Ferrum Network AMA Progress Update
Blockchain-Based Financial Technology for Emerging Markets
Today we have an exciting follow up AMA with Ian M. Friend, Esq., COO of Ferrum Network, hosted by Eric. We had our first AMA last July before they launched their token sale which was oversubscribed. Today we discuss their progress for the past 4 months, their latest product, how their flexible ERC-20 staking works and many more.
Q: So to refresh our memories. can you tell us what is Ferrum Network and your role in it?
Ian: Of course, so Ferrum is a DAG based interopability network that supports an interconnected line of real world financial applications designed to empower individuals to take control of their financial lives, such as fiat gateways, non-custodial wallet, cold storage application, and a cross-chain DEX. I am the Co-Founder, COO and General Counsel, as my background was in law prior to joining Ferrum.
Q: What has happened since our last AMA at the end of July?
Ian: Wow so much. So we held our ICO which was very oversubscribed and sold out in about 45 minutes. We listed on Bitmax 5 days later and then Binance DEX shortly after that. But aside from the business side, our development has continued at a breakneck pace. So prior to the TGE we already had launched an exchange + payments app in Africa called Kudi Exchange. Since then it has undergone 3 updates including a new feature which offers our users a one click bank account. We also launched our token bridge to swap BEP-2 and ERC-20 FRM https://tokenbridge.ferrum.network/
And the most recent product is our flexible erc-20 staking which is very unique and easy to use. Only 1 more day to contribute to staking!
Q: I noticed a few partnership news. Can you enumerate them in one post?
Ian: Ah yes we also partnered with some high profile projects like DASH, PCHAIN and now a new project called 2Key Network which will allow our users to earn rewards for referring our products to their friends.
Q: Any other exchange listing in the works besides Bitmax and Binance Dex?
Ian: Yes so we just listed on Eterbase, which is a fast growing exchange out of Europe with a lot of cool features like IBAN accounts, Euro stable coin and negative trading fees.
Q: So tell us about this Staking thing. How does it work? What’s the goal and what’s unique about it?
Ian: So our flexible ERC-20 staking is designed to work with any ERC-20 token and is very unique and exciting. It is a group based staking concept (basically a staking pool) has 3 levels of staking pools. The long and medium pools are sold out already. But there is some room left in the short term pool (gold). One really cool thing about it is that there is a competition element. This is because participants can withdraw early and receive some rewards, but their forfeited rewards go to those who stake until the end. And because this tech works with any ERC-20 token, we are talking to other projects who might be interested in using it as well.
There is a minimum 5,000 FRM to stake so it’s really meant for everyone. I suggest anyone who is interested to try it out. The UX is very simple and easy. All you need is a Metamask and some gas and you can stake in about 3 minutes going thru 4 simple steps.
Q: What is your opinion on the growth of the community and awareness of Ferrum from social mining?
Ian: Social mining has been a tremendous success for us. For those that don’t know social mining is a community driven rewards platform that is sort of like bounties + staking. Participants are rewarded in FRM every 2 weeks based on the amount of FRM they hold + their value added contributions. We currently have around 1500 people signed up for social mining, and millions of tokens being “staked” in the platform. Anyone interested in contributing to Ferrum’s success, I suggest you sign up and start participating. You only need to hold 5000 FRM to receive rewards! www.community.ferrum.network
Q: How can Ferrum offer financial inclusion for people who are excluded from banking products?
Ian: One of Ferrum’s core values is to bring more people into the crypto space who can truly benefit from cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This is one reason we launched our first product (First Kudi) in Africa. The last Kudi update included a feature where each of our users receives a bank account at one of Nigeria’s biggest banks — Providus Bank — where we have a partnership. This means our users are actually receiving a bank account along with instant fiat transfers, low cost crypto investments, and merchant services — all within the Kudi app!
You can download it today here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ferrum.kudi
Q: Currently, there are 3 products already. So, What’s the next upcoming product we can see from Ferrum network?
