Telegram Michael Mathias 2021-05-28 Friday (pdf)
CCH: comments CryptoChemist.net
The purpose of this letter is to help you understand more about the history of our ecosystem and the dynamics that have affected it. Hopefully, it will clear up some issues and connect some dots so that you have a better grasp on where we’ve been. We’ll take a closer look at the challenges we’ve faced over the years that have caused so many problems in our ecosystem. We’ll also touch on a series of recent developments that has brought the ecosystem back on course and is setting us up for a new era of growth.
It’s fascinating to think about the number of choices and decisions that have gone into the creation of our global ecosystem, particularly when you consider the cascading dynamic that results from each individual choice. Every choice made leads to a series of derivative choices, and all of them have their own sets of consequences.
Even more fascinating (and also a bit daunting) is the fact that one choice can end up having such tremendous impact on the eventual outcome.
During the past five years, an incredible number of choices have been made by an enormous amount of people to reach the point where we are today in our ecosystem. From the start, many positive elements came together, including sincere people with great experience, a variety of talents, innovative ideas and good intentions who were working hard, moving fast and communicating constantly in order to implement a new global system of value creation and exchange built on blockchain technology. These elements created a positive foundation on which we have built our ecosystem.
Along the way, choices needed to be made. Many were good. Some were mistakes. Most were attempts to forward the goals of the ecosystem.
In this document, I’ll examine two very distinct dynamics. In the first, I will focus on the past to show how innumerable negative consequences resulted from:
- 1 bad choice
- 3 negative events
- 5 oppositional groups
I will then present a counterpoint to show how many of the remaining negative consequences have been neutralized and why the ecosystem is now positioned for victory due to:
- 3 positive events
- 5 supportive groups
- Innumerable good choices
(Please forgive the size of this document. An abundance of information is provided for your benefit should you be interested, but please feel free to skim through it otherwise.)
Tale of Two Ecosystems
One of the competitors that shares some important similarities with our ecosystem is a project that was originally called Monaco – and renamed Crypto.com in 2018.
Same Start Date
Both our ecosystem and the Crypto.com ecosystem were started in June of 2016.
Both had a similar mission of wanting to popularize the blockchain and make cryptocurrency easy enough to attract mainstream users throughout the world.
Both ecosystems featured proprietary exchanges and wallets, and both promoted card-based crypto payment solutions – Monaco Card from Crypto.com (the card is now branded Crypto.com) and the DasPay card from our ecosystem.
Two years into the respective ecosystems in June 2018, our ecosystem was the larger and arguably more successful ecosystem. For example, on June 25, 2018, DasCoin had a price of $0.176 and although it was not showing market cap (since our proprietary blockchain had not yet been accepted by CoinMarketCap), assuming its current circulating supply, DasCoin would have shown a market cap of $579 million and over 100,000 accounts holding DASC. Whereas the initial coin of Crypto.com (called Monaco with the trading symbol of MCO), an ERC-20 token, on that same date showed a market cap of $75 million. As of June 2018, our ecosystem was showing an 8x greater valuation than Crypto.com using the available industry metrics.
Flash forward to June 2021 as both ecosystems are nearing the 5-year milestone, Crypto.com has now attracted over 10 million users worldwide to their ecosystem and their primary token (an ERC-20 token called CRO which was issued in 2019) is currently ranked as one of the Top 50 crypto coins in the world, with a collective value of more than $3 billion and over 105,000 holders of CRO. Meanwhile, our ecosystem’s GRN token, which is now an ERC20 token (like CRO), is valued around $100 million. So Crypto.com is showing an over 30x greater valuation than our ecosystem using available industry metrics.
While of course there are many potential factors involved in these results, I believe the primary difference in outcome was due to one important dynamic: the choice of marketing method. Whereas our ecosystem adopted a method that could be described as “decentralized marketing”, Crypto.com pursued a “centralized marketing” strategy. And particularly with a payments-focused strategy, where the relations with regulators are sure to play a prominent role, the choice of marketing style likely made an enormous difference in the respective outcomes.
Crypto to Mainstream
To better understand the motivations behind the creation of the ecosystem, let me provide some background.
The Start of the Ecosystem
In 2007, as I was witnessing the economic dynamics that ultimately led to the 2008 financial crisis, I began to heavily research the structure of the American monetary system. The information I learned about the fundamental changes made to the American monetary system (particularly in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve) was deeply troubling. Due to structural flaws in the American monetary system (which was also the predominant model for centralized fiat currencies throughout the world), it was very apparent to me that the system was tragically unsustainable and would ultimately collapse.
I became involved with the American Monetary Institute, which was established in 1996 to promote the independent study of monetary history, theory and reform. For several years, I believed that monetary reform was the way forward, and closely followed efforts by Congressman Dennis Kucinich to introduce a slate of sensible monetary reforms through legislative channels in Washington D.C. By 2010/11, the repeatedly tepid reactions to Kucinich’s monetary reform efforts by the US Congress led me to conclude that reforming the monetary system was not likely to ever happen.
So my attention soon turned to “complementary currencies”, or “alternative currencies”. A complementary currency is a medium of exchange that has been designed to complement national currencies. Community currencies, regional currencies, private currencies and barter systems all are examples of “complementary currencies”. Complementary currencies are usually not legal tender and their use is based on agreement between the parties exchanging the currency. I became very intrigued with these currencies and believed they may offer solutions for the impending problems of the dominant monetary systems.
Mutual Credit Systems
Throughout my research into this area, the complementary currency system that has always been most intriguing to me is “mutual credit”. In my opinion, mutual credit is by far the most efficient system of value exchange in the world. In a mutual credit system, individual units of value (such as a token) are NOT issued. Instead, value is accounted for on a ledger through debits and credits.A strong proponent for the concept of mutual credit was the influential 20th century economist
John Maynard Keynes. Notably, Keynes proposed an international mutual credit system called the International Clearing Union at the 1944 Bretton Woods meeting, which brought together leaders from 45 of the world’s countries to design ways to reignite international trade after World War II. Keynes proposed that through the International Clearing Union, all trade between nations would be cleared in a special unit of account, called a bancor. The bancor was to have a fixed exchange rate with national currencies, and there were systemic incentives and penalties designed to ensure nations maintained as close to a zero balance as possible. Gold and national currency would no longer be used in international trade and would no longer move between countries. Despite the many advantages it offered, Keynes’ proposal for this mutual credit system was not accepted.
However, there have been successful mutual credit systems operating on a localized basis. One of the best examples is the WIR franc, a Swiss community currency which is circulated and backed by the WIR Bank, a Swiss banking cooperative headquartered in Basel. As one of the most widely used community currencies in Switzerland, WIR francs circulate through affordable loans to small and mid-size businesses, which then use these loans to make purchases from other businesses which accept WIR francs. The primary purpose of the WIR franc is to encourage trade between Swiss businesses and provide affordable alternatives to traditional business loans.
While the WIR Bank has evolved into a commercial bank cooperative over the last several decades, its roots date back to 1934. During that time, there was considerable financial instability throughout the world as well as currency shortages. Banks in Switzerland had become very tight with credit. Consequently, a group of businesspeople came together as a kind of economic cooperative (which was later licensed as a bank). “WIR” is the German word for “we”, reminding its participants that the economic circle is also a community. Its stated purpose has been to “encourage participating members to put their buying power at each other’s disposal and keep it circulating within their ranks, thereby providing members with additional sales volume.” The WIR Bank operates as a not-for-profit entity, and claims to be fully operational during times of economic crisis in order to dampen downturns and help to stabilize the Swiss economy during difficult times.
A core element of mutual credit systems is a bonding mechanism, which is designed to keep the members of the trading circle honest should their balance be negative for too long of a period. Real estate deeds have been pledged as the bonding mechanism in a number of mutual credit systems, which works well as a guarantee, though it limits participation to landowners. It also restricts the trading circle to a certain geographical region (which is usually one of the objectives of this kind of trading society: to promote trade among a localized group of businesspeople).
However, other possibilities certainly exist for mutual credit systems, besides the facilitation of local trade and a particular usefulness during times of economic crisis. For many years now, I have pondered the idea of how a mutual credit system could operate on a non-localized, global basis. What would it need to work? What benefits could it provide if one could work on a worldwide basis? Is this the kind of system that represents the next step in the world’s economic evolution?
The Search for a Non-Local Bonding Mechanism
My initial focus was on the need for a non-local bonding mechanism. By 2015, it became apparent that Bitcoin was a possible candidate to serve as a bonding mechanism for a global mutual credit system. I was first introduced to Bitcoin in the spring of 2011 by a developer friend. While I found it to be an intriguing concept, I was viewing value through the paradigm of complementary currencies at that time, so it didn’t fully resonate with me. Also, the process to acquire Bitcoin, which was trading for $4-5 per coin at the time, was convoluted and seemed pretty sketchy, so I passed. (Of course, I regret that decision now – though my friend was directing me to buy coins through Mt. Gox, which would suffer extensive wallet attacks and eventually file for bankruptcy in 2014. So, who knows?)
Again, by 2015, Bitcoin was emerging as a potential choice to be used as a viable bonding mechanism for a global mutual credit system. Litecoin and Ethereum were also potential candidates. In more fully examining Bitcoin as a system, it struck me as being very elegant and incorporated many brilliant concepts. It was also (already by that time) the most liquid digital asset in the world. The main drawbacks were that it was ridiculously inefficient in terms of its energy consumption, was already showing itself to be prone to centralization issues among the mining pools, and possibly the biggest drawback was that it could not be programmed directly into smart contracts (which would be a necessity for any mutual credit system that expected to scale).
Litecoin consumed less energy, was less secure, was less liquid and also could not be programmed directly into smart contracts. Ethereum just launched in 2015 and looked to be a promising solution, especially considering its focus on smart contracts. However, there were a couple of key drawbacks. One was their decision at the very start to distribute 10% of their coin supply to their development team and another 10% to the Ethereum Foundation. While the concept of those initial distributions seemed reasonable, their scale seemed poorly calibrated. Those were the levels of equity distributions typically made within a startup company – so they seemed inappropriate for the initial distribution of units of a what was supposed to become a global CURRENCY. An additional drawback emerged in mid-2016 in the aftermath of The DAO hack, which ultimately led to them forking their codebase, resulting in Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. This seemed to be a disappointing demonstration of centralized operations and decision-making within the Ethereum Foundation. (At the time, it was a much debated and highly criticized decision, but clearly Ethereum recovered well from the incident and have gone on to reach impressive heights in the industry.)
Nonetheless, in 2015, there was not a natural choice of existing cryptocurrency to serve as the bonding mechanism for the contemplated global mutual credit system. Consequently, I resolved to work on creating an appropriate cryptocurrency to serve in this capacity. Unlike the rest of the system, which would be ledger-based credits and debits, the bonding mechanism needed to be a convertible store-of-value unit. It needed to be a digital asset that would be used to bond each member into the global trading circle. I chose the name “DasCoin” for this digital asset while in Europe researching and planning the project. I viewed “DAS” as an acronym standing for Digital Asset System, and I was also aware that “Das” is one form of the word “the” in German. Appropriately, DasCoin was intended to be “the coin” used to bond members into a global mutual credit system.
As a sidenote, it’s interesting to observe that several positive elements of the ecosystem were created in response to decisions that were made by the Ethereum project, including not using a foundation and not pre-distributing coins.
Not a Foundation: As I mentioned, in 2015, I was spending time in Switzerland as I was researching and planning the project. I was already in conversations with attorneys in the crypto-friendly canton of Zug about the formation of a Swiss foundation (like Ethereum had created). However, it became apparent (even before The DAO incident) that there was a high degree of traditional centralized decision-making inherent to the Swiss foundation structure. The DAO itself (which was a 3rd party project working within the Ethereum community) was a more interesting structure but its quick termination in 2016 wasn’t helpful to future DAO structures. (Thankfully, in the intervening years, the DAO structure has matured and is now seen as a viable decentralized format.)
Lack of Pre-Distribution: Another element that can be credited as a response to a perceived mistake made by Ethereum is the lack of hefty pre-distribution of coins to the team. Today, this could be described as a “Fair Launch” (it’s possible that our ecosystem was one of the first Fair Launches in the industry due the fact that there were no pre-distributions). With the intention of creating a store-of-value token for a global mutual credit system, a decision was made to not denigrate the project by pre-distributing coins of any amount (and particularly not large percentages of the total supply to insider groups like Ethereum and many other projects chose to do). Instead, every unit of DasCoin was minted in a time-consuming process and only to license holders who had purchased their licenses and actively participated in the minting process. (There was a group of licenses set aside for a trust and a foundation, which amounted to ~2% of the total supply. These units were not pre-distributed and were minted over time.) The distribution of coins that resulted from this our ecosystem’s unique minting process was much wider than other cryptocurrencies, where holdings were typically quite concentrated.
Founding the Ecosystem
Once it was determined that a Swiss foundation was not the appropriate structure for establishing and operating the contemplated ecosystem, the concept of a decentralized alliance of companies began to gain momentum. I was aware of no structure like it, so there was no known model from which to work. At its essence, the idea to have a group of companies, each formed in a different jurisdiction, operate as a decentralized alliance using a series of formal and informal intercompany agreements. It seemed to make sense as the way forward for the ecosystem.
I had been in consistent contact with John and Terry about different aspects of the project I was working on. I talked to each of them about the idea of forming one of the companies in this alliance. Both agreed. For the fourth company, I reached out to George, a college buddy whom I had recently reconnected with while I was in Europe (he had moved to Serbia years earlier). George was initially reluctant due to a very busy schedule, but eventually agreed to form the fourth company of the alliance. The initial four companies were then formed, one each in Hong Kong, Dubai, Switzerland and Singapore. Each jurisdiction was selected for a combination of its level of global respect and its receptivity to the blockchain industry. Each entity would be 100% owned by the individual who formed it. The agreed upon concept from the start was that we would work together to create value in the ecosystem that would be reflected in the value of the coin, instead of trying to maximize equity value within any of the individual companies.
As the founders of the initial companies of the ecosystem, we were experienced entrepreneurs in our late 40s and early 50s with extensive backgrounds in technology, finance and business management. Two of us have Ivy League degrees, two of us have engineering degrees and all four founders have decades-long track records, confirming our standing as respected and valued members of the greater business community. We had come together to form a decentralized alliance of companies to pursue a better system of value creation and exchange built with next-generation blockchain technology. Our intention from the start was to build a decentralized technology platform that would be capable of serving the needs of millions of people around the world. We sought to address weaknesses in the first generation of blockchain technology and designed the platform to be capable of operating for many decades into the future. Since we would initially focus on establishing a digital store-of-value coin and accompanying blockchain infrastructure, I was encouraged by the other founders to resist talking about the global mutual credit system – they thought it was too much to digest and would end up confusing people. Reluctantly, I agreed. However, it remains a primary motivation and I do intend to ensure that a global mutual credit system is something that is ultimately realized through our ecosystem.
What we have all agreed on from the start was the idea of helping the average person make use of the emerging technology of the Internet of Value (e.g., blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital wallets). I had also likened the situation to the early 1990’s with Internet technology. There were two main online services (CompuServe and Prodigy) and both seemed to target the tech savvy. Then AmericaOnline (later known as AOL) came into the market, and seemed to target everyone (no matter how technically inclined). AOL played a significant role in popularizing online services around the world.
The founders of this ecosystem felt there was a similar opportunity to create something akin to “the AOL of the Internet of Value.” We each firmly believed that while this technology was currently only in the hands of the technically-minded, it would eventually spread to the average person. We believed there was a significant opportunity in helping to bring the Internet of Value to the mainstream. Consequently, the concept of populism was in our ecosystem from the start. We wanted to be able to reach a wide global audience and help them in a person-toperson manner. We were envisioning the ways that a community could be created that would be incentivized to help one another join and make daily use of the Internet of Value.
Rather than approach the problem from the standpoint of a centralized company, we reasoned that it should be decentralized in its approach, hence our adoption of a decentralized alliance of companies. We also reasoned that it should systematically provide incentivizes (rather than rely on traditional centralized incentive structures). This led us to conclude that we would be wellserved by more decentralized marketing systems. After all, since so much about the blockchain industry focused on decentralization, it just made sense to seek out appropriately decentralized formats of marketing for an ecosystem that intended to reach the mainstream.
Decentralization is a spectrum, not a destination. The most decentralized marketing options would probably be incentivized marketing programs that reward through a series of transparent smart contracts directly to recipients’ non-custodial digital wallets. Next would be network marketing programs that use decentralized agents but reward through a centralized entity, followed by affiliate programs and then customer referral programs.
John and I became familiar with one of the earliest attempts at crypto populism but were turned off by a number of elements, including the tendency toward over-promotion and the lack of genuine technology development. Ten years earlier, John and I had worked together at a technology company (where we first met). Combined, we had decades of technology development experience and knew that we could ensure delivery of the technology, even despite it being the early days of blockchain technology. What we were not clear on is what would be the best format of decentralized marketing.
