WeTrust [TRST] SAVINGS & INSURANCE PLATFORM



  • A platform for Trusted Lending Circles, powered by people and blockchain.


    Why We Built This

    Banking & Insurance industries can be greatly improved

    Vision:


    First Product is Trusted Lending Circles (ROSCA)

    Check out the ROSCA dApp Try out our working ROSCA dApp built on Ethereum.


    ROSCA stands for Rotating Savings and Credit Association.

    A ROSCA is an agreement between a group of trusted parties, who agree to contrbute a fixed amount of money at set intervals, called rounds. For example, you and three friends could agree to contribute $10 per month. In this case, each round is one month long, and the ROSCA will contain four rounds, one for each participant.



    At the end of each round, the pot should contain the sum of everyone's contribution. In our example, that would be $40. Users bid on this amount in a reverse auction manner, where the lowest bid wins.



    The winning bidder then receives their bid. For our case, if someone bid $35, they would receive $35, with the remaining $5 being split between all of the participants.

    In the event that no bids are received, the winner of the pot is chosen psuedo-randomly. Each round is won by only one user (in the simplest case), and each user is guaranteed to win exactly one round. This ensures a pareto optimal outcome according to many researchers, where everyone is at least as well off as they would have been had they saved the money alone. Below is an example of a ROSCA going through all four rounds.

    Why ROSCA?


    • Serves as Insurance and Credit
    • Interest stays within local community
    • No need for "trusted third party"
    • Low default rates
    • Used by over 1 Billion worldwide



    Mission Statement

    WeTrust is a collaborative saving and insurance platform. It is autonomous, frictionless, and decentralized. WeTrust utilizes the Ethereum blockchain to create a full-stack financial system that leverages
    existing social capital and trust networks, eliminating the need of a structures, decentralized risks, and a greater amount of capital to reside among the participants.

    Features

    Why start with ROSCA as WeTrust’s first dApp? (check out Whitepaper & Video for more details!) Marketplaces can succeed if there is a balance between supply and demand and critical mass is required from day one if users are to find usefulness in the WeTrust platform. This begs the inevitable “chicken and egg problem” in which a strong network is essential before users join and vice versa. To overcome this problem, we believe a ROSCA product is the ideal vanguard dApp as it facilitates network effects and leverages existing networks and behavior norms.

    ROSCAs provide Economic Security AND Opportunity: (used by over 1 Billion worldwide)
    Serves as Insurance and Credit
    Interest stays within local community
    No need for “trusted third party” intermediaries
    Low default rates


    Check out our DEMO VIDEO


    APP Token:


    Trustcoins
    are a crucial component of the WeTrust platform. The coin is a reward
    to any actor that facilitates trust and is paid by any actor that uses
    the Trust Network. Market forces and Supply and Demand will dictate the
    amount of “Trustcoin” per transaction.



    There are four essential parties in the WeTrust ecosystem: General Users, Sponsors, Forepersons, and Referral Partners.
    We want to ensure TrustCoin is used properly to incentivise these
    actors to behave in a way that fosters growth and integrity on the
    system. These roles are not mutually exclusive, and one person can wear

    any or all of these hats.

    • General Users use any of our services such as ROSCAs, credit scoring products, borrowing, or insurance services. Users are WeTrust’s number one focus, as they determine the success of the platform. They help us understand how to use the product, and provide feedback on how to improve it.
    • Sponsors support the overall development of the platform by participating in bug bounties, programming, and completing other tasks which WeTrust will reward with Trustcoin. Future roles may also include Tellers to facilitate on/off-ramp in fiat-crypto conversion, participating in claims auditing, etc...
    • Forepersons: The organizer, evangelist, advocate, and product expert on the ground working with users of the WeTrust Platform. We depend on the Foreperson to educate, recruit, enforce and coordinate groups. In the ROSCA context, forepersons are allowed to set the fee rate for the ROSCAs they organize.
    • Referral Partners evangelize the platform and receive Trustcoins from WeTrust for referring users to participate on the platform.

    Allocation:

    Prior to
    reaching a steady state where platform resources can be supported
    through fees, a token sale will be utilized to acquire the necessary
    funds to build out the platform. Subsequently, the WeTrust team expects
    to utilize funds in the following areas:

    • Research: This includes research in mathematics, game theory, statistical and actuarial models, and computational simulations that will ensure that the proper incentives are in line for all parties.
    • Software Development: This includes budgets for software development, smart contract development, security reviews, and developing a seamless user experience.
    • Business Development: This includes expenses for building partnerships with NGOs, forming and growing ROSCA communities, and hiring community managers to help evangelize around the world.
    • Marketing: This includes all expenses related to: educating the public about our platform, travel and admission expenses to blockchain conventions, sponsoring blockchain events/ conferences/ hackathons, driving users to our platform, developing the WeTrust brand, and relaying our message to ROSCA users.
    • External Costs: This includes the token sale structure, security audits, tax/ legal advisory, regulatory compliance, bug bounties and other fixed costs (office spaces, telecommuting equipment) associated with technology and development.

    100 Million Trustcoins (TRST) will be issued once the crowdsale is concluded. Of the 100 Million Trustcoins:

    • 80 Million Trustcoins will be sold to the token sale participants
    • 10 Million Trustcoins will be kept for the founding team
    • 8 Million Trustcoins will be used to future expenses, marketing, additional team members
    • 2 Million Trustcoins will be used for token sale bounties

    WeTrust’s
    Token Sale (Trustcoins, TRST) will commence on 03/01/2017 12:00:00 AM
    UTC and conclude on 04/14/2017 at 11:59:59 PM UTC or until cap of BTC6,000 is reached. There is also a minimum threshold of BTC1,000. Funds will be returned to participants if minimum is not reached.
    We will have the following bonus schedule:

    WeTrust’s Token Sale Bonus Schedule
    1st Day -- 30%
    1st Week -- 25%
    2nd Week -- 20%
    3rd Week -- 15%
    4th Week -- 10%
    5th Week -- 5%
    6th Week -- 0%

    Roadmap:


    Updated Budget and Roadmap

    How will the Crowdsale Funds be used? The BTC and ETH raised during crowdfunding will be used by the WeTrust team to build out the WeTrust Platform products Trusted Lending Circles, Credit Identity and Reputation, Trusted Direct Lending, and Mutual Insurance. The amount of financing received would vary significantly between the minimum and maximum financing (cap). The roadmap is a full vision to be completed if the cap is reached. Although the progress we have already made while developing the Trusted Lending Circle MVP proves the validity of utilizing blockchain to create decentralized and scalable digitized financial entities, there is significant work ahead. The WeTrust team is fully committed to the project, but the roadmap and pace of development is also dependent on the level of success achieved from the crowdfunding. In the minimum financing scenario, basic versions of Trusted Lending Circles, Credit Identity, Direct Lending/ Borrowing, and Mutual Insurance will be created. The final deliverables will enable users to create and find ‘circles of trust’ that can be relied upon as a fair marketplace for access to financial products. The maximum financing scenario enables delivery of a much more advanced version of the above products, and also enables creation of more sophisticated payout terms that resemble insurance. Close integrations with ongoing blockchain efforts, and investment into global partnerships will also enable maximum distribution of the services we create. This then enables a virtuous cycle where the fees generated on the platform will be expected to support the efforts made by WeTrust, as well as our ability to make grants to organizations that have a similar vision. 

    Functionality vs Funding


    Budget structure

    Team refers solely to employment costs. We assume that with maximum financing we will be able to finance a team up to 20 people (mostly developers) for a period of 4 years.

    Office and indirect costs includes office costs in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as other indirect, employment-related costs.

    Contractors covers all third parties we will need to work with. This includes security audits, legal and accounting services.

