It’s been exactly one year since we published a piece on Medium introducing 8x. https://medium.com/8xprotocol/introducing-the-8x-protocol-4051e8df3000
After successfully selling my first venture; http://thehomeworkapp.com — a five-year endeavour, starting from the age of 14 which went on to gain over two million downloads and over 100,000 monthly active users. It was time to jump down into the crypto rabbit hole, the idea for a protocol which would handle recurring payments was one which I became passionate about.
Millions of people around the world are locked out of financial infrastructures, as traditional payment rails that allow consumers to participate and purchase products and services are maintained as luxury in many cases where documentation and ID infrastructure is inadequate. Infrastructure allowing businesses and enterprises to integrate into the new decentralised economy is still lacking. With no solution existing, 8x Protocol was created, tasked with the purpose of creating a decentralised network of nodes that would execute subscription payments in a stable coin on behalf of users (since an external trigger is need to make the payment).
Assembling Forces — Our Journey
The culmination of ideas and thoughts led to the drafting and formation of our whitepaper. With a small team and community around me assembled, we began to start executing on a solution to bridge this gap. Enthusiastic about the potential of Helis, we self-funded the project in order to complete our MVP build and validate our ideas by taking the project to the next stage.
Our MVP was a simple protocol which enabled recurring payments, an implementation of a node to execute subscriptions and a SDK that businesses could use to charge their customers. Our front-ends were extremely user-friendly, as we envisioned other startups building on top of our code.
With three months of painstaking worth and development, it was finally time to get feedback from the community. Heading to ETH San Francisco to get feedback from VCs with our working beta, developer documentation and white paper, was an eye-opener. We barely knew anyone in the space, however thanks to the help of Felix Feng and Zhuoxun Yin, an entirely new eco-system of the world’s best entrepreneurs, developers and smart-thinking were introduced to us; our initial scope seemed to small in an industry full of fundamental gaps and problems.
There were a lot of positive conversations and we got good feedback:
- Many investors didn’t believe in the viability of a consumer-payments protocol yet.
- The game theory behind the protocol economics had doubts on whether it’d be feasible due to complexity.
- Concerns about whether the idea was more of feature rather than a business.
Rather than focusing purely on a technology based solution, we started thinking about problems faced by businesses, our ultimate customers. As our newsletter, the 8x Protocol Weekly newsletter continued to grow its audience and publish articles on updates about the best De-Fi project. Assessing our periphery, we surveyed their difficulties as startups in the industry. One of the clear problems across many companies that had conducted ICO’s or private equity raises was that such companies lacked the tools to pay their employees, investors and contractors efficiently. Whether it was salaries, token vesting schedules or contractor payments there was a lot of manual work, incurring huge labour costs and extra human resources. We knew we could solve this.
Consumer Focus to Business Focus
This was the turning point in our thinking. We started working on a blockchain payroll solution that would make it easy for businesses to make payments to employees, investors and customers. Working late into the night with the team for several months, we finally emerged with a solution…
With this proof of concept/beta we managed to get early traction, with interest from a number of blockchain companies and enterprises. As part of further product development, the scope quickly began to expand, we were realising that payroll weren’t only issues affecting businesses. Decentralised payments, in its various manifestations, across multiple verticals became the focal point of the problem. 8x has evolved from a simple protocol to a sophisticated network to address just that.
A New Direction
We are proud to announce that 8x will now evolve into Helis Network.
With a new strategy and vision, Helis Network is being launched to reflect our new purpose. So what’s different?
- Clarity and Vision — a network that enables businesses using our products and blockchain technology to conduct decentralised payments in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible
- Products not protocols — In 2018 everyone thought protocols would be the great thing. However it’s actually products that capture the most value. Helis will focus on building a suite of products that enable the next generation of businesses to integrate into blockchain.
- Enterprise adoption — we’re building a product-suite of blockchain tools for all businesses enabling integration into decentralised payments and economies. Helis Network aims to enable businesses to be able to access scalability, cost reduction, settlement and privacy.
Stay tuned as over the coming weeks as we’ll be outlining what Helis Network is building and specifics about our product suite, architecture, pilots and a host of other information. We’ve been working day and night and you won’t be disappointed.
We hope you found this post useful about where we are in our journey.
If you’d like to know more about our development, we’d love for you to join our discussion on: