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Cryptomarketing in 2020: successful application of strategies from MLM and the beauty industry

Cryptomarketing in 2020: successful application of strategies from MLM and the beauty industry

Cryptomarketing in 2020: successful application of strategies from MLM and the beauty industry
Over the past decade, the crypto-industry has proven to be a unique industry with a specific audience, which requires a no less specific approach. In this regard, in 2020, the advertising activity of crypto companies is significantly different from that to which banks and various financial companies resort. Industry leaders prefer not to rely on traditional online advertising on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They follow a different path: they work with bloggers (opinion leaders and influencers), rely on MLM marketing referral programs and actively organize various contests and sweepstakes with generous prize pools. The CoinDesk portal claims that crypto marketing this year is strikingly reminiscent of marketing in the beauty industry, and here it is no less effective.

General concept

Michelle Fan, a blogger with a million YouTube subscribers, is using the same techniques to spread skin care life hacks and the idea of financial freedom through bitcoins. Moreover, she assures that the leaders of the crypto industry, like her, use marketing schemes from the beauty industry, even if they themselves do not know about it.
Both areas prefer to use the DTC (Direct to Customer) business scheme, independently creating and then promoting and selling goods / services, working as closely as possible with the community. Sales are built through aggregated retail platforms like Amazon, Etsy and Shopify, or even through accounts in popular social networks.
Industry leaders in developing countries often resort to the latter option, where large sites like Amazon simply don’t work or aren’t popular. For example, Michelle Haber, a bitcoin maximalist from Libya, made it clear in CoinDesk’s comment that social networks and chats are today the most effective way to distribute goods / services in crypto topics. He said that local traders in order to “educate” the audience help buy hardware wallets, selling them through groups on social networks. Buying yourself Trezor or Ledger in another way is often simply impossible.

Work with opinion leaders

Michelle Fan is not the only person from the crypto-community who notices the similarities with the beauty industry. So, Maria Paula Fernandez, who actively uses the services of the DeFi sector and is seriously interested in the topic of skin care, gave the CoinDesk portal a similar comment.
She notes that in both cases, society has become accustomed to relying on the opinion of society itself, rather than trusting the views of the world’s leading media. Therefore, in both sectors, the so-called influencers are very popular — opinion leaders and bloggers who disseminate information among their audience on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social networks, receiving a reward for this.
Crypto-companies very often, like firms from the beauty industry, provide their products to opinion leaders for review and further “instruction” of their subscribers. Maria Paula Fernandez does not see anything shameful in this. Observing the experience of bloggers, subscribers begin to acquire a kind of crypto-education and disseminate the information through the word of mouth. Thus, the crypto-community grows.
The most successful bloggers over time can count on sponsorship from one or another crypto company.
For example, the podcaster Marty Bent, whose show is now funded by Unchained Capital and Square, the developer of Cash App, witnessed this scenario. The latter, by the way, in addition to Bent sponsor also podcast Joe Rogan and rapper Lil B.
Many other large companies, including the Kraken exchange, have resorted to this strategy. They are just as interested in sponsoring reputable content creators who promote products among loyal subscribers. The U.S. exchange sponsors the Reckless VR crypto start-up, founded by Udi Wertheimer for crypto-conferences in virtual reality, and the famous podcast Peter McCormack, who launched his own media brand Defiance last year. Having started his career as a hobby, McCormack turned it into a business of his life, thanks to which he earned about $1 million for 2019.
With all this, working with bloggers is a great opportunity to enter foreign markets. This is understood at Crypto.com, where they use opinion leaders to attract the Russian-speaking and Turkish-speaking community. Does this approach give a result? Judge for yourself: over the past six months, the number of startup users has doubled and currently stands at more than 2 million people.

Referral Bonuses and MLM Marketing

The development of products within the community often turns into MLM marketing strategies, which require the presence of referral bonuses and bonuses “in depth” — favorite schemes of cosmetic brands. They use a multi-level reward system for attracting partners, where you can usually get a bonus not only for personally invited, but also for “friends of friends and their friends”. Thus, opinion leaders who distribute crypto products often receive a portion of the funds that people invited by them will pay for the product / service.
The relevance and effectiveness of the trend is confirmed by the fact that these methods are not shy to use not only crypto start-ups, but also top cryptocurrency companies, widely known throughout the industry. A prime example is SatoshiLabs, a company that manufactures and distributes Trezor wallets. The head of communications, Iva Fizerova, confirmed that she is actively resorting to “affiliate marketing” with bloggers as an alternative to paying them for direct advertising.
No less vivid examples are the largest crypto exchanges Binance and Gemini, which managed to succeed not without the help of referral systems copied from the multi-level marketing campaigns Avon and Mary Kay, which they have been using for decades.
Instagram blogger Chjango Unchained has been earning good bonuses for several months running after posting a referral link to Gemini on her profile. When her subscribers register on the exchange and buy cryptocurrencies worth more than $100, she receives $10 in BTC. According to her, she is doing a good deed. The blogger wants people who are interested in her opinion on digital money to start their crypto path on Gemini, and not, for example, on Coinbase, because the latter charges “crazy commissions”.
Referral system bonuses are a typical phenomenon for many crypto companies, and successful bloggers are happy to use this. A prime example is Michael Gu, known by the pseudonym Boxmining. It has been distributing information about digital money since 2012, having gathered an audience of more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 3,500 participants in Telegram chat during this time.
Despite the fact that the manufacturer of hardware wallets Ledger does not sponsor its activities, it places referral links in the video descriptions and collects voluntary donations from subscribers. As you might guess, he feels rather well. At the same time, he emphasized that user activity during the coronavirus pandemic is only growing, especially after YouTube began to put sticks in the wheels of the creators of crypto-content.

