On May 11, 2019, The Ferrum Network team conducted a live Q&A session in Telegram, hosted by AIG Investors International. We’ve compiled all the question and edited it for our future Ferrum Network community members to read. Some of the questions, answers, responses and sequence of questions may have been edited or modified for clarity and readability. Questions were answered from several community members. We want to thank everyone who participated in asking questions or watched with interest!
Main Participants: Naiem Yeganeh — CEO of Ferrum Network; Ian Friend COO of Ferrum Network; Germaine Ifudu — Ferrum Advisor and Co-Founder of Kudi Exchange; Mike Co-Founder of AIG International; and Crypto Holland Founder Angels Investor Group Entrepreneur.
The Questions and Answers:
We have a Live Telegram AMA with the Founding team of Ferrum Network. Naiem, can you give us a brief introduction of yourself, some background on how you got involved in crypto and how you guys started the Ferrum project?
Ian Friend (COO Ferrum Network) — Hey guys, excited to be here!
Naiem Yeganeh (CEO Ferrum Network) — Hi everybody. I am Naiem Yeganeh CEO of Ferrum Network. I first learned about Bitcoin in 2009 while I was doing a PhD in UQ Australia researching distributed database systems. Since I moved to U.S. I’ve worked for: Microsoft, Amazon, and Bloomberg. I started coding the Ferrum Network in 2017 and we started the company in early 2018.
Ian — In terms of how Ferrum Network got started, Naiem and I met in early 2018, while he was working at Bloomberg. By the time we met the Ferrum Network test net was already operable and connected to the BTC and ETH blockchains and could achieve instant peer-to-peer exchanges of those assets over the network. We then won a competition at Consensus 2018 and were one of 5 projects to pitch to investors on the main stage. After that we got some initial buzz and attracted our seed investors. Since then it’s been heads down building out the first of our products that run on the Ferrum Network — Kudi Exchange.
That’s a fantastic accomplishment, and so early in the project.
Ian — Yeah, we were blessed to have that opportunity. It’s now Consensus 2019 and we are excited to come back to the conference better and stronger than ever.
Could you give us a brief overview of what problems Ferrum is aiming to solve?
Ian — Ferrum Network was designed to solve the problems of lack of interoperability between the networks, and the slow speeds of blockchains in general, and also the lack of interoperability with fiat. Ferrum Network is designed to connect to any blockchain and works natively with fiat.
How did you choose or come by the current active Ferrum Network team? How many members in total?
Ian — The team is comprised of experienced professionals across the spectrum from big tech, blockchain, law, finance and the world of ICOs. We chose them based on their experience and the value they bring, so for instance we recently brought on two experts in tokenomics, we also have a team of Fin. Tech pros on the ground in Nigeria for the Kudi Exchange product.
Who are your biggest competitors?
Ian — In terms of competitors, each product has its own set of competitors, as does the network itself. For the product that is live with users now (Kudi Exchange) the biggest competitors are Luno, NiaraEx and other similar exchanges in West Africa.
We have differentiated ourselves because we are not only a faster and cheaper digital currency exchange, it is the only in West Africa with access to US Dollar backed stable coin, and the ability to send fiat currency instantly peer-to-peer.
What have you done now to set yourselves up for success 5 years from now?
Naiem — Ferrum Network’s focus is on core business metrics to make sure we are going to have a sustainable Fin. Tech business. The main focuses are on growth and our core differentiating technology.
For more info on the Kudi: https://kudi.exchange
Product demos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLGJET0P902_vywOy3PzwA
You guys are building among other things an Interoperability Network, can you explain a bit how this works and what the advantages are compare to the existing networks?
Ian — Our interoperability network is unique in that we have a patented technology for value transfers across networks using decentralized proxy tokens and value pegs to the underlying asset. Naiem can explain the technology further, but it’s a unique technology based on his years of experience in distributed-database systems.
What made you decide to start with the Kudi Exchange and why Africa?