    Community, Marketing, and Partnerships are related to WeTrust’s expansion plan. This includes both communication and marketing efforts to get new communities involved, supporting (financing or co-financing) third party integrations with WeTrust, building partnerships with external partners that WeTrust depends on for customer acquisition, and building brand equity.

    Contingency fund is calculated as 8-10% of the total budget

    We look forward to a successful crowdsale, followed by the build out and deployment of our products!!

    Team:


    WhitePaper:

    Social Links:



    Website:

    Twitter:

    Facebook:

    Reddit:

    Medium BLog:

    Slak:

    Github:

    Bitcointalk:



  • WeTrust Announces Escrow Partners

    Vlad Zamfir, Joe Urgo, and Jae Kwon

    We are pleased to announced that we have finalized the process of securing trusted members of the community to act as escrow partners for our crowdsale. Vlad Zamfir, Joe Urgo, and Jae Kwon will be helping to secure BTC and ETH received during our crowdsale by acting as trusted key holders of our multi-signature wallets. In case you are not already familiar with them, here is a brief bio of each…

    Vlad Zamfir

    Vlad is a researcher working on the Ethereum
    transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. Vlad is enthusiastic
    about fault tolerance, consensus protocols, coalition-proof consensus
    mechanism design, blockchain governance and blockchain ethics.


    Joe Urgo


    Joe is the Founder/CEO of sourcerers.io, a recruiting and consulting firm for Ethereum-based projects. Joe also currently serves as Director of Operations at Ethlance and Editor at The Dapp Daily.
    Previously, Joe spent 3 years at Coinbase as an Operations Manager, and
    worked at Three Arrows Capital as a Derivatives Trader.


    Jae Kwon

    Jae is a technical entrepreneur, the author of the Tendermint whitepaper, and a force behind Cosmos,
    the internet of blockchains. Jae’s mission is to create sound
    cryptoeconomic systems for the safety and livelihood of everyone on this
    fragile planet.


    Crowdsale Details

    Begins- March 1st, 2017 12:00:00 AM UTC

    Concludes- April 14th, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM UTC or once maximum funding is reached

    Minimum Funding- 1000 BTC. Funds will be returned to participants if minimum funding of 1000 BTC is not reached.

    Maximum Funding- 6000 BTC

    WeTrust’s Token Sale Bonus Schedule- 1st Day — 30% 1st Week — 25% 2nd Week — 20% 3rd Week — 15% 4th Week — 10% 5th Week — 5% 6th Week — 0>#/p###

    Token Distribution

    Total- 100 Million Trustcoins (TRST) will be issued upon conclusion of a successful crowdsale

    Crowdsale Participants- 80 Million Trustcoins will be distributed to the token sale participants

    Founding Team and Advisors- 10 Million Trustcoins are reserved for the founding team and advisors, which will vest over 2 years

    Finclusion Labs- 8 Million Trustcoins are reserved for Finclusion Labs, the organization that is building WeTrust platform.

    Bounties- 2 Million Trustcoins are reserved for bounties

    Join our ThunderClap campaign and Join Us On Slack

    Share and amplify our message with this ThunderClap campaign on February 28.

    Have any questions? We’re always happy to chat, come see us on Slack!



  • An Interview with Michael Hexner, WeTrust Business Advisor

    Michael Hexner co-founded Wheel Works in 1976 and has served as CEO and Chairman until it was sold in 1999. Other roles in his career have included sevring as an administrative assistant in the Nixon White House, and as a Guest Lecturer at the Haas School and the University of Santa Clara. Since August 2016, he has been a Director at Heritage Global Inc and most recently at the Promise Academy in San Jose He acts as a Business Advisor to the WeTrust project.

    Hi Michael, thanks for chatting with us. What first made you interested in the WeTrust project?

    I met Patrick at a social occasion, and we stayed in touch for a few months. He mentioned you guys were talking about applying blockchain to finance. Coincidentally, I was talking to another young man working on a similar project applying blockchain to microfinance. I thought it was coincidental, and asked Patrick to stay in touch and send me some updates. About four months ago, he sent me a link to your abstract and your website. I was very impressed with the idea of a Trusted Lending Circle as a means of accelerating banking for the 2 billion plus adults who aren’t part of any current economic systems. I was intrigued with the concept of a dApp as part of the solution. That’s what got me interested — the basic thinking you guys are hitting on. What kept me interested is that in meeting with him and George, I was impressed with the curiosity they had, with their willingness to open ideas up to examination, and to consider other, different ways of doing things. I like people who are smart, and I was impressed by how smart everybody on the team was, while also being willing to learn. Those two traits don’t always go together.

    When did you first hear about blockchain? What piqued your interest about it?

    When I first heard of Bitcoin, the concept actually didn’t catch my interest. It was only later, when I learned about how blockchain could bring about this decentralization, while still retaining transparency, that I became really interested. I saw potential in the technology as a way of helping mankind.

    What do you feel are some pain points or roadblocks WeTrust may encounter going forward, and how could we avoid them?

    One of the big pain points is the fact that we need to remain agnostic to the ways the Trusted Lending Circles operate. If we start taking positions on the forepersons or borrowers, telling people they need to do things in a certain way, it could create unnecessary issues. This will also help us avoidliabilty, so that if there are disputes within some of the Trusted Lending Circles, WeTrust won’t be seen as taking an adversarial or negligent postionby the people in the dispute. . It’s also important that existing trusted social communities are the ones that form the first Trusted Lending Circles.

    Any idea of an existing trusted group that would make ideal first customers for a Trusted Lending Circle?

    There are certain groups for whom forming a Trusted Lending Circle within WeTrust makes all the sense in the world — they exist for their members but lack the platform to facillitate the service of improving banking for their members.. For example, you could use students at a university, or the PTA at a school, or a church. Target existing groups that have a sense of trust within themselves and maintaining their social capital within the group is important to the members. .

    Thanks for the vote of confidence and the great ideas, Michael!

    To learn more about the WeTrust project, join our slack!



  • WeTrust ROSCA contract code audit

    Author,

    Manuel Aráoz

    The WeTrust team asked us to review and audit their new ROSCA contract code. We looked at their contracts and now publish our results.

    The audited contracts are at their rosca-contracts GitHub repo. The version used for this report is commit 2af29be97d529488f5488fe0592f9e6b3585254f. The main contract file is ROSCA.sol.

    Here’s our assessment and recommendations, in order of importance:

    Severe

    We haven’t found any severe security problems with the code.

    Potential problems

    Use safe math

    There are many unchecked math operations in the code. It’s always better to be safe and perform checked operations. Consider using a safe math library, or performing pre-condition checks on any math operation.

    Be careful with integer division

    Several parts of the code use integer division. See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Integer division result will discard the remainder and keep the quotient. This could bring unexpected results in some cases.

    For example, in line 288, if currentRoundTotalDiscounts is not a multiple of membersAddresses.length, totalDiscounts will be incremented by the quotient, and the remainder of the division will not be considered.

    We haven’t detected any actual attacks or inconsistencies in the contract due to this fact, but we recommend being extra careful. In this case, a solution could be to make totalDiscounts have the total amount of discounts instead of the discounts per member.

    Timestamp usage

    There’s a problem with using timestamps and now (alias for block.timestamp) for contract logic, based on the fact that miners can perform some manipulation. In general, it’s better not to rely on timestamps for contract logic. The solutions is to use block.number instead, and approximate dates with expected block heights and time periods with expected block amounts.

    The ROSCA.sol contract uses timestamps at several points. The risk of miner manipulation, though, is really low. The potential damage is also limited: miners could only slightly manipulate when each round starts and who the winner is in each round. As this comment notes, this won’t affect the functioning of the contract, but the miner of the cleanUpPreviousRound call transaction will have absolute control on who the next winner is. We recommend the team to consider the potential risk of this manipulation and switch to block.number if necessary.

