Who we are
Founders and History
See this history of Jeskei
- Passionate about film and blockchain
Film fans

Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall (Founder)

My names Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall, aka TheNewAutonomy, and I'd like to give a brief intoduction to who I am and why I'm building the Jeskei platform.

I've been coding and hacking computers since I was 7, starting out with self build kids and a 16k ZX Spectrum before progressing into the world of Commodore with the C64/128 and later, the Amiga. From the very first moment I encountered a computer I bacame hooked and quickly jumped into coding, hacking, bullet boards and early graphics.

When I left school I started out programming oil pipeline controllers before moving onto spend 10 years in Oxford splitting my time between a company in Oxford and Microsoft, building device drivers and toolkits as well as imaging pipelines within Windows.

After 10 years I left to become a freelance developers where I spent the next 10 years working on large and often sensitive systems for organisations such as the UK gov, BAE AI, Deutsche Boerse and more. During this time there was one project that stood out as the most challenging but fun I've ever had in the industry and that was a commission to develop a system to securely and very quickly distribute movies for studios such as Disney, ensuring high value IP such as Star Wars and James Bond could go from the end of the editing process at the studio to the cinema in time for the premier with no security risk in the middle. It was my kind of challenge and I developed a system that encrypted movie components, packaged them and distributed them in blocks using the Azure cloud platform as a sort of giant network of data stores and egress points. It works beautifully and we delivered some of my favourite films but there was one problem that was very difficult to work around. Cinemas operate on tight margins and so cost is a very important consideration. Piggy backing on the Azure cloud network due to its low cost ingress but high cost egress model simply made the platform too expensive at scale. A futher issue is that the content sources were restricted to the film studios and cinemas needed more variety, they would talk about a digital juke box type system where they could search and pull down the Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) that they needed to be profitable.

It was a problem we never solved and so I moved on into the world of blockchain that was just starting to grow around the year 2013. I wrote some white papers for projects, I contracted for a wallet company to help build a new wallet and I dabbled in various projects before deciding to form my own company to conduct serious R&D. I was able to raise around $5 million in funding for a London based company to research and develop an open source blockchain network suitable for industrial networks, particularly oil and gas networks. We build this technology stack and called it Catalyst and that's when the pandemic hit. Funding was pulled and we had no choice but to close the business but out of that business we spun out a small startup called Cent Finance along with a DAO based project called Symmetric. Cent Finance built a new DeFi mobile wallet while Symmetric was a decentralised exchange and Automated Market Maker running on networks such as Gnosis and Celo. Symmetric and Cent Finance both continue to grow and innovate within the DeFi space. I remain the technical lead and member of the Symmetric operations team.

But the film industry remains a passion and with the growth of NFT's I decided to see if we could build a solution to the old film distribution problem while building a high value online media platform more generally. What I came up with was Jeskei. It borrows many of the core concepts of the old cloud based movie distribution platform but it adds many new concepts.

- DCP packages used by cinemas are made up of film components so in Jeskei it's the same but film components are wrapped as NFTs to allow provable ownership and transfer of ownership.

- An economics layer means NFT holders can earn from what they create, an elegant way to tackle the industry problem of revenue sharing. A film made up up 20 assets can distribute fees fairly.

- Cloud storage remains the only option for many organisations such as Disney but Jeskei introduces a decentralised file store for media assets, allowing low cost and even free storage and distribution of content.

- The economics engine drives a fund to support film makers and people seeking to get started in the online content creation industry.

But this is no longer just about my passion for film. I've been testing the Jeskei platform idea on industry insiders and the response has been very positive. The industry has a lot of problems and recognised that change is needed and the Jeskei platform can be that change.

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