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AMA with Wanchain VP Lini

AMA with Wanchain VP Lini
Original article here: https://medium.com/wanchain-foundation/ama-with-wanchain-vp-lini-58ada078b4fe

“What is unique about us is that we have actually put theory into practice.”
— Lini
https://preview.redd.it/n6lo2xcmtn621.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=281acce4b45eed8acf0c52b201d01cb6f0d13507
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Wanchain’s Vice President of Business Development, Lini, sat down with blockchain media organization Neutrino for an AMA covering a wide range of topics concerning Wanchain’s development.
The following is an English translation of the original Chinese AMA which was held on December 13th, 2018:
Neutrino: Could you please first share with us a little basic background, what are the basic concepts behind cross chain technology? What are the core problems which are solved with cross-chain? In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge of implementing cross chain to achieve value transfer between different chains?
Lini: Actually, this question is quite big. Let me break it down into three smaller parts:
  1. First, what is the meaning of “cross-chain”?
https://preview.redd.it/cpui6t7qtn621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=86bc39d94b0713949c150598e2397a4f9d3ac491
In China, we like to use the word “cross-chain”, the term “interoperability” is used more frequently in foreign countries. Interoperability is also one of the important technologies identified by Vitalik for the development of a future blockchain ecosystem mentioned in the Ethereum white paper. So cross-chain is basically the concept of interoperability between chains.
  1. The core problem solved by cross chain is that of “multi-ledger” synchronous accounting
https://preview.redd.it/603dl86stn621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=425b827298ac919f8cf05909037458a173100cc4
In essence, blockchain is a distributed bookkeeping technique, also known as distributed ledger technology. Tokens are the core units of account on each chain, there currently exist many different chains, each with their own token. Of especial importance is the way in which each ledger uses tokens to interact with each other for the purpose of clearing settlements.
  1. The core purpose of the cross-chain technology is as one of the key infrastructures of the future economy based on digital currencies.
https://preview.redd.it/3d61f26utn621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=b735482c9734e1d32176e406adce1718be20583e
Cross chain technology is one of the foundational technological infrastructures that is necessary for the large scale application of blockchain technology.
Neutrino: As we all know, there are many different kinds of cross-chain technologies. Please give us a brief introduction to several popular cross-chain technologies on the market, and the characteristics of each of these technologies。
Lini: Before answering this question, it is very important to share two important concepts with our friends: heterogeneity and homogeneity, and centralization and decentralization.
https://preview.redd.it/n6wbs77wtn621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=83fcadd09afb214d2aa5a2a6deb6c24d0d4da671
These two points are especially important for understanding various cross-chain technologies, because there are many different technologies and terminologies, and these are some of the foundational concepts needed for understanding them.
There are also two core challenges which must be overcome to implement cross-chain:
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Combining the above two points, we look at the exploration of some solutions in the industry and the design concepts of other cross-chain projects.
First I’d like to discuss the Relay solution.
https://preview.redd.it/qgcqiwlztn621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=0925d4221c9e92e365e150638c645bef8c609b3f
However the Relay solution must consume a relatively large amount of gas to read the BTC header. Another downside is that, as we all know, Bitcoin’s blocks are relatively slow, so the time to wait for verification will be long, it usually takes about 10 minutes to wait for one block to confirm, and the best practice is to wait for 6 blocks.
The next concept is the idea of Sidechains.
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This solution is good, but not all chains contain SPV, a simple verification method. Therefore, there are certain drawbacks. Of course, this two way peg way solves challenge beta very well, that is, the atomicity of the transaction.
These two technical concepts have already been incorporated into a number of existing cross chain projects. Let’s take a look at two of the most influential of these.
The first is Polkadot.
https://preview.redd.it/1o3xwz93un621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=249909a33b5420050a6010b961a944285fc94926
This is just a summary based on Polkadot’s whitepaper and most recent developments. The theoretical design is very good and can solve challenges alpha and beta. Last week, Neutrino organized a meetup with Polkadot, which we attended. In his talk, Gavin’s focus was on governance, he didn’t get into too much technical detail, but Gavin shared some very interesting ideas about chain governance mechanisms! The specific technical details of Polkadot may have to wait until after their main net is online before it can be analyzed.
Next is Cosmos.
https://preview.redd.it/5gtjf6x4un621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=94d6408ff65dc7041316f0130867888e108848b2
Cosmos is a star project who’s basic concept is similar to Polkadot. Cosmos’s approach is based on using a central hub. Both projects both take into account the issue of heterogeneous cross-chain transactions, and both have also taken into account how to solve challenges alpha and beta.
To sum up, each research and project team has done a lot of exploration on the best methods for implementing cross-chain technology, but many are still in the theoretical design stage. Unfortunately, since the main net has not launched yet, it is not possible to have a more detailed understanding of each project’s implementation. A blockchain’s development can be divided into two parts: theoretical design, and engineering implementation. Therefore, we can only wait until after the launch of each project’s main network, and then analyze it in more detail.
Neutrino: As mentioned in the white paper, Wanchain is a general ledger based on Ethereum, with the goal of building a distributed digital asset financial infrastructure. There are a few questions related to this. How do you solve Ethereum’s scaling problem? How does it compare with Ripple, which is aiming to be the standard trading protocol that is common to all major banks around the world? As a basic potential fundamental financial infrastructure, what makes Wanchain stand out?
Lini: This question is actually composed of two small questions. Let me answer the first one first.
  1. Considerations about TPS.
First of all, Wanchain is not developed on Ethereum. Instead, it draws on some of Ethereum’s code and excellent smart contracts and virtual machine EVM and other mature technical solutions to build the mainnet of Wanchain.
The TPS of Ethereum is not high at this stage, which is limited by various factors such as the POW consensus mechanism. However, this point also in part is due to the characteristics of Ethereum’s very distributed and decentralized features. Therefore, in order to improve TPS, Wanchain stated in its whitepaper that it will launch its own POS consensus, thus partially solving the performance issues related to TPS. Wanchain’s POS is completely different from the POS mechanism of Ethereum 2.0 Casper.
Of course, at the same time, we are also paying close attention to many good proposals from the Ethereum community, such as sharding, state channels, side chains, and the Raiden network. Since blockchain exists in the world of open source, we can of course learn from other technological breakthroughs and use our own POS to further improve TPS. If we have some time at the end, I’d love to share some points about Wanchain’s POS mechanism.
  1. Concerning, Ripple, it is completely different from what Wanchain hopes to do.
Ripple is focused on exchanges between different fiat pairs, the sharing of data between banks and financial institutions, as a clearing and settlement system, and also for the application of DLT, for example the Notary agent mechanism.
Wanchain is focused on different use cases, it is to act as a bridge between different tokens and tokens, and between assets and tokens. For various cross-chain applications it is necessary to consume WAN as a gas fee to pay out to nodes.
So it seems that the purpose Ripple and Wanchain serve are quite different. Of course, there are notary witnesses in the cross-chain mechanism, that is, everyone must trust the middleman. Ripple mainly serves financial clients, banks, so essentially everyone’s trust is already there.
Neutrino: We see that Wanchain uses a multi-party computing and threshold key sharing scheme for joint anchoring, and achieves “minimum cost” for integration through cross-chain communication protocols without changing the original chain mechanism. What are the technical characteristics of multi-party computing and threshold key sharing? How do other chains access Wanchain, what is the cross-chain communication protocol here? What is the cost of “minimum cost?
Lini: The answer to this question is more technical, involving a lot of cryptography, I will try to explain it in a simple way.
  1. About sMPC -
It stands for secure multi-party computation. I will explain it using an example proposed by the scholar Andrew Yao, the only Turing Award winner in China. The scenario called Yao’s Millionaire Problem. How can two millionaires know who is wealthier without revealing the details of their wealth to each other or a trusted third party? I’m not going to explain the answer in detail here, but those who are interested can do a web search to learn more.
In sMPC multiple parties each holding their own piece of private data jointly perform a calculation (for example, calculating a maximum value) and obtain a calculation result. However, in the process, each party involved does not leak any of their respective data. Essentially sMPC calculation can allow for designing a protocol without relying on any trusted third parties, since no individual ever has access to the complete private information.
Secure multiparty computing can be abstractly understood as two parties who each have their own private data, and can calculate the results of a public function without leaking their private data. When the entire calculation is completed, only the calculation results are revealed to both parties, and neither of them knows the data of the other party and the intermediate data of the calculation process. The protocol used for secure multiparty computing is homomorphic encryption + secret sharing + OT (+ commitment scheme + zero knowledge proofs, etc.)
Wanchain’s 21 cross chain Storeman nodes use sMPC to participate in the verification of a transaction without obtaining of a user’s complete private key. Simply put, the user’s private key will have 21 pieces given to 21 anonymous people who each can only get 1/21 part, and can’t complete the whole key.
  1. Shamir’s secret sharing
There are often plots in a movie where a top secret document needs to be handed over to, let’s say five secret agents. In order to protect against the chance of an agent from being arrested or betraying the rest, the five agents each hold only part of a secret key which will reveal the contents of the documents. But there is also a hidden danger: if one the agents are really caught, how can the rest of the agents access the information in the documents? At this point, you may wonder if there is any way for the agents to still recover the original text with only a portion of the keys? In other words, is there any method that allows a majority of the five people to be present to unlock the top secret documents? In this case, the enemy must be able to manipulate more than half of the agents to know the information in the secret documents.