Gifts, contests and sweepstakes

Making a small gift is a great way to introduce an audience to a new product. In the cryptocurrency market, this has long been relevant.
Coin creators eagerly carry out airdrops and bounty campaigns, allowing the crypto community to test the new coin. A similar approach is popular in the beauty industry. Samplers of perfumes and branded magazines with smells have led many girls to buy full-fledged versions of the fragrance.
In addition to the cryptocurrency developers themselves, a similar approach is also used by cryptocompanies of a different direction, which cannot conduct airdrops due to their technical features (for example, this is true for manufacturers of hardware wallets). Therefore, they organize more classic contests and sweepstakes. For example, they play a wallet for reposting on social networks or videos published on YouTube.
It is noteworthy that cryptobrands in this area are even more active than cosmetics manufacturers. They work not only with trusted bloggers with many subscribers, but also help to become less “untwisted” users. Therefore, they periodically assist them in organizing draws in order to attract subscribers who could potentially become new customers.
Iva Fizerova from SatoshiLabs confirmed that Trezor manufacturers periodically help users attract new followers through the distribution of gifts. Moreover, this approach brings excellent results. By working with the community this way, they have managed to sell hundreds of thousands of wallets. But most importantly, a reputation of the brand has formed around the product, warmly received by the audience. And this effect is so strong that the company simply does not see the point in spending money on traditional expensive advertising.
Most importantly, despite all the problems of 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic, which seriously hit the global economy and, accordingly, people’s wallets, demand for products did not fall. This approach remains effective, while the percentage of successful conversions in traditional advertising has probably decreased. Fizerova noted that over the past three months they have recorded a steady increase in demand for goods. Moreover, they even had to solve delivery problems, if only the buyers got the desired devices in a timely manner.
A similar approach and results are observed with other manufacturers of hardware wallets. Thus, Rodolfo Novak, co-founder of Coinkite, confirmed the growth in demand for products, despite the pandemic. Working with the community is their main marketing strategy, because it really gives results. Over the past three years, they donated about 50 wallets to YouTube reviewers. Novak is proud that their “users help other users.” According to him, this approach allows you to sell products at a lower price, since the cost of goods does not include high costs for familiar marketing campaigns.

Are marketing strategies effective? More than

The cryptocurrency market relies on marketing strategies that have established themselves in the beauty industry, which in the new field are no less effective. Maximum performance is achieved with a killer combination of all three of the above methods. It’s about when the founders of cryptocompanies themselves become opinion leaders. Just look at Changpen Zhao, the head of Binance, or Justin Sun, the project manager of TRON. Both entrepreneurs are bloggers with a huge army of subscribers and are personally engaged in the promotion of their brands, regularly rewarding their audience with pleasant gifts.
It’s easy to guess why industry leaders rely mainly on this type of marketing. Advertising products in the traditional way is expensive, especially for startups, behind which there are still no attractive products with a good reputation. But more importantly, crypto products are quite complex in themselves, so they often need detailed explanations, which are difficult to implement in the framework of traditional advertising. Agree that selling a bottle of Fanta with a new taste is much easier than a hardware cryptocurrency wallet, especially since most people don’t understand what it is.
On top of that, regular advertising is complicated by the fact that media giants regularly block crypto content.
In such a situation, marketing borrowed from the beauty industry seems to be the most acceptable and most effective option. By focusing their marketing budgets on opinion leaders and working with the community, cryptocompanies achieve the desired result, even taking into account the coronavirus pandemic. The crypto community is getting bigger and stronger every day. But the best part is that this growth cannot be stopped.
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70+ crypto gateways for your store/business. How to choose and start accepting cryptocurrencies?

