AMA with PlotX on Monday the 5th of October

DuckDao
DuckDao
Oct 6, 2020 · 17 min read

On Monday the 5th of October, the DuckDAO community had an AMA with some of the co-founders of PlotX — Ish Goel, Kartic Rakhra, and Satheesh Ananth

PlotX — A Summary

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PlotX is a non-custodial prediction protocol that enables users to earn unlimited rewards on high-yield prediction markets by using their skills to predict the future prices of digital assets like ETH and BTC.

Dubbed as the Uniswap of Prediction Markets, PlotX uses an Automated Market Making algorithm to create, settle markets and distribute rewards on the Ethereum Blockchain without any counter-party risk. Markets are focused on crypto-pairs like BTC, ETH, YFI etc and are automatically created in intervals of 1 hour, 1 day and 1 week.

PlotX aims to build a DeFi prediction protocol that is native to the crypto community, with the following key parameters:

  • Predictions for digital assets like ETH, BTC and not politics / sports to begin with.
  • On-chain market creation via smart contracts, unlike market creation via people.
  • On-chain price per position calculation and instant purchase instead of creation of low liquidity order books
  • On-chain market settlement wrapped in a gamified experience with ‘Participation Mining’ inspired by the term ‘Liquidity Mining’

PlotX also uses on-chain governance powered by GovBlocks.

Website: https://plotx.io/

PlotX Wiki: https://docs.plotx.io/

Medium: https://medium.com/plotx

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/8CWNQnG

Telegram: https://t.me/plotx_official

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TryPlotX

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TryPlotX

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiUd_PC6uUdsavWk3vYbtgA

Participants:

PlotX — Ish Goel — Co-founder

PlotX — Kartic Rakhra — Co-founder

PlotX — Satheesh Ananth — Co-founder

PlotX — Moonboy — Community Manager

Limmy — DuckDAO community representative

Please note that the following summary has been edited for clarity.

Limmy

Welcome everyone to another DuckDAO AMA.

We are joined today by the co-founders of PlotX!

It is a pleasure to have you with us today!

Satheesh

Hello Guys! This is Satheesh and we are excited to be here!! A wonderful day folks!

Kartic

Great to be here 🙂

Satheesh

And we are excited to be with the most happening Ducks Team — and we are rooting for the ducks versus VCs — so you have our votes!

Ish

Hey guys, Ish this side. Happy to be here! :)

Limmy

Haha much appreciated

Ken | DuckDAO 🐥

Nice, welcome. Limmy will do the AMA with you guys, and in the end we will open the chat for some seconds and get some community questions. Let‘s try to stay within one hour.

Limmy

Thanks Ken!

As is now tradition, we’re going to start with a “background check” 😉

Can you please tell us a bit about yourselves — your backgrounds (both crypto and non-crypto), experience, and how you ended up in the blockchain/crypto space?

Kartic

Of course!

I’ll share a quick background of each of the founding team members of PlotX…

Kartic

Ish Goel (@ishgoel) — ex-CTO of Nexus Mutual. Entered the Ethereum ecosystem back in 2016. Along with Nitika, Ish won the London Blockchain Week Hackathon in 2017

Nitika Goel — Former Lead Developer of Nexus Mutual. Entered the Ethereum ecosystem in 2016. She also co-founded GovBlocks, an on-chain governance toolkit and is the author of the ERC1132 lockable token standard on Ethereum.

Kartic Rakhra (me) — Entered the Ethereum ecosystem in 2017 and co-founded GovBlocks along with Ish & Nitika. He also set up India’s largest blockchain community via the India Blockchain Week in partnership with Fintech Worldwide.

Satheesh A (@walkerthesame) — Entered the crypto ecosystem in 2019. He comes with 25 years of experience working on CXO positions in the IT sector across marquee organizations like Cognizant, BORN and various others.

We compiled a short video to talk about our journey in crypto and how it has led to the creation of PlotX: http://youtube.com/watch?v=eNuOlkAVKys

Limmy

There is a fair bit to unpack there — from a technical and marketing standpoint, it looks like you guys have the blockchain side of things more than covered. Satheesh rounding out the leadership team quite nicely with an extensive amount of experience in the non-crypto space!

