Interview with @jafaroff55, core team member of of impahla.io and @StefanPersson from the Radix Community
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR TEAM’S BACKGROUND?
We are a team of eight people. I personally am a FinTech professional, and I have been in the FinTech industry for more than 12 years, specializing in business development and product development. I have worked more than 10 years at a top financial institution. The rest of the team all has day jobs, and are working for different corporations. We go to most Radix Events in London and meet with the community and present the progress of our project regularly.
Parallel to my more than 12 years experience in FinTech, I have been in crypto since 2016, starting out as a passive investor initially. I participated in different communities, trying to understand the application of blockchain, distributed ledger technologies, consensus theories, ecosystems. Step by step, I became really active in a couple of chains, such as avalanche.
I came across Radix and I was really impressed. I introduced Radix to some friends and some people I have worked with in FinTech, which has a lot of developers, and they were really impressed.
We all joined the official Telegram (https://t.me/radix_dlt) and Discord (https://discord.gg/WkB2USt), and we started to brainstorm what we can do on Radix, how should be set up, how we can serve the community, et cetera. That’s how we came across like-minded people in Discord. Part of the team came from my network, but 50% of the team we met in Discord, and we came together very naturally. I have been looking for partners for many years, and I couldn’t find the right people to work and to create something. But after a couple of months in discord, I realized that we became a team. As of today, we are very organized. We are working on Basecamp as our organization platform. We have now each team member focusing on different things.
We have built a backend, a web app, a mobile app and a website. We continue building. It’s amazing how naturally all the pieces came together. One day we just realized that we actually built a product prototype.
Some of the team members came to London and we met in person for the first time at the London Radix event where we did a presentation. It’s a new world.
We’re not a huge team, but we use Basecamp and everyone knows who is doing what. We all have our day jobs, and this started out as a project just for fun, but now we spend a lot of time working on impahla outside of our day job office hours. We even have team meetings every Sunday so it fits into everyone’s schedules. It’s completely a result of the Radix ecosystem. I have been in different communities and different ecosystems, but I was never convinced by their long-term vision, how these technologies will actually solve these important problems of scalability, and security, especially when it comes to finance.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN RADIX SPECIFICALLY?
For me, finance was the most important application of blockchain technology. I took the Crypto disruption course at LSE (https://lse.credential.getsmarter.com/group/119743) to really deep dive into blockchain and DLTs. When I came across Radix, it was at the end of 2020. I was really impressed. I went through the white paper (https://assets-global.website-files.com/6053f7fca5bf627283b582c2/61c2fb54b84142d74743fe27_Radix%20DeFi%20White%20Paper%20v2.04.pdf) and I came to and participated in different community events.
The feedback from some of my friends who are much more technical than I am also played an important role. In terms of technology, I can go to a certain level, but beyond that, it’s over my head. But these people that I trust looked at it and said that it’s really impressive.
The first reason I got interested in Radix was because I was really impressed with the teams’ vision, specifically that they are focusing on mainly one area like DeFi, and trying to address core problems by designing the technology for this specific area. When you look at other chains, they just want to do everything. But the vision behind Radix is really impressive and ambitious; to host most of the entire global financial system. It’s a very exciting vision, but there is also technology that backs this vision and there’s a rationality and logic behind the technology.
The second reason is the community and the people, it’s such a genuine community. I have been to different crypto events in London, I’ve been in different communities. I’ve never seen an intelligent community like what we have in Radix. And then we all came together on the 2nd of July in London (2022), you had to see this natural synergy. Like the people are real, the talks are real, it’s a very genuine community.
Also, we liked the team behind it. I met Piers, and most of the C-level people from Radix; Adam, Jeremy, et cetera. They move very carefully and thoughtfully, and we really like that.
