Codex Protocol 2019 Q1 Updates
It’s early in the year but we’ve been doing a lot. Here is a review of the the progress so far and a look at what’s ahead for 2019.
Our initial focus has been ease of use, with a goal to onboard new users and then iterate quickly based on their feedback. We believe our login system is now, by clear margin, the easiest platform to access that we are aware of. We are now pursuing a strategy to increase both the numbers of users on our platform and the number of records for provenance being created.
Updates to Simple Login
The Simple Login feature was a momentous milestone we proudly released at the end of 2018. It allows users to create accounts and upload their art and collectibles onto the blockchain (The Codex Registry) using their Google, Facebook and Microsoft accounts instead of through a web3 / blockchain wallet. A huge improvement for many users as navigating blockchain wallets can be a very arduous process, especially for those who aren’t blockchain savvy.
We saw a great influx of users signing up and we now have 3x as many users signing up through the Simple Login feature than through their web3 wallets, demonstrating an increased number of users from outside early blockchain adopters engaging with the blockchain platform. Seeing the community’s response to this feature, our team shortly thereafter released email login last month in February. Now any email address can be used to create a Codex account.
In the last few months we have seen users sending Records between web3 wallets, between Simple Login accounts and between web3 and Simple Login accounts. We saw the highest number number of accounts created on Codex in February since our release of the Registry onto main net in the summer, and we’re projected to see the same growth for March.
Sign up with a Simple Login account and receive 50 free CODX to use on the platform! Try it out here.
Public collections / galleries
The next area we’ve had huge growth in 2019 is our public collections feature. Often referred to as the “artist’s galleries” by our community, these are the featured and public facing collection on the Codex Viewers that are all currently occupied by artists or galleries. Q1 was a design and functionality overhaul for the galleries. Our design, engineering and community management teams have poured a lot of time into molding and perfecting this feature for our artists. Daily communication with artists and gallerists have been integral in shaping the design and function of the feature.
Most of the design updates to the public collections feature have come from collaboration with the artists themselves. The introduction of pagination was an update we realized was needed as artists were uploading more Records than ever before, and this made for improved viewing and loading of their pages.
Search and sorting functions were also implemented this quarter. Viewers can now sort by newest / oldest date added and alphabetically. For viewers searching for a specific Record, we added keyword searching functionality.
A feature that our artists have been leveraging consistently in 2019 is the integration with the OpenSea marketplace. OpenSea indexes the Codex Registry automatically and any Records created on the Registry will show up on OpenSea shortly thereafter. Various Codex artists have been using this to leverage sales and trading of their works registered on Codex. This is a particularly enticing feature for users with public collections, but those Records still remain private for those who have set their Codex Record setting to private. More on that below.
Public collections are a type of verified account on Codex. Verified accounts go through an application and vetting process with Codex to ensure their identity and legitimacy. When verified account users create, modify or transfer Codex Records, their verified name (rather than their wallet address) appears on the Record, letting other viewers know a reputable source was once the owner of the Record. This year we established an application process and are now taking applicants for Verified Accounts.
While this feature is in early days of its release and still has new updates coming, we encourage artists, galleries and any other institution to apply to become a “Verified Account” on Codex as soon as possible. Verified Accounts will have unique, validated symbols beside their names to clearly identify their status and differentiate them from general public collections.
Applications are now open to become a verified account or public collection, please apply here.
Privacy has always been a top priority for Codex since inception. We want to ensure that our users can keep their information as private they choose. However, something we noticed this year with the influx of users engaging with the featured artist galleries, is that some people actually want their information to be very public and shareable. So we have worked to give users optionality to make things more public if they would like.
Now when a user makes a Codex Record public, ERC-721 supporting wallets and platforms such as OpenSea (in the example mentioned above) will show the appropriate public or private data on the Record. If a Record is set to private, no image or text will be viewable. But for those that have turned their Records onto the public setting will have their Record automatically updated across other platforms.