We’ll make sure to add your Youtube channel to the list of Links in the post-AMA summary so members can see all the other cool stuff you have there too

Kartic

We’re lucky to have found each other. We’ve been working together for a while and are glad to have found a good balance in skillset to go to market with kickass products 🙂

Limmy

The fact that much of the team has been working together prior to PlotX is also pretty great — I’d hate to be part of a startup without knowing who I’m working with haha

Let’s dive in to our first question:

Your white paper mentions an advisory board — Are you able to disclose who is on that team?

Ish

I’ll take this one!

Yes, so PlotX launches with an on-chain governance from Day 1. Which means that the community can together take decisions on how PlotX should evolve going forward, after the mainnet launch this week.

In our on-chain governance, we’ve followed a pragmatic approach towards decentralization and hence have introduced an Advisory Board along with PLOT holders.

The advisory board has 5 seats. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the names yet — but will be out soon :)

Limmy

We love to try and tease out some roadmap announcements from our guests haha — none have fallen for it so far

Ish

You can read more about the PlotX governance here:

https://docs.plotx.io/faqs#how-is-plotx-governed-on-chain-is-there-an-advisory-board-what-are-their-powers

Haha! Yep that was a trick question :D

Limmy

Thanks Ish — I’ll add the link to the PlotX wiki to the summary post AMA as well. There is a wealth of information there for those keen to use your platform. I have to say, the quality of documentation speaks volumes about your Product as well

Do you have any Coin Burn / BuyBack systems or any Token Burn plans to increase the value of Token & attract Investors to invest?

Kartic

Currently the PlotX protocol has no coin burn/buyback program.

The PLOT token has 6 use-cases as described below:

  1. AMM Mining: Incentives for Market Creators
  2. Referral Mining: Building in virality by design
  3. Community Mining: Wide distribution in communities
  4. Play Mining: Stake & Play
  5. On chain Governance
  6. Liquidity Mining

Each of these use-cases are explained in the wiki — https://docs.plotx.io/token-model

Limmy

Thanks Kartic

Can you explain why PlotX uses the “AMM” Automated Market Builder model instead of the classic order book system? What are the advantages and benefits of PlotX using this model?

Kartic

In our understanding, one of the biggest frictions in prediction markets is the need for market makers to create provably fair and interesting markets for users to predict on.

PlotX removes this friction with its AMM algorithm that creates markets (1h, 1d, 1w), fixes the options, enables transactions and automated settlements.

Uniswap has proven this model for DEXs, creating an immense impact in the DeFi ecosystem with its simplicity. PlotX wishes to do the same for prediction markets.

The AMM provides users with a consistent experience of interesting markets always being available for them to predict on

Limmy

Adopting this model definitely is tapping into an opportunity that didn’t exist for any project prior — If you look at Uniswap’s crazy user growth, it’s easy to see the potential here

The PlotX Options Pricing appears very thoughtfully balanced to avoid insufficient liquidity from the reward pool for instant settlement by increasing an option’s price if it is more actively chosen than the other two, and by accounting for leverage when calculating position distribution. Further, the leverage system allows users to manage their own risk by limiting losses to 20% of staked value at 1x leverage, to 100% at 5x.

When the system increases the price of a popular option, is this only for subsequent users who buy the position, or is possible for a user who has already chosen a position could also see an increase in their price for the position, due to the position’s popularity?

Kartic

That’s an excellent question but no, the options prices don’t change retrospectively for position takers i.e. those prices are only for the new users buying into the position 🙂

Limmy

Was the leverage cap at 5x also a deliberate mechanism to limit the risk to the rewards pool as well as to the user? Is there a scenario in which a position could be so appealing to users that it is possible to be overwhelmingly chosen despite an increasing premium, such that if that position were to win, that the liquidity from the other two positions would be insufficient to reward the winning users?

Kartic

Leverage is a way for users to manage their risk according to their preferences. A player can play with 1x leverage in order to limit their risk to only 20% of the playing amount

Markets in PlotX are a zero-sum game — that means users are rewarded in proportion to their stakes from the pool that is created by combining the stakes of the losing options. In an edge case scenario where all stakes are in the winning option, the funds are simply returned to the users.

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Just sharing a quick glimpse of how users use leverage while predicting

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If you look at the stakes column, it shows the different stakes in each option. The winning option would get the stakes of the losing options, divided proportionally to the positions purchased by each user.

