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PARSIQ Q&A #33

Every Friday-ish PARSIQ team answers your most important questions. Join our Telegram chat to ask!

As most of our trusted community knows, we’ve switched our Q&A format a bit, with our CEO Tom taking the YouTube stage live every other week going forward.

Below is the transcription of the September 2, 2021 live AMA with Tom Tirman, CEO of PARSIQ. The bolded questions are links to the timestamped section of the video AMA. Or, you can watch the entire AMA here.

Be sure to visit PARSIQ on Twitter here, and Tom Tirman on Twitter here.
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Introduction

Hi everyone. Welcome back to the second AMA. It’s been two weeks. Today I will be alone, but I know we promised to get more people on these AMAs. Evan Cheng won the poll [for who to invite for an AMA]. I’m having a call with him right after this AMA, so I will ask him if he is ready to join the next one, in two weeks.

Meanwhile, [here is a] a small summary of the updates we have had in the past two weeks… As you may know, we have onboarded Rong Kai as the COO of PARSIQ. Rong Kai has worked at Binance previously, and in the Singapore police force. I think he will be a great addition to the team as COO. He will provide his group-leadership skills, management skills, and knowledge of the industry to drive us forward. Please give him a warm welcome. He will be popping into the Telegram chats from time to time. What else we have had? We have seen the IQ Protocol TVL (total volume locked) for PRQ pool rise almost 80% — almost double — in the last two weeks. We have had borrowing go live, and we’ve had IQ subscriptions on the PARSIQ platform go live. We will continue with these updates and feature roll-outs: next up is the swapping function that people who hold PRQ can swap it into other tokens, powertokens (pPRQ), to use the platform for free.

So now let’s get into the questions…

Q: Will PRQBoost become bridgeable to BSC?

Yea, I think incentive programs for providing liquidity on both Pancakeswap and Uniswap makes sense. We are seriously considering ending the PRQBoost program at some point and replacing it with another incentives program. Obviously, we will tell you all about this in advance — a decent timeframe — but this is the idea we are having right now. There will be more details to follow, but we want to set in motion incentive programs on both chains (ETH and BSC). On that note: on the last AMA we discussed having a DEX listing on the Solana blockchain. We have already spoken to the team at Raydium, and I think we will be going for this, and expect incentives for liquidity there as well, in time.

Q: Could the PRQ token be used as collateral for a crypto loan?

We are looking into different DeFi platforms for borrowing and lending, and to create a PRQ pool, and for others to be able to use it as collateral. Something else we have been looking at is partnering with some impressive DeFi projects that allow you to mint stable coins, or take loans, and use your LP (liquidity) tokens as collateral. For example, Uniswap LP tokens — why not your iPRQ tokens (which are the interest-bearing liquidity tokens on IQ for the PRQ renting pool). We are still thinking about this (e..g, when to do it, how to do it) but it might make sense. I think it could free up a lot of capital for token holders using IQ.

Q: When will IQ Protocol be compatible with Ethereum mainnet?

There is the issue of the Etherium fees. Not everyone has a large amount of PRQ, and this is why it is not very feasible having IQ on Etherium right now. We are most likely going on Etherium, but only through a scalability solution, like Arbitrum. Arbitrum is something we are looking at and should be one of the milestones towards the end of this year. In addition to Arbitrum, we will have the IQ version on Solana at some point. IQ is EVM compatible, so it could be deployed on Polygon, Cosmos’ Ethermint, and Polkadot’s Moonbeam — those all are options we are considering. IQ can exist multi-chain, and it will.

Q: Are any exchange listings coming?

Yes. We are working on exchange listings. We have actually applied to a number of them quite a while ago. The process is ongoing. Some of them have asked us to make some changes to our internal… lets say ‘technical issues’… so this is all being implemented. We are definitely pursuing exchanges. We are having a lot of headway, a lot of progress. An exchange actually recently reached out to us — a large derivatives exchange who has interest in listing PRQ. So, exchange listings will come. No deadlines. But there is no doubt.

Q: What is the progress on NCase & will it have any benefits to smart triggers or IQ Protocol?

NCase has been slow, because our developer resources are spread thin between the PARSIQ platform and the IQ Protocol. We started onboarding new devs already. We are searching for new ones, but it is not easy to find talent. We are thinking that next year we will have a commercially-live version of NCase, which we can sell to a lot of projects who are already in the pipeline, and to new ones as well. I think NCase will work in conjunction with the PARSIQ monitoring platform, because — those who will generate addresses for their users, deposits, and payments — will also need monitoring to automate different workflows and get the data in real time. So, most clients will be having both, like a symbiotic relationship.

