Polkastarter Team AMA
AMA with Polkastarter CEO and Co-founder Daniel Stockhaus.
You can see the original AMA conversation on Polkastarter’s main Telegram Channel here.
And check out our AMA with MintedLab! Polkastarter의 사업, 전략, 팀원, 한국 시장 진출, 비전, 로드맵, 화이트리스트, IDO 등 전반적인 마케팅부터 기술적인 분야까지!
Hey all! We'll be starting the Polkastarter AMA now with Polkastarter CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Stockhaus 🎉🎉🎉🎉
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions in advance on Twitter! We'll get started with those questions, and then open it up in the chat here for others to chime in with any other questions.
Ok let's get started!
Daniel — quickly before we go to the Twitter questions — for those that are joining this community for the first time, can you please explain briefly what Polkastarter is in a few simple sentences?
(although you're all here, so hopefully most of you know by now 🙃 )
First of all, it’s amazing to see now a community of over 50k members. Thank you.
"Polkastarter is the fully decentralized protocol for launching new ideas. The team's mission is to attract the highest quality projects and founders in blockchain and match them with token buyers that believe in and support projects for the long run (as in, all of you!)
We pride ourselves in supporting world-class teams through Initial Decentralized Offerings (IDOs) -- and select projects that not only benefit the participants, but also advance and strengthen the industry as a whole.
Our biggest advantages are that we help projects build community and support them long-term, and that our access and curation enables us to offer the best projects."
Woohoo that's us !
Okay first question from Twitter: What does polkastarter pay attention to when choosing IDO projects? Could you advise a newby in crypto how to choose projects for investment?
This process is being improved on a weekly basis, as you might have seen, we’ve just advertised for more market analysts to help us with the large number of project applications and to provide an even better selection process, but currently:
The Polkastarter application process is overseen by the Polkastarter team and the Polkastarter Council, which includes members from Huobi, Polygon, Alchemy, and many more great investors and entrepreneurs. As I mentioned earlier, we really try to select projects that not only benefit the participants, but also advance and strengthen the industry as a whole.
The two guiding principles of our selection process are fairness and excellence. We’ve built a four step process to ensure all projects are analyzed equally and to keep the bar for quality and innovation high.
1. Initial Application: All projects submit their application through our Governance Portal, which captures basic information such as team backgrounds, project tokenomics, details of previous fundraising rounds, and core content like website and whitepaper.
2. Preliminary Due Diligence: our analysts read the whitepaper, tokenomics, assess the product roadmap, Github, and review the founders backgrounds and existing community and traction. Roughly 20% of projects make it beyond this stage.
3. Direct Assessment & Council Vote: we then meet with the team directly to dig deeper into the product, get to know the team personally, and analyze some of the inner workings of the project. If a project passes assessment by the Polkastarter team, it is handed over for review by the Polkastarter Council. Each council member can vote once, and must do so within a limited period of time. If 60% of the Council votes “yes” on the project, it is passed through to final approval.
Roughly 30% of projects make it beyond this stage — i.e. 6% of original applications.
4. IV. Approval and Onboarding: If a project has made it this far, they are officially onboarded into the Polkastarter family! 🎉
From here, we set the date for the IDO and explore how our team can help them beyond the fundraise. This can include marketing, messaging and communication, and support with UI and UX.
I think not many people see or recognise the huge amount of work being done with each project to prepare them for the IDO and give them the best possible start.
You can learn more about the process here.
Hahaha quite the rigorous selection process 🤓✏️📐
Ok moving on — what are the benefits of using Binance Smart Chain (BSC) for IDOs?
(Given the recent IDOs of Genesis Shards and Refinable etc)
Great question. We just launched on BSC very successfully (with Genesis Shards, and recently Refinable), and are already planning to conduct many more IDO's on BSC. With gas prices a fraction of the cost, I think it will be very beneficial for our community. We are currently exploring other networks like Solana and Polygon as well and are of course fully ready to launch on Polkadot soon.
Love the low gas prices :) A related question from the community — what are your plans for expansion to other chains, or and L2 integrations?
You've done a few IDOs on BSC, but are you considering other chains like Solana, Cardano, etc?
At Polkastarter, we strongly believe that the future of DeFi won’t be limited to a single blockchain or a single exchange. Buying and moving assets between blockchains with ease will become a necessity rather than a nice-to-have.
One of our priorities is to bring Polkastarter to new blockchains. And although we’re always going to focus first on Polkadot, we are aiming to extend to other blockchains like Polygon, Solana, Elrond, Avalanche and others. This vision brings true interoperability and cross-chain liquidity to Polkastarter and will help us get access to the best projects!
Cross chain future here we come 💫
Ok next ! — What, if any, are your upcoming plans for NFTs?
We see NFTs as one of the single most exciting crypto technologies of the moment. Offering a myriad of use cases and possibilities, NFTs have a perfect fit with what we are doing at Polkastarter, as this technology can be used as a whitelisting mechanism.