Wanchain uses the threshold M<=N; N=21; M=16. That is to say, at least 16 Storeman nodes must participate in multi-party calculation to confirm a transaction. Not all 21 Storeman nodes are required to participate. This is a solution to the security problem of managing private keys.
Cross-chain communication protocols refers to the different communication methods used by different chains. This is because heterogeneous cross-chain methods can’t change the mechanism of the original chains. Nakamoto and Vitalik will not modify their main chains because they need BTC and ETH interoperability. Therefore, project teams that can only do cross-chain agreements to create different protocols for each chain to “talk”, or communicate. So the essence of a cross-chain protocol is not a single standard, but a multiple sets of standards. But there is still a shared sMPC and threshold design with the Storeman nodes.
The minimum cost is quite low, as can be shown with Wanchain 3.0’s cross chain implementation. In fact it requires just two smart contracts, one each on Ethereum and Wanchain to connect the two chains. To connect with Bitcoin all that is needed is to write a Bitcoin script. Our implementation guarantees both security and decentralization, while at the same time remaining simple and consuming less computation. The specific Ethereum contract and Bitcoin scripts online can be checked out by anyone interested in learning more.
Neutrino: What kind of consensus mechanism is currently used by Wanchain? In addition, what is the consensus and incentive mechanism for cross-chain transactions, and what is the purpose of doing so? And Wanchain will support cross-chain transactions (such as BTC, ETH) on mainstream public chains, asset cross-chain transactions between the alliance chains, and cross-chain transactions between the public and alliance chains, how can you achieve asset cross-chain security and privacy?
Lini: It is now PPOW (Permissioned Proof of Work), in order to ensure the reliability of the nodes before the cross-chain protocol design is completed, and to prepare to switch to POS (as according to the Whitepaper roadmap). The cross-chain consensus has been mentioned above, with the participation of a small consensus (at least 16 nodes) in a set of 21 Storeman nodes through sMPC and threshold secret sharing.
In addition, the incentive is achieved through two aspects: 1) 100% of the cross chain transaction fee is used to reward the Storeman node; 2) Wanchain has set aside a portion of their total token reserve as an incentive mechanism for encouraging Storeman nodes in case of small cross-chain transaction volume in the beginning.
It can be revealed that Storeman participation is opening gradually and will become completely distributed and decentralized in batches. The first phase of the Storeman node participation and rewards program is to be launched at the end of 2018. It is expected that the selection of participants will be completed within one quarter. Please pay attention to our official announcements this month.
In addition, for public chains, consortium chains, and private chains, asset transfer will also follow the cross-chain mechanism mentioned above, and generally follow the sMPC and threshold integration technology to ensure cross-chain security.
When it comes to privacy, this topic will be bigger. Going back to the Wanchain Whitepaper, we have provided privacy protection on Wanchain mainnet. Simply put, the principle is using ring signatures. The basic idea is that it mixes the original address with many other addresses to ensure privacy. We also use one-time address. In this mechanism a stamp system is used that generates a one-time address from a common address. This has been implemented since our 2.0 release.
But now only the privacy protection of native WAN transactions can be provided. The protection of cross-chain privacy and user experience will also be one of the important tasks for us in 2019.
Neutrino: At present, Wanchain uses Storeman as a cross-chain trading node. Can you introduce the Storeman mechanism and how to protect these nodes?
Lini: Let me one problem from two aspects.
  1. As I introduced before in my explanation of sMPC, the Storeman node never holds the user’s private key, but only calculates the transaction in an anonymous and secure state, and the technology prevents the Storeman nodes from colluding.
  2. Even after technical guarantees, we also designed a “double protection” against the risk from an economic point of view, that is, each node participating as a Storeman needs to pledge WAN in the contract as a “stake”. The pledge of WAN will be greater than the amount of any single transaction as a guarantee against loss of funds.
If the node is malicious (even if it is a probability of one in a billion), the community will be compensated for the loss caused by the malicious node by confiscation of the staked WAN. This is like the POS mechanism used by ETH, using staking to prevent bad behavior is a common principle.
Neutrino: On December 12th, the mainnet of Wanchain 3.0 was launched. Wanchain 3.0 opened cross-chain transactions between Bitcoin, Ethereum and ERC20 (such as MakerDao’s stable currency DAI and MKR). What does this version mean for you and the industry? This upgrade of cross-chain with Bitcoin is the biggest bright spot. So, if now you are able to use Wanchain to make transactions between what is the difference between tokens, then what is the difference between a cross chain platform like Wanchain and cryptocurrency exchanges?
Lini: The release of 3.0 is the industry’s first major network which has crossed ETH and BTC, and it has been very stable so far. As mentioned above, many cross-chain, password-protected theoretical designs are very distinctive, but for engineering implementation, the whether or not it can can be achieved is a big question mark. Therefore, this time Wanchain is the first network launched in the world to achieve this. Users are welcome to test and attack. This also means that Wanchain has connected the two most difficult and most challenging public networks. We are confident we will soon be connecting other well-known public chains.
At the same time of the release of 3.0, we also introduced cross chain integration with other ERC20 tokens in the 2.X version, such as MakerDao’s DAI, MKR, LRC, etc., which also means that more tokens of excellent projects on Ethereum will also gradually be integrated with Wanchain.
Some people will be curious, since Wanchain has crossed so many well-known public chains/projects; how is it different with crypto exchanges? In fact, it is very simple, one centralized; one distributed. Back to the white paper of Nakamoto, is not decentralization the original intention of blockchain? So what Wanchain has to do is essentially to solve the bottom layer of the blockchain, one of the core technical difficulties.
Anyone trying to create a DEX (decentralized exchange); digital lending and other application scenarios can base their application on Wanchain. There is a Wanchain based DEX prototype made by our community members Jeremiah and Harry, which quite amazing. Take a look at this video below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=codcqb66G6Q
Neutrino: What are the specific application use cases after the launch of Wanchain 3.0? Most are still exploring small-scale projects. According to your experience, what are the killer blockchain applications of the future? What problems need to be solved during this period? How many years does it take?
Lini:
  1. Wanchain is just a technology platform rather than positioning itself as an application provider; that is, Wanchain will continue to support the community, and the projects which use cross-chain technology to promote a wide range of use cases for Wanchain.
  2. Cross-chain applications that we anticipate include things like: decentralized exchanges, digital lending, cross chain games, social networking dAPPs, gambling, etc. We also expect to see applications using non fungible tokens, for example exchange of real assets, STOs, etc.
  3. We recently proposed the WanDAPP solution. Simply speaking, a game developer for example has been developing on Ethereum, and ERC20 tokens have been issued, but they hope to expand the player base of their games to attract more people. To participate and make full use of their DAPP, you can consider using the WanDAPP solution to deploy the game DAPP on other common platforms, such as EOS, TRON, etc., but you don’t have to issue new tokens on these chains or use the previous ERC20 tokens. In this way the potential user population of the game can be increased greatly without issuing more tokens on a new chain, improving the real value of the original token. This is accomplished completely using the cross-chain mechanism of Wanchain.
  4. For large-scale applications, the infrastructure of the blockchain is not yet complete, there are issues which must first be dealt with such as TPS, sharding, sidechains, state channels, etc. These all must be solved for the large-scale application of blockchain applications. I don’t dare to guess when it will be completed, it depends on the progress of various different technical projects. In short, industry practitioners and enthusiasts need a little faith and patience.
Neutrino community member Block Venture Capital Spring: Will Wanchain be developing any more cross chain products aimed at general users? For example will the wallet be developed to make automatic cross chain transfers with other public chains? Another issue the community is concerned about is the currency issuance. Currently there are more than 100 million WAN circulating, what about the rest, when will it be released?
Lini: As a cross-chain public chain, we are not biased towards professional developers or ordinary developers, and they are all the same. As mentioned above, we provide a platform as infrastructure, and everyone is free to develop applications on us.
For example, if it is a decentralized exchange, it must be for ordinary users to trade on; if it is some kind of financial derivatives product, it is more likely to be used by finance professionals. As for cross-chain wallets which automatically exchange, I’m not sure if you are talking about distributed exchanges, the wallet will not be “automatic” at first, but you can “automatically” redeem other tokens.
Finally, the remaining WAN tokens are strictly in accordance with the plan laid out in the whitepaper. For example, the POS node reward mentioned above will give 10% of the total amount for reward. At the same time, for the community, there are also rewards for the bounty program. The prototype of the DEX that I just saw is a masterpiece of the overseas community developers, and also received tokens from our incentive program.
Neutrino community member’s question: There are many projects in the market to solve cross-chain problems, such as: Cosmos, Polkadot, what are Wanchain’s advantages and innovations relative to these projects?
Lini: As I mentioned earlier, Cosmos and pPolkadot all proposed very good solutions in theory. Compared with Wanchain, I don’t think that we have created anything particularly unique in our theory. The theoretical basis for our work is cryptography, which is derived from the academic foundation of scholars such as Yao Zhizhi and Silvio Micali. Our main strong point is that we have taken theory and put it into practice..
Actually, the reason why people often question whether a blockchain project can be realized or not is because the whitepapers are often too ambitious. Then when they actually start developing there are constant delays and setbacks. So for us, we focus on completing our very solid and realizable engineering goals. As for other projects, we hope to continue to learn from each other in this space.
