Incent update — 31 March 2017
Our latest update, from Incent CEO Rob Wilson
March has been a huge month for us here in Sydney and I’m really excited to bring you all up to speed.
To review our core product build, I am pleased to report that we are exactly where we hoped to be at this point. The (IONIC) consumer wallet app is complete to MVP, Crypto Integration is complete to MVP, the API is complete to MVP and both Merchant Integration and Operations Management are in-build as we work with Client #1.
From here, Client #1 decisions will, to an extent, drive time-scale to ‘go-live’ in all areas, including a localised UX for the App, but we have been working in close co-operation for the last 2 weeks and progress has been pleasing.
BlockSwap has been live in beta for the last 3 weeks, with Riptobux, WCT, Waves(BTC) and Incent ‘live and swapping’ with no issues. Golem Network Token and Waves are next up. Further, and enabled by BlockSwap, Incent is now listed and tradeable on Bok Koo’s Crypto Derivatives DEX. More on this later.
ICOTech has been the subject of focussed back-end development in preparation for MobileGo’s forthcoming ICO (opening 25 April). We’ve tightened the code base significantly, enabled deposits in Ether and Game Credits and, following ICO completion, user triggered withdrawals from their deposit dashboard.
The Development Path from Here
As I have already alluded, to a large extent, technical development from here will be driven by commercial activity — meaning that we need to remain flexible to the needs of our clients and always responsive to the commercial opportunity. Notwithstanding, some of you have been asking questions about our intentions regarding the consumer mobile app; namely, ‘will an Incent App be available for anyone to download from Apple or Google?’. While I’m not ready to put a time-scale on this, with the MVP built we are actively exploring the means to allow app users to buy Incent, lock value in local currency, and search / buy products from vendors with whom we have no commercial relationship. Once these modifications were in place and a slick UX applied, we would have a mobile product ready for release. We are excited by this vision and once we have identified a solid commercial benefit for doing so (or a client who wants this functionality enough to pay for us to develop it) we will pull the lever. Watch this space.
The question that everyone has wanted to know the answer to: ‘who will be merchant Client#1?!’. So forgive me for keeping you waiting but I am very pleased to formally announce that Client#1 will be a Chinese employee incentive company called Jufenbao. We consider Jufenbao an ideal fit for Incent as they are super keen to move their client’s employee reward tokens on-blockchain, they are a well established entity in a huge market and they have local representation in Sydney, which enables us to work through the specifics of a bespoke solution quickly and easily. And clearly, it isn’t lost on us that the value our product will bring to their existing user base has the potential to deliver meaningful and sustained demand for Incent. I hope you are thrilled — we certainly are.
Further Opportunities Knocking
Aside Jufenbao, we are in dialogue with two further commercial prospects worth mentioning. The first is an Australian employee incentivisation company who are exploring the benefits of doing exactly as Jufenbao are doing and the second is a very well established and successful US marketing entity who having recent sold their merchant gift card business, have bought the Puntos.com (‘Points’ in Spanish) domain name, with the aim of selling blockchain rewards into the Spanish speaking world, starting with Mexico (…!). This is all pretty heady stuff and you can probably detect a theme emerging but I want to be clear that both discussions are at an early stage. Hopefully I will be in a position to provide more clarity next month. In the meantime, we are hugely encouraged that both of these prospects sought us out unbidden. This is — we believe — the potential power of our value proposition.
The attraction of drawing bluechip projects onto the Waves blockchain was a key motivation for us when we made the decision, back in December, to iterate on our own deposit technology and pitch it to market as a complimentary side project. As I’ve already mentioned, our partnership with the MobileGo team has both stimulated and financed significant technical development of strategic value to our core business. And in the meantime, their funding activity, due to kick-off 25 April, promises to be a belter - that will provide a most welcome and early stimulus to demand for Incent, given that all MobileGo token purchasers will be rewarded with a bonus amount of Incent, which we will source from the market on their behalf.
If you haven’t taken a look at MobileGo’s literature yet you really should. Unlike Incent, which I would characterise as an early stage, longer-term proposition, albeit with stratospheric upside if we get it right, the Game team are a strong and established team, with a mature product and partnerships, seeking marketing funds to pitch their unique solution to a market and demographic ideally suited to crypto-adoption. Further, their value proposition is highly credible with significant, quantifiable, short time-scale returns. Our unique position as a development partner has presented us with a unique insight as to the interest that their ICO is attracting and we are not at all surprised that significant institutional money is interested. This is, without question, going to be big. I’m proud that they trust my team to deliver their ICO technically and thrilled that Incent holders will be direct beneficiaries of their inevitable success, whether they decide to get involved or not.
Interest in ICOTech is growing with enquiries growing at the rate of several a week. In the wake of an unpleasant experience at the hands of our first ICOTech client, we had been somewhat reticent of moving forward with any but MobileGo, as we wanted first to understand what (if anything) we needed to improve internally and whether, having done so, the commercial sense of continuing with it still made sense. On the one hand, we see tremendous strategic value for both ourselves and Waves of encouraging projects onto the Waves Blockchain. On the other, doing so has to pay its way without distracting us from the main effort.
