- Latest Update 30/07/2018: ICO Update & development plan
Please note we have now made changes to what is discussed in this article, please be sure to read the latest update linked above.
Saturn Network is building DAO-powered decentralized exchanges. Our goal is to bring decentralized trading to every blockchain. With two weeks left until the proposed ICO end date let's review our progress, celebrate the team's achievements and set the roadmap for a successful 2018 and onwards.
Five months ago, in February 2018, Saturn Network team published the whitepaper, where we proposed a architecture for a radically new kind of exchange - a decentralized exchange that is governed by a DAO.
We have developed a decentralized exchange before and launched it in December 2017. However, without a proper governance structure it was not meant to beat the well-funded competition.
The business model of modern venture capital firms is to provide a company with enough funds so they can acquire as many users as possible without having to worry about profitability. Often enough as soon as you take VC money you immediately give up control of your project to the majority investor who only sees you as a cash cow, a chance for a moonshot that justifies all their failed investments, and is unwilling to accept organic sustainable growth of the project.
We decided to take a risk and go against the conventional wisdom. Instead, we designed a token whose value is directly proportional to trading volume on the decentralized exchange. We didn't stop there and, in pursue of decentralization, have also turned this token into a powerful governance tool that will ensure that Saturn Protocol, just like Bitcoin, will outlive the readers of this blog post.
It is with this token that we launched an ICO in May 2018. Our token offering is quite complex since we are launching autonomous DAOs on multiple blockchains - something that no one has ever done before. Let's take a look at the current progress of our project.
Social Media and Product Usage Update
Early on we made a point to not boost metrics with dishonest data just for show. We would much rather look at the organic growth of the project, learn from the data, and find our product market fit. What does our community like best? What are their needs and how can we help solve them?
Our twitter subscriber count grew almost 4x, from less than 300 at the start of ICO to more than a thousand. Same story in our telegram. Saturn Wallet, in the short time that it has been out, has almost 300 happy users. Across two blockchains, Radex has processed more than 1500 transactions. Unlike other "decentralized" exchanges we respect our traders' privacy and do not use Google Analytics so we are unable to provide user statistics on this product.
Interim ICO Results
Since the start of ICO in May we have spent our money and resources on marketing and development. We have successfully launched Radex Classic, the first decentralized exchange on Ethereum Classic blockchain. We could not have launched Radex Classic without developing Saturn Wallet. As we have written before, Ethereum Classic is the immutable, but underfunded brother of Ethereum. We took it upon ourselves to help a project that we ideologically align with, a project that prioritizes liberty and immutability over anything else.
On top of providing a free wallet and a 0 fee exchange for ETC community, we have also published a number of guides - both how to use our products and how to create new ones. We enjoy sharing what we know and hope to publish more insightful content in the future as well.
Let's take a look at how this activity materialized into funds raised towards building Saturn Protocol.
There is a lot to be learned from these results. More generally we have learned that retail investors have been burned so much by ICOs on ETH that they no longer participate in crowdsales of projects that aren't already backed by VCs, especially if they feel confused by the offering.
Saturn Network H2 2018 Roadmap
As we mentioned before, the VC business model is to spend capital on acquiring users, before flipping the switch and starting to extract rent from them or spy on them and sell their data. Our offering, a DAO that does not give VCs any preferential treatment or board seats, combined with an anonymous team that earns its community's love not with airdrops and impressive LinkedIn profiles, but with hard work, cutting edge engineering and great products, is not very attractive to average funds.
As much as we would love to not worry about profitability and just bleed cash until we carve out a niche for ourselves, the reality tells us that it is time to buckle up and switch gears into profitability mode.
Currently, the three biggest problems we are facing are
- We need more capital to secure enough funds to work on Saturn Protocol for the next 5 years.
- We need to have more volume on Radex.
- Our token offering is very complicated compared to an average project.
We propose a roadmap until the end of 2018 that will address all three of those issues.
- Develop and launch Saturn ERC223 Order Book. This will be an upgraded smart contract for Radex that will reduce number of on-chain transactions needed to trade, while staying entirely decentralized.
- Release API. It will be of utmost importance to both community enthusiasts who are already building customized dashboards for themselves, as well as for trading bot writers.
- Develop and release trading bot making guides. Our goal is to teach you how to use Saturn API in order to create trading bots and let you apply your creativity.
- Upgrade Radex. Once the API and Saturn ERC223 Order Book are released, Radex will receive an update which will make the exchange accessible for read-only mode without Metamask, as well as enable mobile trading using Cipher or Trust wallets.
- List more tokens on Radex. Once the Order Book is released, it will be a great time to list more tokens on Radex and grow our community. Many more tokens. Way more.
- One more thing ;)
Previously we have promised to return unsold tokens to the DAO. However, we have greatly overestimated market's appetite for our token offering. With less than 5% tokens distributed on ETH chain and less than 20% distributed on ETC there is no point in going through this exercise at this time. What kind of a DAO is it if a single party controls more than 80% of votes?
As such, we have made the decision that the token sale must go on, in order to both raise more funds for development, as well as have a broader token distribution and a more diverse DAO.
Here is the proposed timeline.
- Take a snapshot of the ETH chain on August 1st, 2018, 00:01 UTC.
- Airdrop Saturn Classic to ETH token holders according to the airdrop formula.
- Strategic Investor Program will run until last token sold.
- ETC Protocol Launch Sale will run until last token sold (about 800 ETC left until hard cap is reached).
- The ICO itself will run until we reach Soft Cap + one more month since the date it was reached (to eliminate unnecessary FOMO and provide ample time for people to research our project and make and educated decision). At that point in time the sale will be considered complete, and unsold tokens will be airdropped to all investors proportional to their token ownership as of that date.
- Once the token sale is complete, we will activate the DAO and let the community run Saturn Network.
- Until the end of the token sale Saturn Network will be governed by the founding team, and fees may potentially be introduced. Collected fees will go into a fresh, new account which will be made public for our community to monitor. At some point in time we may take a snapshot of the blockchain and distribute collected fees as airdrops, to demonstrate what would the process look like when the DAO takes over.
Ultimately, a profitable and simple business model (buy and hold SATURN, receive dividends from trading fees and airdrops on new blockchains) will make our token economics easier to understand and will attract more investors who will help us create a successful DAO.
If you have any queries about our updated development plan or would like to ask any queries, please do so on our community forum here.
Granted, not all VCs are like that. We were not fortunate enough to get acquinted with a VC firm that empowers the founders to create long term value. ↩︎
Google Analytics is a helpful script that pretty much every website uses in order to tell who are its visitors and what they are looking for. Using it helps modern businesses collect more metrics and be more agile. While there definitely are appropriate places to use Google Analytics, we do not believe that a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange is such place, especially given Google's history of giving in to government demands. We suggest you install uBlock Origin browser extension and look at how many spyware requests it blocks on Radex and other decentralized exchanges. ↩︎
Uber, AirBnB ↩︎
I.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter ↩︎
and unverifiable ↩︎