ON LAUNCHPADS, LISTINGS, GOALS, AND OPPORTUNITY MAXIMIZATION
What's next for the launchpad?
And what's next for Itheum?
Exciting road ahead.
MAIAR LAUNCHPAD PURPOSE
Before talking about listings, let's briefly touch on the launchpad.
What's our goal for the Maiar launchpad?
We back determined teams, solving hard problems, with global impact.
*Creating a special forces program of sorts for blockchain startups.*
Why would this be relevant for the most ambitious startups?
They learn to build passionate communities, raise needed funds, and get valuable feedback toward delivering technology that is useful, and improves the world.
Not general feedback, but pure, distilled insights, coming from builders at the frontier.
Feedback we wish we got, as we went through different phases.
So how has this worked out so far?
Well, to be fair, maybe it's too early to draw definitive conclusions.
But some things are already obvious, and clear.
FIRST EXAMPLE, STATUS, AND RESULTS
Take holoride for instance.
By every relevant measure, holoride is a resounding success.
Strong team, building the Metaverse for the transportation industry, backed by Audi and several big automakers, Looking to deliver a first version of their product mid this year, in collaboration with HTC Vive, making top Audi models "holoride ready".
This alone is phenomenal.
As one can expect, once the product goes live, it will immediately make the other car makers wonder, where's our integration ?
Where’s our version of this cool product?
Which means one thing.
Expansion, expansion, expansion.
$RIDE is at a ~330M mcap, roughly ~40x from lottery price, with 70,000+ holders, and just starting to expand to more audiences.
It's still early. But they have an immense room to grow, and are in an exceptional position to execute on their transportation Metaverse vision.
SECOND EXAMPLE, STRONG PREMISE
itheum is still early, but its technology, potential impact and utility, sets a strong premise for future growth within the Metaverse space.
Growth, we’ll look to experience together, during the coming months, and years.
SUCCESS BRINGS INSANE DEMAND
So, the launchpad is a big success for the most ambitious startups. How do things look for the community?
Well, for starters, the community is getting the opportunity to participate in building an exciting new future.
That's what it's all about.
And of course, when the future is exciting, and compelling, there's a lot of demand for it.
Many, many people want to participate in exciting startup projects.
So what's the optimal way to proceed?
DEALING WITH DEMAND, SMARTLY
Well, one way perhaps, would be to raise more money, and let all people in.
But there's a set of tricky, counter-intuitive problems that come with that.
First, raising too much money can easily kill startups. Differently than you'd think.
Too much money, too soon, can breed complacency, and distraction.
Next thing, instead of building a product, hunger is lost & you get distracted prematurely optimizing new found wealth.
Second, raising too much money, too soon, can kill the upside shared with the community and investors. Giving you a much smaller, perhaps insignificant, lever to play with.
CRITICAL ALIGNMENT, BUILDING LEVERAGE
Now, hyperfocus is by far the most important weapon of a startup.
Similarly, upside shared with the community is the ultimate leverage and alignment force.
So, how does one align both of those in a compelling way?
Well, productive constraints.
Perhaps the best way we've found (until now) to secure needed funds, maintain hyperfocus with the startups, while opening a unique and high upside pre-listing opportunity to the largest possible community group, has been a lottery system.
Goes without saying, of course, that should a better solution emerge, we will definitely look to update and improve ours.
LESSONS, CHALLENGES, AND SOLUTIONS
Navigating the launchpad process for the first two startups has brought home some useful lessons, interesting challenges, and potential solutions.
- A -The lottery system has worked tremendously well in opening & extending a high upside opportunity to anyone in the community
If after trying & maybe not winning, one can still withdraw his money & continue exploration, this remains a huge net positive win for the community
Note: investments in these exciting high potential startups, could be done in many ways & many vehicles. We see insane demand coming from funds & community members. Still, we choose to limit the amounts invested via those means, to share a meaningful upside with the community We didn't have to, but we chose to.
As the number of people participating in these launchpad projects rapidly grows, we'll have to find new & creative ways to accomodate all this new demand, while applying productive constraints, and maximizing a net positive outcome.
That's great. Now a few things that didn’t work well:
- A - Any KYC procedure done at scale, has proved rather painful. We've tried a new solution this time, and while it was better than the last one, it was still far from ideal.
We're still looking for better solutions here
- B - New snapshotting mechanism to prevent ghost attacks. The most useful way of aligning interests with real users, and preventing ghost account attacks, is to make the snapshotting periods of 15-30 days. If the account misses one of the days, it becomes ineligible.
Note that despite close investigation, and *blacklisting 21750 accounts due to suspicious activity*, some got away with the trick.
With insane growing demand, come tricky challenges.
We understand, and accept this. There is no perfect way of filtering, given limited time.
It’s not perfect. But still, overall it’s a huge net positive for the community.
And with the new mechanism, it will be even better.
- C - There is a great number of people that have invested lots of effort & energy in the Elrond ecosystem from the early days. Many of those people had 16 tickets, with none as winner.
To ammend this situation, starting with the next launchpad, everyone who has been staking for >30 days, and is eligible for >10 tickets, will automatically have one ticket guaranteed.
With the launchpad we have created a special forces program for the most ambitious blockchain startups in the world, and a great opportunity for the community to participate in a pre-listing process with surprising upside.
