Helis AMA with Wolf Crypto

Wolf Crypto
Jul 10 · 14 min read

We held an AMA with Helis Network in our public Telegram channel on July 9th.

Helis Network is developing decentralised financial (DeFi) products, focusing on making DeFi accessible and powerful for enterprises.

Helis flagship product is a payroll solution which allows automating processes with paying out employees, freelancers or investors whilst saving time and introducing operational efficiencies.

A demo can be viewed below —

This will be followed by DeFi loans and derivatives related products.

Helis has launched pilot programs with Nexo, Kyber Network, Aion and Loopring.

The Helis token is a utility token that will be used in Bonding and Governance, Network Fees and a Staking Mechanism.

You can also visit the Helis Telegram channel or Helis website for further details.

Here’s what Helis Founder & Engineer Kerman Kohli and Helis Strategy & Operations Ali Hararwala had to say in the AMA.*

*This AMA has been edited for clarity.

WC (Wolf Crypto Telegram Member)

Welcome to another edition of Wolf Crypto AMA, this time with Helis Network!

Joining us from the Helis team are Kerman Kohli, Founder and Engineer and Ali Hararwala, Strategy and Operations at Helis Network!

KK

Thanks for having us. Great to meet you all!

AH

Thanks for the invite and it’s great to be here.

WC

It’s our pleasure, before we start, have you guys been FUDed yet? Seems like you’re not a proper project til you’re FUDed!

KK

Not yet *fingers crossed*

TEAM & TEAM GOALS

WC

Moving right along though, can the team please tell us a bit about your backgrounds and what led you to founding Helis Network?

KK

Yeah sure, I started coding at the age of 12 then sold my first venture with 100k users @ 20 years old. Throughout this time I also was one of 350 scholars worldwide to be selected by Apple to go to California and attend their developer conference.

AH

Business transformation management consultant with 15+ years in consulting and product management. Worked with Publicis Groupe, Nissan, National Health Service and a couple of boutique consulting firms around the world. Been firmly in the blockchain space in the last 3 years.

WC

Kerman, was this in the Steve Jobs Apple era?

KK

Unfortunately not, but hey seeing Tim Cook was great! We got special access to a bunch of people at Apple because of being scholars though 😉

WC

Helis used to be called 8x protocol right? Why the rebrand?

Don’t you know you’re supposed to do that when you have a coin on the market for the rebrand PAMP!

KK

Yeah so the original idea with 8x was to create a protocol for subscription payments. However we realised the opportunity to expand to solve problems for crypto enterprises as a whole was more exciting and bigger hence Helis.

WC

You have a pretty small team looking at your website, do you plan on making any new hires once you raise?

KK

There’s a common misconception in the blockchain space that a big team equals more power. As you add more people to your team you have exponentially more relations to manage and the communication overhead ramps up accordingly. Some of the most successful companies of our time have been built by small teams. YC suggests that each hire is very crucial to get right.

Also, we have people working in supporting yet strategic roles that we will disclose in the coming weeks, which we believe will excite the community and show strong backing behind the company.

We’re also hiring more developers right now. Here’s the job posting in case anyone knows any good devs —

WC

Where is Helis based/incorporated out of?

KK

The team is spread over US, Europe and Australia.

Our actual legal entity is incorporated in BVI.

THE HELIS NETWORK

WC

So what are you trying to achieve with Helis long term?

KK

So the over arching mission statement for Helis is to transition the world into a new era of finance. We want to achieve this through making decentralised finance available to everyone. Enterprises are our first target on this list.

In addition, apps are increasingly more valuable than infrastructure. We don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel and given the layer 1 and 2 infrastructure projects that are out at different levels of maturity, we’d like to plug into those ecosystems, starting with Ethereum as our base chain for settlement, and then utilising the open DeFi infrastructure.

WC

I 100% agree with you on dApps (with usage and adoption) over more blockchain infrastructure, infrastructure blockchain projects are so 2018, we want apps with users!

AH

Just for the benefit of the group.

WC

Can you please breakdown each of these layers, what they consist of and how they will be used?

KK

Yeah for sure. We look at it through the following way:

Products exists as products that are extremely easy to use for enterprises. The first flagship product is payroll, followed by loans and derivatives.

Aggregator layer provides a single interface and set of smart contracts to source liquidity and the best prices for enterprises to lend.

Protocol layer is utilised by the aggregator layer to draw upon a combination of open-source protocols for lending, exchanges, derivatives and more. Helis has also developed their own payments protocol that offers options to make flexible payments with the ability to execute different types of schedules and currencies in them. Built upon a standard framework comprised of Ethereum smart contracts and front-end libraries.

Base layer is to tap into various blockchains for their unique strengths. Ethereum is used for its programmability, Binance DEX for liquidity and Facebook’s Libra for mainstream distribution.

AH

WC

You have Libra on there 😉 A new addition?

AH

Glad you brought that up! We glossed through the Libra tech. stack and the fact that it has smart contracts we can integrate our solution with the deep community and distribution network that Facebook and it’s partners bring into DeFi. All leads to much better liquidity within decentralised finance.

KK

Essentially tapping into Libra’s distribution network can be really valuable for generating retail liquidity and onboarding businesses. in terms of specific mechanics, we’d have a mechanism where Libra tokens would be locked up and ported over to Ethereum where it then plugs into DeFi infra. Ethereum provides solid security guarantees around it’s network to make DeFi possible and worthwhile.

Because DeFi involves large volumes, tapping into Libra can create large fee distribution to token holders. Much harder to achieve similar scale for consumer applications.

The way I think about these things is we’re working on building a crypto network with a wide variety of participants.

WC

So essentially you’re looking to support any stable coin on the platform that has widespread usage? How about RSR (Reserve)? In the works?

KK

As long as it’s an ERC20 we’re good to go 🙂

WC

With the way Helis works, using ETH and scaling isn’t an issue right?

KK

Currently in the blockchain space, the biggest issue is finding product market fit rather than solving the scalability issue. Should we find product market fit or scalability reaches a point where it’s detrimental, we plan to use existing infrastructure such as Matic/build our own stack (if it doesn’t exist).

WC

How big is the Defi industry currently $$ wise?

AH

This is the market size for the different products that we are looking to build.

WC

Wow $636m USD locked in ETH.

AH

Yes, check out —

https://defipulse.com

Imagine products built on existing, battle-tested smart contracts!

WC

Can you also go a bit more specific about your loans plans?

You are planning to start them 2020, right?

KK

It’s more of a gradual roll out rather than X on the roadmap. starting off research for it in the coming weeks and development ramping up from there.

WC

Ok so can you paint me a real life scenario where Helis would be used?

KK

Yeah sure.

So one example is token distribution payments for bounties. The existing process looks a little something like this

1. Get ETH address of participant
2. Double check it’s correct and enter in amounts
3. Execute payment
4. Save copy of transaction hash, record internally and then email to recepient
5. Add payment to accounting layer
6. Repeat steps 1–6 for as many paymenst you need to make

With Helis’ payroll product we can automate majority of this process to the point where it can be as simple as a copy/paste with a few clicks.

A more concrete example would be AION’s problem for distributing bonuses/vested tokens.

As part of employee compensation schemes, AION offers tokens that vest every 6 months. When distributing tokens, tax implications need to be handled, transaction hashes emailed and payments entered into an excel sheet. This whole process takes over 100+ man hours. Our payroll solution significantly reduces the number of man-hours required to execute this entire process.

WC

Do you have a demo of this or some sort of mock up?

KK

Sure.

WC

Accountants around the world are getting worried. What effect will your system have on bookkeepers/accountants?

KK

It’s like ATM’s and banks. ATM’s created more jobs than they took away 🙂

WC

Are businesses able to use the payroll solution via fiat or it is purely crypto?

KK

We’re currently focused on crypto-crypto payment rails as that is our core customer demographic at the moment. In discussions with fiat on-ramp/off-ramp to provide fiat payment facilities in our payroll solution.

WC

The query process for retrieving addresses and distribution scripts are decentralised or centralised? At which level is provenance achieved in-terms of data management.