Ian — Africa is the perfect use case and place for our product. Nigeria in particular where Kudi is based, has a population of 200m, 7th hugest BTC volumes in the world, 1st highest google searchers for the word “bitcoin” and even bad exchanges can do $5–10mil volumes per month.
And you already had a seed round/private sale if I understood it right?
Ian — Yes, we had a seed round back in November, raising $120k. The private sale round is opening up at the end of May or early June.
I know I might be a bit ahead, but any plans on expansion to other regions? If so, how will you make your selection?
Ian — Yes, we are already in talks with people in Ghana and Kenya to expand Kudi there. In fact, the app is nearly ready to accept the Ghana dollar and Kenya Shilling. The other reason we did not focus on a more saturated market is because competition is very steep in those places and its very expensive to get licenses there. We had the connections in Nigeria and the market did not have large incumbent players.
However, that being said, our next product UniFyre Wallet will be a worldwide product launched everywhere in Q3
That makes a lot of sense Ian. Thanks. Think a strong argument is also the weak value of the local currency that drives bitcoin in these countries.
Ian — Yes, which is why we partnered with Gemini to be the only exchange with GUSD available.
Is there already a schedule for the private sale? 120k doesn’t sound like a lot of funding. Do you think this initial investment in your company will be enough to keep you on track for the ICO/IEO?
Ian — 120k is not a lot, but we are a very lean start up and have a low cash burn rate. We focused only on the product and business development and guerilla marketing. Once we raise more, we will do a greater marketing campaign.
You guys are building among other things an Interoperability Network, can you explain a bit how the other platforms work and what the advantages compared to the existing networks/cryptos?
Naiem — This is a question that is hard to answer with the limited time in this Q&A but, overall, we use a method we call decentralized proxy tokens. We have also partnered with Fusion to improve the security of the decentralized proxy solution based on some recent academic publications.
The big picture is that users will run light weight Ferrum companion nodes alongside other nodes such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and etc.
One unique feature is that we can interop with any network that uses elliptic curve cryptography (DAG).
Are there a lot of current elliptic curve cryptography networks?
Naiem — Pretty much any Crypto worth the ironic exception of IOTA which our DAG blockchain is based on.
What makes the Unifyre wallet different from existing cold wallets and how do you secure this wallet?
Ian — UniFyre Wallet is actually a hot wallet but it is unique in that it runs on the Ferrum Network so it cross-chain, extremely fast and super cheap to exchanges/transact any digital asset. Every transaction in the Ferrum Network happens in milliseconds because it is a DAG. It also costs about 1 cent in FRM tokens for that transaction as a gas fee. Therefore, to send 100k worth of BTC you don’t have to pay the bitcoin miner fee. Just 1 cent in FRM network fees.
We have a solution cold-wallets as well. It’s called Sub-Zero Wallet and it’s the most secure and accessible cold storage app on the market. It works with any offline android phone and can interact with our hot wallet and our exchanges.
Sub-Zero Wallet will be released in Q3 as an app. It’s not a hardware wallet per se. But this means it is much cheaper and accessible worldwide. It was designed with emerging markets in mind but will be marketed to the greater portion of crypto enthusiasts, investors and traders.
What tokens can u store on the Unifyre wallet?
Germaine Ifudu (TLG Ventures) — The technology can work with any network or coin, but we will be selective on which we enable at launch.
Ian — Right now, Ferrum Network is connected to the Bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum blockchain and Ripple network. So, it supports ERC-20 tokens, BTC, and XRP. Next, we’re looking to connect to Binance’s chain, EOS, and some other major chains to support more assets.
Can u tell us something about the listing process on the Exchange?
Ian — So for Kudi Exchange, we are being extremely and only listing assets that make sense in that market. For UniFyre, we will list more tokens, but only through a highly vetted process.
Does it have disadvantages to have ‘shit’ tokens on Ferrum?
Ian — No just reputational harm if they are scams. The truth is we want all respected and worthwhile tokens to be tradeable in Ferrum, even the up and coming ones!