But it's important to underscore that this is just the starting point. For all those looking to make more significant investments and contributions for the longer term, listing is the point to explore.
And ideally, there will soon be 5-10 launchpads, all with different flavours and mechanism. Improving on the model, and tremendously multiplying opportunities for the community.
AMPLIFYING MOMENTUM, NEW LISTING PROCESS
Now, perhaps the most important improvement we are experimenting with, is a completely new listing process.
Given how much excitement naturally builds around a launchpad project, how limited the initial sold supply is for the different stages, and how many people want in from day one, it's clear that launchpad listings will be very high stakes, high tension moments.
To anticipate this, and incorporate some of the lessons we have learned with the holoride listing, we have created a new listing process, consisting of several steps.
One that gives equal initial chances to everyone to participate, aligns interests, and helps the market discover a more robust price for the launchpad project in preparation for the actual listing.
NEW LISTING PROCESS
That's great, so how does this new listing process actually work?
Each new launchpad listing will go through the following process:
- a) price discovery
- b) liquidity adding
- c) proper listing
So what does each step consist of, what does it bring?
Let's briefly explore each of them, and how they specifically apply to itheum.
STEP 1 - PRICE DISCOVERY.
This is the first step when everyone can signal their intention to buy and sell Itheum.
There is a limited amount of time, in which people can deposit tokens to signal intention to buy and sell Itheum.
At the end of this period, the entire amount deposited is calculated, and a price is set for Itheum.
This will be the single price at which everyone in the price discovery group buys their tokens.
To further align interests, all bought tokens during the price discovery period, will have a lockup of 2-3 days, post listing.
Meaning that wrapped ITHEUM or wrapped EGLD will be granted to all participants in the price discovery phase.
Why participate in the price discovery mechanism?
Well, there's an obvious self-interest alignment mechanism here.
Buy among the first, contribute to price discovery, have a share in the upside.
Step 2 - liquidity adding.
Now that we have a clear price, longer term investors can focus on liquidity adding.
To make this step even more relevant, a very significant reward of ~1000% APR will apply to people providing liquidity in the Itheum farm for the first weeks.
So why would anyone add liquidity in this step, given IL and such?
Well, by having the price discovery done beforehand, initial IL risk is considerably minimized, plus once a clear price point is reached, it becomes quite rational to add liquidity to earn further interest.
By having a very strong incentive in place, offsetting potential impermanent loss risk, and creating the premise for a significant profit on top, we are well positioned for the proper listing to commence.
Step 3 - proper listing.
We have a clear price for the Itheum token.
We have a good amount of liquidity added, with proper incentives in place for liquidity providers.
Now, proper listing means that everyone who wants to buy the Itheum token, can now do it.
But again, a rule of locking tokens (both Itheum and EGLD) for a period of 3-4 days will apply.
Ok, so why add a locking mechanism for the listing day?
Well, what we've learned is that some people, and some bots, will always want to go in and out as fast as possible.
The excitement and upside will be quite significant on the listing day. So to prevent improper events at launch, and align interests for the longer term, investors and community members will be encouraged to think about what’s the second step, once they buy their first tokens Again, excitement and upside will be huge.
Both community members & whales will be watching.
Do they intend to keep the tokens for a longer period? Do they intend to speculate for a shorter period?
Both are possible, but immediate bot fights at listing will not be possible.
TOKENS UNLOCK AND RELEASE.
3 days after the listing, and 4 days after the listing, two batches of tokens will be released in the market.
This step will enable the market to better accommodate initial demand, and align with subsequent supply.
nteresting. But why apply this lock mechanism for bought tokens again?
Well, it's simple. There's an obvious and significant upside in buying the initial tokens at better prices.
There will likely be great demand coming in.
But there's also a necessity for longer term alignment.
Investor mindset, rather than trader mindset is prioritized.
FREE MARKET EXPLORATION
With both unlocks released, a full market cycle, with several demand and supply action points, expressed over a one week period, ensures several market sync points, in order to reach a Nash equilibrium of supply and demand.
The process may sound complicated at first, but it's quite intuitive once assimilated.
Most importantly, it addresses the initial bot and investors challenge in an elegant way.
There's still quite some excitement and demand adding up from the community.
But this time, we encourage everyone to think about it properly.
And to channel their excitement into decisions they have carefully evaluated beforehand.
So when will all of this happen?
Implementation is currently in the works, and will probably be battle tested during the next week with the community.
If security tests pass, listing will probably commence in ~3 weeks. Maybe a bit sooner, but we'll see.
CONCLUSIONS, ZOOMING OUT
We are still early. This is just the second launchpad startup to be released.
But the demand expressed has been staggering.
Doubly so, in fact, since holoride.
itheum's Data avatars promise to be an important component for the metaverse space.
One each of us will want to explore and play with.
Perhaps one generating significant recurring value in new and exciting ways.
Thus, we’ve taken the time to introduce a novel solution.
One that aligns interests, creates the premise for exciting exploration, and opens ample room for growth.
We’re here to back the most ambitious teams, solving hard problems, with significant global impact.
We’re also here to share this unique opportunity with the passionate Elrond community.
There will be more improvements. More challenges. And new things to explore.
But this, we believe, is already a big step forward.
One taking things to the next level.
For startups, and community. Together.
Thread by Beniamin Mincu
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