Because of this we decided to introduce the NFT farming mechanism in our roadmap for Q2 - expected in May). Polkastarter token holders will be able to stake $POLS to get handcrafted NFTs. Those unique and exciting NFTs will then give access to the IDO pools on Polkastarter.
We’ll be having more info on that very soon.
Ok next question - can you please share more details on the crowd loan which was recently released ?
Ok, this is very exciting. We can’t wait for Polkastarter to deploy on Polkadot, as soon as it’s ready. For that to happen, Parity & Web3 Foundation (the people who are building Polkadot) will need to finalise the Parachain Lease Offering (also called crowdloans). We are expecting the first to happen in Q2 and Polkastarter will be ready to enable any Polkadot project to use our decentralized platform to have their community participate in these auctions .
We’ve received a Grant from the Web3 foundation and are working very closely with Parity.
Okay quick hit question: "Is the polkadot.js wallet is supported by Brave browsers?"
Ok. That is a good question, but I don’t have the answer to that. Polkastarter is currently on Ethereum and BSC and you should be able to use any web3 wallet, although we recommend MetaMask. Once Polkadot is ready, I am quite sure there will be wallets who will offer a great experience.
Ok thank you!
Next question: "I'm new to crypto and blockchain, so how will your team target and educate people who don't know about blockchain and crypto?"
First of all, we are seeing so many people joining crypto in 2021 and we would like to say all to them. Welcome to crypto and DeFi! It’s a whole new and exciting world!
It's our goal to make IDOs and Polkastarter accessible for both new joiners and veteran crypto participants alike. We are creating some excellent "101 Guide" and introductory materials to help newer users understand the basics of what an IDO is, how it works, and some basics on crypto and blockchain as well.
More to come on this, but we're partnering with some great educational aggregators and data providers on these materials as well.
Woo! Bringing crypto to the masses
Ok next questions are about Whitelisting
Q: "Is the team considering any steps to improve the whitelisting process? "
It may not seem like this, but we are constantly working on improving every aspect of it and have created many tools to make the process as smooth as possible, but of course, we are never satisfied and are constantly working and thinking on how to improve it further.
Our community has been growing in strength and numbers since our launch in December and we want to reward our loyal community further, while also bringing in more members into our ecosystem.
We are currently working on a completely revamped system for POLS token holders to apply for Project IDO’s and we’ll make an announcement this week.
Looking forward to it!
On that note "Can you please explain how the current drawing system works for whitelisting?"
Each project works in a very similar way and it’s very important to understand that we are a decentralized platform. That means, we can give guidelines to the projects, but at the very end, the project is responsible for every aspect.
Luckily so far, all projects have been very professional and most stuck to the system of:
1. Receive applications (the average number of applications is well over 100k)
2. They send us the file of applications and we have a tool, which splits them into 2.
POLS/LP holder and
Non - Pols holders
3. They create a lottery on those 2 files and those are the whitelist winners
4. Once the winners have been drawn, they are being usually asked to KYC
5. On the day of the launch, the project themselves need to ensure that they upload the whitelisted addresses into the smart contract to enable those addresses to interact with it.
We never touch any tokens, any funds, any whitelist addresses - this is all done by the project itself.
Ok next whitelisting Q: Do you have plans to make the whitelisting draw system more transparent?
While we strongly believe that all projects have been doing their utmost to make it as fair as possible, we of course strongly believe that this process should be as transparent as possible.
Our new whitelisting system, which we will introduce this week and we hope to start implementing from Mid May will bring more transparency to the process, will enable more POLS holders access to the IDO’s and we believe will make it altogether much fairer.
Great, thank you.
Next Q: Do you collect information on the frequency of selected wallet addresses?
We have hired 2 Data analysts recently, who are going through all the numbers of our 45 IDO’s to find out exactly that and see, how many people participated, how much profit was made etc. We will share that info over the next 1-2 weeks.
With our new whitelisting system it will become even more important, as we want the chances of success to spread as much as possible. That means, that once people have won a lottery and participated successfully in the IDO, they wouldn’t be able to participate in the subsequent IDOs (more details on that soon). That way we can ensure that the chances of the remaining applicants improve and more people can join and enjoy the amazing returns.
Nice! Ok next : "How often is the update of eligible addresses to the POLS pools done?"
We are taking a daily snapshot of all POLS holders to ensure that our internal app we built is fully up to date.
We’ve connected the backend of that app to our eligibility checker: https://polkastarter.com/staking
Where you can always make sure, if and when you are eligible for the next IDO.
Great! Ok next questions are mostly about $POLS
Q: "Are you ever going to allow token holder governance?"
Although we’ve been working extremely hard since we started this project in July last year, the success has taken us by surprise. While we are very grateful to our community, it meant that the last few months has been all about optimising our platform and hiring a lot of people to ensure the best possible future for Polkastarter and to continue innovating and allowing the best projetcs to launch on our platform. We are now 22 people already and are still in need of more people.
Once all those pieces are in place, we will of course endeavour, as it has always been the plan from the start, to include our awesome community more and more in our decision making process.
Great to hear, thank you.
