Finance.vote — Telegram AMA — February 17
On Wednesday, February 17, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
Nick Almond, Co-Founder & CEO,
We asked him questions about the development of Finance.vote.
Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.
Finance.vote is a decentralized system for enhancing the governance of crypto networks, engaging in market discovery and socially coordinated trading; provides market alpha, project validation tools, and influence formation for any project in crypto.
Finance.vote has integrated with Chainlink as its go-to oracle solution for its prediction market dApp, markets.vote. Chainlink will be integrated into Finance.vote’s second layer governance tools, which means that FVT token holders can add new tokens to the prediction markets and effectively create new Chainlink Price Feeds as they are required.
Halborn has completed a security audit of the yield.vote smart contract, finding zero contract vulnerabilities. This will open the door for a swift release of the finance.vote network’s liquidity mining programme.
The finance.vote social trading system will use voting and consensus to make trading digital assets and NFTs a collaborative experience.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: Let’s start by hearing a bit about you. What did you do before crypto and did you have any other previous venture in crypto?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Hey everyone, very nice to be here. It’s been quite a windy road to get here, but for the most part, I’ve spent the last two decades in academia. I started in Physics, where I obtained a PhD and worked in nanotechnology.
After that, I worked in astrophysics for a bit and then got a job as a mathematics lecturer. That’s where I discovered Bitcoin early on whilst I was teaching cryptography. After that, I ended up ascending the ranks of universities and ended up as an associate dean at the London College of Fashion.
For the last 5 years or so though, I’ve been completely obsessed with crypto and I’ve been working with a load of blockchain startups advising them on the theoretical side of things (mostly token economics) and building governance systems. And that’s what’s got me here. We managed to complete a raise with some of my most trusted friends in the crypto space around September of last year and since then, we’ve been nonstop building. It’s been fun!
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: This sounds like the killer combination for the project. I reckon being in academia makes it easier to explain the project to people.
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: I hope so, it’s also made the project a lot more innovative and complex, so we’ve got a lot more explaining to do. But I’m just getting back into the flow of doing teaching again and I intend to build a large education function out of what we’re doing.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: Let’s find out more about the project then. What is the project about in a few simple sentences?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: I’ve spent the last ten years or so building education systems and actually you can probably think of what we’re building as an education system for building collective intelligence.
Sure, at a very high level we’re a governance platform. We call ourselves the consensus layer for DeFi, which means we aim to build voting technology that harnesses the power of users' insight into the crypto space and funnels it into productive use.
We’re making a bunch of “consensus apps” which are basically dApps that will plug into the DAOs of the future.
Most of the tokens that have turned up in the last year are governance tokens, we intend to be the best one ;)
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: What sets you apart then? Is there any other crypto competitor(s) that seeks to do what you are doing, being a consensus layer for DeFi?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: I think what will set us apart is that our token will actually give our users power, rather than just the token whales. We’re using things like quadratic voting and reputation systems that reward participation over just the amount of tokens you hold.
In terms of the kind of systems, we’re like. One of our apps, markets.vote, is a prediction market. So we’re a bit like Augur and some of the other new school prediction market systems that have arrived.
But we’re also a yield system and a voting system like a snapshot. But together all these apps stitch to create a DAO network similar to Aragon, but with a specific use case of discovering market alpha and investment opportunities.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: For how long have you been working on the project? And how many people are on the team?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Our team has been assembled and working on this since around mid-2020. It was the whole pandemic fiasco that made us finally pull the trigger, but I’ve been designing this in my head since around 2016. We started as a group of 3 but we’re now around 10 and growing rapidly.
Our first product launched on the day of the American Election, November 3rd (we had to do it haha).
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: I’m guessing it was a prediction of who will win?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: No it was on crypto assets, we didn’t want to jump into the whole TRUMP, NOTRUMP thing although we did think about it.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: Well, it’d be interesting to know your thoughts on voting on the blockchain. Will it take out cheating as alleged by Mr Trump? Do you have plans for Finance.vote to be used in a general election?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Yeah interesting question. I mean the end game for all voting technology, if it’s successful, should be to improve the obviously broken systems out in the real world. But anyone attempting to do that as a scrappy blockchain start-up is frankly wasting their time.
Our goal is to build adoption into our voting systems over several years and prove that it can be done better through real evidence rather than going to some government and saying please use our tech. They would probably just be scared by the amount of accountability that they would suddenly have anyway.