Neutrino community member Amos from Huobi Research Institute question: How did you come to decide on 21 storeman nodes?
Lini: As for the nodes we won’t make choices based on quantity alone. The S in the POS actually also includes the time the tokens are staked, so that even if a user is staking less tokens, the amount of time they stake them for will also be used to calculate the award, so that is more fair. We designed the ULS (Unique Leader Selection) algorithm in order to reduce the reliance on the assumption of corruption delay (Cardano’s POS theory). which is used for ensuring fairness to ensure that all participants in the system can have a share of the reward, not only few large token holders.
Wu Di, a member of the Neutrino community: Many big exchanges have already begun to deploy decentralized exchanges. For example, Binance, and it seems that the progress is very fast. Will we be working with these influential exchanges in the future? We we have the opportunity to cooperate with them and broaden our own influence?
Lini: I also have seen some other exchange’s DEX. Going back the original point, distributed cross-chain nodes and centralized ones are completely different. I’m guessing that most exchanges use a centralized cross-chain solution, so it may not be the same as the 21 member Storeman group of Wanchain, but I think that most exchanges will likely be using their own token and exchange system. This is my personal understanding. But then, if you are developing cross chain technology, you will cooperate with many exchanges that want to do a DEX. Not only Binance, but also Huobi, Bithumb, Coinbase… And if there is anyone else who would like to cooperate we welcome them!
Neutrino community member AnneJiang from Maker: Dai as the first stable chain of Wanchain will open a direct trading channel between Dai and BTC. In relation to the Dai integration, has any new progress has been made on Wanchain so far?
Lini: DAI’s stable currency has already been integrated on Wanchain. I just saw it yesterday, let me give you a picture. It’s on the current 3.0 browser, https://www.wanscan.org/, you can take a look at it yourself.
This means that users with DAI are now free to trade for BTC, or ETH or some erc20 tokens. There is also a link to the Chainlink, and LRC is Loopring, so basically there are quite a few excellent project tokens. You may use the Wanchain to trade yourself, but since the DEX is not currently open, currently you can only trade with friends you know.
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About Neutrino

Neutrino is a distributed, innovative collaborative community of blockchains. At present, we have established physical collaboration spaces in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and other places, and have plans to expand into important blockchain innovation cities such as Seoul, Thailand, New York and London. Through global community resources and partnerships, Neutrino organizes a wide range of online an offline events, seminars, etc. around the world to help developers in different regions better communicate and share their experiences and knowledge.

About Wanchain

Wanchain is a blockchain platform that enables decentralized transfer of value between blockchains. The Wanchain infrastructure enables the creation of distributed financial applications for individuals and organizations. Wanchain currently enables cross-chain transactions with Ethereum, and today’s product launch will enable the same functionalities with Bitcoin. Going forward, we will continue to bridge blockchains and bring cross-chain finance functionality to companies in the industry. Wanchain has employees globally with offices in Beijing (China), Austin (USA), and London (UK).
You can find more information about Wanchain on our website. Additionally, you can reach us through Telegram, Discord, Medium, Twitter, and Reddit. You can also sign up for our monthly email newsletter here.
https://preview.redd.it/w7ezx27dun621.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=6ef7a651a2d480658f60d213e1431ba636bfbd8c
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Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

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Now I want to share some cool info on the purpose and role of tokens within the Blockchain ecosystem at the ICO stage.
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) History
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a means of fundraising for the initial capital needed to get new projects off the ground within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. More often than not, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are used to buy a quantity of project tokens. However, new projects are also being launched on alternative Blockchain platforms such as NEO or WANchain, wherein the “parent” chain’s tokens will be used to fund these ICOs. Pre-launch, ICO tokens are endorsed as functional currency in the project ecosystem. After a project’s ICO, it is available on exchanges, and then the market determines the value of those tokens. The main benefit of using the ICO funding system is that it avoids the prohibitive amount of time and expense incurred by launching a startup in the conventional method, by way of Initial Public Offering (IPO). The lengthy and costly process of ensuring regulatory compliance in different jurisdictions often makes the IPO format unfeasible for small companies. Thus, the ICO method of fundraising is far more attractive as a means of crowd funding for the project. But at the same time, an ICO is certainly riskier for the investor.
It is important to note the different stages of the token sale. Token prices generally escalate the closer the token gets to its listing date. Projects often seek funding from angel investors even before the date of the private pre-sale is set, though some ICOs do go straight to pre-sale. After potential initial investment has been sought from angel investors, pre-sale begins. Usually there will be a 15–30% discount from the public sale price. The main-sale begins after the pre-sale has concluded. At that time, normal everyday crypto enthusiasts, with no connections to the team, may buy into the project at pretty close to the ground floor price. Angel investors and pre-sale investors sometimes receive quite large discounts from main sale prices, but their tokens are locked up for varying amounts of time, to prevent dumping, or selling all their tokens for a quick profit at the time of listing. Today the vast majority of ICOs make use of the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC-20 token. The very first token sale was arranged by Mastercoin, a Bitcoin fork, in July 2013. Ethereum soon followed in early 2014, raising 3700 BTC in only 12 hours (equivalent to $2.3 million at that time, and just under $35 million today). Before late 2015 there were sporadic ICOs, with Augur, NXT and Factom all successfully raising funds. 2016 was the year that the ICO format grew to truly disrupt the Venture Capital industry. There were 64 ICOs in 2016 which cumulatively raised $103 million USD.
Tremendous Success & Why Real World Case Study
The ICON (ICX) Initial coin offering is an example of a project that reaped the rewards of a token sale done with precision of execution and clarity of vision. The project promised to build a world-wide decentralized network that would allow Blockchains of different governances to transact with one another without a centralized authority, and with as few barriers as possible. ICX offered fair and clear tokenomics, with 1 Ether buying 2500 ICX, and with 1 ETH costing approximately 250 dollars when the ICO began on September 18th. 50% of the total amount of tokens were put up for public sale, 400,230,000 out of a total of 800,460,000, equating to a fundraising goal of 150,000 Ether. One of the core reasons for the project’s spectacular success was the incredibly distinguished background of those involved, and the foundation the project had in many years of stellar achievement. ICON was originally a project developed by “The Loop”, a joint venture between DAYLI financial group and three Korean Universities. They lead the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, boasting members including Samsung Securities. The Loop had already implemented Blockchain solutions for high profile clients well before ICX was born, including completing a KYC/AML authentication smart contract platform for Korea Financial Investment Consortium.
Real World Example of Failure & Why Case Study
The risk involved in starting your own company is huge. Over 75% of startups eventually fail, according to the Harvard Business School study by Shikhar Ghosh. The study’s findings show the rate of failure for new companies is roughly 50% after 5 years, and over 75% after 10. Shikhar Ghosh identifies the following issues as the most common factors in start-up failure: -Insufficient Market Demand -Insolvency -Wrong Team -Got beat by competition -Pricing/Cost issues -Poor Product -Need for or Lack of business model -Ineffective Marketing -Disregarding Customer desires The statistics concerning rate of failure for conventional business startups pale in comparison to the number of crypto startups that fail according to Tokendata. They are one of the most rigorous ICO trackers, recording 46% of the 902 ICO crowdsale projects initiated in 2017 as failing by the time of writing. Of these 46%, 142 collapsed before the end of the funding stage, and a further 276 had either “exit scammed” (took the money and ran) or slowly faded into eventual obscurity. With no shortage of failed and abortive projects to look into, we thought it would be more helpful to look into an ICO that was mismanaged and unsuccessful in terms of its execution, rather than being fraudulent, or terminally mismanaged.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §3
Tezos was designed as a “new decentralized Blockchain that governs itself by establishing a true digital commonwealth”. The project was a partnership between the husband and wife team of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, and a Swiss foundation run by Johann Gevers. They had a novel idea of “formal verification”, a technique that mathematically proves the veracity of code governing transactions and heightens security of smart contracts. That idea was wholeheartedly endorsed by investors, resulting in $232 million USD raised in the 2017 crowdsale. Trouble arose after the Breitmans asked the head of the Swiss foundation they were in partnership with to step down. In Gever’s words, the Breitman’s were attempting “to bypass Swiss legal structure and take over control of the foundation”. The resulting 6 class action lawsuits that were spawned from the wreckage of one of the most successful ICOs of all time have yet to be fully resolved at the time of writing, though Gevers has stepped down and a new leadership team is in place. The Tezos Network has a prospective launch date of somewhere around Q3 2018. The debacle, though not terminal to the prospects of the Tezos network, provides a cautionary tale about the need for a clearly defined leadership structure and plan for the allocation of funds after an ICO. It is entirely possible that the Tezos project could have ridden the late 2017 market euphoria to sit near the top of the cryptocurrency hierarchy if boardroom strife could have been avoided.
