As the outgoing CEO of TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, Stefan Matthews is pleased with the health of the business he’s handing on to his successor: “things are going very well at TAAL,” he says, on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations.
TAAL is a publicly-quoted business on the Canadian stock exchange which began as a blockchain miner but now sees itself as the provider of an expanding range of other services too. The emphasis has switched from one source of mining revenue - the bitcoins that a miner receives for winning a block, the so-called block reward - to the other source - micropayments received for every transaction processed as part of a block.
TAAL reports that its revenues doubled from Q2 to Q3 of 2021 - from about $6 million to $12 million. But transaction processing still only accounted for 3 per cent of those totals. In 2024, Bitcoin software will automatically effect another halving of the level of block reward that miners receive for each block, so the race is on to build up transaction processing. From his contacts in the industry, Stefan is undaunted by the challenge:
“The number of calls I get, the number of messages I receive from participants in the industry, the amount of development activity that's going on - and some of the projections that these organisations have around their transactional activity on the network is massive.”
In Q3, TAAL processed an impressive 52 million transactions - but that only shows the mind-boggling numbers that are going to be required to replace the block reward income and the tiny revenue per transaction that TAAL receives - about an eighth of a cent per transaction. It’s the microscopic size of the transaction fee that holds the key to multiplying their numbers - by attracting businesses to use the ultra-efficient BSV blockchain.
But Stefan says there’s more to TAAL than those two sources of mining income: “it's not just about the number of transactions and the fees from those transactions that are in the blocks. There are a lot of other things we do in terms of providing business services and blockchain-as-a-service.”
“We have multiple APIs. We build customised nodes to suit specific business applications that our clients are working with. And we're going to be deriving a significant amount of revenue down the track from activities that are not just what you see in terms of packing transactions out of mempool into a block.”
TAAL has been expanding, partly through acquisitions, such as the BSV block explorer, WhatsOnChain, whose APIs are already processing up to 90 million transactions per month. For the moment, that service is offered free, to encourage businesses to understand and explore the potential of BSV.
But in the future that will change, and, like TAAL, WhatsOnChain will expand the services it offers, says Stefan: “WhatsOnChain isn't a one trick pony as well. It's got a number of components to it and it's got a development roadmap.”
In January, the former CEO of the British BSV startup Geospock, Richard Baker, already a TAAL board member, will take over as TAAL’s CEO. Stefan will remain as Executive Chairman “so I will continue to have an executive role in the business supporting Richard”.