70+ crypto gateways for your store/business. How to choose and start accepting cryptocurrencies?
Nowadays cryptocurrencies become more and more popular among retail and service companies all over the world. By our statistics we observe monthly growth of stores, markets, services, websites accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment.
But so far there has not been a high-quality tool that would help you to choose right payment gateway with all necessary functions that you would like to implement into your business.
So, Cryptwerk.com comes to help you!
Our catalogue lists more than 70+ different companies with crypto processing service.
Use this link to enter the gateway directory.
https://cryptwerk.com/companies/payment-gateway/
1. Cryptocurrencies
You must first decide what cryptocurrencies you want to accept.
Use our filters to select those gateways that provide their service with the coins of your choice.
Cryptwerk currently lists 22 most popular cryptocurrencies:
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, XRP, Monero, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Tron, Digibyte, EOS, Qtum, Bitcoin Gold, NEO, Binance Coin, Decred, Verge, Groestlcoin, Bytecoin, Komodo.

https://preview.redd.it/eh44eqye8ze41.png?width=273&format=png&auto=webp&s=84f46f4405daba9923967e6977653ebaca21ac70
You can choose one or several coins, and our website will show you a list of gateways according to your request.
2. Interface
Modern gateways provide various types of services focused on various types of business
Wallet (web or application), ready-made plugins for CMS, various widgets & buttons, POS terminals for offline retailers, sending invoices by email or sms, donation functions.
https://preview.redd.it/0bxttzmg8ze41.png?width=254&format=png&auto=webp&s=239cd34d872377c2ff19edaaf79a74572e8f94fc
3. CMS plugins
This option is very useful for people who are using a Content Management System in their work with the website.
With our filters you can find a gateway with the ready-made solution for your CMS.
Thus, the installation will be very quick and easy!
Just look at the CMS list supported by cryptographic gateways:
aMember Pro, AppThemes, Arassta, bbPress, BIGcommerce, Blesta, BOX billing, CB paid, Checkfront, CS.cart, DJ-Classifieds, Drupal Commerce, Easydigitaldownloads, ECWID, Event espresso, EventBooking, GIVE donations, HikaSHop, HostCMS, HTML5, Imagine, J2 store, Jigoshop, Joomla, LOADED commerce, Magento, ocStore, Opencart, OScommerce, NATS4, NCR, nopCommerce, PaidMembershipsPro, Payplans, phpMySQL, Planyo, Poster, PrestaShop, RedShop, R_keeper, Shop-Script, Shopify, Shopware, SpreeCommerce, SPY, Sylius, TheCartPress, Thirty Bees, Tomato Cart, Typo3 Multishop, VirtueMart, UberCart, uCommerce, Unique free, Waimea business, WCmarketplace, WHMOS, WooCommerce, Wordpress, WP eCommerce, Wpmudev, XCART, ZENcart, 1С.
https://preview.redd.it/cukjy4wk8ze41.png?width=265&format=png&auto=webp&s=e4ef8a9ee89cfd93fb2aedf8290c73bce6df9354
4. Lightning network
Some gateways already use network lightning technology. Here you can filter out the companies that provide this service with Bitcoin and Litecoin.

https://preview.redd.it/3ffrhytm8ze41.png?width=264&format=png&auto=webp&s=1891680a37fcd431bbe32204021590d687bb491e
Using our catalogue and filters you can choose the exact payment gateway that will meet the needs of your business.
Also, here you can see the rating of payment gateways according to our data. The rating depends on gateway popularity among merchants registered on Cryptwerk.com
https://preview.redd.it/yh2p2dun8ze41.png?width=579&format=png&auto=webp&s=77c41d705ebd8f52f22de7d18b491b315850db92
We can mark first 5 companies that are most popular among our merchants.
You can safely use any of these gateways, each of which provides quality service proven by thousands of merchants.
We hope this article will be useful to all merchants who are thinking of starting to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other popular cryptocurrencies.
submitted by Cryptwerk to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

My response to recent concerns

Hey all,
I’ve spent some time during my flight back home to discuss in detail the experience in Singapore, what talked about, things the mods and team are working on, improvements that can be made and some other things too. This post has also had input from the other moderators too.
I don’t think any of the mods were massively pleased with the outcome of how we portrayed our time in Singapore during the last update and it certainly didn’t put across all the fantastic things we learnt or discussed while we were there. There was a quick turnaround with the update and with some of us were travelling and heading to other countries for various reasons it wasn’t ideal – anyway let’s begin. P.s. I apologise in advance for the lengthy post.

