Interview with @tardigradaaa from Delphibets and @StefanPersson from the Radix Community
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT DELPHIBETS? WHAT OPPORTUNITY DID YOU SEE AND HOW DOES YOUR PROJECT ADDRESSES IT?
The inspiration for DELPHIBETS was born out off the Radix German TG group, which Marco and I created at the beginning of last year. Some group members made opinionated predictions about what the Radix price would be at some date or time interval and soon after someone proposed to wager 1 symbolic Radix for each prediction. Martin formalized and kept track of the ongoing predictions and it brought some nice entertainment for the community. A few people from the German community wanted to build something and one idea was therefore to build something like a prediction market dApp. We thought that’s a really cool and promising idea, especially for launching with Babylon on Radix. As I already had used centralized prediction markets myself, mainly to check for possible arbitrage opportunities and was fascinated by the possibility of having a prediction market or social predictions for all types of events, I was all up for it. That’s how DELPHIBETS came into existence.
On other smart contract networks like Ethereum, there are already decentralized prediction markets but none of them really took off, mostly because of high transaction fees and low market liquidity. Contrast this with Radix, where you don’t need to worry about high gas fees, get an easier, faster and much safer development experience due to the asset-orientated approach with its built-in hard constraints and a smart contract programming language & engine specifically designed for DeFi. On top of that, by building on Radix, we can capitalize on the first-mover advantage of being one of the first projects in a growing community instead of being just another one.
That’s why we thought it would be ideal to develop it on Radix. I think a prediction market is something really useful. You can use it for all kinds of events. I’m particularly interested in political and economic events, but others might be more into sport events, e-gaming, the Oscars, as you can make predictions on basically everything. That’s the fun part of the equation, but, at least for me, there’s also what I would call the good for society side, or good for businesses side, where predictions are actually useful.
Prediction markets can be used for decision-making in businesses. As a business, you could cast a forecast, like: how will our revenue turn out? Will our revenue increase when we take decision X or will it decrease? So there is real business value and value for society and for efficiency in these kinds of predictions; it’s not only about fun.
Having a better forecast in general can be quite useful for society. I would say weather predictions are the best example of that. Since we got way better weather predictions over the last few years, we can avoid a lot of damage and even loss of life. In general, there are many applications where having accurate or even only a more accurate prediction would be desired and helpful.
And having fun with it is makes it even better.
I really liked the idea of building something which not only makes profit, but also is useful for society in the end. That’s also part of my motivation. Of course in the end it will be decentralized protocol where up to some technical limitations, everyone can make their own predictions and create their own events. My hope is that in total, there will be at least some events and predictions over the long-term, which benefit society as a whole.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME DELPHIBETS?
Actually, a lot of thinking went into this. We were looking for a label that suits the capabilities of the DELPHIBETS protocol. The ancient city of Delphi and the Oracle of Delphi is well known all over the world. The Oracle of Delphi is an embodiment of future predictions and predictive possibilities that the DELPHIBETS protocol will provide. It symbolizes a very appropriate analogy that we wanted to pick up on, even though the DELPHIBETS protocol does not only give expression to individual abilities. We think of prediction markets as kind of a social oracle where swarm intelligence comes to better predictions.
Pythia was the name of the prophesying priestess who proclaimed her prophecies as Oracle of Delphi. It is wrong to speak of her as someone of the past. Pythia lives on. In each of us, but actually also in our Telegram channel. Pythia is part of our community and has already proven her abilities several times. Feel free to chat with her and join our channel 😉
YOUR COMMUNITY IS GROWING REALLY RAPIDLY. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PLANS THAT YOU HAVE FOR DELPHIBET’S FUTURE? BESIDES THE BABYLON RELEASE, ARE THERE ANY OTHER MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE EXCITED ABOUT?
Until Babylon, we want to satisfy and increase our community in two ways. We will reward our early supporters and in general, the Radix community, by our staking airdrops. For the next one, we’ll take a snapshot during next month, where you can participate by staking any validator node in the Radix ecosystem, with a bonus if you stake to one of our partner nodes or to our own node, Delphinode.
In general, we want to spread the rewards to supporters of the Radix ecosystem and of course, of our project and partner projects. That’s one thing we will do, and we will do that regularly until at least Babylon. The other thing is our community events, which mostly will take the form of some kind of prediction events. We already had a few of those. We started with the one topic which interests everyone in the Radix ecosystem: what the price of Radix will be a week later.