So one day, we plan on improving in real-life governance systems, but like Bitcoin, it will be years of battle testing that gets us there.
Q — Telegram user Teuta: Can you explain the Influence Vote that is coming in March?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Yep! So you might have noticed the snapshot.page which has been a great open-source service to the space. In fact, there are over 400 projects on it. We want to build another snapshot voting space that some more advanced governance tools on it specifically focused on quadratic voting. This will be where users decide which tokens are good enough to go into our token list, but we’ll do fun stuff like, vote on the best memes (you can actually earn money for this, and making them), and also you’ll be able to steer the project by telling us what features you want on the apps.
Q — Telegram user prayoga taufik: What is Decentralized Digital Democracy? Who can be a citizen of your digital democracy and what are the benefits of obtaining citizenship?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: This is a great question! It’s where I think the world is heading eventually and we want to have the technology ready for when it happens. If you follow the crypto vision, it’s all about how the internet transforms into a place that transcends the nation-state. We might live in a country, but online we’re in a digital world that we control. We want those digital spaces to be true democracies. Direct democracy is one where everyone can influence the way things work directly. You have the power, not some centralized government. It’s a big idea :)
Q — Telegram user Jar Ad: Does this mean that the finance.vote system can be used for pump and dump schemes, as it was popular in 2017?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Actually what we’re trying to stop! So in a combination of our auction mechanism and our token curation we want to build a space where people can come to and get into emerging token markets but in a way where people don’t try and get too close to shitcoin source where you’re almost certain to get rekt. Our goal is to pay our users to select tokens so that new people entering the space can avoid getting tangled up in this kind of thing.
Q — Telegram user Galdirik: Based on your website, users will vote for coins they expect will perform well next week. How are you confident that the more voted coins will be among the top winners or will perform well next week?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote:: We certainly can’t be sure that we’ll be correct. In fact, if we’re correct any more than 10% of the time it means that our voters’ collective intelligence is more accurate than just a random guess and that could be a really important edge. So far we’re about 20% if not a little higher so there’s something there but we expect that it gets better over time. There are absolutely no guarantees in markets, especially tokens.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: What is the token use case and how does it capture the value of the ecosystem you’re building?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: So right now you need FVT to mint an identity on our markets.vote platform. You swap FVT for an NFT, which gives you voting rights and gains you access to our chambers (a token gated chat), but it will soon be used as stake weighted voting power, and also as a utility token for making market bets in our system.
My big thing for years has been token economics, and we have about 5 years of plans for building utility into the token across about a dozen apps.
Every single one of our apps will utilize FVT and for the most part, use means burning out of existence so all the users benefit from adoption.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: Did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: But we did find it poetic at least to get the future of voting technology out there on that day.
We completed a private sale in the (DeFi) summer last year, which gives us a healthy runway, but not such a huge amount that it means whales control our token economy.
We did a public sale by way of an auction mechanism that we designed ourselves. And all of those funds were used to kick start Uniswap market and generated locked liquidity. So they weren’t for building with. No plans on any further raise. The only place to get tokens is out of the market, voting, or farming.
Q — Twitter user @HarputluResul: How do you feel about the auction result and is the funding enough to keep the platform running for 2–3 years? What could have been done better for the auction?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Yeah this is an interesting question. Our auction was one of the most exciting, terrifying, emotional days of my life. Haha.
Our token went up to about $0.07 for a period of time and we built it in such a way that the supply went up and the price decayed throughout the day. We wanted to avoid the huge pump and dump phenomenon that happens on token listings. Which just results in a few people getting rich and a lot of others getting rekt.
So the token price ended at about $0.008 with an average sale price of about $0.02 which is what we listed our token at.
The idea was that we build a consensus mechanism for finding the real price that people think the token is worth and I actually think we did that. We’re actually still a little under that fair price we found on that day.
I think it was new, it was exciting, and probably how token sales should be done in the future. It was probably a little too fair for what people were expecting if that makes sense but I thought it achieved the goals of what it set out to do.
Oh, and we don’t get any of those funds for building the platform all of that went to liquidity in Uniswap, which means we’ve got well over a million $ in our Uniswap pool that is locked in there. More rug protection.
As for what could have been done better, I think it might have been more effective if we had locked the tokens up until the auction was completed. They were tradable throughout and that added a weird layer of complexity that non of my simulations had accounted for.
