Responses to pledges (written on 7 October)

Previous Updates
Secured
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ORIGINAL PLEDGES START
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-DEVELOPMENT

--Utilize Factom to establish immutable audit trails for a token sale

--Use blockchain technology to build SaaS applications for enterprise customers

--Build software applications using Factom, such as a Factom Node Manager

-OTHER

--Contribute high value, ongoing development and marketing initiatives to the Protocol

--Set an example of a professional, effective, genuine team running Auth Node(s), with an
intention of encouraging and supporting a high standard of performance for Auth
Node(s) right from the start of M3

--Provide consistent stability to the protocol in every way possible through the running of
our Authority Server(s)

--Exhibit a high level of transparency

--Engage in open and effective communication with the Factom community, other Auth
Node(s) and all parties relevant to the Protocol

--Build a successful long-term company running Auth Node(s), ultimately with a large
number of full-time employees delivering both development and marketing efforts to the
Protocol

--Do all we can to provide greater than 99.99% uptime for our Auth Node(s)

--Provide 24/7 availability to deal with server issues, responding in under 1 hour to any
unexpected server issue; with a goal to always respond in under 5 minutes.

--Remain functional and further the Protocol, regardless of the price of FCT and BTC

--Keep the community and Standing Parties up to date with our contributions and progress

--Publish development roadmaps for each new project

- PLEDGED EFFICIENCY

2 nodes: 35%
1 node: 35%
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ORIGINAL PLEDGES END
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Current Update: Responses to pledges (written on 7 October)
Secured
#1
RewardChain has been busy, and continues to be busy working on furthering Factom. We continue to be excited by the future of the protocol long-term, despite the recent issues with the network and the depressed FCT price. We wish to be an ANO for 10+ years and are continuing on our plan to put ourselves in a strong position to do so.

I figure the best way to detail where we are at is to go through our pledges point-by-point. I'd like to start by mentioning that our ambitions have had to be significantly reeled in with the FCT price coming down so much since our application (we applied in the first round when the price was substantially higher than the second round of applications). We are still doing the best we can justify with the current price - but unfortunately this is far less than we'd like to do. It was our full intention to hire a development team and be building scalable enterprise applications using Factom. With our monthly revenue dropping around 8X, we simply cannot do a lot of what we wanted.

We have also changed our strategy a lot since applying - it is in the nature of a startup to constantly be re-evaluating priorities and we will always be focussed on making the biggest positive impact to the protocol that we can. If our most valuable way of contributing changes over time, of course we will adapt accordingly.

-DEVELOPMENT

--Utilize Factom to establish immutable audit trails for a token sale

After doing serious due diligence with our lawyers and national regulators we decided the regulatory uncertainty for this initiative was not worth it. We decided this soon after being accepted as ANO's, and we are confident it is in the best interest of Factom.

--Use blockchain technology to build SaaS applications for enterprise customers

We are working on this. We are very excited to say we have been hard at work building a legal-tech web app that will serve enterprise customers along with small businesses and creative producers. We know the community will really like what we have built. We have partnered with one of the best technology-focussed law firms in the world on this project, and will be officially releasing our beta in the next 14 days, through our partner's communication channels. I don't want to spoil the surprise yet. I will say that a week or two after the release of our beta web app, we will then be releasing another web app that will be our first vertical application build on top of our core web app - displaying a real-world use case of it - and I cannot wait to share that too!

--Build software applications using Factom, such as a Factom Node Manager

We have built a Factom Node Manager, which we used for our own nodes for a couple of months. After playing around with TFA's Discord Bot, we decided it was great and we stopped developing our own version — as it became largely redundant. We now use the TFA Bot and it works brilliantly - props to TFA!

We have built several applications using Factom on top of the web apps mentioned above, that will be released soon. These include www.immutableinsult.com. This was a hit with the community as a PoC of Factom, but we decided it was too narrow and 'silly' and shut it down.

We then built www.confessionchain.com which is still live. We'd like to get more adoption of ConfessionChain, but we have been focussing most of our efforts lately on the new web apps we are near to launching. Our new web apps are much more valuable and could drive some serious usage on the mainnet. In fact, we are concerned about the ability of the mainnet to handle our apps usage, and our partner's are too - sharding can't come soon enough (and a more stable network)!