It was exciting until the last minute, because it was really close and could have switched to the other option till the end so it wasn’t clear who would win. Our team had a lot of fun with that and the community also enjoyed it a lot. And the last event we did was the prediction regarding the final and second round of the French elections, if Macron or Le Pen would win. Our community made a quite accurate prediction, in the end about 93% predicted it correctly, although the official result was closer than expected. It was still almost 60% to 40%, but in a one-on-one 40% is a lot, since there were many people who only went for Macron to not vote for the other side. It was rather narrow win for such an important election, I would say. Our community made the right prediction in that case, like for the Radix price prediction too.
We will have these kinds of events until Babylon and probably also some other style of community events, which we don’t want to give out any details yet. What I can definitely say is we will have a lot more prediction events in the future; our community and team really enjoys them and we will, of course, vary the topics so that everyone has at least some events that they like whether that’s sports, celebrities, some economic issue, political events or, of course, something crypto-related.
One of our community members, Yarne Lammens is a Go-Kart racer and films his races on a GoPro and live streams them on Twitch. We supported him and, depending on which place he came in, we awarded him some reward in our token, DPH and also drew 10 lucky winners from our community. We didn’t do any predictions on that event yet, but that’s definitely an idea for the future. If anyone from the Radix community is participating in a sports or e-gaming event which we can support, we are definitely open to that, so please contact us.
These are some of the things until Babylon where we are mainly focusing on community building in the open. Whereas in the background, it’s more related to product development and general development of smart contracts and the application interface.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE DELPHIBETS TEAM’S BACKGROUND?
I would say that I’m coming more from the data side. I studied finance and economics; I was always interested in finance in general, but after studying I went a bit more into the software side. I found my way into the NLP sector, especially with regard to Deep Learning. I‘d say that I like to work at the cutting edge of technology.
For those of you that don’t know NLP what is, it stands for natural language processing. Recently there were some really huge advances in what’s called large language models, like GPT3, which some people describe as the horrific AI which will replace all jobs in the future. I’m working with these kinds of models and that has been one of my areas of interest in the last few years. Aside from that, I was always interested in finance and economics. Although I found my way into the tech sector, as soon as I discovered DeFi, I was all up for that and wanted to build something.
The background of the DELPHIBETS team is quite diverse. Our team‘s background is in software development, investment banking, marketing, UX design, research, mathematics and some are entrepreneurs. So, we are coming from quite a bunch of different areas but with a general focus on software development and finance.
HOW MANY TEAM MEMBERS ARE THERE?
Currently, we are 8 team members of whom 2 are advisors, and we have what we call an external employee. We will probably have more in the future, but right now it’s only one. The two advisors are Marco and Florian Pieper, which many from the Radix community will know. They are not concerned with implementation work themselves, but they are working quite closely with us as consultants regarding the concepts and technical implementation, project strategy and all kinds of things where we can learn from their experience. Florian especially when it comes to technical aspects and Marco for the marketing side of things.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN RADIX SPECIFICALLY?
I got to know Radix through a friend. He told me about it years ago, but I only, finally, researched it at the beginning of 2021 when I was getting interested in crypto again. I bought my first Bitcoin in 2012, but always tended to look into it more during the bull cycles like many other people did. In 2021, I investigated the current state of the crypto market again with a particular focus on Ethereum and BSC and their DeFi ecosystems and was quite astonished how it has developed since my last check-in 2018 or 2019 when there was basically nothing except for Uniswap.
I looked into Ethereum and Solidity and I came to the conclusion that okay, it’s really exciting and what I want to do is build something for DeFi, but my first experiences with Solidity felt awful.
The first thing I wanted to start with was a simple arbitrage transaction between Uniswap and Sushiswap, which I thought should have been quite simple, but it wasn’t. Instead of being able to compose the transactions on the fly, you would need to first deploy a smart contract for specifically that transaction logic and pay a lot of gas fees for that alone. Then I discovered that all tokens are actually smart contracts as well and that you had to copy-paste code to deploy your own, which felt weird too, when you‘re used to installing packages and importing existing code like in Python or other languages. So when I read the Radix white paper, it all made sense to me. It described things how they should be and how I imagined them to work when I first heard about Smart Contracts and Solidity on Ethereum. That made me quite excited. I was convinced and went along with Radix. From the beginning of 2021 I looked forward to the Scrypto release at Alexandria and started to dive into Rust.
Now, with Scryto released as an early access version, all the things they promised in the white paper are coming through step by step. Like the ease of building and how DeFi and smart contract programming should be. I think Radix provides a huge leap for smart contract development; it’s like DeFi 2.0 after Ethereum was DeFi 0.1. it’s the next step. It’s a revolution and it is how it should be. Well, that’s at least the feeling I got from it.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH SCRYPTO HAS BEEN SO FAR, WHAT YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE, AND HOW YOU’RE COMING ALONG WITH IT?
