On Wednesday, August 4th, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
David Donnenfeld, one the co-founders and directors of Avalaunch.
We asked him questions about the development of Avalaunch.
Q~ Thanks for joining us today. Please start off by introducing yourself to the Blockchain Space community and your role in the team ?
A~ As for a brief introduction - my name is David Donnenfeld and I am one the co-founders and directors of Avalaunch. I came into crypto in 2017, probably a couple of years after it first garnered my attention. I had a previous background as a writer including investment memorandum and had done some work in private equity so my approach has always been more fundamental than most. It’s probably no coincidence I ended up involved in a launchpad. 😄
Q~ Tell us what Avalaunch is, how it works, and what kind of value the protocol adds to the ever expanding Avalanche ecosystem ?
A~ Sure. Avalaunch is the first protocol built exclusively for the Avalanche ecosystem, to offer promising and innovative projects a fast, secure, and efficient platform for decentralized fundraising. That’s basically the website copy but to expound on it some - traditional fundraising is one area that has a decided advantage over crypto. It is streamlined in terms of expectations and deliverables for a business seeking funding. Crypto, in my opinion has way more opportunity and innovation but it is untethered from any semblance of guidelines. I think typical platforms work with IDOs and aren’t that discerning and can’t possibly know all the blockchains they work with. We chose Avalanche because it is growing and there is often a synergy between projects and at the very least, a connection. Avalaunch aims to be a cornerstone within that. I don’t think most platforms have done much to consider what the post sales needs of each projects are or fundamentally weigh in on their objectives. We believe that we can be a sort of end-to-end solution as we build out our infrastructure and can really help fast track projects on Avalanche. For us, we have to look at the body of work over time we’ll produce.
Q~ Can you share with us detailed information on the $XAVA tokenomics and it’s usecases ?
A~ Absolutely. The use case for a launchpad are pretty straight forward. People stake in order to earn allocation in upcoming sales but in the bigger picture it ties into the first question in terms of it’s place in Avalanche. From an aerial view, it is essentially a way to gain exposure to the growing ecosystem of Avalanche. Yes, you can participate in IDOs by holding the token but I think we’re going to have a few tricks up our sleeve regarding the type of offerings we’ll do. I think there is us as a fundraiser and more holistically, as an ecosystem champion. To me, if I wanted to even hold XAVA without participating in IDOs, that would be a strong move in and of itself. Why? Because we have. a lot of ecosystem rewards and in that regard, it’s like staking any token but I believe ours represents the future of a super strong Layer 1 that has not yet had it’s turn.
Cassiterite : Can you share the tokenomics as well ?
Dave Donnenfeld : Yes of course. We wanted to do something inventive so our tokenomics are in a sense time-weighted. There is a maximum allocation but we wanted to give users the option to participate in what they liked best. So there is a fee to begin staking and that fee is distributed to the early stakers. When users opt into an IDO, there is also a small fee which is distributed back to the other stakers. This way, the longer you stake the more equity you’ll receive and of course stakers are also eligible for ecosystem rewards.
We wanted to also tilt things in favor of committed people vs. larger players where price fluctuates surrounding sales.
Q~ Can you give us an update on how things have gone at Avalaunch and if you had to make changes based on this ?
A~ Sure. To look at it top down - Avalaunch hopes to be a gate keeper that’s dedicated to the ecosystem of Avalanche and we wanted to do things differently. For us, one of the primary things is being able to really serve and support projects pre and post sale. This requires us to have a very strong network both communally and internally. We’re looking at the box sideways; re-examining tokenomics, distribution, go to market strategies and using more fundamentals than the number of followers on socials. In that regard, we’ve come a long way. Regarding changes, when the market turned bearish we were able to focus on infrastructure. We’re developing international communities, have partnered with both Gate and Kucoin and partnered with a number of Avalanche projects. This has moved ahead of schedule. In terms of the actual platform launch, we’re a little late but it was a matter of prioritizing where opportunity lied in the face of market conditions.
I think any team has to pivot and it can be difficult in the face of community expectation but if you keep them informed and are clear on what your end game is, they will support you.
QUESTIONS FROM BITCOINTALK
Q~ What should we expect from the Avalaunch Allocation Staking, can you give us a walkthrough on the features ?
A~ Sure. Well, let’s flesh out the tokenomics some. Allocation staking is straight forward and in bullish times it’s probably worth going in most everything. However, informed stakers may favor DeFi protocols and not have a particular interest in other offerings. By continually redistributing the XAVA generated from fees and as initiation back to the more senior stakers, you add heft to your position. It is value redistribution that accrues over time and allows smaller players to gain larger allocations if they are discerning in their choices. Again, we have a large ecosystem rewards supply, roughly 30% of total so it is there to ultimately benefit people willing to stake XAVA. Again, this is an ecosystem/infrastructure built to serve Avalanche so our end goal is to have users who are equally supporting and ultimately rewarded.
Q~ How important is the community to you and what progress have you made in ensuring Avalaunch is properly represented across the globe, thereby exposing the Avalaunch technology to new users ?
A~ It’s extremely important and something we will always be building. Even now we have a dedicated Turkish Community as well as Japanese and are expanding. It’s something every project says “community is everything” but I don’t always think it’s so sincere. For us, we are hoping to offer exposure to Avalanche and we want the community weighing in now because it is still relatively small. People who use their protocols have a lot to say and we are running community testing now with some selected people as we finalize the platform. This kind of thing is essential. Even when it’s not what you want to hear because if you cut through the noise, there is usually a thread that carries the day. The community can know better than you and ultimately, if they are not satisfied your project will suffer.