Limmy

Cool — that makes sense. Nice clean UI as well!

Are there any regional restrictions for users that may want to use your platform that you are aware of? If so which ones?

Kartic

Yes, we’ve been advised to put in place restrictions for users who are residents of the USA, Iran & DPRK

Limmy

Bit of a shame for the US folks — they always seem to get excluded

With prediction markets using trade behaviour, does PLOTX look to also pull in any key information from world events that could contribute towards price movement? Eg. Some form of news feed?

Kartic

Currently, PlotX only uses technical indicators but we will look to somehow include fundamental indicators in the future. It will be an interesting challenge indeed to reflect the fundamental indicators in reliable numbers for us to ingest.

Limmy

(Kind of a tangent here) It would be cool to see some kind of Categorical market being added like they have an Augur in future once you guys have some serious adoption and volume. Imagine the stakes if you had a market for the US election haha

Kartic

It’s interesting that you mention that. We spoke about this internally as well and we feel that our biggest target audience is the average crypto trader who loves to speculate on crypto asset prices. PlotX gives crypto traders to put their money where their mouth is and also hedge against their existing positions!

Limmy

That’s fair enough — the core focus should remain in this space for sure (For now at least)

Kartic

Yup!

Limmy

In your piloting of the recently launched platform, did you stress test the amount of users to see how it performs at scale?

Kartic

Yes. It’s something we were very keen on since we’re building a product for the masses.

Since the launch of our Alpha on the Kovan test net in Aug’20, about 10,000 predictions have been made from over 2000 different wallet addresses. We’re pretty confident of the tech at this stage

Limmy

Some pretty solid numbers :) We’ve got another question about scaling a little later so we will loop back to this

With the recent hack on KuCoin, it has brought to attention how some applications and CEX’s may be exposed. What are some of your protocols to ensure there is a fail safe solution in case something goes wrong? 2FA?

Kartic

Security has been the top priority of the team working on the project and thus we’re getting multiple smart contract security audits conducted.

The platform itself is non-custodial — users directly connect via non-custodial wallets (metamask/wallet connect) and that eases out the security concerns you mentioned as well.

Limmy

Question for Ish Goel — As CEO of Somish Blockchain Labs what is the extent of the synergy/partnership with Plot X?

Kartic

I’ll take this up, no worries.

Somish Blockchain Labs is a venture studio that has been the seed incubator for the project since Feb’20. They have leveraged their resources, networks and expertise to support PlotX and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Ish

Thanks for taking that Kartic!

Limmy

Ok cool — so even though you guys are a startup, you are able to leverage the resources of an established organization — very handy

Kartic

Yes, Somish provides experience of 5 years of strong skill set in DeFi project development

Limmy

Our most submitted question prior to this AMA was some variation of “How do you compare to XYZ competitor”, so we’re going to try and group all of these together so you can answer it in one go.

Plotx is entering a market of existing mature products (like Cindicator, Augur, Gnosis, Hegic etc.) What is the value add of Plotx in this context and is the ambition to go beyond wisdom-of-the-crowd predictions?

Kartic

Coincidentally, that’s one of the most asked questions for us as well 🙂

Limmy

haha

Kartic

We’re all in this together. Gnosis, Synthetix, Augur and others have done a great job at kick starting the innovation behind prediction markets, but there’s a lot to innovate on.

PlotX follows a very different approach towards prediction markets. Ability for Automated Market Making, Risk Spread Mechanism, Liquidity Mining and Reward Schema are some areas that differentiate PlotX from both new and old incumbents in this space.

More on how PlotX differs can be found here:

https://docs.plotx.io/faqs#how-is-plotx-different-from-projects-like-augur-synthetix-binary-options-and-hxro

Limmy

Oh you have a specific FAQ haha

Nice

Kartic

You can review our product deck to learn more about how PlotX fits into the DeFi ecosystem and what the future roadmap is.

Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTF8sfvi6wNg4O4umG0jKaRCx8fz9U2RRGhcbTn_-IFoWfO8wAXAdeJpOUGnvntNeIHXDCIXIshmsrG/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g77863022de_0_0

Limmy

Looking at Augur, they’ve been online for about 2 years now and haven’t gained any traction, not even with their latest July release. Could this mean prediction markets are too early, not interesting enough or is this just a fault on Augur’s/Gnosis’ side?

