Jibrel End of Year Update (2018)
A productive year focused on product development
The past year wasn’t great for the crypto-economy, but the team is still determined to build-out the network, the token and Jibrel products across B2B and B2C offerings. 2019 will focus on perfecting the products shipped in 2018, as well as incorporating Jibrel Network Token (JNT) into all products and functionalities.
This post will briefly touch on the achievements of the year, as well as provide a forward looking analysis of our products, token and business initiatives.
In this Update:
- High-level Technical Development Update
- High-level Organizational Build-out Update
- Token Utility Strategy Deep-dive
1. Technical Development
While we initially had set overly ambitious deadlines, these were revised in H2 2018. We subsequently set aggressive but achievable deadlines. As a result, the DevTeam worked non-stop to ensure we did not miss these deadlines.
We were pleased to release both the iOS and Android Jwallet versions ahead of schedule. We encourage the community to download the applications and provide user-feedback so that we may continue to perfect the offering ahead of building planned functionalities.
All products are still in the Alpha or Beta stage and will mature significantly over 2019. In addition, they will be integrated allowing Jibrel to become the one-stop-shop for Crypto Users (Wallets, Explorers, Stable Coins, fully integrated into traditional banking infrastructure), facilitating the original vision of bridging the Crypto and Traditional economies.
Overall Status: On Schedule
Overall Status: Live
While the iOS team has lagged slightly behind Android in terms of development speed, the Jwallet for iOS was released ahead of schedule
Overall Status: Live
Jcash (Jibrel Cash)
Jcash was soft-launched in Q2 2018. While adoption levels are low, the smart contracts governing Jcash have proven to be usable, secure and compatible with Enterprise systems and workflows. While Jcash was piloted with an Enterprise user in Q4 2018 (Al Hilal Bank), it will still require significant work to ensure it is fully Enterprise Compliance ready. In addition, some regulatory hurdles were experienced, which will need to be addressed ahead of full launch. This is explored further in the Token Utility Strategy Deep-dive section.
Overall Status: API Live
Jibrel Search (Jsearch)
The features implemented in Jsearch, Jibrel’s Ethereum block explorer, are unique and largely untested. We believe Jsearch will play an instrumental role in the future build-out of scalable Decentralized Applications (DApps) as well as layer-2 solutions.
Overall Status: API Live
2. Organizational Build-out
Overall Status: Ahead of Schedule
Overview: While minor set-backs have been faced, particularly around recruiting talent, the overall organizational build-out has been very successful. Jibrel has been particularly successful, this quarter, at attracting Enterprise clients. As part of our involvement with FinTech Hive DIFC, we’ve been able to meet with Tier 1 Financial Institutes, begin iterating our enterprise offering and sign pilot programs.
A. People & Capabilities
Organization, Manpower & Talent
Status: On Schedule
Overview: During 2018, Jibrel grew from a team of 9 members to 31 core contributors. The sourcing of talent, up-skilling and on-boarding is not as direct as it seems. It requires significant effort to on-board new members and have them operate and deliver against our ambitious plans. That being said, we had a very successful 2018 with regards to People & Capability build-out, and we hope to continue this trend in 2019.
- Grew the Jibrel team from 9 to 31 core contributors
- Hired dedicated marketing staff
- Hired a dedicated Project Manager
- Built-out dedicated Quality Assurance & Release Management team
B. Marketing, PR & Community Management
Outward Facing Deliverables & Work
Status: On Schedule
Overview: We’ve on-boarded dedicated Marketing, PR & Community Management staff, including dedicated Community Managers in the US and China. We’ve begun leveraging successful technical pilots for additional media coverage. We’ve begun building out the marketing funnel and hope to launch our email, social and paid advertising campaigns in Q1 2019.
- Formalized product marketing strategy
- On-boarded 2 dedicated Community Managers
- Began appearing in top tier news outlets and publications for our successful implementation of technical pilots
3. Token Strategy Deep-dive
Understanding the Jibrel Network Token Utility Roadmap
We have received extensive community feedback on Jibrel Network Token (JNT) utility and how to maximize network effects and usage. This section covers our overall strategy, approach and rationale.
