WeTrust Crowdsale FAQ
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the crowdsale ranging from “I like the team, but what does WeTrust do?” to “How many tokens are there and is there inflation?” to “How do I participate?”… so we’ll try to address all questions here. If there’s anything unclear, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our slack.
What is WeTrust?
WeTrust wants to leverage social capital and trust networks to create an alternative financial platform that improves financial inclusion on a global scale. Products that can be supported include Trusted Lending Circles, credit identity, direct lending, and mutual insurance. It is built on the the Ethereum blockchain and our first product is deployed on Ethereum Mainnet.
What are the Crowdsale details?
To execute our vision, WeTrust is running a crowdsale that will commence 03/02/2017 12:00:00 AM UTC and conclude 04/12/2017 at 11:59:59 PM UTC (dates updated due to AWS impact that delayed start date by 24 hrs from March 1st to March 2nd). There is a minimum threshold of 1,000BTC, and the crowdsale will end when we reach the cap of 6,000BTC OR when we reach the equivalent of $7.3M (click here for details on how the $7.3M is calculated). Funds will be returned to participants if minimum is not reached.
100 Million Trustcoins (TRST) will be issued upon a successful crowdsale. Of the 100 Million Trustcoins:
- 80 Million Trustcoins will be distributed to the token sale participants
- 10 Million Trustcoins are reserved for the founding team and advisors, which will vest over 2 years
- 8 Million Trustcoins are reserved for Finclusion Labs, the organization that is building WeTrust platform
- 2 Million Trustcoins are reserved for bounties
WeTrust’s Token Sale Bonus Schedule
- 1st Day — 30% 03/02/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 03/02/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 1st Week — 25% 03/03/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 03/08/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 2nd Week — 20% 03/09/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 03/15/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 3rd Week — 15% 03/16/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 03/22/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 4th Week — 10% 03/23/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 03/29/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 5th Week — 5% 03/30/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 04/05/2017 11:59 PM UTC
- 6th Week — 0% 04/06/2017 12:00 AM UTC — 04/12/2017 11:59 PM UTC
How do I participate in the crowdsale?
Create an account at WeTrust.io, and you will be able to contribute BTC or ETH starting March 1, to a unique address which keeps track of your contributions. For detailed steps on how to contribute, please check out this post that does a step-by-step walkthrough!
I’ve contributed, but why is my TRST balance decreasing?
To create fairness for all participants, the amount of TRST in your balance is based on the total contributions received thus far. Here’s an example. If person A is the first participant in the crowdsale, and they put down 1 BTC, their balance would say 80M because they are the only participant. Then person B contributes 1 BTC, and the total amount contributed is 2 BTC. Now, each person has 40M TRST. This way, the 80M is divided among participants based on contribution amount.
How do you determine the amount of TRST a participant will receive since both ETH and BTC are accepted?
As we accept both BTC and ETH, we decided to count all contributions in BTC. Therefore when we receive a contribution in ETH, we compute on the spot its BTC equivalent based on *realtime* quotes from 3 exchanges. The resulting value is then used to compute the user’s contribution. This essentially is akin to the contributor shapeshifting to BTC on the spot, which gives contributors confidence that they know how much they contributed at the time of contribution. This approach will remain through the conclusion of the crowdsale.
Do you guys have escrow partners?
Vlad Zamfir, Joe Urgo, and Jae Kwon are our independent escrow partners — see the bottom of this document to learn more about their backgrounds.
Do you guys have advisors?
Emin Gün Sirer (Professor@Cornell), Vitalik Buterin (Founder@Ethereum), Bo Shen (Founder@Fenbushi Capital) , Michael Casey (Advisor@MIT Digital Currency Initiative), and Benedict Chan (Platform Lead@Bitgo) are some of our well-esteemed partners. Please see wetrust.io for their full bios.
What are Trustcoins (TRST) and Why are They Needed?
Trustcoin (TRST) tokens are the currency for services performed by WeTrust as well as other service providers in the WeTrust ecosystem. The coin is a reward to any actor that facilitates trust and is paid by any actor that uses the Trust Network. Collateral used in any transaction will also be in the form of Trustcoin. The value of Trustcoin is derived from usage of the platform. There will be a total of 100 million tokens created, and there is no inflation.
How are TRST Tokens Secured?
We will be using a ERC20 standard token contract for Ethereum blockchain
What is the Entity managing the crowdsale?
WeTrust platform will be built by Finclusion Labs, who has partnered with a non-profit organization G.R.O.W that is acting as the 501c3 fiscal sponsor.
What is your first product?
The first product WeTrust is building is the Trusted Lending Circle (TLC), which is modeled after a traditional savings model used globally by over 1 Billion people called Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA). Watch our video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9XTFvLCn4U&index=4&list=PLCL57M28bByVH-HUDxmIg9TW9B6izKqdd
What is a Trusted Lending Circle (aka ROSCA) and how does it work exactly?
In a ROSCA, a group of individuals agree to a fixed contribution at a fixed frequency. The money is distributed in each interval to individuals via a lottery, a bidding process, or other method as decided by participants. This mechanism serves as a way to allocate money between savers and borrowers — and the credit can serve as both a source for investment or emergency cash in times of need. When a bidding process is used, those who use the funds earlier are in essence paying a fee to those who use the funds later.
These groups are commonly built along clan, geographic, social, or professional networks.
How does the Bidding work, and what Happens When Someone Bids Less than the Full Amount?
We call the discrepancy between the pot value and the lowest bid the discount. When a user chooses to forego any amount, that amount becomes the discount and is split between all participants. This results in round contributions becoming smaller for all participants, and represents the fee or cost to use the funds earlier than others. Some also think of this as a form of interest payment.
Can someone game the system by continually bidding low and always winning the pot?
In a ROSCA, one can only win the pot once out of every X rounds, where X is equal to the number of participants. We call this complete cycle an “Epoch”. Once a participant has won one pot in the Epoch, they cannot win again. Regardless of whether you bid low or high to win the pot, all participants will continue to deposit the fixed amount each period, as determined in the beginning. Therefore, the contributions from each person is fixed through the entire Epoch, the only variable is how much one bids and withdraws. This represents the supply/ demand market dynamic between savers and borrowers.
OK, so tell me…why do people use Trusted Lending Circles/ ROSCAs?
Although the overall outcome is a zero-sum game, participants are able to have access to credit which serves as both a safety net and source of investment funds.
What kind of risks exist?
Who Has Access to My Funds?
The funds are controlled by an Ethereum smart contract. That means WeTrust has absolutely no access to your funds, and the participants, including the foreperson, can withdraw only according to the rules of the ROSCA.
What is a Foreperson and what are their Responsibilities?
Why use a blockchain based Lending Circle vs in-person among friends?
Simplified accounting, tracking, bidding, and tracking of payments. Blockchain transactions serve as canonical source of truth, lower risk of ‘he said she said’, simplified management, ability to easily add/ remove people to a group seamlessly without having to wait until end of an epoch, ease of use with digital currency vs cash, security of not having to handle cash, game theory mechanisms to reduce default rates.
How do I Start a Trusted Lending Circle?
To create and organize a Trusted Lending Circle (aka ROSCA) for you and your friends, choose Create a ROSCA from the menu. Initiating a new TLC will make you the Foreperson and you will responsible for specifying the terms for the TLC, such as TLC name, number of participants, payment frequency, payment amount, start date, and your fees. Please note that the TLC participants would need to agree to all these terms to join your TLC.
Once you choose “Create” you will be prompted to select one of your connected Ethereum accounts with which you will participate in the TLC.
Please note that you need to access the dApp using a compatible browser (right now that’s either a Chrome browser with the MetaMask extension, or the Mist Browser) which is connected to funded Ethereum accounts. If you just want to play around with the TLC dApp, you can fund your Ropsten (test network) accounts with fake Ethereum by using a faucet (example) and use the test-ROSCA website (rosca-test.wetrust.io).
How Do I invite Someone to a Trusted Lending Circle?
Inviting your friends to join a TLC is super easy. Send them an email, text message, or a mail pigeon (with a link) and they will be prompted to create an account. Once they do that, they can click on “Join a ROSCA” to join the TLC they were invited to.