Q: Are any of PARSIQ’s Developers associated with Bondly?

No. The answer is no. We did not know the Bondly team until they had their incident. PARSIQ is an open platform for blockchain data, where people can get access to it and take snapshots. We are just a technology provider. We do not have direct knowledge of exact cases. I have seen a lot of concerns about this. All the blockchain data is public, and PARSIQ is simply a technology stack that allows you to access it and manage it more easily — that is it. We are in no way associated with Bondly, and none of the PARSIQ team holds any Bondly tokens. We have used the snapshot for other projects, like PAID network, a number of projects from the Kucoin hack, and for the PARSIQ token as well (during the Coinmetro incident last October). There is really nothing else to say about this. We are not judge and jury: we do not know the specifics of this incident (with Bondly). We just provide blockchain data — to anyone.

Q: Can you share some information regarding the advantages of being an “early” lender on the IQ Protocol?

The IQ Protocol is a completely new model: risk-free, collateral-less renting of digital assets for the utility and for their use… for anything. No one has really done this, to my knowledge. It is a little bit experimental. But it means also having a first-mover advantage, and a very huge potential. We will be incentivizing early participants in IQ. There are two things here to mention. One is an incentive program we will be announcing (approximately) this month. This is strictly for PARSIQ, for the PRQ pool on BSC. We will be giving out incentives to people providing liquidity in the PRQ pool this year. More details to follow as to how it will work, and the size of the incentives. A second thing — which is not yet set in stone, but highly likely — is that if IQ Protocol gains traction, and gets projects and enterprises to create their pools and use the IQ model and the TVL shows growth, the IQ protocol will eventually have some kind of token. It will be an IQ token, a governance token with multiple use cases, similar to what Uniswap did after they launched. So, we will likely be dropping some tokens to people who have interacted with IQ Protocol. Again, this is not set in stone: it is just an idea that is likely to happen, and it probably won’t happen any time soon (i.e., not in the next few months). But this is where it is going.

Q: From previous experience, have EVM-compatible blockchains been easier to integrate with since there would be some kind of standardization? Or, are there still enough nuances to be challenging?

EVM-compatible blockchains are definitely much easier to integrate. For example, since we already have the ETH integration for the PARSIQ platform, adding support for BSC and HECO wasn’t that complex. There are still some nuances because of the nodes and the different TPS, but it is much easier than integrating something that is not EVM-compatible, like Solana.

Q: Since borrowing went live last week there has been a large increase in the borrowing, do we know where this has likely come from?

First of all, we are still funneling some of the previous, and existing, revenue that had been paid in fiat or stable coins, or other assets, into the protocol. We onboard users and clients monthly. So that is where (the increase) is coming from.

Q: The derivatives exchange you speak of, is it to do with crypto exclusively?

Yes, to my knowledge.

Q: How long will IQ be classed as a BETA stage?

Good question… because, for example, the Solana blockchain is also in BETA stage right now, and there are hundreds of projects building on it and billions in TVL.

Q: Have you heard of Unibright?

I have heard of Unibright. We haven’t looked into them in depth. But I have looked at them because their token model seemed like a good fit for IQ. I think maybe we should reach out to them.

Q: Why can PARSIQ share 97% of its revenue?

You can see it on the blockchain because all of the renting fees — which are in essence the subscription fees, and revenue — goes through the smart contracts of IQ. Why 97%? This is because we have a very good runway. We actually had a very good runway even before our series A back in May. We had enough runway for at least three years before that. So now we have even more. And we can afford it. We want the APY to be a little bit attractive to people, to incentivize people to put their PRQ in IQ. As we work to get more traction among users and more clients, the revenue will increase, and the APY will increase. When it does, at some point, we might shift this a little bit to more than 3% in our favor. But it is even more likely that we will have a governance model, where you (as token holders) can vote on how much the split will be.

Q: Do you have any new product in the works that you can’t talk about?

Not a new product, per se, but we have had a lot of moving parts and new features for our existing products. I mentioned on the last AMA about how the PARSIQ platform already has historical data, and that we will be giving access to it for projects, users, and developers. It will be fast; the uptime will be great. We will be building some analytics on top of it.