We are running a bit short on time here so I am going to start blasting you with some questions

Kartic

Shoot

The team at Augur has been building for a while and like I mentioned above, we respect them a lot for their innovations.

With PlotX, we follow a slightly different approach towards prediction markets, by giving the user a consistent experience regardless of the market they are interested in participating.

Markets are shorter (1h, 1d, 1w) and hence, more exciting for crypto traders. Further, the AMM algo gets rid of the frictions that other prediction markets face — of relying on market makers to create interesting markets.

Limmy

We definitely have short attention spans in this space haha

Kartic

Given the current narrative around DeFi, prediction markets seem to be at the cusp coming to the fore of the crypto ecosystem.

Limmy

What is stopping another DEX from implementing a similar option/future prediction? What is it about your platform that gives you the competitive edge?

Kartic

DEX is a different category of DeFi products — their core logic is to remove the order book from exchanges.

Prediction Markets is a completely different category of DeFi products. We feel that in this new budding world of “ownership economies”, terms like “competitive edge” are better replaced with “community harmony” where incentives are designed based on contributions.

Some of the reasons why PlotX enjoys an unparalleled community harmony is as follows:

  1. First mover advantage being the 1st AMM driven prediction protocol
  2. All transaction fees go into the DAO, and not to the developers of the protocol — with a vision to make the DAO self-sustainable
  3. On-chain community governance from Day 1

Limmy

Can you describe for us the long term use case for prediction markets using a Defi/AMM model; and to that end, the use case for the governance token PlotX?

Kartic

PlotX sees prediction markets as a way to sum opinions of many and capture what is known as the “wisdom of the crowd”. To be able to achieve that, it is critical for PlotX to reach the masses. If the community is able to achieve that, a new version of information will be created that is driven by true market opinions.

PlotX will be community governed using on-chain governance powered via GovBlocks smart contracts — the same solution that powers Nexus Mutual’s governance. PLOT Token holders will be eligible for voting on proposals that will define the future of the PlotX Protocol.

On-chain governance for PlotX is being launched from day 1 of the mainnet launch. This means that the community will be able to vote on decision points like market dispute resolution, creation of new markets, implementing emergency pause and any other such decisions which shall result in a change in the smart contracts of PlotX

Limmy

What if they vote for a token burn hahaha

Kartic

Lol

Limmy

Do you have any plans for a scaling solution in case ETH gas fees get out of hand again?

Kartic

L2 scaling has been kind of obvious for a project like PlotX. With the Automated Market Making algo, it becomes very easy to run perpetual prediction markets but that also means that the underlying infra needs to scale

So on that — we’ve been looking at various L2 solutions and MATIC has been one of our preferred choices so far. We recently announced a partnership with them: https://t.me/plotx_ann/26

Being on L2, will allow PlotX to run shorter time frame markets as well. For example 5 mins, 15 mins — which are interesting from a retail perspective. It will also solve the gas issues that ETH faces at the moment 😓

Limmy

Everyone has PTSD from the gas prices this season lol

In your documentation you state that you “draw parallels to Uniswap” in certain features of your service. Are there any plans to evolve your Service to offer Future or Option-like products for certain crypto currencies?

Kartic

Uniswap has created an immense impact in the DeFi ecosystem with its simplicity. It removed the friction of order book matching in other DEXs with its Automated Market Making (AMM) algorithm

Similarly, in the prediction markets space, one of the biggest frictions is the need for market makers to create fair and interesting markets for users to predict on. PlotX removes this friction with its AMM algorithm that creates markets (1h, 1d, 1w) along with the options as well as settles those markets.

Yes, we will look into those options in the future as they are a natural extension to prediction markets.

Limmy

We will definitely look forward to those updates as they come

What’s your short/long term strategy to get liquidity and drive adoption?

Kartic

The token model itself has aspects of built in virality…

  1. Referral Mining: building in virality by design

Prediction markets are a way to sum opinions of many and capture what is known as the “wisdom of the crowd ”. To be able to achieve that, it is critical for PlotX to reach the masses. If the community is able to achieve that, a new version of information will be created that is driven by true market opinions.

To reach the masses, the PlotX token provides virality by design via the Referral Bonus program.