Q — Twitter user @y1sus_afp: Finance vote has integrated Chainlink as an Oracle solution. How has this new merger helped to improve the prediction markets that the project has developed? How do you ensure that the added external data is reliable and verifiable at all times?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Yeah so we’ve done an interesting deal with Chainlink that will mean that we will integrate our governance tools into their feed creation processes.
On our system, we keep a curated list of tokens, which are selected by vote. So our goal is to keep a list of the top tokens in DeFi by vote forevermore.
We might pick tokens that Chainlink doesn’t have feeds for and they’ve agreed to make them for us if they aren’t there. Which I think will make it highly desirable to be on our list. Because if you don’t have a Chainlink feed you don’t exist in DeFi.
The second question is also really important. Even though it’s Chainlink, in crypto we don’t trust, we verify. So we’ve added an oracle challenge process whereby FVT is staked to resolve oracle disputes. So basically FVT also does what REP doesn’t in Augur.
So we’ll have the best data on market closes week in week out of the best tokens in DeFi as picked by our users all with data provided by Chainlink. Pretty cool.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS: What stage is the project at? And what should we look forward to in the coming weeks and months?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Yeah so it’s an exciting period. We’ve just upgraded our prediction market which is a truly unstoppable application now.
We’ve integrated Chainlink, which means our data and settlement is truly decentralized and we’re going to keep adding new features to this including staking mechanics and social trading tools.
The new release coming up will be yield.vote which is going to a brand new way of doing liquidity mining. I can actually give you a sneak peek of it now.
A bit of alpha for you there ;)
Then we’ve got this rather elaborate roadmap to build out. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have markets, auction and yield built and on mainnet and then next month we’ll launch Influence which is our snapshot voting app with quadratic voting.
This is a bit like a skill tree that you might have come across in video games. FVT holders are going to vote on which of these apps we make in what order.
Q — Twitter user @cryptoenr1que: Finance Vote will soon launch Yield Vote, which uses radical crypto-economics to create “permanent liquidity”. How exactly does this new liquidity extraction platform you will be implementing accomplish this? What advantages does it have over other similar platforms on the market?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: So I think we’re trying to fix some of the big problems in the DeFi space at the moment with liquidity mining
The whole DeFi space went boom 💥 when people started issuing tokens for providing liquidity. The problem is that when you give away tokens that people just move onto the next best deal and take their liquidity with them. Rug pull time.
We’re getting around that by providing the incentives for stakers to burn some of their LP tokens meaning that the liquidity stays in the contract forever. That’s perma-liquidity.
You’ll also see people getting stuck with how to govern these things. Uniswap never did manage to resolve their governance systems on how to do the next round of their liquidity mining. So we’ve made it all tuneable by voting. FVT holders control the “pulses” on this. How many tokens we give away and how many people we let into the lots.
Lot’s are what we call “protocol property”.
It’s like owning a house on the protocol and you protect it by paying a Harberger Tax, which is a radical crypto-economic idea that’s been talked about theoretically for the last few years but we’re putting it into practice.
So the advantages are that we’re making the system rug pull-proof that will build long-term assurances about the quality of the market, and making it all tuned by token voting so it’s long-term sustainable.
Q — Telegram user FoRt: What strategies will you employ to bring non-crypto-natives into the $FVT ecosystem? How does $FVT balance between developing technology and increasing the $FVT token value?
A — Dr Nick from Finance.vote: Absolutely, I mentioned earlier that we wanted to build out a huge educational piece to this and I think we’re about to get about a third of the planet entering the crypto space in the next few years. We want to be ready for that when it happens to make sure we’ve got the right educational material and tools for people to explore the crypto space in a safer way than they would be on their own. It can be a dangerous place when you first start and we want to do our bit to help there. As for balancing new technology, our goal is to build a system where a treasury funds the development of this into the distant future. So it will be whatever the users want it to be!
Thanks a lot for coming in today, Dr. Nick. It was really interesting learning more about finance.vote. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Where can people go to follow what you’re doing? — Ayeley Commodore-M from GAINS:
Ok, everyone! Thanks so much for the great questions. We think this is the best group out there. So hopefully we won’t be strangers for long. Do come and get involved in what we’re doing. It will be fun! Here are some useful links. Come and join our group we do a live voice chat every Friday at 3 pm UTC!
Join our official token gated community: the Citizens Chamber. You need to mint a decentralised identity token to join. Also join our Community Call: at 3pm UTC every Friday in the unofficial group. — Dr Nick from Finance.vote