Education

As most of you are aware there is a rebranding process going on for Request currently, it was really exciting to hear Robbins experience and to see the scope of the project. Request are working with an industry leading full-service digital agency to improve the understandability of Request through educational content.
The current Request website is mainly catered towards ICO investors and hasn’t really changed much since the token sale – when visiting the site, it’s extremely difficult to understand what Request is, how it works and who can it benefit from the platform. One of the goals of the project is to revamp the website to cater for developers, businesses, users, community members, early adopters and investors.
The concept of the blockchain, Request, and its products is daunting for the non-technical audience. While the team know it’s important to cater for developers and other industry professionals having an easy to understand project with easy to consume information is an important step towards adoption.
The Request Hub will also play a critical part in the growth of the Request Network. The new website will have a focus on developers and businesses and pushing them towards the hub and how they can use the funding to help create their projects. Most of you will probably be aware that the dApps + the core protocol are different projects entirely. Internally, this is also the case.
You can see an visual image of the structure here: https://imgur.com/pXF1gEK
The core platform team is responsible for protocol development, things like scaling solutions, data encryption, extensions, features like cross-currency etc. Whereas the dApp teams focus on creating applications built on the Request platform, crowdfunding, invoicing, payments etc. Although this isn’t new information it’s important for sections later in the write-up.

FIAT

This is an excerpt from the 8th June AMA special project update (https://blog.request.network/request-network-project-update-june-8th-2018-ama-special-request-network-now-available-for-5da85547d933) which covers the teams thoughts on FIAT.
Fiat integration is vital for the success of the Request Network for medium to long-term. What we focus on today is making sure the protocol has enough features and a solid developer experience to attract developers to build reliable financial tools on top of the Request Network. The foundation prioritizes its own development goals based on direct feedback coming from the developer community. We receive requests for features that are needed by developers, as their product depends on it.
Today, the main feedback coming from the developer community is to make it easier to use the library, implementation of encryption, cross currency support and adding more cryptocurrencies. Apart from these requests, scalability of the protocol itself and developing extensions such as escrow are also prioritized as it is crucial for adoption of the protocol by developers. The above are our current priorities in development, while we in parallel are researching several fiat integration options mentioned in an update last December.
All of the above bullet points are things the team are actively researching and looking into, we discussed how the Singapore government is looking at tokenizing the Singaporean Dollar and how many more governments in the future will look at taking this route, however this is a long way off.
A decentralised Oracle with Chainlink would be ideal but it’s not ready yet.
Integrations by partnerships with banks / partnering with credit card companies or processors (like Stripe) is incredibly difficult (especially being decentralised) but it’s something the team will actively work on / towards.
Oracle and bank APIs – we discussed several projects here like StellarX, OmiseGo and more – each have their own pros and cons but nothing in the space is really ready for FIAT, some options are close and the team are keeping a close eye on several projects in this space.
There are tonnes of regulatory issues surrounding FIAT and the blockchain, governments are dubious about the blockchain technology and banks are having a tough time getting involved too – even big companies like Binance, Coinbase and Circle still can’t obtain a banking license after many years of trying. The regulatory situation will change, crypto is still a young industry and it will take time for governments to catch up.
Instead of spending time trying to achieve FIAT which wasn’t viable, their time has been spent on far more productive things such as scaling solutions, data encryption, working on various dApps, working with partners, hiring and much more. The better the platform the more impact having FIAT will have when it comes. Yes, not being able to stick to the roadmap isn’t ideal, but the team have realised there are limitations and made the best of the situation.
Would it have been good if the team have been more transparent about FIAT and the issues they faced? Absolutely. Detailed articles about subjects like this do take time, and raise further questions which also take up the team’s time. We want to find a good balance going forward of keeping the team on track and keeping the community informed. We will also work with the team to improve communication for things like this (if they ever arise in the future) and how the mods can alleviate some of the time-pressure if possible.
The team do realise the importance of FIAT, it hasn’t been forgotten and will be something the team will keep on the roadmap – in the future when FIAT is possible we will have a much more mature platform and many use cases live and ready to integrate FIAT.

Marketing

One of the most discussed things over the past months is marketing, this is a very important topic and it’s something that can make or break a project.
As per the ‘Rebranding + Restructure’ section, marketing will be broken down into two different groups, dApps and the core Request platform. The marketing for each of these aspects is very different.
So, why aren’t the team marketing right now? Quite simply – the platform just isn’t ready yet, there isn’t enough value to risk marketing at this stage. This is the same with some of the dApps, they are close, but they still aren’t quite there yet.
In my case if we take a look at the WooCommerce + Shopify plugins, if I go ahead and run a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign before BTC is integrated, then users may leave the site and never return. In this instance I will have lost money as well as a potential customer. This is just one example but it’s the same for other dApps too.
Right now, The team are making active steps towards marking when the platform and dApps are, as well as hiring dedicated marketers.
I do want to say that the team truly understand the importance of marketing, they will market the project and the dApps– it’s critical they do so.
To break it down there are entirely separate game-plans to consider when marketing, the core platform and dApps.
Core Platform (Foundation)
Marketing for the core platform will focus on; educating the community about the platform, educating developers / businesses / potential partners about the Request protocol and how it can be used by / integrated into business workflows.
The rebrand will have a big focus on education and driving adoption of the Request Hub + Fund. In the meantime, we are discussing ways to improve the Request Hub and how we can get more developers involved at this stage, I have covered this in more detail in the ‘Request Hub’ section.
dApps
Each dApp will in essence be its own entity (business) and will act independently of the foundation. Each dApp will have a dedicated team, individual aims and goals, potentially a custom roadmap, a proprietary marketing strategy and much more (everything you expect from a typical business).
Marketing for individual dApps will vary greatly depending on what the dApp is, some will be focussed on B2B, some B2C, some dApps might be a combination of both.

