- Carlos M. Parada, CBDO of Tokenomika
- Artem Kalikhov, CPO of Waves Enterprise
- Rob van de Camp, General manager of Waves Enterprise Europe
A.: Welcome to the AMA session! I am glad to be here. To begin the session, let me introduce our moderator Rob van de Camp. Since recent time Rob is not only an important member of Waves and Waves Enterprise’s ecosystems but also a general manager of Waves Enterprise Europe, our regional office in the Netherlands. So he will be the right person to moderate the session and address the most important questions from the community.
R.: Thank you, Artem. Let me introduce you, guys, in return. Artem Kalikhov, CPO of Waves Enterprise. Actually, we don’t really need to introduce Artem. And Carlos Parada, CBDO of Tokenomika. Carlos is a long-timer in the Waves ecosystem together with Sasha, even one of the co-founders of the Waves protocol, and he’s now responsible for the business development in Singaporian-based Tokenomika.
Before we deal with the community questions, let’s say a few words about the main messages that you want to deliver to our community.
A.: Sure. I think, first of all, we need to repeat to our audience the story of moving the enterprise mainnet to Singapore and the rationale behind it. So, Tokenomika is a Singapore-based fintech company that joined Waves Enterprise mainnet and began operating within the framework of expanding its hybrid potential approach and sharing our vision of the public-permission network growth.
From our point of view, the Pacific region is one of the most promising markets for the next-gen blockchain economy, it has very crypto-friendly and flexible laws. The technology is expected to boost from many countries that improve existing technics and maintain the course associated with greater compliance in BFSI. For example, China is expanding the use of blockchain technology for economic development and other countries do.
I’ll explain a little more. Waves Enterprise is a blockchain vendor with headquarters in Moscow, Russia. We’ve recently established regional offices in the Netherlands and China. Our core business is providing enterprise-grade blockchain platforms and solutions on top of it for digitizing companies, mostly with the help of private blockchain networks. Crypto regulations in many countries, including Russia (and especially Russia), are not suitable for using public blockchain technologies in enterprises. Meanwhile, Waves Enterprise mainnet, an enterprise-grade public permissioned blockchain network, needs a specific legal environment for its development. That’s why Singapore-based entity, Tokenomika, came as operator and official representative of Waves Enterprise mainnet globally. The combination of private blockchain with public one forms a hybrid-approach vision of the enterprise blockchain market. In a hybrid deployment, blockchain transactions are anchored or validated by public chain consensus.
So, let me pass the word to Carlos, our representative from Tokenomika.
C.: Thank you, Artem and Rob, for the presentation. My name is Carlos, I am the appointed CBDO of Tokenomika Pte Ltd., Singapore. First of all, I would like to clarify certain points, that need mention. First of all, it’s important not to confuse “Tokenomika” with two K’s and “Tokenomica” with K and C. There has been an entity called “Tokenomi[k]a” as well, that is not us. I just want not to have any misunderstandings in the community. This company is a corporate exchange platform with a service on top that facilitates legal reporting and in which people can trade, invest in different vehicles and also has a lending system which I am not familiar with., so it’s important to know that Tokenomica with K and C is not us. Actually, our website is not live yet, we have scheduled to bring the site up around June 7–11, so you, guys, will have much more information about what Tokenomika is, what our organizational structure is, and many more things.
Tokenomika has existed for several years already. Originally, it was a fintech consulting company with a focus on blockchain and distributed ledger technology, but we have been switching our direction and we have decided to focus on Waves Enterprise, as we know it’s a proven technology. As for me, I have extensive experience with Waves Tech already since I’ve been one of the co-founders, as Artem mentioned before. Tokenomika is a small company, we aim to have around a dozen people, including the core developers from Russia. Regarding the organization infrastructure, I think at the time I can’t disclose too much information. Within 1–2 weeks we’ll have the website up and we will be able to share much more information about it.
