There are many applications being built using the blockchain, but very little in the realm of hardware created to innovate on top of the new form of technology. And that presented a challenge to Keda Che, who graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's degree in Theoretical Mathematics and Economics followed by Harvard University with a Master's degree in Software Engineering and Information Systems.
Keda has been busy building a blockchain personal cloud device, called the Ubbey Box, which allows for personal storage in a decentralized manner as well as access to a cloud based network for file storage. As cloud-based platform Dropbox goes through its oversubscribed Initial Public Offering, the progression of Ubbey Box becomes a story worth following.
I recently spoke with Keda about his business model and what differentiates his product from what is already available in the marketplace.
Why the need for a Ubbey Box at all? Doesn't this sort of take away from the whole "cloud" aspect?
Keda: The concept of personal cloud is inspired by public cloud, which means you can access your files, data or documents anytime, anywhere. Our Ubbey Box is more like a storage center; you don't need to carry the box with you. Instead, Ubbey box can be left at home, acting as your personal cloud center. You can upload or access your files through smartphone or personal computer no matter where you go, and share with your family. In short, the Ubbey Box plays a role as a personal/family-owned cloud storage center.
Is the Ubbey box essentially an external hard drive with enhanced capacity to connect to a network on its own?
Keda: Partially, yes. Ubbey Box is more than an external hard drive. It consists of the storage function as well as a acting as a full node in the Ubbey network. This is far beyond an external hard drive. Besides, we will implement selected protocols in the Ubbey Network, strengthening and increasing Ubbey Box's application scenarios in the future to satisfy more needs.
How did you come up with the idea of creating this type of box and network?
Keda: I joined the blockchain industry in 2014, founded 2 blockchain startups, and I never stop observing and thinking. People always said that blockchain could be the next generation of "Internet" in the coming decades and bring huge changes to our lives. However, except cryptocurrency and wallets, I haven't noticed a product or application that really works in our daily lives. So, I wish to create a product that is useful for everyone, not only the blockchain professionals, but also ordinary people like our parents or neighbors.
Just like we can't live without smartphones or PC in this Internet era, adoption of blockchain technology also needs a killer device, and we want Ubbey Box to be that killer device. Ubbey box is unique - it is a full node maintaining the Ubbey Network that will reward users YOU tokens for securing the network-- similar to how Bitcoin rewards miners. Ubbey network also supports various decentralized applications, building an ecosystem that enables one-button installation for our users.
Why is something like this needed when Google Drive seems to accomplish all of the goals set forth by Universal Lab?
Keda: This is a very good question. Ubbey Box is a blockchain personal cloud, while Google drive is a storage center without dApps, which means it cannot support protocols implementation or expansion functionality.
Google drive is facing a potential issue: privacy. Compared to this type of public cloud, a personal cloud affords better privacy protection for data storage. We aim to build Ubbey Box as something more than a storage center, an entrance for dApps and ecosystem, an "Appstore" that users could find various applications and dApps. We want to build a "bridge" for every single person to know more about blockchain, and take advantage of this technology.