Real World Example of Failure & Why §4
Projects often also “pivot” from one focus or project to another. More often than not, teams change the project name entirely, even while retaining the same core team, to try for a successful venture one more time. One such project is Chain Trade Token (CTT) which, while technically speaking, not yet a “deadcoin”, shows all the signs of shutting down operations within a few months, and “pivoting” into a new project. The CTT project aimed to be the “first blockchain-based platform for the trading of futures and options on food and raw materials (aka commodity derivatives)”. But through a combination of a non-existent social media presence, and a distinct lack of urgency in securing listings beyond decentralized exchanges, the lofty ambitions of the top-level team were left unrealized. The team has supposedly split their operations from solely Chain Trade, to a former business endeavors, and the Nebula Decentralized Exchange. The project leaders then offered a 1-for-1 token swap which has been accepted by the vast majority of CTT holders.
The ICO Process
Before even researching the particular strengths and weaknesses of any specific project in which you may want to invest, it is important to know the overall processes of the ICO crowdfunding method. This will allow you to avoid any potential pitfalls if you do decide to move forward and invest money into a particular idea or project. How does an ICO happen? Stage One: Token sale details are set: This takes place usually after release of the whitepaper, and the presentation of a project to prospective investors in forums and on social media. Stage Two: Whitelisting for private sale begins: The vast majority of all ICOs have instituted KYC checks for investors which usually involve uploading a photograph of your passport or driving license along with a selfie holding the ID. Did you know? Participation in ICOs has proven to be a regulatory nightmare in some localities. Most token sales restrict contributions from investors in China and the USA entirely, though accredited investors may participate in the USA in some cases.
Stage Three: Private/Pre-sale states: Typically, 10% of tokens will be offered to early investors at a 10–30% discount. These select few investors will likely have a close association with the team. But not all projects have a pre-sale round, some go straight to public sale. Stage Four: Whitelisting for Public/Main sale starts: The same format used for pre-sale investors is used for public sale investors, though it is a regular occurrence to see main sale KYC checks closed early due to overwhelming demand. An investor must then register a contribution wallet address. That is the address used to send cryptocurrency from, to buy the ICO tokens, and then also into which you will receive your purchased tokens. This wallet address must be a non-exchange wallet, like Blockchain.info bitcoin wallet, or MyEtherWallet for ERC-20. You already understand from the prior lesson that making a mistake with your wallet address may mean you lose the tokens forever as well as the BTC or ETH you used to purchase them. Copying and pasting your cryptocurrency public key into the whitelist wallet form is the next task to complete. And then, as the investor, you wait for confirmation of successful ICO registration from the team.
Stage Five: Public sale starts: Commonly on a specific date, though sometimes for a specific period of time. If you are interested in participating in an ICO, it is important to make your contribution as quickly as possible, or you risk sending your ETH or BTC after the hard cap has been reached, resulting in your funds being sent back. This refund can sometimes take many days, or even weeks in times of high market activity. Did you know? In 2017 it was not unheard of to find ICOs that had originally scheduled their ICO period for many weeks, but then they met with such high demand that they could close their crowdsale in a matter of hours or even in just a few minutes!
Stage Six: Tokens are allocated to successful participant investor wallets, and trading can begin on some decentralized exchanges like IDEX, or EtherDelta in the case of Ethereum based tokens. Tokens will be sent to and received by the wallet addresses from which the investor contributions were made. Stage Seven: Tokens are listed on mainstream exchanges: The tokens will then be listed on the exchanges with which the teams have negotiated listing, prior to or during the sale. It can cost huge amounts of money to list on large exchanges like Bitfinex Bittrex, Huobi or Binance, so usually smaller projects will not be listed on top 10 exchanges so quickly. As tokens are listed on more and more exchanges, their price usually rises because more and more investors are exposed to opportunities to buy that particular token.
Evaluating a Blockchain Use Case
Evaluating a particular use case for Blockchain technology, and thus how successful an ICO project’s ambitions might be in a particular market, is not a simple endeavor. As demonstrated in the graphic below, Blockchain technology has nearly limitless potential to be applied to a great variety of business areas, but as an ICO investor, you are looking for projects that have the potential to deliver significant long-term success. In the currently saturated ICO environment, some use cases have more potential than others. Ascertaining which use case is likely to have long term success is a key distinction. Also, we must recognize that businesses and corporate entities may be overeager to experiment with this new Blockchain technology, whether or not usage of the technology is actually advisable or profitable for their particular purpose. The main questions to ask when analyzing specific solutions proposed by the project are: What are the problems posed and the solutions offered? Does this particular area of business need a Blockchain solution? That is, is a Blockchain solution in fact superior to the current way this particular business operates? Is the use of Blockchain in this specific instance feasible and applicable? What are competitors doing about Blockchain projects in this same area?
A Blockchain network provides a shared, replicated, secured, immutable and verifiable data ledger. The implication for use case analysis: Shared and replicated: participants have a copy of the ledger and many people can view it or work on it Secured: Secured through cryptography Verifiable: Business rules are associated with all interactions that occur on the network Immutable: Transactions (records) cannot be modified or deleted, therefore a verifiable audit trail is maintained by the network So, with all this considered, what should we look for with regard to a possible business use case that would be best solved using Blockchain technology? 1. Data exchange that has trust issues i.e. businesses transacting with one another. Trust must be established through a multitude of verification processes with regards to employees and products. These processes increase operational cost. Example: Digital voting. 2. Any potential business process involving data storage, or compliance and risk data that get audited. Blockchain solutions would provide the regulators a real-time view of information. Example: Supply chain solutions like VeChain or WaltonChain. The possibility of close to zero operational loss would of course be attractive to any business. 3. All kinds of asset transactions. A Blockchain network, with its tamper-proof ledger, validating traceable and trackable transactions, could save many different industries untold amounts of money. Example: Tokenization of assets e.g. Jibrel Network or Polymath
Purpose of Tokens
Within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the definition and role of a token iswidely understood. They represent programmable units of currency that sit atop a particular Blockchain, and they are part of a smart contract “logic” specific to a certain application. In the business sphere, a token can be defined as a unit of value that a project or business venture creates to enable it to self-govern. And the business venture also allows token users to connect and collaborate with its business products, while facilitating the sharing of rewards to all of its stakeholders. A token can also be described in a more general sense as a type of privately issued currency. In the past it was solely within the purview of governments to issue currency and set the terms of its governance. With the advent of Blockchain technology we now have businesses and organizations offering forms of digital money over which they, not the government or central bank, have control of the terms of operations and issuance. Wide scale adoption of these mechanisms could fundamentally alter the global economy. This is like the creation of self-sustaining, mini-economies in any sector of business or life, via a specific token or currency.
Fun Fact: Tokens of the particular Blockchain upon which the project is launched will usually have to be bought in order to be exchanged for ICO tokens, hence it is important for traders and investors to be aware of the schedule for upcoming ICOs. ETH is usually the token used for exchange because the majority of ICOs launch on the Ethereum Blockchain. But this is not always the case. During January 2018, two NEO token ICOs, both the Key TKY and Ontology ICOs, were being carried out, and this caused the NEO cryptocurrency to spike to its all-time high in excess of $160 USD. Since the product or project is more often than not in its embryonic stage at the time of the ICO crowdfunding process, the ICO token’s true function and purpose is in most cases yet to be realized. At the ICO stage the tokens can usually be grouped together into one of three categories. Knowing how to distinguish these categories involves determining the specific nature and function of the token around which the project is centered. The main and crucial distinction, is whether or not a token is a security, and therefore subject to securities registration requirements.
ICO Stage Token Categories
Howey Test: This is the test created by the US Supreme Court to ascertain whether certain transactions qualify as “investment contracts”. If they are found to fall within this classification, then under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934, those transactions are considered “securities” and participants must adhere to registration and disclosure requirements. One of the most important and amazing considerations of the effect of Blockchain technology is that normal people with a computer science background are now empowered to make decisions and offer products and services that previously only licensed financial institutions were able to do. This is a very complex and complicated situation with serious ramifications for anyone involved. One thing to note well is that ordinary participants and actors in this arena can easily commit white-collar crime, violating serious securities laws, without even realizing it. If a token falls within the US legal definition of “Investment Contract” then you must adhere to US regulations. For that reason, many ICOs simply do not want to sell to US based investors, perhaps until all the rules and regulations are clarified.
Security Tokens
The broad and varying definition of the term “security” is a regulatory minefield. This has always been true for traditional financial products, and now it is especially true for the as yet unregulated cryptocurrency market. In the case of SEC V. Howey, parameters were established to determine whether or not a particular financial arrangement could be classified as a security and thus be subject to securities regulations. Cooley LLP Fintech Team Leader Marco Santori has said, an arrangement is a security if it involves “an investment of money, and a common enterprise, with the expectation of profit, primarily from the efforts of others.” Investors have the option of accessing a huge range of security tokens through ICOs. Prime examples are the gold backed DigixDao (DGD) and CProp (still in crowd funding stage). A security token is fundamentally different from the currently available ICO project tokens in that it provides a legal and enforceable ownership of a company’s profits and voice in its governance much like common stock traded on any exchange. If security tokens are the next step in the evolution of crypto-finance, real estate, stocks, venture capital, and commodities can all be tokenized. The traditional markets could be fully connected to the Blockchain. Financial assets would available to anyone in the world, not just licensed or accredited investors. That is one aspect of Fintech, the financial revolution taking place today, as Blockchain technology clashes with traditional finance.
