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Blockchain Projects - Core Pillars of Shipping Product, Feb 2018


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Thinking about building a blockchain project? What are the top areas of concern to ensure a successful ICO? Learn from founders and investors, lawyers, engineers, and marketing experts. From a talk given at Team Block Society.

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Blockchain Projects - Core Pillars of Shipping Product, Feb 2018

  1. 1. core pillars of shipping product audrey chaing february 2018
  2. 2. Table of Contents •Advice from Founders/Investors •Legal Considerations •Technical Trends •Marketing/PR/Biz Dev
  3. 3. Founders/Investors
  4. 4. The Big Questions Source: MIT Applied Blockchain Series • Do you need a token? – Why not use an existing one like BTC or ETH? • Why is blockchain better than a traditional centralized database? • Why do you care about the project? • Do you have expertise? • Why now? – And not 5 years ago and not 5 years in the future? • Who is your team? – Have you covered all your bases like tech, marketing, etc?
  5. 5. The Details Source: MIT Applied Blockchain Series • Tokenomics design – How to manage supply/demand? – Burn or freeze tokens? – How to manage raise? VC/Pre-ICO, public token sale? What percentage discounts and timing of rounds? – Incentives/punishments • Detailed Use of Proceeds – What will you do with the raise? What is the target? Hard cap? – What percentage kept with team, what percentage distributed, etc – Plan for conversion to fiat, storage considerations • Tech – Do you have a working prototype? If not now, when? – Do you have developers? How to build developer community? • Marketing Plan – Do you have a whitepaper? Technical and marketing? – Plans for community management – like Telgram, etc – Airdrops? Developer discounts? Partner angel/VCs/PR firms? Paid ads & media?
  6. 6. Legal Considerations
  7. 7. Assume You Have to Obey All Laws Source: MIT Applied Blockchain Series • When deciding how to structure (foundations in Switzerland, etc) and where to domicile – Some locations do have tax benefits – Unless you take very specific (and hard to execute) actions to prevent US residents from ever getting a hold of your tokens, you will likely have to abide by US law as well as the laws for wherever your holders are located • SEC has been fairly lenient to date – However they will make an example out of someone – Enforcement is absolutely going to happen • How do the different agencies work together? – Still figuring it out • Utility vs Security Tokens – Many will be classified as securities – However it may not be bad to be a security – there is certainty around that
  8. 8. Technical Trends
  9. 9. Scalability is the Top Issue Source: Blockgeeks, • State Channel = two-way communication channel between participants which enable them to conduct interactions, which would normally occur on the blockchain, off the blockchain – Requirements for state channel – A segment of the blockchain state is locked via multi-signature or some sort of smart contract, which is agreed upon by a set of participants – The participants interact with each other by signing transactions among each other without submitting anything to the miners – The entire transaction set is then added to the blockchain.
  10. 10. DAG = Direct Acyclic Graph Source: Steemit, Getacryp • DAG, a Tangle (IOTA) is a DAG – Web, consisting of nodes connected to each other with edges – An edge is basically a connection between nodes with a specific direction. It is not possible to traverse it in the opposite direction – Acyclic means that it’s not possible to encounter the same node for the second time when moving from node to node by following the edges. In other words, it is non-circular. • Characteristics – Every node consists of multiple layers of transactions, not blocks – When a transaction is registered in a node, it first has to verify two other transactions before his transaction will be verified. Those two transactions are chosen according to an algorithm. – The node has to check if the two transactions are not conflicting. For a node to issue a valid transaction, it must solve a cryptographic puzzle similar to those in the Bitcoin network (Proof of Work). Just two verifications are needed to verify a transaction. – This gives the benefit of a drastic decrease in unnecessary verification. Besides that, miners are eliminated as well.
  11. 11. Jargon? Source: Wikipedia, Blockgeeks • Proof of Work – calculations done to verify transactions, Bitcoin uses • Proof of Stake – ownership or stake to verify, not based on calculations, Ethereum will be incorporating • Lightning Network – state channel solution, mostly for Bitcoin • Raiden Network – Ethereum’s version of Lightning • Plasma – blockchain of blockchains • Casper – “consensus by bet”, Proof of Stake and punishes bad actors, for Ethereum • zkSNARKs – zero-knowledge proof, used by privacy coin Zcash • Ring signatures – type of digital signature that can be performed by any member of a group of users that each have keys, used by privacy coin Monero
  12. 12. Marketing/PR/Biz Dev
  13. 13. Not Like Traditional Startup Marketing • Traditional Digital Marketing Won’t Work – Facebook ads are a sign of a bad ICO, now Facebook is banning ICO ads anyway • Partnerships – important to have “smart money” investors, get most (or all) of your ICO done before releasing to public • Media– hire PR firms to get on traditional media like Bloomberg or CNBC, try to develop relationships with blockchain-specific news outlets, Twitter and Reddit are important in the crypto space, don’t forget paid media strategy • Thought Leadership – speak at the right conferences/meet-ups, blog posts • Community Management– Telegram chat is a must, be aware for phishers/scammers, make sure your chat moderators are well-versed in what they can and cannot say legally, think about language and time zone coverage • Roadshow – blockchain is international, many ICOs now do international roadshows • Whitepaper– good to have technical whitepaper and marketing whitepaper • Advisors – well-known advisors with good reputations also help
  14. 14. Thank You Audrey Chaing is a cryptocurrency trader and blockchain analyst, and runs the news site • Trading Bitcoin since 2013. Member of the Oakland Blockchain Developers, SF Ethereum Developers. Running MIT Applied Blockchain Series. • Co-founded 2 companies in food tech and genetics, through which she participated in Start-Up Chile and Singularity University Global Solutions Program. • Decade of experience on Wall Street as an investor, trader, and research analyst at companies like Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, and BlackRock. • Audrey has a degree in Computer Science from MIT with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, and earned her MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. • Speaker at events like Google International Women's Day, SVIAccelerator InsurTech Bootcamp, CryptoHQ, OneWorld Blockchain at Davos, Crypto@Dropbox, Women in Blockchain. @audsinthecity