Since I joined the Radix community at the end of 2020, I think I’ve come a pretty long way. I’m an node runner from early days of Radix mainnet under the name Top Radix Node (https://www.topradixnode.com/). Topradixnode currently is partnering with Impahla for airdrop campaign. Those who stake min 10k to Topradixnode are eligible for Impahla airdrop campaign. Topradixnode is 10th in the top 100 with 65 M stake. My node is 41st in the top hundred, with 27 million stake. I’m also a Radix ambassador for London events, and I’m a member of the core Impahla team. Radix created all these parallel worlds for me.
WHAT OPPORTUNITY DID YOU SEE TO CREATE THAT LED YOU AND YOUR TEAM TO BUILD IMPAHLA?
I was an active investor in crypto and NFTs, and my friends and colleagues were also pretty active investors. Whenever I got excited about certain projects and wanted to participate in ICOs or initial sales on launchpad platforms, I realized that I always spend a lot of effort, time, and money, but often I wasn’t getting the tokens, since it was based on lotteries or first come first serve. I realized that these tokens are going to a handful of whales, or people with the technical know-how to front-run others.
The token allocation on pre-sales processes were super unfair and an extremely frustrating experience for us. NFT sales are also very chaotic. We decided, let’s build a digital asset platform, and let’s help anyone who has an idea, who wants to launch any kind of digigtal asset/token with a fair and balanced experience for investors. We want to help people who dont have access to VCs and have potential idea to build on DLTs. We also want to help real economy companies to extend their presence to digital ecosystems.
We have designed an auction model and a multi-phase auction mechanism to ensure fair and guaranteed allocation for investors. With multi-phase auction mechanism we will fix the price in the first phase through an auction, and in the second phase, we will allocate the tokens equally based on the fixed price among all the participants who successfully bid in the first phase regardless of the capital committed. After that, if there’s any tokens left, then we will have a third phase where anyone can buy leftover tokens on a first come first serve basis. We designed these mechanisms to make sure that all participants are getting guaranteed allocation.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN APPLICATION? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD CONSIDER CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING?
We have a due diligence process. We do it in a centralized fashion today, but the plan is to have a mechanism to do it in a decentralized way driven by the community, who can vote whether the project can be listed or not. What we look at first is the team, we want to meet them and understand who they are, what their background is, and why they are doing this project. The second part is what problems they are trying to solve, how do they differ from other competitors and similar projects already in the market. The third one is product maturity. While we are open to discussing ideas, but we want to know how far have you come in actually creating your project. What steps have you taken. We want to see some initial steps, some work that shows that you are serious about moving forward. We need to understand what the project’s level of maturity is. Having said that, we are definitely also open to real teams who have strong idea, but just need help and support to make them happen. What is important is that when someone approaches us, they present their idea in a professional and well thought through way that shows us the team, product maturity, the idea, what problems you are solving and how you are different from competition.
DO YOU EXPECT TEAMS TO DOXX THEMSELVES TO YOU?
Yes, definitely. We don’t always disclose this information publicly, but for us, it’s important to know who we are working with so that we can extend that trust to the investors who will use our platform. We get it, not everyone can doxx themselves publicly, and in fact we really can’t either since many of us have full time jobs elsewhere that demand a level of discretion. However, while it doesn’t need to be public, we do need to be able to verify the identities of who we work with in order for us to do business together. For us, you can find our full team in a presentation that we have in a pinned message on our telegram (https://t.me/Impahla/1260).
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR SOMEONE TO REACH OUT TO IMPAHLA TO START TALKING TO YOU ABOUT THEIR IDEA?
Find us on discord or on telegram, or DM me directly on telegram at @jafaroff55. Many people from the community message me, and I’m happy to introduce them to the team. We are very responsive on Discord (https://discord.gg/xtEwrfXB) and Telegram (https://t.me/Impahla).
WHAT KIND OF SKILLS ARE MOST IN DEMAND?
We are open to full stack developers, front-end developers and backend developers. We are open to any developers really. We also might need community moderators in coming modes as we get more active with marketing. What’s exciting is that the people who join us don’t just work on the impahla project only. When we choose to invest in any project, we are involved in those projects and have the opportunity to work on them as well.
IF A PROJECT ONBOARDS WITH YOU, WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT FROM IMPAHLA?