    For more info on this topic, see this stack exchange question.

    Warnings

    Use of send

    Use of send is always risky and should be analyzed in detail. Three occurrences found in line 427, line 476, and line 496 of ROSCA.sol.  - Always check send return value: OK. - Consider calling send at the end of the function: OK. - Favor pull payments over push payments: Warning. All 3 occurrences of send are push payments. Although we couldn’t find any attack vectors on this contract, consider using Zeppelin’s PullPayment contract to implement pull payments in ROSCA.sol.

    For more info on this problem, see this note.

    Usage of magic constants

    There are several magic constants in the contract code. Some examples are:

    Use of magic constants reduces code readability and makes it harder to understand code intention. We recommend extracting magic constants into contract constants.

    Bug Bounty

    Formal security audits are not enough to be safe. We recommend implementing an automated contract-based bug bounty and setting a period of time where security researchers from around the globe can try to break the contract’s invariants. For more info on how to implement automated bug bounties with Zeppelin, see this guide.

    totalFees will always be 0 on LogFundsWithdrawal

    In line 502 of ROSCA.sol, a LogFundsWithdrawal event is emitted if the send does not fail. The problem is that the variable totalFees will always be 0, as it is set to 0 in line 495.

    Avoid duplicated code

    Duplicate code makes it harder to understand the code’s intention and thus, auditing the code correctly. It also increases the risk of introducing hidden bugs when modifying one of the copies of some code and not the others.

    The logic in getParticipantBalance() and the start of withdraw() is very similar and could be refactored to avoid repetition. Consider using getParticipantBalance in withdraw.

    Naming suggestions

    • The members_ constructor parameter could be confused as the full set of members, and it is in fact al members but the contract creator. Consider calling it otherMembers_ or something like so, to avoid this confusion.
    • The grossTotalFees uint256 variable in recalculateTotalFees is not really the gross total fees, because it’s never multiplied by the service fee per mille. Consider renaming it to grossTotal or something like so, to avoid confusion.
    • The totalDiscounts uint256 contract variable does not represent the total discounts, but the discounts per member. Consider renaming to discountPerMember to avoid confusion.

    Use latest version of Solidity

    Current code is written for an old version of solc (0.4.4). We recommend changing the solidity version pragma for the latest version (pragma solidity ^0.4.10;) to enforce latest compiler version to be used.

    Additional Information and Notes

    • Good naming for logs, all starting with Log, as recommended in our article about smart contract security best practices.
    • Good work with using a fail-early-and-loudly programming style. Most exceptional conditions are handled with throws, as recommended in our guide. For example, all modifiers do this.
    • Good work using the EscapeHatch pattern to make the contract safer.
    • FEE_ADDRESS uses a different naming convention to other constants. Consider regularizing notations.
    • Bad indentation at line 243.
    • Consider checking against 0x0 instead of 0 when comparing addresses. E.g: here and here.
    • Use !winnerSelectedThroughBid in the conditional in line 253.
    • Consider changing these complex condition checks into multiple ifs and throws.
    • Interesting error handling technique in line 394.
    • No need to throw in line 430, but still simpler and equivalent to do so.
    • Comment in line 444 contains a typo, should read: “if ROSCA has ended”.

    Conclusions

    No severe security issues were found. Some changes were recommended to follow best practices and reduce potential attack surface.

    Overall, code quality is good, it’s well commented, and most well-known security good practices were followed. This was one of the most well written contracts we had to audit. 👍

    If you’re interested in discussing smart contract security, follow us on Medium or join our slack channel. We’re also available for smart contract security development and auditing work.

    Note that as of the date of publishing, the above review reflects the current understanding of known security patterns as they relate to the ROSCA contract. We have not reviewed the related WeTrust project. The above should not be construed as investment advice or an offering of tokens. For general information about smart contract security, check out our thoughts here.

    About Author

    Manuel Aráoz

    Editor of Zeppelin



  • How to Contribute to the Crowdsale

    Many have asked for a quick guide on how to contribute to our crowdsale, so here it is!

    Which browsers do you support?

    We recommend using either Google Chrome or Firefox to browse the site.

    Where do I find the address I need to contribute to?

    Every participant will be given unique Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses once they sign in to wetrust.io/crowdsaleafter the crowdsale begins at midnight UTC on March 1st. NOTE: Do not contribute to any address given to you by anyone else, only use the addresses assigned to you on wetrust.io

    Here is an image illustrating what your addresses look like — do not send funds to these addresses. It is purely a demonstration of what you will see:http://imgur.com/a/83PhS

    Can I pay in coins other than Bitcoin or Ether?

    Yes, you can pay with other coins supported by Shapeshift.io by setting the destination address on Shapeshift to either your Bitcoin or Ethereum addresses that we have provided, depending on which currency you are converting to. We recommend Ethereum when using Shapeshift, due to the speed of transaction.

    Will my Trustcoins (TRST) be credited to me instantly?

    No, Trustcoins are calculated as a percentage of the overall contributions; and as such, we won’t know anyone’s exact balance until the crowdsale is over. You will see an automatically refreshing balance on the dashboard as contributions roll in. Expect it to decrease as more contributions come through, so don’t be alarmed to see that the number will start high and get smaller as the crowdsale proceeds.

    When will I get my Trustcoin (TRST)?

    We’re still finalizing the details of the distribution process, but Trustcoin will be handed out some time after the crowdsale has completed. Part of the task of our escrow signees is to hold us accountable for the complete and correct distribution of Trustcoin.

    How do you know where to send the Trustcoin?

    We will be asking participants to enter the Ethereum address with which they wish to receive Trustcoin on their profile (at [wetrust.io/crowdsale](wetrust.io/crowdsale)) at some point during or after the crowdsale.

    Can I send BTC/ETH/Alts from an exchange like Poloniex or a smart contract?

    Yes, as long as the funds go to one of your unique addresses on the dashboard, it doesn’t matter where they come from.

    How are the ETH/Alts converted to BTC when measuring the completion percentage?

    For ETH/BTC, we’re using three sources to gather ratio information: Poloniex,CoinMarketCap, and CryptoCompare. We take the median ratio given by these sources at the time of your transaction. For altcoins, we’re using Shapeshift.io to perform the conversion and spot rates will be determine from them. There will be a Shapeshift link on the dashboard, which will open a page with your crowdfund Ethereum address set to the destination on Shapeshift. We’re using Ether here, since Bitcoin transactions could take a long time to confirm.

    Will Two Factor Authentication (2FA) be enabled on the WeTrust ICO website?

    WeTrust will have 2FA enabled prior to the Token Distribution process to ensure all funds are safe and there is proper integrity within our system. 2FA will be required to be enabled prior to the token distribution.

    If you have other questions, please check out our General Crowdsale FAQ!

    Hopefully that helps, looking forward to an exciting few days! Our Crowdsale starts March 1st 12:00 AM GMT!



  • Crowdsale Delayed 24 hours

    All,

    Due to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage impacting numerous infrastructure services and exchanges (e.g. Coinbase/ GDAX), we have decided to delay the Crowdsale launch by 24 hours to March 2nd, 12:00AM UTC.

    We apologize for this change in schedule. However, we believe that it is critical to have a smooth crowdsale experience.

    Everything else stays the same, the only difference is that the start date and bonus schedule have been pushed back by 24 hours.

    Thank you for your continued support,

    WeTrust team



  • WeTrust a Finalist in PitchIt Startup Competition!

    WeTrust is honored to be a finalist inPitchIt, a fintech startup competition sponsored by the LendIt conference and the venture fund 500 Startups! Out of nearly 300 startups, eight finalists were selected to pitch their ideas in New York from March 6 to March 7. Pitchit finalists receive mentorship from industry leaders, endorsement, and opportunities to meet with investors. Each finalist will give a 5 minute pitch to a group of judges. WeTrust founder George Li will be representing us there, and we wish him the best of luck!