We talked about the snapshot technology, so that anyone can take any snapshot on one block to another and get what they want. We talked about retrospective smart triggers. (We talked about) a blockchain explorer, which is blockchain agnostic, with built in monitoring and smart triggers. So, there is a lot to look forward to: including smart templates and the public projects for the smart templates (which, I think, will have great network effects, as people will be able to monetize interesting triggers that they create). And, we have covered NCase already on this AMA.

For the IQ Protocol, the roadmap includes getting the swap function live and then integrating a DEX, so that the renting fees wouldn’t just be paid in the native token (like PRQ in our case), but also in any other assets that the chain supports, and automatically swap using the DEX integration into PRQ. We’ve also discussed ETH (or layer 2 ETH) version for IQ. Then, there will be the NFT marketplace powered by IQ Protocol, for renting anything really: collectibles, art, in-game assets. You can rent without collateral and people can earn income without risk. You could rent whatever… I think Daniel mentioned this in the community chat, for example: say you need a powerful sword to defeat your opponent in a game, and you can rent it and the owner can actually earn from a unique in-game asset — there lots of use cases here. (There is also the Solana version of IQ Protocol).

An important milestone that we hope to finish by the end of October is the IQ SDKs. IQ actually is split in two parts. One is the actual protocol, which is a set of smart contracts on the chain, the decentralized renting pools, for borrowing and renting. The other part is the IQ SDK, which is essentially a decentralized tribe. This would allow those projects that will deploy renting pools on IQ to accept the powertokens, or the rented, wrapped, and expirable versions of their original native tokens, to be used via the mechanism that we call “proof of hold” for the utility (whether it is access to products, services, blockchain subscriptions, voting rights, memberships, and any kind of utility). This SDK will allow both on-chain and off-chain — especially off-chain — service to monitor the number of rented tokens that the user has, and automatically provide them access to these products (and to a certain bandwidth of services).

Q: Can PARSIQ integrate with Hbar given that Hbar already has state proofs?

I think so. I will have to check with our tech team. But I think that we have actually spoken to that team. I don’t see a reason why not: it is the same as the way we can integrate Fantom as well, which is not really a blockchain, but is a DAG; but it’s a public ledger, so we could.

Q: Is PARSIQ a platform company or a software company?

There are some semantics here… Well, it is a software company, that is for sure. But it also is a platform where anyone can build their own solutions. I think the platform aspect will be showcased much more once the ParsiQL 2.0 language goes live. [That language] will provide many more abilities to developers, to script very creative, flexible, and powerful smart triggers. We want to showcase how a developer, with just a few lines of code, can easily create and deploy complex solutions — powerful solutions — which are scalable.

Q: Is there a possibility of any involvement between PARSIQ and SAP this year?

I don’t know. No updates on this yet. We have been in contact with SAP last year. Actually Simon, from our team, came from SAP. Fingers crossed that in the future we will work with SAP.

Q: How long is the financial runway for PARSIQ and if we get hit by a bear market, will this impact funding of projects?

Like I said, it was around 3+ years, before the fund raise (from this year). Now it is around close to 5 years. It also changes a bit because the treasury is partially in crypto and partially in stable coins and FIAT. I think we are good… we are definitely good. We have enough for expansion, for scaling, for aggressive growth, and to be here for a long, long time.

A bear market does impact funding of projects. I know this because I have tried to raise during a bear market. It is really difficult. I think about 2019, when we had our initial token offering on Coinmetro, during the third bottom of the bear market. We tried to raise from VCs, and no one wanted tokens back then. Everyone wanted equity. So, we raised from private individuals and from the public sale on Coinmetro. But in 2020 no one wanted equity, and everyone wanted tokens. So, it changes. That being said, I don’t think we will be hit by a bear market of that magnitude. I think investors and VCs now understand that this industry is the future. Sure, maybe valuations won’t be as ridiculous, but it will still be relatively easy to get funding for a proper project with a good team.

Q: When can we expect changes to the IQ Protocol BETA?

Like I said, the next up is the swapping function, and a few other small features (like calculating APY for each user individually) and other things. I think I went over the IQ roadmap just a little while ago. The most exciting things on the product roadmap is, of course, the NFT renting marketplace, and the IQ SDK is extremely important, since it will allow us to onboard a lot of projects.

Q: Do you know of any NCase competitors in the market? Is Alchemy Pay one?

There are competitors. But they are extremely expensive, whereas NCase will be very cost effective. [This is the case] not only because there will be no gas fees for address-generation on ETH, but also because the pricing model will be very inexpensive. Another thing is that NCase will be very developer-friendly, very flexible, and it will come coupled with the PARSIQ monitoring. So, it will come with value that other competitors do not have. I haven’t looked at Alchemy Pay for other functionalities. We can have the tech team look at it more.