Case Study: Amazon Build-out
During the dot-com bubble, numerous internet based startups raised hundreds of millions of dollars through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). The dot-com bubble largely centered around e-commerce, particularly, porting brick and mortar retail businesses onto the internet.
This phenomena had winners and losers. There were more losers than winners. So to better understand token build-out, one must understand what distinguished companies like Amazon from their unsuccessful counterparts such as Pets.com.
The brilliant insight from Jeff Bezos and Amazon was simple. E-commerce in its nascent form still relied on traditional infrastructure, specifically, warehouses, fulfillment infrastructure as well as postal services. It would usually take up to 14 days to deliver purchases to the buyer.
This was the limitation to work within. On the other hand, e-commerce afforded buyers a much wider selection through aggregation and cross-geographic reach.
These two facts can be concatenated into a single question:
What items are buyers willing to purchase, where the selection variety is much wider, but the delivery time much slower, when compared to traditional brick and mortar retail businesses?
The answer, and brilliant insight from Amazon, is books. Buyers are willing to wait up to two weeks for a book they can’t find in their local bookstore. The same cannot be said for pet food.
What does this have to do with Crypto-currencies and Tokens?
We are seeing a similar phenomena play-out. Abra, which started as a remittance application, has pivoted towards buying and selling crypto-currencies. Circle, which pivoted from an exchange towards remittances, has pivoted back towards facilitating the exchange of crypto-currencies. It seems everyone is beginning to understand, the ultimate use-case today, is buying, selling and exchanging crypto-currencies.
That being said, other successful projects, such as MakerDAO, have found their place within this ecosystem by providing users with an interesting, decentralized and fun way to buy crypto-currencies using leverage. Users are afforded leverage to purchase ETH by accessing leveraged Dai. While there are more direct ways to obtain leverage in the crypto-space, users who have been in this space for a while are very supportive of decentralized systems that have gamification elements and are willing to prioritize fun over functionality.
The takeaway across both cases is the same:
In order to have a successful token or crypto-startup, companies must focus on token utility that can be implemented and adopted using today’s infrastructure, with an eye for tomorrow.
What does this have to do with Jibrel Network Token (JNT)?
Jibrel understands the need to build pragmatic use-cases, beyond the initial roadmap in order to achieve the same network effects other successful crypto-startups have achieved, and generate demand for Jibrel Network Token.
Jcash has been limited by several key issues that impede user experience across both Enterprise and Consumer use-cases.
Issue 1: B2C Users have easier alternatives to Jcash and demand is low
Issue 2: Enterprise Users cannot transact using Virtual Currencies in most jurisdictions (although we are beginning to see acceptance of crypto in select geographies such as the UAE, Australia, Bahrain, Spain, Singapore)
Issue 3: Receding pool of JNT from total circulation facilitates whale manipulation and reduces network security
These three issues are currently limiting Jibrel and JNT success.
One thing is clear, we cannot maintain the current system which effectively has no CryDR or JNT demand.
In the sections below, we map out the original vision and subsequent journey to our current standpoint, and how Jibrel will stick to its original vision as outlined in the White Paper.
Note. We have historically been unnecessarily candid with our plans which has caused us to play a lot of catch-up, often prioritizing initiatives based on community response rather than business and operational efficiencies. For this reason, the implementations below are outlined at a high-level.
Guarantor System — The Original White Paper Vision
The Jibrel White Paper outlined a pragmatic and achievable vision, which created a system that married centralized banking with decentralized technology.
3.6 Ownership Transfers: Once a tethered token is issued, the underlying asset can be easily traded similar to any cryptocurrency. The high-level process is outlined below:
1. User sends FIAT to guarantor
2. Guarantor returns jFIAT
3. User pays merchant in jFIAT
4. Merchant redeems jFIAT
5. Guarantor sends FIAT to merchant account
With a guarantor backing the tethered token, with the promise to redeem for the underlying asset at a future point in time, the token can stay in the system and be used for on-chain and off-chain payments.
In this system, CryptoDepository Receipts were created using the underlying asset and a third-party guarantor. Furthermore, CryptoDepository Receipts were fully asset backed and required full compliance with local and international regulation.