As I mentioned recently, it was decided to move to a strategic partnership with Waves Enterprise. We are still in the knowledge transfer stage. It means, we’re still learning our ropes from our Waves Enterprise colleagues. Also as mentioned, there is a group of core mainnet devs that are going to be transferred from the Moscow office to Tokenomika, because we will definitely need on-site technical support and their physical presence in Singapore to establish all the required infrastructure to maintain and further develop the mainnet and side chains.
Tokenomika has definitely a focus on Waves Enterprise mainnet. We want to promote hybrid and public mainnet use. We all know that Waves Enterprise has had amazing success in Russia, working with many big names in there, but in reality, most entities are using solely private blockchain solutions, and here in Tokenomika our main focus is to promote the hybrid use of both public and private blockchains.
A bit about me, maybe. I am a South European Spanish citizen, who has been living in Asia for more than 15 years. My background is in property management, I have been focusing on the hotel sector for several years in Spain, then moved to Asia for working in a joint operation with the Indonesian government, which involved the development of airport terminals, hotels, shopping malls, entertainment centers, especially within the airport authorities’ premises. I’ve had also several businesses on my own within the last few years including retail shops, food and beverage establishments, also the health services sector.
I have started in crypto in 2013, collaborating with SuperNET, I guess most of you guys know it now as Komodo. Besides being brand manager, I was also involved as front-end designer and developer in SuperNET and also contributed to management, but I wasn’t focused on it at that stage. This experience gave me the opportunity to personally meet many of the lead developers of other crypto assets like NXT, Vericoin or IOTA. I collaborated as well with many projects within the NXT ecosystem, where I also met Sasha Ivanov and the rest co-founders of Waves, which I also have founded as a brand director and a biz dev advisor.
I left Waves in 2017, if I remember correctly, because there was a need for someone in my position to be physically present in Moscow, but I liked my Bali island too much, so I decided maybe parting with Waves was the most logical step. I still kept in touch with Sasha all this time at a personal level and we collaborated together as advisers on quite important projects in South-East Asia, such as Tokenomy — which is quite funny, because looks like all the project names are so similar.
Currently, I’m also a part of the core team of Ergo, which is a blockchain project led by Alexander Chepurnoy, and that is collaborating closely with Cardano. I hope in the future Ergo and Waves Enterprise will also do amazing collaborations.
As I said before, my role in Tokenomika is creating and executing the development strategy, which includes different approaches, but I’ll be focusing on identifying target customers, doing presentations about WEST technology, growing our network and public awareness of WEST in the government and in the corporate sectors. I think that’s all for the start.
A.: Thank you very much, Carlos. And before we’ll go to the questions, one more important thing to address practically. All of you know EAST token and EAST.Finance project is now a part of Tokenomika too. The team of developers that are in charge of the project now belongs to Tokenomika. We consider it as the right move and we want the EAST team and Tokenomika to consolidate efforts on the development of Waves Enterprise mainnet in this project.
I think, now it’s time to go to our questions. Let’s take a look.
R.: Yes, let me select a few questions for you, guys, from the chat.
Questions from the community
— What events or competitors pose a real/potential challenge to further adoption of Waves Enterprise technology?
A.: Well, regarding the hybrid blockchain adoption, I think, the strongest competitor for us is Polkadot blockchain because its technology is quite performing and promising. But our strong point here is that our technology is developed to suit the needs of enterprises directly. Polkadot doesn’t focus on fulfilling enterprises’ needs, but our technology is about that. Having this in mind as strong selling points, I think, we will compete with them well in specific markets of enterprise customers, large companies and governments.
— What are your expectations in growth for the next three years and will you be expanding for other European and Asian markets?
R.: As for European, I can answer that myself. We are definitely targeting the European market as a corporate and enterprise solution. As for the Asian market, I think Carlos will take it from here.
C.: Yes, Rob, I would say that our main focus is in Singapore right now. There are several points which are important for this decision. Legislation in Singapore is prime for the blockchain-related industry to be developed right now. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has a really welcoming attitude towards new technologies. Cryptocurrencies are legal under Singapore law, and this is quite unique, we know the problems we’re having in the markets because bitcoin has been banned so often by China or India, and Russia is coming with new legislation that is quite harsh for cryptocurrencies as well.