KK

Depends on the use case. If they’re salary payments where we pre-fill data we need to store employee identifiable data on our servers with a unique identifier to save on-chain to preserve privacy. If it’s just one-off payments it gets executed on-chain directly.

Hope that answered your question/was clear enough to understand.

WC

Yes but in terms of the point of time from data entry till the execution of your logic for withdrawals to occur, the system is depending upon some centralised API structure?

KK

For scheduled payments yes. That conditional scheduling logic is store on chain with nodes executing at time of payment. This is the payment protocol that we have developed and is used for subscription payments as well.

WC

I think you shoud move to Tendermint and store the application logic at ABCI where a validator can govern it, past that I think you are on a great track and will succeed.

Just check out Tendermint and how application logic can be integrated at the blockchain level.

KK

For sure, Tendermint looks really exciting although too much infrastructure that needs to be built at this point.

I wrote an article about both projects a while ago —

WC

How does taxation work on this side of things as that varies for different jurisdictions?

KK

We treat our product as a automation layer although we support handling of tax payments inside.

While we can handle taxation inside the payroll solution, we believe that integrating into established solutions for enterprise is a smarter move, the world of tax efficiencies and calculations really depends on accountant to accountant, we would rather be able to aide them in the receipt of data on blockchain payments and let them optimize it.

WC

Is Helis B2B or B2C?

KK

Both although a bigger focus on B2B for the payroll. Loans is more B2B2C.

WC

Sounds good. Businesses of which scale do you consider your main target?

KK

SME’s for the time being 🙂

WC

What is the current state of development of Helis?

KK

Running pilot programs with current customers to gather feedback. Given our learnings from the past few months we’re starting development on the second iteration of our product which we’ll be announcing later on this month. We’re also working on hiring to ramp up our team.

WC

So are those participants of the pilots program are your customers who already use your payroll and pay for it or are they just your partners who help you to polish the product?

And are you looking for any strategic partners now?

KK

Helping us refine and test the product under controlled circumstances as we still need security audits and refining the product.

AH

Always! more so for pilots as we are looking for enterprises to build and refine our products on.

WC

Why do you not have a whitepaper?

AH

Whitepapers are an expectation not a source of information now. We have everything about the project on our Gitbook.

COMPETITORS

WC

Who are your biggest competitors?

KK

For payroll: Whisp money although we pride on UX due to our product backgrounds. Bitwage is custodial hence a different type of target market altogether. Overall both are not exactly competitive as our vision is much broader and deeper than just doing payroll.

I also write at https://defiweekly.substack.com in case anyone is interested 🙂

WC

How about InstaDapp?

KK

Yup so InstaDapp and Nuo are great products. We view ourselves as being complimentary as we can utilise the underlying smart contracts and integrate it directly into our products.

WC

Payroll includes the likes of MYOB, Xero etc I assume.

How do you intend to compete with those big boys?

KK

Once again it’s a more complimentary approach than competitive.

We plan on integrating into them so businesses can use our payroll solution and bridge it to their existing accounting processes for tax/regulation.

WC

Good response, I would of called you a liar if you said you could compete right now.

KK

Yeah totally. Gotta be realistic about where you want to aim.

Adding to this, since we’re product focused we don’t need to compete with existing players as we can leverage their strengths in unique ways.

TOKEN UTILITY

WC

So why a token and whats the utility function on Helis?

KK

Staking and burning. All fees generated from the transactions get distributed out to the network. At no point does the user have any friction with interacting with the token.

WC

From my understanding its used for governance too right?

KK

Yup. We also have plans around governance where we use on-chain voting to get a sense of what the community thinks. Crypto governance is a fascinating aspect of crypto which we’re actively working on as well.

We also have the notion of a governance contract which requires tokens to be paid to vote, you can read more about it on our Gitbook —

WC

How does the token utility and model create value for investors?

KK

Very similar to MKR or BNB. They’re tried and tested models and allow for additional value creation as the network grows. 0x is doing similar stuff by introducing staking later on. A burn and mint model provide the most flexibility for product development while still capturing value.

