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GAINS Associates

DSLA Protocol — Telegram QUIZ & AMA — August 29

On Saturday, August 29, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:

Wilhem Pujar, CEO of DSLA Protocol.

We asked him questions about the development of the DSLA Protocol.

Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.

Summary

DSLA Protocol is peer-to-peer insurance for protecting users against service delays and disruptions using programmable insurance payouts.

It transfers DSLA Tokens between service providers, the people that vouch for them, and service customers, according to service levels. DSLA contracts can self-operate without a legal team, support team, and with no insurance companies.

DSLA Protocol has sold scalability prediction engines and reliability engineering consulting services to technology companies.

DSLA Protocol has partnered with leading companies such as Band Protocol or Harmony.

Introduction

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What did you do before crypto, how did you get into crypto, and did you have any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with DSLA Protocol?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Thanks Alex! Well, before crypto, I spent the past 12 years doing software architecture for a wide variety of companies of all sizes. I also founded a social media and sentiment monitoring startup called Tag&See in 2012.

I think my interest in the effect of social media sentiment on investment decisions comes from there!

I discovered cryptocurrencies while researching creative ways to incentivize performance testing in the first version of the Stacktical scalability prediction platform. My first attempt at developing a blockchain project was an online school called SchoolChain, that would reward its students for watching any topical content on the Internet.

Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Could it be used for crypto? Analyzing the sentiment in various Telegram groups or Twitter to see what people think about certain coins?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Absolutely. It would also generate visualization widgets to drive the public into purchasing assets.

It was a different era though so we mostly used it during tech conferences.

Product

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What’s your role at DSLA Protocol and what is the project about in a few simple sentences?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: I am the CEO of the Stacktical company, core developers of the DSLA Protocol. DSLA Protocol is like peer-to-peer insurance for protecting users against service delays and disruptions using programmable insurance payouts.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What kinds of delays and disruptions are we talking about here? How big are the risks when the delays or disruptions occur?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Ultimately, all services that can be monitored will be compatible with DSLA Protocol. SLA contracts have been used in the Logistics, Telecom, and Web Hosting industry for the past 30 years or so. They are a governance vehicle with managing the risk associated with the delivery of goods, services, data, and the transportation of people.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What does SLA mean?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: SLA stands for Service Level Agreements. Contracts that are used to set Quality of Service expectations for a service, and ways to settle a dispute when the service doesn’t work as expected.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What do you bring compared to existing insurance options?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: DSLA is a Decentralized version of SLA contracts. The problem with traditional SLA contracts is that they are a legal answer to service delivery challenges. They are slow to deploy, quickly outdated, hard to enforce, and ultimately create an incentive to deliver minimum service at minimum cost.

DSLA contracts can self-operate without a legal team, support team, and with no insurance companies. It’s all decentralized.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Do you have a specific target insure?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Absolutely, that’s why our flagship use case and focus has been to use DSLA to provide a hedge against staking risk.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Meaning more trust and cheaper because of fewer intermediaries?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: It goes beyond that. The fact that anyone can roll out a DSLA contract to hedge against the risk of any provider is unprecedented. This enables a true, competitive SLA contract marketplace to emerge, and gives exponentially more options to consumers. By decentralized, we also mean Permissionless SLA contracts.

Also, service providers are rewarded for their operational excellence, as much as consumers are compensated for delays and failures. It’s a way to align interests when it comes to connected and online services.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What stage is the project/product at?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: DSLA Protocol and DSLA Network, the dApp that implements it, are both up and running on the Ethereum Ropsten network. We’re organizing an incentivized beta on September 30, so everyone can try our new release in exchange for rewards. Depending on security audits, we’re targeting November 30 for our mainnet release.

For the beta, we’ve partnered with Harmony and Band Protocol, to provide a hedge against ONE and BAND staking risks.

We have also announced support for DOT staking.