Next Q: "When will $POLS be listed on major exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase?"
I think that’s a question we need to ask Binance and Coinbase. Our successful launch on Binance Smart Chain has not gone unnoticed and we think the community has supported our launch on BSC, due to the aforementioned lower gas costs, which allows far more people to participate.
Next Q: "Will staking be available for $POLS on Ethereum and BSC?"
That is a good question, which I can’t 100% confirm yet, but it’s very possible that we’ll start on ETH and then quickly introduce BSC staking as well.
This week we’ll announce for liquidity program for Pancake, so anyone will be able to earn fees from the growing demand on BSC.
Great news on all sides !!!
Next Q: "Which key advantages does the $POLS project have in terms of price stability, credibility, liquidity, and technology?"
$POLS launched on the 29th of September on Uniswap at $0.05, so is currently trading at around 62x since our launch.
We have over 37000 Token holders on Ethereum and BSC and probably the same amount on CEX exchanges.
Our Council is holding over 5 Million POLS in order to enable our decentralised governance. We will announce 2 new council members this week, who will bring even more credibility and knowledge to the council.
Polkastarter has received well over 1200 Applications since we launched in December and has built a very strong and positive reputation in the space and we will continue hard to improve it further. We are aiming for project to raise more in their public round to enable our community to get access to more opportunities.
We can’t be perfect from day 1, but I believe we have built now an amazing team, who is fully committed to the vision of revolutionising the decentralised fundraising space and is gaining new followers and fans on a daily basis.
Nice, thanks for those thorough answers! A few more Qs and then we'll open it up briefly to the community 🎉
Next Q: Can you please explain the recent website crashes / busy servers during the Refinable IDO? What happened, and what you are doing to make sure it doesn't happen again?
We have seen consistent high demand among blockchain and crypto projects to launch with Polkastarter, and amazing interest from the community to support those projects. Each project implements its own whitelisting process in order to ensure they are reaching quality contributors in a fair and transparent way.
The Refinable IDO was our most successful and popular IDO to-date, and we received unforeseen and unexpectedly high traffic:
- 18,000 users at the same time on the website (only 1500 people were whitelisted)
- Both pools sold out in less than 5 minutes
- 500,000 requests in less than 5 minutes
- +1,000 unique participants
We're still scaling out the platform and the team, and while we apologize for anyone who experienced any delay, you have our commitment to prioritize growing the platform to keep up with the huge growth in demand.
Our servers were already at the highest setting available and our app is fully optimised to the last pixel.
We are now talking to the hosting provider (the best in the business) to extend this further, which is usually only available to enterprise clients.
All these things come at a very high cost, but we want to ensure the best possible experience for everyone.
Ok I know you've talked about some of these already, but looking ahead, what key things are planned for the rest of this quarter?
Everyone is working super hard in the background and not all developments are being made public, but as we outlined in our recent Q2 Roadmap, some key targets over the next 2+ months are to
> Release Polkastarter 2.0 with new and improved features
> Launch NFT drops that offer access to token sales
> Expand to other L1s/L2s... our Multi-Chain offering won’t just stop at Binance Smart Chain !
> Support Polkadot crowdloans
> Improve the whitelisting process
You can learn more in our Roadmap post here.
Awesome stuff, thanks Daniel.
Ok let's open it up to community questions for Daniel! And then we'll wrap in about 7mins 💫
Thanks everyone — Daniel will now work his way through as many of these as possible in the next few minutes.
QUESTION - I just missed out on my 3rd IDO that I've been whitelisted for due to issues with the website, when is this going to be resolved? I know there has been this issue for the last few months
As I said before, we are constantly working on improving every aspect of the platform and will do our utmost best to improve the performance of the website. To our defense I have to say, that we’ve put a huge amount of work already to protect the site from malicious attacks and to optimise the site, the servers and each setting.
400 people out of 1500 suffered from the network disaster and lost maybe a lifetime opportunity(300x), because your site could not withstand the request and collapsed. I am one of the victim. As you know, this issue wasn't our fault since the page did not even load. So, would you consider giving a guarantee allocation to these 400 people in the upcoming $wild ido to compensate your mistake? I think this is the type of behavior that suits you.
Hey Murat, this was the first exclusive IDO on Binance Smart Chain and due to the lack of experience, Refinable added 1500 people to the whitelist, but there was always only going to be around 1050 people participating due to first come first serve. The sale was finished in around 5 minutes and everyone had the same opportunity. I fully understand your frustration, but as I explained, the whitelist for each project are completely up to each team and there is nothing we can do except continue to improve.
The more projects will be launching on BSC, it will give us much more opportunities to be creative. One of the major downsides with Ethereum are the gas fees, which are frustrating not only for the users, but it makes innovation very hard.
Why should I hold more than 3000 pols?
That’s a very good question and one which will be answered within the next 48 hours. All I can say is.. it will increase your chances of success in the near future.
Thank you very much for all your time today.
We will try to do this much more often in the future and keep our community up to date on the latest developments and answer any questions they have.
Thanks all! The chat will now open back up.
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