Equity Tokens
One exciting application of smart contracts on the Ethereum Network is the potential for startups to distribute equity tokens through initial coin offerings. That would reduce the hurdles that an average person has to face in order to take part in the early stages of a company’s development. And, democratic governance of a project could be conducted in a transparent manner through voting on the Blockchain. As of yet, few startups have attempted to conduct equity token sales for fear of falling afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. But many Venture Capital insiders are bullish on the prospect of equity tokens taking a central role in the crypto finance industry, when and as the legal issues are resolved. For example, the Delaware State legislature recently passed a bill enabling companies to maintain shareholder lists on the Blockchain. That is one major step to enable Blockchain based stock trading. Lawyers also generally believe it is only a matter of time before the regulations are clarified. Did you know? Important consideration: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 made it unfeasibly expensive for smaller companies to be listed on exchanges, causing a halving in the number of IPOs between 1996 and 2016 (7322 to 3671). In 2017 there was an almost 5-fold increase in the number of ICOs, from 43 to 210, with the 2017 volume already being eclipsed in the first 5 months of 2018.
Utility Tokens
However, given that this area is still a regulatory nightmare for people planning to issue security and equity tokens, many projects attempt to ensure that the tokens within their specific model fall under the definition of Utility Tokens rather than securities, so as to avoid the SEC regulations altogether. If a token is imbued with a certain functionality and use within the Blockchain infrastructure of that particular project, the token can avoid being labelled as a security, and thus render SEC regulations inapplicable. Just this week in fact, the SEC made the long-awaited and momentous decision that Ether was not a security. In the words of William Hinman, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission division of corporate finance, “Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” This means that Ethereum, in fact, fails the Howey test, which is exactly the decision the crypto world wanted. Hinman said, “When the efforts of the third party are no longer a key factor for determining the enterprise’s success, material information asymmetries recede,” Hinman said. “The ability to identify an issuer or promoter to make the requisite disclosures becomes difficult, and less meaningful.” We will now cover various use cases that projects have been adopting up to now in order to get their tokens classified as utility tokens rather than securities.
Voting Rights
Some coins portray themselves as a company with tokens being held in a way that is analogous to voting shares of a stock. One coin held is equal to one vote. This form of token utility has a major flaw in that so-called whales (people with huge amounts of a particular cryptocurrency) can manipulate any poll conducted. The cryptocurrencies Aragon and Lykke are examples of projects that have written voting rights into the structure of their code. In-App Reward: Another common tactic to evade the security label has been the addition of in-app rewards to the functionality of a particular token. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is the unit of currency for use with the project browser named “Brave”. The BAT is a unit of account for the advertisers, publishers and users of the platform. Filecoin, the cloud storage project that raised a record $257 million through their ICO, pays other people or companies for use of their spare storage space. Some of the many rights afforded to token holders in various Blockchain projects are described by the graphic below.
Token Roles Function
The token can be used as a mechanism through which user experience is enhanced, enabling such actions as connection with users, or joining a broader network. It may also be used as an incentive for beginning usage or for on-boarding. Examples include Dfinity and Steemit. Value Exchange: In its most basic usage, a token is a unit of value exchange within a specific app or market. This usually is made up of features that allow users to earn tokens through real work or passive work (sharing data, allowing use of storage space) and to spend them on services or internal functions within the specific market ecosystem created by that organization. Augur and KIK, amongst countless others, are projects that have implemented this functionality into their tokenomics. Toll: The token can also be used for getting onto the Blockchain infrastructure, or for powering decentralized applications run on that particular Blockchain. This ensures that users have “skin in the game”. Tolls can be derived from running smart contracts, paying a security deposit, or just usage fees. Examples include Bitcoin and Ethereum. Currency: Seeing as the particular platform or app is designed with a view towards functioning in synergy with a particular token, the token is an extremely efficient means of payment and transaction engine, resulting in frictionless transactions. This means that companies can become their own payment processors and no longer have to rely on the often unwieldy stages of conventional financial settlement involving trusted third parties in the form of banks and credit card companies.
Rights: Owning a token bequests certain rights upon the holder, such as product usage, voting, access to restricted markets, and dividends (e.g.: GAS for holding NEO). Though most businesses are trying to avoid fitting the definition of a security laid out in the Howey Test, the right to real ownership of a particular asset is sometimes granted as a result of holding a token, for example DigixDAO or Tezos.
Comparison to Traditional IPO and Equity Capital Raisings
Despite the similarity of the acronyms and the derivation of one from the other, Initial Coin Offerings and Initial Public Offerings are very different methods of fundraising. The distinction is not limited simply to the fact that IPOs are used in conventional business, and ICOs are associated with cryptocurrency. Through ICO’s, companies in their early stages issue digital tokens on a Blockchain and those tokens act as units of value for use within the ecosystem created by the project. They have many other uses, but it is also fair to say they are analogous to shares offered in an Initial Public offering.
In an IPO, shareholdings are distributed to investors through underwriters, usually investment banks. But in the case of ICO token sales, companies often do not even have an actual product to show. Often, all that there is a whitepaper, evidence of the partnerships involved and the particular social-media infrastructure they have established. IPO’s take place when a more well-established company floats shares on a stock exchange. The company would have a well-established history of success and significant reasons to expect a bright future. In the vast majority of cases, an ICO is used for a new company with no such history, just trying to get off the ground.
Another important difference is the expected return in exchange for the investment. Companies engaging in IPOs may offer participants dividend paying stocks which result in various levels of return depending on the success of the company after the shares are issued. An ICO however can offer no such guaranteed return. When buying tokens in an ICO, you do so with no promise of return. An investor who holds the tokens of a particular project does so with the promise, rather than an assurance, of future success. The main benefit to investors taking part in Initial Coin Offerings, compared to Initial Public Offerings, is the need for only basic Know Your Customer checks in the case of the ICO, compared to the costly, complex and time-consuming regulatory obstacles that must be traversed in an IPO. In the case of Initial Public Offerings, a business must obtain authorization from a number of entities before the act of “going public”. Prior to an IPO, companies are not obliged to disclose so much of their internal records or accounting. It is not so complicated to make a private company in the United States. But in the run up to going public, the company must form a board of directors, make their records auditable to the relevant authorities in one or more jurisdictions, and prepare to make quarterly reports to the SEC (or equivalent).
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
When analyzing the chances of success for a specific project, and the likelihood of a favorable return on investment in the long term, it is essential to break down the project into its constituent parts, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each part individually. An effective investigation and analysis would start with the team and white paper. Consider the stage the project is at,and VC investments in the project. That would lead to a good initial idea of the actual progress thus far. Next, evaluate the social media presence and the credentials of the community that has formed around the core team. If a compelling case is made by the team, (e.g.: via an in-depth dive into the use case), and the tokenomics, distribution schedule, potential competitors, as well as the team’s awareness of any future business or regulatory concerns all check out; then the ICO might present a good opportunity for investment. In the following slides we tackle each of these considerations in order so you will be able to evaluate an ICO’s worth and assign a grade for the success of each project.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
The Team First and most important, we need evaluate the background and experience of the team, the people involved in the project. Well-established developers, for example, will likely have LinkedIn profiles demonstrating their previous endeavors and occupations, from which we can judge their suitability to the project and the likelihood of the team’s success. The LinkedIn profile is a point of reference for professional accomplishments and official positions. But we can also learn more about a person from their personal accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Medium etc. That is also a good way to follow along with the progress of the project. By investigating team members through as many means as possible, you will know how long they have been involved in cryptocurrency. If they have been around and active for a long time, they are that much more likely to be knowledgeable and capable of making better quality decisions in this business. It goes without saying that it is a huge red flag if it is too difficult to find information about the team members online, and worse still if the team members are anonymous.
Relevant Factors to Consider in ICO process
A good Whitepaper gives a detailed description of the project, the problems the team is going to solve, the timeframe projected, and methods to be used in the implementation of their ideas. If, in answering the question about what the project actually does, it seems the team is presenting ideas that are too complicated or advanced to understand, then you simply should not invest until you are satisfied you have been given the requisite level of insight to understand the concepts described. It is always possible that the whitepaper is nothing more than a salad of buzzwords and technical language intended to give the impression of competence while really doing nothing but obfuscate the truth. The whitepaper should clearly and concisely present the problems and the solutions needed. The whitepaper must give a solid and coherent answer as to who needs this project and why. Also, if the team have put no effort into explaining why a Blockchain solution is needed for this particular problem, or why such a solution is superior to its “real-world” equivalent, it is likely they are only in it for the money. We have more to say about red-flags later.
While 2016 raised a comparatively small amount in comparison to the proceeding years, there were a few specific projects that raised significant amounts of capital. These are respectable amounts of money, even by today’s standards, and especially impressive when contrasted with the immaturity of the ICO market at the time, and relative to amounts raised in traditional IPOs. Waves ($16.4mill), Iconomi ($10.6mill) and Golem ($8.6mill) were the three largest fundraisings of the year. 2017 was the year of the ICO whales. Hdac ($258mill), Filecoin ($257mill), EOS Stage 1 ($185mill) and Paragon ($183.16mill) were the largest that year. To be able to raise so much money, so quickly, in such a new market, using such a new mechanism is truly incredible. 2017 was the year that proved ICOs are for serious individuals and institutional investors as well. We have also had some phenomenal amounts raised so far in 2018. Telegram ($1.7bill), Dragon ($320mill), Huobi ($300mill) and Bankera ($150mill). Telegram might be the first mainstream example of an ICO, not only by raising close to $2billion, which would be beyond incredible and impressive even by traditional IPO standards; but also, because it is one of the first ICO companies to tangibly put a product in the hands of hundreds of millions of users, and successfully compete against traditional companies such as Facebook (MessengeWhatsApp), Microsoft (Skype) and Tencent (WeChat).
