As 2021 is drawing to a close, it’s time to look back at the highlights of the year and give you a glimpse of the plans for the future.
There is never a dull moment in our field as we are constantly ducking, diving, adapting, readjusting, learning and unlearning. This is what makes it so exciting and keeps us moving forward.
In 2021, our key focus has been on developing Osom Finance, which we are positioning as a crypto wealth manager for traditional investors. We are focused on simplicity and ease of use. Compared to the more common exchange and brokerage solutions, our AI-powered products do not require users to trade or stay up to date with every market move. The heavy-lifting is done by computer, leaving the customer to enjoy the benefits. We have no doubt that we found market-fit as our revenues grew more than 18x YoY.
Some of the key highlights of 2021 include (a) the launch of our DeFi Earn product offering a more stable returns, (b) the launch of our own informational portal insights.osom.finance with a unique crypto strategy simulator, (c) migration to a more robust wallet infrastructure that will offer more opportunities going forward, (d) the introduction of corporate accounts, (e) the closing of our first white-label deal and last but not least (f) new utility for PLBT which will strengthen the tokenomics going forward. Finally, we have been keenly observing regulatory developments and planning for different contingencies. What’s more, we have taken a proactive role in the regulatory debate by joining Blockchain For Europe, the most prominent EU crypto advocacy group based in Brussels.
Our industry is too unpredictable to plan long term and we thus prefer to plan no further than six months ahead. The next six months will be focused on finalising the infrastructure migration and driving growth . We are also looking to experiment with different customer groups – B2B, B2C, B2B2C – and geographies. Our approach to sales will also change as we embark on building out a profit-share affiliate program.
DeFi Earn was the largest release of the year allowing all to earn interest income on stablecoins via the best lending protocols and platforms. The decentralised finance sector has grown immensely over the past 12 months. Since January 2021, total value locked (TVL) in DeFi has reached $266 billion. Nevertheless, complicated onboarding experiences, transactions fees and the risks existing in the DeFi sector continue to deter newcomers and hinder mainstream adoption. The goal of DeFi Earn is to solve this problem.
The product connects to a range of lending platforms and users’ stablecoins are lent into such platforms thus generating stablecoin interest income. Stablecoins can then be converted back to a fiat currency at withdrawal or, starting next year, kept as stablecoins in the Osom wallet. As a result, the Osom users are able to earn significantly higher yields than they would on their fiat currency in a bank. About 500 times more.
We are continuously expanding the range of protocols where we lend to diversify the risk and improve the return profile. The changes we are making to our OSOM Wallet infrastructure will allow us to add more opportunities faster.
As part of our efforts to facilitate crypto adoption, we launched our own informational platform Osom Insights (https://insights.osom.finance). Aside from the informational content on crypto assets, the crux of the platform is its AI-powered analytical engine. In particular, it offers a price prediction mechanism as well as a crypto strategy simulator. Users are able to choose up to 20 assets, set an allocation and a time horizon. The simulator would then calculate a potential performance. This is a superb tool for both experienced crypto traders and novices alike.
We have implemented a powerful search engine optimisation strategy to maximise the visibility of the platform and ensure that prospective users can find their path to us quickly. Our domain ranking is currently 34/100 with close to 2’000 domains linking to us. We are relentlessly pursuing a focused SEO strategy to make the platform ever more visible.
This year we took on the long-overdue task of shutting down the original ICO wallet. Wallet’s infrastructure was hopelessly outdated and users had frequent difficulties accessing their balances. The system was serviced by an external provider, Ambisafe Inc, who were, sadly, incapable of resolving users’ issues effectively and on time.
The only responsible thing for us to do was to take matters into our own hands and migrate all tokens to our own wallet infrastructure. This was successfully completed in May and ICO participants are now able to safely claim back their tokens. If you kept your PLBT in the ICO wallet, here is a guide on how to get them back: https://osom.finance/blog/polybius-wallet-migration.
Additionally, we are in the process of upgrading the Osom Finance wallet system, which will allow us to support more assets, lower fees and enhance the speed of transfers on the platform. This is expected to complete in Q1 2022.
Our research last spring pointed to there being high potential in extending Osom Finance to corporate entities. Thus we opened up our onboarding process to legal entities, initially working manually to start quickly and to test the hypothesis. As expected, the feature became extremely popular and we have subsequently automated the onboarding process. In the initial months, we saw a nearly 10x growth in the number of new corporate accounts and we continue to welcome fresh ones daily.
Scaling via partnerships and new audience groups
Historically we have been focusing on private individuals as our key target customer group. This is still the case, however, we are continuously exploring new channels to attract customers. We have therefore decided to try additional channels in our quest to grow our user count, and even more importantly, the number of assets we are entrusted with. This year we have launched our first white label partnership for Autopilot, whereby our white label partner owns the user interaction and we provide our algorithmic solution to manage the assets. We are aiming to scale this up and launch many more of these co-operations next year.
In addition to white label partnerships, we are also in discussions with several professional asset managers to onboard them into our Autopilot and/or DeFi Earn offering. Both of the products demonstrate very competitive performance metrics, which are impressing these counterparties. We are humbled by the positive feedback we are receiving from them and remain optimistic on the prospect of onboarding them as our users, particularly since with two of them we already have a handshake agreement in place.
Our scaling efforts are further helped by the fact that this year we were honoured with multiple awards. These include ‘Best Crypto Investment Enabler 2021 in Europe’ by Fintech Awards, International Investor Magazine recognition as “Best Crypto Autopilot App 2021” and a shortlist nomination for Best Robo-Adviser from Benzinga Global Fintech Awards.
PLBT DAO tokenomic concept
As we grow with the crypto ecosystem and listen to our community, we came across an opportunity to strengthen our market position and further align community and business incentives.
