Live Q&A #1: Video Highlights, Podcast and Transcript

We hosted a live Q&A session, where we gave the community the opportunity to engage and reach out directly to the AppCoins founders (Paulo Trezentos and Álvaro Pinto) with questions and doubts that have been in their minds. The focus of the session was “AppCoins Vision and Token Economics” but the founders also covered some technical aspects, such as scalability in the blockchain and the current AppCoins proof-of-concept code available on GitHub.

We would like to thank everyone who was locked during the session, and to everyone that sent their questions live.

For those who missed it live, here are the main highlights from the session:

Live Q&A #1 — Main Highlights Video

You can also find the full audio of the session on the Soundcloud player below, and the full transcript after the jump.

Live Q&A #1 — Full Audio Podcast

Live Q&A #1 — Full Transcript

Host — Claudia Fernandes (CF): Hello, my name is Claudia and I’m here with the AppCoins founders, Paulo Trezentos and Alvaro Pinto. We’ve gathered here today to host a live Q&A session to answer some of the questions from our community regarding the vision and token economics of AppCoins.

This will be your opportunity to join in and ask the AppCoins founders anything regarding the protocol, so please join our Telegram group by searching for AppCoins official and we’ll be happy to address your questions for the next hour.

Paulo Trezentos is the Aptoide CEO and Alvaro Pinto is Aptoide COO, and by being the backbone of AppCoins, Aptoide will be the first app store to implement the AppCoins protocol.

So, to start off, we’ve been getting this question a lot, as to many people that first joined our a Telegram group, or just found out about us, they always ask:

What was the motivation behind AppCoins, and why do we think that it was a good idea to come up with a solution for the for some of the major issues in the app economy. Would you like to answer that?

Guest — Paulo Trezentos (PT): Hello everyone. We’ve been in app store business for 8 years now, since 2009, and we have seen that there are a major show stoppers in the industry, and having a player with 90% of the market makes it harder to innovate.

We identified the tree flows that we think reduce the lack of trust between the players in the ecosystem: 1. Advertising, 2. In-app purchases and 3. App vetting. We discovered that the blockchain technology could bring trust to those three flows, that it could bring efficiency to those three flows, and also transparency. By applying Blockchain to that, we hope to completely change the way that users, but also as developers get revenue from the app stores and app monetization. Finally, we also will be able to give OEMs a new revenue source, by pre-loading app stores in their devices.

Guest — Alvaro Pinto (AP): Just to complement what Paulo said, since the beginning of the Aptoide, the goal was always to be open and decentralized in some way. Applying the Blockchain technology to app stores is a natural step for us, because, Aptoide has always been an app store which is “community based” and it’s completely decentralized –in Aptoide you have these multiple stores — and, like Paul mentioned we have several flows that we’be been analyzing in the last five or six years of the project, that are not are efficient, and they need to be. We need to make them better, not only from the user’s perspective, but also from the advertiser’s perspective, the developers perspective and also from the manufacturer’s. That is, to bring this new technology to a project that was, since the beginning, quite open and based on a community.

CF: You mentioned that Aptoide will be, I assume, the first one to adopt AppCoins. Do you think do that other app stores will also adopt the protocol, both iOS and Android?

AP: We hope so. It’s an open protocol so we’re developing this for any app store that wants to benefit from the AppCoins protocol, which means that any app store can use it to be completely open and transparent, and even we’ll launch it, of course, on Aptoide. Because we’re developing the technology on a first stage, but the idea is to later on move everything to a foundation, which will continue to promote and develop the technology. So we want to make sure this is independent any app stoer and which means that anyone that wants to use it in in an app store on in any other app economy flow, they can use it. It’s completely open, and the idea is to bring all the app stores to the protocol. Of course, we are an Android the app store, so it means that probably, on the Android side, we have already several app stores running today for Android devices. It means that it will be easier on Android than on iOS, of course, it will always depend on Apple. If they see a benefit on the technology, if they see that this makes sense for them, for the future, probably they will join this, or use Blockchain somehow.

