RingPlus was an MVNO founded by Karl Seelig. It was not your everyday standard MVNO. Through RingPlus, Karl brought some new, experimental and innovative technology to the wireless world. The technology served as a vehicle to try and help the company achieve its goal of offering free and cheap cell phone service to all. At RingPlus, it was not uncommon to come across a free phone plan with over 5GB of 4G LTE data such as this former offering. The prospect of free and cheap phone plans allowed the company to grow rapidly as it amassed over 120,000 subscribers shortly after launch.
Karl Seelig and RingPlus patents included things such as RingBack Tone replacement technology and a live in-call language translator that was backed by a cloud based infrastructure. The RingBack Tone tech was used to generate additional revenue for the company by replacing the standard ring tone that one hears when placing a call to one that contained advertisements, music and other media.
Sadly, the RingPlus model did not last long, as the company was not able to achieve the subscriber growth and revenue that it needed to satisfy its MVNO partner Sprint. RingPlus came crashing down in a hurry although it did not go down without a fight. The company filed a lawsuit against Sprint, which among other things claimed that Sprint purposely took actions to harm the RingPlus business model and to possibly try and steal its patents. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.
After the RingPlus - Sprint fallout, I had always expected Karl Seelig to bounce back with another cellular service. He had after all devoted years to developing the technology that went into RingPlus. Unfortunately, for those that dream of cheap cellular service, Karl decided to move in a different direction.
In January of 2018, Karl started his next venture founding a company called ChainBLX.
According to his LinkedIN profile, ChainBLX uses "decentralized blockchain technology to improve access to liquidity and record keeping." The idea behind it is to create a single marketplace and ledger for all of the world's digital transactions. This is said to offer "universal access to the global liquidity pool, minimized cost barriers, and improved security."
ChainBLX is a community of individuals and organizations that create access for themselves and others to the world's liquidity in a single and secure global marketplace.
The ChainBLX marketplace allows for the buying and selling of any asset including digital stock, digital keys for music, movies, software and more. ChainBLX charges just 0.25% of the transaction's value to each party involved in the transaction. This is certainly a lot less than the standard 2% plus that credit card companies charge merchants for their transactions.
A company press release from earlier this year uses Karl's trademarked marketing rhetoric as it reads:
"Chain BLX presented a completely disruptive way to execute trades of any kind of digital securities to world leaders in technology, banking and finance as well as representatives from different governments' regulatory institutions."
The words "completely disruptive" are what caught my eye. It sounds a lot like his RingPlus lingo, which I do believe was successful at being disruptive, at least for a short while.
Currently the ChainBLX website does not contain much to it. It does however have a community forum. Former RingPlus subscribers will recognize the forum template and structure, as it is the same one that was used by RingPlus.
Karl has given at least one interview and presentation about his new company, and you can view them below.
Seelig has had an eye on blockchain technology for quite some time. In 2014 RingPlus customers were granted the option to pay their bills with cryptocurrency. Whether or not Karl's latest venture ChainBLX will work out remains to be seen. I certainly wish him the best.