Question for LayerTech from Anton Ilzheev

Chappie

Factomize Bot
@LayerTech,

@Anton Ilzheev asked the following question:

Hello @LayerTech!
Could you please answer my questions:

1. You're operating as dev ANO within 1.5 years.
Could you show (publicly or privately) any results of your development works?

2. Both LayerTech core dev grants are failed.
Do you consider to partially return funds to community?
If yes, please elaborate details and timelines.

3. Why did not you vote in this grant round?
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
Hello @Anton Ilzheev,

1. LayerTech was more than software development ANO, so it is only fair to pass judgement on us by encompassing all of our contributions. 1.75 years ago, LayerTech were focusing on three core components that were very much needed by Factom community: Governance, Legal, and Usage (Software Dev).

Governance speaks for itself. Many of the framework ANOs use today were initiated or heavily lobbied by LayerTech. We didn't do it alone of course, but getting people to voluntarily work together instead of competing was more than full time job. Especially 1.75 years ago. The private channels/forum, monthly ANO meetings, retreat, and committee structure were the most public show of our contribution. There were more contributions that were pushed privately and those plans/discussions are still affecting our community trajectory even today.

Our legal work should not be discounted because at that point in time, legal unknowns represent systematic risks to all ANOs. Again, the work published publicly represents small fraction of the actual effort done to arrive at the conclusion that all community members take for granted. Those legal opinions are incorporated in our governance and future roadmap for the community. The fact we are not talking about legal risks today is a testament to the work a lot of people who put sweat and tear (not exaggerating) into reducing this systematic risk. The risk is not eliminated, but we have enough understanding that we have proactive plans in place when and if issues pop up.

Usage at that time were pursued on multiple fronts. We were fulfilling our ANO campaign pledges by incorporating Factom blockchain in the area of asset tokenization, audit trail in financial markets, crypto/traditional exchanges, and stablecoin implementation using FCT and/or ECs. Your question about us being Dev ANO falls under this category.

After the first ANO Retreat, we realized that no matter how much contribution we made on those three fronts, accelerating real world usage of Factom blockchain is life and death for our protocol. Based on that realization, we publicly pulled back on Governance but were still very active privately. We shifted legal work from research to implementation by focusing on active measures. Our goal is to wrap up as much of legal work as possible so all ANOs can focus on usage without fear of having rug pull from under us. I personally began to shift bulk of my energy toward the existing usage projects and finding new opportunities for LayerTech and other ANOs.

Around a year ago, our focus on usage allowed us to moved those existing usage projects mentioned above outside of LayerTech. We have partnership with two entities whose sole focus is implementing those usage projects. I can't say more publicly but we are at advance stage in one while waiting for the go ahead from outside partners on the second one. Both projects will catapult Factom Protocol to the front of the pack in the blockchain space.

I understand that might not be a satisfactory answer, but LayerTech is not a publicly traded company and we are bind by understanding with third parties to not independently release information ahead of time. Also it has always been my philosophy that ANOs should be judged by what we achieve rather than what we attempt to do. NDA aside, giving progress report publicly on pending projects make everyone feel good temporarily, but it doesn't do much in put those projects into the success column instead of failed/failing column. I'm not going to give monthly progress report on private projects but I can say they are not in the failed/failing column.

Related to usage, LayerTech a year ago shifted our focus to core development. Without solid core code, it is impossible to push for widespread adoption of our protocol. Also by that point both Governance and Legal have enough structure that other ANOs can take the lead. But core development represented the last systematic risk that we as a community had not yet tackle. I'm not going to rehash our work in core grant, but LayerTech's focus and goal with core development is consistent with our broader strategy since our induction into the community.

Sorry for the long winded response. You asked about LayerTech as Dev ANO. But our history of both public and private participation in the community showed that we are more than Dev ANO. To judge us solely on our Dev work would not be fair. But to answer your question directly, no I cannot publicly show the result of those projects to the community because they are still pending and private. Privately, some members of the community who are part of those projects have already been made aware and kept updated regularly.

2. I disagree that LayerTech's core dev grants failed. As I stated in the grant discussion threads, I believe it's too early to judge the impact of our work on Substrate. While I disagree with your premise, I'm not going to debate it here because that is futile. At the end of the day, we have to see how our work on Substrate will become useful for the community in order to gauge its "success". We are not there yet, but I suspect in couple months we will. At that time, I'm happy to have the debate publicly.

The question of returning funds to the community is a separate discussion from success or failure of the grants. Short answer, no I do not consider that to be a reasonable option. Long answer, if you really believe that is a viable path for our community then we should continue this discussion at a different thread. I don't think you realized the implication and negative impact this will have on our community and the grant pool. If you really implement this policy, you will likely destroy the grant pool and the community. I can state for a fact that if majority of the ANOs really believe this is the best path forward, LayerTech and other like minded ANOs will likely withdraw from the community because our viewpoint would be so fundamentally incompatible that it would be waste of our time to contribute further. This is not about the money, it is the principal and fundamental of risk taking.

I understand that people in the community have disagreements on how to run ANO as a business. Some approach it with developer mindset (need 100% certainty), some with business mindset (maximize opportunities), some with legal mindset (risk management). I'm not going to say one is better than the other because in truth we need all three. But your proposal is very developer centric and I can tell you for a fact that forcing that mindset on everyone will drive away all other ANOs who don't think the same way. The strength of our community is diversity in both thinking and implementation. That comes with risks. If you can't accept the risk then you should not be rewarded with the benefit resulted from our diversity. If one of LayerTech's projects come to fruition, would you be willing to share the gains on your substantial FCT holding with us? I can tell you for a fact all FCT we have earned have been invested on those projects so we won't be benefit from the price appreciation. I personally have negative return on investment because I put my own money on top of the FCT income. Maybe it is not fair that other ANOs reap the reward with minimum risk.


3. There was an internal misunderstanding about who is voting. I was focusing on ensuring certain grants will passed that I didn't properly communicate who will actually vote on our side. The outcome is what LayerTech want so in this instance, our absence did not impact the result. I will make sure we don't repeat that mistake.
 

Anton Ilzheev

De Facto
Exchange Working Group
Core Committee
Website Committee
We have partnership with two entities whose sole focus is implementing those usage projects. I can't say more publicly but we are at advance stage in one while waiting for the go ahead from outside partners on the second one. Both projects will catapult Factom Protocol to the front of the pack in the blockchain space.

But to answer your question directly, no I cannot publicly show the result of those projects to the community because they are still pending and private.
Xavier, can you provide any estimated timelines, when you will be able to share results with community?
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
Hello @Anton Ilzheev, unfortunately I can't provide any timeline. Last time I did that because I was 99.9% sure, that .1% came true and it hurt a lot of people in disappointment, cost of planning, and lots of headache. If I am in control of the time table I would love to share with the community... because you all know how much I love planning. But like a lot of big projects, timing is out of our control. I hope you and the community understand.
 
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