January Update: BETA!

In this issue:

  • OSOM is now officially in Beta
  • The app available on the App Store, Google Play and the web
  • EUR/BTC an EUR/ETH exchange functionality is live
  • Renewal of the Crypto licenses with Estonian regulator
  • NBB license status and explanation
  • Profit-sharing still a thing, needs the business to grow
  • PLBT gets a market maker

We began the year with a long-awaited achievement – the OSOM app is now officially in BETA. We have completed the very core of the planned crypto functionality: a state of the art BTC and ETH wallet, an unlimited API based portfolio tracker and public blockchain addresses aggregator, and our newest addition – BTC/EUR and ETH/EUR exchange. You can now exchange EUR into BTC and ETH (and back) with a 1.5% conversion and no deposit or withdrawal fees! It’s all in one place now: buy, sell, keep, send, receive crypto and track your whole portfolio across your wallets and exchanges. In the meantime, the robo-advisor tests are over and the results look promising. More on that in our future updates.

Legal: at the forefront of the regulation

We are about to renew our crypto licenses with the Estonian regulator.

  • Crypto is getting traction worldwide and the regulators are getting a better picture of its impact.
  • Estonia is upgrading the standards businesses need to meet to offer crypto custody and exchange services. It is a move towards a healthier ecosystem of such service providers with licences granted only to determined players.
  • We are happy to see this move forward and are already compliant with the foreseen improvements.

Not so much news regarding the National Bank of Belgium PISP and AISP licenses, however, we owe an explanation of where the biggest uncertainty for the regulator lies.

  • The centuries-old banking system of the EU has user protection laws in place that all the traditional financial institutions comply with.
  • At the same time, there is almost no legislative grounds for crypto user protection yet – the transactions within the EU are at the same level of regulation as in the case of fiat, but crypto funds protection is still being questioned.
  • Having a service that brings fiat and crypto together means merging different user protection responsibilities, involving several different regulatory institutions and, actually, making them work as expected.
  • We are at the forefront of drawing the new models of regulation. Coming up with solutions for the right balance between legal requirements, on the one hand, and User Experience, on the other hand, is tough. But nobody said it was going to be easy.

Product updates

Just to elaborate on our main news, our team has already put together the core pillars of the product: (a) an in-app BTC, ETH and ERC20 wallet, (b) a crypto-fiat exchange service, (c) an API integration with world’s biggest crypto exchanges, (d) a fully-automated identity management solution and (e) a technical foundation for AISP and PISP services via connection through our Technical Service Provider in Belgium. Additionally, we’ve passed several security audits.

Even though still in Beta, our brand new exchange has already seen more volume than anticipated. Should you need any BTC or ETH, please do check it out, enjoy some of the cheapest exchange services in Europe and let us know about your experience via support channel in the app.

New parts of the product require careful planning, selecting the best partners, robust coding, restless testing, and multiple iterations. To build the financial management tool for the many, not the few, we follow the principle of “aggregate-curate-automate”. We want to help our users to understand the landscape, to help them decide and to ease their daily routine. Every new idea is and will be validated with early adopters. Only feasible features that receive interest from users will be implemented app-wide. Our user is our advisor.

In our upcoming updates, we will be sharing the news on the product additions that are chosen for user testing and app-wide implementation.

Tokenholder interest and the interest in tokenholders

Once again, we would like to address the recurring question: “what about profitability and profit sharing?” While most of the ICOs of 2017 were focusing on emerging blockchain business models, introducing utility tokens, addressing mainly crypto traders’ interest, we took a different approach – from the very beginning, our ICO was a crowdfunding campaign, that would secure steady development of a sustainable business. PLBT is a smart contract that offers a share or potential future distributable profit. By its nature, such a contract needs the business to be in the market and running at profit. That takes time and effort. Like any other business created with the help of seed rounds – whether VC or Crowdfunded, OSOM needs to grow before its value does. Even in the first year of profit, the decision to distribute it might cause more harm to the company’s future and, in fact, the tokenholder value. Distributing profit at the stage of growth means having to rely either on debt or additional funding for further expansion. This would mean losing control over parts of the company. We shoot for the stars and want to build value independently for as long as possible. It’s a long shot, a hodler’s choice, and a carefully planned path.

Tokenholder value is deep in our company culture: our founding team and employees are all PLBT holders (the founders haven’t sold a single token since the ICO times and all the employees are granted Polybius tokens via incentive packages). Everybody’s interests are well aligned here.

Following the Estonian law, we are publishing our audited financial reports once a year. In addition, our public wallets are, in fact, public, should anyone want to check their status. Publishing financial information more frequently would create extra expenses and distract the team from their day-to-day work.

Market Making

In the meantime, there are the tokenholders, that are interested in trading their PLBT, as it is a liquid asset. They are facing high volatility of the token value, due to fairly small trade amounts. To introduce more channels for trade, we have added a new pair of PLBT/ETH on HitBTC this January and onboarded market makers to help tackle the volatility and liquidity issues. This will help bring further stability and confidence to the market and improve liquidity. We’ve said this before and are still confident, that PLBT value should be influenced solely by the market’s interest in OSOM. Therefore we will not engage in wash-trading practices for the sake of token price or volume. More on the partnership with the selected market maker in the nearest future.

Listing the PLBT on OSOM Exchange

Due to the ongoing regulatory process, we haven’t included PLBT in OSOM exchange yet. The exchange is limited to EUR/BTC and EUR/ETH for the time being. If you are interested in trading your PLB tokens, please do so on HitBTC, Livecoin, and Mercatox. However, if you are a hodler, we are happy to invite you to keep your PLBT in our very own OSOM wallet.

WARNING: take good care of your PLBT

We would like to draw your attention to a recurring issue some of our tokenholders face while transferring their PLBT to Yobit exchange. We highly recommend avoiding Yobit until they solve their problems: several tokenholders have reported to us that sending PLBT to Yobit puts the tokens at risk of being diverted to some unidentified address that no one can access afterward. In other cases, withdrawing funds from Yobit nulls balances but never releases them. Please limit your choice of exchanges to HitBTC, Livecoin, and Mercatox to avoid the risk of losing control over your tokens.

Go-to-market plans

With the OSOM app in the App Store and Google Play, with core crypto functionality in place but fiat licence still in the works, we are set to start marketing our crypto services in relevant jurisdictions across the European Union. We have been focusing on a deep understanding of the market opportunities till now and our next steps will be to field-test and validate our findings country by country, segment by segment, function by function. This will help us build a scalable model for all guns blazing activities. In other words, users interested in buying BTC on OSOM exchange may be very different from the ones interested in the portfolio manager and they should be approached with relevant offers. We are focusing now on laser-sharp targeting and optimization of the user acquisition cost. Having said that, we are committed to investing marketing dollars into direct conversion, not mass awareness. In our future updates, we will share non-sensitive numbers with you to see how we are doing.

Team life

Our team doubled in size over the last year. Some of the best people in the industry are currently working in our two offices across all departments: product, customer success, development, and UI. We are still actively looking to hire a Growth Hacker in Brussels, and a Community Manager in Tallin and a Product Manager and a UX/UI designer in Brussels or Tallin. If you happen to know a perfect candidate, please share the job listing with them.

With things happening all the time, make sure you follow Polybius and OSOM on our official channels: