What is ECOMI (OMI): collectibles platform has big names but limits

ECOMI’s marketplace of digital collectibles is impressive, but user frustrations persist

Guardians of the Galaxy action figures                                 
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of many popular digital collections available though ECOMI’s marketplace – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

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ECOMI (OMI) is a Singapore-based digital collectibles marketplace focusing on pop-culture franchises, enabling users to buy, sell and trade digital assets through the VeVe mobile application. With licensors including DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Marvel and Cartoon Network, ECOMI’s digital collections feature an impressive array of pop-culture cornerstones.

Screenshot of various Spider-man assets available through ECOMI
Spider-man is just one of many Marvel properties available on ECOMI – Photo: ecomi.com

Turned off by Ethereum’s scalability issues and high gas fees, ECOMI deployed its native OMI token on the GoChain network, performing a private presale and initial exchange offering (IEO) throughout 2019.

What is ECOMI (OMI) and how does ECOMI work? Join us to find out.

The VeVe mobile app

Digital assets stored on the OMI wallet can be shown off on the VeVe app’s virtual showroom, available for download on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Users may create and customise a showroom to their liking. Additionally, VeVe’s augmented reality feature allows users to move, rotate and scale their items.

To interact with the services, users must first import a quantity of OMI and convert it to the in-app ‘Gems’ currency. VeVe differs from NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible in that it is a closed ecosystem. Assets bought and traded on VeVe may only be stored on the OMI wallet, placing limits on the potential for secondary sales.

On the marketplace tab, users can post listings of their collectibles and place bids on others. The interface appears to be friendly, smooth and engaging, and a recent V2 update added aesthetic upgrades and a larger showroom size.

Chief executive David Yu outlined ECOMI and VeVe’s green credentials in a recent blog post, plugging GoChain’s “energy-efficient” consensus method and a $7m (£5.1m) grant for environmental nonprofits and charities wishing to sell NFTs for fundraising purposes.

Yu said: “Being sustainable has always been a strong priority for VeVe and ECOMI since our founding. Our carbon neutrality pledge is a step toward making NFT digital collectibles and the digital AR metaverse part of a green, environmentally friendly nature.”

Criticisms

Potential users should be aware of numerous factors causing consternation around social media channels.

First, to what extent ECOMI’s digital collectibles can be considered NFTs is debatable. While collectibles may be flipped on ECOMI’s own marketplace, they cannot be exported; assets live permanently in the OMI wallet. 

This highly centralised model is expressed in the white paper: “The ECOMI Collect platform operates as a hybrid model whereby ECOMI maintains ownership of all collectibles within the system, as is a common practice among digital exchange platforms. The ECOMI Collect platform will maintain centralized ownership records as users buy, sell and trade NFTs.”

Users should also be aware that any currency imported into the VeVe app is then stuck. Tokens cannot be converted back into fiat. While this fact is expressed deep inside the app’s terms and conditions, more transparency in the process would be welcome. 

In a recent ‘Ask Me Anything’ session, VeVe suggested that a currency conversion function is in development.

App users have also expressed frustration with the abundance of bots on the marketplace, which continue to buy up entire digital collections seconds after a drop, instantly placing them on the secondary market for a quick turnover. ECOMI and VeVe have been contacted for comment on the above issues.

OMI tokenomics and utility

So, what is ECOMI coin used for? OMI coin is the native cryptocurrency of the ECOMI platform, enabling in-app purchases once a user converts their OMI into Gems.

ECOMI’s token buy-back and burn mechanism is a welcome aspect of the platform’s tokenomics.

Although the transaction flow is rather complicated, it can be distilled down to this: for each transaction made on the primary market, the equivalent amount of OMI is removed from circulation, thus contributing to token scarcity. Some 10% of company revenues generated from sales then go to towards purchasing ECOMI cryptocurrency from an exchange in order to keep in-app liquidity topped up.

This transactional flow is designed to maintain deflationary pressure on the value of the OMI coin. Further information, including links to on-chain wallets, can be found here.

ECOMI is transparent about its token allocation and use of funds, the details of which you can see in the tables below. A condensed rundown is as follows: 450 billion of the total 750 billion OMI are publicly available, 20% of which was sold in private sales and an IEO; 40% of which is held as liquidity for in-app operations; 20% of which is held by advisers, developers and board members; and 20% of which is reserved for business development purposes. 

Charts of the OMI token distribution
Some 40% of all tokens are reserved for in-app liquidity – Credit: ecomi.com

To prevent early token dumps, a 12-month vesting period was implemented for tokens allocated to the team, board and advisers, while a 24-month cliff was implemented for tokens allocated to the founders, vested at 25% per quarter.

The current circulating supply of ECOMI cryptocurrency is 166.29 billion (approximately 22% of the maximum supply). The coin is currently valued at $0.0056, market capitalisation is $939.97m, placing OMI at number 213 on the crypto charts. 

From GoChain to Ethereum (maybe)

ECOMI’s GO20-standard OMI token currently lives on GoChain, a blockchain solution claiming to be significantly cheaper and 100 times faster than Ethereum, while still being interoperable with Ethereum smart contracts.

Real-time chain analysis points to a block time of five seconds and a gas price of 2,000 gwei (a negligible $0.006).

Various stats of GoChain’s blockchain
GoChain’s five-second block times are an improvement on Ethereum’s 10-20 second speeds – Credit: testnet-stats.gochain.io

GoChain’s unique Proof-of-Reputation (PoR) consensus method encourages businesses to contribute to network security, using the metrics of market capitalisation, brand significance and stock market presence. The one major downside is node centralisation: only five nodes at any one time contribute to consensus.

Despite these benefits, ECOMI recently announced that OMI will migrate to Ethererum under the Layer-2 Immutable X protocol, reasoning that “migrating to Ethereum via Immutable X serves to improve access to the VeVe app and OMI token, and enables the interoperability of our NFTs in the future”.

Will ECOMI’s digital collectibles be exportable to other wallets following this migration? That remains to be seen. The migration is yet to be executed and a definitive date has not yet been announced.

Future plans for ECOMI

If there is one thing ECOMI (OMI) does right, it is securing big-ticket licensing deals. In December 2021 alone, the company unveiled partnerships with The Jim Henson Company, Citroēn, DS Automobiles and Coca-Cola. Many more partnerships will undoubtedly follow throughout 2022.

But there is a sense that ECOMI needs to make good on certain promises in the year ahead to maintain user satisfaction. Primarily, it is hopeful that currency conversion from in-app tokens back into fiat will be implemented. We should also expect to see the migration from GoChain to Ethereum’s Layer-2 immutable X protocol in the first half of the year.

FAQs

There are currently 166.29 billion OMI in circulation against a maximum supply of 750 billion.

ECOMI was founded by chief executive officer David Yu and chief operating officer Daniel Crothers, who are both based in Auckland, New Zealand. Yu is a retail and brand licensing expert, while Crothers fields experience in establishing numerous start-ups.

ECOMI’s OMI token lives on GoChain and uses the Secure Wallet digital hardware to store your private keys. Secure Wallet recently encountered issues with the GoChain API, affecting the ability to access and send OMI. GoChain is also a highly centralised blockchain solution.

ECOMI recently announced a planned migration to Ethereum’s Layer-2 Immutable X protocol, although a definitive date is yet to be announced.

Further reading

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