Dear Swapblocks Community,
I want to thank you for sticking around and supporting the project. The last few months have been slow moving and crypto winter is partly to blame. But we have been making slow progress and have a few things to announce.
First, I need to announce that Brandon has stepped down from his role as CEO for personal reasons. He will be staying on in an advisory capacity. Brandon has been working closely with our first official partner, BK Coin Capital, and will continue to manage the relationship with them as well as advising on Swapblocks financial services apps.
With Brandon stepping down I found myself in need of a new CEO. Luckily I had recently met someone locally who was building a blockchain based repurchase agreement platform called Afloat. We met and decided to merge projects.
This merger adds 3 people to the swapblocks team:
Carlos M will be replacing Brandon as CEO
Andy V is coming on as the new COO
Shelby Setzer is coming on as a new developer.
Carlos brings a wealth of knowledge of financial processes and management experience. Andy has experience in the banking industry working with assets of all sizes and brings unique insight into the specific regulatory requirements the apps we intend to build on Swapblocks will need to meet. Shelby is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and has spent the last few years educating the Charlotte community on blockchain development through her company BloqBuilt.
Check the #announcements channel in discord for their screen names. If you’re not on discord, join here.
With a new team comes a new direction. If you’ve read our whitepaper then you know the large number of potential use cases for swapblocks technology. The trouble with a large number of potential use cases is picking the first one to build out and sell. The Afloat repurchase agreement product is a perfect application for the swapblocks platform, although we will now call it Swapblocks REPO (subject to change). Our focus as a team will be on building out the components of swapblocks that enable Swapblocks REPO to function as early as possible. As such certain features, such as the routing DAG, may be added after the Swapblocks protocol first goes live. We will release more info on Swapblocks REPO in the future.
Crypto winter and our selection of fundraising exemption Reg D rule 506(b) for our pre sale led to our presale not being very successful last year. In total we raised $25,000 in various coins. A significant chunk of which was wiped out by the market and the majority of the rest going to our fundraising attorneys. I also used a small amount of the funds, along with personal savings to pay living expenses while working on the project full time, hoping that we’d raise enough funds to continue. Unfortunately I came very close to running out of savings and had to get a day job towards the end of November. The immediate plan for our team is to continue moonlighting and keep expenses low until we are able to raise more funds.
In efforts to stay in compliance with Reg D rule 506(b) we mostly reached out to VC and fund managers with interest in blockchain. We formed a close relationship with a new crypto fund called BK Coin Capital and they may come on as an investor after they finish raising capital for their fund. A few other funds seemed interested but had stopped making investments in crypto companies at the time due to the market crash.
Change in funding strategy
With funding being stagnant these last 7 months we will be exploring new methods of raising funds. Here’s a few of the new strategies we’re thinking about:
- Listing SBX for sale on an accredited investor portal such as bnktothefuture or republic.io
- Changing our coin offering from rule 506(b) to rule 506(c), which will allow us to advertise our sale publicly
- Pitching to more local investors and companies that will benefit from Swapblocks REPO
If any community members have suggestions around funding strategy or anything else please post them in the #suggestions channel on discord. We welcome input, both good and bad.
Ark Core V2 Upgrade & Development
We will be ready to upgrade Swapblocks from Ark v1 to Ark core soon. I currently have two Core v2.1 nodes syncing with alphanet and will upgrade the core repository to core v2.2 this weekend. I’ll work with the delegates to setup a time to fork from v1 to core in the next few weeks. We had issues syncing to the alphanet in earlier versions and since I’m now back to working on Swapblocks part time I decided to hold off on upgrading until a more stable version was released. Luckily with the new team members we have more bodies to spread the work.
With the new version of core working, Shelby and I will be able to start development of swapblocks protocols, including the new consortium group signature scheme, soon. Our top development priority right now is building a functional Swapblocks REPO mockup that Carlos and Andy can use during pitches. After finishing that we’ll start implementing swapblocks core. AIP 29 will be included in core 2.3 and should be released in the next few weeks. This will help out a lot with implementing Swapblocks’s 4 custom transaction types.
Lastly our website has been updated from wordpress to a static CDN hosted site, which has greatly reduced loading time. This version of the site has been live since December. Thanks @oldgregg for your help on the site.
We’ll be able to move a lot faster now that we have a larger team. Shelby and I will be able focus mainly on engineering and coding while Carlos and Andy are focusing on business development and pitching. The path going forward looks bright. Lets continue and let’s change the markets.