Singapore political stability and legislation actually favors distributed ledger and blockchain technology companies very much right now, especially using digital tokens. Besides Singapore, we have the neighboring Malaysia, which is also very welcoming and would be the next big step for us, but definitely, we want to focus first on Singapore. Besides Malaysia, it’s obvious that the rest of South East Asia would come next, and if things go ok, we’ll try to take the whole Asia-Pacific countries as well.
— Waves Enterprise is a fork of Waves. Waves is going to roll out a big update for its network. Are you planning to implement new features from Waves blockchain to Waves Enterprise blockchain as well?
A.: Good question. Well, the history of Waves Enterprise started in 2017, we forked from Waves that year. Since then, as far as I remember, since 2019 or maybe the end of 2018, we don’t support changes of the core Waves platform. Now Waves Enterprise is a totally different platform based on the technology that was developed by Waves developers. Now we have numerous enterprise features, we have our own consensus, algorithms, smart contracts, functionality for exchanging private data. We don’t port features from “classic” Waves to Waves Enterprise, and now, as I said, we are a completely different platform, we have our own release schedule.
— What about the WEST tokens that are held by the investors and the WEST tokens that are locked till the 1st of January?
A.: Well, I was waiting for that question and I have some news to share with you. Since the 4th quarter of 2020, the team was working on buying back tokens from early private investors. We strongly believe in Waves Enterprise and Waves token perspectives, in their growth, so we decided to make such a step. Recently we’ve completed all negotiations with the major investors and soon the team will close the deal and possess almost all the tokens that now belong to investors.
Next, we will lock these tokens and other 160 bln tokens in the present locked in the contract until 2022. And most tokens will be locked for the end of 2022 — the start of 2023, except for 7-10% of tokens that will be used for future WEST promotion incentives, listings, and mainnet development activities.
R.: Wow, this is big news. Will you release a statement as well after the AMA?
A.: Yes, we will release a statement after we close the deal with our investors, then we will move and lock tokens and share this information in our channels.
— Aside from staking WEST, are there possibilities or incentives for holding WEST?
R.: Have a look at Swop.fi to be staking your WEST for a nice, I think, 50% APY right now.
— When will the marketplace for WE mainnet apps arrive? It was promised last year…
A.: Frankly speaking, we have limited resources for technology development. For the past half-year, we were focused on different things. Every time we are thinking about the development of a new feature, we need to decide what will be most effective for Waves Enterprise and WEST development.
From my point of view, the marketplace is not the best option for now. I think we will focus mostly on interoperability with other blockchains like Ethereum and Binance. I think, if we focus here, we will have much more effect on Waves Enterprise mainnet, WEST token and so on. Maybe we will return to marketplace development after Tokenomika launches their projects and spend some effort on enterprise mainnet. I think, at the moment we need more developers, more effort and projects from the community to create applications. A marketplace without applications has no sense.
— How do you intend to bring value into WEST in the short to medium time range? Will you have access to the liquidity in the Waves ecosystem via the Gravity hub.?
R.: This has been partly answered before. Let’s talk about the value of the WEST token and what is happening on the mainnet, Carlos?
C.: This is a great question. Definitely, the value of the mainnet will depend on the usage of the mainnet — there are no questions about this. There are several sectors we’re planning to approach in Singapore during the first stage of Tokenomika as an operator of Waves Enterprise… First of all, it’s the government. MAS, as I said, welcomes with open arms all emerging technologies, especially blockchain, so it’s the most logical move. Singapore’s government is seeing an ongoing process of developing blockchain technology solutions for both payment systems and improving the government processes. It’s not a secret that using a public blockchain gives a certain level of transparency, and every government would like or should like to offer transparency to the population. So the government is definitely the first market segment we are going to approach.
This will include digitalized identity solutions, we have some facial recognition solutions already existing in Waves Enterprise, or we could help with tracking COVID situations. There are a lot of things in which Waves Enterprise can be a great help to the government.