I think people tend to over identify with say a Telegram group. It’s important but knowing where else people may talk about you because larger holders and many contributors don’t scream every day. Finding these people and keeping them in the loop, offering them support, giving admin badges into unofficial groups etc. is an imperative to really knowing.
QUESTIONS FROM TWITTER
Q~ What are the criteria to evaluate a project eligible to implement IDO at Avalaunch ?
A~ I believe any launchpad should start with fundamentals - market size, opportunity to penetrate, burn rates, pathways to autonomy to determine how much funding they need, the team of course - we invest in people as much as ideas - current stage of development, where our resources can contribute and the litany of things that you really don’t see that often in crypto. There is a chemistry to assess because Avalaunch will have a lasting relationship with every project we support and a permanent affinity because it always be the place they launched. To date, really nothing has been immune to bearish conditions, so people need to know that a project is sussed out and making strides. Again, because we are dedicated to a blockchain, we can really look at where a project is - a couple of people with a great idea can be as deserving of funding as an accomplished team with a mature product but their needs are different. So you do everything on a case by case basis and one thing that is non-negotiable - you have to be able to know that you can contribute to their value proposition; assuming it makes sense in the first place.
Q~ Nowadays because of decentralization, anyone is launching their rug pull tokens and people lose money in it. Avalaunch could be a solution for this. So how do you decide whether the project is valuable or not? Which things do you see in an IDO before launching it ?
A~ I’m glad there is some overlap between a couple of these questions because a theme is emerging. To answer, which selfishly allows me to talk about process - I think there are lots of ways to add value yourself - raising awareness and visibility is something a strong network can provide. Lots of launchpads don’t provide pre and post launch support because they are not devoted to strengthening a given ecosystem. Offering alternative type offerings as a platform is going to make things more dynamic because again, project needs vary. I know your question was about rug pulls but I widened it some to include projects that have suffered and may not be giving a full effort as well. Obviously our own diligence is going to different than a random launch on Uniswap where a project truly rugs. The spate of hacks and exploits have been costly and they aren’t rugs, I’m pretty sure there was some lazy in there. We can’t afford this The build fast motto is important to crypto as well but attracting top talent and providing the needed resources and runway is crucial as well. Ultimately, business development that can foster the growth of the projects that we support, create awareness and visibility as well as our opportunity to think a little differently in terms of our approach to sales. It’s interesting in the sense that development must be able to see around the corner while your community is very much in the moment. You have to balance.
Q~ @avalancheavax has announced collaboration with @pangolindex. Why did you choose @pangolindex as a partner and what are the benefits you seek forward in the development of $AVAX? Which collaborations do you plan to sign in short term ?
A~ Well Pangolin is one of the premiere decentralized exchanges on Avalanche so it’s got relevance and history. We want there to be active trading on Avalanche because the ecosystem is vibrant and growing. For us, one of the things we aim to do a little differently is provide support for our projects pre and post launch. Having relationships where there is active trading and having intimate knowledge of how things work on the trading side of the blockchain we support just makes sense. We’ve known Pangolin for some time and are supportive of each other’s desire to make Avalanche a destination blockchain so it’s only natural we’d be able to collaborate. They recently announced a formal alliance with us and offered a couple of incentivized liquidity pools for XAVA. It’s this kind of support signaling that spurs interest and lends credibility. When there’s good chemistry amongst projects on a growing Layer 1, I think it creates a decided advantage and Pangolin saw something special in this ecosystem early on.
QUESTIONS FROM TELEGRAM
Q~ COVID 19 has slowed down many economies around the world but as a crypto business, does it affect you negatively or positively? Are you still on track to achieve your goals or are you planning a new development?
A~ This to many appears less relevant than say a year ago. For us, we are a global team just like crypto so things can continue. To redirect the question a little, I think the economic stimulus packages and the devaluing of currency by way of continual printing is making crypto on the whole a more attractive consideration.
Q~ How was the idea to create this project born? It is very interesting project? What do you want to prove? What are your expectations?
A~ It was born out of the slew of launchpads that came to market that, in my opinion, did not serve crypto well. The approach was to hype a small sale which would be oversubscribed to induce retail hype and in a couple of months, projects were left holding the bag. These are start up projects that are changing our world and need support, not just disgruntled investors who were seduced and abandoned by a bull market and private investors who had some influence.
Q~ What’s your main focus right now, are you focused on the community or market/Exchange or the products?
A~ Well, you need to be able to pivot. Our focus is both really - you need a product but if no one is going to use, it’s not doing much good. For us, in the recent bearish conditions, we were able to focus more on infrastructure - building international communities, partnering with a couple of CEXs and the like. Now, we need to get this platform up and running and finalize our slate of projects.
Q~ How strong is your team ? Many projects starts with good impression and later abandoned the project. What makes your project different than others. Please share with us?
A~ I wholly believe in our team. We are all crypto veterans with real project experience, have seen a number of cycles in the space and have a finger on the pulse. Collectively, we have the needed skill sets in terms of biz dev, tech and traditional experience to make this go.
Q~ Southeast Asia is a very vibrant market and many projects are developed here with your project. What do you think about Southeast Asia and have no plans for you to develop here?
A~ Hugely vibrant and home to some 78m underbanked people. It is to some, the holy grail of demographics, although it is a region. In my experience, they are early adopters, enthusiastic and not afraid of volatility. They are a force to be reckoned with and any project that does not recognize this is doing themselves a major disservice.
First of all, it’s refreshing to see such a vibrant community and a place that has real people. I hope they all share information freely, don’t FUD without facts and support each other.
Thank you for having me. This has been great.
It’s really nice having the Avalaunch project in here!!!
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