Here is a recap of the recent AMA conducted by OddGems with our COO Ian Friend for those of you who missed the live event:
Q What is the response from the African residents about Ferrum which is targeting the focus on Africa? And what about the education factor on the blockchain there?
As many may know our first product — First Kudi — was launched in West Africa in June 2019. First Kudi is a fiat gateway and payments application powered by Ferrum Network technology. It offers innovative features like bank acconts for our users, instant fiat tranfers through What’s App, a Kudi bank card, and access to investments in BTC, ETH and FRM directly with fiat. We have spent the last 6 months adding those neecessary features and have now begun scaling the product adding more users and merchants daily. Education is certainly key compontent of our marketing campaign as we focus mostly on face to face marketing and actually showing people the product. This is one of our main unique selling points and has proven successful for us in the early stages of growth.
Q I would like to ask the real utility behind Ferrum Network and where exactly FRM will be used. So far we have Kudi app and staking where we can see utility.. Any other stuff where we can see the utility prospering?
So Ferrum Network has introduced a number of early utilities for the FRM token, including the tokenbridge.ferrum.network, ferrum.network/staking, social mining (community.ferrum.network) and through the Kudi app itself. Much of the utility is happening through Kudi, but we also have thousands of people holding FRM through social mining, and of course our staking 1.0 and now 2.0 coming out soon we expect to be very popular given the high rewards (up to 85%). However the primary utility will be ready when the main net is launced, at which point FRM will be spent and burned for each transaction on the network.
Q Ferrum has launched Stake Version2.0, Can you elaborate on the product and comment on the amount of interest with individuals/businesses you’re seeing in this product?
Staking 2.0 is opening up in a few weeks and is quite unique in terms of staking mechanisms, not only because of the high rewards, but also because it is flexible and there is an element of gamification. There will be 4 staking pools, each with different terms, and even a 2 year staking contract with 85% APY. But for those interested in short term staking there is also a shorter term contract, and participants can withdraw early meaning they will still receive rewards, but just less rewards. Any forfieted rewards will go to those who staked until full maturity. So in this sense we arent locking you in if you need to sell, but at the same time you are incentivized to stake for longer. We will open the pools in a few weeks so get ready!
Q There are many products coming in like Subzero wallet, Infinity DEX and token bridge? What utility of FRM can we see there?
So yes all FRM products will require FRM in different capacities. For instance, to utiltize the full features of our cold storage app Sub Zero Wallet you will need to lock some FRM tokens. Sames goes for Infinity DEX and UniFyre Wallet which will be released in Q1 this year. Frankly we are always thinking of different ways to increase utility for FRM and are blessed to have a suite of DeFi products that will utilize the token in different ways.
Q Can you elaborate more on the burning mechanism?
Sure so the Ferrum main net is a DAG not a blockchain. Since there are no miners we needed to come up with a different means of verifying transactions and prevent bad actors from spamming the network. My co-founder developed what we call Proof of Burn. This means in order to run a TX on the network, you need to spend and burn a small amount of FRM as means of proof. The amazing thing is that because our network can interoperate with almost all other blockchains, this means a user can send a BTC using our network and instead of paying a network fee to bitcoin miners and wait 1 hour, you pay 1 cent in FRM and the transaction happens in miliseconds.
Here’s a demo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sib9T3-YuZw&t=4s
Q So for now you have Naira as the fiat in the first Kudi app, further expanding to Brazil — will we see ‘Brazilian Real’ being integrated?
We are working on expanding our fiat gateway products to different regions including Brazil. But it is not easy. Lot of work to be done so I dont want to get ahead of myself on this one. But yes part of the Ferrum Network business model is to launch fiat gateways around the world in different emerging markets that really benefit from our technology. We take a stake in these exchanges and earn revenue from them, similar to how we do with Kudi. This is one way Ferrum Network sustains itself as a real business.
Q This interoperability thing could spread like wildfire!
That’s one hell of a bomb you’ve shared there. 🔥
Yes we dont like to talk too much about our network since it isn’t out yet and we have working products that you can download and use now! Better to prove yourself with real products and adoption rather than a bunch of promises of what will come. But yes once the interoperability network is out I think it will be a game changer. Imagine being able to send a bitcoin in milliseconds for 1 cent in network fees! Anyone who wants to download Kudi and see how the instant global fiat transfers work you can do that now.
Q I think, 2020 is the year of POS with eth 2.0 , ADA mainne. As Ferrum, how do you think about that? What’s the biggest technical challenges does FRM face and how do you overcome in 2020?
I agree 2020 will be a big year for crypto but the key is going to be building products that solve real problems and lead to mass adoption. For us the problem is less technical than it is strategic. Our dev team is incredible and can build nearly anything very fast and at a very low cost (we built Kudi in 6 months on less than $100k seed budget). The challenge is figuring out what the market needs and delivering it because the market changes. For instance, with UniFyre wallet, the market is already so satured. So we needed to go to the drawing board and figure out what sort of useful features we can add that no one else is doing.
For version 1 of UniFyre we believe that the market really needs a non-custodial wallet that will allow you to recover your crypto even if you make a mistake, like that guy Peter did on twitter the other day.
Q What is the ultimate goal of Social Mining? How long will the program be running? Why did you choose DAO Maker platform for this?
Social Mining is all about fostering one of the most critical components to our suceess and that is COMMUNITY. Social Mining rewards our community members for their valuable contributions and for holding FRM. We have thousands of participants and nearly 900 people holding the token right now through the platform (I just checked 15 minutes ago). It helped to create the vibrant and passionate community that is absolulely key to our success. We will run it for as long as it is effective in doing that.
Dont worry we do many more AMAs and are constantly marketing FRM. We understand this market pretty well after being in the trenches for nearly 2 years. Doesn’t matter how great our tech is if no one knows about it! This is why we focus heavily on marketing and getting the word out there. That will only ramp up as we bring out our global non custodial wallet — UniFyre Wallet
Q Have you thought about increasing the amount of coins that can be staked, to reach a staking level greater than 75% of the coins in circulation?
So staking is really key to our early and long term success. Staking 1.0 proved to be a key catalyst for us in early November. We are expecting even better results with staking 2.0. But remember there will be staking in UniFyre Wallet app and for the main net. So we need to be smart with the staking rewards and early inflation. Every decision we make takes into account the short, medium and long term impact. This is why this next batch of staking contracts, while it has high rewards, doesnt actually result in very high inflation. We need to reseve staking tokens for down the line.
Q While other swaps are free (some of them give bonus token), Why is 65 FRM fee charged in FRM swap in Tokenbridge?
Our token-bridge requires ETH gas which we pay for so the 65 FRM fee is one way to compensate for that. But more importantly the tokenbridge.ferrum.network is valuable product that provide utlity for the token. We think the fee is very reasonable given this fact.
Q Regarding the mainnet launch that is due in Q2 2020 — will we see more DApps getting integrated into Ferrum Network?
So Ferrum Network will support all sorts of different financial applications and developers will be able to build their own products on top of it. However, we did not want to rely on others to make our network useful, we wanted to build useful products ourselves like Kudi and UniFyre, and then migrate them onto our network to guarantee daily transactions and network utility.
UniFyre will be a bit of a test case for us. And this comes out much sooner. Its in private beta testing now and will be launched in Q1. We will need everyones help spreading the word about UniFyre and are coming up with some innovative marketing strategies that will reward people for helping to get UniFyre on everyones phone who is in crypto.
Q What’s the story behind SUBZERO wallet?
Sub Zero Wallet is probably our most innovative product. There’s no one else building this right now (to my knowledge). It will be a cold storage product like Ledger but instead of a complicated difficult to use thumb drive device, it will be on an offline smart phone. This is critical for two reasons: 1) as an app it wil be far easier to use. 2) since it works on any old smart phone, it will be far more accessible than traditional cold storage devices because it will be 10x cheaper and you can get it anywhere in the world! This product will open up cold storage capabilities to millions of people around the world who did not have access before.
Here’s a demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BguIizLwzv4
Q The concept of Subzero Wallet seems new and exciting to us. What do you mean by Offline Smartphone. Why Sub-Zero Wallet? Who are the original developers of Subzero Wallet?
Offline smart phone is any android phone where you have removed the SIM card which means its totally offline.
The developers are Ferrum Network developers lead by my co founder Naiem Yeganeh PhD, a true tech genius with over 10 years experience at Microsoft, Amazon and Bloomberg building distibuted systems and was one of the lead engineers on the game Halo back in the day.
QWhat if We use wifi even after removing the sim card? Just curious! It will still be connected to the Internet right?
Well you can do whatever you want but the point of disconnecting from the internet is that it reduces the risks of hacks. So for maximum security you should turn off wifi from this device as well. The wallet will interact with your hot wallet through QR codes so you can still send/recieve crypto to your sub zero wallet even if its completely offline.
