The story about blockchain and a bit about bitcoins
In 2011, after I sold a fairly large amount of cues for $ 2, I started writing my cryptocurrency. More precisely, I didn’t immediately sell it, but when I saw a couple of months later that the rate had grown 25 times to $ 50.
As a result, after 3.5 years, it was launched and posted an article on Habr . There were hopes that after that publication, the project would immediately take off, people would start using it, and marketing problems would disappear. But it wasn’t there, only a few people came. Having been sad for a couple of days, I decided to make a lower entry threshold and after some time I posted a new article , and then again and again and again . The result is about the same. How to spin it was not clear, there was no money to hire professionals. In general, a dead end.
At one point, I decided to rewrite more than 70k lines of php code on Go, it was really cool, probably the most buzz period of my life. Up to 1000 lines a day. This resulted in a series of articles: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Most likely, the participants in these stories perceived everything that was happening from a different perspective, I only set out my vision of the events that are taking place.
Meet the investor
Father’s colleague calls, asks for advice on one IT project. Consulting turned into a budget for development. On December 31, 2015 I met on Skype with the investor of the project. There was nothing interesting in that project, but for the sake of a chance to work with a smart and successful person who has something to learn, I agreed, and my savings were already running out. This was my first life experience as an investor. After 2 weeks, he became interested in Dcoin (this was the name of my cryptocurrency) and decided to invest. They registered $ 250k in the contract, which were issued to me in installments every month. I carefully delegated the creation of his site so as not to be distracted from the development and promotion of my brainchild.
There were no problems with the refinement, but trouble arose with the promotion. How exactly to promote, what to focus on, I could not understand. Consulted with marketers, but everything was not right. Although, if I had an ICO then, I would most likely have raised $ 5-10 million, but I did not need this money, since there was no strategy for promoting the product. I was sure that he had to move himself, without anyone's participation, you just need to push him a little and then leave him to develop independently.
It was necessary to do something. In mid-2016, he decided to make a new product based on the Dcoin source code, which was very similar to Ethereum but with a different concept and with a much lower entry threshold. Due to the fact that a few months earlier gentee came to our team , responding to my vacancy inIn this article , we were able to do MVP in just a couple of months.
In the fall of 2016, an investor called me to his hotel to transfer salary money to my team. He began to demand an explanation of why the money was being spent on the 2nd project, how long it would last and what he would get from it. It became clear that he no longer wants to give money. I proposed to invest another $ 30k in return for the percentage of tokens that will go to the ICO. He agreed. As a result, for all the time I received $ 106k from him. ICO spent just about $ 5-7k on advertising, the rest went to team salaries.
As a rule, at the ICO, the crypto is collected in a wallet from which the organizers can not withdraw money until the end of the process. For this, multi-signature with escrow is used (some independent side). To write off money, you need two of the 3 signatures.
On the day of the ICO, it turned out that I can only have one signature out of 3. The other two should be with escrow. I tried to find someone who wants to be third, I did not find, I had to give two signatures to one escrow. It turned out that he had full control over the wallet, where bitcoins were sent. All I could do in time was to ask him for a passport scan and look at him via Skype. He turned out to be a German who does not speak English well. Later I was told that faking such a passport costs about $ 1000.
During the ICO, the money ran out, and it was impossible to spend the money collected before the end of the process under the terms of the escrow. He told the team that the salary would be delayed for 2 weeks.
As a result, we collected only about $ 70k (82btc). Suddenly, the German says that it is necessary to return money to investors. I am shocked - “Why?”. He says that with this money the product cannot be developed and a return must be made. I explain that the product is already ready, you can download, test, here are the sources, here are the binaries. He apologized for not studying the project well and listing all the bitcoins, with the exception of his commission. I immediately felt relieved, now we had another six months to come up with something.
Spring 2017 He warned the investor that in a month the team would have nothing to pay, since the money collected for the ICO was running out. I did not receive any offers to invest. As it later became clear, I had to fill out an application for money, since we had an agreement, according to which he had to invest $ 250k. My cant, I had to carefully read the paper.
In June 2017, the lawyer who made the deal with the investor introduced me to a new investor who offered to invest in marketing and development for the share of the money collected in the 2nd round of ICO. At the same time, he took over all marketing. Ideal for me. In addition, there was almost no money left. I agreed.
He invited me to his office and said that either in a week I would describe to him the ICO scheme in white, or I should pay him $ 2.5m. I could not offer a white ICO scheme (in the end, it took us almost one year to figure out how to do everything white and get the approval of the European regulator). He gave a strange signature paper. I did not sign anything.
As it turned out later, if I signed, the new investor could stop funding, since his interests were affected there. The next day, the old investor called, threatened, I still did not sign anything.
He suggested that he invest $ 144k so that the conditions of the previously concluded agreement could be applied. Although if he reminded me of how the $ 250k figure came out, then I most likely would not go in cycles in these $ 144k and would agree to its terms.
How did you get $ 250k
A year and a half before. I'm sitting in the kitchen, having breakfast with fried eggs. The investor is calling.
He: Let's discuss the numbers. How much do you need?
Me: $ 50k should be enough for my calculations.
He: I can give $ 250k, 50k is hardly enough for you.
Me: Ok, super.
He refused to invest $ 144k and within the next week he tried to kill the project. Despite the fact that he had a stake in the future ICO, plus I planned to transfer part of the company's shares to him. He is a good man, but apparently afraid that he would be thrown. It was a strange situation. As a result, consensus was found and everyone was satisfied.
In September, the Chinese came to me who wanted to copy-paste the source code of our product and replace copyrights there in order to pass it off as their Chinese project. They wanted to get our help, since they themselves find it difficult to understand, because there are no qualified programmers. In return, they proposed some kind of muddy scheme with equity participation in their company.