We built an explorer which is used by ConfessionChain which displays pending transactions. Once again, TFA beat us to the punch and released a new explorer including pending transactions before we had a version ready to be released to the community. Lessons learnt here - engage with development to make sure we aren't doubling up :)

-OTHER

--Contribute high value, ongoing development and marketing initiatives to the Protocol

As above, I believe we have delivered ongoing development initiatives, and continue to do so. In terms of marketing, we absolutely intended to do work on marketing the protocol when we applied. After the price slide we have has to question where we can add the most value and we strongly believe this is in application development, rather than marketing. There is a lot of marketing being undertaken by other ANO's, and we believe that at the end of the day it is the utility of the protocol that will make or break everything we are all working so hard for here. Don't get me wrong—I think marketing is super important and I commend all ANO's working on it—but I believe we need more development driving utility desperately; and we can bring the most value focussing our limited technical and non-technical resources on this area.

--Set an example of a professional, effective, genuine team running Auth Node(s), with an
intention of encouraging and supporting a high standard of performance for Auth
Node(s) right from the start of M3


We believe we have lived up to this pledge 100%. We have been active and engaged during network stalls and other issues, and have always had at least two systems administrator on call to ensure we can deal with issues immediately (or at the minimum very quickly).

--Provide consistent stability to the protocol in every way possible through the running of
our Authority Server(s)


Same as above. We believe providing as much stability as possible is critical to the future success of the protocol, particularly as we have been enterprising with our Partner's and working through their concerns around network stability. We have had to build a system with a bunch of error trapping and redundancy built in to deal with the network having extensive periods of downtime (like we saw recently).

We pushed an initiative to have the recording of Bitcoin anchor's automatically audited—as we have found more than one instance of missing anchors from factomd. We would have build this auditing had the FCT price not dropped so low, but with our current ANO revenue we haven't been able to justify the development resources to make this happen. It is still on our roadmap and is something we really think Factom needs. It is just a matter of resourcing for us. It really is a problem for enterprise applications not consistently having anchors recorded in factomd—we provide certificates to our users when we enter their data into Factom—which include the anchors. If we cannot get the anchors from factomd we cannot provide the full certificates.

--Exhibit a high level of transparency

I believe we have lived up to this, and we certainly plan to continue to do so. Any and all questions are always welcome.

--Engage in open and effective communication with the Factom community, other Auth
Node(s) and all parties relevant to the Protocol


I also believe we have stuck to this. I hope other parties agree :)

--Build a successful long-term company running Auth Node(s), ultimately with a large
number of full-time employees delivering both development and marketing efforts to the
Protocol


This is still 100% our intention—but we have put this dream on hold until the FCT price recovers. We still have the founding team working hard. We have had to scale our efforts back from full-time due to the FCT price, and we have not been able to hire the team we expected to when we wrote the above pledge. Software Engineers are really expensive, particularly those that are good enough to work on Factom-related apps. We would absolutely love to bring on more engineers to expand our development scope. It's just a matter of being able to justify it with the FCT price (we also need to manage risk when dealing with employees and with the current FCT price and trend I do not feel comfortable asking great engineers to take a lowered salary for equity in this endeavour—I am still very bullish on Factom—but as CEO I have to be real with the risks—I'm sure everyone can relate to the feeling that this year has not played our quite as we hoped).

--Do all we can to provide greater than 99.99% uptime for our Auth Node(s)

The original systems we described to achieve this are still in place and I believe we have had some of the most stable and consistent Auth Nodes.

--Provide 24/7 availability to deal with server issues, responding in under 1 hour to any
unexpected server issue; with a goal to always respond in under 5 minutes.


This is also going well. We have a history of being very responsive and I believe we have been able to hit our 5 minute goal for anything that requires our immediate reaction/attention.

--Remain functional and further the Protocol, regardless of the price of FCT and BTC

We have done what needs to be done to make this happen—including raising a round of debt to keep our development efforts going, and so we could work full-time on the protocol for two months before we were on-boarded/receiving any revenue.

--Keep the community and Standing Parties up to date with our contributions and progress

See below for our general thinking on this. We are concerned about building value for the protocol—especially with such a depressed FCT price and so many issues with stability, scalability, and lack of usage. We acknowledge that accountability is super important, and we still intend to do quarterly progress updates.

--Publish development roadmaps for each new project

We have decided that the time required to do this vs just moving fast and building valuable software to further the protocol and get real meaningful usage on the mainnet, is not worth it at this stage. When the FCT price recovers and we have a bigger operation we will reconsider publishing dev roadmaps but due to our limited resources we believe our time is better focussed on delivering results, rather than worrying about the overhead of publishing our roadmaps. These change all the time, and updating and explaining ourselves is a distraction. Most importantly, we believe the software we build, contributions we make, and EC usage we provide, will speak for themselves as we release them.

- PLEDGED EFFICIENCY

2 nodes: 35%
1 node: 35%


We have kept our pledged efficiency unchanged.

As a final note: thank you for putting this process together. We believe accountability is really important if Factom is to succeed (which requires a strong group of dedicated ANO's).