The airline industry is another niche that we really want to cover, especially with loyalty-based tokens that can improve marketing strategies enormously, we are even studying solutions that mix blockchain with RFID technology to identify aircraft parts. Not only in marketing but also in technical aspects, there are a lot of things blockchain can aid within the airline industry.
The education sector is also very important. There is a blockchain-based system solution already in Singapore that offers verification for employers to check the backgrounds of the employees. The National University of Singapore has always been very welcoming for blockchain technologies and it’s one of the sectors that we really want to approach.
On top of my mind, also real estate is quite easy to approach, I think. We can make it easier for homeowners and tenants to sign agreements, for example, based on smart contracts, without paying commission to middlemen. Also, ownership transfer could be done easily via blockchain.
But I think the biggest sector by far we should cover is logistics. Logistics is an enormous source of opportunities for WEST technologies, with tracking as the most obvious advantage blockchain can offer, in my opinion. We have transportation of normal goods, we can work with tracking, in the automotive industry we can give solutions to tracking vehicle parts and vehicles themselves. Ownership transfer as well, insurance and else, energy and petrochemicals is another great market for us, the port of Singapore is the busiest in the world, it’s definitely the market segment that we are going to cover most intensively.
For consumer-packaged goods, we have quality control, origin verification, etc. In the food and beverage sector, we can play with loyalty tokens and quality control systems as well. In manufacturing, we can aid in parts identification and transportation.
There are definitely many sectors we’ll be able to cater to in Singapore, I just covered the general idea of how we are going to approach these segments to offer them high-end technology solutions, hoping that they appreciate the value of WEST public blockchain.
— Why should anyone choose Waves Enterprise and WEST over any other project? What makes you stand out?
A.: Well, I will be brief at the moment. You should choose Waves Enterprise because we are the best for enterprise blockchain usage.
R.: (laughing) That was very brief.
— How will EAST.Finance build value to WEST token aside from holding it as collateral for EAST stablecoin?
A.: Let me explain here. I think the biggest value EAST.Finance can bring to WEST token after the launch is that when you’re issuing EAST token, you hold WEST token in your vault for that time, and that makes WEST token rise because you have more and more WEST token, you lower the circulating supply of WEST token and that helps WEST token to rise. After the WEST price is up you can issue more EAST tokens or you can withdraw the overcollateral of the WEST token back. That’s the interesting side of the EAST.Finance instrument from developers’ point of view. EAST.Finance is collateralized by real-world assets. The most ambitious and complicated task here is to collateralize with Tesla stocks and bonds — that is what Sasha was talking about some time ago.
I think it’s time to put real enterprise digitized stocks and bonds on blockchain as collateral for some stablecoins like EAST. That’s the strategic goal here. I don’t think it will be done shortly, because it includes a lot of organization and legal work with the companies. Not only Tesla, but other big enterprises will be interested in such instruments, and Singaporian law can help with that. Also, some other jurisdictions suitable for that, like Maltese or Estonian, can be used for tokenizing real-world assets, enterprise stocks, and bonds.
— Let me ask you about the collaboration and development state of WEST, Waves Enterprise, and Gravity.
A.: Frankly speaking, Gravity is not performing well at the moment, so I think we will focus on collaborating directly with Ethereum and Binance ecosystems first, and maybe after that, after Gravity reaches goals in development, we will integrate with Gravity, with other ecosystems. So for now we plan to integrate deeply with Waves’ classic ecosystem and to ERC-20.
We are thinking about gateways to Ethereum and Binance blockchains, and I think, the plan is to launch them in the 2nd half of 2021.
— Is Waves Enterprise gonna provide a privacy layer like Polkadot is doing or make the network private like Monero?
A.: Two points here. We have a privacy solution for exchanging private data between participants of the network, but it’s mostly about exchanging data, documents, and not finances. So we didn’t test it with financial instruments, token transfer, token exchange. So for a private transfer, we don’t have specific instruments at the moment. We even don’t plan them this year. Maybe next year with other features for Waves Enterprise mainnet we will have some use cases for such functionality, but at the moment we don’t see the need for private transfer of native tokens.