PT: I fully agree. Your question was, “will other app stores follow Aptoide adopting the AppCoins protocol” and I think there are two aspects there are important: The first one is, if their interests are aligned, and I firmly believe that the interests of other app stores are aligned, because they have the same pains that we have, they have the same challenges, the same opportunities. So I would say that the other app stores are fully aligned with the protocol, because they do feel the same pains and the same challenges and opportunities. The second point is, if they trust the protocol, not Aptoide. And in fact, they don’t need to trust Aptoide, because they just need to trust the blockchain the technology as the blockchain is public, as the blockchain is transparent as the blockchain is solid cryptographically. This means that they can look into the code, they can look into the smart contracts and see, yes it’s a neutral technology.

CF: Thank you. We have two questions from George Miller, the first one is:

A big part of your ICO project scalability as many others is dependable on technologies like Raiden, that are still in development and in very early stages, what’s your relationship and thoughts on this project?

PT: Hey George! Yeah I think it’s a good question. Everybody thinks about scalability and talks about scalability in Ethereum and in Blockchain in general and we have been talking with the Raiden guys, we have been talking since about two weeks ago we met In their country, in Mexico, and we are also looking into other technologies that can bring scalability.

We don’t think that scalability is only a problem for the AppCoins protocol. It’s a problem for the entire Blockchain community, but we have seen very interesting breakthroughs in this area. We have seen projects like Omisego, based on Plasma, we have seen sharding presented by Vitalik in the DefCon3 keynote talk and there is a lot of breakthroughs. There is Zilliqa project, in Singapore, which have been talking about state sharding in network sharding. Very interesting concepts as well. So we do think that in our aggressive roadmap of deploying that for our dev users, beta users in six months, we will have the kind of scalability tools we need today and we’ll be able to be ready by then.

CF: We have one question from user “Teaching People” on Telegram:

Will one be entitled to trade or exchange any amount of his or her AppCoins on the exchange site, or holders of the coin will be restricted to use only a small percentage of their a APPC coins for the purpose of trading or exchanging into fiat currency?

AP: The first and main purpose of this is to use the token within the apps ecosystem, and so to provide services and products that the end user can buy from the developers or the OEM. So the idea is to use it within the ecosystem, but of course it’s also important to be able to trade it, so we are in talks with several exchanges for them to be able to support AppCoins, and for the users to be able to trade those AppCoins. So, it’s not closed yet. We didn’t launch the sale yet, as you know. But it’s something we are negotiating and talking with the exchanges and we’ll define this in the next few weeks hopefully.

CF: So that’s good news. We have another one from George that I forgot to mention before:

What are your thoughts on Amazon coins, and although they’re not a blockchain based solution, do you think that digital money can be seen as a threat to the AppCoins project?

PT: The gold coins from Amazon have existed for some time now, more than two years I would say, and I think it’s a good project, it’s a good idea. I would say that blockchain, Ethereum, and AppCoins are debt, it’s all digital money, but it’s also a lot of other things. In my opinion, even more important that the digital currency part it to have smart contracts that code business rules for instance. If a user is paying a developer and doesn’t need to go to a bank, and then to Google, and then Google waits 30 days to pay the developer. Sometimes it pays, sometimes they might not pay, depending on their own, Google rules, and so on. And who says Google says other players, like Amazon or Aptoide. If it’s coded in a smart contract, both the developer and the user, and the app store, they all know the rules and the smart contract is executed on the fly. If a user is paying a developer for gems, the developer receives your money directly. That is something that digital currency like gold coins are not able to execute, but the blockchain can deliver.

CF: We’ve also been getting a lot of questions about the vesting period of tokens, for the team and the AppCoins foundation. Could you address this?

AP: Okay, so we defined some rules for vesting, to make sure that we don’t have a very high fluctuation in terms of the value of AppCoins, in the early stage. So we have a vesting of twelve months for the our team, and regarding the foundation, what happens is that the foundation will only be incorporated in a year’s time. We will start to operate, and of course we defined some rules, not only in terms of vesting but also in terms of usage of the different AppCoins that we are distributing. For example, for bootstrap we are defining rules for the number of AppCoins that should be used for bootstrapping, along a longer period of time, because it’s really important to handle these to make sure that this makes sense and to make sure that the valuation of AppCoins is more or less stable. So we don’t have many problems in terms of the value fluctuation.

