Internal AMA w/Umbrella Network’s Senior Advisor, Sam Kim and President, John Chen: Recap
Umbrella Network’s Senior Advisor, Sam Kim, and President, John Chen, recently held an internal AMA in the main Umbrella Network Telegram channel to answer questions from the community.
At: Umbrella Network Telegram channel
On: Wednesday, 1st June 2022|Time: 3:00 PM UTC
Umbrella is a scalable, community-owned oracle that securely brings external data on-chain. It is the first decentralized oracle service to empower the community with the scale and security modern DeFi applications require.
The transcript is almost entirely in its original AMA form, mildly edited for punctuation and readability only.
*** AMA starts ***
Q1. First question!
Where would Sam, John, and other team members sit within the DAO? If they aren’t part of the DAO, then why?
Good morning everybody
Before I answer that, let me just say something:
John, myself and the entire team are incredibly proud of where we’ve come thus far. And we’re excited about our future.
Many of the items in the proposal are strategic initiatives and furthering Umbrella’s decentralization. Due to the unfortunate exploit, we also must face some challenging choices that the Community Council went through with the intent of best positioning Umbrella for future success.
The idea is for the DAO council to be in charge of a foundation-like entity that governs the Umbrella Network. This is a natural progression of decentralization, and has been under consideration for some time and is intended to include continued development of the underlying technology, marketing, business development, and other operations.
With regards to the question of where the team will sit:
John and I will serve as advisors and contribute to Umbrella Network. The team will still execute day-to-day operations and development.
Q2. Next question,
What will the role of the larger community be beyond voting to elect the council?
The idea is for the council to communicate with the core team and propose rules/constitution and proposals to determine what gets put to a community vote.
Q3. What will be the legal standing of the DAO? Will Council members be liable for legal measures and/or debts the company might face?
The governance will be subject to a legal structure to provide corporate protections.
Q4. What competencies do you ask from members that will join the DAO Council? Where do you expect to find/recruit the 3+ candidates to be added as Council members?
I like the rapid fire. Ideal council members will bring together a broad set of skills and experiences including knowledge of DeFi and oracle markets, technical understanding, and blockchain engineering experience.
The current members of the Community Council, along with the senior Umbrella team will work with the community to help to nominate prospective council members. Also, strategic partners that may join with Umbrella could also be candidates for participation on both the Security Council as well as the DAO council.
Q5. Roughly speaking, what would a month look like for a DAO Council member?
The idea is for the DAO Council to have weekly meetings to discuss and evaluate planning, prospective votes on key issues, and potential proposals.
Q6. Strategically, and with the turmoil of the last months in mind, why do you think this is the time to form/launch the DAO?
Plans for transitioning to a DAO have always been in place since the early days of the project. We believe it is important to continue the process for further community governance and decentralization. We hope this presents an attractive opportunity for strategic partners to come in and help participate in the governance of the project.
Q7. Do the proposed items free up more capital to resume a longer period of development?
The proposed plan is what allows for 3–6 months of runway prior to the release of the Passport. Our hope is that Passport will enable us to extend our runway through revenue generation. Meanwhile, additional resources to extend the runway are being explored, which may include additional financing and/or winding down the accelerator.
Q8. What is the new runway of the UMB project (after the changes)? How do you plan to extend it if the current bear market recession lasts 12–18 months considering the current token price without further inflation?
We are seeking strategic partnerships with the objective to extend the runway of the project for at least another 6–12 months. Additionally, we plan to start monetizing the Passport solution, which should help to generate revenue. However, an extended bear market is bad for the whole industry including Umbrella. And, we hope it doesn’t last too long.
Q9. Is there a possibility of closing the project?
We hope to not face this potential, but like any project, it is a possibility if we are unable to extend our runway. As stated above, we are seeking strategic partnerships with the objective to extend the runway of the project.
Q10. Why is Umbrella letting go of Lucidity as part of this proposal?
Lucidity, like most startups, was not profitable. Until now, the net cost of the Lucidity deal to Umbrella was under $250,000. Continuing with Lucidity would require a balloon payment, which would significantly reduce Umbrella’s runway. As a result, Umbrella should not have any continuing interest in Lucidity moving forward.
Q11. There’s a lot packed into this proposal, would it be better to vote on them individually instead of an all-or-nothing approach?
After careful consideration, and in light of recent events, both the team and the Community Council believe the actions included in the pending proposal is the best path forward.
Q12. What is the progress update on the code review and audits?
We’re nearly done with the tech review. Smart contract audits were conducted and wrapped up this week. Backend systems have gone through a code review. Front end code is still being reviewed.
Q13. Does Umbrella have any paying customers at this time?
Umbrella is still providing all of its data feeds for free, but the pending proposal and adoption of an open-source premium business model is designed to start generating revenue from projects using the Passport service.
Q14. How many projects are currently using Umbrella?
Since January 2022, we added 12 price feeds at the request of partner projects. However, we know there is friction with the implementation that we hope will be resolved and overcome with the Passport product. And so, we hope to see far more projects using the Umbrella solution in the future.
Q15. Will the pending proposal be detrimental to Umbrella competing with other oracles in the marketplace?