Going forward, PLBT token holders will have the ability to stake the token in a funded DAO to contribute their crypto management ideas and enjoy the proceeds of their smarts. And we will further commercialise these strategies via Osom.
The PLBT DAO will be seeded monthly with BTC and ETH to implement and test the portfolio allocation ideas of the community.,
We are targeting an aggregate amount of BTC 1’200 and ETH 6’600 by the end of 2023. Depending on the staker’s votes, the DAO will focus mainly on digital asset trading, DeFi lending as well as liquidity mining. The concept is in line with the initial ICO roadmap whereby we had planned to contribute into the crypto ecosystem. It will be a first of its kind hivemind-driven DAO seeded with assets. More details, as well as the links to the actual dApp are available here: https://dao.polybius.io
We expect this to result in heightened interest and demand for the PLBT token. In anticipation of this, we have provided liquidity for the PLBT-ETH pair on SushiSwap. We will be adding incremental liquidity into the pair and encourage others to do so too. Liquidity providers can also stake their LP tokens in the DAO and receive a monthly share of rewards.
The planned split of monthly harvesting proceeds is anticipated as (a) 35% to PLBT stakers, sent in wBTC and ETH, (b) 35% to LP stakers sent in PLBT, (c) 25% platform fee to support promotion and maintenance and (d) 5% to buy back and burn PLBT. This too can be modified by the PLBT stakers via a voting mechanism.
We are planning a powerful effort in promoting the DAO and are confident that it will allow us to grow our community and to contribute to the crypto ecosystem even further.
We believe DAOs are a superior form of collective organisation. As member’s actions are channelled through smart contracts they offer mathematically provable trust And “key-man” risk is heavily mitigated removed.
Still, there will be a need for some human intervention to make the DAO run smoothly as not all functions can, yet, be automated. We are therefore in the process of assembling a separate team to promote and support it.
To be clear, the DAO functionality is ready to be used as the contracts are live and audited, but yields will start on the lower side initially. The funding only started being injected and we need some time for the PLBT DAO to reach those who can contribute best and for it to realize its full potential.
The regulatory framework of Estonia is of very high concern to us, as that is where our company is licensed. Estonia surprised the industry earlier this year by trying to dramatically alter the licensing rules on short notice. This threatened the existence of the crypto industry in Estonia. Concerted lobbying efforts escalated the matter to the European Commission and the initiative was slowed down. Nevertheless, we have put contingencies in place and stand ready to action them should Estonia wish to turn its back to the crypto sector.
Whatever the final outcome of this development, a number of European countries are opening up to the crypto sector. The acceptance will be further boosted and solidified once an EU-wide regulatory framework (i.e. the EU MiCA Regulation) is released. The overall backdrop is thus very positive.
We are therefore keeping a very close eye on developments across Europe and beyond. Earlier this year we became a member of Blockchain For Europe, which is the most prominent crypto advocacy group in Brussels. Our Chief Legal Counsel, Jerome Dickinson, is a vice-chair of the organisation. Thus, we are able to observe EU-level developments very closely and to cooperate with lawmakers to ensure sensible and forward-looking regulations.
Overall, we feel good about the direction of regulatory developments in Europe and see far more opportunities than threats.
Looking into 2022
We have learnt not to plan beyond 6 months. The crypto industry is evolving very fast and it is impossible to realistically see further out than this. The next half-year will see us mainly focus on sales and finish the upgrade of our infrastructure at Osom Finance as well as promote the PLBT DAO to attract the best decentralized talent .
Our value proposition is compelling as we offer a turnkey crypto wealth management solution. In order to boost sales, we are developing and launching an affiliate program. Instead of a one-off reward offered by our current referral program, we will begin to share profits with the referrers. This will align incentives and make it a lot more financially attractive for someone to introduce new customers to us. Once launched, we will concentrate on pushing the affiliate program and expect that this will produce a strong influx of new customers.
Additionally, we are looking to expand our target geography. In particular, we are very interested in markets such as the United States, Australia and Japan. Each has its own regulatory idiosyncrasies. We are assessing them to establish to what extent we would need to change the service to viably access those markets. To the extent we can preserve our value proposition, we would like to launch in those markets. It is clear, however, that the service will have to differ across geographies to factor in local requirements.
We are rolling out a new infrastructure for Osom wallet. The new infrastructure will enhance the user experience by making transactions smoother, cheaper and quicker and also pave the way for new features and assets. Once launched, we will roll out USDC wallets, which will allow users to choose when they go into fiat with more granularity. The new infrastructure will allow us to introduce one-click strategies whereby users will be able to split their assets across multiple Osom products with one click. Or no click at all as they just direct monthly bank transfers to specific strategies.
Last but not least, we are very excited about the launching of our new Decentralized Autonomous Organisation . The PLBT DAO will be a one of a kind, revolutionising the current landscape and showing that tokens are not “one and done” but that they are key community-building assets that can gain utility over time. As the DAO funds grow and more holders join in as stakers, the DAO can expect to become a very strong player in the industry. We believe the combination of hivemind wisdom and seed capital will mint a very powerful force in both DeFi and CeFi. This initiative will allow us to cater to the crypto natives in addition to the crypto curious, who are the target of Osom Finance. And we highly doubt it’s the last idea the community has to add utility to the token.
With these priorities in mind and the results of last year’s work, we will be catching a quick breather to spend a few days with our loved ones before promptly returning to focus on catapulting our growth in 2022. We feel good that Osom Finance is gaining considerable market traction, giving us the confidence to scale it even more aggressively.
As always, thank you for your support and continued trust! We wish you happy holidays and a prosperous new year. We cannot wait for 2022 to begin!
Anton and the Polybius/Osom team