CF: That was one of the big ones actually, so that’s good that we addressed it here. We have another one, about the project itself. Could tell us a bit about the vision for the next three years with respect to the project?

PT: There are two billion people using smartphones. In three or four years there will be four billion people using smartphones. From those two billion people today, 84% use Android. From those 84% that uses Android, Google Play is used in 90% of the cases. Aptoide and other app stores are being used in 3% or 4% of those cases. In four year’s time, we expect to see that the AppCoins protocol supports 30–40% of all the transactions that happen inside Android, so that’s a good and ambitious goal. To reach that goal, we have not only to consolidate all the independent app stores, which include Aptoide but also Yandex in Russia, Cafe Bazaar in Iran, 9Apps in India, Amazon. All of these mean 10% of the market. From those 10% with these blockchain powered features could grow to 40% in 2030. So the vision for the AppCoins protocol is to power the app store of the future, to bring new features and to be able to reach 30–40 % of the market in three, four or five year’s time.

CF: Also regarding the token. What was the rationale behind the token structure of AppCoins? Could you tell us a bit about it and how it is distributed?

AP: Sure. Okay, we spoke with the blockchain community and people with experience on ICOs, and of course, our own advisors, to be able to establish this structure. So we have 40% of the the tokens being available on the pre-sale and sale. Then we have, for the bootstrapping — that is, to promote this among the developers and OEMs for them to use the protocol — we have 20% of the tokens. Then 15% will remain with Aptoide, to develop all the technology, because in the first stage, it will be Aptoide developing the protocol of course, and promoting it somehow. Then another 15 percent for the AppCoins Foundation, which will be a lot, and of course they will go to the foundation as soon as it is incorporated. Finally, we have 10% that will go to the advisors and contributors, so we’re relying on lots of people, not only on the technical side, but in terms of business development too, to be able to structure this project and of course we’re also distributing some tokens among these advisors and contributors, and I think I didn’t forget anyone.

CF: As the user base of AppCoins protocol grows in size, the projection is for the token to follow that growth. Do you think this is a reality, or will we face any challenges with that? How do you see the development and growth of the token as soon as we hit exchanges?

PT: Appreciation of the token is something important for every investor, for every contributor of a token. I would say that the value of the token or the appreciation of the token is aligned with the growth of the network value. App stores are a network, and networks are individuals that do transactions between them. They buy things, they advertise, and so on. This is a big network, because we will start with 200 million users, but there is a 2 billion people potential for the network. So as we are increasing the connectivity of the network, as we are increasing the liquidity of the token, the appreciation the token will rise as well. Every time that someone asks what I should I look when I do investment in an ICO, I always tell them the three questions I ask. The first one is to ask how big is the market, and the app store market is 40 billion dollars per year market. The second one is how important is the role of the token in the market. Saying that a developer inside this market only advertises with AppCoins. Saying that a user to buy gems inside Clash of Clans or other game must use AppCoins, it means that the AppCoin token plays an important role. The third question is, if the team or the teams in this case, are able to deliver the tokens into the market. Regarding that it’s obvious that not only Aptoide but also all the other app stores that will follow, for sure, are able to deliver those tokens into the market.

CF: Related to that, we have a question on Telegram, which is:

A big part of the current worldwide population do not own a credit card, but even a bigger portion do not own Ethers or any ERC 20 token based currency. This is a common challenge for all ICOs, but nowadays it takes some work and education to enter in the crypto world, so how do you see the success of AppCoins in the world of fiat currencies?