4.4 Asset Portals: Asset portals are used to undertake the necessary legal and financial steps to convert traditional assets into on-chain digital assets.
In most geographies, asset portals will require brokerage and money transmitter licenses. In cases involving heavily regulated jurisdictions or more nuanced financial assets, full regulator involvement and oversight might be required.
As regulation evolves, asset portals will be able to decentralize and become community driven. Institutional investors and other financial institutions will be able to list their own traditional assets on-chain, using the jibrel platform.
Finally, within the network, Jibrel Network Token (JNT) was used to levy any fees incurred on the Ethereum blockchain by on-chain users or entities.
4.5 Jibrel Network Token (JNT): While non-fiat portals will charge offline fees in fiat currencies, the Jibrel DAO’s on-chain fees and commissions will be levied in the form of Jibrel Network Tokens (JNT).
Proof of Solvency — The Revised Roadmap
Proof-of-Solvency, or as it was called during Jibrel’s earlier days PoCA — Proof of Capital Adequacy, was a response to the community’s request to distinguish Jibrel from other fiat backed coins such as Tether, which suffered from its opaque accounting and riddled with scandal.
The mechanism was modeled after Basel II and Basel III regulation, which outlines the Capital Adequacy Requirements (CAR) for Financial Institutions.
It effectively means, that the organization must hold a specific amount of risk adjusted asset value, against the liabilities it holds.
In Jcash, it looks like this:
- Assets: Jibrel Network Token locked in Smart Contracts
- Liabilities: CryDRs in circulation
Jibrel released the Jcash Alpha earlier this year. While there has been intentional under-marketing to ensure no significant value was at-risk while bugs were being ironed out, the adoption levels have still been very underwhelming.
For this reason, until the decentralized ecosystem develops, Jibrel will stick to the original vision of having Jcash and tokenized assets be asset-backed with fees levied in JNT, from both B2C and B2B users.
In addition, Jibrel will build new use-cases and embed JNT into its existing solutions, again, for both Enterprise and Consumer solutions.
Token Utility Roadmap
Jibrel will implement a staggered token utility strategy, allowing it to create JNT demand today, as well as tomorrow.
Step 1: Facilitate Crypto to Fiat / Fiat to Crypto Conversions (2019): Jibrel will embed Jcash into the Jwallet, facilitating fiat to crypto and crypto to fiat conversions. Conversions will incentivize the use of JNT.
Step 2: Facilitate Token to Token Exchanges (2020): Jibrel will facilitate token to token exchanges, allowing JNT to be used for discounted conversions, as Binance Coin and other exchange coins do. This includes crypto-currencies as well as tokenized assets (CryDRs).
Step 3: Embed JNT into CryDRs (2021 Onwards): As more and more infrastructure becomes decentralized, Jibrel will follow suit and move to a fully decentralized system, in which JNT is embedded into CryDRs.
We understand many will be disappointed, but the reality is there has been 650 JNT out of 200,000,000 JNT used for Jcash conversions. The underlying demand will not be sufficient to build a successful network, and something needs to be done.
Jibrel must focus on what can be done today, with an eye for the future landscape. We believe sticking to the original vision in the short-term is critical to the future success of the network.
- Jibrel’s DevTeam has begun shipping products, Jwallet has been released for both iOS and Android as scheduled.
- Jibrel BizDev has begun on-boarding the BizDev hires to match the strong development focus of 2018
- Jibrel was listed on Bittrex / Upbit and plans on listing on numerous larger exchanges to improve JNT liquidity
- Jibrel is financially secure and will use its capital to build-out the network and token utility as per its mandate
- Jibrel Network Token (JNT) utility and functionality will be increased and improved through the revised utility strategy
- JNT will be incorporated in all functionalities, consumer, enterprise or otherwise; wherever possible
- The Jibrel team is very grateful to the community for their patience, providing constructive feedback, closely following the project progress, and for being kind and supportive!
- Build first, market later
Thank you to the Jibrel Community for your continued patience and support!
Jibrel provides traditional financial assets such as currencies, commodities and equities, as standard ERC-20 tokens, on the Ethereum blockchain.