    If you’re in the NYC area, stop by the LendIt conference and say hi to George!



  • Can WeTrust Disrupt Payday Loans? Part 7. Sharing the Funds

    For the introduction in Part 1, click here.

    For Part 2, click here.

    For Part 3, click here.

    For Part 4, click here.

    For Part 5, click here.

    For Part 6, click here.

    The Trusted Lending Circle (ROSCA) met in the boxing gym yet again this Monday, for the second to last distrubution. The recipients came down to myself and Toby, the only members who had not collected yet. Toby mentioned he did not have any pressing needs, and the group pressed me to take the funds.

    At this point, I revealed that I had planned from the start to share my ROSCA pot with all of the members, as a thank you for participating. This is a common practice in many ROSCAs when one member is feeling particularly charitable. Since ROSCAs are composed of groups of trusted friends and family, it’s not unusual for one member to want to share their good fortune with the other members. People participate in ROSCAs not only for the financial benefits, but also as a way to be connected to their community.

    For the introduction in Part 1, click here.

    For Part 2, click here.

    For Part 3, click here.

    For Part 4, click here.

    For Part 5, click here.

    For Part 6, click here.

    The Trusted Lending Circle (ROSCA) met in the boxing gym yet again this Monday, for the second to last distrubution. The recipients came down to myself and Toby, the only members who had not collected yet. Toby mentioned he did not have any pressing needs, and the group pressed me to take the funds.

    At this point, I revealed that I had planned from the start to share my ROSCA pot with all of the members, as a thank you for participating. This is a common practice in many ROSCAs when one member is feeling particularly charitable. Since ROSCAs are composed of groups of trusted friends and family, it’s not unusual for one member to want to share their good fortune with the other members. People participate in ROSCAs not only for the financial benefits, but also as a way to be connected to their community.

    In this case, participating in the ROSCA brought each of the members closer together. We learned more about each other’s lives, our family members, and the difficulties we had to face. We were able to support each other financially by leveraging our trust as members of the same boxing gym, without resorting to payday loan services. I was particularly impressed by the honesty and consistency with which each member of the ROSCA continued to participate, even after they had received their cashout. There was even enthusiasm among the people who had already received a cashout at being able to help their friends.

    With one more week left to go, there was only Toby left to receive the final pot. Follow the WeTrust blog and tune in next week to see what he does with it!



  • WeTrust Minimum Cap Reached!

    With the support of our amazing community, WeTrust has exceeded its minimum funding cap of 1000 Bitcoins, meaning that we will move forward with our vision for a financially inclusive future! As of March 8th, less than a week since the start of the crowdsale, over 1300 BTC has been raised!

    We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed towards our vision so far, as well as those who have enthusiastically promoted our project. We have until the end of the crowdsale on April 12th to get closer to our funding cap of 6000 Bitcoins, and we will be working hard to attract more funding during that time. Our dev team is already hard at work adding additional tokens and a more sophisticated dashboard to our Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and our business development team is in talks with a number of poverty relief organizations to partner on pilot programs! After April 12th, it will be full steam ahead making WeTrust Lending Circles a reality! And from there, it will be on to Credit Scores, Trusted Direct Lending, Mutual Insurance and… onwards and upwards!



  • An Interview with Michael Casey, WeTrust Fintech Advisor

    Michael Casey is a Senior Advisor at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. He also consults for businesses on the challenges and opportunities found in blockchain technology, and acts as an advisor to Agentic Group. He is the co-author of The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order. Prior to this, he worked as a journalist at The Wall Street Journal for 18 years. He acts as the Fintech Advisor for the WeTrust project.

    Hi Michael, thanks for chatting with us. In your book, you differentiate between small b bitcoin, referring to bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, and capital B Bitcoin, referring to blockchain technology. Given the emergence of so many other blockchain projects, what are your thoughts on bitcoin as a cryptocurrency?

    Bitcoin seems to be alive and well. Now, it won’t be the currency of choice for Mom and Pop to go buy groceries, but it has other enormously positive qualities. In much of the developing world, in places with a history of badly managed currencies, there exists a need for an alternative secure store of value. Even in places with a more developed financial system, there exists a need for a way to move funds across borders. In China, for example, when their economy slowed down and people started moving money out, Bitcoin became a way to circumvent state run controls.

    I also think generally, we need to think strategically about Bitcoin’s place. A lot of the focus in the early days was on the adoption play, and the question of whether merchants in the US would accept Bitcoin. This seems like a lot of misplaced attention — to me, it’s as much about Bitcoin’s place in the future of money generally, and its very presence as a proven decentralized mechanism is fundamentally important. Central banks are considering creating their own digital currencies, and that’s all in response to Bitcoin. The world wouldn’t have this much blockchain enthusiasm if not for Bitcoin, and there’s a strong case to be made that none of the other cryptocurrencies will have the same fully decentralized power that Bitcoin has.

    You mentioned that the central banks of some nations are discussing creating their own digital currencies. What effect would this have on Bitcoin?

    I think it could go either way on Bitcoin, all depending on how far it goes. If you think about it in terms of whether average Americans are going to start using digital currency from the central bank, that would be a reason not to use Bitcoin. But it’s also quite possible the Bitcoin becomes an element of the global fabric of currency interchange that will emerge in this new digital monetary system. You could potentially have all these siloed digital currencies around the world, and the only way to trade between them would be with Bitcoin. I’m not sure these nations would be willing to make the ledgers of their digital currencies interoperable, and if they don’t, Bitcoin would be a convenient way to intermediate between currencies.

    What originally drew you to the WeTrust project?

    I was struck by WeTrust’s use of the ROSCA concept. I’m a big believer that many of these blockchain initiatives won’t get far unless we integrate them with pre-existing cultural practices. I think there’s a fundamental problem with Silicon Valley solutions being imposed on people who don’t appreciate or understand them. WeTrust, on the other hand, is taking what exists already and expanding it. I also believe we need to interface blockchain’s trustless systems with existing trust based societal structures, and a ROSCA is an interesting way to approach that. It leverages social capital, and it’s a situation where a blockchain solution can scale and expand on what’s already there, instead of coming in and wiping everything away from scratch.

    Do you have any thoughts on WeTrust’s TrustCoin model?

    I believe many of these systems for creating value in community based systems will thrive more if they have a native currency or a native token within the system. I don’t necessarily think TrustCoin itself will become a global currency, but it’s valuable for serving the purpose for which it was created. The TrustCoin itself will have real value. Generally, I find projects with a token structure like that extremely useful.

    WeTrust is currently offering TrustCoins through a token crowdsale. Do you have any thoughts on the token crowdsale model as a way for projects to raise funds?

    I think it’s really interesting. How people go through the process of raising funds to build things is always a fascinating phenomenon. That being said, the token crowdsale model can be fraught with risks, and I’m very happy WeTrust paid a lot of attention to those risks. I like the notion that with these crowdsales you can fund exciting developments around infrastructure. A protocol itself doesn’t always pay off, but if you have a token attached to it, and the token is an integral part of how the protocol functions, devs will buy into it. It’s an interesting way to incentivize entrepreneurs to develop infrastructure that otherwise the government or some other non-commercial or non-profit organization would have to fund.

    I know in some of your writing, you discuss how the current financial system disadvantages many of the people throughout the world. How do you think blockchain projects like WeTrust can help solve this problem?

    Well, I feel the entire financial system is inefficient, and has been designed to incentivize rent seeking by those who control it away from the rest of us. The misaligned interests between customers and bankers is a fundamental problem. And those bankers have managed to hold our politicians hostage, which is why decentralized digital currencies will be interesting. The banks have become so big that they inherently require bailouts and guarantees, no matter how much we demand they go bankrupt. Even with all the regulations put into place since 2009, the problem still hasn’t been solved. Those of us who are excited by Bitcoin, blockchain, and fintech are looking for a way to rethink money, without these institutions that create friction and bottlenecks.