Q: How will you sell IQ subscription as a service to companies, and what companies are you looking at?

We don’t. It is free. The SDK will be a set of public software tools as well. But, as was discussed already on the previous AMA, we will have most of these projects using PARSIQ monitoring, because they will need it to see, in real time, the eligibility of all the token-holders: to give them automatic access to products, services, or features. Right now, we are taking the obvious, easy route, and we are looking at companies or projects who already have tokens, who are already on the market, and who could either expand or improve their tokenomics, or who have obvious use cases (like you need a token to do something, or to participate in IPO, a token to get access, etc.) So, we are approaching these projects first. After that we will be approaching crypto projects who have not come live — who have not issued a token yet — and then after that we will be looking at traditional companies, who can now have the ability to issue a token with a pure, proven utility ([that is,] with a token that makes sense).

Q: Can PARSIQ be an essential service provider for all crypto and non-crypto projects in the future?

That is the goal: to be the industry standard of middleware, of infrastructure, and of data for crypto companies and projects in the space. As blockchain makes its way into traditional finance, I think this is where our biggest market opportunity will be — in the traditional space as blockchain becomes standard tech.

Q: Should the incentive not be matched for people already lending in the IQ protocol?

I’m not sure I understand the question. But people who are already lending on IQ will definitely be involved in the incentive programs.

Q: Would you introduce more details about our new COO?

Rong Kai is from Singapore. He was part of Binance, Binance CEX, and the Binanace accelerator fund, that started backing in September. I think PARSIQ was one of the first 10 projects (or first 10 portfolio projects) of Binance’s fund. Rong Kai was our main point of contact. He onboarded us to Binance HECO system. He definitely has industry connections and a lot of experience. Before that he was in the Singapore police force. He has a lot of insight and experience, for sure. I think he will help us grow very effectively.

Q: Could you explain the degree of anonymity that an entity has when borrowing from the IQ pool?

All you need is Metamask. That is it. You need to pay the gas fees. But it is completely anonymous.

Q: You initially said IQ should be live on ETH within a month or so and now it’s postponed indefinitely. Nothing major changed with ETH during that time, so it was that just poor planning and communication?

Maybe communication wasn’t at its best. We are doing ETH, but we are most likely doing a layer 2, like Arbitrum. It is still ETH, you still must pay you gas fees in ETH, but they are just much cheaper. I think this is the best solution. Meanwhile, I don’t see why people who are interested in interacting with the IQ Protocol cannot bridge to BSC.

Q: Now that IQ Protocol has solved the token utility problem… Does PARSIQ see any advantage in building a tokenization incubation program for traditional companies to tokenize their services for subscription?

We have played around with this idea. But that basically means that we have to do a lot of consulting for these companies — which we will do anyways first. But we also have to have a platform for them to deploy the token and create smart contracts for them. So, it is a process. At first, we prefer for the companies or projects to issue their own token, and we will help them deploy the IQ renting pools and the blockchain subscriptions using the IQ SDK. But in the future that sounds like a viable option. Another thing we are considering is actually creating an IQ ecosystem fund — or a grant program — to invest in, or support, projects that use the build on IQ.

Q: The revised trigger UI/UX is something a lot of us look forward to, is it being actively worked on? Will we see it before EOY if all goes well?

Yes. Absolutely by the end of year — before end of year. I think it is going to be great. I mean it is going to be simpler, more intuitive, and it will come out with more features so that you can do everything from one place, from one dashboard: you don’t have to go separately to your transports, to your triggers, and to your projects. All that really complicates stuff. Now you will be able to do everything from one place. It will be much more powerful. I’ve already seen the designs, and it’s great. I can’t wait to show it to you.

Q: How many monthly active users does the PARSIQ platform have? What is the MoM growth on this?

We have over 50,000 registered users. Now “active”… it is difficult to count, because tracking platform visits is quite irrelevant. A user can deploy triggers and leave the portal and not come back for, say, three months. But the trigger will still work and deliver valuable data that is being acted upon. So (portal visits) is not really a good metric. I think it is time we do an update on statistics: number of users, active triggers, events generated by these triggers. We should do that this month.

Q: IQ and borrowing are both live, what is the main focus of the developers and what is the next hurdle for PARSIQ to achieve?