How does WeTrust make money?
The WeTrust platform plans to charge fees on certain types of transactions, and for future premium value added services. Although WeTrust does not charge fees on the Trusted Lending Circle platform at the moment, we plan to charge a 0.3% fee on Trusted Lending Circles larger than 5 members, and a significantly lower fee of 0.1% when Trustcoin is used as the native token of value.
What if There are Bad Actors who refuse to pay?
A common misconception is that Trusted Lending Circles can be used between strangers. By design, a user can invite other users via email, or be invited to join a Trusted Lending Circle. One cannot simply start participating with strangers who they do not know. Having said that, to thwart bad actors among those who know each other, WeTrust will have the following deterrents:
*1. Reputation risk/ Reviews: Initial groups will be limited to “trusted associates” — family, friends, co-workers, fraternal groups, and professional/ religious organizations. Defaulting on payments could mean social shame and loss of reputation amongst an individual’s closest associates. This works in practice around the world, as reputation risk is a large deterrent that in most cases is sufficient enough to keep participants honest. Reviews may also be left by other members to show how they felt about any participant.
*2. Loan Guarantor: Participants of a Lending Circle may choose to require all participants to have a loan guarantor who would be responsible for any breach of the Lending Circle participation terms. This concept can also be used to facilitate the interaction of disparate groups that have common participants who are willing to vouch and serve as Loan Guarantors or junior debt holders for any wrongdoing by members from the 2 disparate groups.
*3. Legal/ Collateral: Lending Circle formation will allow trusted associates to e-sign and bind each other to a legal contract which requires faithful adherence and payment to the group. Defaulting on payments and stealing could mean legal repercussions. Legal recourse will only be used if individuals are participating in a “high-stakes” lending circle and legal action would be worthwhile. Members can also choose to require participants to commit collateral as part of membership of the Lending Circle.
We’ve spoken to our legal team and they believe it will be possible to create templates that each group can tailor according to their needs.
*4. Smart contract bounty (self-enforcement): If a Lending Circle participant violates the terms, the group may start a “Bounty” on the retrieval of funds. If the funds are retrieved, the “Bounty” is paid out to the person who enforces the terms.
These deterrent options will be on an “opt-in” basis and participants will be able to choose the level of security they want. These ideas are not fixed and are still subject to change.
Is It All Open Source?
The contract code is completely open-source. You can view it on our GitHub.
Is It Secure?
WeTrust never receives or has control of your funds, period. All contributions are made directly to TLC contracts from a user’s own Ethereum wallet. Once WeTrust charges fees (in future), it can only withdraw them from these contracts, and nothing more than that. The only other users who are able to withdraw from the contract are those specified as participants, and each can only withdraw their fair share. You can verify this yourself by reading through the code on our GitHub.
3/22: Added an *additional* crowdsale ending condition, where crowdsale will end if the equivalent of $7.3M is reached (details here).
3/15: Added section above describing how TRST amount is determined for each participant based on their ETH and BTC contributions
2/24 Escrow confirmed: Vlad Zamfir, Joe Urgo, and Jae Kwon
2/24: We are pleased to announced that we have finalized the process of securing trusted members of the community to act as escrow partners for our crowdsale. Vlad Zamfir, Joe Urgo, and Jae Kwon will be helping to secure BTC and ETH received during our crowdsale by acting as trusted key holders of our multi-signature wallets. In case you are not already familiar with them, here is a brief bio of each…
Vlad is a researcher working on the Ethereum transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. Vlad is enthusiastic about fault tolerance, consensus protocols, coalition-proof consensus mechanism design, blockchain governance and blockchain ethics.
Joe is the Founder/CEO of sourcerers.io, a recruiting and consulting firm for Ethereum-based projects. Joe also currently serves as Director of Operations at Ethlance and Editor at The Dapp Daily. Previously, Joe spent 3 years at Coinbase as an Operations Manager, and worked at Three Arrows Capital as a Derivatives Trader.
Have any questions? We’re always happy to chat on Slack, and join our mailing list below!