We believe the current proposal puts Umbrella in a better position to compete. The product will be open sourced so that others can see the quality of the product firsthand, and can actually contribute to it. Second, it’ll be a simple solution for small and early stage projects to implement an oracle should they need a data feed. And we believe the projects will ultimately move over to Passport to get access to data and the premium services it offers.
And finally, we are a firm that believes that decentralization improves the security of the network.
Q16. Is the Hadley staking to continue as before? When approximately do you expect rUMB2 conversion to be possible?
Hadley staking will continue. For rUMB2 conversion, we can put a vote to the community to decide when to set the conversion.
Q17. Have we lost any partners due to hacking?
We’ve been fortunate to not have partners move away from us due to the hack. We continue to have a positive relationship with both Fortress and MahaDAO, for example, even after the exploit.
Q18. What can you do to restore confidence in UMB after several hacks, roadmap delays, and pivots from the original direction of the project?
The current situation is not unique to Umbrella — it is relatively common for blockchain projects to face challenges like you describe. Some of the most well-known projects have seen setbacks such as a hack/exploit. How the project and community responds is what will likely determine the project’s long term success
Umbrella remains steadfast in its mission to be a fully decentralized / democratized oracle that provides the largest and most comprehensive set of data in the market.
The team remains proud of what has been built and delivered over a relatively short period of time: 6 networks, 4000 data feeds, 28 validators, and a thriving community of supporters.
We believe this proposal, including open sourcing, and adopting what we hope is a sustainable and growing business model, will help to further boost the confidence in the project from both the community and our partners.
Q19. Then that’s almost it from me… but I do wonder… Why isn’t Emily chairing this AMA?
Thomas, we love you. But you’re no Emily. Emily is taking a very well-deserved break. And she’ll be back to host future AMAs and answer all of your questions soon.
Thanks for filling in for her today
Q1. Is Umbrella network actively seeking investors for funding
Yes, we’re actively seeking. However, everything will be put through the council
Q2. What is if the proposal doesn’t go through? What is the alternative?
We wouldn’t be proposing this if this wasn’t important for the future of the project. We believe this is the best proposal for the long-term future of Umbrella. Additional proposals are welcome.
Q3. UnoRe are choosing chainlink for their new vault and will move to chainlink too for their others, their CTO said it’s because chainlink is the best in the place, could you explain (about technical compared) why they pick their products.
We have a great relationship with UnoRe. We have a call scheduled in the coming days and we will ask them for some feedback as to why they chose Chainlink for their data feeds to gain some insights. Will provide that feedback to our community when we get it.
Q4. Can I do a question? How are going interactions with metalcore (studio 365)? from the announcement no more news.
MetalCore is a separate entity that is part of the Umbrella accelerator. As part of the proposal, Umbrella is looking to unwind transactions from the accelerator program to get additional capital to further extend Umbrella’s runway
Will you explore this as a funding option?
We will explore all viable options including any new funds.
Q6. lucidity will use always our tech in the future even after the split? I was understood it was a big user
The full migration of Lucidity to Umbrella’s underlying technology is not completed yet. Future usage of Umbrella’s technology will be up to the Lucidity executive team.
Q7. Thanks. I admit I have to read all proposals accurately, but I question I have: until now I don't see good marketing, the explanation is that is better to have a good and solid project first, and after doing marketing. don't you think now, due to the market situation and also UMB issues, is better to think differently about marketing for raising some more funds and users?
We will look to use marketing resources going forward to best promote Umbrella initiatives. Assuming an additional influx of capital.
Q8. Very thanks for disponibility. Last question and I leave the question to others: until now has someone from the dev/core team left?
there are 2 questions about the dev/core team. We have undergone a reduction in force in order to extend our runway. So the team is smaller but still substantial and able to fulfill the roadmap we have set forth.
Q9. What is the current marketing plan that is being activated ahead of any additions or revisions that might be proposed and voted on?
We have scaled back some of our marketing currently to focus on the current proposal and getting it approved so that we can restructure. We are still continuing with pursuing some partnerships and BD, and the marketing that will be supporting that. We will look to scale back the marketing again pending the proposal approval and will work with the DAO council to propose a detailed marketing plan and execution strategy at that point.
Q10. What do John and Sam being “Advisors” mean? Are you stepping away from the day-to-day management of Umbrella?
It means no change in terms of day-to-day. It however means we are advisors to the council, not voting members.
Q11. Greetings Sam! Can you please tell us when will the new website be uploaded?
we were working on a new website, but have paused it, for the time being, as if we are to restructure, we will need to reposition the website further. we will propose a plan for the website deployment pending approval of the proposal. but we are already about 50–60% done at this point.
Q12. What of the partnership with Elrond?
We are already integrated with polygon as one of the 6 L1’s and L2 scaling solutions that we support.
Join the discussion on Telegram at https://t.me/umbrellanet
About Umbrella Network
Umbrella Network is a scalable, decentralized, and community-owned oracle that utilizes Layer 2 technology to integrate real-time data into smart contracts for accurate and timely reports. Umbrella Network brings the world’s data to blockchains to enable DeFi applications to perform at the optimum level regarding precise information dissemination. It believes a decentralized oracle is paramount to creating a truly decentralized financial space.
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