    WeTrust is important because it’s precisely a community-based model of finance, removing a sense of dependence on big institutions. The idea of mutualizing credit and insurance has been around for some time, with credit unions and mutual insurance, but WeTrust takes it to a level where you can build this without the infrastructure and without being plugged into the existing financial institutions. All of a sudden, who can use these types of systems is no longer limited, and the system itself is more efficient because it’s plugged into the blockchain. If WeTrust can remove friction, while at the same time building itself on the mutualized community model, I think it has a great chance to establish alternatives to centralized money.

    Thanks for believing in our vision and chatting with us, Michael!



  • Team Spotlight | Tom Nash

    Like many other members of the WeTrust team, Tom Nash is both passionate about blockchain technology, and has blazed a very unique path through
    life. At the moment, he is hard at work implementing the frontend of the WeTrust dApp.




    Carlisle, United Kingdom

    A native of Carlisle in the United Kingdom, on the border of Scotland and England, he is the second youngest of 10 siblings. For Tom, a big benefit of having so many older siblings is that he always had the latest video games to play as a child. His passion for gaming led naturally to studying Computer Science at Lancaster University, where he became convinced that the Internet still held untapped potential. At the time, he wasn’t sure what form that untapped potential would take, but the idea persisted in his mind.

    After university, Tom worked for a web development company for a year, before his adventurous nature compelled him to do something different.
    Like so many young Europeans afflicted with wanderlust, Tom made his way to Australia, where he lived for a year in Perth and Melbourne,
    familiarizing himself with Aussie culture. While residing in Melbourne, he worked for a time for a charity, cold calling donors. The experience
    of making a positive impact stuck with him, and he wanted to look for socially beneficial projects in the future.

    Melbourne, Australia

    After Australia, fate took Tom to Denmark, where he began work as an app developer. While in Denmark, he learned about the exciting developments in blockchain, particularly Ethereum. He realized that blockchain was the “untapped potential” of the Internet that he had dreamed of since his uni days. He began looking for blockchain projects that were looking for members, and when he found WeTrust, it all clicked. The chance to unlock the potential of blockchain. The chance to work on a project that could have a positive impact on the world. After a great Skype meeting with the founders of WeTrust, Tom became the team’s Front End Developer.

    To learn more about what Tom and the rest of the WeTrust team are up to, follow the WeTrust blog, join our slack channel (https://www.wetrust.io/slack-i...) and send us more feedback at [email protected]!!

    Author,

    Leon Di, Product Marketing



  • Digix and WeTrust brings savings and lendings with Gold on the Blockchain

    DigixGlobal and WeTrust partner to pilot Gold Token Lending Circle program

    DigixGlobal and WeTrust announce partnership

    Santa Clara, California — Mar 17 2017

    WeTrust, a platform created for savings and lending on the blockchain, has partnered with DigixGlobal, a company putting digital gold tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. George Li, co-founder of WeTrust mentions, “We look forward to enabling Gold based Lending Circles very soon and are excited to be working with DigixGlobal to amplify the strengths of Lending Circles through the use of technology.”

    WeTrust has released a fully functional and security audited proof of concept that allows the creation of Trusted Lending Circles using Ether as the unit of account. A key factor in driving mass adoption of the WeTrust platform is providing the ability for users to use the unit of account of their choice, and by allowing gold tokens to be utilized. Gold has a storied history in their use within lending circles, and are currently used in many parts of the world due to their cultural role in society and their stability as a store of value. As WeTrust makes progress in supporting multiple types of tokens, Digix gold tokens is a logical next step due to demand from users.

    WeTrust, based in Santa Clara, CA, is leveraging social capital, trust networks, and blockchain technology to create greater financial inclusion. Their first product is a distributed application which facilitates the creation of Trusted Lending Circles (also known as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, or ROSCAs) on the blockchain. WeTrust is also currently conducting a token crowdsale, and has successfully raised ~$4 Million thus far.

    WeTrust and DigixGlobal are working hard to enable Digix Gold tokens, and expect integration to occur immediately when Digix relaunches. Stay tuned!



  • Can WeTrust Disrupt Payday Loans? Part 8. Conclusion

    This is Part 8 , the final installment, of a series of articles describing an experimental Trusted Lending Circle in East San Jose utilizing concepts from the WeTrust Platform.

    For the introduction in Part 1, click here.

    For Part 2, click here.

    For Part 3, click here.

    For Part 4, click here.

    For Part 5, click here.

    For Part 6, click here.

    For Part 7, click here.

    Last Monday, the Trusted Lending Circle (ROSCA) I had organized met for the final time. By default, Toby, the person who had not yet won the pot, would receive the funds. He said the funds would go into his savings, which would someday be used to launch the food truck he dreamed of starting. It seemed a very worthwhile use for the ROSCA’s final funds.

    All in all, three of the seven members of the ROSCA had used payday loans in the past. Two of them had had very negative experiences, and felt the ROSCA was a much more supportive and comfortable approach. The other person said that even though his experiences was payday loans hadn’t been negative, he would still prefer participating in a ROSCA, since that way he would be supporting his friends rather than funding a predatory business.

    The members of my boxing gym managed to band together, and knock out predatory payday loans with a better option! The ROSCA was a success, and an excellent proof of concept test for the WeTrust vision!

    To learn more, follow the WeTrust blog! And for more on how WeTrust is creating financial inclusion via the blockchain, check out https://www.wetrust.io and join our Slack!



  • Crowdsale Update

    Overview

    As of the current time and date of publishing this blog post, the BTC/ETH ratio has increased in comparison to the crowdsale start date. A few crowdsale participants have reached out to us expressing frustration regarding making contributions of ETH prior to the rise. These early ETH contributors raised concerns about the pegging of ETH to BTC at the time of contribution, saying it can result in an unfair distribution of TRST tokens. We treat feedback from the community with the highest regard. We listened carefully to the points raised, and after consulting among ourselves, our advisors, escrow partners, and legal team, arrived at the following decision.

    While this may not make everyone happy, we hope the discussion in this post will help everyone understand how we arrived at this decision.

    TL;DR what we have decided

    The crowdsale will end as and when we reach the original cap of 6000BTC (calculated in the same way we did until now), OR when we reach the equivalent of $7.3M (details below). Of course, the original end date of April 12, 2017 11:59 PM UTC remains as well. The crowdsale website will be updated accordingly in the next day or two.

    Background: crowdsale calculation method

    When designing a multi-currency crowdsale (in WeTrust’s case, BTC and ETH), one needs to decide on how to use a single yardstick to measure the contributions received in the different currencies.

    In our case we decided on the following guidelines:

    1. Participants should be allowed to contribute in ETH, BTC, or both.
    2. We shouldn’t incentivize contributing in one currency over the other (i.e. no per-currency bonus).
    3. We should reduce the currency uncertainty for participants, so when they contribute they can use the current value of their cryptocurrency. They should know immediately where they stand at with respect to the 1K/6K BTC min/max caps and not have to wait for weeks and be subject to market fluctuations.
    4. There should be a single metric describing how the crowdsale is doing relative to the predefined minimum and maximum caps, so that the relevant actions can be taken (refund, regular termination of crowdsale, or early termination of crowdsale in case the max cap is reached)

    To accommodate number 4 we needed to peg all contributions to a single standard. As BTC and ETH were the currency of choice, it only made sense to peg to one of them, and as BTC has a larger trade volume and thus less susceptibility to volatility, we decided to peg all contributions to it, as well as setting the min & max caps (1K BTC, 6K BTC respectively).