It’s a real pleasure to announce partnerships that directly participate in the building of DSLA.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: What is the token use case? How did you make sure it captures the value of the ecosystem you’re building?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: DSLA Token is similar to a tokenized version of AWS service credits. DSLA Protocol transfers DSLA Tokens between service providers, the people that vouch for them, and service customers, according to good and bad service levels (the health of the monitored service). Tokens are also used to pay for DSLA contract verification fees and are burnt in the process. This makes the total supply of DSLA decrease with the actual usage of the protocol.

Q — Twitter user @toanphamhd83: Due to the rise in Ethereum’s transaction fees, has the team thought about switching to another blockchain? Which cross-chain solutions will DSLA have? Why did DSLA choose to build on Ethereum first?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Throughout my career, I’ve been repeatedly tasked with selecting the right component for the right job in our software architecture. It’s a never-ending debate, but it’s hard to ignore Ethereum’s current dominance when you’re building software, and teams around it.

I think Ethereum is alright when it comes to the settlement of most contracts, including SLA contracts. When we need faster throughput, we rely on different pieces of the DSLA cross-chain architecture. In our current design, the monitoring feature of DSLA Protocol doesn’t happen on Ethereum but on Polkadot, and these parts are communicating through Band Oracles.

In short, we’re actually cross-chain, with what we think is a good separation of concerns to make the whole thing work in satisfying conditions for all.

Q — Twitter user @Pamoato: What would be the major differences between SLA and DSLA contracts? What are the specific problems that the Stacktical project aims to solve through DSLA?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: DSLA contracts let anyone protect anybody against the failure of any service. It’s permissionless in the true sense of not even having to ask your service provider for permission, for caring about you after reliability incidents.

Instead of asymmetric SLA contracts that only create an incentive for minimal service at minimum cost (which favours providers), you get more symmetric DSLA contracts with better terms for all, through a decentralized network of peer-to-peer SLAs.

DSLA contracts also reward providers for their operational excellence. As a governance vehicle, they are more flexible and better able to align interests between service stakeholders.

Q — Twitter user @Crypto_Isaac: Tell us more about your community program — DSLA Residency. What are the benefits of being a resident and when would you start on-boarding new residents? Which geographical region do you plan to expand the program to, in the course of time?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: The DSLA Residency is designed to enable everyone in the community to contribute more actively to the DSLA family of products.

One of our key objectives as the DSLA Core Team is to ensure that users ultimately have a greater say about DSLA Protocol and its dApps than us. The Residency is the first step towards that goal.

In the beginning, Residents will be tasked with various missions in exchange for DSLA tokens.

We expect contributions in the following areas :

  • Maintenance of DSLA Protocol (smart contracts)
  • Maintenance of DSLA Network (frontend/backend)
  • Security, Architecture & Infrastructure
  • Development of new Products
  • Participation in User Interviews

The onboarding of the 1st wave will start in September. I can’t confirm geography for now, but the typical crypto-friendly nation citizens should be able to participate.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Will there be a DAO at some point?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Yes. That’s the plan.

Q — Telegram user Elly ♂️: How does the DSLA protocol helps validators & delegators mitigate slashing risks?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Validators can use DSLA to offer their Delegators decentralized insurance against slashing, drops in staking efficiency, and late payouts. So instead of getting slashed 5% of your staking deposit as a Delegator, DSLA will enable you to shield your loss to 1 or 2%, for example.

Q — Telegram user Mahathi: Who is eligible to get DSLA Compensation and DSLA Reward?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: DSLA compensations are claimable by Active Delegators, while DSLA rewards are granted to DSLA contract owners. A contract owner can either be the Staking Service Provider itself, or someone who vouches for a given provider.

Q — Telegram user John: What benefits will DSLA will get from Harmony and Band Protocol partnerships?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: During the beta, Harmony, Band and Polkadot delegators will be able to purchase protection against staking risks, while validators will be able to sell this protection. Band Protocol also empowers the enforcement of DSLA smart contracts, by connecting our protocol to the staking analytics of our decentralized performance monitoring data indexer.

Q — Telegram user Venkatz K: DSLA went up 800% as per June 2020 before mainnet. What feature attracts the investors in mass? Why is DSLA rewarding and compensating for both roles? Do Service Providers need rewards?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: This is not financial advice, obviously, but I know some of our community members had lost hope to see an actual DeFi product doing something other than fancy loans.