How will you get enough liquidity on the DEX? This seems like a big challenge for a starting crypto with many ideas/platforms already being worked on.
Ian — In terms of the DEX that is a longer-term product that we will focus on when the market conditions are ready for a DEX. Ours is very unique in that is a true cross-chain high speed DEX that can compete with the best CEXs but never holds your assets.
How can we compare your cold storage solution (Sub-Zero Wallet) with the current Ledger device? How is Sub-Zero different and what makes it more secure than Ledger?
Naiem — From the market point of view there is no hardware cost because it’s based on any Android wallet and available around the world. Where-as Ledger is a luxury hardware wallet, there’s a monetary investment that an investor or generic crypto enthusiasts have to acquire a Ledger or Nano.
From security point of view:
1. I want my cold wallet to have NO physical or air connection to the internet not even through a USB.
2. We utilize several layers of security, the on device trusted computing unit (through Rivetz), Android encryption and Sub-Zero encryption.
3. We will have 3 out of 3, and 3 out of 5 recovery phrases to drastically reduce the risks of having a single recovery card.
A very important subject is the FRM token, which are spent and burned for every transaction on the network. Can you tell a bit more about the token and how it’s used in the network?
Ian — The FRM token is the gas of the network. It’s like Ethereum gas. It is required to be spent and burned for each transaction. For example, when someone on the UniFyre wallet sends BTC to their friend, that will cost 1 cent in network fees. But since there are no miners, it’s not Proof-of-work (POW), rather it’s called proof of burn which require the FRM token be burned to confirm the transaction.
We earn revenue from small fees we charge to use the products. For instance, Kudi Exchange charges about 1.5% every time you deposit or withdraw money to and from your bank account to your Kudi app.
We also have very unique token metrics that allow us to raise a fraction of what other projects raise and yet still hit our roadmap goals. It’s called The Reserve Model.
Token metrics are not published yet, right?
Ian — We think you will love the metrics. They align the incentives of the project and the investors and place more risk on the project and not the investors. We think they represent the future of crypto project fundraising. The available details can be found in our One-pager.
Is it possible to currently run a node on your network?
Naiem — Yes eventually. We are working to release the test net publicly as soon as possible. You can register for the testnet here: https://ferrum.network/testnet.html.
Is the Reserve Model already described in the whitepaper? Or will it be elucidated with the token metrics?
Ian — It is not in this version of the whitepaper but will be in future versions. We will be publishing a medium article about it in the next few weeks. But essentially what it does is keep a percentage of tokens locked in the company reserve, and they only get released when we hit certain traction-based milestones and slowly over the passage of time. For example, if we get 100k users on Kudi, a small amount will become available, and so forth. This way our initial circulating supply is very low and the raise is also very low. But we are incentivized to be successful.
Are there any rewards for staking in the future?
Ian — Yes, we are devising very exciting staking model which will be quite beneficial especially in the early months after TGE. We have another article on that coming out later.
Would there be some type of reward or bounty-based system to incentives people to trade on the Kudi Exchange once it’s live?
Ian — Yes we are actually working on a bounty program now to reward people in FRM for referring people and using the app. We will also have a built-in referral reward system into the app which will reward people in actual Naira (Nigerian currency).
BTW, the Kudi Exchange app is going live publicly the week of the 20th!
When will this article be ready regarding the staking?
Ian — Staking will be finalized a little closer to the public sale. There’s a lot of moving parts and we want to make sure we get it exactly right rather than prematurely rush out a non-optimal structure.
Thank you Ferrum team and all participants for your time and effort here. We are looking forward to see the project develop the coming months and hopefully all goals will be achieved the coming year(s).
Ian — Thank you, please head over to the main Ferrum chat where we are always happy to answer anyone’s questions!
Naiem — Thank you all!
Kudi Exchange: https://kudi.exchange/
Unifyre Wallet: https://unifyre.io/
Bitcoin Talk: http://bitcointalk.ferrum.network