Ian: Yes so we have our first fiat gateway up and running (First Kudi), as well as our token bridge and staking mechanism. Next we will rebrand the Kudi app and add ETH and FRM to it. This means our African users can buy FRM with fiat and we can introduce a bunch of FRM utilities, like a rewards system and benefits to our users who hold a certain amount of FRM. After that, we will launch our non-custodial wallet called UniFyre. This is like Trust Wallet but with many more advanced features that we believe will make it the best non-custodial wallet on the market. https://unifyre.io/. After that we will complete the main net and then launch our other products in 2020.
Q: Kudi Exchange is compared with Coinbase Pro + Paypal but for Africa. But there are only 1000+ Installs for Android till now. Do you think the 1000+ number is too small for Exchange App for the whole continent?
Ian: We have about 2,500 active users on Kudi and over 100 merchants signed up. Our beta launch was less than 6 months ago and we are still adding features that will bring on more users, like adding it to the iOS store. But yes we need more growth. Once we can bring on iOS users, we will restart our aggressive marketing campaign which involves referrals, in person marketing and educational seminars, and signing up merchants door to door. These marketing strategies were proving successful and we expect growth to take off once the necessary features are added to the app over the coming next few weeks.
Q: I think one of the problems with blockchain platforms to reach mass adoption is the number of regular users. What’s your plan to attract users for dApps on Ferrum Network?
Ian: Absolutely agree! Average people still don’t know or care about crypto enough. This is why we are making very simple and user friendly products that bridge the gap between the traditional financial world (fiat) and the world of crypto. We are also focusing on markets where people can really benefit from this technology, as opposed to just speculating on its price. The First Kudi app is a prime example of how we build simple to use technology with non-cypto people in mind (instant fiat payments and merchant services have nothing to do with crypto) and then we educate our customers about the benefit of crypto so they can start to improve their lives with it.
Q: How and why were you able to guarantee a 10–50% APY to the stakers?Will there be any inflation due to the staking rewards to be paid to the stakers?
Ian: So our staking is smart contract based and we deposited the rewards tokens in the contracts prior to their launch, so the payouts are guaranteed. About 9 million tokens are being staked between the 3 contracts. Since the rewards are variable, the total amount of inflation due to these 3 staking contracts is 2.3 million FRM, not a lot given our total supply is 329 million.
Q: Any project has its weaknesses, and that point will often be exploited by competitors. Does Ferrum have any weaknesses? And How will you strengthen your weaknesses and turn them into advantages?
Ian: Yes we have weaknesses and are aware of them. The primary “weakness” is our low raise. This means we can’t just pay exchanges hundreds of thousands of dollars for listings and we need to be smart with our marketing spend. But our frugality has allowed us to do some impressive things on a low budget, like launching a fiat gateway + payments app in Africa on less than $100k. And although we don’t spend much on marketing, we are very aggressive. Even with a $1.2 million raise we have a relatively high profile among active projects right now. And of course this low raise meant we did not overvalue ourselves and gives our investors more upside than if we had raised more. So overall it presents challenges but also many opportunities and the benefits outweigh the costs.
Q: What is Kudi’s relationship with the Ferrum network? What is the difference between Ferrum and Kudi?
Ian: So Kudi is a Ferrum Network product, meaning our engineers built it, and Ferrum co-owns the Kudi company. But the interests of Kudi team and Ferrum team are completely aligned, since they are also one of our earliest investors. This means that we will be adding FRM to the Kudi app very soon, so our African users can buy FRM directly with fiat and we can add FRM utilities to the Kudi app. FRM will be added very soon and we very much looking forward to that.
Q: Your recent Kudi update has received a lot of positive feedback from users in general. However, do you consider the thoughts and requirements of community members in the near future to complete the next updates? And what’s the immediate goal for your next update?
Ian: We try to be extremely active in the Ferrum community and wider crypto community. We have done about 10 AMAs since the start of November. We have social mining that rewards other community members for spreading the word about Ferrum. And the whole team is very engaged and active in the Ferrum channel. Our updates will not stop. We have a continuous stream of products to launch and will do aggressive marketing around each one. In addition, we like ot keep the community informed of our weekly and monthly progress and publish those updates regularly. Please join the Ferrum community to see what I mean.