AP: Well, I think the problem today is that most of the mobile users don’t invest on apps and so for example, on in-app purchases, we only have like 5% of the global market doing in-app purchases. And this means that there’s a huge potential to grow and our experience tell us that credit cards and other payment methods are not available in many countries and especially on the emerging markets, where we have a very strong user base, like Latin America or Asia or Middle East even Africa. So these users don’t have access to PayPal, credit card, and the traditional digital payment methods. So we need an alternative, and of course, the way we are structuring AppCoins makes it easy, and the flows we are thinking about to enable, in terms of payments, makes it easy for the emergent markets and people in those countries to do in app-purchases.

CF: Here’s a question from Moma on Telegram:

What kind of problem, market deficiency or opportunity inspired you to launch your project? How will your project address this problem, market deficiency or opportunity in a unique way?

So, this has to do with a lot about with the with the inspiration and motivation behind the idea like we already spoke about, but would you like to add something else?

PT: I’d say that, if there is a market with a huge impact, like app stores, and that market has flaws — for example: two weeks ago, we heard on the news about a fake Whatsapp in Google Play, for several days, and that there was more than 1 million people that downloaded that fake app — so clearly, we have a problem here. The app stores are directing the users to fake apps. In the other end, as Alvaro was describing, the app economy is still very inaccessible for some users, in terms of doing in-app purchases, even if they have the financial power to buy things. These are the kind of opportunities we see for the blockchain technology to deliver value. There are other issues that the blockchain is not yet able to solve. This will be a path that the blockchain and the AppCoins protocol will take. It will not be able to solve everything in the first minute. What we know is that, within the existent user base, and with these two different flows: advertising and in-app purchases, we are able to circulate the AppCoins very fast and very efficiently.

CF: We have one other question about the project. Some users have compared AppCoins with Basic Attention Token. Are they competitors of AppCoins?

AP: We were inspired by Basic Attention Token. So it’s not something we created. This flow, that we described before, for advertising. We think it’s a really great idea, we just picked this idea and tried to implement it in a different context. That’s it. So, Basic Attention Token is primarily designed for the web experience and we are proposing this within the app store experience and the app economy. But we use the same concept of the attention of the user as the basic solution for advertising, because the campaign models like CPI — Cost per Installation, are the most popular for apps. But they aren’t working properly. There are several problems. The developers are not benefiting from it and it’s not a transparent process. Even the app stores could also get much more benefit if this flow was done in the right way. The attention model seems to be a very good solution for this, providing a simple, but effective way to do advertising.

CF: Another question regarding other ICOs. Do you think it’s risky to use Raiden, a new project still being developed, to base your ICO on?

PT: We are doing proof of concepts. You can go to our Github and check the code of the mRaiden integration micro write and integration and verify that what we’re doing. In six months’ time, when we start to roll out Aptoide versions of the protocol into beta users, it’s not guaranteed that it would be Raiden. We have been talking with OmiseGO, as well as other projects. So, for the time being, I would separate between these two things. Some transactions that go directly to the blockchain because they we can afford it, in terms of transaction time, in terms of transaction fee, in terms of scalability. I’m thinking about buying something. If it’s something that can go today the Ethereum network, and things that really need a scale approach. For those things, the technology is not yet defined. The protocol is very well defined it but gives enough flexibility in terms of the technical implementations. So I’ll say that scalability is an issue, for sure, but in the next month there are different projects going on and AppCoins and the AppCoins compliant app stores will choose the best one that better fits their needs.

CF: Following that question, could you please talk a bit more about the roadmap of AppCoins, what will be the next step and when do you plan on launching the AppCoins protocol to be used by all the intervenient?

AP: As Paulo mentioned, we’re already developing and testing the technology. Of course it’s still an early stage technology. We need to make sure that it’s usable in terms of scalability, of security. The idea is to develop a first version, an MVP, in the next six months and then launch this on Aptoide within 12 months and of course, in the meantime we’ll also try to promote this among other players, like OEMs, and other app stores. It will depend on them to also start using the protocol but we expect that after this first year, which will be mostly the development of the first version of the protocol, and the bootstrap, we’ll have more players in the market using it.