Hiring + strategies to find new devs

The foundation growing at a quick rate and one of the things we discussed in Singapore was hiring and strategies to find new devs.
There are several strategies that the Request team can adopt alongside job advertisements to help entice developers, not only to the foundation but also to the Request Hub. We discussed potentially using freelancers and then hiring if they are a good fit, more engagement from the team with people that contribute to the Request Hub and how the team can help (financially via the fund + time set aside for devs), hackathons with prize incentives, speaking at developer conferences (very important). Some ways of engaging with developers do require the platform / ecosystem to be more mature but we are actively working on making these things a reality. Also, improving the community sentiment will also drive hype which in turn hopefully attracts more developers.

Request Hub + Request Fund

In my opinion one of the best selling points of Request is the Request Hub + Fund. Although there is activity in the hub and some projects have receiving funding it is nowhere near as widely used as it could be. As I’ve discussed in the marketing section, the renewed website will have a big focus on pushing the Hub + Fund.
Aside from the marketing aspect I have also been speaking to teams in the Hub for a while about how the flow for funding can be improved, we have discussed the barrier to entry for the fund (MVP limitations), the turnaround time for responding to funding applications (needs to be quicker), having the team engage more with the Request Hub devs as well as actively helping them with their business needs.
In the future I will also look at creating a suite of tutorials, and potentially workshops, for the Request Hub to help get developers up and running.

Bi-weekly updates

One of the hot topics since returning from Singapore has been the bi-weekly updates, we have been discussing with the team how they can be improved without taking up too much time for the team. There are several things which are actively being discussed:
This will be an ongoing discussion with the foundation, it will take time to refine the bi-weeklys and we also need to find a happy medium that suits both the foundation and the community too.

The Community Managers and our role

The goal as community managers is to firstly ensure that the social channels e.g. Reddit, Discord, Slack and Telegram are a good place for investors, the team and developers – we want to ensure it’s good for open discussions (both positive and negative) and a place where we can educate people about Request too.
As community managers we want to try and stay as impartial as possible, we will help to educate when we can, we’ll shut down any false information and we’ll help alleviate any concerns where possible. We don’t want to take sides, we are simply there to be a bridge between the team and the community.
We want the Request community to be an open place where anyone can discuss what they want, we want to see discussions about good things and bad – we don’t want Request to be a place where negativity is censored. We (the mods) are just normal guys, we love technology, we love the blockchain, we are just investors like all of you, and we want the best for the Request Network.
We are continually improving how we and the team deliver information, but things can still be improved massively – we are already actioning some things to improve communication between the community and the team and we have plenty of other things lined up too.

Roadmap

During the rebrand the website will rework the dynamic roadmap to something potentially similar to Ark (https://ark.io/roadmap), with percentages (or something similar) and a breakdown of each goal on the roadmap. This will help with transparency and also allow the community to track progress more easily.
I’ll cover my perspective on the dynamic roadmap looking from a developers point of view, as a lot of people are still unsure as to why the roadmap has changed and in turn it raises lots of questions.
From a developers point of view.
As a dev it can be incredibly difficult to hit deadlines that are more than a few weeks / over a month or two away, the further away the date the harder it is to estimate + hit deadlines. This is the case for a normal business, but as crypto is insanely fast paced and such a new industry this is even more prevalent.
In the normal development world you typically work in weekly / bi-weekly sprints to produce features in small iterations which contributes to the overall project, at the end of each sprint you re-evaluate the previous weeks and re-adjust timings / resources if necessary – estimating deadlines months in advance is almost impossible.
The biggest issue about committing to a firm date is that crypto adoption is moving at a fast rate, non-blockchain businesses are getting involved with cryptocurrencies and a great platform like Request is an attractive option for them. On-boarding these businesses takes money, expertise and most importantly team resources. The team is growing but for now the time spent with these partners needs to come from somewhere, and unfortunately features can sometimes get affected.
Let's take BTC support - if the team was fully focused on BTC I would have no doubt there would have been no delay. But PwC came along, which took up development resources and, unfortunately, impacted the deadline. Long-term, having PwC onboard will have a more positive effect on the overall Request Network ecosystem. Partnerships won't wait around, Bitcoin support will.
With these partnerships there will be a push for features they want to see. PwC for example, would be focused on the accounting so they would likely be pushing for accountancy related dApps (http://accounting.request.network/) - when the roadmap was first created the team could never predict such a huge entity like PwC would come onboard, so changing focus is sometimes required from a project. Once again, long-term this will benefit Request massively.
From a development perspective changing the roadmap is a fantastic move in my opinion, the team never know what is around the corner and being able to quickly adapt to new opportunities, on-boarding companies are critical for the long-term viability of the network. As the team grow there will be more development resource available to focus on the core platform and partners which will allow the team to better predict features in the future. Once again, I’d like to reiterate things do need improving here, the team can be more transparent, and the roadmap can, and will, be improved.