We’re very serious about getting our fundamentals right and pushing the industry to become more mature with better risk management practices.

Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have been DeFi from day one, let’s not be mistaken. And in terms of decentralizing financial products, there are a lot of things you can do beyond DEXes, stablecoins, and lending.

Q — Telegram user nyo_cant: When there is an issue in relation to any of the parties signing a DSLA, how will it be sorted out?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Issues are automatically settled based on staking analytics. Since all stakeholders agree on terms beforehand and rely on the same analytics to establish SLA breaches, DSLA can fully automate the compensation of delegator victims of slashing penalties and the reward of Validators that have an excellent track record of operating their blockchain node.

Q — Telegram user Apocan: Do you accept/expect support from developers? If yes, are there any criteria to be eligible and are there any bounty programs for the developers who contribute to your system?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: This is exactly what the DSLA Residency is about! To learn more about the program, please click here. Send us an email if you’d like to get involved.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Does DSLA have any competitors?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: There are always competitors!

But the general definition of competition, in that case, would be: who do I turn to, as a service provider, to manage the quality of the service delivered to my customers?

The answer to that is:

  1. IT Service Management (ITSM) Platforms or Products, with Service Level Management (SLM) capabilities :
  • Integrated Solutions and ITSM Consulting (ServiceNow)
  • APM/NPM DevOps software (Dynatrace, AppDynamics, Prometheus)
  • IT Help Desks (Zendesk, Freshdesk)

2. Insurance Products from (Decentralized) Insurtech companies:

  • Etherisc
  • Nexus Mutual
  • Opyn etc.

As a Service Level Management protocol, we provide a Service Governance vehicle that goes beyond what insurance can do, and how it does it.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Will having a new insurance model might bring more volume and interest from bigger parties into PoS protocols & projects?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Absolutely. I’d venture to say that something akin to decentralized insurance like DSLA pushes decentralization and adoption in the entire space, by offering some of the guarantees that some key players had been missing until now.

We need to send a signal of trust and maturity to the folks that are still on the sidelines. Onboard everyone by eliminating all excuses to remain ‘nocoiner’.

Team

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: How many people are working on the project?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: We’re a team of 6 with access to resources of one of France’s top blockchain accelerators (although it’s under NDA for now). I first called our co-founder and CTO to discuss the original idea of Stacktical in December 2016. We’re specifically focusing on DSLA Protocol since February 2017.

Finances

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: Have you raised funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Stacktical is originally a bootstrapped company, with sound cash flow management practices and revenue/profitability from day one. We did a relatively small ICO with friends, family, and a couple of private companies (1M USD) in 2018 to accelerate our growth. It enabled us to work full time on the project until now. There is no plan to raise future rounds at this stage.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: It’s been under the radar for a long time

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: Yes, the crypto planets need to align so that certain products like DSLA can be created.

For example, we’ve been monitoring the Decentralized Oracle space for nearly 3 years, patiently waiting for actual solutions to be mature enough to consolidate some of the parts of DSLA.

Engineering cryptocurrency products is always a balancing act, with a lot of moving parts.

Q — Alex Raffin from GAINS: How were you able to be profitable from day 1?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: We’ve sold our scalability prediction engine and reliability engineering consulting services to technology companies. This enabled us to get paid for getting feedback about what we were building.

Partners

Q — Telegram user Red: Which types of partnerships has DSLA achieved?

A — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol: XYO Network, Harmony, Band, and more to be announced, including renowned staking service providers and DeFi services.

Thanks for all the answers Wilhem, it was very educational. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Where can we follow DSLA Protocol? — Alex Raffin from GAINS

Thanks to you, and the Gains community! Happy to have everyone here participate in the upcoming incentivized beta. Obviously, there is no project/product without the unwavering support of the community. Our official pages: Telegram, Twitter, Website, and all project information can be found on these pages. — Wilhem Pujar from DSLA Protocol

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