I wrote an article about how Maker works in case anyone finds the whole thing confusing 🙂

WC

Are tokens ever burned on the network and if so in what situations does this happen?

KK

Whenever transactions are made via our products, a portion of that transaction results in token burn and another portion to stakers on the network.

WC

Since you’re building on top of ETH, aren’t fees paid in ETH then?

KK

We use the fees in ETH to buy back HELIS on the open market.

TOKEN SALE & TOKEN SUPPLY

WC

You have a token bridge? Is this like LTO?

KK

Yes, we’ve modeled based on LTO as it seems fair for investors and maintains a fair ICO and price equilibrium.

AH

We’ve been speaking with LTO to understand the impact of the model and it looks a great fit for Helis.

WC

So they had a mainnet to ERC20 bridge, same deal for you guys? Tokens get burnt as they cross the troll bridge?

KK

Yes, tokens will be locked in a bonded contract and in order to make these liquid these will need to be transferred over to an unbonded contract.

There’s more info about that here —

https://about.helis.network/token/bridge-toll

WC

What’s the bridge fee?

AH

WC

So 55% on day one scaling down from there.

KK

Yeah that’s the one. Diminishes 20% each month.

AH

So the seed tokens are not liquid, and will need 55% in fees to move to be liquid. However, the Private tokens will be liquid from day one.

WC

Nice, whats the breakdown between seed sale allocation and private sale?

You’re not doing a public sale right?

KK

16.6% for seed and 27.3% for private 🙂

AH

No public sale! We are only doing 2 rounds Seed + Private.

Private sale is open to community members.

WC

What’s the logic for no public sale? Don’t wanna get “IEO’d”?

KK

Yeah that but also trying to keep the whole process as fair as possible.

WC

Has the private sale begun or there will be a interest form or something at a later date?

AH

We are gathering interest on here, and will reach out to potentials.

WC

How much was raised in the seed round?

KK

$500k

WC

How much is the overall hardcap?

KK

$4m USD.

WC

Pretty reasonable. How long a runway are you predicting that will give you if you cap out both rounds?

KK

Looking at about 3–4 years depending on how rapidly we scale.

WC

What is the total token supply?

AH

300m tokens in total.

WC

And all will be release on day one?

AH

No, only 27% will be released, these are the tokens that will be available on the unbonded (liquid) contract.

WC

Given the fact that it seems you won’t be doing a IEO do you foresee any difficulties with getting on a high tier exchange for your primary listing?

KK

Our strong partners are affiliated with the right kinds of people to open doors for us, despite us setting the flag in the sand and standing by the philosophy of being more aligned to the community. Any changes would be strictly with the terms we’ve outlined so far. There would be no changes made in that regard as we’re against that practice and don’t want to be associated as well

WC

Did you have any notable VCs or individuals contribute to the seed round?

KK

We’ve had a large amount of interest from a number of funds and VCs. We will be making announcements later this month and September

WC

When will you be looking to close out the private round?

KK

By end of September, looking at a 2 week window

WC

So this is just the start of your step out into the wider crypto world hey?

KK

Pretty much, gotta brace as we go to the wider community!

WC

Speaking of community, what’s the plan for growing the community as you go?

KK

We’ve got plenty of initiatives in the works. Panda Network and 7 days of Helis are just the start.

We’re actually hosting a meme competition very soon, join our channel to earn Panda Points for creating them.

AH

CLOSING THOUGHTS

WC

Thanks to the Helis gents for their time tonight!

KK

Thanks for having us! For anyone that tuned it, please feel free to join our Telegram channel and follow on from there.

Helis Network Resources

Website: https://helis.network
Telegram: https://www.t.me/HelisNetwork
Medium: https://medium.com/helisnetwork
Gitbook: https://about.helis.network

Wolf Crypto Resources

Website: https://wolfcrypto.net/
Public Group: https://t.me/WolfCryptoPub
News Channel: https://t.me/WolfCryptoAnnounce
Blockchain Project Reviews: https://t.me/WolfCryptoICO
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WolfCryptoGroup

Wolf Crypto

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Wolf Crypto is a place for ETH & BTC TA, ICO discussion, altcoin roulette & memes.

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