PT: Just to complement. It all sounds like it’s a little bit in the future. But for the ones that are interested, they probably saw the tweets that the AppCoins community team has done about the first transaction of an in-app purchase directly in the blockchain. The team already produced a proof-of-concept where someone using a game or playing a game could buy things and you would pay in a ERC 20 token, an AppCoin. And that would be registered in the blockchain, and there was a smart contract that is in the blockchain. Both in the main network and in Robston network that you can check. The smart contract already splited the margins between the developer, the App Store and the OEM. There are already proof of concepts, the code is in Github, go there and check it.

CF: We will be posting more about that and also as a way to explain it better to the people, our tech team is also helping us, the community team, on providing more details on how we did it, and how it is actually possible to implement the protocol. We have a question from “Naz”. He’s asking what happens to unsold coins in the ICO, are they getting burned?

AP: That’s it. Precisely. So, we won’t have these coins, of course. They will be burned.

CF: For all of those who have read the white paper and are still on the fence about contributing to to our ICO, what can you tell them that could lead them to buy into the into the project?

AP: Okay, first of all, this project is backed up by Aptoide, which as we mentioned before, is running in this business of app stores for quite a long time. We’ve learnt a lot in in these years and we really understand what the problems and the constraints that exist in the market. We also have a user base. The project we launched a few years back, Aptoide, which is a community driven app store, proved to be a solid project because we reached 200 million active users. So we’re launching this based on our knowledge about the apps market and the app distribution. I think is this is one of the few blockchain projects out there that have a good idea, but also a very good support, since day one, which means that we have the team to develop it, we have the experience in this market and we have the user base to be able to bootstrap it to make this happen in a shorter period of time

PT: Fully agreed. I’ve said that in the rational side, all the points are there: team, market size, a reasonable hard cap and so on. I also just add the non-rational side: for all the dreamers that think that we can disrupt markets, that we can break monopolies, we can give leaps in terms of how we interact with the technology. App stores can be much better than they are, and if they believe, as we believe, that blockchain could be the piece of technology that would do this kind of disruption, and game-changing thing, investing in ICO is the best way. Not only to contribute to that, but to participate and interact with the people and be one of the people that are building it.

CF: We have another question from George:

Knowing that in-app billing usually has purchases of really small values do you think the fees can be so small that it won’t be more expensive than other payment methods?

PT: Transaction fees are real concern from us. We think that if the in-app purchase is around $3-$4, the current Ethereum network transaction fee might be pretty reasonable. So, with a small gas limit and eventually multiple tries. We think that sharding or state channels are really important to that, because you can buy different things in a week, for instance. And then we could aggregate, in a payment channel — a state channel, and settle to the main network. So, I’d say that transaction fees have to be solved by such networks, or state channels. But you are right, transaction fees are one of the major concerns to be feasible, to do the in-app purchase over the blockchain.

CF: We have another question here about MAS regulations on ICOs, and we know that AppCoins is based in Singapore, so how do you see the new Singapore MAS regulations on ICOs announced yesterday? How does it impact our project?

AP: From what we understood, these new regulations are mainly applicable to crypto securities. We have two kinds of tokens: the utilities and the securities. Our token, AppCoins, is a token which is a utility. We are saying it but we are also backed up by our lawyers in Singapore, which have the experience of being involved in other ICOs, and they are very much into these new regulations. It’s their opinion that this is the kind of token that this new regulation doesn’t apply to. So, it means that when people buy AppCoins they are buying something that will be able to give them access to new products and services that we are being launched. They are not shareholders of any company. Not Aptoide. Not AppCoins foundation. It’s about using the token to purchase products or services.

CF: One question about the AppCoins protocol:

When it’s launched, how can users buy AppCoins once the protocol is adopted by app stores?

PT: Good question. There are three ways to get AppCoins: the first one is to buy AppCoins through an exchange with a prepaid card. So this is buying AppCoins and we can do it through the exchange with the credit card, we can do it with prepaid cards, but it’s buying. The second one is to receive it from another user, so when you are using the app store you can send money from phone to phone using the App Store and from my wallet it goes to Alvaro’s wallet in real time. The second way is to transfer it from another user and then I can pay fiat money to the other user, or I just can say thank you to him. The third and last is way of acquiring AppCoins it to earn them. So you can earn coins by installing sponsored apps and to give them a two minutes attention. Regarding these three points, there are different variations, for instance you can buy coins using the Kyber network, using our other virtual currencies. Do having these three use cases we will try to make it easier and easier for the users to buy coins but it gives a good picture.

