The Snips Token Sale
This is part 6 of our token sale announcement series. To learn more, join our Telegram group!
Catch up on all our posts about the Snips Token Sale: https://medium.com/snips-ai/token-sale/home
Our goal at Snips is simple: to provide the first Private by Design, decentralized voice assistant. In order to achieve our goal, it is of paramount importance that we create an active community of developers and users that believe in our vision as much as we do.
Since we believe in the power of blockchain to federate communities around a common goal, we opted to do a public token sale, without any private sale. If the community doesn’t want to contribute to creating Snips AIR and make it a reality, then we might as well not do it since this would be an indicator that the product and privacy value proposition is not appealing enough. Basically, if you want to buy Snips AIR devices when they come out, you should want to buy Snips tokens today!
Our token sale is designed to be as fair and inclusive as possible, which means:
- enabling as many people as possible to participate, even if they don’t currently hold cryptocurrencies
- making the purchasing process as seamless as possible, even for non tech-savvy buyers
- prioritizing those that want to help build Snips, such as our developer community, evangelists and future users
- protecting against “pump and dump” schemes that would be detrimental to the economy that we are creating long term
You should only consider participating in our token sale if you believe in Privacy as much as we do and are not afraid of holding onto your tokens during the time we are building the very product you are backing!
The Snips token is the native token of the AIR network. The total initial supply is 5,000,000,000 tokens, not including future inflation. This large supply was designed to lower the cognitive load for consumers during everyday usage, as fractional prices tend to be harder to grasp.
The Snips tokens are used to govern and interact with the Snips AIR network and Snips AIR consumer products. As such, it is classified as a utility token, and does not give any rights as to Snips SAS (the company producing the tokens) or any of its subsidiaries.
The tokens, whether purchased through the token sale, earned via our bounty programs, or acquired through any other means has multiple utilities:
- governance of the network (voting for block producers, software updates, ..)
- app store (purchasing apps, curation, app publication, reviewing, …)
- machine learning (processing data, training models, contributing data, ..)
- data generation (producing data, purchasing data, …)
Like any product feature, the tokenomics presented in the various documentations will be iterated on over time, and are not designed to guarantee any kind of return. They were built to maximize the product value over time and ensure active participation from the self-governed Snips AIR community.
The initial Snips tokens will be distributed as follows, with each pool having different release schedules.
Taking into account the inflation used to reward validators and stakers, and considering the release schedules of each token sale pool, as well as a an expected growth in active users of the system, we expect the total circulating supply to grow from 2.1B tokens in 2018, to 5.6B tokens in 2023. With a price of €0.026 in 2018, this yields a market cap of €55M.
Please read the following sections carefully to understand how the tokens will be allocated, and how you can participate. Everywhere we talk about price, we mean Euros (€), as Snips is incorporated in France and tokens sold from our French entity.
Snips is selling 48% of the token supply in its initial token sale. Tokens can be purchased using Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethers (ETH), EOS (EOS) or Euros (EUR). Other cryptocurrencies might be accepted later during the process.
Token Price and Vesting
Tokens will be sold through multiple sales until the AIR MainNet is launched. The first sale is for 20% of the token supply (1B tokens), at a price of €0.026, with a 100% bonus. The bonus tokens are released monthly over 10 months.
Soft cap / Hard cap
The minimum amount of Snips tokens that needs to be distributed from the token sale pool to reach the soft cap is 1B tokens (~€13M).
Funds from tokens purchased in Euros are kept in escrow until the soft cap is reached, using a specific french escrow account called CARPA. However if the soft cap is not reached by February 1st 2019, the funds will be returned.
If the soft cap is reached, the token sale will continue until the AIR MainNet is launched, with whatever tokens not being sold transferred to the onboarding pool. This ensures maximal distribution of the token supply, which is a very important factor in the success of a decentralized consumer product.
Although the AIR network is an application-specific blockchain and thus will have a native token, we will be using intermediary tokens to launch features ahead of the MainNet. This is an important part of building a successful consumer product, as it enables us to offer immediate token utility, while prototyping and improving the product and tokenomics ahead of our consumer device launch.
The Snips token is already in production today as an off-chain token in our developer app store. Developers who published an app are earning tokens from the bounty pool, each time someone downloads their app (see further down). Furthermore, they can also spend their tokens by tipping other developers for their apps, creating a dynamic ecosystem.
The ERC20 token distribution will debut at the earliest in October 2018, and at the latest when the soft cap is reached, if this happens after October and before the softcap deadline. Once this happens, the off-chain tokens used today will be swapped for this ERC20 one, and included as part of the smart contract. The smart contract used to distribute the tokens will be made public ahead of time and will be audited to ensure maximal robustness.
Finally, once our MainNet is launched, we will swap the ERC20 token for the native one, with a 1:1 correspondence.
Purchasing Snips Tokens
Snips tokens are available for purchase exclusively through our official website token.snips.ai. Please beware of scams and always verify the address and SSL certificate when making a purchase to avoid losing your funds.
On the token sale page, a button “Purchase Tokens” is displayed in the first section. The process requires the completion of 3 steps, which is initially done manually over email, but will eventually be automated via our website:
- Requesting a token allocation by entering your details, choosing an amount and a currency to purchase tokens in.
- Completing the KYC/AML process via our partner company. This only takes a few minutes.