Summary

The Singapore trip was fantastic, and it was an incredible experience working closely with the team and it was great to see their passion and talent while working away through the week, it’s an excellent work environment too.
Every bit of feedback is incredibly important, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at any time to me or any of the mods, either by Reddit, Discord, Slack or Telegram.
There is a lot of work ahead for the mods and the team, but rest assured we have every single one of your concerns in our scope; the community and the perception you guys have is so important to the team and the project. There are a lot of great things going on that we will continue to improve and lots of things that need changing – it won’t be something that happens overnight but something that will be continuously improving for the entirety of the project – we are dedicated to working hard and improving Request and the community every day.
At the end of all this, actions speak louder than words, and we will take everything into consideration to help ensure Request thrives, we are already in the process of actively making changes.
Apologies for the lengthy post but hopefully this clears some bits up and helps to put across some of the great things we saw in Singapore, if you have any other questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch privately. Cheers.
submitted by AdmREQ to RequestNetwork [link] [comments]

Community management response to recent concerns.

Hey all,
I’ve spent some time during my flight back home to discuss in detail the experience in Singapore, what talked about, things the mods and team are working on, improvements that can be made and some other things too.
I don’t think any of the mods were massively pleased with the outcome of how we portrayed our time in Singapore during the last update and it certainly didn’t put across all the fantastic things we learnt or discussed while we were there. There was a quick turnaround with the update and with some of us were travelling and heading to other countries for various reasons it wasn’t ideal – anyway let’s begin. P.s. I apologise in advance for the lengthy post.

Rebrand + the Request structure

As most of you are aware there is a rebrand going on for Request currently, it was really exciting to hear Robbins experience and to see the scope of the rebrand. Request are working with an industry leading full-service digital agency to improve Request not only as a brand but as an organisation too.
The current Request website is mainly catered towards ICO investors and hasn’t really changed much since the token sale – when visiting the site, it’s extremely difficult to understand what Request is, how it works and who can it benefit from the platform. One of the goals of the rebrand is to completely revamp the website to cater for developers, businesses, users, community members, early adopters and investors.
The concept of the blockchain, Request, and its products is daunting for the non-technical audience. While the team know it’s important to cater for developers and other industry professionals having an easy to understand project with easy to consume information is an important step towards adoption.
The Request Hub will also play a critical part in the growth of the Request Network, the new rebrand + website will have a focus on developers and businesses and pushing them towards the hub and how they can use the funding to help create their projects. Alongside the rebrand the foundation will undergo a restructure (which ties into the new rebrand). Most of you will probably be aware that the dApps + the core protocol are different projects entirely, although the dApps leverage the Request platform they are treated and handled differently internally at Request.
You can see an visual image of the structure here: https://imgur.com/pXF1gEK
The core platform team are responsible for protocol development, things like scaling solutions, data encryption, extensions, features like cross-currency etc. Whereas the dApp team focus on creating applications built on the Request platform, crowdfunding, invoicing, payments etc. Although this isn’t new information it’s important for sections later in the write-up.