CF: Another question on Telegram, we’ve also been getting this a lot:

Do we already have a set date for the ICO, for the main sale to start? How long will it last and what are our plans until the end of the year?

AP: We will close the pre-sale next Monday, so that’s for sure. Our plan is to launch the main sale as soon as possible. But we don’t have a set date, for now. And we are not sure yet how long it should be. A few weeks of course, but it’s not closed yet. We’ll announce this as soon as possible.

CF: Regarding the pre-sale, how much have we been able to gather so far? We’ve been also getting a lot of questions about this and people have been asking for some transparency on the numbers. We have a counter on our website, but would you like to just say something about it?

PT: we have we have to see these in terms of the different kind of investors. There are small investors which are the ones that can invest until $5,000, and we have to remember that only Android developers, OEM manufacturers and Aptoide users are eligible to invest. Now, the other crypto investors, investors that invest in different ICOs, are not necessarily from the Android ecosystem. Our team puts a lot of effort in guaranteeing that the small investors, the Android community, the ICO community, were able to invest. Until now, we were able to get 600 different investors and raise 900K USD of investment from small investors. This is much more than what we expected, and now we are starting to talk with crypto investors to also be able to participate in the ICO. We prefer to do these in two phases, just to be sure that we could focus at first in the Android community and then in the Crypto investors. But some people ask, okay, if it’s such a great project, why don’t you have millions already. We will have those meetings and it’s easier to get crypto investors on board than the small investor community that sometimes don’t know how to buy the tokens and so on. Now that we have everything going, and we’ve been receiving feedback, very important feedback, in Telegram, about the things that don’t work, things that can work better, we will focus now in bringing crypto investors on board because they are an important part of the ICOs of course.

CF: We still have a few minutes, people are still very engaged. Regarding the pre-sale, why did you choose to close the pre-sale to the Aptoide community and what are your plans for the ICOs?

AP: We think it’s important to have this community that is backing up the project. Since the early days and we believe that we should give them some priority over all the investors. It’s important that other investors also participate, but of course the people that engage with the Aptoide community, and have been using it for the last few years, we owe them this and that was our decision. As Paulo was saying, we wanted to have this feedback from the community. Let’s see if they really believe in the project, if they want to somehow invest in it, and we are seeing good results, and now we can move. Of course, we will also sell to crypto investors and it will be open to anyone that wants to get their AppCoins.

CF: Thank you, we also have a question from a Bitcoin talk user: Are you planning to expand AppCoins into other types of apps, for instance, Steam games?

PT: The protocol is something that is alive. That is, it can have different versions, different evolutions. In the last few days we’ve seen very interesting contributions. That is a very interesting contribution. Another one could be for the protocol to also support other things like the advertising auction or it could also support the management of digital items inside the apps. So, imagine this, I have a sword. Imagine that the AppCoins protocol supports a feature that allows me to sell this sword to another person, or the gems to other person. Maybe the protocol may add this in the future, in the next versions. Maybe it will support these kinds of things. For the time being, the team that drafted the protocol, the team that forged the protocol focused on the core flows of the app store, and these were well identified flows. From that point forward, let’s increase it, and let’s make it even more interesting and broad.

CF: Makes sense, thank you. From Martha on Telegram:

Will our product prices be set in AppCoins, and how will you handle the fluctuation of the AppCoins value?

AP: Oh, that’s a good question. Yes, the price will be set in AppCoins, but we’re still discussing how to handle any fluctuation, of course it can be dynamic, makes sense, but we need to figure out how to make sure that we don’t have very high drops or price rises. Because of this fluctuation, we are discussing it, and probably it will be dynamic. But it’s not closed yet.