— Will WEST be listed on a major exchange like Binance?
C.: Well, I’m sure most of the community knows how this works, definitely we can’t disclose information until we have an exchange listing secured. You guys can be sure that we are actively contacting exchanges and always trying to negotiate the best way to get listed. Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s expensive, sometimes it’s outright crazy, and it’s definitely not the easiest part of the crypto world. It is in Tokenomika and WEST HQ in Moscow interest to be listed in as many exchanges as we can, obviously, so it is interesting not only for the community but for all of us.
Therefore, you guys can be sure that we’re actively working on it and we’ll hopefully have some surprises for the second half of the year, but we can’t disclose any information right now. As soon as we have confirmations, the community will know.
— EAST has very nice ideas! But is this just a plan or do you have companies you are developing with right now?
R.: I have already answered for Europe. Yes, there are companies we’re working with, talking to, developing with, but no way it’s possible to disclose any information in the current phases.
C.: In the South East Asia scenario I have to remind the community that Tokenomika is still in a knowledge transfer stage. We’ve been doing this maybe for a couple of months already. I’ll have a trip to Singapore in early June to set up some things physically there. Of course, there’s some work to do in Singapore before we enter the phase that Waves Enterprise in Europe has been during the last months. We’re still very-very young, focused on the knowledge transfer steps. It’s also important to note that Tokenomika has been through some serious restructuring. I think within 3 months we’ll have a new office set up already. We also need to recruit some additional workforce from Singapore, so I think, in 3-4 months we will be ready to start approaching customers in full force. This how the South East Asia side looks like right now.
A.: Let me speak about Chinese direction. We already have a company there and a project in the phase of development. I think, in the next 2 months it will go public, we will have a public release about it. For now, I can say it is about a touristic marketplace and token usage in tourism. And we are negotiating with different companies in China at different stages, but there is only one project in development for now. Still, we see great interest in the technology from Chinese companies, enterprises, and governments, although China has its own list of enterprise platforms. But our projects in Russia made a great selling point for projects in China, and in other regions we’ll also have the same effort on selling our technology.
R.: Yeah, I definitely agree with that from a European perspective as well. We talk with different companies in different countries here. There’s definitely interest in the technology.
— You call EAST.Finance an enterprise-grade DeFi protocol. What is the enterprise part and how is it different from any other DeFi?
A.: The main idea of enterprise here is that the EAST token utilizes real-world collateral. We’ll get to know more from EAST developers during our future session, but as far as I know, they want to develop this token somehow for enterprise usage. They want to utilize the hybrid infrastructure of Waves Enterprise to bring that collateralized stablecoin for enterprise usage. As far as I know, some legal part of the question is now carried out.
R.: Artem, Carlos, do you have anything else to add? Maybe some topics weren’t covered well? Or we’ll just wrap our one-hour AMA?
A.: Maybe I’ll say more about EAST, about the delay of its release, because there are questions about it in Russian- and English-speaking communities. To clarify a bit about the delay: in order for the EAST developers to be able to release it according to the initial plan, it is necessary for us to slightly modify and activate one of the features of the mainnet. It’s called “docker contract validation” and it’s used to validate results of execution of smart contracts by several participants of the network. The latest tests show us: despite the fact that the feature performs well on PoA consensus, it has some performance issues related to the miner choosing mechanism of PoS consensus. So we need to upgrade it a little and activate it on the mainnet — it will take some time for development, testing, etc.
The good news here is that the developers of EAST token will have more time to create a beautiful and convenient interface to work with EAST token and have more time for security audits maybe and for integration of EAST to some ecosystems — Waves ecosystem and other ones planned.
R.: Sounds like a very legit reason to postpone a little bit. Carlos? Some last words in this AMA to share?
C.: I think it has been a good first contact for Tokenomika and the community, we will definitely have much more from now on. A quick reminder about the website hopefully being up and running around June, 7–11, and we will be able to release additional information there. Stay tuned!