I flew to Moscow to negotiate. On the first day, it turned out that the Chinese had already raised several million dollars by stupidly copying our site and replacing the texts with Chinese, but having done good marketing. And what to do next they do not know. It was funny to observe how they tried with all their might to transfer the topic from the money collected at the ICO to equity in some company.
They brought Chinese vodka, I poured one pile all evening under the gaze of one of the Chinese, as it turned out later, he was their local KGB officer or something like that.
The next day I went home to St. Petersburg.
A couple of our people stayed with the Chinese. They were given my offer - $ x (I can’t write the exact amount due to legal subtleties) for 1.8 million tokens. They immediately refused, since they did not fly to China from us to buy tokens, but to receive our support and participation in their troubled company for free.
I sent a document to their Skype, according to which they give money, receive tokens and support from us.
A few days later, the Chinese arrive in St. Petersburg. They call me. The document was not signed. I do not pick up the phone. At night, a well-known person in the crypto community contacts me with a request to meet with the Chinese. I refuse. He talked with them for a couple of days in St. Petersburg, asked me to come, I did not agree, because at first I wanted to get consent to my conditions. The Chinese began to bargain and bring down the price. As a result, by telephone I told them to fly back to China and think about my proposal. They flew away.
Their investments were not critical, but would allow me to more freely dispose of the funds to expand the team and develop the product. I was sure 70% percent that they will return.
A week later, the Chinese signed my document and transferred $ x cue ball for 1.8 million tokens from the assessment of all tokens to $ y million (I can not write the exact amount due to legal subtleties). If you subtract what you need to give to the first 2 investors, then the remaining money will be enough for about a year. Formally, I then became a rather wealthy person, since I had some share of tokens, though I couldn’t do anything with them, because our tokens were not yet on exchanges.
Problems with crypto investments
According to European law, everyone who bought tokens at our 1st ICO will have to go through KYC, that is, throw off their photos and write a name. And those who do not want to go through KYC will be able to take their bitcoins back. Therefore, after the ICO, we will need to have 82 btc in reserve in case everyone wants to go to the cue ball. But then we will not have problems with SEC and other regulators as everything is done in a white manner.
Now we have 3 testers, 7 backends, 2 front-end tenders, 8 developers of smart contracts, 5 managers, 9 guys in marketing, a total of 34 people. And we are constantly looking for talents, as there are more and more tasks.
We use Slack for text communication, for work with Jira tasks, for discussion - Confluence, stand-ups every day via Skype.
Our mobile app
We took Electron to reduce the labor costs of maintaining multiple client solutions, and to unify the code. Sources .
What we are developing
This is such a platform for legal ICO, which is regulated to the ears. Now many ICO organizers have problems with the SEC. They are forced to return money to investors. Here in Apla everything is done so that such problems do not arise. Apla will have to cut off all the scam ICOs, leaving only those who are too early or for some reason do not want to IPO, and you need to attract money for development or development. These are those 1% who are really going to do something after collecting money for an ICO, such as Telegram.
There are sources on which the Apla and GenesisCommunity backend are running.
GenesisCommunity is the opposite of Apla, a platform where there is no regulation and no ICO. 85% of tokens are distributed to github users. I thought to keep a small part of the tokens for myself, but our lawyer said that I can’t have GEN tokens, because after I go to the exchange, they can charge me with the administration of the GenesisCommunity platform. I also do not have the right to commercialize by selling tokens before entering the exchange, I also can’t buy ads for GenesisCommunity. Here it is European law.
At the end of 2017 in Luxembourg, he met with Volkov, after which boldachev spoke in his Cloud transfer. We decided to transfer the activities of the Navalny party to the blockchain. Around the time when communication with the Russian opposition began, the Internet began to work strange with some of my acquaintances, although it might just be a coincidence.
Conflict with GitHub
To distribute GenesisCommunity tokens, I posted the text in the github repository description:
A blockchain platform with a simplified programming language. 85% of all tokens will be distributed for free among GitHub users, who put a star in this repository. Only for those with 1+ year GitHub accounts.
After 2 days, our repo was already in the top of the github, in 2nd place github.com/trending .
Several github employees put asterisks, everything went well, at such a pace we would have taken 1st place in a day. And most likely they would sit there for more than a month, gathering hundreds of thousands of users. But suddenly on 1300 stars our repo was banned.
I am writing to support, they say that it is impossible to promise tokens for asterisks. He asked if it is possible to collect stars (it is convenient to keep a record of users in them) in a secret gist, they said that it is possible, because he will not be shown in any ratings.
I had to transfer the distribution to gist, the employees of the github continued to put stars. Now the list already has more than 4,000 github users, among which there are top developers from Google, Facebook, etc.
I noticed that there are a lot of users in the hist who posted such files gist.github.com/c-darwin/34aa19bf2cb1d9dd068370149ec0ba89 . This turned out to be a variation of github accounts for a certain keybase. They have about 100k of such records. I decided to agree with their administration, wrote to Chris, who is listed there as a co-creator. He offered to cooperate, he liked the idea and in the end he posted a tweet: twitter.com/malgorithms/status/979419441669791745
Now the modification is done through their public chat for teams (this is something like a simplified slack).
They have long wanted to hold their hackathon. And then suddenly it turned out so successfully that a person came from the side of the old investor, who took upon himself this task, and at the same time agreed on a partnership with Rybakov Fund, Gazpromneft, Rospatnet. Allocated 1.5 million rubles to the prize pool. After 2 days there will be a hackathon start.
In the coming months, many interesting events are planned, the results of which are very difficult to predict, but I think there will be ups and downs, which I will discuss in the next article.