What is Nucleus Vision (nCash): Retail tech with data implications

Nucleus Vision’s blockchain solution could benefit merchants, but the proof of concept is unclear

Image of SIM card on a fishing hook – Photo: Shutterstock                                 
Nucleus Vision uses mobile technology to collate customer data. Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Contents

The India-based Nucleus Vision (nCash) is a decentralised private communication network (PCN) with ambitions of tapping into the smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) zeitgeist.

At the front end, Nucleus Vision’s PCN product leverages a combination of 5G, body sensors and proprietary “long range wide access network” (LoRaWAN) technologies to collate customer data in real-world settings without the need for WiFi or Bluetooth protocols. This is done through a device called a “Nitro ION Miner” (which is yet to be released.)

From the back end, Nucleus Vision uses Orbit Blockchain technology to collect and transmit data around the network. This data is stored in what Nucleus Vision dubs the “Neuron Intelligence Platform”, essentially a database of customer information. Think of it as decentralised targeted advertising.

Marrying these components is nCash, the token used as currency in the Nucleus Vision ecosystem. It is used to offer customers monetary incentives for sharing their data, and as mining rewards for those validating the blockchain. Although it is currently an ERC-20 token, chief executive Anoop Vootkuri recently announced his intention to partner with the smart contract platform Avalanche, because of Ethereum’s high gas fees. 

Regardless of the inherent complexity of this platform, the intention of the concept is a bit easier to understand: Nucleus Vision wants to provide brick-and-mortar businesses with the same data-collecting opportunities that the e-commerce space enjoys. At the same time, the novel mining rewards system is intended to be the driver for greater adoption of the product. The concept is intriguing.

Nucleus Vision has actually been around since 2014, but its utility came into sharper focus since a recent rebranding as the Nitro Network and the launch of its NV 2.0 mainnet upgrade in early 2022.

Whether or not you have some technical, ethical or existential issues with this technology, there is a lot going on under the hood. How does Nucleus Vision work? What is Nucleus Vision coin used for? Let's find out in our comprehensive guide below.

How does the technology work and is your data secure?

Nucleus Vision’s technology stack captures physical customers’ data via the unique signals emitted from their phone. The data captured is sent to the retailer and a bespoke retail experience is designed accordingly. In the mock-up example below, you can see how this might look in a clothing store setting.

If that all sounds slightly disturbing, there is one saving factor: Customers must agree to consent before opening a communication channel. How this might work in the application is a matter of speculation, given that the technology is yet to be deployed. For instance, will a data donor (or customer) be expected to consent every single time they enter the scope of a data miner? 

Not so, according to the first white paper, which states: “When a new customer authorises Nucleus Vision, the telecom service provider receives a notification that the customer has signed up… The Nucleus Vision platform records this registration and creates a transaction over blockchain… These consent transactions are transparent to the entire ecosystem and stakeholders can check whether there is a valid consent from the customer.”

The white paper goes on to explain how a bank can potentially partner with Nucleus Vision in order to provide data variables of its customers, including credit score, which other financial institutions can then request access to. This raises the question: How much of Nucleus Vision’s business strategy consists of buying and selling personal information?

For what it is worth, the white paper also states that data requests should go through the end user first, thus receiving an nCash reward. 

Diagram of the nCash retail situation workflow – Photo: Nucleus Vision white paper
Proposed workflow of the nCash retail situation – Photo: Nucleus Vision white paper

Nucleus Vision also rewards anyone deploying the Nitro ION Miner (that is, the device collecting this data) with an nCash payout. What is Nucleus Vision expecting as a customer base? While presumably this will be retailers and business owners, basically anyone can set up a Nitro ION Miner in their front room, perhaps to collate data from a passing pedestrian or visiting relative.

A business model can now be unpacked: Third parties might pay Nucleus Vision for access to massive data pools, which Nucleus Vision sources from a network of data miners, paying out incremental rewards as a reward for sharing this data.

Should I pre-order a Nitro ION Miner and start earning?

Nucleus Vision has a presale on Nitro ION Miners for a deposit of $100. Despite extensively trawling through all of Nucleus Vision’s online resources, there seems to be a lack of physical proof that the device exists beyond a computer-generated image.

Hidden in the T&C’s of the preorder is a statement, explaining: “You understand that Nitro Network may not have completed the development of The Miner or begun manufacturing The Miner at the time you entered into this Agreement and so we do not guarantee when your Miner will actually be delivered.”

Basically, the company is currently taking pre-order payment from customers without offering concrete proof of the product's existence. A Reddit channel is active, although repeated requests for additional product information have gone unanswered.

statement from the T&C's of the Nitro ION Miner pre-order
The T&C's of the Nitro ION Miner pre-order are patchy – Photo: nitro.network

Further information has been requested over email. Nucleus Vision’s Telegram page does not accept messages.

Staking with nCash

Nucleus Vision is running a staking programme until 15 February 2022, where nCash holders can stake a portion of tokens. Staking can only be done through Nucleus Vision’s own staking portal. Staking is a method to help validate the nCash’s blockchain transactions.

Nucleus Vision cites a 150% APR return on your staking amount. Be warned that as per the staking guidelines, that all staked tokens must be locked up until the 15 February date in order to achieve any APR return. If you withdraw your stake before this date, you will receive no return. This is a very long staking period, especially given the volatility of extremely low-cap cryptocurrency projects.

Entering the real estate market

In June 2021, Nucleus Vision acquired the Indian company Jiffy Charge, the micro real estate marketplace connecting micro real estate owners with brands and customers (think Airbnb for micro spaces).

The goal is for nCash to “be deployed in any conceivable under-utilized space – malls, airports, supermarkets, hospitals, gas stations warehouses and even homes.”

Some quick token figures

The current price of the nCash coin is $0.0025. With a circulation supply of 7.21 billion nCash coin, the market cap is $18.3m, placing it very low on the charts (number 898 to be specific).

The highest recent 24-hour trading volume was $2.41m, or 13.3% of market cap. A maximum supply is not provided. (Data sourced from Coin Market Cap.

Where next for Nucleus Vision?

Alongside implementing the new Nitro Network branding, hopefully Nucleus Vision will release a more solid proof-of-concept framework for its hardware, so as to inform early-stage investors of the functionality of the Nitro ION Miner and therefore the utility of the nCash token. Only then will it be possible to determined whether the project will take off or burn out.

FAQs

There are currently 7.21 billion nCash coin in circulation.

Nucleus Vision’s technology is yet to show proof of concept. The white paper suggests that all data-sharing activities are in the hands of the end user.

Nucleus Vision currently accepts non-refundable pre-orders of its product, although a proof of concept has yet to be released. The T&Cs are unclear whether any prototype has been produced and no official release schedule is available.

Further reading

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