In the beginning, like everyone, I tried out the “hello world” examples, which were presented at the Alexandria developer’s event, and that worked out quite well. I modified the existing code to get used to it, because the Rust way was a bit new for me and I hadn’t written any Rust code before.
Since I was always a fan of prediction markets, I thought, okay, let’s try to implement a proof of concept with Scrypto. And that was way easier than expected. Of course, I didn‘t start from scratch, but took some of the existing example code of an Uniswap-like AMM and adapted it to the specific properties of prediction markets.
I was able to create a functioning prototype in about a weekend or so. The only challenges I had were a few language-specific ones like fighting the borrow-checker since I still wasn’t too familiar with Rust, but besides that it was a smooth experience.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER PROJECTS BUILDING ON RADIX OR BUILT ON RADIX THAT YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT OR THAT YOU FIND PROMISING?
Ociswap (ociswap.com) with which we have an especially close relationship, as two of our advisors are founding members of them. I think there’s a huge overlap between our two communities as well, and I’m quite excited about that. They did a great job of building up a vibrant community and established themself as one of the major players in the upcoming Radix ecosystem on Babylon. Additionally, they are targeting new users outside the Radix community as well which definitely helps to grow the overall Radix userbase. What I genuinely like is that Ociswap is not a simple Uniswap copycat but that they are really innovative in the space and are developing a unique DEX experience by increasing capital efficiency via concentrated and protocol-owned liquidity. I am really excited to see Ociswap go live on Babylon.
I’m also especially excited about Adept Dao (adeptdao.org), a community project which is building a general DAO, but also focuses on building smart contract components for DAOs which basically every project can then use. That’s a very exciting opportunity for a lot of projects, which won’t have to build everything from scratch, like utility smart contracts, governance systems, and all these kinds of things, which you need if you want to build a successful project and want to really be decentralized, but these aren’t your core product. I think you shouldn’t have to build them from scratch and it’s really good if there’s a strong solution where a lot of thinking went into how to structure these kinds of things and develop them in the right way. You might have heard about a recent exploit of a DeFi protocol on Ethereum, I can’t remember the project name right now as there seems to be a new exploit almost every day. A flash loan was used and it was all kind of legally allowed according to the code in the smart contract where the exploiter used a flash loan to buy some governance tokens and vote for a proposal that they made themself to change the rules of the systems and so that they could either remove liquidity or sell some tokens at an inflated price, all in the same transaction. If you are a DAO or DeFi protocol and your main product is not the governance system, it’s really hard, time-consuming, and costly to think through all the issues and attack vectors that might arise.
Another project is RadLock (radlock.io) which we will probably use for ourselves in the future. It’s a project which helps other projects with team vesting and in general vesting contracts. I’d like to have a lot of general utilities for early projects that let you can focus on your core product, so that you don’t have to spend your valuable time on kind of side activities, which also are important but not your expertise.
Also, the first meme coin on Radix, DogeCube (dogecube.io) is helping Radix to get on exchanges, which is quite a nice service to the community as we’ve seen recently. I hope that will continue in the future. I think it’s a really good effort to also drive the hype, and bring in some less technically involved people to get to know Radix and get into the Radix ecosystem.
Also, I’m interested in Bored Clock Club DAO (boredclockclub.space), I’m not sure if everyone has heard of LobsterDAO. In the DeFi space it’s quite famous, it’s a telegram channel and also NFT project I think, but I’m not exactly sure about the structure. I mainly know the telegram channel, but there are a lot of important people in that project, for instance, Curve was built by some people off the channel. Bored Clock Club DAO wants to be a similar project on Radix. Its name was inspired by Dan’s Cassandra demo live stream, where he wanted to show that everything was working in real-time and wasn’t faked. He put a clock on a chair, so that’s where the name comes from. They’re building an NFT-based private club where builders who have ideas for building applications can meet with interested software developers and also discuss general ideas in the Radix ecosystem. It will be mainly Radix-focused as I understand it, but it’s still an early project. So let’s see what that brings. I hope it will be similar to Lobster DAO and if it will be that famous at some point I would be quite happy.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CONSIDERING BUILDING THEIR PROJECT ON RADIX, OR ANY OTHER PROTOCOL?
Just get started with it, but on Radix it will be definitely easier. I myself looked into Solidity and Solana a bit but was turned off by the hello world examples already.
Look into the Radix ecosystem if you want to be early. If you missed the other big L1s like Ethereum or Bitcoin, don’t miss out on Radix.
Visit delphibets.com to learn more.