    After WeTrust receives and processes a contribution, the ETH and BTC go to escrow accounts over which we don’t have any control. As a result, we consciously made the decision, perhaps non-optimal in retrospect (see below), to leave the funds in the currency they were received until the end of the crowdsale.

    Things we could have done differently

    1. Though the terms of the crowdsale were specified and set in the beginning, the exact calculation could have been articulated in more detail in the FAQ and in the Terms & Conditions (we’re doing better this time, see Appendix A). That being said, anyone who inquired received a detailed answer, e.g. this one on bitcointalk (notice this is still before the significant ETH/BTC changes), and as soon as we learned this is missing from the FAQ we added that.
    2. Since the vast majority of expenses of WeTrust are expected to be in USD, it would have made most sense to define our min & max caps to be in terms of USD, and peg all contributions (at time of contribution) to that currency. However, in practice it would have been much harder from technical, legal, operational and escrow aspects to convert all contributions to USD on a periodic basis.
    3. Having decided to peg contributions and caps to BTC, it would have been better to work out a way, in advance, with our escrows to periodically convert the ETH received to BTC. While right now it may seem that we were “lucky” in retrospect with not doing that, things could have gone (and could still go) the other way.

    Analysis and decision

    Basic principles

    When making a decision, we need to take into account all of the relevant actors’ needs and interests. This includes the group of crowdsale participants, our escrows, and WeTrust itself.

    • The most important principle we follow, is that we should avoid — or failing that minimize — any rule changes to the sale once it has begun.
    • Even if we make such a change, it should not hurt any group of participants to benefit another, not even if it’s benefitting the majority. Why? Under a simplified model, suppose we’re making a change that awards 90% of participants 1 extra TRST each. That means that the remaining 10% lose 9 TRST(!) each. While this will make the majority of our users slightly happier, it would significantly hurt the minority. We don’t perceive this as being fair and will thus avoid any such proposal.

    In order to reach a decision, it was important for us to involve our escrows, advisors, and legal team, in order to get as many points of view as possible and make sure we did not miss any important facts or considerations. The following thoughts and conclusions were reached by way of consensus.

    Crowdsale Maximum Cap

    WeTrust’s code is counting the contributions in BTC-equivalent-at-time-of-contribution, and as ETH has risen significantly against BTC (and USD) since the beginning of the crowdale (as of 3/18), there is an argument to be made that WeTrust may end up with more funds than it intended to raise. Thus WeTrust should be able to end the crowdsale sooner without losing any funds compared to the initial goal.

    Although the rules were defined in the beginning of the crowdsale, and raising “too much” might actually be a good thing for the entire WeTrust community (as there will be more products and features developed), we sympathize with the dissatisfaction expressed by some of the participants.

    When we started the crowdsale we expected to raise up to 6000BTC at a price of about $1,223/BTC, totalling ~$7.34M. Therefore, we are adding anadditional crowdsale termination condition: if we hit $7.3M (a bit less than our original goal), we will end the crowdsale.

    Small print: how would we compute that sum? In order to avoid ending the crowdsale prematurely because of a momentary spike in BTC or ETH, our plan is to use a 3-day moving minimum of ETH and BTC prices, as described inAppendix A.

    Distribution of TRST among contributors

    We understand and sympathize with participants who would want to see a change in distribution implemented, but we think this is not the right thing to do when taking into account all of the participants’ interests. Note that whatever decision we made on this issue, WeTrust’s proceeds from the sale remain unaffected — it is only the distribution of the 80M TRST between the participants.

    The terms of the crowdsale were set in the beginning and, although the exact calculation could have been articulated in more detail, potential participants who asked about it received an answer. Moreover, since the beginning of the crowdsale, our dashboard presented the current amount of TRST that each user would receive if the crowdsale ended now, and next to the Ethereum address for contributions, the current ETH/BTC rate was shown. We are happy that some of the participants who were curious about this issue were able to find information by looking at the dashboard and asking questions.

    Market conditions have indeed changed since the crowdsale began. When dealing with volatile markets like this, sticking to the rules of the game is the most important thing to do, because people were making decisions based on this set of rules. Moreover, if we decide to change the internal distribution now, we’ll be essentially transferring a certain amount of TRST from one group of users to another group of users. As no game-changing event happened in the crowdsale itself (e.g. bug in the calculation, bug in the multisig holding the funds, etc.), it seems to us that no decision to benefit some users at the expense of others will be deemed fair by an objective observer.

    It’s worth perhaps considering a couple of thought experiments: if a company was starting a “simple, ideal” smart-contract-based, ETH only, 10-tokens-per-ether, kind of crowdsale, and the ETH dropped by 50% during the crowdsale, early contributors might feel very similar to how some feel today. We therefore see it not necessarily as an “issue” of this crowdsale design, but as an artifact of dealing in a volatile market. This is also one reason why early contributors get an early-bird bonus, to compensate them for such uncertainty.

    A second thought experiment: if ETH were to drop significantly compared to BTC during the rest of the WeTrust crowdsale, say to 0.001BTC, it is not unimaginable that participants involved would have opposing views to those they currently hold.

    Consider the case WeTrust decided to pay early ETH contributors the extra appreciation ETH enjoyed throughout the crowdsale but does not receive compensation from these same contributors for any potential depreciation of ETH. This kind of service is usually called a “call option on ETH”, is charged a substantial price on the free market, and WeTrust did not and does not offer this kind of service.

    Another angle on this is that as of the time of writing these lines [3/18], over the last 24 hours, bitcoin has gone down 9% and ether 13% compared to USD. As these trends change and certain users feel benefited or hurt, WeTrust cannot keep changing the rules of the game accordingly.

    Appendix A — how we compute the end of sale condition based on USD

    Let medianClosingRate(day, currency) be the rate of currency against USD at closing of day (UTC), calculated as the median of the data we get fromcryptocomparepoloniex(returnChartData)and gdax (if some don’t answer, we use the median of the rest).

    Let

    minClosingRate(day, currrency) = min(medianClosingRate(yesterday, currency), medianClosingRate(day before yesterday, currency), medianClosingRate(3 days ago, currency))

    Our additional end condition is then to stop if:

    $7.3M > minClosingRate(today, ETH) * <amount of ETH collected> + minClosingRate(today, BTC) * <amount of BTC collected>

    We are aware this is not the “theoretically ideal” way to compute this (where one would take into account trade volumes & average of the entire period) but given the circumstances, stakes and resources at hand, we believe this is a good enough approximation.



  • Using the Lending Circle as a framework for hosting social events, sports betting, and investing

    Here at WeTrust, we believe our Trusted Lending Circle products can truly change the world! In addition to their traditional use as a way for people in a group to save together and receive money when they desperately need it, we’ve seen other unique situations that would be well suited for our Trusted Lending Circle (aka ROSCA) products. In Part 2 of this 4 part series, we take a look at a few uses of this mechanism! (For a look at Part 1 which focuses on using ROSCAs for buying shared resources and charity, click here).

    WeTrust ROSCA for Hosting Regular Social Gatherings

    Let’s say a group of friends want to host regular parties in a rotating way. It would be unfair to have the parties at the same person’s home every time and make that person clean up the mess every time. It would also be unfair if one person ends up buying most of the food and the drinks for the party every time.

    A Trusted Lending Circle (aka ROSCA) could be used to pool the funds for a regular party. The winner of each round will then host the party for that time period. In some cultures, circles like this are already used to facilitate regular social gatherings, such as the Gold Day tradition in Turkey. Party ROSCAs could be used in hosting everything from potlucks to poker nights to costume parties. They could even be used by organizations instead of individual people — for example, the fraternities and sororities on a college campus could participate in a weekly Lending Circle, and the winner each week would use the funds to throw a party at their house.