Q: Since Ferrum will focus on emerging markets, do you have any plans to attract non-crypto users if so how?
Ian: We view emerging markets as the places where actual adoption will occur (as opposed to just price speculation) because those places have poor existing financial systems and their fiat currencies are very unstable. The challenge is that many of these places don’t have as much awareness about crypto and they don’t have as much money to buy it. This means we need to educate them and make our services low cost and very easy to use. If you download Kudi you will see that is the case.
Q: How does DAG technology solves the problems of transaction speed and low cost?
Ian: I’d like to explain how our underlying interoperability protocol and DAG consensus mechanism will work. The Ferrum Network is designed to connect to any blockchain thru plug-ins, which then allow users to deposit any digital asset into the network, where it can be exchanged and transacted much faster than on its original blockchain. This is because DAGs are inherently faster and more scalable than blockchains, since there are no miners. Of course there are trade offs but we have solutions to the security issues that have been raised in the past concerning DAGs. Here is a demo of how fast a BTC transaction can be within the Ferrum Network. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sib9T3-YuZw
I should also explain how the FRM token works within the Ferrum Network. So FRM is the gas used in the network, users need to spend small amounts to execute transactions. But the unique thing is those tokens are burned and a portion distributed to those running a node. So FRM is a deflationary utility token.
Q: I like the fact that fees are used to reduce token supply. In addition to this, are there other parts of your tokenomics that would reduce supply either through more direct burn, or passively through a lock out of supply? Also, are the FER tokenomics fully establish, or will they evolve to expand token use over time?
Ian: Yes so in addition to the gas burn, we have other mechanisms that lock up, buy back and/or burn tokens. These additional utilities will be announced over the coming weeks and months as we launch more products that utilize the FRM token.
Q: What is the meaning of traction based reserve model? What is the real life use cases of Ferrum?
Ian: The traction based reserve model is our take on the traditional reserve model, but instead of just releasing those tokens arbitrarily, they are released based on the amount of tokens previously burned, and done so in a predictable and transparent manner. So in other words, if one month we burned 500,000 tokens, a corresponding amount will be released from the traction reserve. This not only incentivizes us to achieve our goals, it also means that the reserve does not result in inflation.
Q: Is Kudi exchange will be limited to Africa only or we may see in other crypto friendly countries with their fiat gateways too?
Ian: So our business model involves launching other fiat gateway in other regions of the world that can benefit from our technology. Right now we are in talks with teams on the ground in the Middle East and South America. Hopefully at least one of those opportunities becomes a reality, so we can expand our project into other regions where crypto technology can really benefit people. More to be announced on this soon.
Q: Since the rewards are already deposited prior to the launch, does it mean you’re not going to issue any new FRM tokens?
Ian: We can’t issue more FRM tokens, but we can burn them. However, there is no real risk of ever running out because as the price of the token increases, the amount of token being burned for each transaction will decrease.
Q: What advantage does UniFyre wallet have over Trust Wallet?
Ian: For one, Trust Wallet doesn’t have the most important crypto in it — Bitcoin. UniFyre will have all major assets and will have community voting to add the small caps. Second, with Trust Wallet if you lose your phone you can lose your crypto. With UniFyre, even if you lose your phone or private keys, you can actually still get your crypto back even though we as a project will never know your private keys. Third, UniFyre will have conditional OTC trades, meaning you wont need an escrow in order to do OTC transactions. Fourth, UniFyre will offer staking within the wallet. And after the Ferrum main net comes out we will be adding many more unique and valuable features to our wallet.
Q: Are you already earning revenues? If yes, any numbers in terms of $?
Ian: Yes Kudi earns revenue and we share in that revenue. Although it is not significant yet, we are positioned to grow Kudi is a major way after we add these additional features. And most importantly, we will be able to announce an economic burning model similar to how the other major exchanges do it, so the revenue will actually increase utility of the token.
I hope to come back in the next 3 months for another update! For those who are interested to learn more about Ferrum Network, First Kudi, and all our other products, please join our socials!
Community Site: https://community.ferrum.network/
Bitcoin Talk: http://bitcointalk.ferrum.network/