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Best of the best Q&A Stephens and Shingos. Team, Community, Competition, POS, Marketing

Team
stephen corliss, [19.10.17 21:07] Team Bitquence, Who Are They? Collectively, the team has over 150 years of professional experience, lead by a leader who has accomplished more in 19 years than many people will over their entire careers. This team has the skills and gumption to deliver what it promises. These simple facts should be enough to stop anyone from spreading FUD that anything here is a scam. If it is not, let me say this, I carry securities licenses that are overseen by government regulators and I also founded a regulated investment business that is still active. If I, or anyone as part of this team, were involved in anything devious, the Feds would be at my door with handcuffs. Would I or anyone of us really be this stupid? I can’t wait to remove all these irresponsible pinheads from this industry who care only about themselves rather than society. In the world I desire, there is absolutely NO room for greed anymore where society suffers at the hands of a few!
stephen corliss, [15.09.17 17:43] [In reply to James: stephen interested to know if Bitquence was on your radar before you joined us?? Or were you interested in getting into the space and they approached you?] Hi James, I've actually been in crypto since the early days all the way back to 2013, hopping around the globe trying to help shape the vision for our industry. BQX and I stumbled upon one another and immediately discovered we shared the same visions and inspirations to deliver a truly transformative platform that is built for the consumer to help them in every way possible to take control of their financial futures. This is also why Shingo and I believe our platform should cover not only crypto but even traditional fiat assets (sec's, bonds, etc). This is critical as consumers will have the majority of their wealth tied up in traditional assets, like those retirement assets tied up in employers retirement plans, for at least another decade before they can transition to the Blockchain.
stephen corliss, [24.08.17 02:47] [In reply to Matt Hopkins: stephen I cannot express how impressive the response from the team, Shingo, and yourself has been. Reading the white paper and watching your videos where just a glimpse into this amazing vision and platform. You guys have brought this community to the next level. Thank you for your transparency and constant updates. I know I speak for the whole community here. Here’s to a great future with Bitquence.] Matt, Thanks man. I've seen a lot of stuff in my life and people who claim to be visionaries, only one of them could hold a candlestick to Shingo. You know, I've seen and been involved in a lot of exciting things over the years but nothing like this. Not even close!
stephen corliss, [25.08.17 21:07] [In reply to Liam: Stopping wild rumours in their tracks with your unbeatable knowledge of all the rules and regulations that need to be adhered to, I wonder how other crypto companies ever manage to survive without someone like you on their team] Sustainability of Bitquence and the entire eco-system is of major importance so some times it means getting very deep into the weeds as the complexity level globally can be a daunting task to most. But, it can be fun, especially if your bit wacky like me!
Shingo, [30.09.17 05:59] [In reply to Long Ton: How many coders do you guys have working on Bitquence? I’d be concerned if Shingo was managing university and coding] 7 or 8 devs if you are talking about technical people working on various aspects of the platform. The number feels about right to me. Jeff Bezos always said you should have no team that is too big to share 2 large pizzas otherwise you lose productivity
stephen corliss, [02.11.17 16:02] [In reply to Markus Winnen: What´s the story behind hiring you? Did you know each other before or how does the contact happened? :D]
We didn’t know each other but we had some mutual acquaintances. After meeting, Shingo and I immediately hit it off and also discovered that our dual solutions for creating a new eco-system for global financial services had a lot of overlap. So, they asked me to come on as a founder. Decision was easy.
stephen corliss, [02.11.17 23:49] [In reply to Ab Alphabeta1: amongst all your positions at work so far, which has been your favorite ? I know the first job is always special, apart from that?] My work at BGI/iShares was very special for numerous reasons but none more meaningful than having alignment of core values. The work itself was awesome as I had to build a global sell side business across asia, europe and americas, which is extremely hard to do by itself but doing it within a buy side asset manager and then integrate the two together was unheard of. Building an entire infrastructure including global trading systems across all asset classes including equities, bonds and cash is a lot of fun as you have to also build all of the upstream and downstream processes and tech and then overlay 100’s of jurisdictional regulations and laws while collaborating with regulators. Crazy fun but it was even more rewarding because in a short period of time we grew it to a $200m revenue a year while trading $350billion in assets.
stephen corliss, [10.11.17 18:06] [In reply to Kevv: if you don't mind be asking Stephen, what's the team plan with recruiting/getting more dev/marketing/back end ppls ect?] Its a continuous process but we have the core team of expert devs building as we speak and our expanding with other experts, eg. AI and Machine Learning, so things are changing rapidly as we progress on the roadmap. Non-technical staff are also in the picture and being added continuously as we have already have key staff onboard as part of the assembling of a highly skilled marketing team. Lots happening!
stephen corliss, [15.11.17 15:31] I learned quite early on that creativity and innovation are things that can come both normally and with intention. Most people don’t deliberately set aside time to tap into these skillsets. For me, I’ve always allowed myself time each and every day to challenge conventional ways of thinking, business and economic models or broad processes. This often allows me to devote the time to really understand an issue, model and process so I can then break it apart into small pieces and rethink how to rebuild it to be bigger, better and faster. This is why school for me was frustrating as it moved at a pace that doesn’t truly allow one to build in-depth knowledge and understand all sides and angles. Most of what I have come to know came afterward or what I did on my own time. Hate to admit it but my hobbies are not traditional, I like researching the history of capital market and economic models and studying congressional history around how market based rules came about and what motivated them. Weird? Yeah, a bit but if you truly love something, who cares!
Community
stephen corliss, [28.10.17 14:21] All, As the public opinion debate about Bitquence is beginning to ramp up I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts. Openness and transparency are one of the several reasons I decided to enter crypto several years ago. This may seem strange coming from someone with my background but in my opinion, the traditional approach of hiding behind the corporate veil is cowardly and toxic. So, for any firm in this space, both it and its supporters must embrace diverse opinions and have an intelligent and open dialogue with those that disagree with our opinions. Lets not embrace the culture that exists in our global politics where those with different opinions are tarred and feathered but rather choose to behave like adults to set the example for our youth. Crypto is not about being closed minded but rather quite the opposite. So, when we are challenged lets not scream the loudest and attack but rather choose to engage those having different opinions in an open intelligent dialogue. Lets ask the tough questions of ourselves and others. If someone has an opinion, lets discover what informs that opinion by demanding openness and transparency about the facts that matter when sharing that opinion such as someone’s background or the analysis, facts and details that support it. As you all know, Shingo and I are here everyday to answer all of your questions, whether easy or difficult. This is a conscious decision on our part because of two main reasons, first because leaders in our industry should not cowardly sit behind the corporate veil like our traditional corporate counterparts and secondly, because we are building a global community that desires a financial system that works for society rather than against it. Lets embrace diversity of opinion as we are a diverse community from all walks of life who understand that differences should be embraced rather than pushed aside. I will be here everyday no matter how big or busy things become at Bitquence. Not because I have to but rather because I want to. I’m not afraid to be challenged and neither should any of you as this is the only way to get to the best result. I love this community so lets do everything we can to maintain a culture of openness that embraces our differences to discover the best answers. Change is coming!
Shingo, [10.09.17 18:42] The Bitquence community is different from other communities. We are smaller, but passionate because we all share the same pain points and yearn for the same vision. You don't see this sort of passion in many other places which is why we don't care very much about the short-term. We are looking long and when we have the product, we will get people to come and Bitquence will change the way people interact with crypto
stephen corliss, [19.10.17 21:22] Those of us in this community all know that we have the best community as each one of us plays a powerful role in building the momentum behind a unique grassroots movement that is absolutely scaring the shit out of our competitors. People Powered ya’ll !! stephen corliss about communication [21.08.17 18:32] You all deserve nothing less! We pay attention and want to ensure we all move along together and share in the fun
stephen corliss, [12.10.17 05:29] [In reply to Ke: Stephen can you specify 1 or 2 concrete things that those of us longterm holders who see the vision especially the 7yr plan to overtake Fidelity can do right now to help make it a reality perhaps sooner than we imagine. I believe alot if folks here are in this not just for the profits that will surely come but also because the vision of changing consumer finance is noble.] Two things, absolutely. 1) Every chance you get whether digitally or voice speak positively about this industry and recognize that early on it was full of bad stuff but we are changing that now by legitimizing everything we do so we can change financial models for the future 2) re-Post anything from this forum, other forums or from our site that you believe in, to any venue whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit; etc. Don’t do or post anything that you don’t truly believe in as people will see through that instantly. This is not about a single person or company, this is truly about what is best for us as a global community. Our dipstick lawmakers may believe we live in separate societies, but I believe we live in just a single global community who wants more than what the current rules and structures consider. Yeah, a bit of a soapbox comment but this is our time to really deliver change. That is what drives all of us.