PT: Maybe as a brainstorming, just to add to the discussion, what we are talking about, for instance, appreciation. If the value of the token gets a too high appreciation, the users might not use it. Because it’s an asset, and they can have a better return on investment. So, they might keep it. That’s one concern that we have been discussing with blockchain experts. Another thing is the user experience. Are the users really able to understand that the five gems cost when its AppCoins. So we are discussing other solutions in terms of UX. When buying something we could have the AppCoins value and its current value in fiat currency. But this is more UX rather than protocol, so it’s up to the app store to figure that out. We can also propose that, to get a better user experience.

CF: Another one from Naz:

How would you prevent the App Store’s from hoarding the AppCoins and decreasing the circulating supply?

PT: That’s a good point. We can’t. That’s the blockchain rights. There are wallets and wallets. The owners of the wallets can decide it but it’s also game theory and incentives. What is the incentive of the store to keep the coins? Is it for its appreciation? Yes it can happen, but then again, it isn’t the app store core business. The core business of an app store is to provide applications and to support transactions inside the app store. If they kept the tokens than the core business of the app store’s would be investors and not providing the users with a good store experience. I’d say that is not aligned what the app stores are. There is no incentives for app stores to be investors, rather than doing their own job, which is creating a good user experience.

AP: Just complementing what Paulo was saying, one of our concerns with the pre-sale was to the spread AppCoins among users. As many people as possible. The idea is not to have like two or three big investors which control the market. Our goal is to spread among many people, because we’re talking about small, in many cases or most of the cases, small investments from the users, like small purchases, like $1-$2 today, which will correspond to 10–20 AppCoins. The idea is to make sure that this is really widespread and it means that the control over the token and its value is not in the hands of just a couple of investors.

CF: Makes sense. A tricky one here:

Are you afraid of getting attacked from advertising agencies and other middlemen? This ICO destroys a lot of current businesses.

AP: Well, I would say, of course. If you are cutting middlemen, they won’t be happy with it. That’s for sure. But happen this happens in so many industries. We need to innovate and we need to provide better services to the users and to the different business partners and that’s the idea behind it. We don’t want to take these people of out the business. In fact, itt means that they can also, if they see that this adds value, they can also participate in the project. We have margin for many attacks from companies in this new environment, and if we succeed, it may also create a space for so many developments and innovations on top of it. And they will be part of it. That’s the idea.

PT: I just want to add this: Let’s see the blockchain for what it proposes: to disrupt, to bring other business models and to bring other things with this technology. If uber was afraid of the the taxis, of the cabs, it would never exist. If Netflix was afraid of video clubs, it would never exist. So, if we are afraid of the current incumbents, the current competitors, the things will not go forward. In this case we’re not only saying that we are competing with ourselves. We are competing with the current app stores. We have 200 million users but we’re not afraid to take the risks and to put some of the core flows of those 200 million in a technology that we idealized. This project has strong community behind it, so if we‘re convinced of the value of this technology, if we’re convinced about the team aiming higher, it will always go well.

CF: Here’s a question from Benedetto on YouTube. He’s asking about exchanges. I think we already answered this, but will AppCoins be listed in exchanges and when?

AP: Okay, yes, we’ve answered this before. We are of course in contact with several exchanges, and to see how we can be listed. It’s something we cannot announce today but we are working on it and probably later on.

PT: I just wanted to add that we have to be listed on January 1st, or the first day after the ICO. And maybe, in the meantime we could perhaps announce if they are already closed,

because we feel that the community has a strong concern about that. As Alvaro was saying, we are working on it, but our deadline is 1st of January, or the first day after the ICO, or the first day after the tokens be distributed, to be a little bit clearer on that. And the second thing is that we have a group of exchanges already closed. We will announce even without being listed just for the users to be also aware of that.

CF: Another one about advisors. This time is:

Are you still looking for advisors and what’s the criteria for choosing them?