Users can refer other users, and mine referral rewards. Referral rewards are implemented by using a non-transferable $bPLOT token that is equal to $PLOT at all times, but only usable within the PlotX markets.

2. Community Mining: wide distribution in communities

Another important factor for the protocol to succeed is to attract relevant communities that would benefit from predictions. For example, the community of LINK holders.

PlotX provides mineable Airdrop incentives for communities to start using the protocol

Relevant communities, after passing through a governance vote, can mine airdrops on PlotX. Airdrop rewards are implemented by using a non-transferable $bPLOT token that is equal to $PLOT at all times, but only usable within the PlotX markets.

3. Liquidity Mining

To bootstrap and encourage liquidity for the PLOT token, users who stake their PLOT tokens on specified PLOT liquidity pools on DEXs (to be announced) will be incentivised by getting extra PLOT tokens as rewards for providing liquidity.

To earn the yield farming rewards, liquidity providers on DEXs will have to lock their LP tokens on PlotX Staking Smart Contract.

The yield farming incentives will be distributed per second with no limitation on minimum staking days.

https://docs.plotx.io/plot-token/token-model — this link has all the details about the token model 🙂

Limmy

Wow that is a very comprehensive answer

Kartic

It’s easy when you have all the info available in your wiki 🙂

Limmy

Documentation is your friend hah

Kartic

amen brother

Limmy

OK so we have one final community question:

Will PlotX offer a mobile app?

Kartic

Over time, we will be looking to develop a mobile app for PlotX. It’s in our roadmap for the next quarter.

In the meantime, PlotX supports Wallet Connect which means users can connect their mobile wallets to the the Web App on their mobiles to access PlotX.

Limmy

Ok, fantastic.

We cut close to the hour on this one so before I go ahead and throw open the chat, I’d like to check with you to see if you have a little time. Are we good to throw open the door for a few questions to come in and you can pick some to answer?

For those submitting — please keep the questions short and concise.

Kartic

I think i can answer 2–3 questions. In case I’m not able to answer your questions, please feel free to ask the same in our Telegram group

I have my colleague Moonboy as well to help answer these

🐥

What problems do you think the Prediction market is facing at the moment? How does PlotX solve this problem?

Kartic

As mentioned above, one of the biggest frictions in prediction markets is the need for market makers to create provably fair and interesting markets for users to predict on.

PlotX removes this friction with its AMM algorithm that creates markets (1h, 1d, 1w), fixes the options, enables transactions and automated settlements.

🐥

Guys, when will staking be launched?

Kartic

Along with the mainnet — very soon!

🐥

How is plotx unique & why is plotx holding an ama in the duck community?

Kartic

I’ll reiterate some of the points I have mentioned above on the uniqueness of PlotX:

  1. First mover advantage being the 1st AMM driven prediction protocol
  2. All transaction fees go into the DAO, and not to the developers of the protocol — with a vision to make the DAO self-sustainable.
  3. On-chain community governance from Day 1

We’re doing an AMA with the Duck community since Duck DAO is a strategic partner of PlotX

🐥

Is PlotX a decentralized open source protocol that anyone can contribute to? If so, what is the structure of the PlotX protocol management?

Moonboy

Yes, the smart contracts are available at: https://github.com/plotx/smart-contracts/tree/dev-v2

PlotX follows a decentralized and pragmatic community based governance model.

You can read more about the PlotX governance here:

https://docs.plotx.io/faqs#how-is-plotx-governed-on-chain-is-there-an-advisory-board-what-are-their-powers

Limmy

Ok guys, this will bring us to an end to this AMA!

On behalf of all of us here at DuckDAO, thank you so much for your time today

Kartic

Thank you so much for hosting us, Limmy, Ken and Lukas! Love the ducks!

For the community, please do drop by to the group — @plotx_official for more questions and becoming a part of the craziness with fellow PLOT Heads!

Don’t forget to check out the PLOT Head Alpha Challenge where you can win from a prize pool of $350 daily!

https://t.me/plotx_ann/47

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DuckDao Details:

Telegram Channel: https://t.me/joinchat/It2yDE3QPPTw9JLLMHLXKA

Website :https://duckdao.io/

Twitter :https://twitter.com/dao_duck

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WHO WILL WIN? ONE VC OR THOUSAND DUCKS?

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