organizations, government parastatals, and many others.
Factom presents a unique solution to document storage and management. When most people hear of Bitcoin, they think of the cryptocurrency, forgetting about the blockchain: the secure, decentralized, and immutable network that supports it. What Factom wants to do is build a protocol on top of this network and use it to store data and documents for companies and government organizations. Because the platform is built on Bitcoin’s network, it cannot be shut down, and it guarantees all the security and validation speed associated with the Bitcoin network.
The Factom team is led by co-founder and President Peter Kirby, CEO Paul Snow, and other members namely CFO Zachary Lynde, VP Business Development Abhi Dobhal, VP Product Development Andrew Yashchuk, and Chief Scientist Brian Deery to mention a few. Kirby and Dobhal worked together at the ill-fated CoinTerra, a company that produced ASIC processors for Bitcoin mining. The core team is based in Austin, Texas, and every member of the team has some years of experience either working with or closely with blockchain technology.
If the tech works as well as Factom says it does, then the market segment being targeted is significantly big. Factom’s prospective customer list includes the biggest banks and financial houses in the world, healthcare insurance providers, government organizations, and all companies and industries that want to keep large amounts of data and documents securely and accessibly.
For now, many of those mentioned above still keep their documents in file drawers and their data on storage drives, but with these means of storage, the documents are not secure and readily accessible. Factom is about to change that. It is important to note that Factom has secured partnership agreements with the Department of Homeland Security and the Gates Foundation.
The data storage, timestamping and validation market segment is relatively new. As a result, Factom’s major competitors are still in the incubation phase. The most notable ones are NEM and Tierion, and Tierion is already going after Factom by providing a similar service with a less-complicated platform than Factom’s, providing improved end-user experience.
Unlike their competitors, however, Factom already has a working platform and are already pitching to prospective customers.
The business plan for Factom is simple: help corporations keep time-stamped records of their documents and data on the blockchain, and provide validation and verification of said documents and data upon request. The Factom platform can be used to safeguard financial documents & data, legal papers, medical records etc.
Factoid is the cryptocurrency token of Factom and since it was released for trading in October 2015, FCT has grown by over 20,000%. This means that original investors have made huge returns on their investment and new investors can be encouraged by the continuous growth of the company.
Factom is an open-source technology and they have a public GitHub page where their smart contracts can be viewed and contributions are welcome. They also have an active community on Bitcoin Talk and Reddit. How trustworthy their management team is is hard to quantify, but the company has existed since 2014, they have a working product, and they have been able to lock down partnerships with respected organizations.
Likelihood of Critical Mass
As at December 2017, Factom was handling over 11 million entries for many different organizations and while this figure is not enough to guarantee self-sustainable growth, it shows that the company is on the right track. If they are able to secure more partnerships with the biggest corporations in the world—corporations that will genuinely benefit from working with Factom, then there is no doubt that critical mass is on the horizon for this company.
In Conclusion, Factom is building on the bitcoin network, but unlike the many other cryptocurrency companies doing/looking to do the same, Factom is not interested in the currency part of the network. Rather, they want to make use of the public ledger—the blockchain—and maximize it for document storage and validation. It is an interesting proposition and if pulled off, could spell greatness for the company.
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