Polkalokr 2021: A Look Back

Team Polkalokr
Jan 11 · 7 min read

CEO and co-founder Imran muses on how far Polkalokr has come as a company and what lies in store for 2022.

Anis and I first conceived of Polkalokr in a meeting of minds back in 2018. As we mulled over ideas and fleshed out designs, we quickly came upon the realisation that we were onto something exceptional. So, in 2020, we decided to discontinue consulting in the full-time pursuit of building Polkalokr. Since then, I don’t think we’ve had a single day off. Honestly, I feel like I now truly understand what people mean by that well-worn cliché, “choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.

While blockchain is inherently secure, there is always something in the news about rug pulls, exit scams, OTC deals going wrong, etc. More often than not, the fault isn’t with the tech in these scenarios but down to human error or deliberate deception. It’s a shame. The presence of bad actors means potential users are discouraged by the thought of entering a space that has so much to offer. So we came up with Polkalokr. Our solution to allaying these fears is to remove the man in the middle and introduce governance through code. We want to make the crypto space safer and more transparent. This is essential for the long-term adoption of crypto by the mainstream and enterprises. Best of all, we’ve actively encouraged accessibility by ensuring all of our products can be used by anybody as no prior knowledge of coding is necessary.

We began as Lokr. Initially, our primary focus was Polkadot (“polka” + “lokr”), but we always intended to be multi-chain and roll out our smart contracts to as many chains as possible. Whilst we are still building on DOT, our smart contract development on EVM-compatible chains — such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Polygon — has progressed quicker as these are maturer chains. All of our dApps have been built from the ground up. We have not forked other projects’ code and attempted to customise it. As a result, the dApps will integrate seamlessly as they were always intended to do so by design. Once we are live and projects realise how powerful our tools are and that none of our competitors compare, we’re confident adoption won’t be a problem at all.

Looking back on 2021, it’s clear to see the emergence of an exciting trajectory for Polkalokr: the development of a rich and robust ecosystem. To begin with, we kicked off the year with our private sale and IDO. Our private sale funding round generated USD 0.95 million. It was fantastic — we were 500% over-subscribed within 24 hours and received 100% of what we were looking for. I believe entirely in Polkalokr and what we’re building in the crypto-space, but the response was staggering. I can’t begin to explain how simultaneously exciting and humbling it was to witness how well-received our vision was by some of the biggest and most reputable VCs in the crypto space — AU21 Capital, Moonrock Capital, LD Capital, NGC Capital, GBIC, Morningstar Ventures, Pluto Digital Assets, and SL2 Capital. Shortly afterwards, we went on to conduct a public sale via Polkastarter, one of the most successful IDO launchpads in the crypto-space. We were sold out within three minutes of opening the sale and raised USD 150 thousand.

Immediately after this, we created a liquidity pool on Uniswap. Once again, we were overwhelmed by the response from the community — with approximately USD 30 million of trade on day one. To ensure the listing was free and fair, we used Ferrum Network’s fair launch protection, which trapped over ETH 200 into our pool from botters and also resulted in approximately LKR 1.5 million tokens being permanently removed from circulation. In future, I’d love for us to be listed on more exchanges — preferably bigger ones, such as Huobi or Binance — but there are very long queues and high costs associated with these listings. We also need to increase volume. Once we’re comfortably sitting at above USD 1–2 million in consistent daily volume, conversations like this will be a lot easier.

Polkalokr hit the ground running, and Anis and I couldn’t have been prouder. Using this momentum, we decided to expand Polkalokr beyond Lokr and Swapr. Thus, our range of tools evolved to reflect what our business was becoming: a proper on-ramp for enterprise into crypto. We were no longer solely focusing on locking and swapping tokens but considering ways to simplify participation for newcomers and veterans alike. As such, two new products were added to the arsenal: Mintr and Bridgr. Lokr remains our flagship product and is by far the most sophisticated tool we are building, but it’s been brilliant watching an ecosystem take shape around it. Though we have some direct and indirect competitors, no other project does all of what we are trying to do the way we are doing it. The way we’ve designed our tools to seamlessly integrate and provide our users with a smooth experience means adoption will be simple.

Launching Bridgr on testnet was an exciting day at Polkalokr HQ. It was the first product we went live with. We launched a bug bounty with Hacken, and I’m proud to report that next to nothing that needed attention was found in the results.

Our successes galvanised us, but it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, and the biggest challenge I’d say we faced in 2021 was recruitment. Bringing onboard the right calibre of people for our project was challenging. We wanted to make sure we were hiring the best as quickly as possible to promote growth and development across the company, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice quality. In fact, we ended up interviewing over 300 people last year! But it was completely worth it. We’re now in a really good place with a fantastic team we’re proud of. Honestly, I think this is one of the key differentiators between Polkalokr and its competitors. Skilled and innovative developers committed to the tech make all the difference. Oftentimes, projects take a short-term view of the market. This is evident through their choices to outsource development, engage in shilling, etc. Our vision is long-term, and our team members believe in what we’re trying to do. Under Anis’s capable leadership, our developers construct exciting solutions that haven’t been seen in the space before. We’re not just forking code and creating front-ends. Bridgr, for example, is entirely custom code.

It wasn’t just our team that grew in 2021, however. We forged a number of valuable partnerships. For example, working with Hacken to audit smart contracts on Mintr means the tokens our users generate will be verified, increasing their stability in the market. Partnering with SupraOracles enabled us to integrate oracles in Lokr to facilitate event-based distribution. Not to mention how successfully our collaboration with AllianceBlock was with our staking events and our foray into the world of NFTs supported by Terra Virtua. The list goes on. I couldn’t possibly list all of our partners here, but every single one of them has brought outstanding value to Polkalokr, and we’re thrilled they’ve all chosen to adopt Bridgr as part of their own services.

It’s all about quality, and like attracts like. We weren’t interested in forming partnerships for the sake of marketing but looking to work with companies and projects that would integrate into our solution. Facilitating mainstream adoption of blockchain requires collaboration between projects. There is also much duplication of effort in the space, i.e. projects competing to make the same thing. We make a policy of explaining to our partners that we are open to co-developing mutual elements of our respective projects. If we can split the development overhead and build better products that benefit both projects, it’s a no-brainer.

And the products are coming. We’ll be launching Lokr and Mintr in Q1. By the first half of the year, all of our products (Lokr, Mintr, Bridgr, Swapr) will be live, and we’ll continue development on the fifth product in our portfolio, Launchr (More details will be revealed soon). We’ll then switch gears and work on developing more of the stuff we’ve talked about with our partners, as well as focusing on business development and customer acquisition. Lastly, we’ll also be building our academy programme to onboard enterprise into the crypto space. Lots to look forward to!

As a final note, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Polkalokr community. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your unwavering support. Anis and I hold bi-weekly AMAs in our Telegram group, and it’s always delightful to engage with you all and be bolstered by your enthusiasm. This year, we’re hoping to foster this connection by launching frequent competitions and asking for more feedback so we can listen and respond to your concerns and suggestions. Our greatest asset is our community, and with you all supporting us, I’m sure Polkalokr will continue to flourish. Here’s to 2022!

About Polkalokr

Polkalokr is the first all-in-one, multi-chain token locking and escrow platform with built-in privacy functionality. Its products — Lokr, Swapr, Bridgr and Mintr — help build trust within the DeFi space by removing the human element and focusing on governance through code, with a seamless, omnichannel digital experience platform.

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