FIAT

This is an excerpt from the 8th June AMA special project update (https://blog.request.network/request-network-project-update-june-8th-2018-ama-special-request-network-now-available-for-5da85547d933) which covers the teams thoughts on FIAT.
Fiat integration is vital for the success of the Request Network for medium to long-term. What we focus on today is making sure the protocol has enough features and a solid developer experience to attract developers to build reliable financial tools on top of the Request Network. The foundation prioritizes its own development goals based on direct feedback coming from the developer community. We receive requests for features that are needed by developers, as their product depends on it.
Today, the main feedback coming from the developer community is to make it easier to use the library, implementation of encryption, cross currency support and adding more cryptocurrencies. Apart from these requests, scalability of the protocol itself and developing extensions such as escrow are also prioritized as it is crucial for adoption of the protocol by developers. The above are our current priorities in development, while we in parallel are researching several fiat integration options mentioned in an update last December.
All of the above bullet points are things the team are actively researching and looking into, we discussed how the Singapore government is looking at tokenizing the Singaporean Dollar and how many more governments in the future will look at taking this route, however this is a long way off.
A decentralised Oracle with Chainlink would be ideal but it’s not ready yet – hopefully we will see Chainlink launch on the main-net soon.
Integrations by partnerships with banks / partnering with credit card companies or processors (like Stripe) is incredibly difficult (especially being decentralised) but it’s something the team will actively work on / towards.
Oracle and bank APIs – we discussed several projects here like StellarX, OmiseGo and more – each have their own pros and cons but nothing in the space is really ready for FIAT, some options are close and the team are keeping a close eye on several projects in this space.
There are tonnes of regulatory issues surrounding FIAT and the blockchain, governments are dubious about the blockchain technology and banks are having a tough time getting involved too – even big companies like Binance, Coinbase and Circle still can’t obtain a banking license after many years of trying. The regulatory situation will change, crypto is still a young industry and it will take time for governments to catch up.
Instead of spending time trying to achieve FIAT which wasn’t viable, their time has been spent on far more productive things such as scaling solutions, data encryption, working on various dApps, working with partners, hiring and much more. The better the platform the more impact having FIAT will have when it comes. Yes, not being able to stick to the roadmap isn’t ideal, but the team have realised there are limitations and made the best of the situation.
Would it have been good if the team have been more transparent about FIAT and the issues they faced? Absolutely. Detailed articles about subjects like this do take time, and raise further questions which also take up the team’s time. We want to find a good balance going forward of keeping the team on track and keeping the community informed. We will also work with the team to improve communication for things like this (if they ever arise in the future) and how the mods can alleviate some of the time-pressure if possible.
The team do realise the importance of FIAT, it hasn’t been forgotten and will be something the team will keep on the roadmap – in the future when FIAT is possible we will have a much more mature platform and many use cases live and ready to integrate FIAT.

Marketing

One of the most discussed things over the past months is marketing, this is a very important topic and it’s something that can make or break a project.
As per the ‘Rebranding + Restructure’ section, marketing will be broken down into two different groups, dApps and the core Request platform. The marketing for each of these aspects is very different.
So, why aren’t the team marketing right now? Quite simply – the platform just isn’t ready yet, there isn’t enough value to risk marketing at this stage. This is the same with some of the dApps, they are close, but they still aren’t quite there yet.
In my case if we take a look at the WooCommerce + Shopify plugins, if I go ahead and run a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign before BTC is integrated, then users may leave the site and never return. In this instance I will have lost money as well as a potential customer. This is just one example but it’s the same for other dApps too.
Right now, The team are making active steps towards marking when the platform and dApps are, as well as hiring dedicated marketers.
I do want to say that the team truly understand the importance of marketing, they will market the project and the dApps– it’s critical they do so.
To break it down there are entirely separate game-plans to consider when marketing, the core platform and dApps.
Core Platform (Foundation)
Marketing for the core platform will focus on; educating the community about the platform, educating developers / businesses / potential partners about the Request protocol and how it can be used by / integrated into business workflows. They will also be marketing the Request Hub and the Request Fund to the devs and businesses.
The rebrand will have a big focus on education and driving adoption of the Request Hub + Fund. In the meantime, we are discussing ways to improve the Request Hub and how we can get more developers involved at this stage, I have covered this in more detail in the ‘Request Hub’ section.
dApps
Each dApp will in essence be its own entity (business) and will act independently of the foundation. Each dApp will have a dedicated team, individual aims and goals, potentially a custom roadmap, a propriety marketing strategy and much more (everything you expect from a typical business).
Marketing for individual dApps will vary greatly depending on what the dApp is, some will be focussed on B2B, some B2C, some dApps might be a combination of both.

Hiring + strategies to find new devs

The foundation growing at a quick rate and one of the things we discussed in Singapore was hiring and strategies to find new devs.
There are several strategies that the Request team can adopt alongside job advertisements to help entice developers, not only to the foundation but also to the Request Hub. We discussed potentially using freelancers and then hiring if they are a good fit, more engagement from the team with people that contribute to the Request Hub and how the team can help (financially via the fund + time set aside for devs), hackathons with prize incentives, speaking at developer conferences (very important). Some ways of engaging with developers do require the platform / ecosystem to be more mature but we are actively working on making these things a reality. Also, improving the community sentiment will also drive hype which in turn hopefully attracts more developers.

Request Hub + Request Fund

In my opinion one of the best selling points of Request is the Request Hub + Fund. Although there is activity in the hub and some projects have receiving funding it is nowhere near as widely used as it could be. As I’ve discussed in the marketing section, the rebrand will have a big focus on pushing the Hub + Fund.
Aside from the marketing aspect I have also been speaking to teams in the Hub for a while about how the flow for funding can be improved, we have discussed the barrier to entry for the fund (MVP limitations), the turnaround time for responding to funding applications (needs to be quicker), having the team engage more with the Request Hub devs as well as actively helping them with their business needs.
In the future I will also look at creating a suite of tutorials, and potentially workshops, for the Request Hub to help get developers up and running.

