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Five Things We Did Different For BotChain, Compared To Other Crypto Projects.

BotChain was borne out of a need Talla had in summer of 2016. A year later, we were fresh off a Series A when I approached my Board of Directors about the idea. Since token sales were primarily viewed as a way to raise money for companies without access to venture capital, we didn’t really fit the bill. For us, it was more about the market need for BotChain to exist, the need for a token on the network, and the need to create value for partners. So we thought about things very differently than other crypto companies.

Here are 5 key things we did that may not be standard, but you may want to consider if you go down a similar path.

  1. Invest in partnerships first, even before tech.

Blockchain people get enthralled with cool new tech. Most projects start that way, with a twist on a blockchain that solves some existing blockchain problems. But they forget that in the end, you need a network. Signing up partners is harder than building the technology, for most use cases. I know, I know, crypto people believe that token incentives will take care of network building but, with thousands of projects out there, how do potential partners discover and learn about you?

We started reaching out to partners 9 months ago, when we started writing code, and 6 months ago, after I had personally signed the first few, I hired someone to do that full time. It is part of the reason BotChain is launching with so much more network promise than most other projects.

2. Set a smaller token supply and a higher token price.

The trend in token sales is to generate a large number of tokens, say one billion, and offer them at a cheap price — in the pennies. But we believe that attracts more speculation and more retail investors, and as a serious enterprise project that wants to limit that kind of speculation, we decided a smaller token allocation with a higher per token price made more sense. That is why we only have 40 million tokens, with only 22 million available for initial sale.

People who think token price matters independently of everything else are the same kind of people who think a stock split suddenly makes a stock a better deal because now it’s $9 per share instead of $18 per share. That makes no economic sense, and we don’t want people to attract people who think that way to our token sale. So a smaller token supply at a higher price helps us attract better buyers with more realistic use cases.

Since users can set how much BotCoin they charge for services, and BotCoin is divisible to 15 decimal places, it makes it easy to send fractions of a BotCoin through the network as needed.

3. Establish a Governance Board

Network governance is tough. If you make it truly democratic, then early partners can seize a lot of control and wield too much power. But if you run the network yourself, it violates the spirit of decentralization and doesn’t provide well enough for the needs of other community participants.

While Talla pioneered the BotChain protocol, it isn’t ours. We have had the final say over decisions up until this point, but, as the network launches, we want to turn the governance over the community. But we want thoughtful, controlled governance, not pure democracy just yet. That is why we established a governance board.

4. Leave room for others in development

One of the challenges in building any protocol is what makes it into the protocol and what is left to the ecosystem. If you make the protocol too small, it may not be valuable enough. If you make it too big and complex, it may not be broad enough. We took the approach that the BotChain protocol had to do 1 or 2 things really well, really easily for developers, but that once those things were in place, developers could and should build much more on top of Botchain.

For BotChain then, what it does really well is bot identity and audit trail. Markeplace work, reputation work, and much more is stuff we left for the community to work on, or to incorporate in a later version of the project.

5. Go slow and be thorough

You can’t build a fortress on sinking sand. If you really believe in what you are doing, take the time and effort to lay a strong foundation. Otherwise, don’t do it. The blockchain world moves quickly, and so you have to adapt, but don’t sacrifice your core values or tweak the project too far just because of temporary market trends. So much of what is being built today is not going to make it. Build a project that does by starting with a strong base.

These are key takeaways from my experience with the BotChain project. If you want to learn more about it, start here.



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Rob May

Rob May

CTO/Founder at Dianthus, Author of a Machine Intelligence newsletter at, former CEO at Talla and Backupify.