The Wemark (WMK) ICO
What is Wemark?
Wemark is a decentralized blockchain platform for the sale and licensing of art, with a current focus on digital photography. The Wemark team hopes to disrupt the US$4 billion stock photography industry.
In the Wemark team’s view, there are many current problems with the stock photography business. Photographers currently rely upon large marketplaces such as Shutterstock and Getty Images to sell their photographs. But these marketplaces have fees of up to 85% of the price of a photo, leaving only 15% for the actual photographer. Photographers also do not know who is downloading and using their content, as the marketplaces do not release this information to them. In addition, the experience is frustrating for consumers who often have to purchase photos using "points" that are awarded based on subscription tiers. These points are lost if they go unused.
The Wemark team believes the solution to this problem is to cut out the middlemen by creating a trustless, decentralized platform for stock-photography sales.
How does Wemark work?
On the Wemark network, photographers license their content directly to stock-photo consumers (websites, ebook creators, etc.). They retain all rights to their work, determine its price, and always know who is using their content.
If a marketplace wants to use a photographer’s photos, it must sign a contract that details a price range for the photos, the terms of the license being issued to its users, and the distribution fee it receives. This information is kept on the blockchain and cannot be changed after the deal is made.
Payments, revenue distribution, and storage access are all handled by the Wemark protocol. If a marketplace is used, therefore, it’s only role is to market the photographer’s work. This should significantly reduce the fees marketplaces are able to charge.
While a marketplace will still be able to change its terms over time, contracts entered into prior to the change will be immutable. This will protect the rights of photographers. In addition, stock-photo consumers will purchase licenses using WMK tokens. This will eliminate the problem of unused points.
The Wemark team is creating a for-profit corporation that will serve as the first marketplace ever to use the Wemark protocol. This corporation will charge a 15% fee, leaving the other 85% to the photographer.
The Wemark team believes the efficiencies created by using the Wemark protocol will lead the network to grow over time, eventually replacing the centralized stock-photo marketplaces that currently exist.
How is Wemark unique?
Wemark’s principal competitors are the current stock-photo networks such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and others. However, Wemark believes it can attract artists to its platform over time because of the far better pay and freedom it offers to them. Given the low fees charged by Wemark, the team also believes that many photographers may lower their prices, passing on the savings to consumers. This will serve to further reinforce the growth of the network and allow Wemark to outcompete traditional stock-photo websites.
Who makes up the team behind Wemark?
The Wemark team includes experts in digital marketing, software engineering, and business development. This includes CEO Tai Kaish (former CEO of Underline and Digital Marketing Director for Paperwallet), CTO Pavel Elkind (Co-Founder of Cloud Optimize and former Director of R&D at Linkury), VP of Business Development Roy Meirom (Co-Founder of Cameo and former Program Director at ISCA), Tomer Gabbai, Barak Simon, Ohad Peled, Shenhav Yehuda, Adam Wolski, Chen Feldman, Or Twig, and Sophia Danziger.
More details about the Wemark ICO
The Wemark ICO is launching on 24 July, 2018 and ending on 7 August, 2018. Investors who wish to participate will need to sign up for the whitelist. For the public, tokens will be transferable as soon as the ICO ends.
The Wemark (WMK) tokens will cost US$0.18 each, to be paid in ETH equivalent. The minimum contribution for individual investors to participate will be 0.2 ETH and the maximum will be 250 ETH.
After determining the amount of tokens that were sold during the presale, the team will split the remaining tokens available to be sold into four equal parts. Investors who buy from the first part will be awarded a bonus of 12%. Investors who buy from the second part will be awarded an 8% bonus. Investors who buy from the third part will receive a 5% bonus. Investors who buy from the final quarter of the pool of saleable tokens will receive no bonus. This policy is intended to reward investors who buy early. The team hopes to raise US$7.4 million total.
The July 24 public sale will comply with the following allocation strategy:
38% will be kept in reserve for future needs
34.5% will be sold in the token sale
16% will be given to the team and advisors
10% will be used for partnerships
1.5% will be used for the bounty program