With the year coming to a wrap, I figured it might be about time to post a handful of updates to the people who have expressed interest in this platform in 2021.
First, I want to touch on a subject that has come up a handful of times as to the project’s origin, how that changed since April 2021 and what the future holds.
The initial concept came from a pain point I was and still have.
I’m into DeFi, no two ways about it, but it’s an incredibly time-inefficient activity. Go to vfat tools, explore yields, listen to crypto Twitter and more discord channels than I care to admit to being a member of. Ape into high yield APY farms. Track gas fees. Reallocate capital, build strategies, etc. etc. etc. While I’ve made updates to my workflow, the volume of data, the time required to look through it — active, efficient management of a multi-platform strategy wasn’t in the cards.
So being in the application building business, I decided to solve the problem for myself with an application. The only problem is, I’m strategy, product, growth. Not engineering, and even if I have the chops to launch a 💩 coin or build a web app of the same quality, a DeFi strategy builder was beyond my scope.
Looking for engineers is even more of a drag during COVID.
My regular network wasn’t up for the task, primarily because of misaligned skillsets. I didn’t have many Web3 engineers I could talk to; the few intros I received were fruitful from an overarching market trend pov. Conversations were intellectually stimulating, but most were also working on their own Web3 projects — and I had a lot of conversations, but there just wasn’t a good fit.
It was only towards the end of the summer that Ballast found its lead engineer, who put fort the baseline project architecture we have today.
This architecture centers around the poolDAO. We want the community to create investment strategies and provide our robots with direction on when to rebalance the asset pool and under what conditions.
From Robo-Advisor to Community MultiStrategy Asset Pools
From the onset, the platform was to be a robo-advisor, but conversations with venture, potential users, and engineering pivoted the core concept to multi-strategy asset pools. Web3 is all about people and community, and letting that same community create multi-strategy DeFi investment pools will likely see higher APYs than most individuals can build by themselves. Now open these strategies to the public, and you have impact.
With the poolDAO individuals or groups will be able to define their farming strategies and open them up to the community; the community participates and benefits from groupthink and expected returns higher than what the market offers. Win-win.
Launching the poolDAO is fundamentally mission 2022. V. 0.1 is deployed on Kovan and Rinkeby test nets, and a simple reblanacer is done but still needs to be integrated with the platform.
Looking to the future.
A production product is mission objective number one, but we will need additional resources to do this. Simply put, self-funding this further will not let us scale. So we require capital, and there are a few ways to do this:
- Ping VCs and network, sell a note, SAFT, or other instruments, put more money into attorneys fees, and move at the pace of molasses.
- Deploy a temporary token that will convert at a preferred rate to the Ballast token — post platform launch.
- Use less traditional fundraising routes such as a JuiceboxDAO or a fairmint/CAFE.
I can tell you that at the moment, we are leaning towards #2 and considering #3. The goal of this platform has always been decentralization, and we may as well take the first step in the same manner — more on this in the new year — but expect fundraising to end by Q1 2022.
Marketing, Copy, and Community
Two additional people are joining the team this winter; one will be leading copy, messaging, narrative, and community building, the other partnership, and institutional development.
Short term overhauls are:
- Messaging, website copy.
- Community building
- Outreach and information flow.
In 2021 a substantial amount of work went into partnership development — focused on retail integration of Ballast in two major geographies, Latin America and the European Union. While we choose to focus next year on the crypto native experience, we will continue conversations with these and other partners to implement the platform for business and retail and do it per local regulatory regimes. I can’t speak much more to this, but 2022 and beyond should be interesting.
That’s where we are today. For all who have joined our mailing lists, thank you. Thank you to all investors who have reached out and whom we’ve spoken to and have expressed interest in our platform. And an extra special thank you to the people who have joined our tumbleweed-ridden discord and telegram groups. 2022 will be an exciting year, looking forward to having you along for the ride, and I’m hopeful that sometime in Q2, we can say “go and build your strategies” to the community.