Sub zero demo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BguIizLwzv4
Q Ferrum Networks closest competitor? And I’ve not researched a lot about your ICO, can you share some of your ICO stats. Was there any seed investors or presale?
There are many competitors because we do a lot. In Nigeria the closest is Luno which is the main fiat gateway there. But their app is quite basic and only allows for buying/selling of crypto, no fiat payment capabilities. In terms of the UniFyre Wallet I think the closest is Trust Wallet which is probably the most popular non custodial wallet. But we have been working hard to bring out unique features to differentiate ourselves. For instance, UniFyre Wallet will have in-app staking, and airdrops using links. But most importantly it will have a decentralized private key recovery feature that will mean that even if you lose you private keys or phone, you can still recover your crypto. We think this is the kind of thing that is necessary to bring mass adoption because most average people will never be comfortable with being 100% responsible for their own security.
In terms of the network, there are other DAGs and interopability networks, but none will have the same degree of decentralization as the Ferrum Network. For instance, Waves uses similar proxy token technology but the proxies themselves are not decentralized. We added a layer of decentralization which means our network will have more security.
In terms of the ICO we held it in August. We raised only a total of $1.12 million because we are very frugal project and dont believe in over raising. There were seed and private investors but all the investor unlocks are done! Now the rate of monthly inflation is about 4–5 million FRM which we use for marketing, staking, and similar activities.
The fact that there are no more investor unlocks is actually a key difference between FRM and other early stage projects, some of which have investor unlocks for months and months.
Q Are you considering a token burn program?
Yes, so our main net is secured in part by burning FRM. Each transaction will require the users to spend about 1 cent in FRM as proof. This will result in it being burned.
Q How about iOS version of Sub Zero Wallet? Also Social Mining Rules have been revamped, pls explain new changes?
If the product is popular in android I’m sure we will build a iOS version. We began thinking about it in terms of an android product bcause it is geared towards emerging markets where most people have android not iOS. But Kudi taught us that you really need both. So Iwould expect an iOS version to be launched sometime after the Android version.
So social mining rewards participants in FRM every 2 weeks based on how much FRM they hold, how long they hold it, and their contributions to our ecosystem. For this we reward 127584 FRM every 2 weeks to the qualifying participants. The main change we announced is that you need to be more active on the platform in order to get the high rewards. You cant rely on content you made 3–4 months ago. Need to make content every 2 weeks or so. Thats the biggest difference now.
Heres where you can join social mining: community.ferrum.network
To quality for Social Mining you need to hold a minimum 5000 FRM in your own wallet (not on an exchange)
Q Your description of investor unlocks is proving to me that your mission is quite “pure” in regards to what a true defi project should be. I realize you are concentrating on emerging markets and I expect that this is a given strategy to later be realized by mass adoption, meaning “industrialized countries or regions”?
We want to make sure everyone involved in FRM, from the smallest investors to our major partners, has great success. To ensure that we cannot be greedy. We need to be generous. This is how to have success long term and we do expect to be here in 5–10–20 years. But yes in terms of our marketing, we do talk a lot about emerging markets because this is where real crypto adoption is happening. In developed counties its mostly speculation and some interesting technology. However, we realized we were selling ourselves short with this narrative because we dont just focus on emerging markets, we have world wide products. So this week or next we will be coming out with a brand new website with a new message — empowering individuals with decentralized financial products.
We think this is more accurate towards what we do. Looking forward to sharing the new site with everyone once its ready.
Q Is there a systematic study for using the First Kudi Card in Europe? Or will it be acted according to a specific plan depending on the demand of local businesses?
We are selling the Kudi card to Europeans right now! These are Nigerians who live in UK and Europe but travel back to Nigeria. With our app and bank card we are pretty much giving users their own bank account. The bank card is picking up steam and we have already sold 100’s!
Q Hi Ian, it’s great to have you here. Are there any plans or discussions with exchanges in regards to allowing soft staking on their platforms, similar to what KuCoin offers for Tomo, EOS and other assets?
Thats an interesting idea that we should probably explore further because I had not thought about it. Our flexible ERC-20 based staking (like the one upcoming) is really meant for anyone to use. This is why it works with any dApp wallet and the minimum is just 2500 FRM. We also have a partnership upcoming that will help get the staking into the hands of more people. Excited to announce that one soon.
Ferrum Network Links:
Bitcoin Talk: http://bitcointalk.ferrum.network
Here is a recap of the recent AMA conducted by OddGems with our COO Ian Friend for those of you… was originally published in FerrumNetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.