AP: Yes, we’re always open to more advisors If they make sense for the project. We try to have advisors on the different perspectives of the blockchain. On the technology side but also business-wise. How to implement this and make sure that we have a good transaction flow with AppCoins. So, we are open of course — we have more advisors especially in areas that maybe are not fully covered and even we have some advisors that will stay with us. Not only for the ICO but for a longer period. That is, one year or two years. So they will help to not only develop the first versions of the protocol, but also to evolve, to make sure that we evolve in the right direction in terms of the technology we are using.

CF: Another one on Bitcoin talk, our announcement thread is getting a lot of questions as well.

Could you elaborate on Proof-of-attention, and why two minutes?

PT: Interesting question, difficult answer. So, for each app there are these tipping points where the user becomes fully aware of what the app does. It’s impossible to say it’s 2 minutes, 3 minutes or 1 minute because it’s different from app to app, from game to game. What we have been doing internally, with some focus groups, was to try to measure the right timing, and 2 minutes, on average, is the moment when the users started to understand the mechanics of the app, or the dynamic of the game. These are very interesting contributions from the community and from advisors about eventually extending these two actions to not only 2 minutes, but if the user does an action. It then triggers the payments. While we were drafting the protocol, the first guideline was for it to be simple for everybody. That is, for people investing in the protocol and for everybody that is developing the protocol to understand. When we get to this first stage of people already understanding the protocol well we can move to the second stage. Which is to extend the protocol, to be more usable, to be more useful and that’s the second step.

CF: Now going back to the bootstrap:

How will the bootstrap impact the AppCoins appreciation. Can you control it? Is it good for investors?

AP: The bootstrap will be using of course the AppCoins, to enable the usage of the protocol among different players, but it will be something that will not be done in one day it, will take years. And so, we’ll be investing in some flows and promoting some other by giving to the different players some extra coins. For example, for them to use it. So we don’t think this will have a direct, immediate impact in the in the valuation of the AppCoins. But of course if the bootstrap bring more players to this market, if we have more app stores besides Aptoide, if we have OEMs in line with us, if we have more developers on our side, of course this will be a much larger market, and this means that in the midterm or long term, it will definitely impact the valuation of AppCoins positively.

PT: Fully agreed. I would just like to add that it was the bootstrap was carefully crafted in order to be sure that we would not flood the market without coins nobody wants. So, we’re talking about 4% of tokens every year for five years. As Alvaro was saying, this is a long time, five years. And you are asking, is that good for the investors? I think it is. Because if we bring new users to AppCoins there will be more people buying AppCoins. The first time they are offered. The second time they buy AppCoins, and they trigger its demand. We can’t forget that appreciation is a reasoning between demand and supply. The supply is fixed. No more tokens will be issued. We need to generate demand. Let me give you an example. If a user buys something with one AppCoins, we top up with another coin and he has to buy something from the developers. If a developer integrates and earns two AppCoins, we double that. To incentivize users to invite other users to the platform they earn AppCoins when they invite. But also the OEMs to integrating the ecosystem: If we bring more and more OEMs, more and more developers, the demand for the coin will increase.

CF: Is there a big risk of token dump once AppCoins hits the exchanges? Some ICOs have lost a lot of value. What are you doing to stop this?

AP: We’ve implemented some vesting periods on our side, for example, the tokens being distributed among the team and contributors. And of course, we have some lock periods also for some of the tokens. We don’t believe it will happen in the first stage but we will add more measures if necessary. One of the things that it is really important for this, is to distribute tokens among different people, and to not have this in the hands of just a few investors. That’s something that will make a difference, definitely, otherwise someone can just buy this to try to sell their tokens. And this will have a huge impact, if we have this more spread around many users and many investors, it will not be possible, and this won’t happen of course.

CF: That’s it for today, and thank you for joining us, we’ll be having more updates as soon as the ICO launches. We’ll be giving you an official date very soon and we’ll then be hosting another Q&A session with our dev team. So, thank you for joining us and see you next time!

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The first ICO serving 200 million users to create a trusted economy without intermediaries. Supported by Aptoide App Store. Learn more:

The first ICO serving 200 million users to create a trusted economy without intermediaries. Supported by Aptoide App Store. Learn more: