Contrary to our normal approach of dealing with all the glitches on our own and letting our audience enjoy the growing benefits and giving everyone some positive insights, this time we are taking a serious step. We are being critical, and the criticism of one particular campaign is not anger-driven but necessary since it will become a good lesson for every project and will serve a foundation of what the entire ecosystem has been craving for: a set of guidelines. Those are not going to be “you’d rather do this and that to improve something here and there”-things, but a strict set of criteria, based on which every project will be judged upon from now on. We are not aiming to pester or be picky about particularities, but we will give our community a view over what has happened so that all can see how to avoid something inches close to a dropdown.
First of all, let us pay attention to the pre-story, so we could analyze it deeper. There was a project running its ICO and nothing seemed to go wrong except for an enormous rush, since the authors only managed to find some time to contact us about a week before the launch. Taking a look at how massive the product looked and sounded we anticipated a decent load of effort to be invested into the preparation. But it turned out that Universa, a big-scale project introducing its next generation blockchain, had so much to do and poured so many resources into the product creation and marketing they in several aspects failed to prepare their campaign properly for launch. The story of the last weekend will be used to make a set of guidelines and requirements to become a trend in the ICO world, and we hope every side and party sees why all of these aspects are vital.
When the launch started on Saturday midnight (GMT), both our team and Universa were preparing everything for the launch, no one expected so many minor glitches to form an avalanche, but we were rather confused by how slow many actions were. Just a bit later, in the very first moments of the crowdsale CoinPayments crashed being unable to process the increased load, which led to a big mess in both chats, where customers shared their confusion and required support and within the team that had to fix up their backup solution, IcoBacker, in haste. CoinPayments is a side third-party solution that is technically unable to process large amounts of payment traffic so necessary for ICO campaigns. We also participated in supporting the community in the channels where the flow and mess was drastic. The next big deal was backers had not been informed in time of our partnership and therefore were not sure it was safe to process their pledge through our platform. Besides, the collection progress bar could not demonstrate the actual sums, so a lot of people were not sure whether the campaign was really going fine. Altogether, our retrospective analysis and mutual efforts to solve all the issues revealed the basics of any campaign that shall not be ignored and that a successful ICO relies on.
Later, our CEOs contacted each other and in their dialogue managed to find the reason of some particular glitches and to establish ways of improving the campaign. Here we present the correspondence to show both KICKICO and Universa realize the drawbacks and see that the community concerns are a high priority:
KICKICO: Do you believe we have paid enough attention to all the details of running the campaign? We should have met and discussed every aspect, including safety, such as monitoring phishing domains and fake accounts.
Universa: All the week before the launch our CEO and representatives were running meet ups and conferences almost 24/7, it was harsh to arrange more in that tight schedule. We have over 20 people taking care of safety and support all the time, and we simply could not hold on to the increasing load, that is why some things got delayed.
We fully understand and agree it is important to be present at all the events and conferences, it makes good promos for every campaign, but the overload made it difficult for the community to realize what was going on in the first hours of the launch. We kept monitoring the chat flow, and we could see it was hard for people to fight the unforeseen obstacles — those, that would have not occurred if a clear protocol of the launch had been established.
KICKICO: Why had you not shown we were partners before the launch? It confused a major part of the audience who were afraid to process transactions via a third-party.
Universa: we expected to have the KICK and the Universa audiences to run separately, no one expected CoinPayments to collapse, that is why we started posting and pinning messages only when the initially established payment method collapsed.
We do not oblige our partners to force their audiences to our platform, of course. The point is it is better to be prepared for possible slowdowns and collapses and to have all the back-up solution prepared and the people informed. This saves the community solid and ensures safety and loyalty.
KICKICO: Why couldn’t anyone see the progress and the amount collected in the campaign after the start? Many reported their transactions not getting verified for hours and the website could not reflect the actual numbers. Was it possible for you to deploy a smart-contract to make everyone be able to see all the transactions?
Universa: Our backers support us with ETH, BTC and Wire and therefore until the next generation of blockchain is used it is impossible to deploy a smart contract that would correctly include and show all of the transaction in real time.
That is sad but true, the more payment methods a campaign utilizes the more difficult or even technically impossible it becomes to make the progress immediately transparent to the audience. A smart contract is good for crypto, but does not help with fiat wired payments. That is why in the first couple of days we heard a lot of rumors in our community suspecting the claimed sum collected by Universa (over $12 million, Oct.30) was overestimated or even fake. We immediately contacted the Universa team to get clear on that since we believe transparency and visibility is a major aspect of any business of the new era. The best solution for such cases is accepting crypto via a smart-contract and having Wire Transfer set to bank accounts and avoid unstable and unreliable solutions such as CoinPayments.
KICKICO: How can everyone see the amount collected is actual and make sure the preICO sum is legit?
Universa: We understand the concerns of the community and we do not want anyone to feel uncertain, but the difficulty is that we are collecting pledges in both fiat and crypto, so showing everything in one smart is hard to realize.
KICKICO: Is there a way we could check it and make our own audit to certify the collections?
Universa: Some Wired Transfers take a week to be processed, but we are ready to show everything gained so far.
That was a very important agreement for the community and we have checked all the collections claimed, we have received confirmations with data on all the payments from CoinPayments and CryptoBazar proving the sums collected and hereby we certify the info displayed by Universa is legit and correct. There is also a signed contract with Apex, though the money under this agreement is to be transferred soon.
As a result of our communication and check-up we can state Universa is working hard to provide their support to all the backers and we feel sure the project will live up to all the standards of good faith dealing, so we hope the ICO slowdowns and glitches will not affect their project and soon all their supporters will see the benefits of their new product. Apparently it turns out the Universa team had dedicated so much effort and time to develop their product they could not spend as much of it to prepare the launch; we spent a lot of time and effort running our investigation of all the questions arising in the community and despite all of the concern and doubt there had been around the campaign we now can ensure everyone the project will continue to operate on our platform in all the aspects designated by their campaign and we believe that all the data provided is correct. We are willing to continue our platforms’ cooperation in order to make the campaign work for the better of the cryptocommunity.