While our reflections on this front are incomplete, we have hired additional horsepower to ensure the management of MobileGo’s ICO is super-slick and we have re-opened dialogue with enquirers, so there may be some more Incent enabled ICOs down the pipe, all of which will help to support demand for Incent.
As you may remember, our primary motivation for developing BlockSwap was to provide ourselves with an alternative means to settle core client trades in and out of Incent, in the case that Waves was, for whatever reason, unavailable. However, crypto-community interest is again suggesting wider commercial utility, both in its current form and as something to extend upon. Already, BlockSwap allows Waves assets to be traded on an Ethereum DEX and the arrival of Waves DEX will allow Ethereum assets to be traded on the Waves blockchain. For all you clever people the potential arbitrage potential will be obvious and with BlockSwap standing between the two (and potentially more than just two) we recognise the potential of owning the gate that all must pass through — and the impact this might have for demand for Incent were we to charge even a little for each swap.
I know that some of you doubted the wisdom of our allocating resource to this endeavour but I hope you can now see that beyond the essential redundancy we sought, BlockSwap links and resonates with both ICOTech and the emergence of DEXs, all of which support our core mission and demand for Incent.
Over the last month we’ve made some big strides in this area too, recently listing on LiveCoin and Crypto Derivatives, to bring the total to six exchanges, with Waves DEX to follow within the next week. Aside this we have conceptualised, built and tested our market-making bot, with an intention to deploy within the next 14 days. Let me tell you a little about it here.
When many consider bots and algos, they envision tools that allow their operators to trade a market for profit. This is not our objective. What our core business requires is the means to discover price as efficiently as possible and execute trades with the minimum slippage, on behalf of our clients. If Mrs Smith suffers a 30% price slip every time she tries to spend her Incent we are dead in the water.
With this in mind, the GuyBot 9000 will be an active counter-trend presence in every market in which it is deployed. It is designed to attenuate volatility and minimise slippage. And its only variable is the trade size we elect to set in the pursuit of this objective.
We elected to test GuyBot 9000 on Crypto Derivatives because Bok Khoo, who coded that DEX, has become a close collaborator who works alongside us regularly. Once Waves’ DEX is live, next week we understand, the intention will be to code and deploy GuyBot 9000 here first — and probably on Crypto Derivatives too. Following confirmation that it achieves what we want it to, the longer term aim will be to deploy it on ‘n’ centralised exchanges, coordinated by an application within our order engine that can compare prices across this market and drive client orders to the best price, with sufficient market depth to achieve fills with the minimum slippage.
It may seem odd that we are preparing to step in and settle our own trades but this, as you will remember, was the whole point of retaining a reserve of Incent and building one of Waves. Since we will be trading one for the other our net position will be straightforward to monitor and we’ll adjust GuyBot 9000’s trade sizes as required. And it’s our expectation, and hope, that active traders find and deploy ways to trade against GuyBot 9000, as it all adds to market liquidity and depth, to the benefit of our core business.
I hope this makes sense!
Bittrex and American Exchanges
Okay, so the clarion calls for Bittrex listing have been growing steadily louder and we are listening, we’re in dialogue and pending the finalisation of some business emanating from our ICO, I am prepared to pay for them to list us, based on their volume, the quality of their service and what I understand of their ambitious development path.
However, doing so, with Bittrex or indeed any US domiciled requires that we can be considered absolutely compliant within their jurisdiction — and this requires that we ditch completely our original aspiration to pay a dividend to Incent holders as a proportion of any profits derived from market-making. In the interim we have laboured to conjure alternatives to deliver on this commitment in spirit but to his credit, Bittrex Bill’s position has never wavered. Any mention of a dividend makes Incent smell too much like an equity for him to take the risk of listing us.
Therefore, since our marking making activity is not designed to generate revenue, you all want us to list with the bigger exchanges and the exposure upsides are so obvious, it makes no sense to continue digging our heels in on an issue that was unlikely to have provided any material benefit to our community anyway. So, to be crystal clear, marking-making dividends are dead as a concept.
Compliance and Structure
So this has been a long update and I can imagine eyes starting glaze over as you read this this sub-heading. But they shouldn’t because if we fuck this up the men in suits arrive and the value of your Incent goes rapidly south. Okay, so Mary, our Compliance officer has spent the last month studying the licensing and taxation landscape in Australia and I am bound to say that where both are concerned the treatment of crypto-currencies and crypto business remains somewhat opaque. While many in the sector regard this as an opportunity (…!) we are beginning to form the view that separating development (onshore) from operations (as a distinct and separate offshore entity) would be the more prudent and effective course of action. This would allow the onshore entity to benefit from Australia’s generous R&D rebate and the offshore entity to execute the exchange function as efficiently and effectively as possible, without falling foul of ASIC or the ATO.
I won’t make any final decisions just yet but this is our thinking as I write.
So you can’t say that I didn’t tell you this would be huge upfront! If you’ve read this far I hope it has given you confidence that our foot remains flat to the floor, that we are making solid progress in all areas, that we are taking the right decisions and that the commercial case for our product(s) is continuing to build. Thankyou for your continued support and interest, which is invigorating and heartening for us as we continue to drive forward.
Incent Loyalty PTY Ltd
155 Clarence Street
+61 450 967 128