Shingo, [26.10.17 20:46] We have said time and time again, we are looking for real, organic growth and a genuine brand and community. That is why we avoid hype, shilling and all that comes with it
stephen corliss, [04.11.17 06:04] This project is backed by a community. We are not defined by any one individual, not Shingo, not me, not the team, but instead a collection of individuals who desire change. We have many supporters and we appreciate them all and although I personally don’t know Suppoman, I would ask that you not slander anyone in this forum. Lets just keep everything professional and focus on delivering change together.
stephen corliss, [25.08.17 04:43] [In reply to John: stephen enlighten this newbie here...what can i expect for investing in bitquence] Game over bro! Sorry for the playground choice of words but if anyone has aspirations to see mass adoption of crypto become a reality then they need to be a part of this community who together will make this a reality. I couldn't mean this anymore than I do. This only happens with every one of us sharing a goal to deliver a new paradigm for financial services, especially how we build wealth ( that means You, Shingo, Adam, Kevin, the other BQX team members, everybody!)
stephen corliss, [10.11.17 23:57] Community Message: All, I wanted to share some thoughts on community etiquette. As we are moving quickly into a very serious phase, I want to share with all of you our views on how we proceed and protect our positioning and image. As you all know, we are a community fighting together to bring real change. As part of doing this, what this means is that we are having serious strategic discussions with countless serious and successful businesses to partner with us as service providers, strategic partnerships and the like. However, what this also means is Bitquence is now under the microscope and held to a much higher standard than most. To ensure we maintain the best public profile this means we must also ask the same of all of you as we are in this together. So, earlier today we had some person enter the forum talking about shorting and referring to BQX as a scam. Rather than sit idle and extend a long rope as we normally would do, I banned this person almost immediately. I didn’t do this to “muffle” anyone’s voices or to limit healthy debates or discussions but rather to protect the public profile of the community and Bitquence for the very reasons I just shared. I promise you that we love and embrace diverse opinions and love open debate but we all must now realize the we have moved into a very critical phase and professionalism has to be the standard. We are doing the impossible but each and everyone of us is playing a critical role in our overall success so lets not allow Fudsters and people focused on themselves to tarnish our image.
Thank you all for everything. Much love!
Competition
stephen corliss, [28.09.17 14:57] If you can find me just 1 single competitor who can do what we plan and do it in a way where they won't violate laws and can service every jurisdiction, let me know. I don't see anyone thinking about this the way we do. Remember, first may be okay initially but if your model isn't sustainable and insulated from all the changes to laws and regs that are forthcoming, then it won't matter as you will be out of business. Working smarter and with speed and precision is always better in my book. I don't think the complexity of what we are doing and the space we're doing it in is always apparent. You can't just build something, especially in finserv, without knowing first where all the minefields are, as many have tried before and have since departed with many others to follow. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish this on anyone but if you don't plan appropriately, there really isn't an excuse. If we are sustainable, everyone wins. The team has basically doubled in a week, so the train is rolling at a high rate of speed to deliver not only an innovative model but also "several" innovative tech solutions.
stephen corliss, [15.11.17 04:14] [In reply to EstimatedProphet: Stephen since you are the global strategist, what do you feel gives you a strategic advantage in comparison to competitors? Is the product quality? Is it your former experience in the finance industry? I would love to know. Also, do you feel that certain relationships you have made in the past working for BOA and BlackRock provided outlets/resources that others might not have access to?]
Great question. Let me try to answer as best I can. what do you feel gives you a strategic advantage in comparison to competitors? With Shingo’s vision and capabilities, my knowledge of global market structures and regulations and the expert team we have brought together, I believe there is no other firm with the collective capabilities that we have at Bitquence. I’ve personally spent nearly 30 years studying everything about global finance, capital markets, structures and regulation. I believe the team here cannot be replicated anywhere. So, competitors may be able to copy but they will never do it as well as us because of our knowledge advantage. Is the product quality? Knowledge and capabilities unleash quality, which is what will differentiate us from all others Is it your former experience in the finance industry? Partially but it is the team that gives us the advantage. Also, do you feel that certain relationships you have made in the past working for BOA and BlackRock provided outlets/resources that others might not have access to? OH, MOST DEFINITELY Lastly, what do you currently feel is the most important market for BQX to take over first? I think we’ve said this before, its the United States. Why? All others avoid the US because they believe it is too risky, I don’t agree. If you solve for the US, this means you can operate pretty much anywhere. So, we solve for the US now ( Which we have!) and then concurrently role out in other Jurisdictions across Europe and Asia. I know there is a global strategy at hand, but what national market is most important to make the mark and or ensure long term success? See above.
Shingo, [15.09.17 22:58] I've seen at least 12 platforms that people are saying "doing something similar to bitquence". If we were the only ones trying to do what we are doing, I would be very worried! The fact that so many are trying to do stuff like this simply means that there is a very real market need for it. Competition is good and will motivate us to make the best product
stephen corliss, [14.09.17 13:19] [In reply to momo] Absolutely, competition is healthy. However, we have a significant advantage as we have visionary engineers and financial minds who know how to create something that nobody has seen before that can also withstand the highest degree of scrutiny. I wish I could find the words to explain how difficult it is to uncover the solutions we have found but I cannot as it requires much more space than is available to me here. Plus, why tip off everyone! let them figure it out for themselves after we become the biggest baddest platform on the street!
stephen corliss about competition, [08.09.17 16:13] Coinbase is not a good barometer for Bitquence, whether we're discussing technology, legal/regulatory structure, product / service quality and depth or customer service. If you can't even get customer service right, how can anything else be great? No worries all, the BQX Team understands all the critical elements required to deliver! Competition? What competition....! In my view, we are trailblazers. Sure, many will try and follow us or even try to interpret our vision and replicate it to beat us to market, but none will be able to do this with complete success. That's what drives us and focused is what we are!
[In reply to Bjorn: How does BQX not be a competitor of existing Exchanges Stephen if we can buy and trade coins on the BQX platform?]
Thanks Justin! Hi Bjorn! Let me first call your attention to page 7 in our latest Whitepaper. Here you will find how all of the various dynamic layers of the platform work in conjunction with one another. BQX powers everything on the platform and links the Platform Layer with the Liquidity Layer. BQX will represent the individual baskets which will hold diverse ccy's and coins where liquidity for the individual constituent ccy's/coins will be sourced via CCY and Coin Exchanges. (also eliminating counterparty risk) There are a lot more nuances here but this should give you more details. I likened this to what we did with exchange traded funds over 15 years ago where exchanges at the time felt unnecessarily threatened by ETF's as they thought it would hurt their businesses. In fact, it did exactly the opposite as they generated exponentially more trading volumes because of the many:1 design of index funds. In the end, what this delivers is a fully fungible diverse basket of ccy's/coins that delivers the full benefits of directly holding them while streamlining day to day transactions for users. Does this help at all? Again, this is why we help exchanges grow their business as it allows for "mass adoption".
stephen corliss, [03.09.17 15:51] [In reply to Z Davinci] All, We hear you 100%. Let me make one point reference competition. Competition will be and is a healthy thing for any industry as it provides options for consumers while also allowing consumers to choose the better service provider and technology. However, when building a model in an industry such as this one that has to align with a complex financial industry centuries old, most will either fail or miss the mark significantly. What we have right now is a classic "square peg round hole" situation where ONLY those with the necessary technical, business AND industry expertise will win. What I can share here is this, we've done all of the necessary work designing a comprehensive solution that can flourish in a highly fluid business environment, where most others will be confused and distracted. I've set up many financial firms in my life worldwide so this is not unchartered territory and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure BItquence can flourish. FOCUS, BE BOLD, BE FAST, BUILD AND DELIVER, it is as simple as that.
stephen corliss, [08.09.17 02:17] [In reply to Slim] First, I'm old school so lets start with a giant HA! Then, lets move on to calling bullsh1t! Clearly, they have no idea about what we are building, and more importantly, how one goes about doing it. Lets take those comment 1 by 1. 1) Its a lot like Prism and Iconomi? What? Prism essentially deploys a CFD type model where holders do not hold the underlying coins it is meant to track and thus users have no rights or benefits that may come with each coin. All they have is a bet that they can win or lose. This is more appropriate for heavy traders employing a hedge or wanting quick/simple artificial exposure. It also doesn't save much in transaction costs either, which contradicts one of the main benefits of a CFD, their usually cheap! I don't knock their product but it is a complete 180 from BQX. Now Iconomi is different but similar. Considering my years with Indexes and ETF's, I clearly appreciate what they are trying to do. However, again, I have access to yield generation capabilities (or not depending on market moves) but what do I actually own? ICNX and ICNP only, not the underlying coins. Is the DAA transportable? No. I can go on and on but it seems unnecessary. Especially considering that none of this considers the Universal Wallet and all its benefits. 2) You do not own the currencies, you own the keys? Wrong, you own both! 3) You are given est. prices and own the assets and compare to actual investments? Nope, you know prices (est and actual) and own the ccy's 4) We are going big and will hv hurdles? Sure, but we solved those already! 5) Bitquence is centralized? Ah, nope its not. 6) They hold the wallet? Nope! 7) They are the exchange? Nope, we deliver optimized price discovery, cost reduction and lessen market impact 8) 1% Fee? Maybe but not finalized, however, that would be a lot cheaper than anyone else by leaps and bounds! 9) Years for product introduction to US customers? Solved!