Bi-weekly updates

One of the hot topics since returning from Singapore has been the bi-weekly updates, we have been discussing with the team how they can be improved without taking up too much time for the team. There are several things which are actively being discussed:
This will be an ongoing discussion with the foundation, it will take time to refine the bi-weeklys and we also need to find a happy medium that suits both the foundation and the community too.

The Community Managers and our role

The goal as community managers is to firstly ensure that the social channels e.g. Reddit, Discord, Slack and Telegram are a good place for investors, the team and developers – we want to ensure it’s good for open discussions (both positive and negative) and a place where we can educate people about Request too.
As community managers we want to try and stay as impartial as possible, we will help to educate when we can, we’ll shut down any false information and we’ll help alleviate any concerns where possible. We don’t want to take sides, we are simply there to be a bridge between the team and the community.
We want the Request community to be an open place where anyone can discuss what they want, we want to see discussions about good things and bad – we don’t want Request to be a place where negativity is censored. We (the mods) are just normal guys, we love technology, we love the blockchain, we are just investors like all of you, and we want the best for the Request Network.
We are continually improving how we and the team deliver information, but things can still be improved massively – we are already actioning some things to improve communication between the community and the team and we have plenty of other things lined up too.

Roadmap

During the rebrand the website will rework the dynamic roadmap to something potentially similar to Ark (https://ark.io/roadmap), with percentages (or something similar) and a breakdown of each goal on the roadmap. This will help with transparency and also allow the community to track progress more easily.
I’ll cover my perspective on the dynamic roadmap looking from a developers point of view, as a lot of people are still unsure as to why the roadmap has changed and in turn it raises lots of questions.
From a developers point of view.
As a dev it can be incredibly difficult to hit deadlines that are more than a few weeks / over a month or two away, the further away the date the harder it is to estimate + hit deadlines. This is the case for a normal business, but as crypto is insanely fast paced and such a new industry this is even more prevalent.
In the normal development world you typically work in weekly / bi-weekly sprints to produce features in small iterations which contributes to the overall project, at the end of each sprint you re-evaluate the previous weeks and re-adjust timings / resources if necessary – estimating deadlines months in advance is almost impossible.
The biggest issue about committing to a firm date is that crypto adoption is moving at a fast rate, non-blockchain businesses are getting involved with cryptocurrencies and a great platform like Request is an attractive option for them. On-boarding these businesses takes money, expertise and most importantly team resources. The team is growing but for now the time spent with these partners needs to come from somewhere, and unfortunately features can sometimes get affected.
Let's take BTC support - if the team was fully focused on BTC I would have no doubt there would have been no delay. But PwC came along, which took up development resources and, unfortunately, impacted the deadline. Long-term, having PwC onboard will have a more positive effect on the overall Request Network ecosystem. Partnerships won't wait around, Bitcoin support will.
With these partnerships there will be a push for features they want to see. PwC for example, would be focused on the accounting so they would likely be pushing for accountancy related dApps (http://accounting.request.network/) - when the roadmap was first created the team could never predict such a huge entity like PwC would come onboard, so changing focus is sometimes required from a project. Once again, long-term this will benefit Request massively.
From a development perspective changing the roadmap is a fantastic move in my opinion, the team never know what is around the corner and being able to quickly adapt to new opportunities, on-boarding companies are critical for the long-term viability of the network. As the team grow there will be more development resource available to focus on the core platform and partners which will allow the team to better predict features in the future. Once again, I’d like to reiterate things do need improving here, the team can be more transparent, and the roadmap can, and will, be improved.

Summary

The Singapore trip was fantastic, and it was an incredible experience working closely with the team and it was great to see their passion and talent while working away through the week, it’s an excellent work environment too.
Every bit of feedback is incredibly important, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at any time to me or any of the mods, either by Reddit, Discord, Slack or Telegram.
There is a lot of work ahead for the mods and the team, but rest assured we have every single one of your concerns in our scope; the community and the perception you guys have is so important to the team and the project. There are a lot of great things going on that we will continue to improve and lots of things that need changing – it won’t be something that happens overnight but something that will be continuously improving for the entirety of the project – we are dedicated to working hard and improving Request and the community every day.
At the end of all this, actions speak louder than words, and we will action take everything into consideration to help ensure Request thrives.
Apologies for the lengthy post but hopefully this clears some bits up and helps to put across some of the great things we saw in Singapore, if you have any other questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch privately. Cheers.
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