- Making the payment following the instructions for your choice of currency.
Once you have successfully completed these steps, a Snips team member will review your purchase request and validate it, or request additional information if needed.
The token sale is open to anyone anywhere, with the exception of China. We reserve the right to restrict other geographies as regulations evolve however, in which case funds will be returned in full.
Anyone can ask to participate in the current sale, for any amount above €100. The amount does not impact chances of getting into the sale, giving everyone an equal chance to participate.
Use of Funds
Snips was created in 2013 as a research lab in Artificial Intelligence. Our business model is to sell our voice technology as a white label solution for enterprise device manufacturers, charging a license fee per device it is deployed on. To date, we have over 40 customers, and dozens of partners from chip makers to hardware integrators. You can learn more about our enterprise offering here.
We have raised €22M in VC funding and grants to date, which enabled us to build our enterprise business and technology. Snips currently spends around €630k / month for its operations in Paris and New York. Our current cost and team structure is as follows:
The token sale proceeds will be used to build and launch our new consumer product, Snips AIR, as well as grow our enterprise business. Our thesis is that the more active and successful our consumer ecosystem, the more enterprise licenses we can sell, and thus, the more revenue we can generate. And since the more devices integrate Snips, the more Snips AIR becomes valuable, there is a virtuous cycle between our consumer and enterprise offerings.
The amount of tokens sold through the token sale will determine how quickly and aggressively we can take on centralized assistants. Over the next 24 months, we plan to aggressively ramp up our marketing, product and sales operation to make our technology available globally. Our planned cost and team structure would look as follows at scale:
Product includes both enterprise and consumer. This breakdown does not include M&A and other exceptional expenses, which will depend on how much is raised through the token sale.
The success of Snips AIR as a consumer product depends not just on the quality of the product and technology, but also on the community we can build around it. Whether it’s for the token sale or to create apps, we need as many people to participate in order to make this work long term.
The bounty program targets both token buyers and developers, with the goal to grow our community and spread awareness about our Private-by-Design technology while we continue to develop our product. Participating in our bounty program is also a great way to get an allocation in the current sale, since the criteria are similar.
There are 3 ways to participate in the bounty program and receive free Snips tokens:
- As a developer, you can create an app and publish it on the store today. You will then receive tokens for every download it generates, based on how well rated your app is.
- As a token buyer, you will receive a unique referral URL which you can then share with your friends and online to receive 1 Snips token for every €1 of tokens purchased through your link. You must have purchased tokens yourself to start referring other people however.
- As either a token buyer or a developer, if you talk about Snips at meetups, events, on social media, your blog, in a video, etc, we may reward you with tokens each time you do so. We want to reward people talking about our technology just as much as those talking about our token sale, so feel free to do both! To apply for a bounty, all you need to do is fill out this form and provide a link to the content you created (e.g. a youtube video, a tweet, a blog post, etc..).
You can find more info on how to participate in the bounty program here. We expect the bounty pool to be gradually distributed over the next 12 months.
Onboarding regular users to a decentralized product is a major challenge. Most people that will purchase a Snips AIR device will likely never have transacted using cryptocurrencies and forcing them to purchase tokens as a first step would create too much friction.
Part of our solution to solve this issue is to preload wallets with tokens when a user purchases a Snips AIR hardware device. The logic of preloading the wallets is that by testing the product immediately and seeing the value it brings them, users will be more likely to purchase additional tokens and participate further. The amount of tokens preloaded in wallets will be based on the market price of the Snips token, and represent around €5 worth of tokens.
The user onboarding pool represents 15% of the total token supply, or 1.5B tokens. It will be gradually distributed once the product is actually launched at the end of 2019, meaning most of these tokens will not be in circulation for many years.
Nothing we are talking about would be possible without the amazing team we have assembled at Snips. Indeed, solving some of the biggest challenge around AI and Privacy does require exceptional talent, with exceptional compensation.
After running the company for a few years and looking at the dynamics of the team, we ended up concluding that it is virtually impossible to know in advance how someone will grow over time. As such, compensating people based on when they joined rather than what they contributed simply didn’t make sense. This is why we no longer give vested signup bonuses, but instead give unvested yearly bonuses. The only exception is for CxOs, since by definition there is no higher role they can grow into, and thus their bonuses are fixed in advance and vested over time.
Bonuses are distributed on a yearly basis, based on a combination of the performance of the company as a whole, of the team the person is in, and of the person itself. Bonuses can be any combination of cash, stock options and tokens, with the proportion of each depending on the available pools and individual preferences.
The Snips token pool represents 25% of the total token supply, and will be distributed to the entire team over the next 4 years following the current bonus structure.
Partners and Advisors
In order to make Snips a success, we are partnering with a number of companies and individuals. Collectively, they bring expertise in blockchain, token sales, cryptography, machine learning, finance, and more. We will publish a full list of advisors in the coming weeks (gotta keep some surprises!).
The advisor pool represents 7% of the token supply, and has a typical vesting period of 12 to 24 months.
Building a successful consumer product is hard. Doing it on top of a blockchain is even harder. But our hope is that our ambition, passion and belief in privacy through decentralization will attract a likeminded community of users and developers who can help us take down the centralized powers that currently own the majority of the AI ecosystem. So if this vision resonates with you and you want to contribute, get some tokens and help us spread the word!
Rand & the Snips team