We can really help them build a minimum viable product so that we can go to investors. Once Babylon is launched and our platform is fully live, we can list their project and bring our community and investors to their project and help with fundraising. We can even help with prototype development in some cases for projects and teams that everyone on our team is extremely excited about, but that would have to be our entire team that feels strongly about the concept and the team for us to help with that.
CAN YOU TALK A BIT ABOUT THE CORE SERVICES THAT YOU OFFER
We will be a one stop shop for crypto startups and NFT creators to successfully launch their projects in the Radix Ecosystem. The services include Token/NFT creation services, auction services, consulting servicess (valuation, due diligence, developer support etc), fundraising, marketplace for launcher NFTs and other digital assets.
When it comes to price discovery, that’s something that comes out of our due diligence process. We look at other comparable services and products across Radix and other chains to come up with an approximate idea or what a fair value looks like. The actual valuation will be determined via the auction system, since ultimately the community will decide what something is worth.
We’ve all seen some projects launched prematurely on other chains like Solana or Avalanche that have prices that skyrocketed. So often there is no real product, and there is no one, not even a proper team. The tokens have been sold at insane valuations, and that’s a big fraud that we want no part of on our platform.
We are committed to doing fair valuations, and to transparently share information with the community so that the auction process can be used to arrive at a reasonable valuation. We use other new chains, such as Near Protocol, Fantom, Avalanche, Solana, to find comparisons and benchmarks to use for determining valuation. Things like size of the community, are there any minimum viable products in the market, who is running these other teams.
Some projects may say “We are confident in what this project is worth, and we don’t want to use the auction mechanic to determine it.” In those cases, we will have open and frank discussions with our network of developers, business people and investors, to evaluate whether the valuation sounds fair. If we agree, we can use a fixed price auction, which is effectively just a fixed price sale.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR YOUR PROJECT’S FUTURE?
Our next step is to launch on the Babylon Alphanet. After that, we plan to do an NFT sale. We haven’t finalized the number yet, but we will issue something in the thousands we think. Those who buy NFTs will have access to our Airdrop. We have allocated 30 million tokens for airdrops, and 10 or 15 million will go to the NFT buyers. We expect this NFT sale to start sometime in October or November 2022. We’ll announce it on our social media https://twitter.com/Impahla_dao/ https://t.me/Impahla.
After Babylon, we are planning to switch these NFTs into badges, which will be used in governance, voting and other functions that have proper use cases on our platform.
Here’s a preview of what our what our in development interface will look like when we roll it:
WHAT OTHER RADIX PROJECTS ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT OR FIND PROMISING?
Caviarswap (https://caviarswap.io/) has a very interesting team, and they have done a great job pre-babylon already. They’ve created a great deal of momentum for their centralized solution. I think they’re team is great.
Florian is doing an amazing job, I know Lukas well too, and excited to see what they do next with OCISwap (https://ociswap.com/).
I’m also favoring DefiPlaza. It’s one of the very few projects that is already a fully working product. They have a community, and I think after Babylon, they will be great for the Radix Ecosystem. They launched on Ethereum, they’ve got decentralized trading going on, they’re very solid. They are even listed on Coingecko (https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/defiplaza)
IF YOU COULD GIVE ANY ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO IS CONSIDERING BUILDING THEIR PROJECT, ON RADIX OR OTHERWISE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?
Start now. Start building now rather than waiting for Babylon. A couple of teams told us that “Scrypto is unstable” and they want to wait until its finalized before they start building, but I think that’s the wrong strategy. You have to start building now. If there are upgrades that come later, I know for developers its annoying, but it won’t be that big of an effort to make the necessary changes. Stary building now, put your prototype in the test environment, start building your community, share your ideas, write blogs, and actually start making your project.
- Website: https://www.impahla.io
- Telegram: https://t.me/Impahla
- Discord: https://discord.gg/xtEwrfXB
- Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/impahla
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/impahla_dao
- Medium: https://medium.com/@impahla