Of the four founders of ecosystem companies, none of us came from an MLM or network marketing background. None of us had ever led a network marketing company or made our living as an agent for network marketing company. (Yes, I am familiar with people claiming that John and I are career MLMers, which is amusing to both of us, though disrespectful to the truth of our careers. These people are selling a false narrative, and their claims are patently false. We did have the misfortune of making a few bad purchases from a particular MLM company while researching an early form of crypto populism – but to suggest it was anything more than that is simply inaccurate.)
Launch of CoinLeaders
After considering the options within the realm of decentralized marketing, it was decided that creating an affiliate program would make the most sense. John formed an entity which would serve as the first company contracted to provide marketing services for the ecosystem alliance. Many of you may not know this (or remember), but “Netleaders” started out under the brand of “CoinLeaders” in June of 2016 with the purpose of marketing licenses in support of the ecosystem. As part of this effort, CoinLeaders offered an affiliate program that featured three tiers of rewards, up to a maximum of 40% of the revenue generated by license sales. While the level of reward might seem high, it was reasoned that it would be motivating while still remaining sustainable over the long-term. Using inter-company agreements, the remaining revenue would go toward sustaining other aspects of the ecosystem. The affiliate program was also designed to make it very clear what amount was being paid out to the marketing force. The simple format made it easy to calculate, and transparent for all to see.
A little more than 3 months into the launch of CoinLeaders, a group of experienced network marketing leaders approached the leadership of CoinLeaders. They claimed to lead an extensive global network of marketers and expressed interest in getting involved with the CoinLeaders program if their conditions were met. Their primary request was that the marketing program be completely overhauled and designed according to their specifications. If the program was made to be superior to the current competing opportunities, they claimed they would be able to deliver dramatic results for the ecosystem.
Leadership within the ecosystem companies discussed the ideas proposed by this group of leaders and were intrigued by the possibilities of their involvement. Sales had been modest during CoinLeaders’ first three months of operation, and this group was promising to make an immediate and very significant impact. After some discussion, John agreed to make major changes to the marketing program provided this group of leaders delivered a certain threshold of license sales during their first 30 days of working with the CoinLeaders program.
The group of marketing leaders successfully delivered impressive results during their first 30 days. Consequently, efforts began to make the requisite changes to the CoinLeaders marketing program. These leaders claimed to know exactly what changes would be required to turn the marketing program into a global success, and were adamant that their recommendations were adopted, which included the creation of a binary structure with extensive matching bonuses. Unlike the affiliate program, the maximum payout of the MLM-style compensation program put forth by the marketing leaders was opaque and unknown. Ecosystem leaders were worried that the new marketing program would end up paying out too much to marketers. Extensive modeling was needed to determine if the plan would be manageable. However, John was unable to find a qualified consulting group that could provide the necessary modeling in time for the upcoming launch event. The timeframe was very compressed. Under the pressure of the circumstances, he decided to move forward with the marketing plan put forth by the network leaders, reasoning that adjustments could be made if it ever started to overpay.
The changes made to create the new marketing plan were so fundamental that it was proposed that a new brand name should accompany the plan’s introduction. Consequently, the “NetLeaders” brand was announced along with the new marketing program at the ecosystem’s first global event in Dubai at the end of November, 2016.
After various issues were worked through during the first weeks of the launch of NetLeaders, the marketing program started to gain momentum and revenues were increasing. However, it was clear from the early data that the marketing plan was already overpaying. John received advice from an experienced consultant to give it time for the plan to “settle in.” He was also advised that changing the plan just a few months after the launch of the new program would have potentially catastrophic consequences, as it would be seen as a betrayal of trust. So there were few choices available, besides just waiting to see what the eventual payout percentages would be on the current plan.
By the summer months of 2017, it became clear that the plan was paying out far more than planned. The vast majority of revenue was already being paid out to the marketing force. However, sales of licenses were also greater than expected, so inter-company adjustments started to be discussed to be able to fund the development of the ecosystem with a lower percentage of revenue. Essentially, the growth of the network led to a rationalization process within the alliance leadership. A key part of that rationalization process was that the overpayment was going to the marketing force, which was comprised of the people that were creating the sales in the first place.
As the marketing program payout levels continued to overheat, this rationalization process became more ingrained among the alliance leadership. The focus for the NetLeaders team was on maintaining the timeliness and accuracy of payouts to the marketing field (with which they were very successful, as NetLeaders payments to the field operated like clockwork). The repercussions to the rest of the ecosystem were that operations plans were adjusted to fit with this new reality.
Three other ideas underpinning the rationalization for allowing the vast majority of license revenue to be paid out to the marketing force were
- Stronger Community Growth: Paying out more to the marketing force would likely lead to enhanced growth of the community.
- Cultivation of Loyalty Among Leaders: A generously compensated marketing force would likely create deep loyalty among NetLeaders’ marketing leaders (who were very happy with the program), and this would likely result in other strong marketing leaders joining the community.
- Coin Focus: The focus for value creation within the ecosystem was on building the value into the native coin through various development initiatives and the ultimate adoption of blockchain-based applications using the ecosystem’s blockchain.
Despite these ideas taking a firm hold over alliance leadership throughout 2017 and into 2018, the payouts to the field eventually reached levels that threatened the sustainability of the ecosystem itself. The problem grew steadily worse until there were multiple weeks where the payout level reached beyond 100%. The problem reached a critical phase where urgent action was required.
When approached about the need for changes in the marketing plan, marketing leaders pushed back aggressively against any proposed changes. They believed that making any change to the marketing plan risked losing the trust of the marketing field. However, after protracted discussions which included partial disclosure of the dire circumstances being faced, a slate of changes to the marketing plan was agreed upon with the marketing leaders.
With the new plan being an outcome of compromise with the marketing leaders, it did not seem to have pronounced negative effects within the marketing field. However, it also didn’t seem to sufficiently address the core problem of overpayment. After several weeks of reduced payout levels initially after the new plan’s implementation, the level of payout began steadily climbing again, and ultimately spiked to higher levels of payout than the previous plan. It had to be reset (again), and ultimately this was a major factor in the alliance’s decision not to renew NetLeaders’ 2-year contract (for exclusive rights to market for the ecosystem). A new company (Excelz) would take over marketing responsibilities for the ecosystem, and would introduce a new marketing plan.
Analysis: NetLeaders Marketing Program
- Competitive within the Global Marketplace: This plan gave the marketing leaders what
they had asked for. It was touted by these leaders as the most generous program in the
global marketing industry at the time it was introduced.
- Created Results: While it was operating, the NetLeaders program was successful in
attracting leaders and creating results.
- Well Executed: The NetLeaders organization was well operated and very reliable. It truly did all it agreed to do: it delivered a highly competitive plan that motivated its marketing leaders, it always paid on time, it always paid accurately and it always provided excellent support. The proof of all of this was NetLeaders’ remarkably low rate of refund requests, which was under 1/10 of 1% for its entire history of operations – an astoundingly low rate, particularly for a network marketing company.
- Structural Flaws – The NetLeaders marketing plan paid out far too much to the affiliate base. It was structured in a way that made it impossible to sustain. NetLeaders’ management made an enormous error in not having the plan extensively modeled by an experienced consulting company.
- Underestimated the Difficulty of Making Changes – There was a prevailing sentiment that the plan could be easily changed if it started to pay out too much, but in practice it turned out to be much more difficult to execute, especially when NetLeaders was growing so quickly and attracting so many leaders.
- Not Managed Effectively – Not enough analysis was done on the flow of benefits to ensure that the program’s benefits were spread as evenly as possible among those who produced results. Based on the way circumstances played out in late 2016, essentially “a pack of foxes” had designed “the henhouse” (and were guarding it). Consequently, it was very likely that an outsized proportion of the benefits resulting from the compensation plan was consolidated among top marketing leaders.
- Payments Weren’t on Chain – The payments made to affiliates as part of marketing plan were not recorded on the blockchain. This feature had been on the roadmap to be delivered in late 2018, but intervening circumstances prevented it from being completed. Ideally, blockchain-based payouts would have been there from the start. However, even today, it’s unlikely that any centralized network marketing company has their payouts working through a blockchain. Had we been able to visibly demonstrate that the plan was paying out excessively, it could have helped our community openly address and correct this sustainability issue. It also would have immediately dispelled any notions that funds may have accumulated with the company’s owner or other ecosystem executives. Nonetheless, this data set is still likely to play a prime role in some of the legal action that will be taken by the GRN Association — so there will likely be appropriate context for substantial disclosure in the upcoming months.