Email to Balance Sharehodlers · 2018

An update on the state of the company

To the sharehodlers of Balanced Software, Inc.,

Your CEO has not misspelt shareholders, he is making a terrible pun on the meme of #HODLing. This is probably the most valuable meme in history. It began when an inebriated individual encouraged everyone on the Bitcoin Talk Forums to never sell their Bitcoin, no matter the price. You can learn more about it here:

2018 was a rollercoaster year for Balance and the cryptocurrency industry. I wanted to write to you and share all of the progress we have made and some of the problems we have faced. Without you, we would not be where we are now — we are incredibly grateful. Here is how I remember the key moments of each month:

January — We started to accept that working as a team of 8 people across 6 timezones was not the best way for us to make great products. This was an incredibly painful realization. We began the process of moving everyone who wanted to move to a single place to work.

February — We decided that making a macOS and iOS app to check your exchange balances was a bad product idea. Checking balances constantly felt unhealthy. It is also not a good idea to leave lots of assets on an exchange. We decided to switch the focus of the company to a better wallet for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.

March — We gathered together at the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris to talk to potential users. We gained a lot of feedback on what would make a great interface for Ethereum. We then got together as a team in Medellin to work on our first version.

April — We unveiled our new logo and branding for Balance and launched Manager, a web-based tool for managing wallets.

May —We released a prototype of WalletConnect, our standard for allowing web-based applications to connect to Ethereum through mobile wallets:

June — We released a big update for Balance Manager which included support for Non-Fungible Tokens (like CryptoKitties), exchange functionality, Trezor hardware wallet connection, and support for multiple languages.

July — We received a $150,000 grant from Ethereum to fund WalletConnect and we spun it out into its own organization. We shifted focus to our mobile wallet product.

August — We released a big update to Balance for iOS. This demonstrated the power of WalletConnect and got developers really excited about the idea. You can download it here:

September — I applied for my visa to live and work in the USA. I have been working remotely and separated from the team for long stretches. Having been rejected twice, I was extremely worried about it not getting accepted.

I spoke at ETHBerlin about where we think Ethereum is heading and where Balance might #HEPL. We are particularly excited about the emerging trend of decentralized finance:

October — My visa was accepted pending an interview at the London Embassy. Everything went smoothly and my visa was approved! To be frank, this process really knocked the wind out of my sails for a couple of months — it was terrifying. I dropped out of university to pursue my interests on the internet. This made my case for a visa extremely tough. With the help of our wonderful lawyer and the crypto twitter community, my dream of moving to America finally came true.

November — We attended DevCon in Prague and released a big update to Balance for iOS which was really well received by the community.

December — We started working on our pitch to investors and thinking hard about how we can #buidl a profitable business in this space. We launched an integration with 0x Instant, a trading widget for tokens:

Beyond Token Balances

When we started building a user interface for Ethereum-based tokens, we had a hunch that a lot more was coming. We have been blown away by the speed with which developers have been creating new and interesting financial protocols on top of Ethereum. I tried to sum up my thoughts on this trend:

Going forward into 2019 our current high level goals are:

  • Launch Balance for iOS and Android
  • Deeply integrate several decentralized financial protocols (#DeFi)
  • Experiment with a range of partnerships and business models

Thank you so much for investing in us—we really appreciate it. We have some really exciting things to announce publicly in the near future.

Your Community Encouragement Officer (CEO),