Okay, did I miss anything? The problem here, all, is that our peers like to say that they understand Shingo's vision, but in all do respect they really really don't. They are building interesting products but none are remotely close to BQX because our visions and motivations are vastly different. We can cohabit the same space as we service different clientele but the similarities begin and end with we occupy space in the same industry. Product differentiation is quite vast.
stephen corliss, [07.11.17 20:53] [In reply to Ke: Is it fair to say that the biggest target bitquence is going after right now is Coinbase? Is that the real competitor?] I wouldn’t call it that specifically. In the financial space there are 2 main groups, Buy Side (eg Blackrock) and Sell Side (Brokers/Exchanges). I believe Bitquence is on the Buy Side and Coinbase is on the Sell Side. So, they could service us as a liquidity provider. However, because of their model involving coin storage, we will have an impact on them as consumers begin to leave their assets in cold-storage. However, this dynamic could still be positive for Coinbase as Bitquence creates opportunities to deliver new product sets of which Coinbase could provide liquidity and possibly even custody.
POS
stephen corliss, [13.09.17 13:54] POS is rebranded to Bitquence Predictions as POS implies other things, although we share numerous simiilarities
Shingo, [23.10.17 18:50] We have changed predictions as a "reward only" system to avoid complex legal concerns
Shingo, [23.10.17 18:42] [In reply to Marco: will BQX hodlers generate profits just by hodling ? (similar to OMG, NEO,...)] I would be cautious of any "passive income" model that is uncleared by regulated bodies. As Stephen said, there are some structures that may work and others that don't. There isn't enough guidance in the industry right now to say for sure Chris Ryan: So all Proof of Stake coins are considered securities?]
Stephen: That will depend on the details. First question to ask is always, what are users doing to earn divs? The less substance there is the more likely a coin will be found to be a security.
Shingo: The jury is still out for me whether or not proof of stake is passive or active income. Masternodes to me seem to be able to be justified as "active income" since you are providing services to the network and getting compensated in return. In that sense you could say you are getting paid income by the organization. The way OMG describes their model is a "tollbooth on a busy highway". As Stephen always says "The devil is in the details". I wouldn't want to say anything here without proper due diligence. I am excited for what OMG is doing and think they have a lot very great minds working for them. I'm sure they are considering issues such as these
stephen corliss, [02.09.17 14:30] Good morning! Quick details on POS or what we now call Bitquence Predictions. First, the critical outcome from this service is high quality intelligent data, which you can think of as Consensus based research. This service is the first step as it builds a valuable data inventory that will feed into our Basket creation, risk management, asset allocation and other functionality. It also allows knowledgeable and successful users to establish and build their reputation and following on the platform. This was never intended to be a gambling service and be, as some say above, "the only value maker for BQX". This thinking is an incorrect interpretation and I hope this explains why. BQX value creation, as discussed in slightly earlier threads, is generated by what happens in the next phases of the project, which are the "transactional" based Baskets and Universal Wallet services where BQX is both 1) necessary as Gas and for transactions and storage 2) A constituent holding option in the basket 3) liquidity enabler for the Liquidity Network and The Universal Wallet. Now, there are a lot more details to think about when thinking about BQX value creation but each one of the above should provide the basis for that analysis. Hope this helps.
stephen corliss, [29.08.17 22:40] All, I want to be sure the entire community understands precisely how POS will work. First, as you all know, we have been doing a deep global analysis of our entire roadmap, vision, products and services. This strategic analysis is and will continue to be our guidebook for all related decisions. The analysis is premised on one large assumption, during the short and intermediate term Bitquence should not require financial related licenses (Unless it is mandatory) in any jurisdiction. As such, with regards to POS, we have completed the required analysis and in NO way will this service be considered gambling, investment or derivative related. Users will not surrender / pay anything of monetary value to participate in POS. Winners will benefit and be rewarded for providing essential data but this will not come from any other user who predicting incorrectly. We will share more information but the above statements should clear this issue up. We of course understand that some of the information put out by us may have lead to this confusion but we will revisit those materials in due time to ensure they are more precise. Thank you everyone!
stephen corliss, [28.09.17 14:51] [In reply to Yoyo: People would get free coins to keep coin in the wallet?] Lets stick to Predictions. In order to build the most powerful financial platform, it begins with intelligent data. The best or smartest data isn't traditional research or crowd-based data individually but collectively. So, we begin by building superior Intelligence by first having users provide predictions on coin performance over short and long term periods enriched with other social data created on the platform. To encourage use, we allow users to join the platform and begin predicting and participating in other social engagement. The more accurate you are, the more rewards users can obtain. The more followers users gain, the more rewards they obtain. This is unique content and when enriched with other traditional and non-traditional research, it is highly intelligent and significantly useful to users when making both passive and active coin decisions.
Shingo, [27.10.17 07:04] [In reply to Ab Alphabeta1: Any coin which provides some sort of dividends be considered security?] I think the distinction is more between passive and active income and income on investment versus income for services rendered. Any token that requires you to stake or use your token in some sort of process that benefits the network suggests to me that it is compensation for services rendered. That being said, line is really blurry and won't become clear until governments and regulators catch up and render a decision
Marketing
Shingo, [19.10.17 19:27] I want to clarify what we mean by marketing. What we will NOT be doing is buying ads, spending on search/video/interstitial etc. What we ARE doing is putting effort into nurturing our community and increasing our earned traffic. This means upgrading the brand, creating a PR plan, scheduling releases etc. Once we launch the product, we will begin to buy ads and push the marketing pedal. I believe that this is the right strategy and will help to develop this community organically
stephen corliss, [20.10.17 01:55] As I know you all know how we approach things by now, I would hope you all expect a slow dribble of news that all connects strategically. We have a lot of great things brewing and information will follow but only when the time is right. We don’t buy into the hole pump crap, so please just remember that we are extremely strategic and precise in everything we do.
Shingo, [16.11.17 20:03] [In reply to Steve Crypto: Do you plan to make another Dev Update video for those who are not part of the Product Council?] Maybe... I've answered this question a bit before. We want to release less high quality content. What will likely be the format going forward is: - ExplaineAnimated Product videos - Captain's Log - Thinkpieces - Blog
Shingo, [01.09.17 02:38] [In reply to EstimatedProphet: Shingo are there any strategic marketing techniques being aimed at the general public? I know you're targeting mass adoption, but what is the plan for reaching consumers outside of the Crypto community?] Lots of guerilla marketing. One of the initiatives we are working on right now is building a large library of content aimed at new users (courses, blog content, guides etc.) We are hoping that for many people, their first interaction with bitquence will be "how do I buy bitcoin" or "what is Bitcoin" We hope to serve the user over the course of their journey of discovery from learning about crypto, to becoming a social crypto trader
Shingo, [10.09.17 18:41] While we are developing the product, we want to be careful with the brand and marketing. There is no point in pushing out our message far and wide before we have anything to show people besides demo videos. Building a community organically is much more powerful than building an artificial community that doesn't care about the product
Shingo, [13.09.17 21:05] [In reply to Ke: Shingo...could you shed some light on how you and the team plan to get this out to the masses once the product is out? Do you plan for early adopters to be sophisticated types looking to enter a new asset class or do you plan on positioning the product as a new cool way for millenials to get a solid ROI through this beautiful tech solution? Or can you adequately market to both groups?] We don't quite want to tip our hand just yet, but our customer acquisition strategy is going to strategic partnerships and aggressive competition to market incumbents. Our strategy with exchanges has always been to get more people exposed to BQX and learning about it which is why we have been pushing for listings and why Binance was a great victory for us. The second part is aggressively going after different market sectors in the crypto industry and strategically taking market share. We anticipate that improved tools, guerilla marketing, enthusiastic community and solid promotional materials will make for a powerful combination as we enter the next phase of development
Shingo, [19.09.17 18:50] [In reply to Greg: It would be nice to put up dates on roadmap in white paper or in one of dev updates, to be official.] We don't want to promise something we can't fulfill. We try to hold true to everything we say publicly. Our PR motto is under promise and over deliver which typically leads to more happy people than the opposite
stephen corliss, [24.09.17 16:43] [In reply to M I H A I] Good day all. Marketing is absolutely critical. However, burning capital on marketing "too early" runs the risk of having a large CAC that will have significant negative results. Your points are not wrong but the right timing is essential
Shingo, [09.10.17 05:17] What I want to do is frame up some more of our ambitious thinking in a way that people can understand where we see all of this going but also while preserving our competitive advantages over others
Shingo, [13.10.17 20:58] Again - we are revamping our marketing efforts and part of that means putting together a cohesive plan and schedule. That means less in the short term, but I believe that it will be highly beneficial in the long term once we start executing to this plan. Instead of putting out mediocre marketing immediately, we are going to put out great marketing in due time.
stephen corliss, [20.10.17 14:15] The only things we will be protective of are those elements that allow us to maintain a competitive advantage and a leading position. Typically these will be strategic initiatives that we will need to keep top secret until making a big public reveal. This allows us to protect our first mover advantage and further differentiate ourselves from everyone else. We have a few big surprises already.. 😊
stephen corliss, [24.10.17 14:27] All, lets move on to more constructive topics. We have just hired a very talented Marketing Executive who is developing our short and long term strategy as we speak. The benefits of this change will be significant and be visible across all channels and methods so lets stay tuned. I’m quite excited as this has been a big missing component for us that is now ramping up!
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