    Funds are pooled in a WeTrust ROSCA…

    … and are distributed to the host of the party each month, with each person hosting once

    WeTrust ROSCA for Sports Betting

    Betting is a common situation in which funds are collected by a group and distributed to one member of that group. The mechanics of a Trusted Lending Circle (aka ROSCA) lend itself naturally to betting: whether in poker or sports betting, the funds are pooled together. The money is then dispersed to the winner of the bet. A smart contract could be implemented to guarantee that the winner of a bet would receive the funds pooled into a WeTrust ROSCA. This would be particularly effective for popular sports betting events like the World Cup or college basketball March Madness in America.

    Funds are pooled into a WeTrust ROSCA, with each member choosing a team to cheer for…

    … and after the teal team wins, the person who bet on them receives the funds.

    WeTrust ROSCA for Investment Clubs

    A WeTrust Trusted Circle could be created by an investment club, with funds pooled together, and the group voting to decide who is the investment manager. Funds would be contributed on a regular basis, and the designated manager would decide how to allocate funds.

    Funds are pooled in a WeTrust ROSCA…

    … and are placed into an investment, with dividends from the investment paid out to members



  • WeTrust talks Blockchain with our Community Members

    Here at WeTrust, we are focused on building a community of enthusiastic and passionate supporters who believe in using the blockchain to improve financial inclusion. Recently, we reached out to some members of our community to get their thoughts on our project and our ongoing crowdsale. We really appreciate the great responses from WeTrust community members @johngalt, @pablox, and @cryptoks.

    If you want to participate in our community, join our Slack or ourongoing crowd sale. We welcome and look forward to any questions, constructive comments, and debate regarding our project. In fact, our discussions with members of our community often lead us to ideas for improving our product. Join us in using blockchain to create a new financial system that’s For the People, By the People.

    The questions and very thoughtful responses are shown below.

    Kacper Wikieł, Username johngalt on the WeTrustSlack Channel, Founder of getline.in

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I started my journey in 2011 when i learned about “toy money”, when i participated in long discussions about monetary policies and government. Then i bought some bitcoins and got myself into HFT and arbitrage — i always felt that forex/stock exchanges are rigged and over-regulated so i saw my chances there.

    I’ve started blog about bitcoins, and after 3 years of research i founded getyikes.co — p2p lending prototype. My observation was that bitcoin economy is lacking basic things like credit and savings accounts, but that’s hard problem so it takes time.

    I was technology evangelist at Fintech Poland foundation, working with Ministry of Digital Affairs trying to push blockchain into government.

    My main project now is getline.in which is largest bitcoin p2p lending — having more turnover than my main competitors — btcjam and bitbond. Also this project is almost entirely bootstrapped with very low amount of external funding — it was possible mostly due to Tobias Brox, an idealistic angel investor.

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    It’s p2p lending/microcredit so it’s under my purview, most interesting thing is that WeTrust team have functional MVP done and they have technical capabilities to deliver. Due to Sec v. Howey result one cannot really sell IPO as great investment opportunity, which is kind of sad regarding true potential of a project. It’s great that WeTrust got seed funding without greedy VC — it’s showing boldness and courage.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    Lack of stablecoin (something USD-tied) makes participants vulnerable to market prices swings. Given that those things will be solved I see some use case in “startup fund” where group of people is essentially funding some person startup and providing community of support.

    User pablox on the WeTrustSlack Channel, @pablox45 on Twitter

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I’ve been involved in the crypto-sphere since 2013. I have supported many projects such as Augur, the infamous DAO and of course WeTrust!

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    I believe the ROSCA concept is pretty amazing. As a person that was born and lived in South America, I am pretty familiar with this concept. In several parts of South America, it is called Tanda. It is a very popular thing to be part since many participants see Tandas/ROSCAs as a method to save money. In regards to the crowdsale, I do believe it is a great opportunity.

    Whenever I am looking to support a particular idea or vision, one of the most important component that I focus on is the team behind the idea. The WeTrust Team has a talented pool of individuals and an incredible list of advisers. An idea combined with a talented group of individuals is what makes great projects.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    I currently live in the United States and there is a big Hispanic community close to where I live. In the future, I can see a lot of people in this community using this product. Of course, the initial users will be people that supported the crowdsale and people that are familiar with the crypto world.

    Other comments: I’d say that I am looking forward to see the other use cases that the WeTrust Team have in mind. Some of these include the implementation of stable coins, decentralized P2P insurance and direct lending. There is definitely room for innovation and a brighter future.

    User cryptoks on the WeTrust Slack Channel, @cryptoks on Twitter

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I’ve been following Bitcoin as a value store since 2011 and nothing at the time really piqued my interest. It was only in 2014 when I had learned that Blockstream, a blockchain company for fintechs (and co-founded by Montrealer Austin Hill) had been backed by Reid Hoffman with nothing more than a white paper that I decided to put my Comp Sci degree to use and look under the hood. Since then, I’ve been following the developments in Ethereum. It was their concept of DAPPS that truly allowed me to see the forest from the trees and how blockchain along with smart contract technology could revolutionize any transaction based industry or process.

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    I think with any ICO you’re dealing with a lot of incomplete information, so there’s really only a few things to look at.

    1) What’s the vision? Is there a potential for adoption? Given the amount of un-banked and underbanked societies on the planet, digitization of ROSCAs and mutual insurance is a no-brainer. Bringing the underbanked online is not only exciting from a capitalistic POV, but anything that raises the bar for our poorest raises the bar for all of us. Forced savings as well as easy and potentially quick access to large amounts of capital will certainly raise the bar for not only our poorest, but for anyone who doesn’t fit the traditional borrower profile as defined by our banks.

    2) Is there an incentive for users to earn coins and create a marketplace for the coin? In Ethereum, miners “risk” their computing resources to perform computations and are compensated for this by earning Ether. Sounds fair. With WeTrust, the foreperson, that is, the individual that creates the ROSCA and convinces people to participate, is “risking” his / her reputation with all the participants. As Warrant Buffett has famously said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, but only minutes to lose it.” That foreperson is very incentivized to qualify the participants that he invites or he risks losing his reputation within the community. In exchange for the foreperson laying their reputation on the line, they earn WeTrust coins. All participants have aligned incentives and there’s a mechanism for growth. Check.

    3) Who’s on the team and how transparent are they? I think if you compare WeTrust’s team with others coins you’ll be hard pressed to find a more qualified group of people. So that’s an easy one. In terms of transparency and “feel” of the individuals comprising the team, I’ve asked some pretty tough questions on their slack channel, so I can speak to this. In particular, I hadn’t understood why the team needed to issue a coin in the first place given that the ROSCA was merely a smart contract as I hadn’t yet wrapped my head around the idea that a foreperson was to WeTrust as computation networks are to Ethereum.

    Firstly, the team was always quick to respond even in the minutes leading up to the ICO. Second and more importantly, not once did any of the team members get annoyed by my questioning of why they needed a coin, despite my pressing the point. In fact, they welcomed it. That’s important in a team building on the blockchain because the fundamental principles driving this development space is transparency and integrity, whether that be in the form of content, contracts or miner competition. It’s these values that will shape decisions made during times of duress, so not only am I happy to be investing in the resumes presented, but also in the values the team represents.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    I live in the first world, so my challenges really aren’t meaningful from a societal point of view. Still, I can see a lot of use for ROSCAs in the first world. An easy one would be an emergency fund. It’s estimated that only 65% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings. It’s these 65% that payday loan sharks and credit card companies take advantage of financially. It’s very clear to see how community leaders in churches, schools and neighbourhoods could act as ROSCA forepersons in their own communities to assist participants during hard times and intervening before these predatory lending practices force the very same people from the poverty line to the homeless shelter. I look forward to the day that these predatory lenders are out of business and I think WeTrust can play a big role in eating their lunch.

    Thanks again to members of our great community for their support and thoughtful responses!



  • The Pedigree and Motivations of a Crowdsale Participant

    Here at WeTrust, we are focused on building a community of enthusiastic and passionate supporters who believe in using the blockchain to improve financial inclusion. Recently, we reached out to some members of our community to get their thoughts on our project and our ongoing crowdsale. We really appreciate the great responses from WeTrust community members @johngalt, @pablox, and @cryptoks.

    If you want to participate in our community, join our Slack or ourongoing crowd sale. We welcome and look forward to any questions, constructive comments, and debate regarding our project. In fact, our discussions with members of our community often lead us to ideas for improving our product. Join us in using blockchain to create a new financial system that’s For the People, By the People.

    The questions and very thoughtful responses are shown below.

    Kacper Wikieł, Username johngalt on the WeTrustSlack Channel, Founder of getline.in

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I started my journey in 2011 when i learned about “toy money”, when i participated in long discussions about monetary policies and government. Then i bought some bitcoins and got myself into HFT and arbitrage — i always felt that forex/stock exchanges are rigged and over-regulated so i saw my chances there.

    I’ve started blog about bitcoins, and after 3 years of research i founded getyikes.co — p2p lending prototype. My observation was that bitcoin economy is lacking basic things like credit and savings accounts, but that’s hard problem so it takes time.

    I was technology evangelist at Fintech Poland foundation, working with Ministry of Digital Affairs trying to push blockchain into government.

    My main project now is getline.in which is largest bitcoin p2p lending — having more turnover than my main competitors — btcjam and bitbond. Also this project is almost entirely bootstrapped with very low amount of external funding — it was possible mostly due to Tobias Brox, an idealistic angel investor.

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    It’s p2p lending/microcredit so it’s under my purview, most interesting thing is that WeTrust team have functional MVP done and they have technical capabilities to deliver. Due to Sec v. Howey result one cannot really sell IPO as great investment opportunity, which is kind of sad regarding true potential of a project. It’s great that WeTrust got seed funding without greedy VC — it’s showing boldness and courage.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    Lack of stablecoin (something USD-tied) makes participants vulnerable to market prices swings. Given that those things will be solved I see some use case in “startup fund” where group of people is essentially funding some person startup and providing community of support.

    User pablox on the WeTrustSlack Channel, @pablox45 on Twitter

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I’ve been involved in the crypto-sphere since 2013. I have supported many projects such as Augur, the infamous DAO and of course WeTrust!

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    I believe the ROSCA concept is pretty amazing. As a person that was born and lived in South America, I am pretty familiar with this concept. In several parts of South America, it is called Tanda. It is a very popular thing to be part since many participants see Tandas/ROSCAs as a method to save money. In regards to the crowdsale, I do believe it is a great opportunity.

    Whenever I am looking to support a particular idea or vision, one of the most important component that I focus on is the team behind the idea. The WeTrust Team has a talented pool of individuals and an incredible list of advisers. An idea combined with a talented group of individuals is what makes great projects.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    I currently live in the United States and there is a big Hispanic community close to where I live. In the future, I can see a lot of people in this community using this product. Of course, the initial users will be people that supported the crowdsale and people that are familiar with the crypto world.

    Other comments: I’d say that I am looking forward to see the other use cases that the WeTrust Team have in mind. Some of these include the implementation of stable coins, decentralized P2P insurance and direct lending. There is definitely room for innovation and a brighter future.

    User cryptoks on the WeTrust Slack Channel, @cryptoks on Twitter

    How have you been involved with the Blockchain community so far? What projects have you participated in?

    I’ve been following Bitcoin as a value store since 2011 and nothing at the time really piqued my interest. It was only in 2014 when I had learned that Blockstream, a blockchain company for fintechs (and co-founded by Montrealer Austin Hill) had been backed by Reid Hoffman with nothing more than a white paper that I decided to put my Comp Sci degree to use and look under the hood. Since then, I’ve been following the developments in Ethereum. It was their concept of DAPPS that truly allowed me to see the forest from the trees and how blockchain along with smart contract technology could revolutionize any transaction based industry or process.

    What excites you most about the WeTrust project? Why do you think WeTrust’s token crowdsale is a great opportunity?

    I think with any ICO you’re dealing with a lot of incomplete information, so there’s really only a few things to look at.

    1) What’s the vision? Is there a potential for adoption? Given the amount of un-banked and underbanked societies on the planet, digitization of ROSCAs and mutual insurance is a no-brainer. Bringing the underbanked online is not only exciting from a capitalistic POV, but anything that raises the bar for our poorest raises the bar for all of us. Forced savings as well as easy and potentially quick access to large amounts of capital will certainly raise the bar for not only our poorest, but for anyone who doesn’t fit the traditional borrower profile as defined by our banks.

    2) Is there an incentive for users to earn coins and create a marketplace for the coin? In Ethereum, miners “risk” their computing resources to perform computations and are compensated for this by earning Ether. Sounds fair. With WeTrust, the foreperson, that is, the individual that creates the ROSCA and convinces people to participate, is “risking” his / her reputation with all the participants. As Warrant Buffett has famously said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, but only minutes to lose it.” That foreperson is very incentivized to qualify the participants that he invites or he risks losing his reputation within the community. In exchange for the foreperson laying their reputation on the line, they earn WeTrust coins. All participants have aligned incentives and there’s a mechanism for growth. Check.

    3) Who’s on the team and how transparent are they? I think if you compare WeTrust’s team with others coins you’ll be hard pressed to find a more qualified group of people. So that’s an easy one. In terms of transparency and “feel” of the individuals comprising the team, I’ve asked some pretty tough questions on their slack channel, so I can speak to this. In particular, I hadn’t understood why the team needed to issue a coin in the first place given that the ROSCA was merely a smart contract as I hadn’t yet wrapped my head around the idea that a foreperson was to WeTrust as computation networks are to Ethereum.

    Firstly, the team was always quick to respond even in the minutes leading up to the ICO. Second and more importantly, not once did any of the team members get annoyed by my questioning of why they needed a coin, despite my pressing the point. In fact, they welcomed it. That’s important in a team building on the blockchain because the fundamental principles driving this development space is transparency and integrity, whether that be in the form of content, contracts or miner competition. It’s these values that will shape decisions made during times of duress, so not only am I happy to be investing in the resumes presented, but also in the values the team represents.

    How do you think WeTrust could be used by your community, and by those you know personally?

    I live in the first world, so my challenges really aren’t meaningful from a societal point of view. Still, I can see a lot of use for ROSCAs in the first world. An easy one would be an emergency fund. It’s estimated that only 65% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings. It’s these 65% that payday loan sharks and credit card companies take advantage of financially. It’s very clear to see how community leaders in churches, schools and neighbourhoods could act as ROSCA forepersons in their own communities to assist participants during hard times and intervening before these predatory lending practices force the very same people from the poverty line to the homeless shelter. I look forward to the day that these predatory lenders are out of business and I think WeTrust can play a big role in eating their lunch.

    Thanks again to members of our great community for their support and thoughtful responses!

    https://powered.by.rabbut.com/p/xnB8?c=0

    Author, 

    WeTrustLeonD

    Product Marketing @ WeTrust



  • WeTrust in the News Week of 3/26

    Let’s get started with your weekly round-up of news featuring the WeTrust platform!

    TechCrunch described WeTrust as one of three potential “killer dApps” for the Blockchain

    Cointelegraph reports on the 6 exclusive finalists for the Blockchain Oscars, including WeTrust! WeTrust is described as: “Killer team and advisory board! I have been aware of them for some time. They are a solid project, and I expect them to be one of the most successful Silicon Valley Blockchain projects.” Thanks for the nomination and the kind words!

    Newsbtc and Coinspeaker describes our ongoing crowdsale!


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