When transferring a Record, we initially had all privacy settings restored to “private” when the recipient received the Record. Again, erring on the side of caution and privacy. But with more transfers occurring than ever, we’ve had a demand from users this year to keep their public Records public when transferring to a new user. Thus, we made the decision to not reset privacy settings when a Record is transferred. Of course, after accepting a transfer, the new owner my change the privacy settings as they wish.
The final privacy and security update is the ability for each user to see a “verified hash”. This allows each user to verify a Record has not been tampered with; we have done this by verifying the hash that exists on the blockchain matches the hash calculated in your browser (essentially checking to see if the data has been unofficially modified “off chain”).
Upcoming — Auction Houses
Codex has begun the process of preparing for a much larger set of records entering Q2, 2019 as we anticipate this is the quarter that auction houses will begin joining our platform. The auction house onboarding process will represent a significant next phase of our mission, as we intend to facilitate bulk uploads of valuable records from our consortium partnerships which includes Auction Mobility and LiveAuctioneers.
We intend to begin by adding “auction house pages” which we hope will serve as a public listing of all Codex Records an auction house currently owns. We believe that auction houses will improve the provenance for auction winners and we anticipate a larger and rapid rise in total records.
Records from auction houses come with a lot of extra data, such as dimensions and condition. We already added additional metadata fields to all Codex Records created by an auction house that fits all traditional cataloguing requirements, such as creator name, medium, condition, dimension and more. Users can also browse through Records through these additional metadata fields, making it easy for buyers to find specific and related lots that interest them.
Auction houses will also benefit from our Simple Login feature, where they can signup and login to Codex through email/password, eliminating the need for any blockchain wallets or education.
Our expectation is we will share much more in the coming months about auction houses such as Heffel (the single largest auction house in Canada, and has previously announced their involvement). We’re excited to launch new features for auction houses that include members of our consortium and others.
What’s coming next
While there are plenty of great updates we have released this year, most of what the team has been working on will all be announced and released in the next few months, most notably around auction houses. Most of the team’s efforts have been “behind the scenes” work with auction houses and will roll out soon. Announcements to follow shortly!
You can also expect to see more features and improvements added to the the Verified Accounts feature. Expanding and perfecting the Verified Accounts feature is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we continue to build a reliable and trustworthy registry for arts and collectibles.
With all the progress we are making, we are weighing options for the roadmap through year end, and we’ve invited feedback. Please feel free to apply to be a contributor by filling out this form.
One important note: the prospect of adding e-commerce is one in which we are highly interested. The team we have assembled has a strong e-commerce background, and we believe our simple login system uniquely positions Codex Protocol to accept fiat and crypto. We previously released Biddable which is live on LiveAuctioneers for escrow. Users have asked us to prioritize those features to enable e-commerce, and we may do so, although it was not in the original roadmap.
In closing, we wanted to say “thank you” to every one who is now using the system and doing their best to promote utilization across the globe. Our expectation is we will provide an update once per quarter, as that allows us to make meaningful progress and focus on the operations, while sharing information on a timely enough basis to every one at once and avoid any individual discussions. As always, we appreciate your guidance and support.
Written by: Corinne Moshy
Codex is the leading decentralized asset registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (“A&C”) ecosystem, which includes art, fine wine, collectible cars, antiques, decorative arts, coins, watches, jewelry, and more. Powered by the CodexCoin native token, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third-party players in the A&C ecosystem to build applications and utilize the title system. Codex’s landmark application, Biddable, is a title-escrow system built on the Codex Protocol, which solves long-standing challenges in auctions: non-performing bidders, lack of privacy and bidder access. The Codex Protocol and CodexCoin will be adopted as the only cryptocurrency by The Codex Consortium, a group of major stakeholders in the A&C space who facilitate over $6 Billion in sales to millions of bidders across tens of thousands of auctions from 5,000 auction houses in over 50 countries.