(Any views expressed in the below are the personal views of the author and should not form the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation or advice to engage in investment transactions.)
For more than six weeks we’ve been asking, “wen article”. Well, the “article” was launched and it summarizes what the diehard Zenon Network community members already know. It’s old news to many. Some (including me) were expecting information regarding projects the “founding devs” are working on to realize Phase I. Specifically, we were hoping to learn how Sentinels play a roll in the network.
If only we had VC backing, right??
In crypto we are accustom to major VC announcing their next $100 million investment in “Project X” which is going to kill “Project Y”. Ya, and “X” is going to lead to “mass Web3 adoption”. And when FTX or Sequoia lead the round it makes things that much more exciting. “X” is going to hire 300 developers and change the world in 9 to 12 months with a custom programming language and 100,000 tps. They have 20 people in the marketing department who write articles, post on Twitter and manage Discord. It’s a well oiled hype machine to pump and dump.
In case you missed it, FTX, who led the recent Aptos investment round, appears to have lost $10 billion in customer funds. And another Aptos investor, Sequoia, invested $150 million into FTX with no diligence and their investment went to ZERO.
According to Chamath Palihapitiya Venture firms have been knowingly pumping unregulated crypto securities and dumping them on retail investors. Here is how it works. VC firms would invest and lock up equity in crypto projects at crazy high valuations. The project would create a token with no VC lockup who then hype the tokens (with large marketing departments) to generate retail interest. After pumping the price, the VCs would exit dump tokens on unsuspecting retail investors. Rinse and repeat.
It is likely that most VC backed crypto project will fail. They are centralized pump and dump schemes to enrich VCs and founders. They are very likely securities and the SEC will eventually take action.
What makes a token a security (in the US)?
The Howey Test is used to determine whether an instrument qualifies as an “investment contract” for the purposes of the Securities Act (in the United States): “a contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party.”
Why does all this matter? I do not believe the NoM community can rely on the “efforts of the promoter” i.e. founding devs, to overtly develop the network. We are a community run project with no VC backing. We are not a security and should make every effort to stay that way. As Mr. Kaine has said, the founding devs are in the community. They are likely writing code as anons or maybe as n00bs who come and go. We don’t know who they are and never will.
I believe all this means we cannot expect Mr. Kaine to publicly coordinate the project. That is the community’s job. And this is why I think Kaine left out any discussion of Sentinels.
F that, wen Sentinels
That brings us to Zenon Network. So wen article, wen sentinel, wen Phase I. In February 2022, Mr. Kaine answered this question.
My guess is Mr. Kaine is working on the Sentinel implementation and we will learn about it in 2023. But I suspect everything else in his recent article will be a community initiative: smart contract layer, NFT standard, unikernels…. So if we want to build out this network faster we can start by attracting more community developers. Is that possible? Yes.
This got me thinking about everything we accomplished in 2022.
- 10 SDKs either delivered or under active development
- A professional Zenon pitch book
- A ZIP Framework
- Continuous development of Zenon.tools
- New web tools such as Zenonhub.org
- HTLC testcode and SDK implementation
- Ongoing research for the new NFT standards
- Two wallets under development (Browser Extension and Mobile Wallet)
- Development of S Y R I U S to improve functionality
- Decentralized 2-way bridge based on threshold signature schemes (TSS) is under community development
- Zenon.org is creating a marketing framework and community website to increase community awareness and adoption
- New community forum at forum.zenon.org
- Ongoing marketing and awareness initiatives on Telegram
- Countless pieces of art, graphics, icons, memes, videos and cool shit from the community
Many of these accomplishments are in addition to what was written in the Official Article. And the community delivered this with NO VC backing.
wen article highlights
I wanted to point out a few important points from the Official Article.
This new and critical phase is not conditioned by any external factors such as time, price, or market conditions, but on the ecosystem’s diversity & value regarding transparency, fairness, and a technical upper hand for this state-of-the-art leaderless network.
Translation, the devs are going to go at their speed to accomplish the stated goals: slow.
While the Bitcoin Taproot network upgrade was activated over a year ago on mainnet, reaching the next halving with Zenon users being able to use Bitcoin must be one of the main priorities among the interoperability objectives, and some HyperCore nominees are greatly advancing in this direction.
The next Bitcoin halving happens around March 24, 2024. We should target Bitcoin interoperability by then.
DEX & on-ramps: develop and deploy decentralized exchanges, and create on-ramps and digital marketplaces leveraging the NoM infrastructure.
Mr. Kaine seems to be more interested in a DEX than CEX listing. Otherwise he would have mentioned it.
Marketing Framework: develop effective funnels based on a structural & functional master plan for attracting new users to learn, use & develop on NoM.
Zenon.org is working on this and it should have a positive impact on attracting users and developers.
The latest cryptocurrency meltdown should reinforce again the fact that we should only focus on trustless and decentralized technologies, which stand at the core of Zenon.
Focus on building a DEX app.
NoM is blended with real builders, and bear markets represent the best opportunity to step up and create real value.
We have 16 months until the next Bitcoin halving and I think the bear market will last through 2023 or maybe longer. Don’t believe me, watch this clip from Jim Rogers. The community needs to build hard for 16 months and be ready to deliver by the next Bitcoin halving.
My parting thoughts
I am 100% focused on delivering as much value to the Zenon Network echosystem as possible. And we have many amazing community members who choose to engage and donate time because their efforts do not enrich VCs or founders. How many other crypto projects can say the same?
So wen Sentinel? Zoon! And when you want a laugh, look at this amazing logo. It never gets old!