The main hurdle is having enough developers and planning, such that everything gets done on time. We have already shared how much we have to do with IQ, the SDK, the NFT version, IQ on ETH/Arbitrum, IQ on Solana — yea, there is a lot of work to do. And on PARSIQ as well: the UI/UX, the historical data, the public projects, and ParsiQL 2.0. We are doing the best we can. With more developers — we already have around 8 interviews with senior engineers — and by scaling the team we will be able to move faster.

Q: What’s next on the roadmap? Who is the next guest on the stream?

I think I have shared quite a lot regarding the roadmap. About the guest: I will talk to Evan Cheng in about 20 minutes (just after this AMA). If he agrees [to come on the AMA], then let’s have him! If he can’t, for some reason, then we can have him later, and we can bring Alan or Anatoly (next time instead).

Q: When do you imagine the blockchain explorer might come out?

For this, we must complete some milestones first, including the full historical data and everything that comes with it. Thus, it will come after the UX/UI update, after historical data goes fully live, and after smart templates. (This means) probably Q1 next year. I want to say Q4 (this year)… but most likely it will be Q1 next year.

Q: Can you give any names of NFT projects, other than Superfarm that have expressed interest in PARSIQ?

I cannot disclose them publicly. There have been quite a few, including some of the up-and-coming ones on Solana. We are looking forward to working more closely with projects in that ecosystem.

Q: Can PARSIQ stop hacks in real time?

Not really. That is not how it works. We have discussed — a while ago — with Anatoly, that in theory, if we have nodes geographically distributed everywhere, then it might be possible to monitor the mempool and then enter your transaction right when you see the hacker’s transactions. The mempool would hire gas fee to front run the hacker. But I don’t know. It is not something we are focused on.

Q: Are you happy with the way PARSIQ is scaling?

Obviously, I want things to move faster. But quality and long-term viability are more important than speed. We are looking to scale as fast as we can, while at the same time building a very motivated, very talented, team who will be here for the long haul. I think doing that is more important than saving a month, here or there.

Q: When do you imagine the public marketplace might be released?

The first step, which is already being worked on, is smart templates (basically premade smart triggers for specific use cases, that you can either subscribe to, or fork and change or input your own monitoring targets into). We estimate these will come out around the time of the new UI/UX — so relatively soon… within a couple of months. After that, we will be making the public marketplace. So, once again, the target is either the end of the year or the beginning next year. It also depends on how fast we can onboard the new engineers. If we can do that quickly, then I think we can get it done this year.

Q: How is the marketing going so far? Will we see new videos on the YouTube channel explaining, for instance, how IQ Protocol works?

Yes. Now that we have Rong Kai on board, we can do many more things. We are going to do videos for both PARSIQ platform and the IQ Protocol. We are ramping up the PR side as well — such as content marketing and op-eds. So, expect to see a lot of content from us, from this month up until the end of the year, and forward.

Q: What are you plans to get YouTubers organically shilling about PARSIQ?

Well, in terms of YouTubers organically talking about the project… I mean, most of it has been organic. When we think back to last August or September, most of the coverage … was done organically. I think there will be cycles [of organic coverage] as long we show progress, and we roll out new products and features, and we show traction. They will pick us up organically again — no doubt about that.

Q: Since there are gains/profits to be made via IQ Protocol will there be a kyc requirement to interact with the protocol in the future?

No. It is a decentralized protocol: it is trustless and open for everyone. So, no kyc there. Will there be, maybe some years down the line, an institutional version of IQ with kyc? Who knows? DeFi and CeFi are getting closer to one another, and I think some DeFi projects are already building something like this. So, it is possible. But currently, no. This version of IQ Protocol will be open to everyone: no kyc, nothing.

Q: When is Anatoly’s lecture on the IQ Protocol?

So, you think its time? …Alright. Yea. I think: Why not? We waven’t done anything with him for a long time, so let’s do it. We’ll announce it in advance, so you can plan to not do anything else for three hours: you can tune in to listen to the maestro!

Q: How much total PRQ borrowed do you expect to see by the end of the year?

I cannot give estimates, because everything depends on existing users, on how many (projects) we onboard from today to the end of the year; and it also depends on the PRQ price (because the PRQ price will determine how many tokens you must borrow); and it will depend on the liquidity in the pool. There are a lot of variables here. But we definitely see it growing. For this year we estimate “up” only.

It seems like we have run out of questions.

I have to go and do a call with Evan Cheng. Thank you for tuning in. If you have any other questions, you can post them on the community group. When I have time, I can answer those. I will see you in two weeks!

Goodbye.

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